Who is Brookside Real Estate Broker and Realtor Jim Kraus? Many often assume he is the founder of Brookside Real Estate Company, but that’s not the case. In fact, Jim’s original career was in Advertising where he spent 20 years in various marketing/advertising positions – including with the Kansas City Royals as a marketing intern, then a gig selling commercial specialty printing and later in sales management at local radio stations, KMBZ, KCMO and 101 The Fox, to name a few.
After two decades in marketing, printing and broadcast, Jim decided to make a change. He realized the career satisfaction he longed for was not in marketing sales. That’s when Jim decided to take a leap of faith, follow in his father’s career footsteps and pursue a career in residential Real Estate.
Jim received his license to practice in 2003 and decided to hang his license with a local agency called Brookside Real Estate – founded and at the time owned by an old acquaintance of his father named Lee McGraw. Jim apparently was just the kind of guy Lee wanted to carry on the company he created.
Ironically, Jim found out that his very own father was the real estate professional that Lee considered to be his own mentor. Two short years and a fair amount of challenging yet rewarding work later, Jim would become the new owner of Brookside Real Estate Company!
“I love Brookside so much that is was natural for me to buy the company,” Jim said. “It’s where I’ve lived my entire life!” Jim refers to Brookside as his, “stomping ground,” recalling times when he would sled down suicide hill and trick-or-treat through the neighborhood as a child.
Jim continued, “I’ve sold houses that I mowed lawns for as a teenager. I’ve sold houses where I cut through their yard as a shortcut to play football with a buddy. I’ve sold houses where I played basketball in their driveway growing up. For me, Brookside is, and always has been, my home.”
To Jim the real estate business is not about being #1 in a zip code or even having the most sales, it’s about putting people in homes they love. According to Jim, “I see these people at the Brookside Market, at the Barkery, at sporting events or even just walking out of Jimmy Johns. I like seeing them and knowing not only am I their agent, I’m their neighbor.”
According to Jim’s fellow realtors at Brookside Real Estate, one thing that sets Jim apart from other realtors is how he goes above and beyond for every showing – turning on lights, setting the thermostat, making beds (and, well, even picking up dog do-do!).
“I don’t care if it’s a $100,000 house or a $1,000,000 house, I provide the same service,” Jim said. Buyer or seller, Jim wants all parties involved to have the best real estate experience – and deal – possible. Importantly, Jim says he really cares about finding the just perfect home for his neighbors to continue to grow their lives and their families.
Although 15 years ago making a complete career change and leaving a six-figure job was a pretty big risk, Jim says he could not be more satisfied with the positive effect that change has had on his life. Jim says there’s no question, being a realtor truly is in his blood, noting, “It’s the thrill of seeing people walk through that door for the first time after closing – and seeing the kids take off running through the house. Those moments – watching a house magically transforming into a home – there’s nothing better than that.”
So, next time you see Jim Kraus at the grocery store, or The Roasterie, or his favorite neighborhood hangout – Charlie Hooper’s – be sure to stop and say, “Hi!” There’s nothing he enjoys more than catching up with his neighbors, former classmates, clients, and friends. For Jim, they’re all often one and the same.