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BE Main Street

 

Alex Phippen did some remodeling and fixing up of his new office located on Main Street in Blue Earth, before opening up for business.

One of downtown Blue Earth’s newest businesses is not really a new business as it has been operating in Blue Earth, Winnebago and the surrounding area for some time.

But now, with an office in a building that has a brand new sign, True Real Estate and local realtor Alexander “Alex” Phippen are getting noticed.

“I was born and raised in Winnebago and graduated from Blue Earth Area High School,” Phippen says. “I still live in Winnebago.”

After graduation he had jobs working with pigs and at ethanol plants.

“But I was starting to purchase some rental properties, so I pursued my real estate license,” he explains. “I never intended this to be my full-time work, but I started doing well with it.”

Phippen became a real estate agent about four and a half years ago, getting his license on Dec. 29, 2019.

“Then COVID hit and I thought that would be the end of my real estate sales,” he says. “But actually it launched me into this career.”

He had been working part-time for Charles Healey Homes and part-time as a real estate agent.

“I was finding I couldn’t make it all work,” Phippen says. “There was an increase in demand for houses, and I had more than enough deals to go full time with it.”

He first worked with Homestead Realty and then, three years ago, started working with True Real Estate. They are headquartered in Mankato and have offices across Southern Minnesota. They have 70 agents.

“They have an office in Mankato and one in Mapleton,” Phippen says. “But I hardly ever went there. Most of the time I worked out of my home office.”

Then he made a dedicated choice to have an office outside of his home and started looking for space.

“This building on Main Street in Blue Earth had been listed for a while,” he says. “And it was actually two office spaces.”

So, he bought the building, put his office in one of the sides and rented out the other side.

Phippen says he has seen an increased interest ever since he opened the office, especially after the new sign went up.

“March has been a pretty hot month,” he explains. “There has been some longer market days, but we are still seeing multiple offers.”

People were holding off some to see what the interest rates were going to do, but the early spring has meant more activity in the real estate market.

“We still don’t have a lot in the middle priced housing, or even the lower priced housing, markets,” he says. “But things are still going well.”

He says this week has been a little slower, just due to the bad weather, but he expects it to take off again next week.

His territory, he explains, is basically from Worthington to the west, to Albert Lea in the east and to North Mankato to the north.

“I am licensed in Iowa,” he adds. “But I don’t have an established territory there yet.”

He also has completed courses for his broker’s license, but has not filed the paperwork yet. And, he has a certificate for doing short sales and foreclosures, as well as a certificate from the Graduate Realty Institute.

Phippen also has received True Realty’s Gold Award, given to agents who complete 35 or more deals in a year.

“I want to be active in the community,” he says. “So I did join the Blue Earth Chamber and the Chamber’s Ambassadors group and the Business Improvement Committee.”

When he is not busy working on real estate sales or making improvements to his rental property, Phippen and his wife, Crystal, a nurse at UHD, like to go tent camping, kayaking, hiking and traveling – especially to Missouri.

“Alex also loves to cook,” Crystal says. “Which is great. He is a very good cook.”

Crystal loves to paint and she did all the painting inside the new office space, Alex adds.

Phippen has a son, Myles, 5, and he and Crystal are expecting, and it is a girl, they recently learned.

That will make life even more interesting, the couple agrees.

For now, Phippen is quite happy with his decision to purchase a building on Main Street in Blue Earth, and move his office out of his home and into a prime location in downtown.

After all, when it comes to real estate, the three most important things are “location, location, location.”

 

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