For those who have been around the Albertville area for a while, Steve Comstock and Jamee Markley are familiar faces.
After all, they’ve probably been serving you up a few beverages over the years.
“It’s kind of a story about a couple of old bartenders turned professionals,” Markley said with a smile. “After all, when you’re a bartender around here, you get to know a lot of people.”
In fact, it’s how Markley and Comstock actually met – Comstock would pour drinks at a couple of different places, Markley was a mainstay at Major’s (the current Willy McCoy’s) and Smackdown’s prior to that.
Together, they’ve formed Arrow Real Estate, with a new office in Albertville just north of Casey’s in the same complex that houses Safe Harbor Church and Best Friends Veterinary Clinic.
“We kind of talked about it off and on, and we worked with Jamee to get her licensed and everything fell into place,” Comstock said. “I had experience in the real estate market here working with Dean Zachman and Edina Realty for some time, and then moved over to Arrow when I was given an opportunity to kind of head up their residential real estate department. This is really a growing area, so it made sense to focus our efforts out here, as the market continues to get better.”
Markley and Comstock are hoping to catch the current wave of Realtors moving ahead of a much-improved housing market. Here, in Albertville and St. Michael, the real issue is supply, as Realtors wait for new developments to come online, such as the two proposed for St. Michael over the next two years.
But the market will really catch fire, Comstock said, when people feel that sense of confidence they had before the housing crash of 2007-2008.
“I think we looked at those tax statements go down and down, and we felt like what we had wasn’t worth much. But now that value is really storming back, and people just need to be confident that, if they want to hit the market, they’re going to be in a good position. It’s one of those rare situations where the market is really good for both the buyer and the seller,” Comstock said.
As for Markley, the career change comes at a great time for her. It’s a field she’s always been interested in, and she and her kids just made the move to a new house themselves.
“Going through it now, I can see both sides. There’s a buyer experience, seller experience and the agents have a really important role in how that all plays out. They need someone on their side in all of it,” she said.
Arrow Real Estate actually grew its roots in commercial realty, but Comstock has been working the residential side for a few years now, he said, with the group.
“It’s smaller, and it’s all local,” he said. “It’s a really good fit for me.”
Markley said joining forces with Comstock – someone with “experience” but someone she also know outside of the business, also gave her the confidence to make the leap to becoming a Realtor.
“It’s been a great transition,” she said.