A community is a group of people with a collective interest and a desire to help one another thrive. Community is something many of us take for granted when we have it, and for some, have never had the extreme pleasure of experiencing it, but 616 Realty agent Darcy Fritsch not only knows and values community, she is driven to create it.
A curved path
As an agent for 616 Realty, Fritsch helps people find their own sense of community and a place to call home. But, her real estate journey, like many agents, hasn’t followed a straight and narrow path. She considered it early on, but the brokers she interviewed discouraged her from taking that long and arduous road. Instead, she took a turn down an equally difficult path and earned a degree in criminal justice mostly because of an interest in helping people and being a part of the justice system. After some ups and downs, it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be the right fit. With the help of a familial connection, she came back to her rightful place–real estate and has been helping people find their dream home and dream community since 2014.
Back to her roots
Darcy’s younger years were spent in Hudsonville, but then she moved away during elementary school. She has since come back to her roots and realizes how much she values community. “Seeing how much it has grown is great, but also heartbreaking.” Fritsch admits she felt that the “community feel” had been a bit lost with growth and then the pandemic. Darcy and her husband, Dan witnessed the toll that the pandemic was having on her beloved community and decided to do something about it. They looked at what brought the two of them together each day (coffee) and decided to share that love by starting their own local coffee company-Quadrum Coffee Roasters. “We love coffee. We love bringing people together. That is when we started it. It was something to bring the community together during Covid. …we wanted to try and get people to come together and recognize our human (commonality), we wanted to remind everyone …we are still one. ”
Not only has the coffee company brought the community together, but it showed the couple that they are very much part of that community. “We had our grand opening, and then my father-in-law passed away. I was juggling… …the community came through for us and really helped us!”
Bartending and real estate—the perfect community combo
Coffee and real estate aren’t Fritsch’s only go-to’s for fostering community. She also works as a bartender at Hudsonville’s White Flame Brewing Co. It is a symbiotic relationship. “I get a lot of my clients there. It is great for networking. Bartending allows me to meet new people, and a ton of regulars come in; it is kind of like Cheers.”
Fritsch adds that one of her brewery patrons became an important catalyst in her career. When she was a year into real estate, “I was getting really frustrated. I didn’t know how I was going to get going. I didn’t know if it was right for me. …I got a call from a customer from the brewery who I hadn’t seen for a long time. He asked me if I wanted to list his house. That week was the end of October… when I needed to renew my license. I told my husband, I don’t know if I can do this.” She emphatically told her client, “’Heck ya!’ I needed that to keep going. And I sold it. I am so thankful to him. And it has been awesome ever since.”
The winning combination
Darcy’s love of community likely comes from the fact that she cares a great deal about all people, and especially her clients. “A house is their biggest investment. I want them to feel comfortable; there are so many different aspects to the process. There is so much to learn. I just like to help people in any way I can… …getting them through something that forces them to move or sell, a divorce, a death, to get them through something they aren’t familiar with… being a friend. It is personal! I want the best for them.”
Surviving a tough market
Even though the market has been a challenge, she doesn’t give up. “It breaks my heart when something doesn’t work out the way I want. I really get down about it. I don’t want it to be rough for them. That is my goal… …to make it as easy as possible for them. So when we have hiccups, it breaks my heart. We get so excited about a house and put in an amazing offer and don’t get it. Then they want to give up. I can’t blame them… It takes a toll. It is a whole roller coaster, so it is important to stay on the track and not fall off. I like turning negative situations into positive ones.” And as we all know, sometimes the most challenging times in our life bring the biggest rewards. “Seeing their faces when they finally get the house, or they sell their house, that release on their faces and how appreciative they are is the best.”
The 616 REALTY community
Not only is her personal community important to Darcy, but it’s important to her that her work environment is a community too. “I have been with a couple of different brokers. I really go for smaller, smaller businesses. It is more part of the community. I met with Scot, and we just clicked right away. He is just real and humble. And it’s just about being yourself, and it’s a community.”
Advice for first-time home buyers
“Hire me,” she says with a laugh. “For sure hire an agent. There are just so many; make sure you are taken care of by an agent. Any tips they (buyers) can get from their agent are going to make them better homeowners. Try to find someone you mesh well with; it makes the process easier and smoother.”
Advice for sellers
“Again, hire an agent. Everyone thinks that because the market is so good, ‘I can do this myself’ but I think we can make them more money. There are a lot of strategies that go into the marketing plans and how we are going to sell the house, …and it keeps everyone safer.”
“Real estate has been a huge blessing. I have been able to meet and work with some amazing people. It has just opened my eyes to different ways of thinking not just with houses but with everything that is involved. Having all those connections (that community) are so important not just for real estate but for life in general.” If you are looking for an agent who understands ‘community,’ who cares about people, and who makes some delicious coffee, then Darcy Fritsch is your gal. Call 616 REALTY today, and let Darcy not only become your agent but part of your community of friends.