Josh Mandel got one, and now he's closed on 17 houses with 10 more pending in less than 8 months. Danielle Maas got one, and she's closed on 8 houses with 9 more pending in just 4 months. Ashley Doerr got one, and she's closed on 20 houses with 5 pending in less than 7 months.
What do these and hundreds of other newly minted real estate agents have in common that has propelled them to such instant success? A Real Estate Scholarship from Minneapolis-based Kris Lindahl Real Estate.
Started two years ago, Kris Lindahl Real Estate Scholarships are designed to lower the barriers to becoming an agent by paying for recipients' licensure classes. Recently, founder Kris Lindahl announced that the company had offered its 600th Real Estate Scholarship-nearly one a day on average-and that those offers have turned into an exponentially higher number of home offers, pending sales and new listings for scholarship recipients.
"I started the Real Estate Scholarship Program because so many people are passionate or curious about working in real estate, but they need help to get started," says Lindahl, whose three-year-old independent brokerage is now the 12th-largest in the country and serves customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and North Dakota. "We're proud of the fact that we've now offered 600 scholarships, because that means we've not only helped scholarship recipients, but also the families that they're helping."
When Lindahl got his own real estate license in 2009, he immediately started doing things differently. As a solo agent, he was a first adopter when it came to social media and video. As a team leader, he championed a consumer-centric model based on building a big personal brand. Now as head of his own brokerage, he continues to advance the profession by sharing his knowledge, helping others avoid his mistakes, and making it as easy as possible for people to get started in what he considers the world's most rewarding career.
"Every day I'm reminded of the importance of home, especially over the last 12 months," says Lindahl. "Real estate is such a rewarding profession because you're helping people with the most important investment-and the most important place-in their life. We know that today more than ever before."
Lindahl's scholarship recipients are equally passionate about the profession, as well as the opportunities they've received since earning their license.
"I wanted to get into real estate because I was a single mom looking for a change, and I loved the idea of helping people find the American Dream," says scholarship recipient Ashley Rempfer. "The scholarship gave me the jumpstart to do that."
"To get your license and then be your own boss while having the tools of a team at your disposal, that has helped me a ton," says scholarship recipient CJ Janu. "The opportunities you're able to get with a Kris Lindahl Scholarship, then coming to work here ... it's just amazing."
"I would never have gone into real estate because I was fearful of working on commission," says Sara Hecht, who has already closed on 8 transactions in 5 months since earning her license through the scholarship program. "The scholarship helped me feel confident in making a big lifestyle change. No other agencies are doing what Kris Lindahl is doing with their team with their people."
How has the pandemic affected the scholarship program? Actually, Lindahl has ramped it up even more. Real estate is a rare industry that has thrived over the last year, and Lindahl made the move to offer both in-person and virtual classes to meet consumers' needs for safety and convenience. As a result, the program's demand continues to rise-as do the expectations of its founder.
"Our core value is to Be Generous, and this program is one of the best ways we can keep demonstrating that in the real world," says Lindahl. "I'm happy that we've reach 600 scholarship offers, but I think we can double it."