Evans Realty: ‘We’re here to stay’

Family business is thriving in both local and national market

With listings on 180 websites nationwide and a virtual tour for every home it has on contract, Evans Realty has embraced the technology of a global market. But what defines the company is its roots as a small-town real estate office that gives back to its community. “We were taught that as children, and it’s important for us to keep that philosophy,” Broker Teena Turner said.

Evans Realty opened its doors in 1985, at the same South Washington Avenue location where its recognizable green sign and concrete depiction of the Gem State welcome visitors today; the same location where Colburn Realty set up shop in the 1940s and where realtors Bernie Gratton & Co. would follow.

Teena and her mom, Rose, were the first in the family to become licensed realtors in 1977, followed by her dad, Allen, two years later. In 1993, brother John licensed and became a partner in 1998, when their dad retired.

Today, there are 17 agents and three support staff operating under the Evans name, and each one is active in the community. From sponsorship of the Emmett Cherry Festival to helping out with the Friendship Dinners on Tuesday, everyone plays a part. “We focus our hiring around that, too,” Teena said.

Teena got her start in the industry at age 16, when she went to work for Eddie Heath as a part-time real estate secretary. Since then, she has served on the Idaho Realtors Association as a professional standards and ethics mediator, is a licensed real estate instructor and in 2007 was named Idaho Realtor of the Year.

Her involvement at the state level “keeps us up on the market and really involved in the industry,” she said. “It allows me to grow and allows our team to grow.” Evans Realty’s reputation is growing, too. “We’ve been asked several times to franchise, but we want to stay local,” Teena said.

As a key player in residential and commercial real estate in Gem County, Evans Realty has seen improvements in the market as a more stable economy is helping to push modest increases in home values. “Sales prices have increased to the point where a lot of people who were under water are able to sell now,” Teena said.

A market analysis of the first nine months of this year shows that 31 percent of local home listings are “distressed,” meaning they’re foreclosures, short sales, or REO- or HUD-owned. At one point in 2010, 80 percent of home sales in gem County were distressed, she said. “We’re feeling very optimistic about the market. We’ve worked ourselves through an extremely difficult market, and we’re here to help anyone and everyone. We’re here to stay.”

These are seasonal tips. If you have extra space to fill, please feel free to include. Thanks!

The holiday market

 “Don’t be afraid to put your house on the market during the holidays,” Teena said. Internet shopping is alive and well, and weather doesn’t have the same impact that it once did. Buyers are still looking through the holidays, and with lower inventory during the winter, November and December can be the best months for you to sell.