BY JACLYN ROSE –
Both raised locally, Farrell and Sharon Cole married in 1993. At the time, Sharon had been working for the six years prior as an office manager for American Farm Agency. There she managed the office and kept track of all the paperwork, while also obtaining her real estate license and selling houses after hours. Soon after, she moved to Mena Real Estate as an office manager before purchasing the business in 1997. In 2001, they purchased ReMax and changed the name to ReMax Mena Real Estate.
ReMax Mena Real Estate is a full service real estate agency with nine full time agents and two support staff. “We list and sell properties, as well as having rental properties. We are so proud of our agents. Everyone works together very well. The whole office works as a team,” explained Sharon. “We may be one of the only offices that eat lunch together once a week. On Wednesdays, we have a breakfast meeting and then look at new listings and then go and eat lunch together,” added Farrell.
When the Coles purchased Mena Real Estate they were one of the smallest agencies in Polk County. Through their leadership and dedication to their agents and to their clients, they have grown rapidly. “When we started with Mena Real Estate we had 18 listings and were at the bottom of the totem pole as far as production. Today, we have 146 listing. There are two things that make real estate harder in our area, in my opinion. One, the prices are lower and two, the property is on the market so long. The average is nine to ten months, so you really have to keep hustling and working on moving the properties,” explained Sharon. “You have to think about helping people and then they will come to you to sell their property,” added Farrell.
“In 2001 when we purchased ReMax the agents had to start paying dues each month to ReMax, along with a little bit of their commission. This really meant that they had to have confidence in themselves to know they could make their sales. That year we lost all of our agents but one, which we knew would happen, but we didn’t count on how we would feel when they all left,” said Sharon. “But we did better in that next year with just the three of us that were left, then we did the year before,” said Farrell.
The agents at ReMax Mena Real Estate are all active contributors to the local community. From a booth at the County Fair, to handing out hot chocolate at the downtown Christmas parade, there are ReMax Mena Real Estate Agents at most local community events. Each agent also makes two donations out of each commission check, one to the Children’s Miracle Network and one to go towards a scholarship that is given to a student at Rich Mountain Community College annually.
In addition to real estate, the Coles own Cole’s Auction Service, where Farrell serves as an auctioneer for real estate and moving / estate auctions. “I’ve been in cattle and worked as an auctioneer almost all my life. My dad was an auctioneer before me and he put the brand on me, so to speak, to auction and raise cattle on our family land,” explained Farrell. “Farrell has built his real estate business on the people he used to haul cattle for, they trusted him to move their cattle and now they come to him for real estate,” added Sharon.
“I really enjoy the quality of life in Polk County. We live in the country, but even if you don’t, you still feel like you do. The people here are so wonderful and trusting. It’s hard for someone that moves here from someplace else to adjust to that because they aren’t used to it,” said Sharon. “I’ve been a few places and this is the best,” added Farrell. “We could not be who we are without our good quality agents. They work together and when one learns something they are quick to teach the others. Even though agents compete with each other, ours are good at sharing with each other,” Sharon explained.