From the minute you walk into the new offices of Market America Realty Network at 307 Lee Blvd., into Suite 212 on the second floor, you get a feeling of real trust in the firm. The receptionist, Maritza Mena, greets you with a smile. Young real estate agents or Realtors scurry about the office, some with potential clients; others with people who have selected to buy a home and are making an offer.
Some are there to ask questions.
Then in walks Nathan Baschier, the manager of the firm. He's a young man who lives in Lehigh, was raised and married in Lehigh and has two children, ages 9 and 5.
"Welcome to our real estate office," Baschier says with a big smile.
"We're fairly new in Lehigh. We have been open for a while, but just recently we have more than doubled our space and we have around 17 local residents who want to help you buy or sell your home.
"And all of our agents are local. They are from Lehigh. They love Lehigh or they wouldn't have stayed. They are committed to making Lehigh that good community we all want to see," Baschier, 29, a graduate of Lehigh Senior High
He and his wife are active in the community with their children taking them to ball games and enjoy a good family life.
"But it's like that with all our agents. We are a big happy family, all from the area, and we are here to do our best to be the best when dealing with people who want to buy a home or to sell a home," he said. The firm sponsors
youth athletics in Lehigh.
That word "trust" comes up over and over again as you talk to other agents. You can't but notice it in the way they talk to their clients and the way customers view them.
Baschier says their business is a joint venture with Gregg Fouse, owner of the parent company. Market America has big plans for the future, too. They want to take their business to other parts of the state as they continue to grow.
They held a grand opening in December with a big turnout of local residents.
"We really had fun seeing friends and new folks coming in to give us a look-over. It was a nice event," Baschier said.
The building is easy to find. Again, it's located at 3507 Lee Blvd. and the words "Market America" are big and large at the top of building. If you're driving west on Lee Blvd., you can't miss it; you're at the right spot.
There's plenty of parking and an attractive interior with comfortable circular steps or an elevator that will take you up to the second floor office suite.
Baschier says the firm's broker is Jerry Bakelman, also of Lehigh.
"We are made up of sales teams, leaders with agents, and they all have one purpose, and that is to make people's lives improve.
A list of their agents with the broker's name at the top include:
Bakelman, Nathan Baschier, Obed Guzman, William Eilf, Jason "JT" Thomas, Peter Napolitano, Daviana Fry.
Holly Waszak, Matt Bernstein, Matt Groff, Erik Alicea, Jerry Bakelman, Darrell Walters Jr., Yuzi Monuz, Raymond Beckler, Raymond Vega, Steve Barnette, Michael Townsend and Herbert Putz.
Market America is a full service property management firm, too, with a large list of rentals. This area is on the same floor but in its own area, away from the bustle of the rest of modern office where modern paintings with all kinds of color splashes are displayed.
Market America has its own logo and is large and attractive and greets you as soon as you enter the office. It is a compelling logo and nobody entering the realty firm can ignore it.
Obed Guzman, one of the young agents, sat in on the interview.
"We're not just here to sell real estate. We are here to improve Lehigh Acres. We want to educate fist-time buyers. We want to be able to show them real affordable housing, good housing, not what people have looked down in the past
when the words "affordable housing" is mentioned.
"Distressed homes are being purchased by investors and we as a realty firm can work with anyone regarding financing. There are so many avenues to offer someone who wants to purchase a home today and I should remind you that the borrowing rates are still at an all-time low. There are programs with low money down and creative financing. Our team here can help anyone who wants to come in and talk to us about short sales, and what it takes to make it work,"
Agents are more than willing to listen to folks who are having it rough and need to sell their homes. All the expertise in the Market America Team is ready to be offered to anyone who comes in to their offices.
Baschier admitted that the rough economic times have been bad for Lehigh, but he offered a bit of optimism when he said the inventory of foreclosed homes is on the decrease.
"And we are seeing a trend improving in the values of real estate here," he said.
"We're selling dreams in Lehigh," Baschier said.
He pointed out that today the USDA can come up with 100 percent of the loan and in Lee County there are programs to help homebuyers.
"Real estate in Lehigh was on a downhill slope when the bust came in 2008, but we are seeing improvements and we believe we will have even a better Lehigh that's why our firm is made up of so many locals.
"It's their community and they want to see it blossom and grow and it will. It just takes trust and we can help in that area," he said.
At one time, there were several realty firms in Lehigh. When the economy went south, so did many of those firms. But there are about a half a dozen or so real estate firms in Lehigh today, he said.
"With all of us working together, we can see life really improving in Lehigh," said Obed Guzman.
When you visit Market America with any type of real estate question, they will assist you as friends. They will offer you an attractive flier with answers to many of your questions. They have several that were left from the recent grand
Loaded with information, the first thing you notice is a paragraph titled "Who we are."
"We are a vertically integrated real estate acquisition, management, development and marketing company. As a real estate firm, we can help you find the home of your dreams, sell your property and get stated with your mortgage loan. Our knowledge of the local area and market will be valuable in helping you find the right home in the right neighborhood."
"That's what we are all about," said Baschier. We get deals done by making things happen."
To contact them by phone to set up a visit, call 239-288-0516.
"We want to offer you our trust. Give us a chance," Baschier said.