One can’t help but notice Jake Hogeboom’s ride parked outside the offices of @HomeRealty. The neon green splash and smiley face on the hood and grill of the white Jeep Wrangler give it away. It’s only fitting that Hogeboom and his staff drive such a fun vehicle. After all, the founder of @HomeRealty is driven to have fun with everyone around him.
Hogeboom’s successful real estate company is all about making the buying and selling of a home, and life in general, an enjoyable experience for his agents as well as his clients.
“We put a huge emphasis on culture and positivity,” said Hogeboom, who started @HomeRealty when he was just 28. “A saying we like to use is ‘practice reckless optimism.’ Life is short and you have to have fun while you work, right?”
Hogeboom, whose enthusiasm is contagious, doesn’t just talk about creating a positive and fun environment. The bright new offices of @HomeRealty, scheduled to open in Grand Haven and Holland this summer, will feature a spiral slide from the second floor to the first as well as arcade games, coffee shop and a “closing” bar, where mimosas, bloody Marys and beer, and wine will be served upon successful closings.
“We’ve got our own title company in house,” Hogeboom said. “We’ll do all our closings in our office, so we like to make it a fun experience. Our new offices will really take that to the next level.”
The new buildings — one in Grand Haven and one in Holland — will be ready mid-summer, Hogeboom said. The Grand Haven office, a freestanding building located on a 3-acre parcel that was home to Starlite Lanes bowling alley at 1305 S. Beacon Blvd., will be double the size of @HomeRealty’s current location at 510 Miller Drive on the north side of Grand Haven.
“This place has been great, but it will be good to be in our own freestanding building with the ability to grow,” Hogeboom said. “We’re basically full in all of our offices right now. It’s time to think a little bigger and make a bigger impact.”
The new office building will be nearly double the size of the current one, going from 8,500 square feet to 16,000. His staff has been able to take “field trips” to check out the new location as well as the furnishings and technological enhancements. Hogeboom’s company currently has about 100 employees between the Grand Haven, Holland and Hudsonville locations.
“We grew really quick … we went from zero to being successful quickly, but it’s because of the culture and providing the services for the agents,” Hogeboom said. “We’ve got a great group and we really try to surround ourselves with positive individuals that make it fun to come into the office, where they feel comfortable bringing their clients.”
Clients and agents aren’t the only ones welcome in the office. Hogeboom has created a family-style atmosphere where even dogs have been known to hang around.
“We want people to feel comfortable coming in and having their kids play in the playroom, arcade or the slide while they do our business,” he said. “Our focus is to make our agents the most comfortable and the best that they can be so they can go out and affect more people and help more people, and not worry about the office.”
Hogeboom also takes pride in the community involvement of @HomeRealty. Employees and family participate in events in West Michigan, whether it’s Grand Haven’s Coast Guard Festival parade, Holland’s Tulip Time parade or a Habitat for Humanity build in Muskegon.
“We have some different things we’ll launch this year that will hopefully help grow that community involvement,” he said. “We’re working on a few different things. We try to entrench ourselves in the communities and help families out and do our part of giving back.”
It’s obvious when meeting Hogeboom that a comfortable laid-back culture is his aim. He prefers to dress in a casual sweat suit and tennis shoes over a suit and tie. He says “corporate” is a dirty word.
“We’re not trying to hide the fact that we like to have fun and impact people’s lives through the real estate world,” he said. “We’ve got to make money, too, but it’s more than that. It’s people over profits … if you take care of enough people, the profits will be there. That’s really what we try to focus on.
“We’re able to have the culture we do because we do sell a lot and we do work our tails off. We’re confident in our abilities to help people buy or sell a home, so it makes the back-end part a little more fun. You can have all the fun you want, but if you aren’t doing your job right it doesn’t really mean much.
“Our saying is ‘Life is Good @home.’ We truly believe that, and that’s our main focus.”
Check out @HomeRealty’s website at homewestmichigan.com, where you’ll also find a list of the company’s many agents.
To reach their offices, call 616-935-9000 (Grand Haven and Hudsonville), 616-796-9696 (Holland) or 231-799-4880 (Muskegon).
@HOME REALTY • POSTED FEB 11, 2019 AT 10:0 PM