Julie Chown of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors has lived in Lone Tree for over 40 years, which has influenced her career as a real estate agent in that she has expertise and enjoys working with clients in …
Julie Chown of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors has lived in Lone Tree for over 40 years, which has influenced her career as a real estate agent in that she has expertise and enjoys working with clients in small towns.
Chown’s office is based in Coralville, but she works with homes as far north as Shueyville, as far south as Columbus Junction and as far east as Muscatine.
“I love the schools in small towns, I love the people. There’s just a closeness. Some people see that as a negative, but I see it as a positive,” Chown said. “We’ve got some great people who are trying to revitalize our Main Street in Lone Tree; the businesses work together so well with people and are so great at forming relationships. I love all that. People are just so sweet and genuine. Not that Iowa City people, or Cedar Rapids people aren’t, it’s just that it’s easier to get to know people in small towns and form a bond.”
And the ability to form relationships and see her clients as individuals is what drew Chown to real estate in the first place. Prior to becoming a full-time realtor in 1998, she worked as a banker for 17 years but saw real estate as a better opportunity to help people.
“You form a relationship and listen well to the customer and then help them achieve their goal,” Chown said. “It’s not really about selling. I don’t like to be sold and I don’t think other people like to be sold; it’s more about how to give people what they’re needing and what they’re wanting and listening to what that is.”
When it comes to first time home buyers or sellers, Chown said having a good working relationship with your realtor is as important as any other aspect of the process.
“Try to find a realtor that is experienced and that other people you know have worked with and have had a good rapport with them,” Chown said. “I think that’s the best way: if someone else has had a good experience with a realtor, it’s likely that you will too. Reputation is huge. You rely on that realtor so much, just to get you from the beginning to the end.”
She also said clients should be willing to ask questions whenever they have them. She said she tells her clients they can call her any time, even on nights and weekends, whenever they have questions, especially with the market as competitive as it has been lately.
Chown said she is a member of Muscatine multiple listing service, which helps her and her clients be aware of new houses the moment they come on the market.
“Often, if you don’t see [a house] in the first few hours that it’s being listed, by the time they get off work and see it later or the next day, it’s just gone,” Chown said. “Throughout the day, I’m constantly watching the market.”
But she also learns about the housing market in a more old-fashioned way.
“The other thing is just talking to people and finding out what’s coming up,” Chown said. “We attend a lot of our grandkids’ ball games and always talking real estate there, just casually with people. And you really find out what might be happening or coming up that might be good for your clients, and good for the people selling, too.”
Chown is invested and involved in her local community, which makes the relationships she’s formed with clients over the years even more valuable — they’re her favorite part of her job.
“So many times, throughout the years, those people become some of your best friends,” she said. “I’ve worked with peoples’ children, grandchildren and sometimes now even, as I get older, their great-grandchildren. It’s so nice that people think enough of you that they have their family members working with you. That’s a huge joy for me, are those referrals.”
Chown works out of Ruhl & Ruhl’s office in Coralville and can be reached through her website at juliechown.ruhlhomes.com or on her cell phone at 319-430-6825.