That pregnant moment when a piece of property is about to officially changes hands is happening more and more recently.
And with the real estate market as hot as it is in Richfield and surrounding communities, Colleen Nagle has her hands full as the business development director for Midland Title, a firm that facilitates closings for commercial and residential properties.
The current upswing in the home market – “and commercial’s been pretty hot, too,” Nagle interjects – has coincided with Nagle’s ascension to Board Chair of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce.
Nearly nine months into the year-long role, and after five years of Chamber involvement, Nagle has gained deeper insights into the organization’s functions.
“People are busy nowadays. It’s all about what’s the best fit for you and your business,” Nagle said, noting how she and Chamber President Anne Schultz, who recently had “interim” removed from her title, are working to define the value of their organization.
People don’t always have time for hour-and-a-half lunches anymore, so the level of interpersonal interaction may not be what it used to be, Nagle observed. But people are at least connected to their phones, and embracing that digital cohesion has been one focus of the Chamber in recent years.
Nagle has also learned the value of flexibility in today’s business landscape. “People are busy nowadays. It’s all about what’s the best fit for you and your business,” she said.
Nagle notes that there is still much value to be found in the traditional luncheons, annual golf outings and quarterly B.E.E.R. Meetings – between Chambers from Bloomington, Edina, Eden Prairie and Richfield, hence the acronym. But she also touts benefits such as being listed in the Chamber’s business directory or advertising with the organization.
Nagle, for her part, was sold right away on the opportunities found with the Richfield Chamber. Although she now works in an office near Insterstate 494 and France Avenue, Midland Title used to be located in the Meridian Crossings complex in Richfield.
Five years ago, Nagle reached out to then-Chamber President Angie Schaefbauer to explore joining. “I loved what she had to say and her enthusiasm, and I signed up on the spot,” Nagle recounted.
She became enthusiastically involved as she joined the board of directors on her way to taking the board’s helm.
While she’s found the Chamber valuable in wading deep into the local business community, it’s also helped her lay groundwork for the future of her industry, and help people along the way.
At the Chamber’s annual Salute to Small Business luncheon in April, she sat next to a Richfield High School senior named Ashley. Ashley was interested in pursuing a career in real estate, and she had met just the right person to kick-start that career.
“We started texting that afternoon after the event,” and now, the Richfield grad has spent the summer interning at Midland, Nagle said.
When many recent high school grads might be spending their summer enjoying a last bit of freedom before the reality of college or full-time work kicks in, Ashley has gotten a peak inside the world of real estate, specifically title insurance, which can be dizzying and opaque to those outside it.
“There are so many different facets to the business, it’s amazing,” Nagle said.
She’s observed that the same daunting feeling can apply to would-be Chamber members. “Sometimes they don’t really know what it’s about,” Nagle admitted.
So whatever hat she is wearing, Nagle has a key role in moments that, in her estimation, can prove transformative – whether it’s signing up for the Chamber, or signing on the dotted line for a home.
Follow Andrew Wig on Twitter @RISunCurrent.