Ronda Bjornson and Kelly LaBrosse

Class act

Ronda Bjornson and Kelly LaBrosse stand proudly with a newly designed for sale sign with the Century 21 Atwood-Mille Lacs real estate company. The sign is clean and elegant, Bjornson said.

Mille Lacs Realty merges with Century 21 franchise

Overcoming the challenges of expanding a small locally owned company can be a bit troublesome. Kelly LaBrosse and Ronda Bjornson were looking for a way to grow their Mille Lacs area real estate business and keep up with the latest technology. Meanwhile in Mankato, Michael and Matthew Atwood were looking to expand their southern Minnesota real estate company to areas north of the Twin Cities metro area. For all intents and purposes it was a match that just made sense. Mille Lacs Realty, with offices in Isle, Onamia and Garrison, has merged with Century 21 Atwood. The Mille Lacs Office is now called Century 21 Atwood-Mille Lacs.

“We have the same goals and we really just clicked with Ronda and Kelly,” Matthew Atwood said. “We share a culture of family where our partners become more like family and our clients become our friends. What is important for people to remember is Ronda and Kelly and all of the agents are still there. They had a fantastic successful business and that isn’t going to change except for the better. With Century 21, we offer more technology and tools to help them do an even better job. Kelly and Ronda are steering the ship, and we put the wind in their sales. We serve the agents so they can serve the public.”

Century 21 has recently launched a new advanced website nationwide. In addition to the inclusion into that website, each Century 21 agent will have their own website. “What is even more exciting is each home listed with us will also have it’s own website,” Atwood said. “That will give sellers a boost on search engines when selling their homes.”

When a potential buyer clicks on a property on the website, an agent is “instantly” notified, according to Atwood. In that way, the agents can more quickly “capture the buyer.”

Century 21 also offers a wealth of training to all agents. “We call it Century 21 University,” Atwood said. Agents can take any number of online courses that include, but are not limited to, photography and commercial real estate.

The new Century 21 Atwood-Mille Lacs office agents will be joining the Atwood family of businesses. The Atwood real estate business began 85 years ago with the great-grandfather to Matthew and Michael in 1934. “We are a fourth-generation company,” Atwood said.

This growing family now has 73 agents in offices located in Mankato, St. Peter, Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais and now, Isle, Onamia and Garrison. They also have 58 staff members to oversee the management of rental properties.

“They [Atwoods] are genuine heartfelt guys who are very proactive in promoting the areas they are in. They want to be involved in this area,” LaBrosse said.

“The change is very exciting,” Bjornson said. “We look forward to this year and all of the coming years with all of the relentless agents here at Mille Lacs and all across Minnesota.”

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