Inspire Realty

Tina Urban (from left), office administrator; Camy Reeves Leathers, associate broker and Realtor; Megan Eckert, Realtor; Karen Petersen, owner and broker; and Realtor Joy Parkinson are shown inside Inspire Home and Land Realty, which was opened by Petersen last August.

The following is a Q&A with Karen Petersen, owner/broker of Inspire Home & Land Realty located at 2100 Market Lane, Suite 700, Norfolk.

Owners and/or operators and their background: Karen Petersen is the broker/owner. She has been a licensed Realtor in the State of Nebraska since 2003. In August 2022, she became the broker/owner for Inspire Home & Land Realty, which is located in the previous Abbey Christian Bookstore location.

Number employed: Tina Urban is the full-time office manager who is called “The Glue” of the business. In addition, there are four Realtors, all of whom are independent contractors. They are Joy Parkinson with five years of experience; Camy Leathers with 12 years of experience; Megan Eckert with 12 years of experience; and Karen Petersen with 20 years of experience.

Hours of operation: The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the team also meets with clients before and after business hours and on weekends. The Realtors are also available by cellphone.

How do you describe your business to others? “On a daily basis, we get the opportunity to guide buyers and sellers through the largest investment(s) they will make in their lifetime, whether it is purchasing a home, investing in rental property, expanding a business and buying commercial property, or growing or downsizing their farming operation,” Petersen said. “We are by their side, working behind the scenes, coordinating the details with lenders and title companies and handing them their key at closing.

Why did you decide to open your business? There were three main reasons for the move and expansion, Petersen said:

— On Jan. 31, 2022, at 5:30 a.m., Following His Lead Real Estate popped in my head; I had an overwhelming peace. I wrote down the date, Following His Lead Real Estate with a cross dotting the i, and then wrote a little prayer that God would guide and lead our family. I woke up my husband, Ivan, and asked him if he thought Following His Lead Real Estate would be a good name for a real estate company. Ivan’s response was, “It’s too long.”

A few days later, Ivan asked me what I thought of Inspire Realty. At first I didn’t like it, but then Ivan asked me if I knew what the true definition of Inspire was. He read the true definition of Inspire from his phone: To guide or lead by divine influence. He said, “Karen, that is how you have been doing business the whole time.” The good Lord has always been our boss. Let’s rewind to 2007. I am heading east on a gravel road in Wayne County to list an acreage. I asked God what I should put on my license plates to point people to him. SERVING HIM popped in my head, and that’s what you read when you pass me on the road. Fast forward to 2022. After Following His Lead Real Estate popped in my head, our family was called and led to open Inspire Home & Land Realty.

— Two of our children have an interest in real estate. Mason is taking his real estate classes online right now. Our daughter, Kendra, wants to get her real estate license in a couple of years. We are making an investment and planning for the next generation. High school and college students have job shadowed me over the years and continue to job shadow me. They have felt the rush of handing a key to a first-time home buyer at closing; they helped me stage homes; we have prayed as we headed from showing a home to a family to meeting with another family whose loved one took his last breath on Earth and his first breath in heaven in a home that needed to be sold; they witnessed miracles; they saw God’s timing. God winks and God bumps (not goose bumps) and divine appointments occur every day in real estate. We built a space where existing Realtors and new Realtors can experience these same miracles.

— We were looking for a location with good visibility and high traffic counts. Our friend, Grant Gadeken, mentioned The Abbey Christian Bookstore in a conversation as a possibility for a new real estate company. After one look at the space, getting some contractors’ input, visiting with our lender and talking to the owner, the former Abbey Christian Bookstore was converted to Inspire Home & Land Realty.

When did the business open? Aug. 4, 2022 was when Inspire Home & Land Realty became official. With the office space still being under construction, we worked temporarily out of our home. In early September, we transitioned to our current location.

What makes your business distinctive? One would think that this business would primarily be about real estate … .homes, investments, land, etc, but it’s really about people and relationships. It’s about understanding our clients’ needs and wants. It’s about guiding them in finding their perfect home or helping them expand or downsize their business, farm, real estate portfolio. No matter where we live or what we do, real estate is in our lives, and we are so blessed to be a part of our clients’ stories.

If your business expanded, what all was involved? Creating a company name and logo were a couple of the first steps for Inspire Home & Land Realty. Our friend, Sara Gadeken, was instrumental in creating our logo. The cross dots the little i in Inspire. God is our Boss; God is our Provider, Protector, Savior. He has called us to guide people with their earthly real estate needs. The rooflines and the swoosh in our logo incorporate homes and land.

Finding the location was a huge part of our expansion. We are so blessed to be in the same space as the previous Abbey Christian Bookstore. A cross was on the front of this building for decades. When people drive by on Omaha Avenue and look over at our sign and see the cross, they can be reminded that Jesus is with them through the triumphs and the trials and everything in between. He has everything under control. We just need to trust him and his timing.

Creating an environment for our real estate team and clients which is welcoming and inviting was a priority. The functionality of our space allows everyone to be social and yet have the privacy when meeting with clients. We are blessed to have so many family/friends/prayer warriors write on the beams and studs behind the Sheetrock in our office space. There are Bible verses, prayers, encouraging words, thoughtful insights, pictures, autographs and dates on our beams and studs. Several prayers have been prayed within these walls with loved ones.

What do you plan to emphasize with your business in the coming year? We have always emphasized growth, which has always been a priority. We are all growing on a daily basis. We will also emphasize continued client relationships and developing new ones. We are looking forward to mentoring the next generation of Realtors.

What’s been the most pleasant surprise for you since opening your business? We have been overwhelmed with the amount of support and encouragement by our family, friends and so many people and businesses in the community. Second, being asked to lead a small group Bible study here at our office has been very rewarding. On Tuesdays at 10 a.m., we host a small group Bible study that is open for all individuals of all ages.

For your particular business, what are the keys to success? It’s about the relationship and trust built. It’s about listening and catering to the individual needs of each unique client. It’s about having experienced and dedicated staff and Realtors who are knowledgeable, honest, friendly, organized and extremely hard-working and taking great pride in a commitment to service.