National Small Business Week
Davis & Palmer Real Estate
It's a family affair! The Davis family to be clear. Debbi and Chris Davis, owners of Davis & Palmer Real Estate, have been at this occupation since before they bought the business from Chris' parents, George and Jean Davis, in 2002.
George Davis was a farmer who added realtor to his occupation when he attained his license in 1966. He then teamed up with Lyle Palmer and they bought the Mogged Realty business and renamed it Davis & Palmer Real Estate back in 1970. Davis & Palmer had offices in Washington, Mount Pleasant, and Fairfield but when George bought out Lyle in 1973, they closed all of the offices except for Fairfield.
Chris Davis originally thought he would take over the family farm someday. Instead, he got caught in the construction business with his brother Mark, where they formed Marcris Builders from 1978 to current, with Mark leaving in 1985. The next year, George hired Debbi to staff the front of the office and soon after, both she and Chris became licensed realtors in 1988. With George working well into his 80's, eventually the time came to retire; which is why Debbi and Chris bought the business in 2002. Enter the 3rd generation, daughters Terri (Davis) Kness and Christie (Davis) Kessel who, in 2005, both found their way back to Fairfield and to the family business. Both had plans to live elsewhere, but as it's often been said, "There's something about Fairfield". Rounding out the team is Sandy Fiedler, who started in 2019.
The real estate business can be challenging; there was a time when two pieces of paper would cover a home sale. A one-page Listing Agreement and a one-page Purchase Agreement. Now a minimum of twenty-one pages are required to complete the same process.
In past decades, there were often 300+ houses on the market at any given time. Back in those days, they had two books with houses listed, Book One was for homes under $100,000. Book Two was for homes over $100,000 and often there were equal amounts of listings in the two books. Things are a little different now. All listings are on websites and often times potential buyers will have researched the home thoroughly before ever stepping on the property. Buyers will call from in front of a home and want to see it immediately. In this area, homes now range from $50,000 to $1,250,000. With low interest rates, and especially during COVID, there have been twenty-eight to thirty-two homes on the market lately; many in an accepted offer status. Realtors have to work all days of the week, long hours and holidays.
One way Davis & Palmer continues to be successful is by giving back to their community. The family has collectively been involved in the Chamber of Commerce and their Christmas Committee, the ELKS (both Chris and Debbi are Past Exalted Rulers), the SE Iowa Board of Realtors, Rotary & the Rotary Auction, the Fairfield Park & Rec Board, Jefferson County Kids, Art Walk, and the Country Club Board. Especially close to the heart of this family is the Little Super Heroes non-profit which was started by Christie and Alex Kessel and has helped many families who have children with special health needs. That organization hosts the Festival of Trees every other year and is one of the ways the non-profit helps fund their mission, "To provide help & hope to children facing serious health issues through providing assistance to families facing long term medical crisis".
Family matters in this business.