Bleckers feeling at home in the community

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Bleckers turned a setback into an opportunity.

Brian Blecker was laid off from a management job in October. He and his wife, Beckie Blecker, who live in Albert Lea, weren't sure what to do.

But Beckie Blecker had worked in real estate for 10 years and Brian Blecker decided to earn his real estate license. Beckie Blecker decided to get her broker's license.

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Late last year, Beckie Blecker and Larry Bunker, former owner of Bunker Realty, were joking that the Bleckers should buy his business.

"I thought he was kidding and I think he thought he was kidding," Beckie Blecker said.

But by Dec. 30, 2002, Larry Bunker had sold Bunker Realty to Beckie and Brian Blecker.

In June, Bunker Realty officially became Blecker Realty.

But after two months working in Austin, Beckie Blecker's former customers from Century 21 in Albert Lea were calling her house, wondering what had happened to her.

So the Bleckers opened an office in Albert Lea, as well.

"It was awesome," Beckie Blecker said. "It was me they were coming to."

The Bleckers alternate working at the Austin and Albert Lea offices.

"That way we're working together and it gives us something to talk about at night," Beckie Blecker said.

A few changes have been made to the office in Austin. The Bleckers have added six employees between the two offices and created a conference room in the Austin office.

The services -- realty and auctions -- are the same and long-time customers have been accepting of the change, Beckie Blecker said.

"Austin's been good, they accepted us and Albert Lea, they followed us," Blecker said.

Blecker thinks business has expanded. They even ran out of yard signs. Her goal is to expand and she is planning to hire two more agents beginning in July.

Blecker has had to adjust to being a manager instead of focusing only on her own job as an agent. But she said she's doing what she likes.

"I like working with people," Beckie Blecker said. "It's a fun job, most days."

Blecker also thinks it's important to be a part of the community. The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Blecker Realty as a new member Tuesday. She plans to join the Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

"I think we need to be an active part of the community," Beckie Blecker said. "I'm a firm believer that the community signs your paychecks."

For information on Blecker Realty, call 433-3536.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at