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Rodemich brothers tell how real estate has changed over half century

Both men said their father wanted them to learn about real estate from the ground up. At that time, there were 45 real estate agents in Quincy. That number has swelled to about 165 agents. There was no multiple listing service in the 1960s to share details ...

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QUINCY -- It doesn't take long when visiting with Kent and Kirk Rodemich to learn how much the real estate market has changed since the brothers first started working in Quincy 51 and 50 years ago, respectively

"I sold my first home in Holiday Hills for $18,000, and it sold last year for $143,300," said Kirk Rodemich, who is a state certified residential real estate appraiser working from an office at 126 N


Kent Rodemich remains a realtor, working out of a restored house at 1201 Maine, where his father, Gene Rodemich, taught his sons about the real estate business

"Dad died in 2011 at age 92

He had been in the business for 61 years," Kent Rodemich said

Kent started working for his father in 1967

Kirk started the next year

Both men said their father wanted them to learn about real estate from the ground up

At that time, there were 45 real estate agents in Quincy

That number has swelled to about 165 agents

There was no multiple listing service in the 1960s to share details on residential properties that were for sale, so the agents who listed properties usually went along to point out a home's features, even if a potential buyer was being taken around by an agent from a different real estate broker

"It was a 24/7 job

You did not just work from 9 to 5

Many times we were out nights and on weekends," Kent Rodemich said

In order to keep up with the demands of the job, the Rodemichs were among the first in Quincy to have the precursors to cellphones

The cost of a Motorola radio system at the time was about $5,000

It kept the brothers in constant contact with the office via radios in their cars

Their mother, Carlene, who also was known as Corky, was the office secretary who kept the family business on track

Different rules were in effect during the 1960s

Agents took prospective buyers to a savings and loan to get them qualified for a home loan

"We never took a buyer out to look at homes until they were already qualified for a loan and you knew what they could afford," Kent Rodemich said

When they started selling homes, the Rodemich brothers said the interest rates were about 6 percent

Rates started to climb quickly in the late 1970s and by the early '80s banks were charging 19 or 20 percent on mortgages

"Our dad told us rates would get back down below 6 percent again," but the brothers were skeptical, Kent Rodemich said

Last week U.S

30-year mortgages had an interest rate of 4.15 percent

The brothers were commissioned salesmen, who depended on sales for their income

They didn't receive a salary

"We've seen the up and down markets of real estate," Kent Rodemich said

Kirk Rodemich, who became an appraiser in 1987, said home sales also have become more complicated over the years

"We used to have a one-page contract

Now they're 15 or 16 pages long," Kirk Rodemich said

"We always did termite inspections, but now they've got disclosure sheets for radon and mold, furnaces and wiring." Kent Rodemich said real estate agents also have to take continuing education to keep their licenses

He believes that's a good addition

Now in their 70s, the Rodemich brothers said their father was an invaluable resource for them as they learned about home sales and development of new subdivisions

They're trying to pass along their own knowledge

Kirk's son, Kirk Rodemich Jr., has been in the appraisal business with his father since 1993

At age 48, Kirk Jr

is in a profession where the demand is increasing

The average age of real estate appraisers in this area is 63, and it takes a five-year apprenticeship to get licensed

Kent Rodemich's son, Todd, is at Polach Appraisal Group, Inc., in Wheaton, Ill., and he'll get his general license this year

While recapping their careers, Kirk and Kent said the family business has been good to them

"We should have kept a diary so we could tell people what it was like," Kirk Rodemich said. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); More In Business Business Girdles and socket wrenches: Sears was the Amazon of its day Business Google Pixel 3 phone aims to automate more daily tasks Business Tech companies drag US stocks lower again in wobbly trading

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