CandysDirt.com recently spoke with agents Mindy Niehaus and Vanessa Collins about their new partnership, Haus+Co. at JP & Associates, Realtors. They discussed their shared love of the 80s, unabashedly big Texas hair, and the actresses who could best portray them on film.
CandysDirt.com: Tell me about Haus+Co. What motivated you to start this new venture?
Niehaus: We have always shared core real estate values that go beyond just customer service. One value we share is the importance of marketing — we were motivated to create a brand that our clients would be proud to do business with. Because how does a Realtor provide exceptional customer service by using marketing designed in the 1980s? I mean, don’t get us wrong: We love the 80s. The Breakfast Club holds up very well. Miracle On Ice was amazing. And bomber jackets have made a complete comeback!
Collins: In addition to our outstanding customer service, we offer the best marketing strategies and branding. We were lucky to find JP & Associates, a brokerage that allows agents to fully brand themselves.
We half-heartedly discussed partnership ideas for about a year. The more we talked, though, the more steam it generated to start a new adventure. At our core, we are both hustlers that love real estate, fresh marketing, and putting clients No. 1! Why not partner up and win with a friend?
CD: How will you succeed in the competitive Dallas market? What will make you stand out?
Niehaus: Good question. Dallas is all about standing out. Everyone here has big hair and flashy cars — and we can’t make our hair any bigger.
My favorite commercial of all time is of Michael Phelps waking up at some absurd hour to train. It’s dark when he arrives to the pool, and just as dark when he goes home at night. And we all know how his career has played out. The commercial ends with: It’s what you do in the dark … that puts you in the light.
Collins: Haus + Co. wants to stand out for having the best work ethic in the market. There is no secret sauce that makes you stand out; otherwise everyone would do it. It’s the hard work based on caring, integrity, industry knowledge, client commitment, kindness … I could go on.
CD: Is there a particular area/property type that you plan to focus on?
Niehaus: Us joining forces provided another competitive advantage from a geographical standpoint. My background has focused on East & North Dallas, which is where my husband and I have focused on building our property rental portfolio. Vanessa, on the other hand, has been raising her family in Plano and brings a vast knowledge of different areas of Collin County.
CD: What kind of team are you putting together?
Niehaus: See the aforementioned Miracle On Ice reference. Our team will cover so much real estate even Russia will be jealous. Disney will make a film of our success called Miracle On Land. I hope Rachel McAdams and Eva Mendez are available to play us! Fingers crossed!!
CD: Give a little history of your professional experience prior to this?
Niehaus: It seems like most Realtors don’t initially start in real estate, which goes for us, but we believe all experiences contribute to where we are now. I graduated from Oklahoma State and studied Design and Textiles. I loved it and was dead-set on designing children’s wear. However, I started out teaching elementary art for a few years. I didn’t know it at the time, but my real estate introduction happened when my husband and I bought an East Dallas fixer in 2012. I parlayed our home renovating side-gig into a full-blown Realtor career. Oh, real quick, that East Dallas fixer has been completed renovated and needs a tenant 😉 check it out on our blog: onthehausdallas.com
Collins: I attended UT-Arlington, earning a BS in Civil Engineering. I dreamed of building up local infrastructure, designing bridges or skyscrapers. After graduating, though, I ended up working for an environmental engineering firm in Frisco — a safe and steady 9-to-5 cubicle job (7-to-8 if we’re being honest). While math and critical thinking were my strengths, I wanted something a bit more socially engaging. I gave it four years but after the birth of my first child, I was ready to start something new. I found that real estate allowed me to pursue my love of structures and build personal relationships.
CD: What has been the key to your success so far?
Collins: Knowledge and trust.
CD: Why do you like your job?
Niehaus: It’s such a rewarding experience to help people. The absolute best part of real estate is not closing a transaction, but when prior clients reach out for another real estate need or they refer you to someone. That is my absolute favorite. It means that I not only met their wishes, but it was at such a level they were willing to refer me. I also enjoy exploring various pockets of the Metroplex, showing unique homes and neighborhoods. Dallas has so much to offer and since I’ve learned the area so well it has made the city feel a lot smaller to me.
Collins: It’s fun to play matchmaker! I feel like cupid seeking to find the perfect match between family and home! I set them up on dates and hope we get a call back. OK, the metaphor has gone too far. I just enjoy giving a real estate concierge service for my clients to make the best possible decision. And I’m fortunate to have built many strong friendships with people that began as my clients.
CD: What are some things about you that people may be surprised to hear?
Niehaus: I love, love, love Dallas and I will live here forever, but sometimes I just want to buy 10 acres in the country and have goats and chickens and kittens and grow my own fruits and vegetables … ok that’s it I’m going to get myself set up on a search.
Collins: I was born and raised in Venezuela. Spanish is my first language up until 14 years go. I love Dallas and have been a resident for 14 years. However, I daydream of living on a sailboat in the Caribbean with my high-school sweetheart hubby, Kyle, and our two kids. And maybe our dog — is that too much to ask?!
CD: What else would you like to share about you and/or your company?
Niehuas: We offer free tacos with any of our home purchases. See agent for details. Some conditions apply.