When Frosty Erben went into the real estate business in 1988, he initially thought it was a good way to generate income during the winter, when his landscaping business was slow.
But it didn’t take long for Erben to notice the advantages of a career in real estate. He didn’t have to worry about all the challenges of running the landscape business: hiring employees, paying taxes, getting people to pay.
In his active real estate career, Erben served as president of the Billings Association of Realtors in 2006, and he has been active in the industry on the state and national level.
Erben works hard to stand out from the competition. His enthusiasm for marketing is illustrated in part by the car he drives. He says he’s the first Billings Realtor to have his car wrapped with logos advertising his business. The distinctive Volkswagen Beetle that he drove for years has been replaced by a Hyundai Elantra, also fitted with custom logos.
Erben is looking forward to his newest challenge in real estate. He recently left Town and Country Properties and has transferred his real estate license to the Billings Keller Williams real estate office.
You’re a veteran of the Billings real estate scene. What’s your take on the state of the current market in Billings?
Right now, it’s one of the best places in the country to be in the real estate business. Our economy is diverse, it’s stable, and our unemployment rate is very low.
But, our builders are having a hard time building houses priced in the range for first-time homeowners. If you have a listing that’s priced for workforce housing, between $100,000 and $200,000, it’s going to sell real fast.
Can you share a little insight on the process that led you to joining Keller Williams?
I actually tried to bring the Keller Williams franchise to Billings a few years ago, but I wasn’t able to do it at the time. I even went through broker training for a week in Austin, Texas. When Damian Forrester brought Keller Williams to Billings, we started talking. I’m the kind of person who loves a challenge, and I’m confident that Keller Williams will be the No. 1 real estate office in a few years, so I’m challenging myself to do that. This gives me the opportunity to help the newer agents get established and succeed. I’ll be that experienced agent who can help others out.
What’s the best advice that you have for somebody who’s thinking about a career in real estate?
First: Make sure you’re associated with a company that has a first-class training program. Second: Make sure you’re associated with a company that has experienced agents that you’d like to emulate. Third: Understand that success doesn’t always happen overnight. Even if you make a sale on your first day in the business, you won’t see any money for three or four months. You’ll need to have money saved up until you can get established.
How well has your wrapped car worked for you?
When people see our car parked at Lowe's they'll come looking for us. We get a lot of recognition.