Kris Lindahl | Team Leader | Author | Twin Cities Real Estate Expert
What do you get when you combine an avid fisherman with one of the country's leading real estate minds? The home of your dreams PLUS directions to the area's best and most secret fishing holes!
The world is full of traditional, cookie-cutter agents who cling to old ways of doing things because "that's the way it's always been done." Kris always challenges the status quo in real estate, because he sees the growing relationship between people and technology, and he understands the value of both.
When he's not buried knee-deep in real estate, leadership and community involvement, Kris loves to travel, hang out with his daughter, and (as a former high-school jock) let his competitive streak loose on the field and court. He loves to golf, but you can also find him playing his old high-school sport, football. And of course fishing. (Visit his Facebook page to see some of the ones that didn't get away.)
A Minnesota native, Kris came to real estate after finishing his bachelors degree in education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. With teaching jobs in short supply, Kris was encouraged to explore the world of real estate. "So I did, and I was instantly hooked," he says.
The rest is history, and it's being made every day. Kris now leads the premier independent brokerage in Minnesota. RealEstate.com calls him the head of a "technology-based real estate powerhouse in the Twin Cities." Real Trends and Trulia named him among the "Best Real Estate Agents in America." He's a sought-after speaker, a bestselling author, a generous and disruptive philanthropist, and the founder of the popular podcast on modern leadership, corporate culture and community involvement: "Behind the Billboard."
"Successful leaders on any level need to be relentlessly self-motivated, resilient, curious and generous," Kris says. "No matter what business you're in, it's about thinking differently, listening, always trying to improve yourself, and never losing sight of the fact that at the end of the day, it's about how many people you help."
Meet Sarah Pickens | Team Leader |Real Estate Professional
Although she was born in Chicago, the Pickens family moved young Sarah to Woodbury, Minnesota when she was only two-years old. Five years later, the family was living in Plymouth, MN, where they settled in for good. Sarah graduated as a Salutatorian from Robbinsdale Armstrong High School (Go Falcons!).
Growing up, Sarah had dreams of being a doctor. In pursuit of that dream she attended the University of Minnesota’s biological sciences honors program. After a year of pre-med, though, she decided medicine wasn’t in her future.
As fortune would have it, she decided to take a receptionist position while she tried to figure out what to do next. That position was with Kris Lindahl Real Estate and, within one year – at the ripe old age of 21 – she was office manager.
By age 23, the real estate bug had bitten our Ms. Pickens -- hard. She decided that she wanted to do more than manage an office – she wanted to help people, especially when making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. So, with a freshly printed State of Minnesota Real Estate Sales License, Sarah Pickens found her calling.
That was 11 years ago, and she’s never regretted not going into medicine. She’s been with the Kris Lindahl Team almost four years now.
When she’s not helping Minnesotans and Wisconsinites buy or sell homes, Sarah enjoys time with her husband and their three fur babies (two cats and a black lab). Childhood sweethearts, the couple recently married.
She also enjoys decorating her home and attending sporting events. What really gets her going, though, are ocean cruises – Pickens has been on NINE! “I love to travel to warm places and having the opportunity to explore beautiful parts of the world,” she says.
Around the office, it’s no secret that Sarah Pickens loves what she does for a living. Her enthusiasm is contagious.
“The best part of my job, to me, is the reward of seeing a buyer smile. I’m a natural-born nurturer so I thrive on making other people happy. So, the work is truly not about the paycheck, but the satisfaction I get from helping someone,” she says.
She also enjoys the challenges that sometimes pop up in her daily real estate transactions. “I have worked for two of the top producing agents in the Twin Cities in my career. I’ve run into and conquered almost every challenge put in front of me. It’s exhilarating to have slayed those dragons because I know that nothing will stand in the way of my clients achieving their dreams.”
Email Sarah at email@example.com
Hey, it’s Alissa Norquist! Real Estate Professional
Spend five minutes with Maple Grove native Alissa Norquist and you’ll understand that two things are paramount in her life: her family and her career.
A graduate of Maple Grove Senior High School (GO CRIMSON!), Norquist was originally drawn to the lifestyle and creativity a career in cosmetology might provide her. “I was attracted to working with people, giving people a makeover and helping people love how they look. I did that for about 10 years until the downturn in the economy hit and the salon closed its doors for good in 2010,” she says.
From there, she took on one of the toughest jobs a woman can do – full-time, stay-at-home mom to three kids, which she did for four years.
Most real estate agents come to the industry as a second or even third career. Norquist’s boyfriend hired Kris Lindahl to help sell his home and purchase another. The night the deals closed, the three of them went to dinner and Lindahl spent the entire evening convincing Alissa that her place was in the real estate business. As yet another example of Lindahl’s persuasiveness – Norquist got her sales license and joined the Kris Lindahl Team.
While she thrives on helping local real estate consumers make their dreams come true, there is life outside of work and Norquist fills every minute of it. When she’s not busy with her children – “THE most important thing in the world to me,” she says – you may see her running around Blaine or Elk River. Literally.
“Before I had my son 4 years ago, I trained daily for fitness competitions,” she explains. “I even had a trainer that tracked my workouts and diet. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, chicken for lunch and chicken for dinner every day for 2 years,” she says, laughing. “As boring as it sounds, I had never felt better in my life.”
As all Minnesota running enthusiasts can agree, Alissa tells us that she “LOVES summertime in Minnesota!” She enjoys packing up the kids, and Sadie the chocolate lab, and heading to the family cabin where they ski, tube, hang out around the bonfire and immerse themselves in the lake.
There’s no doubt about it; Alissa Norquist has found life’s calling – helping Minnesotan’s realize their piece of the American Dream. She looks forward to assisting you.
Contact Alissa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get to Know Haythem Khalil | Enterprising Real Estate Professional
Haythem Khalil was one of those kids that folks might call “enterprising.” By the second grade, he’d decided that he was going to be an entrepreneur and went about proving as much to the world. Well, ok, to the school, but it was a start.
“I had a strong desire to enhance my lifestyle with lavish recesses and lunches,” he explains. “I was able to fund those desires by entering the jawbreaker and snap bracelet distribution business,” Khalil concludes, laughing.
While most of us quickly drop our childhood career dreams in high school, Khalil decided that to get where he wanted to be, without having to sell jawbreakers, he’d need a business and marketing degree. He graduated from Minneapolis’ Augsburg College (GO AUGGIES!) and promptly was offered a position with a mortgage company.
Between then and the day he joined the Kris Lindahl Team with Kris Lindahl Real Estate, Khalil spent a few years in Washington DC doing political work and founding a startup tech company in Minneapolis.
You’re no doubt getting the picture that Haythem Khalil isn’t one to let the moss grow under his feet. When he isn’t helping folks sell and buy homes, he packs food at Feed my Starving Children, he coaches Blaine Bengals and Blaine Fury youth wrestlers, he is passionate about golf and “hanging out with my daughter Jasmin.”
Why should you work with Haythem Khalil?
“My high school coach had a saying: ‘Show me, don’t tell me,” he explains. “That has stuck with me throughout my adult life. And, you know what? In my real estate business, it’s my results that speak the loudest.”
Reach out to Haythem at email@example.com
Meet Jamie Kenton | Real Estate Pro and Mortgage Wiz
As you house hunt in Blaine, look for the yard with the greenest landscaping and you may just be looking at Jamie Kenton’s home. “I LOVE yard work! The greener the better; thank god for sprinkler systems!” he says when asked about his passions outside of real estate.
Kenton was born and raised in Minnesota, mainly in Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Park. He spent summers at his grandmother’s place on Twin Lake, hunting down painted turtles, fishing and swimming (the lake wasn’t green back then).
Although as a child he dreamt of becoming a police officer like his Uncle John, a funny thing happened on the way to the police academy. Kenton bought a house. At 19 years of age. “I bought a beat-up old house in Robbinsdale and remodeled it from top to bottom,” he says. “That was when I realized my love for real estate.”
At 22, Kenton was a loan officer (and later the branch manager) for a mortgage company. He enjoyed working with people to find the money to purchase a home, but his heart was set on helping them to actually find and sell homes. So, nine years ago he made the jump and has never looked back. Team Lindahl feels blessed to have him onboard.
It’s not ALL Work
When he’s not assisting Twin Cities’ residents with buying and selling homes, Kenton spends time with his family. “I have a 2 year-old little princess who thinks she runs the house and has a lot to say about it (that may be my fault), and a 5 year-old son who loves helping me around the yard. He wakes up in the morning ready to go outside,” he says, chuckling.
Kenton’s love of family time extends to his siblings as well. “I have two brothers and three sisters,” he begins. “We all hang out all of the time. Summer BBQ's are our thing, yard games and lounging in the yard. My family is AWESOME.” But there is one member of the family Kenton seems to be a bit partial to: Mrs. Kenton. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my wife . . . my rock!”
We asked Jamie Kenton what he likes most about his real estate career. “I love watching my clients light up when I find them the house. The excitement is so contagious! I mean, I actually get to help people fulfill their dreams. What a rewarding job!”
You can reach Jamie at Jamie@krislindahl.com
Introducing Jereomy Fiskewold | Real Estate Professional and Home Construction Expert
Real estate agents are a different breed. Some just love to talk about themselves while others, like Jereomy Fiskewold, would rather talk about anything other than himself.
A former construction industry guy, Fiskewold was born and raised in Minnesota. In fact, he graduated from Centennial High in Blaine (go Cougars!) and claims that he can build a home from the ground up. We won’t take him up on that, however, because the Kris Lindahl Team needs him out there helping our clients buy and sell homes.
It was while Fiskewold was working with a custom home builder in the company’s remodeling division that he noticed just how well he got on with the customers. “Hmm,” he thought, “Maybe I should go into a line of work that allows me to have more contact with the public.” That thought led him to becoming the builder’s sales manager – the guy who handles all aspects of the new-home sales transaction. From there, the jump into a full-time real estate career was a snap.
When he’s not working, Fiskewold enjoys helping out at his kids’ schools and he coaches youth hockey, year-round. Married to wife Nina for 13 years, the couple has three children (in all honesty, one of them isn’t biological): Clara, James and Amos, an 11-year old boxer.
So, why would a Twin Cities real estate consumer want to work with our Jereome Fiskewold? “My knowledge of home construction allows me to take a closer look at the quality of the home being purchased, as well as how to maximize the presentation of selling a home,” he begins. “After 12-plus years in Minnesota real estate I know the market and how much homes should be selling for.”
We asked Fiskewold what gets him out of bed in the morning, ready to take on the day. “I love the feeling of pride and accomplishment knowing I helped a family get into their dream home,” answered the consummate family man.
Reach Jereomy Fiskewold by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandy Skonseng | Tenacious Negotiator
Don’t ever tell Brandy Skonseng that something isn’t possible. One of her pet peeves in life, she’ll set about proving you wrong.
Minnesota born and bred, Brandy Skonseng comes to the Kris Lindahl Team from United Electric, where she was a project manager. Growing up in Isanti, though, is where her story starts.
Her upbringing contains all the magical moments that only life in the country can give a kid – riding three wheelers and bikes and playing in the dirt with Matchbox cars. You’ll notice that Barbie dolls aren’t on the list. Brandy says she was the only girl within two miles of her home so she was also trying to prove that she could keep up with the boys.
Precocious all the way through high school, Brandy graduated six months early, and at the age of 17 enrolled in classes at Anoka Ramsey Community College where she obtained her Associate’s degree in business management in less than two years.
By 2003, Brandy was Mom to a 2-year old son and with that came the natural desire to make her own work schedule. The real estate industry offered the perfect opportunity for her to do so and it came with a bonus: she fell in love with helping Minnesotans buy and sell homes. Now, here she is, 12 years later, a member of the Kris Lindahl Team with Kris Lindahl Real Estate.
“Being a realtor has allowed me to help clients with what could be the biggest purchase of their lives,” she explains. “I love nothing more than to see the smiles on my clients faces when they purchase their new home or sell their home and move into the next chapter of their lives.”
When she’s not working, Brandy enjoys giving back to the community and her involvement with the Children’s Miracle Network is one of the most fulfilling parts of her life. She’s also an avid down-hill skier and loves to get out in the ATV in the summer. You may also find her on the tennis courts or spectating at her 14-year old son’s high school football games.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you work with Brandy is that she doesn’t pull any punches. “I am up-front and honest every part of the way, telling my clients the good, bad and the ugly.” She’s also a tenacious negotiator who is known to fearlessly go to bat for her clients when it comes to contract terms and price. Hey, she proved a long time ago she could wrangle with the boys – she’s not about to let a negotiation get her flustered!
Reach out to Brandy at email@example.com
Get to Know Kara Werth | Real Estate and Mortgage Pro
It isn’t hard to figure out the eventual career path for a kid who spends her play time building imaginary cities in a vacant lot behind her home. Sure, real estate was in her future, but, like most agents, other stuff happened before that realization set in.
Kara Werth grew up in St. Paul, one of four children raised by her widowed mom. “We lived in a split-level right off of White Bear Avenue and Hudson Road,” she recalls, “and I still remember our home. There was a huge hill on a vacant wooded lot behind it. That’s where I spent most of my time playing with neighbor kids.” This was also the setting for her cities, complete with “obstacles that we would drive ‘cars’ through,” she says, laughing.
From phone wench to Realtor
Kara started working at age 13. “My first job was as a phone wench at Domino’s, taking customer orders and folding pizza boxes,” Kara explains. She spent her teenage years in a variety of jobs, in fact, going from slinging pizza to working for Target and greeting guests at the Lobster Shop. Somewhere in that whirlwind of employment she worked a short time for a Forest Lake real estate brokerage, as a receptionist. This was Kara’s first taste of her future.
Eventually, Kara went to work for a couple that owned a small mortgage company and they sent her to real estate school to become licensed. By this time she was 18 years old. Before leaving the firm Kara learned the marketing end of the business as well as loan processing.
When the housing market crashed, Kara learned the unhappy side of real estate: dealing with distressed homeowners, negotiating short sales and bank-owned properties. Finally, one year ago, Kara was introduced to Team Lindahl of Kris Lindahl Real Estate and here she is, a member of the team.
It’s not all business
Kara and her husband Adam are the parents of Preston, a little guy she refers to as “my sunshine.” The three of them are members of the Lino Lakes campus of Eagle Brook Church where she volunteers in the nursery as often as possible.
The family also enjoys walks, bike rides and hanging out at the park. They’re in the process of building a home so that project consumes much of their time and energy.
We asked Kara what she brings to the real estate table that a consumer can’t get with another agent. She reminded us about her mortgage experience, her expertise with distressed property sales and that she worked with new construction for a time.
In the end, she told us, it all comes down to being able to communicate and to relate to what her clients are going through. “We sold our townhome in less than two weeks on the market,” she said. “Let me tell you how stressful it is to sell a home with a husband, child and a dog! I can absolutely relate to what my selling clients are going through trying to keep the house clean for showings and open houses!”
Contact Kara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet James Eason | Gym rat and Real Estate Pro
When he’s not listing and selling Twin Cities real estate you’ll find Jim Eason on the basketball court. It’s here that he hones the skills required to not only succeed in his athletic passion but in business as well. Both, says Eason, require not only stamina and endurance, but also motivation, self-confidence, the ability to perform while under pressure and perfect timing.
Eason didn’t begin his work life in real estate, however, but leaves an interesting and diverse trail of positions in a variety of fields. “I've held many positions in many fields of work, including being one of the equipment managers for the Minnesota Vikings,” he recalls. He also installed gas pipelines and managed projects for a home builder. The latter, as you can guess, is where Mr. Eason was bitten by what we like to call “the real estate bug.”
When he isn’t working on his fadeaway on the basketball court or helping clients realize their real estate dreams, Eason volunteers his time at Feed My Starving Children and the Salvation Army. He’s also learning to speak Spanish and he spends a lot of time at the gym.
At the top of Eason’s bucket list are his fantasy travel destinations Australia, Italy and Japan. After that, he’d like to take a road trip across America and climb a mountain.
In the meantime, Eason is enjoying helping folks buy and sell homes in the Twin Cities and the fact that no two days are the same in a Realtor’s career, and that suits him just fine. “I get to constantly meet new people in my community and I become friends with many of them,” Eason says. “No two transactions are alike, either, so I always look forward to going to work, wondering who I’ll meet, who I’ll help and what the day will bring.”
Regardless of what it brings, Eason is up to the task. “I get a rush when I find the perfect home for my client,” he says.
Reach James at email@example.com
Meet Tom Scott Real Estate Professional | Wheeler-Dealer
As the son of a successful salesman, Tom Scott was that apple that didn’t fall very far from the tree. Even as a kid he was wheeling and dealing in Eden Prairie. “Lemonade, baseball cards, candy, you name it,” he says, laughing. “I was always very competitive in whatever I did.” Since negotiations are such a huge part of the real estate transaction, we’d say that this is a skill we’re glad he’s perfected.
Scott attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in business marketing and housing studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While attending college, he ran his own boat detailing service and also worked at Maynard’s, docking boats.
Just as he was putting the finishing touches on his education, fate stepped in. One of his father’s buddies, a real estate agent, recruited young Mr. Scott to hold open houses for him. That’s all it took ― the real estate bug snagged another one and Scott obtained his sales license in 2005.
Tom Scott contributes some of his few off-hours to the Children’s Crisis Nursery and Meals on Wheels. He also enjoys getting away, “heading north and trying new restaurants,” he says. When he stays put, you may find him on a golf course, boating on a nearby lake or lounging by the pool.
Tom Scott was athletic growing up, which instilled in him a fair amount of sportsmanship that he brings to every real estate transaction. Sure, he’s competitive and an ace at “the art of the deal,” but ethics rule every transaction he helms.
We asked Scott what gets him out of bed in the morning, ready to take on the day. “It may sound trite, but I love meeting new people and being able to help them. I also enjoy the hustle of the real estate business and always being on the go.”
Reach out to Tom Scott via email at Tom@KrisLindahl.com.