City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group

Minnesota's #1 Home Selling Team for Coldwell Banker Since 2015

Everyone loves to root for the underdog. But when you want to buy or sell a house, it’s advisable to side with the biggest dog on the block. That’s Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group – Eden Prairie’s top home seller for over 25 years running, and Coldwell Banker’s top real estate team in Minnesota since 2015.

Ryan Platzke, who is the younger half of the partnership, earned an incredible distinction in 2020 when he set the record for the highest closing price in Eden Prairie history: a cool $5.2 million. Had he known what his future held in store, Ryan may just have quit his previous job in telemarketing a little sooner.

“I’m from a tiny town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” said Ryan. “I grew up next door to a neighbor whose small brokerage let him enjoy a rewarding career and live a dignified life. He motivated me to become one of very few people to get a degree specifically in real estate, which Ferris State University conveniently offered right in my home state.

“Graduating top of my class earned me an internship at an insurance company in Grand Rapids. I was hooked up to a headset and told to wait for a little light to flash red: my cue to start selling supplemental coverage to whichever mobile home owner made the mistake of answering their phone. Those six months were a colorful period in my life, and the kick in the pants I needed to move in with my uncle in Forest Lake where I could begin my real real estate hustle.

“I believe I had the luckiest start of any real estate agent in recorded history. I began my career at the precise moment when the internet was still obscure enough for established agents to disregard as a passing trend, but also a promising opportunity for a hungry rookie. I learned how to drive Explorer and Netscape users directly to my own website and soon began receiving 200 to 300 leads every month – all without spending a dime.

“I joined Brace Helgeson as one of his buyer’s agents in 2004, and entered into partnership with him in full in 2011. I’m not saying Brace is long in the tooth, because there’s a good chance he’ll read this article, but he definitely needed some tech-savvy young blood to drive his business to the next level.
“Synergy among real estate agents didn’t really exist outside of husband and wife teams before Brace and I joined forces. We were amongst the first to pioneer this “team concept” and quickly gained a huge advantage over our competition by leveraging our team members’ greatest strengths and allowing them to focus on their individual specialties. Instead of one agent beating the pavement in search of buyers for each house we listed, we had 40. There are still plenty of lone wolf agents out there, but many others have achieved even greater success after adopting the team model.

“Fortunately, teamwork isn’t the only thing that sets our team apart. Our marketing budget is higher than that of 99% of all other firms in Minnesota. We spend a significant amount on Zillow alone, but it’s worth the cost of admission. When someone inquires about an online listing in 55344, 55346 or 55347, they’re going to become one of our leads.

“Sites like Zillow, Redfin and Trulia are a great way of making sure our clients’ listings reach the widest available audience, but they aren’t our only marketing strategies. In fact, about one quarter of our inventory never formally reaches the market. That’s because we’ve spent decades fostering close working relationships with all the top agents in the Twin Cities. We tell them about each new listing we receive before the ink has dried on the contract; they bring us the buyers.

“We don’t just promise our sellers expedient sales. We also get them more money at closing thanks in part to our ‘smart money formula.’ When one of our agents walks through a new listing, they take note of anything that would ideally be improved before the photographer arrives. It could be as simple as decluttering, or something a contractor can quickly take care of like painting and carpeting. We’ll even arrange all the work if our client would prefer it that way. For every $10 they spend on those light improvements, they’re going to get back $15 on closing. Try and find a better return on investment than that. Our smart money upgrades also attract a greater number of buyers, who spend an average of seven seconds looking at a listing’s photos before deciding whether they’d like to tour it or not.

“It’s hard to believe when I think about it, but I’ve been doing this for 21 years now. I’ve learned Eden Prairie inside and out during all that time. I won’t just tell buyers how many bedrooms and bathrooms one of our listings has. If they name the school sports their kids play, I’ll tell them who their coaches are going to be. If they have a favorite food, I’ll start reciting nearby restaurants that serve it. I can even tell them how much Halloween candy they’ll need to buy. That’s the kind of polish you can only expect from an agent who specializes in a certain market. And what a great market I’m blessed to specialize in – and to call my own home as well!”

Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group is currently looking for new inventory. Please visit if you would like to sell your home fast, painlessly, and for the best price the market has to offer, or contact Ryan directly at or (651) 335-3912.

  • Ryan Platzke, Real Estate Agent

Businesses featured in this article