Ross Kaplan Pledge: “If I’m Not the Best Realtor to Help You Buy or Sell Your Home . . . I’ll Find the Realtor Who Is — Anywhere in the U.S.”


Local Expert, National Connections

I don’t sell homes in Washington D.C., Manhattan, Chicago, or Tucson, Arizona.

But, I’ve helped clients buy and sell properties in all those places.


By tapping into Edina Realty’s national relocation network, to find agents who specialize in those areas.

“Jack (Jill?) of All Trades = Master of None”

Closer to home, I’ve also referred clients to agents who’ve handled transactions in parts of town where I’m not an expert (note to prospective Buyers and Sellers:  a Realtor who holds themselves out as an expert in all areas and types of real estate is likely an expert in . . . none).

At least in Minnesota, where I’m licensed and have MLS privileges, my typical “due diligence” consists of these five steps:

One. Interview the prospective Buyer to find out what kind of home they’re looking for (location, size, style, features, price range, etc.).  For Sellers, I collect that info about their current home.

Two. Research MLS to see which agents specialize in selling that kind of home.

Depending on the area and surrounding housing density, I’ll create a search area covering one to five square miles, going back as much as 18 months, within a 10% – 15% price range (depending on the price point, $20k to $200k).

My goal:  find the last two dozen or so similar, recent transactions.

“Referral Due Diligence”

Once I’ve generated that list, I perform step three:  scan the transaction sides — “Listing” and “Selling” (= Buyer) — for each deal to see which Realtors pop up the most.

So, if I’m looking at 20 sales, there will be 40 transaction sides — and likely, at least a few agents whose names appear regularly.

With over 2,100 Twin Cities agents and a market-leading 25% of area sales, it’s further likely that one or more Edina Realty agents will be on that list.

Four.  Interview the Edina Realty branch managers for the finalists to get more info on their experience, credentials, etc.

Five.  Contact the “winner” to confirm that they’d be a good fit, provide some background on the client, and confirm that they’re interested/available.

Client Testimonials

So, how does all this work out in practice?

Don’t take my word for it — take my clients’.

Rick and Robin Tilander relocated from California to Minnesota earlier this year, and found me via this blog.

They ultimately bought a Burnsville home this May with the help of Edina Realty agent Denny Mathis.

Here’s what Rick wrote me:

Thanks for putting me in touch with Denny Mathis.  He did a fantastic job for us and it would not have happened if I hadn’t been in contact with you first.  Denny’s knowledge of the Eagan and Burnsville area is terrific, and that’s what really set him apart with us.  And to top it off, the house we selected was the first one he showed us, and is a couple blocks from his house, in a terrific area that he has lived in for more than 20 years.  We couldn’t have asked for more from Denny; he is a true professional at what he does. 

Thank you so very much once again.”


So there you have it:  if you’re looking for real estate, either in Minnesota or anywhere in the U.S. . . . I can help.

P.S.: Getting a note like Rick’s is what real estate is all about; it simply doesn’t get any better than that.

Thanks, Rick and Robin!!

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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