Real estate agent Beth Ulrich has a long history of helping homebuyers find their perfect match in the Lake Minnetonka area—and she found herself gaining experience selling new construction, too, including condos at Wayzata developments like The Regatta and The Landing. Soon, she realized she wanted to step into the world of development herself. “I’ve always sold new construction, so I wanted to work with another builder. It all kind of came together,” Ulrich explains. She partnered with local builder Lori Serum to found their all-female development group, BLVd Properties, in 2019. (The company also has a third female partner, a silent investor.) “I sold Lori a house a few years ago, and I liked how she did business,” Ulrich says. “I kept seeing lots or houses come available that we could flip, and I called her and asked.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” adds Serum. “We make a great team.”
Both Ulrich and Serum note that female builders and developers are rare in the real estate world. They’ve stepped into that role with pride. “People love hearing that we’re an all-women-owned business,” says Serum. “A lot of folks walk into our homes and comment that they can tell a woman designed it—it’s a great compliment.”
Ulrich says, “When [clients visited our first model home], they commented on the detail, and that we paid attention to that. People say we’re good listeners. I think they notice a difference in how we do business. Lori is really honest and will tell people right away, ‘This will work,’ or, ‘This won’t.’ We don’t want to waste anybody’s time.”
Both women have deep roots in real estate and building. Ulrich started selling homes in 1992, right out of college, and was in her company’s top five percent of sellers in the country by age 28. Serum started working for Regency Homes right out of high school, she says. “I started as a receptionist and continued to climb up the ladder. I became a partner in 1995 and am the sole owner now.” In a fitting—and adorable—aside, Ulrich and Serum say they both loved to pore over their parents’ home and garden magazines when they were children, studying floor plans and design.
Now, they’re bringing their passion for homes and homebuyers to Lake Minnetonka, where BLVd Properties has built five homes so far this year, with plans for ten next year and more to come. They purchase available lots or existing homes and create new construction (in fact, they often hear from clients who are looking to sell and want BLVd to redesign or redevelop the property for a fresh start).
As our readers know well, the Lake Minnetonka area is one of the best places to live in Minnesota—and its popularity continues to soar. So what do these experts think are the main draws to our beloved lakeside towns? Lori Serum says, “Lake Minnetonka is the best lake in the state, and we’re so fortunate to have it on our backyard, close to the city. You can have the cabin or lake life without have to drive a long distance to get there.” Her favorite thing about the area? “The people. Everyone I meet is so nice. There’s such a community feel.”
Ulrich agrees. “The small-town feel, and the walkability are huge. People love that, and that’s pretty rare to find.”
Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty
748 Lake St. E., Wayzata
Regency Homes, Inc.
650 Bunker Lake Blvd. N.W., Anoka