Germany Comes to Minnesota

International real estate firm employs five Minnetonka grads.

Engel & Völkers, founded in Germany in 1977, is an internationally recognized real estate firm that opened its first Midwest location in downtown Minneapolis last August—and the office is full of Minnetonka High School graduates, including brokers and co-owners Geoff Bray and Lindsay Bacigalupo.

Engel & Völkers entered the North American market in 2007 with branches in New York and Los Angeles, but the Midwest has finally won over the heart of the company. “They looked to [the Twin Cities] because of the really expansive job market here. Opportunities exist for young workers with Target, UnitedHealthcare, Medtronic...the list goes on,” says Bray.

Bray explains that Engel & Völkers stands out because of their focus on premium-level service, no matter the price of the real estate listing. “This was our vehicle to change perception of what a real estate agent is. They haven’t always had the best rap. Our way to change that perception is to knock people’s socks off with red-carpet service.”

Bray enjoys working with four fellow MHS grads and has a true love for his hometown community (he even named his 2-year-old son Bennett after Minnetonka’s Bennett Family Park). “We have a lot of real market knowledge in that area because we were raised in it and have a passion for the area,” adds Bray.