Lake Minnetonka is on the Map

Minnetonka grads open a real estate shop to help buyers love the lake area.

Minnesotans are known for their fierce love of the state and its culture, but few cities inspire as much loyalty and passion as the ones around our beautiful Lake Minnetonka. The lake has a popular and one-of-a-kind brand, and for that reason, Engel & Völkers, a global real estate business, aims to put it on the map as a globally recognized great place to live.
Engel & Völkers—a service company specializing in premium real estate brokerage of residential properties, commercial real estate, yachts and aircraft—opened its first Minnesota location in Minneapolis in 2015. This September, they opened a branch in Deephaven, serving as an office for nearly 50 real estate advisors focused on properties in the area.
“From day one of opening the Minneapolis location, a Minnetonka shop was always part of the plan,” says owner Geoffrey Bray. For Bray, putting Minnetonka on the map is far more than business: It’s a lifelong, meant-to-be mission. Bray grew up in Minnetonka, graduated from Minnetonka High School in the early aughts and is now raising three kids who all attend Minnetonka schools. “Growing up in the area, it’s sometimes easy to forget how special it is. Cities where mainstreets still exist and draw a crowd—that’s special, and I want to help share that,” says Bray.

And who better to share in that mission than another Minnetonka High School graduate—actually, make that four others—with a personal passion for the city. Bray is joined by advisors Jeff Engel, Eric Utoft, and AJ Pettersen, as well as marketing and events director Ashley Cohn.

Bray and Engel’s teamwork began on the baseball diamond when they played together at the city’s beloved Bennet Park. Years later they played Excelsior Legion baseball together. “Geoffrey is a great leader and through growing up together we have that trust and connection you need in business. And, we have that same level of confidence in the area because we’ve experienced it firsthand,” says Engel.

Beyond their team’s innate love for Minnetonka, Engel & Völkers brings a legacy of extraordinary service they believe makes it a perfect fit for the area. “We always say that luxury is an experience. We don’t equate it to price points; it’s in the level of service,” says Bray. He points to the company’s one-on-one attention and true understanding of helping people create the lifestyle they want as key factors in this fit. “In visiting an Engel & Völkers destination, visitors can expect clean design, world-class meeting spaces and a spirit of fun,” says Engel. “We really pride ourselves on the people we have and the experience they can deliver.”

Engel & Völkers Lake Minnetonka will be the only real estate agency with the area’s name in its title, a testament to its mission to put it on an international stage. “Whether it’s the big companies drawing people to the state for the first time, or people living in the area looking for a new space, we want to set them up to see the communities for what they are, and for the amazing lifestyle they offer,” says Bray. “We’re proud of this area, and we want to promote it in a way that is true to the beautiful corner of the earth that it is.”