By Carol Mowdy Bond
Kay Mueggenborg’s 42-year real estate career began in 1979, and has earned her a catalog of experiences. The sole owner of Kay Mueggenborg Realty, located at 122 N. Main in Kingfisher since 1998, Mueggenborg has sold properties in a dozen cities and towns in Kingfisher, Canadian, Blaine, and Oklahoma counties.
But quick to mention her teammate and right-hand gal, Mueggenborg said, “Margaret Phillips hung her license with me and is still practicing real estate today. We make a great team.”
Of the current housing market, Mueggenborg said, “Prices are up and steady! It’s a great time to buy or sell a house. There’s a demand for housing in all areas, including Canadian County and the state. When I got into real estate in 1979, I started selling in Kingfisher and Okarche, and the homes that we are selling today at $135,000, the same homes sold then for $25,000. This is to be expected with inflation. We’ve seen lots of peaks and valleys over time.”
Phillips said, “Supply and demand have always been an issue in our area. People love the small town quality of life our community brings, and the excellent schools. And we have buyers actively searching our area with very little inventory to choose from. This keeps our exiting home prices at top dollar.”
There are a lot of changes in how real estate is handled these days. Phillips said, “Now people primarily begin their real estate searches online, and we pride ourselves with using the best professional real estate photographer in the business, and networking with all of the available real estate marketing platforms such as Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia. As well, social media is a great resource to reach clients.”
Since she began her career, Mueggenborg said real estate has, “changed a lot! The way we use technology is amazing. When I first started, I had a Polaroid camera I would take with me to the homes. Now, we hire a company with drones to take aerial shots of our properties.”
Regardless of 21st Century norms, Kay Mueggenborg Realty maintains the one-on-one, personal touch. Phillips, said, “When people list with us they get maximum exposure and excellent customer service. We answer each call directly. We don’t rely on answering services to take clients’ calls, and there’s no multi-question prompt system to get to talk to a agent. We keep our service personal and you get our undivided attention when you’re our client.”
Looking back, Mueggenborg said, “When I got into real estate, we started with a pager. I would have to keep spare change on me at all times, to stop and find pay phones to call my clients back. We had one-page contracts that covered everything, but now we are up to 18 pages per contract. The practice has gotten more in depth, requires more communication with clients, and has evolved with technology.”
Phillips said, “I obtained my real estate license in 1996, and I have been actively practicing real estate since then. When I was first licensed in 1996, this was the era of bag phones and pagers. Contracts were three pages. I did ‘floor-time’ to work new prospective clients since most were call-in or walk-in customers. Fast forward 25 years and it’s truly a 24/7 business. Contracts can be upwards of 18 pages. With technology as it is, I can be reached at all times, and I love that flexibility.
I’ve sold properties from $7,000- $650,000 and everything in between. Our business primary is residential. But I love the opportunity to put my boots on and get out to my roots, to list and sell farm and ranches. Since my family roots began on the farm, I bring a unique perspective and knowledge to the agriculture transaction. Being a farmer’s daughter, I understand agriculture and I bring that knowledge to the table when working with clients. And I’ve also sold everything from downtown historic buildings to large commercial warehouse properties. All bring their own unique challenges and I love the diversity of each transaction.”
Every career has surprises, and Mueggenborg said, “We were opening a cabinet door during a home inspection and were surprised to come face to face with a giant bull snake.”
Then there’s the stinky side of real estate. “We once had to get a dead skunk out from under a house. Before closing on a particular home, the new owners wouldn’t close until we managed to remove a skunk that managed to crawl under the house. The smell was horrific! My husband shimmied under the home, removed the varmint, and we closed,” Mueggenborg said.
And her smallest sale? “I listed a lot with a purchase price of $1,000. Rather than charging a commission, I did it free of charge, and one family gave me an apple pie. But I once listed a home and acreage for over a million dollars,” Mueggenborg said.
One of three sisters, Mueggenborg was born in Lawton, grew up in Del City, and was graduated from Del City High School. Her dad was a mechanic on military aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base, and her mom worked in a factory, sewing military fatigues.
Prepping for her career, Mueggenborg said, “I did my real estate training at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. I started my real estate career knowing I could be a great service to those looking to purchase the right homes for their families. My real estate career has mainly been in Kingfisher and Okarche and surrounding areas. I like to stay in this area because living here, and knowing the great people, make the work feel more personal and special. I started my practice working for MGM Realtors out of El Reno. But then, I opened my own office in Kingfisher. I was the managing broker for 17 years. This was the time of the oil boom and interest rates were 21%. We had 18 agents working around the clock. It was the most exciting time of my career.
In real estate, there are no ‘employees.’ All realtors are independent contractors. Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of agents. As a managing broker from MGM Realtors, I was managing about eight agents. I am still active in real estate, but I have slowed down my pace some. Margaret Phillips is doing a fantastic job while I enjoy my time with my family,” Mueggenborg said.
As lifetime farmers and ranchers in Okarche, Beth and Harold Hufnagel’s daughter Margaret Phillips is the youngest of six. She was born and raised in Okarche, and was graduated from Okarche High School in 1990.
Married in 1991, Margaret and husband James Phillips have made Kingfisher County their home.