Trappe, Russett switch real estate roles

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Steve Russett and his real estate business have served Monona and the surrounding area for 30 years, for the last 10 years with the help of Nathan Trappe. At the start of the year, Russett transferred it to Trappe. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Steve Russett and his real estate business have served Monona and the surrounding area for 30 years, for the last 10 years with the help of Nathan Trappe. At the start of the year, Russett transferred it to Trappe. 

“It’s coming under me now. We’re just switching roles,” explained Trappe, noting that Russett wants to slow down but will still remain active with the company. “The only thing that’s changing is the name.” 

Now, instead of Steve Russett Real Estate, known in the area for its red signs, the business will be known as Allen Real Estate Company, adopting the trademark blue of Trappe’s other Allen companies, which include Allen Roofing and Construction and Allen Rental Company. 

It was Russett who prompted him to further venture into real estate, Trappe said. Already the owner of a half-dozen rental properties by the time he was 22, Trappe had a lot of knowledge; Russett said the next logical step was to get his real estate license. 

In the last 10 years, Trappe said Russett has taught him a lot about real estate, including the paperwork side of the business. However, he said, it’s the intangible lessons that will stick with him most as he moves forward. 

“Steve has built one of the best reputations with ethics and honesty, and I hope to uphold that,” he said. “We’re not here to sell homes. We’re here to unite buyers and sellers so they can move on to the next parts of their lives.” 

Allen Real Estate Company will serve buyers and sellers of residential, commercial and other properties in Monona, Postville, McGregor, Marquette, Elkader, Garnavillo and all the areas in between. Continuing on with Trappe and Russett will be sales associates Megan Keehner and Trisha Denning, who worked for Russett for 11 and four years, respectively. Trappe said the company will now be part of a multiple listing service (MLS), a nationwide service that helps sellers find buyers for their properties. 

Trappe said he’s looking forward to the growth of the Allen brand. Allen is Trappe’s middle name, which he said came from his grandfather, Allen Werges. Aside from Allen Roofing and Construction, Allen Rental Company and now Allen Real Estate Company, Trappe also owns MJ’s Bar and Grill in Monona, as well as Crystal Lake Campground, near Lodi, in south-central Wisconsin. 

“Allen Roofing Company started me,” he said, mentioning that he was just 18 when he started his construction business. “A lot of people told me I wouldn’t make it, but now it’s one of the largest roofing companies in the area. 

“I’m proud to do it after my grandpa. Now I’m making another name. When people see that brand, no matter what company, I want them to know it’s a company they can trust.”

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