Against the Grain with Fred Mannila
"On the night that he passed away he said two things to me 1) Son...you'll never get rich working by the hour and 2) Go out and give them hell" - Fred on his father's influence
Fred Mannila took a leap of faith and moved his family to Bend in 2008 and opened a real estate brokerage during one of the most stressful economic times in recent history. In partnership with his wife Keeley and armed with a passion about the business, Fred Real Estate Group has grown from a tiny office into a thriving culture comprised of almost 100 real estate brokers.
The path to Central Oregon
How he discovered Bend
- Fred used to travel to Bend for sports back in high school when notably this was a completely different town. "I was just always attracted to the sunshine here...there's something about the blue sky that just keeps you in a good mood". The more they visited over the years and saw how many entrepreneurs and families were moving to the area the more they decided it was the right place for them.
How they started making friends when they moved here
- Keeley joined some parenting groups which were comprised of other families moving to town that have young kids (their twins were 4 at the time) to get to know one another. Fred was introduced to the dads and it grew quickly from there. "We got intertwined with a good core group of people that have lots of connections and of course they introduced us to all of their connections".
How to navigate the roundabouts in Bend
- You either love them or hate them, but Fred suggests using your blinker. "The whole point of a roundabout is to keep the traffic flowing". We both seem to agree that the minimum best case scenario is using your right turn blinker to signal intent as you approach your exit. As far as using the left turn blinker as you go around? Well that's just overkill.
Operating a business in Bend
Starting a company (and naming it Fred)
- "We wanted a quirky vibe, we wanted the non-corporate vibe". Fred wanted to create an environment that would attract like minded people who conducted business in the same manner. There was no blueprint for how to do it..."we winged it" Fred admits. In the summer he's known to wear shorts and flip flops to the office (which has quickly grown in personnel to almost 100 real estate brokers).
Advice to those considering real estate as a career
- "Theres a lot of misconception to real estate where it's easy money...it's completely the opposite" Real estate is very competitive here. There are about 2,000 real estate brokers in Central Oregon (and only 85,000 people in Bend). He notes that if you have a good database of connections and are willing to be disciplined you should be able to thrive.
On the company's reputation and future
- "I want every broker of ours to treat their clients like they're gold". In this town there is massive opportunity for those who want to work hard as the area continues to grow. New families coming to the area expect great service from real estate brokers and Fred wants his company to be a valuable piece of that growth.
Favorite things to do in Bend
Mountain biking in Bend
- "I've got a good group of friends and we go out regularly...to get up in the trails and go for 15 or 20 miles and go over a few jumps...to get the exercise and network with a group of people out in the sun on literally some of the best trails in the nation...it's just a lot of fun"
Best place to grab a bite
- Brother Jon's Public House on Galveston. "I'm a big fan of their Salmon BLT"
Getting in touch