FULL CIRCLE: Real estate agency moving back to former neighborhood

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GREENFIELD — A real estate firm is returning to its former neighborhood after nearly 50 years.

Roy Wilson’s F.C. Tucker Company office will move from its current location at 1726 N. State St. into an upgraded historical home at 920 N. State St. The new location is just two doors down from where his parents moved the family real estate agency in 1972.

Wilson has watched the industry change over the decades, and says the area’s growth leaves the agency poised for continued success into the future.

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His parents, Leon and Minnie Lou, started their agency in 1964 in their kitchen on their farm in Blue River Township. In 1967, they built a new home next door with an office, where they operated until 1972, when they moved the operation to 946 N. State St., now Price Eye Care.

In the late ‘90s, the agency moved to 1726 N. State St., where a Crew Carwash will soon be going in.

With a move-in date in early April, Wilson’s new office will house about 15 F.C. Tucker agents.

“It’s sort of déjà vu, it really is,” Wilson said. “In that section of State Street, it seems just a little more homey, and I think it’s interesting that we’re going into a former home. We’re kind of excited about it, frankly.”

Ben Crouch, who started his career with Wilson in 1995, is looking forward to the move as well.

“There’s benefits of being up here in more of a commercial sector, for sure, but I think between here and there, we’ll be found,” he said.

Wilson and Crouch said the new location will have a modern, open, warm and inviting feel and less of an office atmosphere.

Technology is one of the biggest ways Wilson has seen real estate change over the decades. When the current office was built at 1726 N. State St., for instance, little room could be spared.

“Today, we don’t need this big office because so much of it is done online and text, wherever,” Wilson said. “Technology has made it easier to do business in many ways … But it’s nice to know your people, the people you’re working with, develop relationships, and it’s harder to do the relationship side of the business with the technology.”

Crouch agreed.

“There’s less hours spent in front of someone,” he said.

Business remains strong, it just no longer looks or sounds as if it is.

“When we built this building,” Wilson said, referring to the current location at 1726 N. State St., “it was completely full and it was bustling, and people were coming and going and the phones were ringing all the time. And we’re doing more business than we did then, but the bustle isn’t there.”

As technology increased, that bustle decreased.

“If somebody wanted to know about a house prior to 2000, they had to pick the phone up,” Crouch said. “Now, they pick the phone up once they’ve done all the legwork that we used to do. They’ve been online. You feel like you’ve been in a house, really, when you walk through it the first time.”

Virtual tours don’t always align with in-person ones.

“A typical response today is, someone will walk into a house and they’ll go, ‘Well this doesn’t look like it did online,’” Wilson said with a laugh. “Good or bad, it just doesn’t look like it.”

Wilson’s and Crouch’s outlooks on local real estate are positive, particularly in light of all the growth in the county’s western townships, where plans for dozens of large move-in ready buildings are underway.

“It’s going to continue to grow,” Crouch said. “Obviously, our location of Hancock County to all these new industrial parks and big box facilities; I think we’re in a prime spot to continue to see good things.”

Wilson added much of the growth in the county is driven by Indianapolis’ suburbs.

“It’s sort of a wave; the north side keeps sliding this direction,” he said. “And the New Palestine area, of course, has always been a growth area, and I think it’s sort of sliding to squeeze this area. High growth; we’re blessed with geography.”