A native Marshalltownian known for his honesty, sense of humor and "putting his clients first" retired Dec. 31
after 30 years in the real estate business.
Jim Bacino, formerly of Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate said it was time.
"I'm 81," he said. "This is a good time to step back and relax."
Now Bacino said he plans to volunteer for several Marshalltown organizations and travel.
"We have children in Colorado and New Mexico that we are looking forward to visiting."
The former U.S. Marine became a Realtor in 1982 after completing a career working for John Rudd Moving & Storage.
He began with the local ERA Real Estate's office.
That company was later purchased by Coldwell Banker.
Reflecting on his career, the affable Bacino said candidly he had some "lean years"
and conversely, years when business was excellent.
He also acknowledged being involved in "several pretty good deals."
Two of his best sales came to mind.
"I had a client who owned land sold to Wal-Mart (for the store on Center Street) and a client with land sold to Hy-Vee."(for the Center and Anson Streets complex) Overall, Marshalltown was conducive to doing business.
"Marshalltown is a good town to help a client buy or sell estate," he said. "We've not been hit with a large number of foreclosures experienced on the east and west coasts. We've certainly had some ... but not as much compared to others."
He acknowledged another factor.
"Our unemployment has not been as high compared to other parts of the country," he said.
Bacino said construction of the new Alliant Energy power plant, and other developments are positive signs for the community.
The role of government in providing financing to consumers at many levels was by far the biggest change Bacino noted in his extensive career.
"Government took on a big role in helping people finance the purchase of property," he said. "It also created a lot of paperwork."
Bacino said a successful real estate career was built by addressing client's needs and then following-up.
"You can not forget about the people you've worked with," he said. "You must stay in contact ... let them know you are interested in perhaps doing more business or helping with other issues. And ... they may give you a referral."
Bacino credited his clients.
"I'm very grateful to my clients throughout the years," Bacino said. "They stuck with me and for that I am grateful."
Two fellow agents spoke highly of Bacino.
Friend and colleague Dean Elder of Coldwell Banker said he was pleased to have encouraged Bacino to enter the real estate business.
Elder had known Bacino as a school classmate for a number of years.
"Jim was extremely successful in the moving business and knew so many people," Elder said. "He is likable and honest, and always put the concerns of his clients first. He was a very knowledgeable Realtor and I hate to see him retire."
Jeff Heiden of Marshalltown's New Horizons Real Estate office has been an area Realtor for nearly 20 years and knew Bacino as a "friendly competitor."
"Jim was easy going with a great sense of humor," Heiden said. "Sometimes in transactions between buyers and sellers problems came up and Jim was always very prompt in resolving them. "He was a very professional and thorough in his job as Realtor."