Longest running business of Downtown EL: Musselman Realty
This family owned business located in downtown East Lansing may have been over-looked for years because it wasn’t an eatery or shopping store, but the one necessity they do sell is a roof over your head.
Musselman Realty is a real estate company on Abbot road is longest running business in the city.
The real estate company was first established in 1919 by Forest Musselman, who had interests in meeting the residential and commercial needs of the East Lansing community.
Later in the early 1950's, his son took over the business and today it is now in the hands of Forest’s grandson David Ledebuhr.
Ledebuhr said he joined the family company in the mid 1980’s and hasn’t left it since.
“Having grown up in a real estate family, real estate was always in my blood,” Ledebuhr said. “I felt like it was something to accomplish and work toward.”
Ledebuhr felt that real estate was what he was meant to do, but it wasn’t always the first option for him.
He graduated from MSU with a degree in business before starting at the company because he wanted to experience the working world.
“I worked for an oil company first and then after seven plus years, I then joined the family real estate company,” Ledebuhr said.
Ledebuhr has two children who have careers unrelated to the realty field but he said you never know what the future holds.
Manager of Musselman Realty and real estate agent, Jim Fordell said, he has worked with the business for 10 years and he’s loved it ever since.
Fordell said, Musselman has a long history of being involved in the community and they had a commitment that he had never felt before at any other realty company.
“I met Dave and learned of the experience he has in the community and what he’s done for not only our community but for the greater Lansing area,” Fordell said. “He’s a remarkable man, so I greatly appreciated being able to come on board with him.”
Customers continue to partake their business because of the service quality and their caring owner.
“It goes beyond the sale,” Fordell said. “We pride ourselves on making sure that people understand and learn about the whole process of buying and selling.”
Ledebuhr secret to success is to “put client and customer first and to provide whatever services are necessary to accomplish the goals of the client.”
According to Ledebuhr, East Lansing has evolved a lot over the years, especially with new technology changing how real estate is accomplished.
“When my grandfather started the business, horse and buggy’s went up and down Abbot road,” Ledebuhr said.
Their organization only serves a hundred people each month, but clients tell them they do the best job they’ve ever had.
“We’re not a gigantic organization, we’re a few people who look to do good for the community,” Fordell said.
Although they are not the number one realty option for most people, Ledebuhr is a warm-hearted owner who knows this community like the back of his hand and would do anything to help his neighborhood said Fordell.
“He cares about the people whether they’re his clients, my clients, he cares about the community,” he said.
Although Ledebuhr’s grandfather is the reason this business was created 98 years ago, he still appreciates the East Lansing community for allowing them to be so successful.
“I actually thank the community most for allowing us to continue to provide the services in real estate to accomplish their financial goals.” said Ledebuhr.