"I got to work with the customers directly, so there wasn't that disconnect with the customers that were buying our product," Cody explained. "I just found that no one could sell our product better than us."
Because they build more than 100 houses annually, "We know new construction like nobody else," Cody continued. C&M is the most prolific homebuilder in the Chippewa Valley, with roughly a dozen new neighborhoods currently under development.
But C&M Real Estate isn't just a one-man operation anymore. Cody and his wife, Molly, have built a strong, hard-working team at their real estate agency. In addition to selling the homes that C&M Home Builders builds, C&M Real Estate can help buy and sell existing homes.
The C&M team includes Chris Becker, who has 20 years of experience in real estate and knows construction as well (her husband, Bob, has a drywall business); husband-and-wife team Brian and Linda Dunham; and Scott Knepper, who specializes in commercial and residential real estate. Molly Filipczak, also a licensed Realtor, uses her expertise in interior design to help clients design new homes and stage existing ones. Another member of the team, Calvin Ekern, works with buyers to design spaces they will love to live in.
"I think a big part of success is everyone works equally," Cody said of the C&M staff. "Everyone is equal, and everyone works as a team, so anyone that you work with at any time is always going to be knowledgeable."
That knowledge - as well as the integration of C&M's home building and real estate arms - is a boon to customers. Many clients, Cody explained, both sell their homes and buy newly built ones from C&M. Furthermore, C&M prides itself on building numerous twin homes and other reasonably priced houses. Finding new homes in the low-$200,000 range is otherwise difficult in the Valley, Cody said.
The Filipczaks, who have two teenaged children, both believe in community involvement. They've created the Cody and Molly Filipczak Family Fund through the Eau Claire Community Foundation, and they support numerous causes that benefit children, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, and the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley.
Cody noted that an influx of people to the Chippewa Valley has led to a tight housing market. "Right now there's such a shortage of all housing that I'm able to show people why building a house is normally the better option," he said. "That's probably the most rewarding: Helping people make the right decision."