Melissa Buettner knew it was time to take control and plan for the future, not just for herself but for her four daughters. “I stayed in touch with the real estate agent from Keller Williams Plymouth from whom I’d purchased a home a year before,” Melissa explains. “When she heard the situation with my now ex-husband she encouraged me to enroll in real estate classes.” Melissa took the classes, passed the test, and became the number one single agent in her office her first full year. “Shortly after I got my license I got divorced,” she says quietly. “I’m thankful every day that I got into real estate.” That was 18 years ago and she hasn’t looked back.
Jim Buettner was a marketing manager for a manufacturing firm and wanted his own business. His dad owned bars and Dunkin Donuts and as the son of an entrepreneur, Jim knew what was possible. In 2002 he started working for a local Plymouth real estate firm before landing at Keller Williams Plymouth. That’s where he met Melissa.
“My broker set us up,” laughs Melissa. “I said, ‘Mike, he has a girlfriend’ to which he replied, ‘Not anymore!’” The two became best friends and formed a team along with Jim’s sister, Julia, called the Howard-Buettner Group. Eventually, they fell in love, have been married for 13 years, and added a son to their family. The family was growing, as was the real estate team.
“Last year we grew with a few more agents, and were offered to work with Glover Agency,” Jim says. Jeff asked us to be the team leaders for Glover Agency Livingston/Brighton.” Melissa adds, “We were delighted for this opportunity to grow and bring our entire team with us.” The team is still growing, and leading and helping others grow is what they love. “We have been provided leverage since joining the number-one team in the State of Michigan in terms of volume,” Melissa says. “Glover Agency is yearly ranked in Detroit’s top place to work by Free Press and Crains Cool Places to Work.” Jim continues, “It’s a great place to work and take our business to the next level.”
The Buettner Group certainly has taken its business to the next level. Jim and Melissa are gratified to be in the position to give back to their community, and they are heavily involved in volunteer and philanthropic pursuits. “We do a lot of volunteer work, helping single parents in business and in private, collecting necessities for families in need, and supporting veterans through various charities and our own personal donations,” says Melissa. “One organization that helped me tremendously when my first marriage dissolved was La Casa, Inc., and I can’t thank them enough for the support and compassion they provided.” The Beuttners also throw their considerable support behind Veterans Connected, Glover’s Heroes, Amber Reineck House, and Prelude Home.
- Veterans Connected - supports Veterans and their families through spiritual support, tangible, meaningful assistance, and a sense of community. Provides free counseling to people who might not qualify for help through other channels. (veteransconnected.org)
- Glover’s Heroes - gives back to local teachers, nurses, active and veteran military, police, emergency technicians, employed caregivers, and firefighters in the community.
- Amber Reineck House - embraces a community acceptance and compassion providing housing and educational resources for those impacted by Substance Abuse Disorder.
- La Casa - awareness, advocacy, prevention, and support for domestic violence survivors and offenders. Supporting everyone affected by domestic violence.
- Prelude Home - Women ages 60 and older comprise the largest percentage of the homeless population in Livingston County. Prelude Home empowers displaced women with mentoring, emotional support, services, and affordable housing.
“We enjoy volunteering at every event we can, setup and 50/50 are some of our favorites,” Melissa says, “Giving back is how we spend the majority of our free time, doing something we love.” Through Glover’s Heroes, the Buettner Group gives back 20% of their commission to the local heroes they work with as a thank-you for their service, and 5% to the charity. The team paints veterans’ houses, does yard work, and builds ramps for mobility-challenge veterans. Through Veterans Connected, Melissa and Jim participate in events for families who can’t provide Christmas for their children, and they also love to help out with 50/50 raffles, car shows, and veterans’ gala dinners. Last year they enjoyed volunteering at Ruck for Life, raising awareness and funds to end veteran suicide. “My father was a veteran,” Jim says. “And Melissa’s cousin lost both his legs in service for our country.” Melissa adds, “People come up to us and say the events have changed their lives, and we are humbled to play a small part in that.”