Burgan marks 40th with 2nd-generation partnership

CANFIELD — At one time, the new owners of Burgan Real Estate had contrasting plans for their futures.

As a teen growing up in the business, Patrick Burgan wanted to get as far away from the industry as possible.

Sue Filipovich always knew she was destined to follow in her father’s footsteps.

The two have now teamed up to continue the business their dads started 40 years ago.

“It’s actually been very interesting,” Burgan said. “Early on there were some hurdles to get over. A lot of people were used to doing things the way our fathers did them, but Sue and I wanted to make some changes, update a few things, incorporate some new technology. It’s taken a little time for people to get used to, but it’s all working out and it’s even better than we could have expected.”

In August 1977 — 30 days before the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. sent out mass layoff notices and announced it was going out of business — Filipovich’s father, Leon Turek, joined Burgan’s father, John Burgan, in founding the locally owned company that now has offices in Canfield and Boardman, and a satellite site in Liberty the partners are looking to build.

Unlike other area businesses, Burgan Real Estate survived the economic downturn and has moved into the ownership of a second generation.

Earlier this year, the new partners launched a plan to expand their business and establish a stronger presence in the community. Burgan, co-owner / president, and Filipovich, co-owner / vice president, are looking to double their staff from 30 to 75 people in the next one to two years.

Part of their new strategy includes increasing the company’s footprint by offering a full-service office in Trumbull County.

“There’s a lot of opportunity in Trumbull County we’d like to pursue,” Burgan said. “Inventory in this area has been down for a while now and a lot of buyers are competing over properties, making it interesting. It’s an interesting dynamic to watch.”

So far this year, new listings have fallen in Trumbull and Mahoning counties compared to the first half of 2016. The Warren Area Board of Realtors reported that inventory in Trumbull County was down last month by more than 25 percent from where it was in June 2016. Likewise, for the same month, the number of homes available for sale in Mahoning County dropped, year-over-year, more than 28 percent, according to the Youngstown / Columbiana County Association of Realtors. Home prices, on average, have gone up in both counties.

“It’s an exciting time to be in real estate and to be in this business in the Mahoning Valley,” Burgan said. “And it’s a great time to celebrate the company’s success and the success our fathers have had and to build on that.”

Marking its 40th anniversary, the company adopted the tagline “Better with Burgan,” collaborated with Inner Circle Pizza in Canfield to create their own “Burgan Burger” that has been added to the restaurant’s menu, and launched a three-pronged plan that includes building a “strong corporate identity everyone can gravitate or relate to,” said Jeff Ryznar of 898 Marketing in Youngstown, which helped developed the new blueprint.

“They also want to become a resource to any homeowner or home buyer even if they aren’t a Burgan client and attract agents who share their same values and passion for the Mahoning Valley,” added Ryznar.

In April, Burgan was named the official real estate company of Youngstown State University Athletics, which involves helping incoming and outgoing faculty and staff find homes. The company also plans to participate in career fairs to recruit YSU students for jobs and internships.

Even with the changes, Burgan and Filipovich said they will continue to lean on their fathers.

Burgan was about 18 or 19 when he knew real estate was his path to pursue.

“When I was younger I thought I wanted to get as far away from it as I could,” he said. “We were always driving by a house, taking pictures, putting up signs. I didn’t want any part of that. But the bug bit me and I realized there was nothing other than real estate that I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Filipovich said home sales have always been a big part of her life and she could never see that changing.

“Growing up I would go to open houses with my father and I remember sitting with him when he was filling out contracts,” she said. “It’s always been part of my life.”

“We have big shoes to fill. For 40 years our fathers have been the identity of this company. It helps that they are still part of the business, that we still have them in the office. They come in every day. They are a valuable part of what we do. We still rely on their wisdom and their leadership skills. I can’t see that changing.”