Albert Lea native to be featured on ‘House Hunters’ show

Published 10:39 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Sioux Falls realtor’s recent home sale may be a little more public than some of his others. One marked difference was the presence of a camera crew.

Albert Lea High School 1998 graduate Aaron Rietsema, who now lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will be the realtor involved in an episode of “House Hunters” airing Thursday.

“It’s an experience that doesn’t come around every day,” Rietsema said. “I thought it would be a fun process, especially with the clients that were accepted. They were a lot of fun.”

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“House Hunters,” which airs on HGTV, follows buyers as they try to decide which of three homes they will move into. The couples are helped by a realtor, and this is where Rietsema comes in.

For Thursday’s episode, Rietsema worked with a couple looking for a bigger house closer to the downtown area of Sioux Falls.

Rietsema originally got connected with “House Hunters” because he had a previous client interested in being on the show. Although that did not pan out in the long run, “House Hunters” encouraged him to reapply. The show had already filmed an episode in Sioux Falls with a different realtor.

“It sounds like they were kind of excited to get back in Sioux Falls,” Rietsema said.

The process involved five days of filming, which took place in May.

According to Rietsema’s dad, Ron, Aaron Rietsema’s ability to connect with other people has been evident since his time living in Albert Lea.

“He always had lots of good friends,” Ron Rietsema said. “When we would walk into Perkins or something, you would hear — kinda like in ‘Cheers,’ you know, where they all would go, ‘Norm!’ They would do that with him.”

Ron Rietsema said his son’s ability to network successfully is what has allowed him to do well in realty.

“That’s what you need in real estate,” Ron Rietsema said. “You have to know how to make friends with lots of people.”

Aaron Rietsema has worked as a realtor in Sioux Falls since 2005. Following graduation from Albert Lea, Rietsema went through one semester at Riverland Community College and then attended Dordt College in Sioux Center for four years. He received his degree in elementary education and then taught for two years in California. His wife, whom he married between graduating from college and moving to California, is from Sioux Falls.

“When we decided that California life was not quite for us, we were starting a family, we wanted to get back Midwest,” Rietsema said. “Sioux Falls seemed like the perfect community for us to go back to.”

But upon moving, Rietsema couldn’t find a job in a school.

“I saw the writing on the wall that I wasn’t going to get a teaching position,” he said.

Instead, he said it was an opportunity for him to try out an interest he had been discovering since college: sales.

After getting his real estate license, Rietsema has been named to the Sioux Falls Local Best real estate category since 2011. The Local Best asks customers to vote for their favorite businesses in various categories. Rietsema is listed in the number one spot in the real estate agents category.

Rietsema said his company, Hegg Realtors, was excited to be working with “House Hunters.” The partnership will continue, too, as Rietsema just finished being filmed for another episode, and he could do a third in the spring.

“You know what, I enjoy it, and as long as I have applicants and clients that want to participate and ‘House Hunters’ isn’t sick of me, yeah, I’ll do as many as they would like,” he said.

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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