About The Difference RE

Trusted Experts with Exceptional Reach and Delivering Exceptional Results

We have the inventory, we get the calls, plus you get a great customers service

Mission statement

Everyday I will find a way to use my speed; strength, integrity and ingenuity to enhance my clients market position while delivering the very best possible fiduciary service to my clients. 

The Story

The vision of The Difference Real Estate started 18 years ago when a young man named Rick Matley set out on a long journey from an aspiring Engineer in Traverse City Michigan to a Real Estate Broker today in Kalkaska. The trip included multiple stops in Northwestern Michigan's manufacturing economy. Then the manufacturing sector of Nothern Michigans began to shrink resulting in a manufacturing BUST upnorth!

During these unsettling times, a complete evaluation of his goals was initiated, It was quickly determined that during his 11 year career in manufacturing, where he rose to the position of Plant Manager, just prior to the bust would no longer be an option if he wanted to keep his family in Northern Michigan. While working in manufacturing, working with clients was what he enjoyed. His mind was once again settled. He began working as a sales associate for a local real estate company in 2004. In 2008, he established himself as an associate broker, and now is the successful broker owner of an established real estate company, The Difference Real Estate.

There is a difference in the world and The Difference Real Estate quietly makes the difference in many lives every year.

The Right Representation

At The Difference Real Estate, our full-time, full-service residential specialists are your trusted advisors and have your best interests at heart. We focus on relationships rather than transactions. That’s why we’ve been in the business since 2004, ready to represent you in your next real estate transaction.


Although online and mobile access to information on homes for sale, home value estimates, and research tools have become the norm, understanding the market and navigating the process of buying or selling a home is still complex. It’s more important than ever to work with a real estate professional who has a level of expertise that goes beyond what a mobile app, or online robot do. We believe a solid understanding of the market place is critical. To understand is something a robot can not do.

At The Difference Real Estate we take pride in offering areas of expertise that most clients don’t even consider. For example, most buyers search for a home without taking into consideration the various market conditions that can affect the entire purchase process. Market seasonality, the backlog of buyers (also known your competition), and an analysis of recent comparable sales all factor into an offer and acceptance strategy.


One of the top three things that clients want most from their Realtor®is help with negotiations. The Difference Real Estate sales associates are certified Negotiation Specialists. Many people think they’re good at negotiating but oftentimes their experience is in haggling or bargaining, which is different than the art of negotiating. Keep in mind that typically, both buyers and sellers are emotionally invested. When it comes to something so deeply personal as a home, the importance of having a professional negotiation expert working for you is invaluable.

The Difference Real Estate Specialists understand that negotiation is both a skill-set as well as a mindset that helps a conversation transform into an agreement that’s a win for all parties. You definitely don’t want to enlist the services of any real estate licensee whose only tactic is to split the difference and settle in the middle every time. So be sure to contact a The Difference Real Estate sales associate for your next transaction.

Transactional Excellence

We understand and aim for transactional excellence with every home sale. What this means for our clients is that our professionals coordinate every detail of the real estate transaction. From the moment an offer has been mutually accepted by the buyer and the seller, we monitor the various inspections, appraisals, title, escrow, and loan processes. We communicate and collaborate with all the partners and parties involved with the transaction to ensure a smooth closing.

These are the types of details that often separate those who simply have a real estate license and The Difference Real Estate Residential Specialists who are committed to the process of transactional excellence. We know you have plenty of personal matters to consider during a real estate transaction, and we want to make your journey to closing day as stress-free as possible.

Seller Services

  • Access to our SOI
  • Professional online ads to specific targeted online audience
  • Online videos of your real estate
  • Drone photography
  • Professional Photography/tour
  • Advertised to other area Real Estate Brokerages
  • Realtor Open House
  • Attorney review of special documents when needed at no charge to you
  • Oil/Gas and Mineral Searches
  • Locating of property corners when needed
  • Zillow, Realtor.com and over 350 other websites

AS 1, 2, 3!

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