Woods Bros Realty would like to recognize these professionals on earning Lifetime Achievement status with the company: Rosemary Horner, Judy Holechek, Jane Hermsmeyer, Sandra Harder, Dennis Flesner, Mike Gutschneritter, Dick Young and Paul Devries.

Lifetime Achievement recognition is largely based on the number of years of service and career contributions to Woods Bros Realty.

“It’s an honor to have worked with and learned from these career professionals through the years,” said CEO Gene Brake. “They are an asset to the Woods Bros Realty family, and we are grateful for their loyalty.”

Woods Bros Realty, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, offers 126 years of real estate expertise. For more information about Woods Bros Realty, visit www.WoodsBros.com.


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Great Breeding   April 9th, 2015

Percheron Horses

Percheron Horses

The Woods family was involved in the breeding and sale of European draft horses, including French draft horses called Percherons. Their importing company predated the beginning of the development firm of Woods Brothers. The purebred horse business they started with partners in 1880 may be the first use of the Woods Bros name that would become famous when they established Watson, Woods Bros., & Kelly. The office was located downtown at the Lincoln Hotel and the barns and exercise areas were located between 33rd and 38th Streets and between Holdrege and Apple Streets.

Early buying trips were conducted by Mr. Watson who was highly credentialed and came to be considered one of the greatest judges of horses in the world. The first importation totaled one dozen Percherons and took five grueling weeks to travel west – first across the Atlantic to Montreal, and then by train to Lincoln. As the business matured, Mr. Watson undertook four annual purchasing expeditions. He filled the bottoms of his suitcases with cash, covered the money with a change of clothing, and sailed for Europe to buy.

The process was streamlined and business grew. Ships would sail back to New York with as many as eighty of the massive horses, each weighing between three quarters and one ton. Express trains would convey the animals to Nebraska. The entire travel time from Europe to Lincoln for the horses, hostlers, and other staff was just eleven days.

The operation became incredibly sophisticated and featured sumptuous advertising materials, specially modified railway spurs and switches, and facilities for showing horses in inclement weather and even at night. Watson, Woods Bros., and Kelly Company became the largest draft horse operation in the Midwest and second largest in the United States. Visiting the establishment on a typical day was said to be like attending a fancy large horse show.

After several years, the Kellys took over purchasing and made frequent trips to the British Isles and Europe to buy purebred draft horses. In 1912 they met up in France with 17-year-old Pace Woods Sr., who was spending a year overseas. The First World War loomed. Woods was at risk of conscription in the French Army, and although he wanted to stay, it was clear to family and business partners that he needed to return to the United States.

The Kellys had booked passage on a magnificent luxury liner leaving from England, but young Woods was eager to introduce the Kellys to a special customer in France. Pace Woods promised to cut his time in France short and to return with the Kellys if they would cancel their plans, rebook passage on a different ship, and extend their visit just long enough to meet this important customer. This they did, and RMS Titanic departed Southampton without the Kellys and young Woods as passengers.

Selecting the right horses can be profitable. Selecting the right ship can save your life.


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Jan Tucknott

Jan Tucknott

Jan Tucknott recently stepped down from her longtime position as Woods Bros Realty relocation director.

Tucknott jokes that she “is not tired” and is planning to spend more time with family.

“I have been honored to work with so many great people here at Woods Bros over the past several years,” Tucknott said. “I always loved the opportunities that each day presented me here.”

Nickie Casburn

Nickie Casburn

Taking the reins as the new relocation director is Nickie Casburn. Casburn has worked for Woods Bros Realty for more than 20 years, most recently as an executive assistant to the general manager. In her new role, she will work with companies relocating people to and from Lincoln, Beatrice, Seward, York, Grand Island and surrounding communities. She will also serve Woods Bros Realty agents with their client relocation needs.

Casburn, a Lincoln native, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in early childhood and elementary education. She and her husband, Paul, have three sons: two at UNL and one in high school.

Woods Bros Realty, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, offers 126 years of real estate expertise. For more information about Woods Bros Realty, visit www.WoodsBros.com.


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When he was eighty years old Mark Woods sat in his office situated on the thirteenth story of the old Sharp Building. In 1950 his office provided a vista of south Lincoln and literally miles of neighborhoods that Woods had helped to create. That day he wore his characteristic pince nez style glasses and he was quick with a smile while recalling a story from his boyhood in 1885.

Col. F.M. Woods

Col. F.M. Woods

In Woods’ recollection, his father, Colonel F.M. Woods, was facing a fidgety crowd at a land auction. There was not much bidding on the land for sale around 27th and R Streets, and the Colonel tried to, “ . . . bark the sale from $39 to $40 an acre.” Mark Woods remembered his father trying to perk up the bidders by making what the boy imagined to be some wild claims. “This land . . . will be worth hundreds of dollars an acre… Lincoln’s [population] will some day be 50,000.”

The crowd, Mark Woods said, “Gaped and twittered . . . the population in 1885 was only slightly over 10,000.” In disbelief on the way home, he asked his father if he truly thought Lincoln would grow to 50,000, and he heard the earnest reply, “Yes, Mark. I do.”

By the time Mark Woods was sharing these memories, he and his brothers had already helped to propel the city’s population to over 100,000.

“The entire business structure of a city is dependent upon … successful residential development. If people are properly, healthily, and happily housed you will have an inviting and prosperous city.”

It had been a lifetime of hard work and commitment. “The heartaches and fights were many – exciting days and great anticipations. Disappointments, too. But hope for the future is always present in any real estate development.”

These many years later, the excitement of new development and Woods’ sentiment of hope are just as alive and true today.


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Yes to the House: A Love Story   March 31st, 2015

Less than a year ago, Jordan and Aspen were individually preparing for their uncertain futures. Jordan had been looking for a house to buy, and Aspen had been looking for teaching jobs in different states when Jordan first met her. Messages and texts led to a dinner date in Omaha.

“From then we just knew something was different, and everything clicked,” Jordan said.

Within months, Jordan brought Aspen in on his home hunt to get her input. She was hesitant at first.

The new couple quickly learned about the fast-moving local real estate market when Jordan almost put an offer on a house in their desired neighborhood only to find that he’d have to jump a little faster.

Then they found a house on the same street online. Jordan called his HOME Real Estate agent, Adam Wiekamp, for a showing the next day by himself.

“Afterwards I was sent lots of pictures, hoping for my approval,” Aspen said. “He was very excited about it, and before we both knew it Jordan put in an offer, and it was accepted.”

Jordan proposes to Aspen in their future backyard.

Jordan proposes to Aspen in their future backyard.

But Jordan had more plans in mind for the home. With the help of his agent, Adam, they contacted the home’s listing agent, Tammy Peter of Woods Bros Realty, to ask the sellers if Jordan could use the backyard to propose to Aspen before the closing.

Another piece fell into place; the home sellers were happy to help because they had also been engaged in the home.

Jordan enlisted his friends to string lights in the backyard and prepare a fire-pit. He made up a story about having to check out some rocks in the yard. What she didn’t realize is that his friends were hiding with three cameras and a video camera.

“I explained to her how much I loved her and got down on my knee and asked her to marry me,” Jordan said. “She was very shocked and surprised and loved that I picked our future home together as a location for our engagement. A place that we will hold special in our hearts will now be a place we come home to each night. “

Aspen said yes to Jordan that night and yes to their future house. Their parents eagerly awaited the news.

“It was great that the homeowners allowed us to have the keys that night to be able to do this,” Jordan said.

Newly engaged couple Jordan and Aspen

Newly engaged couple Jordan and Aspen


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Lilac Time in the Lilac City   March 26th, 2015

lilacs_sm

Starting officially in 1946, Lincoln was known as the Lilac City. During the 1940s and 1950s, by proclamation of the Mayor, the city would enjoy two weeks each year of displaying and celebrating lilacs. The Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the initiative and their slogan was, “A Lilac in Every Yard.” Concerted plantings were encouraged at residences and were undertaken around all public schools and other public buildings, and in parks.

It appears that both Pace Woods, Sr. and his son, Pace, Jr., may have been unwitting trendsetters with regard to Lincoln and lilacs, and both had a strong affection for the flowering plants. When asked to share recollections of the two men as colleagues and as friends, associates independently brought up the flowers.

Vera Salmon, a veteran Woods Bros employee, worked closely with the men. “They both came to the office every day. They carried themselves differently, with the demeanor of old-world, courtly gentlemen. Very sharp and well dressed.” She continued, “Pace Sr. would bring in gorgeous antique vases of flowers to the Country Club office. I remember lilacs especially in spring.” There was a smile in her voice as she summoned this final memory, “Pace was aware of how beautiful his flower arrangements were. He would smile and say, ‘You may keep the flowers, but I would like to have the vase back.’”

Gib and Mary Eley were co-workers and close friends with the Woods father and son. In remembering their times at the office they recalled that, “Pace Sr. would bring in beautiful Cloisonné vases of lilacs and all kinds of flowers.”

Before its days as the Lilac City, the Woods family actively cultivated a love of the flower in Lincoln. The family grew lilacs at a nursery south of Sheridan Boulevard. Woods Bros developments of the early- and mid-twentieth century increasingly incorporated landscaping elements into their overall designs, and lilacs were regularly included.

Noted Lincoln landscape architect, Ernst Herminghaus, a designer for Woods Bros in the 1920s-1940s, often used lilacs as major landscape design elements. They were featured prominently in his plans for Pioneers Park and were included in a number of the sterling developments near the Country Club of Lincoln, including Woodsshire.


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Pam Rademacher

Pam Rademacher

Pam Rademacher joins the Lincolnshire office. She grew up in a military family, she has had the privilege of living many places, even Iceland! Her hobbies include running, reading and being a mom. Pam can be reached at 402-309-4652 or pam.rademacher@woodsbros.com.


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ACME Electric Systems is owned and operated by Joe Lutter of Lincoln, NE. Joe and his partner Bob have been servicing Lincoln’s electric needs since 2001. They possess years on on-the-job experience and are industry certified, committed to keeping up with the latest advances in the field.

Servicing both residential and commercial properties, you can count on ACME to deliver results and be quick and efficient while maintaining accuracy and professionalism. Call ACME for electrical audits, repairs, installations, build outs, and more.

The expertise Joe and Bob bring to their line of work is much appreciated by real estate agents and customers, alike.  “We never cut corners and we never will” – Bob Helfer.

Joe – 402-416-0041          Bob – 402-430-3744

Or Visit their website at www.joesresidentialelectric.com

ACME


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Woods Bros Realty agents and staff helped to raise more than $3,000 during the sixth annual Soup or Chili Cook-off for Cancer Wednesday in Lincoln.

The Chili Cook-Off raised $3,081 for the American Cancer Society through $1 voting beans. Voters were made up of Woods Bros and HOME agents and staff, along with staff from Nebraska Land Title and Abstract (NLTA), HomeServices Lending, HomeServices of Nebraska Insurance and Larabee School of Real Estate. The group has raised more than $13,000 at these events to date.

This year the Celebrity Judge Award went to John Janovy of the Woods Bros Realty Lincolnshire Square office for his T&T Chili. Celebrity judges were Channel 8 Eyewitness News Anchor Rod Fowler, Lazlo’s Owner Jay Jarvis, and Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel.

JanovyWinner

The People’s Choice Award (with the most beans) went to Mary Ryan of the HOME Real Estate Cotner office for her Jalapeño Popper Turkey Chili.

MirandaRollsCelebrity judges also awarded a new prize for Best Cinnamon Rolls to Miranda Watson with the Woods Bros Lincolnshire Square office.

“We’ve had a lot of cancer within our organization, and it’s just affected so many families, so many agents, that we wanted to do something,” HomeServices of Nebraska CEO Gene Brake said. “This was our way of participating and trying to help find a cure.”

The 2015 Woods Bros participants were: Megan Yank, Country Club Plaza office; John Janovy, Lincolnshire Square office; Jayne Debus, Wilderness Hills office. Kristin Boucher represented HomeServices Lending, Peggy Forcier cooked on behalf of NLTA, and Mike Hasemann souped up for the Support Services corporate team.

More photos from the event can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/2015-hsne-chili-cookoff.


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Hasemann named Shining Star   February 27th, 2015

Mike Hasemann with CEO Gene Brake

Mike Hasemann with CEO Gene Brake

Mike Hasemann, of our accounting department, was recently named a Shining Star.

His nomination read:

“Mike is amazing and has been wearing so many hats!  He goes out of his way to help with anything needed and always is pleasant and has a smile on his face!  I have never once seen him stressed or overwhelmed even in the midst of year-end reports and start of new year … all this while covering 3 positions!  Mike truly is a shining star!”

Shining Stars are HomeServices of Nebraska associates, including managers, employees and agents, who help make our company a better place for our customers, clients and for each other. Nominees must exemplify the following:

  1. The person went out of their way to exceed the HomeServices of Nebraska Standards and best practices.
  2. The gesture or service was above and beyond normal job requirements or expectations.
  3. The employee, manager or agent went beyond the call of duty to ensure the needs of a customer, fellow employee or agent.

Anyone is invited to nominate employees, agents or managers who have displayed The Shining Star Spirit. For someone to be recognized, a Shining Star Nomination Form must be submitted by the 15th of every month. *A participant is eligible to win one (1) time per year.

Shining Star Values

Positive Attitude – A positive attitude is focusing on what is useful, beneficial and worthwhile in each and every situation. Your attitude is displayed through your words, actions and facial expressions with your customers and those around you.

Accountable - Accountable is being responsible for your actions and behaviors as they impact customers and those around you.

Responsive – Being responsive is being open to the situation as it occurs and responding in a sensitive manner to meet needs and expectations.

Teamwork – Teamwork is helping each other win and taking pride in each other’s victories. No one person or department alone can provide for the comprehensive needs of our customers. We achieve our goals when working together as a team.

No Excuses – A culture of no excuses acknowledges when mistakes or perceived shortcomings are made and seeks to correct or make right rather than rationalize or justify the problem.

Exemplary - To serve as a model or example of positive action; strive for high performance standards and deliver results. Demonstrate technical competence. Set high standards for self, demonstrating integrity and superior customer service skills.

Responsibility – Responsibility is acting with initiative and understanding that our organization and our customers are depending on us.

Service - Service is everything we do to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers at all times.

Safety – Demonstrate the importance of safety and how it may influence our daily lives.


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OldSaleSignThe natural development of young cities often clustered in their centers. By 1908, Lincoln’s roughly 43,000 inhabitants mostly traveled by way of mud streets (with nearly 300 miles worth) and 75 miles of streetcar lines. The growing city’s edges were no longer so sharp and the time was right to continue moving outward from the cluster and connecting burgeoning additions.

In 1910 the area south of South Street (between 13th and 27th to Calvert) was still a beautiful tract of cornfield. It was about then the Woods Brothers began executing a 20-year plan for its development, and they purchased much of that land, some for as much as $600 per acre.

There was confusion in the growth of Lincoln at the time. Mark Woods reflected that, “… buildings just went up according to the owner’s urge.” It was time for much-needed residential planning, both to create order and to beautify his city. It was a major challenge to lure citizens past South Street, which mostly created the peak of a natural hill, and also to lure them past the railroad tracks to the east (Rock Island Line, today a hiker/biker trail that meets South Street at about 32nd).

Their plans for motivating people included winding streets with structures set back away from them, all landscaped with shrubbery and trees. These large areas would lend to the city a distinctive character and an aesthetic appeal that shines brightly still. Their innovations would guide growth east- and southward, and help add to what Woods called Lincoln’s “… spider web development.”


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“IT Guys” named Shining Stars   February 24th, 2015

Bryan Snodgrass and Steve Dowse, of our Information Technology “Help Desk” department, were recently named Shining Stars.

Their nomination read:

“Bryan & Steve face many obstacles when working with us day to day. The way they negotiate through them inspires everyone.  We are thrilled to have them on our team and we want them to know how much we appreciate the work they do for us. They are truly our Shining Stars.”

Bryan Snodgrass & Steve Dowse

Bryan Snodgrass & Steve Dowse

Shining Stars are HomeServices of Nebraska associates, including managers, employees and agents, who help make our company a better place for our customers, clients and for each other. Nominees must exemplify the following:

  1. The person went out of their way to exceed the HomeServices of Nebraska Standards and best practices.
  2. The gesture or service was above and beyond normal job requirements or expectations.
  3. The employee, manager or agent went beyond the call of duty to ensure the needs of a customer, fellow employee or agent.

Anyone is invited to nominate employees, agents or managers who have displayed The Shining Star Spirit. For someone to be recognized, a Shining Star Nomination Form must be submitted by the 15th of every month. *A participant is eligible to win one (1) time per year.

Shining Star Values

Positive Attitude – A positive attitude is focusing on what is useful, beneficial and worthwhile in each and every situation. Your attitude is displayed through your words, actions and facial expressions with your customers and those around you.

Accountable - Accountable is being responsible for your actions and behaviors as they impact customers and those around you.

Responsive – Being responsive is being open to the situation as it occurs and responding in a sensitive manner to meet needs and expectations.

Teamwork – Teamwork is helping each other win and taking pride in each other’s victories. No one person or department alone can provide for the comprehensive needs of our customers. We achieve our goals when working together as a team.

No Excuses – A culture of no excuses acknowledges when mistakes or perceived shortcomings are made and seeks to correct or make right rather than rationalize or justify the problem.

Exemplary - To serve as a model or example of positive action; strive for high performance standards and deliver results. Demonstrate technical competence. Set high standards for self, demonstrating integrity and superior customer service skills.

Responsibility – Responsibility is acting with initiative and understanding that our organization and our customers are depending on us.

Service - Service is everything we do to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers at all times.

Safety – Demonstrate the importance of safety and how it may influence our daily lives.


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IMG_1226.JPG

Woods Bros Realty offices helped raise more than $2,600 for the American Heart Association during the company’s annual “Paper Heart Challenge.”

The Lincolnshire Square office won the challenge, raising more than $1,000 from the sales of different colored paper hearts. The winning office earns a breakfast cooked by corporate staff.

Woods Bros Realty and its sister companies hold the “Paper Heart Challenge” each February during National Heart Health month.


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Matan Gill, Cory Scott and Ben Dinger
Matan Gill, Cory Scott and Ben Dinger

Woods Bros Realty was pleased to be a sponsor of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development’s JumpStart Challenge for the second year in a row. Woods Bros and its parent company, HomeServices of Nebraska, awarded a $1,000 cash prize to the team of Cory Scott and Matan Gill, who presented an innovative solution named “myBlock” to the company’s neighborhood reviews challenge.

“Not only was myBlock well designed, Cory and Matan did excellent research into the business and regulatory side of the problem,” said Ben Dinger, Internet Services Manager for HomeServices of Nebraska, who, alongside General Manager Shannon Harner, awarded the prize to Scott and Gill.

LPED’s JumpStart challenge involves corporate sponsors presenting an industry problem to various teams who, in turn, pitch a solution at a later date to the companies. HomeServices was joined by Cabela’s and nMotion accelerator in judging the Challenge, which is now in its third year. For more information about the JumpStart Challenge, visit www.jumpstartchallenge.com or the official press release.


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Woods Bros Realty celebrated the close of its 125th year and its top sales professionals with an Awards Banquet Feb. 13 at the Country Club of Lincoln.

Vladimir Oulianov of the Country Club Plaza office was named the Salesperson of the Year with the Most Listings Closed and Highest Volume of Closed Listings.

Oulianov and Craig Loeck of the Lincolnshire Square office were both recipients of the Century Award for closing more than 100 transactions in the calendar year. Loeck also had the Most Transactions Closed and the Most Sales Units Closed. Ann E. Deck had the Highest Volume of Closed Sales.

Russ Quick of the Lincolnshire Square office was honored with the Woods Bros REALTOR® of the Year award for 2014 for his willingness to help others and his contributions to the company and community.

Angela Stueckrath of the Country Club Plaza office won the Excellence in Outgoing Referrals award for helping people relocate in other communities. Sales Couple of the Year went to Bob and Sally Peterson of the Country Club Plaza office, and the Sales Team of the Year was Cindi Hahn and Russ Quick. The year’s Rising Star for most success within the start of her career was Janet Smith of the Wilderness Hills office.

The overall Outstanding Achievement award went to Kelby Nitz for his 320 percent increase in sales from 2013 to 2014. Office Outstanding Achievement Awards also went to: Beth Scholz of the Lincolnshire Square office, Marsha Turbett of the Country Club Plaza office, Tammy Peter of the Wilderness Hills office, Chris Schwieger of the Grand Island office, Linda McCall of the Beatrice office and Gayle Coffin of the York office.

Top Sales Associates by office were: Vladimir Oulianov, Country Club Plaza; Craig A. Loeck, Lincolnshire Square; Jayne V. Debus, Wilderness Hills; Chuck Winkler, Grand Island; Shelly Nitz, Seward; Gayle Coffin, York; and Pam Norton, Beatrice.

To see more of the top awards and photos, please visit www.WoodsBros.com/Awards.


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