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Kansas City Homes & Style is proud to feature the industry leaders in real estate, home building and remodeling


Concerned the economy and CFPB are going to affect your real estate transactions? We can help! Guest Speakers

Ted C Jones PhD

Chief Economist/Senior Vice President

Marty Albertson

Senior Group Vice President

September 10, 2015

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A Proud Heritage of Helping Others Achieve the Dream of Homeownership The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRAR) formed According to data from the Kansas City Regional Association of in 2001, when the Metropolitan Kansas City Board of Realtors merged Realtors and Heartland MLS, the Kansas City region has seen a more with the Johnson County Board of Realtors. While that makes the than 10 percent increase in existing home sales year to date. The association young in many respects, it is also affiliated with the average sales price for existing homes has jumped 6.2 percent versus National Association of Realtors, whose history June 2014 to $199,806. In addition to higher sales and heritage have become synonymous with prices, sellers have also seen decreases in days on helping people achieve the American dream of market with a current average of 60 days. homeownership. KCRAR is proud to be a part of Buyers, on the other hand, have had to adjust to that amazing history, and proud to play a part in the pace of the current market which has brought helping people achieve such a deeply meaningful with it an increase in competition. The inventory and impactful goal. of existing homes on the market in the Kansas City There is just something about homeownership area is down, having fewer than 10,000 homes that strikes a chord within us. Perhaps it is because available. it anchors us to the past and to a continuum of people While the lack of inventory presents a real that have loved the same space, the same land, as challenge, finding the perfect home and community we do. Perhaps it is because homeownership allows is possible. KCRAR recommends that buyers us to put down roots and become part of a lasting receive loan pre-approval prior to beginning their legacy that lives on long beyond our own lives. home search, as it allows them to act more quickly Whatever the reason homeownership is so deeply upon finding the right property. This proves to be meaningful to so many, there is no place better especially important when multiple buyers are Scan Our QR Code to to own a home than in the Kansas City area. The interested in the same home, which has become Kansas City area has historically enjoyed a strong increasingly common with the limited market supply. Watch Our Video on and steady housing market, considerably less subject Whatever the market conditions, KCRAR works the 2015 Kansas City to the dramatic changes seen in other parts of the tirelessly to support area Realtors as they help Real Estate Trends country, and one that always remains competitive. residents make some of the most important Currently home sales are reaching record highs decisions of their lives. Buying or selling a home in many parts of the country. Data from the is momentous and deserves more than expertise. National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicated It deserves dedication backed by the profound that June 2015 marked the highest sales rate in influence of many others. more than eight years. This early summer surge in demand combined with a shortage of homes on the market has caused sales prices to nudge upward as we move into fall. Such a competitive market demands that Realtors have access to the most up-to-the-minute listing information as well as the support of technological services and ongoing education, as well as extensive marketing resources and networks. These are some of the many reasons agents choose to join KCRAR, to best support the buyer and sellers.

Find a Realtor in the KC Area at

KCRealtorLink.com


REMODELERS

BUILDERS

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

WELCOME! 4

Top Real Estate Agent

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Top Real Estate Team

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Top Real Estate Broker

Lindsay Schulze The Johns Family Team Mike Phillips

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Rookie Real Estate Agent

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Rural Real Estate Agent

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Million Dollar Listing Agents

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Rising Real Estate Team

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New Home Community Agent

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Distinctive Craftsmanship & Exceptional Service Builder

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Custom Home Builder

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Passive House Builder

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Maintenance Provided Builder

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Luxury Contemporary Home Builder

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Million Dollar Home Builder

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Premier Dream Home Builder

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Whole House Remodeler

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Interior Renovations Remodeler

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Kitchen & Bath Remodeler

Sara Snook Patty Farr

The Goldstein Team

Introducing

Traditions Home Group Diana Bryan-Smith

James Engle Custom Homes LLC Roeser Homes

Prairie Design Build Tom French Construction Suma Design & Construction

Kansas City Homes & Style is excited to present STARS, a special annual issue showcasing outstanding real estate agents and teams, home builders and remodelers.

Turn the pages and meet the people who can make your dream home a reality, read their stories and learn more about these talented individuals. Stories by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matt Kocourek

Riffe Homes & Development B.L. Rieke Custom Homes Total Home Remodeling Ault Design-Construction Heartland Kitchen & Bath

Kansas City Homes & Style is proud to be a supporter of the ALS Association / Keith Worthington Chapter. A portion of the proceeds from each STARS participant is benefitting this worthy chapter. Join our team or become a virtual walker as we support ALS at the Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, September 19th at Arrowhead Stadium. To sign up, just go to web.als.org and join the Kansas City Homes & Styles Stars team as we walk to help bring hope to people living with ALS.

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TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT Lindsay Schulze

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Reece Nichols

If Lindsay Schulze was still in high school, there is no doubt that she would not only be sitting at the cool kids’ table, but she would also be class president. This driven real estate agent has rock star written all over her. Friendly and approachable don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to describing her engaging and upbeat attitude. It’s no wonder she is the top producer on the #1 Koehler Bortnick Team (Reece & Nichols) because the fuel on which she runs is unwavering passion for what she does. To refer to her as a go-getter is an understatement, to say the very least. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Lindsay made her way to the metro area by way of the University of Kansas, from which she earned a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications in 2004. Shortly thereafter, she took a job within the advertising arena but soon realized it did not fill her soul. Upon the advice of a family friend, she looked into a career in real estate and realized its endless potential, not only in terms of income but also in terms of flexibility. Excited about being her own boss, Lindsay quickly shifted gears and found her footing within the Koehler Bortnick team. She hit the ground running and within her first year was recognized as Rookie of the Year. “I definitely pushed myself hard at the beginning, working seven days a week and upward of 80 hours a week,” she noted. Now that she is more established in her career, Lindsay still maintains that strong drive to be the best she can be, not only in her business endeavors, but also for her clients, and she now has the unwavering support of a loving family by her side to continually inspire, encourage and motivate her. “I am beyond blessed to have a wonderful husband, my two children and even my two dogs! I could not do what I do without their encouragement,” she smiled. While being available on practically a round-the-clock basis for her clients might seem daunting, this Five Star professional wouldn’t have it any other way, which is an integral part of her incredible success. Lindsay’s communication with her clients does not end at the closing table. Her entire business is 95% referral based, an extraordinary accomplishment in and of itself. “I continually stay in front of my clients,” she noted. “I make sure I am constantly in their zone. I send out mailers and letters and I always ask for referrals.” Lindsay is known for her communication prowess, her aggressive negotiation

5000 W. 135th Street Leawood, Kansas

913.485.7211

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skills and her thorough knowledge of the market. This award-winning realtor was featured this year as the cover agent for article and was also recognized as Twenties” for 2010. Additionally,

with a six-page “20 in Their touted her as “Best in Client


Satisfaction for 2007-2015.” She is also a certified member of RELO, America’s

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worldwide. “I don’t want anyone to have a terrible experience with me,” she asserted. “I promise to always do a good job and really do treat my clients like family. I understand that buying a home is one of the largest investments they will ever make, and I take it quite seriously, but I also make sure it is a lot of fun in the process. I want to make sure it is the best investment they can make.” Lindsay has experience with buyers and sellers on both sides of the state line and has been a force with which to be reckoned over the past 11 years. In 2014, she sold 86 homes for a total of $27 million in sales, and because she gains notable velocity in terms of productivity each year, 2015 will undoubtedly prove to be a yet another banner year. Give her a goal and she will not only meet it, but also exceed it. Her relentless and enthusiastic commitment to her work pays off in spades for her clients, as they know that Lindsay will always have their best interests in mind. “I do my homework. I am particular and detail–oriented and will always be upfront with the pros and cons of any potential transaction, but I also tell my clients that it is 100% their choice,” she said. “And I don’t care if it takes them three months or six months to decide. My clients are not part of a ‘to do’ list or a checklist. I want them to feel comfortable with me and confident in the fact that I will exceed their expectations when it comes to my services.” And even though she might not fully turn herself off from her job, she really wouldn’t want it any other way. “I wouldn’t trade what I do for the world,” she smiled. “I love every inch of anything that has to do with this business. I love living and working here in Kansas City. Everyone is so friendly and inviting; the housing prices are realistic, making options affordable for most anyone; and I truly believe that Kansas City is a hidden little gem. We have a great city here.”

For more information on Lindsay Schulze, visit her online at LindsaysHomes.com

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TOP REAL ESTATE TEAM the johns family team

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Keller Williams Partners You can’t help but be sold when you meet the incredible individuals with the johns family team at Keller Williams in Overland Park, Kansas. Greeting people with open arms is their philosophy, and even if you are not blood-related, you instantly feel right at home. They treat their clients and run their business as if you were part of the family. This is truly their business philosophy. “Our team members and our clients are part of the family,” expressed Vickie Feitl, Director of Operations and who is a licensed broker in Kansas and Missouri. “Judy Johns and her family, Dave, Steve and Coach, brought Keller Williams to the Midwest in 1999. They have served well over 4000 families’ real estate needs over the years. The family is still going strong and excited for the future, and one of their highlights is serving multigenerations.”

With nearly four decades of real estate experience to her name, Judy Johns is the consummate team player. With such an impressive resume, she could position herself at levels far above others, but that would be completely contrary to her style. “The familiar expression we all know so well is to treat others as you would want to be treated,” Judy noted. “However, our focus is on treating people as they want to be treated.” Joining team founder Judy and self-described “ring master” Vickie are Judy’s husband Ken and their sons, Steve, Team Leader, Listing Partner, and Luxury Home Specialist and Dave, Listing/Buying Partner and New Home Specialist. Also a part of this dynamic group are Chris Ojeda, Listing/Buyer Specialist; Eric Hill, Listing Coordinator; and Jadean Farenden, Buyer Specialist. Added Steve, “We understand that everyone has his or her own story and that one’s perception is one’s reality, and that is that person’s individual story. We get that and we want to listen to that story. The more we know the better we serve our clients’ needs at a higher level.” While accolades and awards run rampant in their office, they do not take center stage. In fact, the johns family team remains hard-pressed to verbally convey past career praises, and that’s fine with them. It’s not about the awards, it’s about the rewards they get from serving their clients successfully. “We absolutely love it when our clients are happy and excited, whether they are buying

11005 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, Kansas

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or selling a home,” smiled Judy. “Our business is all about the people, not about the money.” The johns family team are true team players and pride themselves on making the buying and selling processes seamless and effortless. Their use of current real estate technology is at the core of their business. One of the most popular tools they offer their clients is the johns family team real estate app. This app is cutting edge and can be used by their clients on the go, wherever they may be, to find in depth information on listings


in the area through GPS technology. You, too, can download this app today at www.jftapp.com or text KWKCHOMES to 87778. “We anticipate our clients needs and provide tools for them before they even realize what their needs may be,” noted Steve. “We understand that if communication is open and often, they will feel confident throughout the process. It is our job to mitigate potential stress, guide our clients through the process and keep them informed and educated from start to finish.” “In an effort to de-emotionalize the selling process, we talk to sellers about a house,” explained Judy. “And we talk to buyers about a home, because we understand what an emotional experience it is to purchase their next home.” Of course, every successful business understands that keeping a keen eye on the bottom line is an integral part of the health of the business, but that truly remains secondary to what this family oriented team takes to heart every single day. “Sure, we have to run our business by the numbers, but at the end of the day, it is all about transforming lives of buyers and sellers, as well as the lives of our team members. If we maintain our focus on that ideal, then everything else takes care of itself,” said Steve. Despite their obvious prowess for the heart of real estate, the johns family team will be the first to admit they are not perfect. “If we are aware of something that needs correction, we immediately take of it,” stated Judy. “We are here to correct, not protect” is our motto. Added Steve, “We realize that there is always room for improvement, and we are constantly learning through continuing education classes, seminars, conferences and master mind groups. We want to make sure we continually deliver the best service we possibly can to our clients and not only exceed their expectations, but also our own in the process. When we grow as a team, we are in a better position to serve our clients at a higher level.” Above all, engaging in a real estate transaction with the johns team translates to experiencing exceptional caring customer service, open and honest communication, a positive experience delivered with purpose, commitment and determination, and most important, a successful closing process. Once you become a part of this dedicated family team, you will undoubtedly also become a “raving fan.” “It’s our pleasure and our honor to have delivered or that we will deliver in the future, the best real estate experience to all past, present and future clients,” smiled Judy.

For more information on the johns family team, visit them on Facebook at “kw – the johns family team”, online at www.thejohnsfamilyteam.com or call today 913.906.5454. Download their mobile real estate app at www.jftapp.com or text KWKCHOMES to 87778

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TOP REAL ESTATE BROKER Mike Phillips

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Century 21 All-Pro

Mike Phillips is the kind of real estate professional whose passions and ambitions always seem to be on full throttle. He presents as enthusiastic, high-energy and committed to getting the best results for his clients. Having been ranked not once but twice by The Wall Street Journal and Real Trends as the #1 Realtor in the US at one time strongly supports the notion that he is one-in-a-million, but the tenacity he has for the world of real estate strongly suggests he might just be once-in-a-lifetime. Either way, Mike has cornered the market when it comes to setting himself apart from the pack as the top broker in the industry. The very least you should know about Mike: He owns two offices and oversees 100 agents; he was originally licensed in 1999 and started his Century 21 All-Pro franchise three years later as owner/broker; he was born in Georgia but moved around appreciably, and spent the better part of his formative years in Newport Beach, California; and he bears no shame reflex in admitting he never wants to be the smartest guy in the room. “If I am the smartest guy in the room, then I am in the wrong room,” he noted. “I always want to learn more.” Still, Mike presents an esoteric fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things real estate and his mere presence commands attention and respect. He renders a no-nonsense approach to his business and is comfortable when it comes to speaking his mind and enjoying the results: Home ownership is for everyone. Mike was certainly born with a competitive spirit, but he prefers to shine the light on those with whom he works. He understands that this business is one of pure give and take. He gives credit where it is due and will take the blame when it is necessary. Not only does he continually feed his appetite for knowledge academically as an instructor for the HUD/REO continuing education class at KCRAR, where he has not only taught thousands of students but has also learned a great deal in return from them, he also turns to veteran Realtor, Marshall Stapleton, who brokers Mike’s

1209 NW North Ridge, Ste. A Blue Springs, Missouri

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Blue Springs, Missouri office, as a true genius from whom so much can be learned. “Marshall is a legend,” Mike emphasized. “He is a Realtor Emeritus. He is amazing, incredibly smart, energetic and an esteemed gentleman, as well. I could not do what I do without him.” It’d be a challenge to find someone who can simultaneously out perform and out market Mike. For example, in 2008, he realized 1,148 real estate transactions and had a total sales volume of $68.2 million. With sellers, he is all ears and will intently listen to their needs, and buyers know that Mike will work tirelessly on their behalf in order to fulfill their desires in home ownership. Backed by an extremely talented


team of agents, Mike remains dedicated to his penchant for learning and spreads the wealth in that regard. “We achieve our fantastic productivity per person ratio by training and teaching our staff hands-on using the most advanced technology in the real estate world,” he emphasized. “Our top 10 agents have sold more houses this year than any other local offices.” One of Mike’s greatest passions rests in work force, blue collar, affordable housing. No one else has sold more HUD homes than he has. He aggressively lists and markets them and takes full advantage of all technologies to keep his listings viable and active. Partnering with that interest is his passion for diversity, and his office embraces all cultures and enjoys team members of different ethnicities and lifestyles. Mike is also well versed in the art of streamlining his operations. In addition to his agents, he has a staff of four who are wholly committed to take on any and all projects and are treated as business partners, not simply employees. “We build careers here,” emphasized Mike. “My team is with me for the long term.” Mike fancies himself somewhat of a matchmaker, too, when it comes to effectively partnering buyers with Realtors. As he sees it, it is his job to make the phone ring for his agents. He does this by “marketing the heck out of the listings” on over 600 different websites. “I like to match our buyer inquiries up to synchronize with our Realtors, considering expertise in certain areas, the personality compatibility and social communication style,” he said. “This way, everybody is very happy with who they are working with.” He has successfully learned to navigate his business with seemingly flawless execution, but it truly takes an “all hands on deck” mindset to achieve that success. “We are a competitive yet cohesive group of professionals with a ‘rising tide lifts all ships’ mindset,” he noted. “Our office culture is important to our successes and our agents well being and happiness. All of this reflects in the quality of our work and in the end, the most important part, the satisfaction of our clients.”

For more information on Mike Phillips, visit him online at c21ofkc.com S

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ROOKIE REAL ESTATE AGENT Sara Snook

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RE/MAX Revolution

Don’t let the rookie title mislead you. Even though she has been a real estate agent for a year, Sara Snook has the mindset and work ethic of a seasoned professional, buoyed by the determination of one who truly wants to make a positive impact in the industry. When she decided to make the transition from her former career in financial services to real estate, it was as if she was destined to make her mark in this arena. “Being in real estate is something I have always wanted to do,” this Platte County native and resident reflected. “I graduated from college with a degree in Housing and Interiors and worked in interior design after college. Helping people with their houses has always been an interest of mine, only now I do it in other ways.” But before Sara made that leap to follow the true passions of her heart, she spent 20 years working in financial services, but realizes the lessons and experiences from that endeavor can still be readily applied to her work today. “I worked for an investment company for 20 years,” she said. “But now I have come back to my passion and help people with the biggest investment they will ever make –– buying a home.” Working as an agent for broker Stephen Smith of RE/MAX Revolution in Gladstone, Missouri, Sara is licensed in both Kansas and Missouri and literally hit the ground running when she began her business. “I have been able to do a variety of transactions, including farms, residential and small commercial,” she noted. She also has business partners in the auction and large commercial arena which allows her to be ready to help no matter what the property or situation. Needless to say, Sara has built a strong repertoire of great business partners. To what does she attribute such accelerated velocity with respect to her success? “For me, it is all about client care,” she said. “I am very organized and stay on top of things and I also love the variety of the work. My clients are my top priority.” Sara still employs that designer eye; only this time it is less on paint color and furniture placement and more specifically on structural issues, such as cracks in the walls or foundation problems. “As a representative of my clients, I look for imperfections in prospective houses. It is my job to do everything in my clients’ best interests,” she explained. “It’s one thing to not be satisfied with the paint color, as that is easy to change, but when

2850 Kendallwood Parkway Kansas City, Missouri

816.225.4052

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it comes to the bigger issues such as foundation and structural problems, that’s a different story.” Just as Sara provided investment advice to her clients when she worked in the financial services industry, she still defers to the skills of providing wise counsel and guidance to her clients.


“If I feel a particular home is a bad investment, I will let my clients know,” Sara said. “I want to ensure they make a wise choice. I always do my due diligence to make sure my clients are fully informed.” Sara is grateful and humbled by the amazing support provided to her by her Broker, and everyone in the office. “I am surrounded by outstanding professionals in my office,” emphasized Sara. “We are not in competition with one another. Instead, we help each other out. I love the people I work with, including my clients and business partners.” While Sara focuses on being a true educator for her clients, she does so by virtue of attentiveness to her own development. “I continually set goals for myself which I review regularly to help stay on track,” she emphasized. Sara has two degrees, including a Master’s degree in Management and training in negotiation, as well as project management. All of that training has come full circle to allow Sara to be a trusted advisor to her clients. “My entire background has brought me to this point, and I can draw upon the tools and information I have acquired over the years for each and every transaction,” said Sara. And if you inquired of Sara about her sales figures in the past year, the answer does not come quickly. It’s not because she doesn’t keep track. It’s because her focus is on a higher level. “Nowhere in my business plan does it say ‘to sell the most real estate in Kansas City,’” she commented. “My goal is to be the most professional and deliver a high degree of client care.” Highly involved within the community, Sara is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS®; the Women’s Council of REALTORS®; and the Multiple Listing Service. She is also very involved in Kickin’ for Kids which benefits the Children’s Miracle Network.

For more information on Sara Snook, visit her online at sarasnookhomes.com S

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RURAL REAL ESTATE AGENT Patty Farr

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RE/MAX House of Dreams For Patty Farr, an independent RE/MAX agent and Broker/Owner of the House of Dreams in Smithville and her newest location in Platte City, Missouri, her bottom line is not measured in dollars and cents, but in acts of service rendered selflessly from the heart. Being a real estate agent is simply a side benefit of who she truly is. Patty grew up in the Platte County area so she knows this land like the back of her hand. Born of homegrown sensibilities and a natural desire to be of service to others, her undeniable heart of compassion can be seen in all she does. She loves this area. It’s where she raised her two sons and it’s where she leaves footprints of service all over the land. She eagerly maintains a steady finger on the pulse of all the activity that makes her hometown exciting. She is also the kind of real estate agent who is not afraid to throw on some jeans and boots and trudge through a muddy field if that is what it takes to get the job done and the property sold. “I dress for the walk,” she noted. “I have walked many acres of land with clients.” An award-winning and highly respected real estate agent specializing in the Platte County and Clay County areas, Patty has extensive experience within the rural and farmland in these areas, as well as the towns in these counties including Platte City, Smithville and in all small towns throughout the area north of Kansas City. Sure, she can assist buyers and sellers in a wide range of price brackets, markets and neighborhoods, but her heart leans heavily towards the rural aspects of real estate. In fact, out of the 189 closings she secured in 2014, roughly 75% of them were located on rural routes. “It’s all I know,” she confessed. “It’s where I grew up. I am really just a small town, country person who appreciates friendly and honest people.” As the recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Award for Rural Development multiple times through the years, Patty has secured her spot when standing on

House of Dreams

the mantel of experienced rural real estate agents, and even though buying and selling any type of property requires the proverbial stack of paper work, Patty

1103 S. 169 Highway N Smithville, Missouri

816.873.0300 2000 Kentucky Ave. Platte City, Missouri

816.858.9009 PattyFarr.com

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appreciates a mindset where a handshake can unofficially seal the deal. “I get to work with some of the friendliest people in this market,” she smiled. “Not only are they great people, but many of them become good friends.” Not only is Patty a go-to realtor within the rural market, she is an educator, as well. After all, she wants to make sure her clients get the best deal possible. She understands that listing and marketing land for sale can be challenging, especially when the market gets a bit persnickety. It’s one thing to just tidy up the property. It’s another thing to get it ready for sale. Patty’s job is to ensure a property is ready to list and it’s also her job to ensure that buyers get the best price possible on that property.


And understanding rural properties is not just about knowing when to lace up your work boots. It takes a comprehensive understanding of the lingo and environment. “With a rural property such as farmland, I have to know what is tillable; what is treed and wooded and what the farmer is currently making on that property,” Patty explained. Rural real estate can sometimes seem like a daunting matter to a lot of folks, but Patty stands by her clients every (sometimes muddy!) step of the way. In fact, it’s a good thing that Patty often has a bit of mud on her boots, as that is something in which her clients can put their trust. “They don’t care about my outside image and appearance,” she smiled. “These are farmers. They just want to know I am doing everything in their best interests, and if that means trudging across the field with them, then that is what I will happily do.” Patty remains consistently on top of her game and brings her all to the table so the client can have the necessary tools, knowledge and information to confidently engage in a successful transaction. As an experienced agent in rural properties, Patty tirelessly tends to the details and can articulate about soil types, water rights and zoning rights, all without losing anything in translation. She will also confidently guide clients through a plethora of complicated issues, including property taxes, easements and encumbrances, proximity to neighbors, overall infrastructure, and perhaps even a good old story or two about the land and its previous owners. When assisting clients in buying or selling rural property, it is imperative to select an agent who can make the transaction seamless and, yes, even fun. Patty has a long history of rural sales and is outstanding in her field, literally and figuratively. Despite its laid back appeal and ambiance, rural real estate is a complex business and should be handled by someone who truly understands the subject matter. Patty has that understanding and is indispensible to her clients when it comes to eradicating any surprises at closing time. Patty does her homework for her clients, giving them the power of knowledge and peace of mind.

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MILLION DOLLAR LISTING AGENTS The Goldstein Team

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Suzy & Erich Goldstein

When Suzy Goldstein gave up her English and Public Speaking teaching career in 1974 to pursue a career allowing her to expand upon her innate talents, passions and skills, she had no idea at the time that a new door would open up that would allow her to continually open doors –– front doors, that is –– to people all over the KC metro area. With over 33 years of real estate experience, Suzy stands at the helm of The Goldstein Team, a name that is synonymous with setting the gold standard in the real estate market, particularly with respect to high-end, luxury, million-dollar homes. Suzy essentially hit the ground running when she acquired her real estate license in 1983 and shows no signs of losing any acceleration now, delivering the best in service, knowledge and expertise to her clients. Suzy’s natural tenacity and unwavering enthusiasm led her to become an award-winning Realtor from Day-1. A licensed Realtor in both Kansas and Missouri, she initially worked with Kroh Brothers, which later become the J.D. Reece Company. In her first year, she was heralded as Rookie of the Year, and as she continually gained momentum, she escalated to Associate Broker and then a founding member of the Hallbrook Realty Team, which positioned her to reign within the luxury real estate sector. Suzy was hand-selected by Jerry Reece as one of four on-site agents when development on the prestigious Hallbrook subdivision commenced in October of 1987. “I was fortunately selected by Jerry Reece for the Hall family marketing, and that connection put me in sync with the upper-bracket market,” recalled Suzy, who mainly works with sellers now, but has three Buyer Agents on her team, as well as an expert leasing agent. “I have a special body of knowledge of homes in Hallbrook and am a community expert for the neighborhood, considered to be the premier upper bracket development in the city,” said Suzy. “I sold the last Hallbrook lot for nearly $1 million! Now our focus in this community is on luxury re-sales.” One of the most prestigious addresses in the metro area, Hallbrook encompasses 720 acres and is home to 485 families. Since its inception, the Hallbrook Team and the Goldstein Team have been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 Real Estate Teams in Greater Kansas City, overseeing the sales of some of the most distinctive luxury homes and villas in Leawood. When people hire the Goldstein Team, they not only have access to leading industry experts, but also are within arm’s reach of some of the best service providers in the metro area. “When you work with us, you also get our people, and we work with some of the most

11150 Overbrook Road #150 Leawood, Kansas

913.345.8877

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awesome people,” said Suzy. “We are delighted to share our carefully honed resources –– ‘SUZY’S LIST’ –– with our clients. We expect the best to prepare our sellers for the market and help our buyers tune-up after move-in, and our service providers are poised to deliver.” As with any great success story, key players are an essential component, and The Goldstein Team is no exception. Working alongside Suzy are son, Team Leader and


Associate Broker, Erich Goldstein; Lora Jones, Margaret Stewart and Cara Cowsert, Listing Associates and Buyer-Agents; Leslie Courtney, Leasing and Property Management Specialist; and Debbie Van Noy, Transaction Manager. Because of the tireless work efforts of this group, the Goldstein Team has been awarded the Five Star Best in Client Satisfaction award by KC Magazine for 11 years running and all are consistently recognized as Top Agents in Greater Kansas City by the K.C. Business Journal. Erich joined forces with Suzy in 2005 and brings to the table a strong background in Graphic Design, which lends itself to the team’s innovative, aggressive and results-driven marketing, online listings, and web presence. He enjoys working with Millennials, and he assists many first-time homebuyers, often the children of Suzy’s long-time clients. “I am 100% hands-on and promise the highest level of care from the day we list to the day I accompany you to the closing table,” stated Erich. “While I represent many of the metro’s million dollar listings and now work with many ‘empty-nesters,’ we have a robust branch of our business that caters to the young market looking for family-oriented neighborhoods,” said Suzy. Working in the million-dollar-plus is not for the faint of heart, however, and Suzy appreciates that it is a special niche. “I am considered one of the go-to agents for the million dollar listings,” she commented. “It’s a small sorority/fraternity which requires a special body of knowledge, my forte!” And Suzy has the resume by which to prove her point, boasting more luxury-home sales in her career than any other Realtor or team in the area. No matter the range of home value, The Goldstein Team treats every single home as if it,

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too, is a million dollar residence. “We include professional photography, create a targeted interactive website, beautiful brochures, exceptional media presence-and reach out to identified Buyer Agents with active clients,” explained Suzy. “We bring the exact same marketing attention, skills and materials to all of our listings, over and under the $MM benchmark.” The Goldstein Team continually attracts and secures exceptional listings because of the high level of undivided attention to the client. “There is no lack of communication with us,” Suzy noted. “We understand that buying or selling residential real estate is an emotional experience, not just an intellectual exercise. After all, it is the place where kids were raised and family gathers. It’s home.” When working with clients in the million-dollar market, The Goldstein Team appreciates that their clients have specific expectations and often demand a higher level of attention. “These are very successful people and expect us to be professional home-marketing experts. Million-dollar clients are not newbies. They know exactly what they expect and hire us to get the job done,” explained Suzy. “I am the luckiest agent in the best profession. I have the opportunity to work with the nicest people, many of whom become close friends.”

For more information on The Goldstein Team, visit them online at thegoldsteinteam.com or call Suzy’s iPhone at 816.589.8309

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RISING REAL ESTATE TEAM Tradition Home Group

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RE/MAX Innovations

It’s been said that the brightest stars are those who shine for the benefit of others. That sentiment can be readily applied to the real estate professionals at Tradition Home Group with RE/MAX Innovations, for whom delivering superior results for their clients is always at top of mind. Co-owners Shannon Stumpenhaus and Nickole Pittala understand that superior service is not just what they put into their mission but also what their clients get out of it. They have learned to successfully leverage their 25 years of combined service to not only meet and exceed customer expectations, but they do it so well that people want to work with them again and can’t wait to tell others about their positive experience. As a result, the majority of their business is obtained through enthusiastic word-of-mouth, and when people choose to partner with this award-winning real estate agency, they will discover that buying or selling a home quite possibly embraces a new tradition in the real estate arena: agents who always go the extra mile for their clients. When Shannon and Nickole teamed up in early 2013, they created a real estate team that continually exceeds the expectations of their clients. They consistently provide results that stem from their knowledge of transactions, school districts, neighborhood information and related services, such as mortgages, insurance and inspection information. If you have a question about buying or selling a home within the Greater Kansas City area, Tradition Home Group not only has the answer but also is the answer! Shannon and Nickole actually worked together for another firm before establishing Tradition Home Group, a decision that speaks to the enviable teamwork and compatibility this partnership embraces. “We have a great relationship,” noted Shannon. “We have a lot of respect for each other, both in our similarities and in our differences.” And it is in those differences that their true strength as a team arises, and as these two enthusiastically point out each other’s strengths, it becomes clearly obvious that each is the other’s biggest fan. “Nickole is incredibly talented in marketing strategies and implementing new ideas,” emphasized Shannon. Nickole wastes no time in giving similar praise to her business partner, noting the exacting standards to which Shannon holds herself accountable. “She is the one who is very precise, and when she is presenting numbers, they are exact. There is no gray area with her,” said Nickole. “And she always gives more than 100% of her time, energy and efforts to each and every transaction.” Helping to bring Tradition Home Group to the heights of success is a team of 10 driven and experienced agents and five support staff members, all of whom work cohesively with Shannon and Nickole by bringing a strong layer of talent and commitment to the organization, which they all regard as family. “Our staff is very important to us and we could not deliver these results or this experience

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without them. They are very critical to what we do,” said Shannon. “They help us behind the scenes so we can focus on selling and negotiating.” Marketing/Listing Coordinator Annie Jennings appreciates the support she has received from Shannon and Nickole since she began working with them.


“Joining this team has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” she said. “Nickole and Shannon are very forward thinking when it comes to marketing their business and have great ideas that I am able to take and use my creativity and expand upon. We truly are a family here and I am so happy to be a part of it.” Being a part of this family also means being held to a high standard, which is the rule for this team, not the exception. “We make sure that all of us are available at all times,” stressed Nickole. “There is always a way for our clients to reach someone in the office day and night. We are very particular about providing the utmost in customer service.” For Shannon, being a real estate agent is not just a job, but also a lifestyle. She loves making the process of buying or selling a home happy and stress-free for her clients. “I want this to be a good and positive experience for them,” she smiled. “Not only do I make sure it is effortless for them, but also exciting.” Nickole is just as passionate about hitting the ground running each day and added, “I like to be the realtor to whom people can turn for clear and effective communication.” “Reputation is everything,” emphasized Nickole. “You don’t get to choose how people think of you.” Shannon agreed. “We have a very strong work ethic. We expect that of ourselves and we also demand it of our agents. The business can be taught, but work ethic cannot. A person either has it or not.” And what clients think of Tradition Home Group is evidenced in the bottom line, as numbers don’t lie. So far in 2015, they are on pace to double their sales volume from 2014. Getting to this level of success does not come without preparation, strategy and critical thinking. The experts at Tradition Home Group rely on fail-safe methods of highly efficient organization, proven systems and stellar presentation, and they want to minimize any potential issues to the best of their abilities so their clients can truly enjoy the process and receive optimum results. This fast rising team knows exactly where they want to go and how they want to get there. They keep pace with current marketing strategies and technologies and take full advantage of multiple online resources to make the houses they list look the very best. They help their clients navigate the entire process of buying and selling a home, and as a result, ensure a smooth and efficient process. When buying or selling a home with Tradition Home Group, it’s more of an enjoyable experience than simply a transaction, and that is a wonderful tradition to have. The driving force behind Tradition Home Group can best be summed up in three words: Passion. Enthusiasm. Commitment…from start to finish. Helping clients successfully buy and sell their homes is an instinct for this team.

For more information on the Tradition Home Group, visit them online at livelovekchomes.com or call 816.777.3252

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NEW HOME COMMUNITY AGENT Diana Bryan-Smith

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Speedway Realty

Experienced realtor Diana Bryan-Smith wants you to love where you live. If she achieves that feeling for her clients, she knows she has done her job. It’s easy to see why Diana excels in her profession. Her friendly, approachable and no-nonsense style is what makes folks gravitate to her. This Basehor, Kansas, native with roots in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties has always had a love of farms and properties, so diving into the real estate industry was a perfect fit for her. Even though she has an educational background in commercial art and graphic design, it has been her unwavering love of the land and passion for helping clients buy and sell homes that has kept her heart in this business. Diana acquired her real estate license in 1997 and focused her efforts initially on land sales. Within two years, she had found a niche perfectly studied for her: new home sales. By 2007, she opened her own realty company – Speedway Realty, LLC – and positioned herself as an owner/broker, providing services to both buyers and sellers in all price ranges, both residential and commercial (and was highly instrumental in brokering the Schlitterbahn project in Wyandotte County). However, she has continually kept her finger on the pulse of new home communities. “Piper Estates was the first development I worked on,” recalled Diana. This large lot subdivision gave Diana the experience she needed to hone her skills and cultivate her expertise, laying the groundwork for multiple new home communities to come in which she was an integral force. “It’s fun to create someone’s dream home and watch it take shape from the ground up,” smiled Diana. However, in order to get to that first spade, there are numerous steps that must be taken before that dream home becomes a reality. While it may seem to an outsider that a new home community seems to go up almost overnight, it truly is an involved and often time-consuming process. “It can take up to two years before you even turn a blade of dirt (in these new home communities),” noted Diana. “You have to study the demographics and make sure the product is a good fit for the area. There are so many variables to consider and implement before we can even begin to build. We have to focus on the logistics first.” A good example of this process can be seen in communities designed for senior living.

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“In order to develop a senior living community, we have to make sure that certain conveniences are within close proximity, such as a post office, hospital and a grocery store,” explained Diana. With a natural proclivity for seeing the big picture before that first piece of dirt is interrupted, Diana enjoys working with builders to create exciting new home plans and then send those off to the architects to become a reality.


One of Diana’s current projects is the Lei Valley Community in Bonner Springs, Kansas. With Phase IV approaching kick-off, Diana is excited to see this project come to fruition. This welcoming neighborhood boasts plenty of walking trails, rolling hills, fishing ponds, a clubhouse and a pool. It is the perfect place to build that first home or enjoy that empty nest. Of course, one of the main attractions is the five-year tax rebate plan, which allows homeowners to build up equity at a much quicker rate if they roll it back into the home. “That is definitely one of the perks to living here,” emphasized Diana. “For two years, homeowners will get a 75% tax rebate and for three years, it goes to 50%. Residents will get a portion of their taxes back for five straight years.” Working alongside two builders within the community, Diana anticipates that there will be close to 300 homes when it is completed. With her experience in developing new home communities, Diana likens herself to being an undertaker of sorts for new homes. She has become the go-to realtor to assume any leftover lots within a subdivision and take over what the builders didn’t finish. “We are like the cleanup crew,” Diana smiled. “We negotiate with the banks to purchase the remaining lots so that we can finish the subdivisions.” While Diana certainly enjoys exercising her new home community prowess, that encompasses roughly half of her business, she still enjoys

Located near The Legends... New homes priced in the mid $200’s are going up in The Estates of Connor Creek!

the re-sale aspect in buying and selling. Diana leverages her personal strengths as a means to grow and market her business and makes sure to always have her clients’’ best interests at heart. She is extremely persistent, excels at follow-through, and employs the latest in marketing technologies. “I also make sure I am available 24/7,” she said. Diana has no shame reflex in admitting that she does eat, breathe and sleep real estate, but she understands that is the nature of the business. “To do this right, you have to remain focused,” she said. “And over the years I have learned that it’s not about chasing the dollar; it is about chasing the deal.” Positioning her team as “The Fastest Team in Town,” Diana is confident she can produce amazing results for her clients. “It’s a great market now,” smiled Diana. “New homes are selling quicker and we have a lot of anticipated projects in our pipeline.”

For more information on Diana Bryan-Smith, visit her online at speedwayrealtykc.com S

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Kansas City’s Premier Designer’s Resource Since 1956

Andrea’s CLEANING SERVICE LLC Let us clean for you because you have better things to do! RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL Licensed/Insured

Call For a FREE Estimate!

816-517-0448

Sebring & Company is Wholesale Only!

Please contact your designer with your specific design needs.

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Congratulations to all the Stars! thank you to all of our customers for making us the #1 title company in kansas city!

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DISTINCTIVE CRAFTSMANSHIP AND James Engle Custom Homes “Building Homes, Building Relationships” are four words that come to mind when considering a builder to build your new home. James Engle Custom Homes has built the company both inside and out on these principles. James Engle Custom Homes employs these principles in every aspect of the home building process, leading the company to the top of its industry. They continually strive to find new and innovative ways to improve their products, processes and the customers’ experiences. James Engle Custom Homes understands that building relationships with clients is something to which every client is entitled. In order to meet their clients’ needs, they have to understand and anticipate those needs. The James Engle Custom Homes team approaches each project as if it were their own. “Our clients always have the cell number of the principals of the company, as well as a personal Construction Manager. Six scheduled client meetings and access to our ‘state of the art’ online system that provides them with their own personal web site, keeps them fully engaged with every step of the building process. The web site also allows them to communicate with others involved in the home, such as Realtors and vendors, and the clients can also view available selections, options and sign off on any change orders through this web site,” explained Ben Tarwater, President of James Engle Custom Homes. James Engle Custom Homes’ commitment to continually improving all areas of the company comes from the fact that the company itself evolved out of a need for something more than what Jim and his wife Cindy Engle were finding available when looking to build a home for themselves 16 years ago. Ultimately, they took on the construction of their first home themselves. Why, you might ask? “’Why not?’ Is what we asked ourselves,” said Jim Engle, Owner and founder of James Engle Custom Homes. That first home, which they sold because someone wanted to buy it before it was completed, fueled their desire for something more. “We learned so much in that first home and we still learn something new, something we can pass on to our customers, with every home we build. Each new thing we learn only enhances future customers experiences,” noted Jim. Defined by keen attention to distinctive craftsmanship, a James Engle custom home means a portfolio of numerous amenities, including open floor plans, luxurious master bathrooms with free standing bathtubs and bookcases and gourmet kitchens, many including separate prep kitchens, vaulted ceilings with highly detailed trim and other innovative and desired features, typically only seen in homes at a much higher price. Further, a majority of their plans also include covered outdoor living spaces. It’s no secret that in addition to superior quality and construction, customer service is also a top priority for this company, and it is a mission the entire team takes to heart. “We believe in showing our clients that we are there for them, so every warranty request

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is looked at by a James Engle Custom Homes employee. We then explain the next steps in detail to the customer and warrantable items are completed by a James Engle Custom Homes employee or an approved vendor of the company,” said Ben. In addition, it is a policy for every employee to return phone calls and emails within 24 hours.


EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE BUILDER “I prefer not to call it a ‘policy,’ as our employees take pride in the fact that we respond quickly, making it second nature. It is done without thinking about it at this point,” stated Kim Brune, Vice President. Further, all team members wear the badge of manager when it comes to embracing their careers. “We give each employee the authority to make decisions,” said Ben. “Each has the word ‘manager’ in their title. We continually teach, coach and help them to make educated decisions that are in the best interest of our customers.” Coming up with non-traditional ways to provide value has always been important to Jim. “Forgoing the traditional ‘office’ concept was a risk,” said Jim. “There is no office at James Engle Custom Homes. Each employee works from home or in the field. The money saved by these measures is passed along to the client in the form of features typically found in homes that embrace a much higher price point. A residual benefit from this is that we have attracted great employees, some we would have missed out on if we were in a traditional office setup. We know our employees see value in this. The lack of an office, combined with the fact that we give them the authority to make decisions on their own, has led to high employee satisfaction and extremely low turnover. Turnover is rampant in our industry and our lack of it speaks volumes and only enhances our customer experience.” Certainly any builder can build a home, but not every builder can turn an initial vision into an exciting reality. James Engle Custom Homes is driven to remain on the cutting edge of innovation, design and technologies. They not only integrate the latest technologies but often incorporate unique ideas suggested by their clients. The experts at James Engle Custom Homes are not only trusted advisors, but also interested listeners who will listen first to understand and then reply, always keeping their clients’ interests in mind. “When someone asks us if we can do something that perhaps we have never seen before, we do our best to accommodate that request,” stated Ben. That type of request often results in something that adds value to future plans. In this day and age of the proverbial green movement in the home building industry, James Engle Custom Homes keeps a close eye on those related practices and products. “Building with an awareness of reducing impact, improving air quality and reducing cost is something we take very seriously,” Ben stressed. “Customers want to know that they have not only chosen to build a beautiful home that meets their needs in the sense of design, but that it has been created with a thoughtfulness that the products used match the location the home is built in.” Additionally, as part of their desire to not only build exceptional homes but also a sense of community in the process, James Engle Custom Homes remains actively involved in a host of community service efforts. “As a company, we feel very fortunate for the opportunity to give back to our community, we focus our charitable efforts on those that are close to our employees and our customers and we feel it is our responsibility to continue to be a part of the lives of our customers.” Ben stated.

For more information on James Engle Custom Homes, visit them online at jamesengle.com

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CUSTOM HOME BUILDER Austin Roeser

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Roeser Homes

It’s impossible not to like Austin Roeser, owner of Roeser Homes, the awardwinning builder in Kansas City for that exceptional custom-built home. His cool and confident demeanor is welcoming and inviting. He definitely knows his craft but also presents as one who is always willing to learn more. He brings to the table an eye for detail while simultaneously embracing his creative style for an end product that is nothing short of inspiring. In fact, every home built by Roeser Homes deserves an enthusiastic “Welcome” mat right outside the front door. Once you cross the threshold into one of his designs, it’s easy to feel right at home and even easier to imagine yourself living in one of them. Roeser stands among a highly reputable crowd of builders in the metro area. This Wichita native and Kansas State University graduate was fortunate to cut his building teeth honing his skills under the guidance of fellow builder Jim Engle over a decade ago, and it was through that experience he ultimately discovered his innate talents for the trade. In 2005, Roeser literally took pen to paper and drew out his first design. It wasn’t long before several more innovative designs followed and when he reached the pinnacle of his career with 12 spec homes the following year, he knew he had to organize his forces in order to create a custom home business that would give him the opportunity to serve a growing demand for his work. A self-described driven and hard-working individual, Roeser demands much of himself but also appreciates the team efforts within his organization that continually allow him to be one of the most highly-respected custom home builders in the city. He is uniquely understanding and a willing listener, but he also has a creative voice that should not go unheard. To that end, he has surrounded himself with a dedicated team of experts in the industry that allow him to focus on his strengths while at the same time giving him the opportunity to position Roeser Homes as the go-to custom home builder. Vital to his team are project managers John Judge and Mike Martin; assistant project manager Jesus Gordillo; Vice-president Thad Snider; office manager Trish Logsdon; and interior designer, Kimber Owens. Each member of the team adds his or her own unique layer of talent, expertise, and passion to the endeavor, and the unwavering commitment all of them display does not go unnoticed by Roeser.

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product. We wouldn’t be this good if not for our fun quirky staff,” said Roeser. And when it comes to the “wow” factor in the custom home market, “amazing” may be an understated word by which to describe a Roeser-built home. “I believe that what sets us apart can be found in the details,” noted Roeser. “We not only provide our own input, but we allow the client to customize the home


without assessing a change fee. We are highly flexible when it comes to modifying things and actually enjoy taking a new approach to an existing floor plan. It is not uncommon for us to modify our floor plans to meet the wants, needs and lifestyle of the client.” In fact, Roeser prefers it that way. He is not a builder who defers to stock floor plans and actually encourages his customers to boldly put their ideas out in the open. “We love to see something approached differently and enjoy seeing our buyer’s style incorporated into our existing ideas,” smiled Roeser. “It’s fun for us to begin the process with one idea and to end with so much of the buyer’s style incorporated into the final product. It’s a great feeling to see their style ultimately come through the initial design, and with each customer, it’s so different. Our buyers help feed the creative change with their ideas and styles they want in their own personal home. It’s not uncommon for us to change the design of a floor plan based on the feedback of our buyers.” Roeser and his team are not afraid, either, to take a few risks, color outside the lines and run with ideas that otherwise might seem a bit on the edge, but that’s what makes this business exciting for him. “Sure, we still cater to the current home styles that include open floor plans, outdoor living spaces, and beautiful kitchens, but it is the details within those spaces that make each home unique,” stated Roeser. Even though Roeser Homes is not a million dollar home builder, that doesn’t mean their customers won’t feel like millionaires living within these spaces. “While we do build homes in the $700,000-$800,000 range, our typical price point falls between $450,000-$550,000, which still allows us room to incorporate the customizing elements,” explained Roeser. Roeser is unafraid to roll up his sleeves and wipe the sweat off his brow when tackling each individual design. After all, he is not building a house; he is building a home. “It is our ultimate goal to build a home expressly for the customer,” he noted. “And, again, that shines through in the details, which are significantly different in each home and from other homes in the area.” A Roeser-built home truly cannot be expressed in mere words. When Austin Roeser builds a home, he is not just constructing walls, flooring and a roof. He is creating an experience. “There is a certain way a house should feel when you walk into it,” he explained. “It’s not just a box with trim. It must convey the warmth and style you want and demand in your own home.”

For more information on Roeser Homes, visit them online at roeserhomes.com

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PASSIVE HOUSE BUILDER David Schleicher & Team

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Prairie Design Build

Imagine what it would be like to reside in a comfortable, modern home with no pesky drafts, no temperature variations between rooms, and…drum roll, please…very minimal heating and cooling bills, if any. Welcome to the Passive House standard. Developed in Germany in the early 1990s, the Passive House (also known as Passivhaus), is an extremely energy-efficient building that boasts a comfortable interior climate that can be maintained with minimal active heating and cooling systems. Compared to traditional construction, Passive House design and construction is subject to a host of rigorous criteria, balanced by a keen eye for detail and extensive levels of communication. This type of building standard can only be met and delivered when an exceptional team of experts is at the helm, providing the highest-level possible of interior comfort and energy performance. It is a synergistic approach brought to fruition by a team of designers, architects, engineers, building scientists, craftspeople and material suppliers that remain at the top in their respective fields. “This type of building has been in the U.S. since the early 2000s and is growing exponentially,” noted David Schleicher, President of Prairie Design Build and a third generation carpenter and builder. David has taken his years of experience in framing and construction of high-end custom homes and has partnered it with specialized training from the US Passive House Institute. He is a Licensed General Contractor and Certified Passive House Consultant. He joins forces with David Hawkins, Building Scientist and also a Certified Passive House Consultant, who brings valuable expertise with highperformance design and construction methods. David indicated that a Passive House is not something you necessarily see or observe, but something you truly experience. “You can’t just take a picture of it; you have to feel it,” he explained. “With Passive House building, there are no drafts and no cold and hot spots. The house maintains a very even temperature. In fact, when you put your hand on a window pane, the pane is very close to room temperature.” To achieve the Passive House standard, actual performance requirements must be perfectly met, which include superior building envelope (which involves an airtight barrier and high performance windows), superior insulation, balanced ventilation, efficient mechanicals and passive elements, such as heating from the sun. While Passive Houses still use electricity for lighting, electronics and appliances, the primary heating source is the sun, the incidental heat that is created by the appliances, and also by the people living in the home. Because heat is retained so well from these passive sources within the home, the additional active heating required is greatly reduced. This means

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that mechanical systems can be much smaller and run less often, resulting in drastically lower energy bills for homeowners. The diminished energy needs of a Passive House make the addition of alternative energy generation methods (i.e. solar) an attractive option, rather than relying solely on the electric company. Additionally, one can breathe easily while living in a Passive House, as the home is controlled with specialized ventilation, which replaces stale or polluted air with fresh, outdoor air, while simultaneously keeping the humidity at bay. With a traditional home, air comes


through cracks in the envelope and any residual moisture can wreak havoc on the structure, causing wood rot and mold to develop. In a Passive House, a much healthier environment is created. Because the home is built airtight, all the air in the home is brought in and filtered through the specialized mechanical ventilation system. Also, the incorporation of highperformance windows and top-of-the-line insulation create a quiet and peaceful ambiance within the home. Admittedly, the upfront costs of building a Passive House can be greater than constructing a traditional home, but the savings realized over time will eventually outweigh the initial investment for a bountiful rate of return. In addition to new construction, the Passive House standard can be employed into existing homes, even if you just want to install new windows or replace the siding. Prairie Design Build is currently retrofitting a home in Lake Quivira. Built in 1958, this residence will soon enjoy its Passive House characteristics while still maintaining its original footprint, framing and other original elements. The initial demolition began in December of 2014, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015. The walls on this Passive House are 15 inches thick. The new drywall on the interior walls is attached to 2x2 furring strips, which help to protect the airtight interior air barrier membrane, which runs continuously through the interior of the home. “Airtightness is the most important aspect of a passive house,” explained David. “The air barrier is attached to the interior surface of the home’s original 2x4 framing and the cavities between are filled with blown-in fiberglass insulation.” The home’s original 1x12 horizontal sheathing is on the exterior of the original 2x4 framing. A new weather resistant barrier has been overlaid on the existing sheathing with taped seams, thus protecting the sheathing from the elements while simultaneously providing a layer of airtightness. On top of that barrier are two layers of 3” EPS foam sheets, followed by a second new weather resistance barrier with taped seams. From there, new ¾” horizontal and ¾” vertical furring strips are secured back to structural framing, and finally new and original vertical rough cedar siding is attached on the exterior. These walls are specifically designed to withstand numerous lifetimes with the anticipation that minimal, if any, repairs will be required. And equally important is that, compared to traditional home construction, this retrofit Passive House employs three times more insulation in the walls and ceiling than the minimum that code requires. The windows of this home are certified windows from Klearwall, which are made in Ireland using German engineered hardware. They are triple pane, argon filled and rely on multiple gaskets within the window frame to ensure an airtight seal. The interior of the house reflects a mid-century modern vibe, with natural wood contrasted against bright, clean surfaces that are incorporated throughout the home. The white oak hardwood floors complement the walnut cabinetry. “Passive House building is going to gain in popularity,” noted David. “Energy is not getting any cheaper and this is a way of future proofing yourself from the rising cost of energy. A Passive House increases the performance of the house, maintaining the investment and adding value over time.”

For more information on Prairie Design Build and the Passive House concept, go online at prairiedesignbuild.com

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MAINTENANCE PROVIDED HOME BUILDER Tom French

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Tom French Construction When it comes to maintenance-provided homes, it’s tough to beat the level of experience that Tom French, owner of Tom French Homes, brings to the industry. For over three decades, this Kansas City native has used unparalleled craftsmanship and award-winning designs to create premier custom homes throughout the metro area. Tom has also been a strong and respected leader when it comes to developing his numerous communities, town homes, patio homes, single-family homes, and custom homes within Johnson County. When it comes to maintenance-provided communities, the accolades continue to reign supreme. “When people discuss maintenance-provided homes, the Tom French name immediately comes to mind,” noted Susan Hoskinson, real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and marketing agent for Tom French Homes. While maintenance-free living has typically appealed to empty-nesters ready to downsize, it is also an attractive option for young working couples and singles of any age. They can enjoy a luxury home without the hassle, inconvenience, and costs required to maintain a typical residence. “I think it is the level of experience we bring to our clients that sets us apart,” said Tom. “When building a maintenance-provided community, it is important to have one builder to allow for the consistency of the project.” Tom’s history in Kansas City home building has allowed long-term relationships with trusted subcontractors, ensuring consistent high quality end results. The Tom French signature of quality can be found in the details. Extensive trim packages, pleasing color palettes, luxurious wood flooring, and carefully chosen tile accents are inspiring touches that savvy homebuyers have come to expect from Tom French Homes. “Our lower priced homes are finished with the same care as the higher priced ones,” emphasized Susan. “When you walk into any of these homes, whether it’s a $300,000 one or an $800,000 one, you can instantly tell it is a Tom French Home.” Because Tom French Homes has set the standard for what it means to live in a casual, yet luxurious environment, it is no wonder that he remains

15106 Glenwood Overland Park, Kansas

913.387.0188

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at the forefront of this industry niche. When pricing these homes, full transparency is something Tom demands of himself and his team.


“We price these homes as they are,” he explained. Of course, additional upgrades are available and Tom French Homes will work with clients to expand on ideas. “Our homes can be semi-customized for the buyer and we can modify our designs within certain parameters,” said Tom. Tom French Homes also relies on name brand suppliers and products. Tom’s wife Gayle keeps her finger on the pulse of all floor plan designs and finishes, working closely with the architects and clients to achieve the ideal result. Tom French Homes currently has five maintenance provided communities in various phases of development, including Cross Point Creek in Lenexa; the Villas of Highlands Ranch and Tuscany Piazza Townhomes in Leawood; and Gatewood Villas and Covington Court in Olathe. The maintenance-provided services within these communities include lawn mowing, fertilization, weed control, lawn irrigation, snow removal, trash collection, and maintenance of common areas. Attached townhomes also receive expanded maintenance such as exterior painting, roof and gutter replacement, and building insurance (a portion of which is included through the individual community’s home owners’ association). What truly drives Tom to continue delivering a superior product is the satisfaction it brings him at the end of the day. “One of the biggest things I enjoy about this job is being able to give our customers great value for their money,” smiled Tom.

For more information on Tom French Construction, visit them online at tomfrenchhomes.com or call 913.484.2839.

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Over the past four decades, the experts at SUMA Design & Construction have mastered traditional and Tuscan styling of homes and are now motivated by a more modern style with crisp, clean lines. That gravitation towards a contemporary look is evidenced in the progressive architecture Mark employs. His company keeps pace with the ever-evolving forms of technology and ushering in those measures by incorporating into his homes, for example, the technology that will support Google Fiber and charging stations for mobile devices and computers, all designed with the mindset that, even though technology does tend to make life a bit impersonal, they can bring families closer together. “We have simplified our designs and concentrated on lighting to set the moods, the electronics to help communicate with our world, and the materials to help eliminate the clutter and outside noise to give us peace and to let us relax,” he explained. At SUMA Design & Construction Company, homes are not just four walls, a foundation and a ceiling; they are an art form. The SUMA style is simpler and the detailing is concentrated in specific areas. “I believe contemporary design focuses on the space indoors and out,” he noted. “I put great emphasis on the newer and exciting forms of products from lighting to 12 foot scissor doors to tiles and hardwood all the way to electronics. We make our spaces cleaner and exciting.” Customers can also be assured that Mark and his team are hands-on throughout the entire building process, ensuring that he hears his customers’ voices loud and clear. It is his goal to make sure that each home is specifically made to reflect each customer’s tastes and lifestyle. Even though SUMA Design & Construction Company keeps its focus on all the changes in the world that impact the home building industry, one thing from which this company will never waver is its values. “Our values have not changed,” commented Mark. “We still adhere to quality, energy efficiency and style, but what has changed is the look. And we build each home as if we were going to live in them ourselves.”

For more information on SUMA Design & Construction, visit them online at sumadesigninc.com

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MILLION DOLLAR HOME BUILDER Jim and Machelle Riffe Riffe Homes & Development With over half a century of serving customers as a custom home building family in greater Kansas City, third generation Master Builder Jim Riffe continues the family’s legacy. With a keen passion for architecture and design, he has carved out his own legacy as an upper bracket innovator in custom home design and construction. For the past 30 years, Jim’s unwavering attention to his craft makes him not only a one-in-a-million builder, but also a once in a lifetime builder when it comes to bringing that million-dollar experience to life. “Jim has always been about the product. He loves building homes, but his laser focus has always been the design and how great design translates into a superior experience for the people who live there,” Machelle Riffe, Jim’s wife and marketing specialist for the company said. Jim believes that architecture exerts tremendous influence on the quality of life. He works closely with his buyers to understand them and how they live in their home. He is committed to the home’s function, but is not afraid to reach outside the box to create spaces that excite the senses and challenge conventional ideas. “I believe a home should be more than a collection of drywall boxes for rooms, fit together to make a house. That approach is easy and cheap, but it can be a depressing place to live,” he said. “Truly good architecture calls to you. You want to be there. It provides warmth, security, inspiration, comfort, drama and excitement.” While Jim has spent a lifetime career shaping his craft, he has also come to understand that innovative design requires stepping outside his comfort zone. Like any artistic endeavor, it does not come without risks. The first real test came in 2003, when he opened Woodland Shores, an upper-bracket luxury lakeside community in Lee’s Summit. “I wanted to drive a new stake in the housing market. I wanted to show people that Woodland Shores would be beyond anything they had seen,” he said. To accomplish this goal, Jim worked closely with Jim Vandervorste, BVZ Architects in Colorado. They began fine-tuning a concept they had tossed back and forth for years. The result was the Timberlake, a Colorado inspired timber, glass and stone masterpiece. The home was the birth of “The Edgeless House”

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and it was like nothing Kansas City had ever seen. “That home was the pinnacle of my professional energy. It was the gelling of two guys who had devoted their lives to architectural design. That was a turning point for me. That’s when it all came together and I committed once and for all to the idea that the extra effort and long hours hammering out the right design was worth it,” Jim noted.


At the heart of the edgeless house was a curved wall of commercial glass surrounded by huge timber beams and stone. Elements used throughout the home, parallel the native beauty of the great outdoors. They pierce through the glass window wall and draw the eye outside while blurring the distinction between the inside and outside environments of the

Photo by Paul Bonnichsen

home. Rooms are replaced by spaces layered on top of spaces defined by architectural technique rather than walls. More than two dozen key architectural features are carefully orchestrated in order to achieve the full experience. “It takes a deep understanding of how these pieces interplay. Each architectural technique is subtly orchestrated in concert with the design, form and function of the home. When it all comes together, it’s just your favorite space to be in,” Jim said. As his career progressed, his commitment to design became the driving force in not only the homes he builds, but in the new homes communities he creates. Recently, Jim opened Woodland Trails, an outdoor lifestyle community in the southern sector of the Lee’s Summit school district, a major growth area for the region. Here Jim brings his commitment to design to over 500 acres. He incorporates his edgeless architecture ideology into a stunning pool complex constructed with giant timbers, stone, and water features that mimic the rolling terrain, craggy bluffs and native oaks. Miles of paved walking trails meander throughout Woodland Trails. “I wanted to bring this concept to a bigger pallet. The community design and layout is intended to draw residents into the great outdoors and expand their own living space beyond their driveway,” he said. As a lifetime student of design and the impact it exerts over the quality of people’s lives, Jim has come full circle. By leveraging everything he has learned in the Johnson and Jackson County luxury housing markets, he has created an extraordinary lifestyle experience in a move-up market that appeals not only growing families, but also empty nesters. “Jim has spent a career learning that great architecture is like a magnet. It impacts you on such a personal level. You crave it without fully understanding why,” Machelle said. To Jim, that is the ultimate reward. To create a space that beckons you home.

For more information on Riffe Homes & Development, visit them online at riffehomes.com To see more community and home photos, visit woodlandshores.com and woodland-trails.com

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PREMIER DREAM HOME BUILDER Bruce & Toni Rieke

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B.L. Rieke Custom Homes

If you’ve ever heard the expression,

…., then perhaps you

need to fill in the rest of that sentiment with . Although I cannot speak for the rest of you, I can say that I would greatly consider that enviable option if the opportunity was afforded to me. When you first meet Bruce, if you sense an easy going, down-to-earth, humble, trustworthy, and highly approachable individual, then please don’t abandon that initial conclusion. While one look at his breath-taking portfolio of luxury custom homes he and his team have designed and built over the years should instantly catch your attention, it is his warm and inviting personality that will keep that attention. He definitely knows his craft and has hundreds of awards and accolades to prove that, but what matters most to him is that he and his outstanding team envision and build homes that ultimately engage, satisfy and capture the homeowner’s heart. “I enjoy meeting people and talking with them,” emphasized Bruce. “There is great satisfaction and joy in taking a vision they have in their mind and bringing it to completion.” Bruce and his team bring incredible raw talent to the table and can essentially take an idea loosely scratched upon a piece of paper and anticipate what the customer will enjoy when the home finally comes to fruition, all while simultaneously meeting budgets and expectations every step of the way. It’s not unusual for customers to sing the praises of this exceptional homebuilder when it comes to not only taking into consideration what they like, but also what they don’t like. “I have had customers tell me that they were unexpectedly thrilled with an end result that not only took into consideration their likes and dislikes, but also how we knew exactly what they would ultimately prefer in a home,” stated Bruce. That exceptional anticipation of customer expectations is the bar that B.L. Rieke has set unbelievably high, and is one that this builder continues to raise. As Kansas City’s premier custom homebuilder, B.L. Rieke Custom Home Builders (also known as B.L. Rieke & Associates, Inc.), Bruce founded his business in 1989 with his wife, Toni. A native Kansan and son of a foundation contractor, Bruce was already familiar with a strong work ethic and has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and wipe the sweat off his brow. He learned all about running

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913.599.3393 BLRieke.com

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a business from his dad and together with Toni—also a native Kansan who grew up learning to operate a farm—joined forces to deliver the best in custom home building. Since then, they have set the standard for premier luxury living in the metro area and beyond.


This hard-working couple began honing their skills by flipping houses before transitioning to building spec homes and even their own personal homes. They have been extremely hands-on in creating a thriving and successful business from the ground up. In the early 2000s, B.L. Rieke began to focus its efforts on constructing superior custom homes, ultimately setting the standard in innovation, functionality and quality. Because of this dynamic team’s creativity, foresight, and courage to color outside the lines when implementing new ideas and technologies, they have positioned themselves as the go-to builder when their customers demand nothing but the best. Aside from the quality of work this group delivers, it also adheres to a strong focus on consistent open and honest communication harmoniously partnered with top-notch customer service throughout all phases of the building process. The customer has the ability to completely customize every element within the home, so B.L. Rieke relies on a strong force of trusted and experienced subcontractors and suppliers who work with the homeowners to select the best products and services to fully customize their home. “The detail we put into these houses is unbelievable,” noted Bruce. “And to see the ‘wow’ expression on our customers’ faces, well, there’s nothing quite like it.” Bruce is quick to acknowledge Toni’s seemingly unparalleled design prowess and talent when it comes to the homes they construct. He credits her with transforming these homes into signature statements and styles of the individual homeowners. “She is really the unsung hero here,” he reflected. “Toni is greatly involved with each design and floor plan and is amazing at what she comes up with. Additionally, our daughter Savannah lends incredible talent to all of our media articles, web postings, and social media profiles.” B.L. Rieke was founded upon the principles of exceptional design and quality, and from that the company will never waver. Along with their experienced team of managers, designers, and superintendents, they strive to ensure that the entire building process is not only an efficient one, but also an enjoyable one. A B.L. Rieke home is not just a house, it is a dream-come-true, built not only with the best in products, design and services, but also completed upon a strong foundation of character, trust and integrity. Let the statistics speak for themselves: With 1,156 homes built to date, along with 478 awards, 211 years of combined experience and 1,708 satisfied customers, B.L. Rieke understands what is means to say

For more information on B.L. Rieke Custom Homes, visit them online at blrieke.com

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816.756.3030

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WHOLE HOUSE REMODELER Pat Strand & Team

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All it takes is three words to understand why Total Home Remodeling is a standout in the whole house remodeling arena:

Those three words

are not just a motto or a banner to which this company gives lip service. They represent the trifecta of perfection upon which each project is generated, created and ultimately delivered. Thinking outside the box and coloring outside the lines are standard practices for this company. What might seem impossible on the surface quickly transitions from a “don’t worry; we can handle this” challenge to an exciting and inspiring product. No matter how big or small the project is, they have a wealth of ideas and solutions that can readily turn any remodeling opportunity into refreshing results. However, there are a few inarguable truths about any home remodeling project. It will be messy. It will rattle your schedule for a bit. It may even make you question your sanity as you wonder why you decided to take on such a challenge in the first place. Fortunately, it’s the end result that counts, and when you partner with the skilled experts at Total Home Remodeling, you can remain confident they will not only make sure the end result is more than you could have expected, but they also have a strong commitment to ensure the journey getting there is as easy, enjoyable, and as stress-free as possible. And these folks have something even more to offer: They make the process fun. “From the start, we create a schedule and stick to it, setting all expectations upfront and out in the open,” noted owner Pat Strand. “We work hard to minimize any disruptions the project will have on our clients and we will listen to their expectations of us while we complete the work. It’s a team effort for us and for them.” This team of talented and experienced individuals at Total Home Remodeling enjoy a dynamic mix of engaging personalities, each of whom brings something uniquely different to the table. Pat clearly knows his place within that mix. “I am a people person,” he emphasized. “I enjoy meeting with and talking with people. I love to interact with our clients and get to know them.” It’s no secret that people genuinely like working with this company. After all, they don’t push high pressure sales tactics on their clients and their down-to-earth, no-nonsense and upbeat personalities are a strong reflection of this company’s

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easy-going demeanor. When you are with them, you can’t help but feel right at home, and that is also the feeling they work to provide you with the final product. Once your remodeling project is completed, their wish for you is that your home is the place to which you come at the end of the day with joy and excitement.


“Everyone here is great,” noted Vanessa Brouillette, Designer. “We care about our clients, our products and each other. Everyone just seems to get along so well and that makes the process so much easier.” The team at Total Home Remodeling is built upon each member’s ability to fully exercise his or her innovative prowess. Everyone brings to the table a specific layer of talent and creative finesse. Exterior sales professional Jake Matthew and production manager Matt Preston continually give their best while maintaining open and honest lines of communication every step of the way. That, coupled with Vanessa’s keen eye for the best in design elements, form and function, give testament to this company’s ability to produce award-winning results. Working with Total Home Remodeling means igniting excitement, ideas and building relationships. It also means harmoniously blending their expertise, talents and suggestions with the client’s insight and desires. They appreciate that today’s consumer is technologically savvy and informed. It’s rarely a matter of not knowing what they want. It’s simply an issue of figuring out the best means by which to implement those ideas and desires. “People know what they want,” explained Pat. “It is our job to simply guide and educate them based on our areas of expertise and experience.” For example, Vanessa excels at bringing a client’s budget and space requirements together to create an end result that not only meets the client’s expectations, but also typically exceeds them. “We believe that nothing is impossible, and even when a client is working with a small budget, we can still make something happen to get what the client wants,” stressed Vanessa. “Our goal is to make the house joyful and enjoyable when we have completed the project.” So go ahead and indulge in the final product. It’s your home, and every one deserves to indulge on occasion. The best part in this particular story is that you get to indulge yourself every single day, and Total Home Remodeling would expect nothing less from you.

For more information on Total Home Remodeling, visit them online at totalhomekc.com

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INTERIOR RENOVATIONS REMODELER Scott Ault

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Ault Design –– Construction There are those moments in life for which no words are necessary. When you walk into a home that has the Ault Design – Construction touch to it, the only thought that comes to mind is inspired. This architectural design and construction services firm has but one thing in mind –– providing services that respond to each project’s individual requirements. They do this by not only completely meeting the client’s expectations, but at the same time incorporating a design that perfectly blends with the home’s aesthetics and surrounding environment. An award winning firm, Ault Design – Construction is known for its exceptional high-end custom remodel jobs. They take the project from concept to completion in seemingly effortless fashion, with an end result that speaks for itself. To have a home remodeled by the experts at Ault Design – Construction means embracing an experience that will be remembered for many years to come. Owner Scott Ault has had his hands in the construction arena for over a quarter of a century specializing in cabinetry and home construction. When the opportunity came to partner with his sister, Debra Giffin, five years ago, Scott transitioned to the high-end interior renovation remodel arena and has not looked back since. “It’s all about the quality,” noted Kelly Lewis, General Manager. ”The designs take shape in Scott’s mind and then he stretches them a bit, thinking a bit further outside of the box than others.” Making a client’s vision come to fruition is the goal for Ault Design – Construction. Scott maintains a very hands-on presence throughout each project and refuses to entertain the word impossible. “That word is not in our vocabulary,” emphasized Kelly. “If a client wants something done, then we find a way to meet that request.” Giving strong testament to that effect is a current project on which the experts at Ault Design – Construction have been working. Sitting peacefully on about six acres of land in Spring Hill in an unincorporated part of Johnson County is an old farmhouse that, if walls could talk, would most likely have page-turning stories to tell. Now under a full remodel and renovation, this residence will soon capture new and exciting stories that will undoubtedly be shared for generations to come. The original home was built around the turn of the 20th century and gives strong character to the environment in which it sits. Over the years, the home has enjoyed several room additions but the current owners wanted to breathe new life into it.

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“The owner’s main residence is in San Diego but they wanted a home in a central location in the US to which all seven of their kids and their families could come for a visit,” explained Kelly.


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everything while simultaneously maintaining the home’s original character and style. “This was truly a collaboration between us and the homeowners,” said Kelly, who indicated that the company took the house back down to its original studs and reframed it from the ground up, making sure it responded accurately to current code guidelines. The entire upstairs area still boasts all of its original design, and the doors, hardware and floors were simply cleaned up and reused. The original brick fireplace, with its “very federal looking” façade, provides an ornate and highly detailed focal point on the main level. “We were able to take a space separated into a lot of smaller rooms and open Before Kitchen

it up into a large expansive space that invites conversation and family gatherings” noted Kelly. As the home is nearing completion, it promises to become a true family reunion haven or private weekend escape for this large family. In effect, this home has become akin to a personal bed and breakfast, with rich history and charm while harmoniously partnering with a fresh new appeal. “We are very thorough in every project we undertake and we maintain a high level of quality and commitment to our customers,” said Kelly. “Scott is heavily involved in every project and personally took a high level of interest in this one.” As a company that refuses to cut corners and does everything by the book, keeping the customer’s ideas, values and lifestyles at top of mind, Ault Design – Construction has no problem setting out to defy the seemingly impossible. After all, with respect to this country residence, they were effectively able to bring the early 1900s into 2015 without missing a beat, ensuring the past lives effortlessly with the present, while also creating a wonderful future of family gatherings for its owners.

For more information on Ault Design –– Construction, visit them online at aultdesign-construction.com

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KITCHEN & BATH REMODELER Barringer Hansel and Nick Chrissan Heartland Kitchen & Bath The experienced kitchen and bath remodeling experts at Heartland Kitchen & Bath may have a host of tools in their arsenal from which to work, and those often vary depending on the job at hand, but the tools they carry with them to every single project are those of honesty, character and integrity. “Our whole outlook on the job is to always do the right thing,” emphasized coowner Barringer Hansel, who, along with business partner Nick Chrissan, understands those tools have to be the sharpest in the box. The manner by which they conduct their business is based on personal values, not personal gain, and the service they deliver cannot simply be measured in dollars, but in overall client satisfaction. “We are not a sales organization,” explained Hansel. “It is not our desire to get rich. We simply want to do a good job and keep our employees working so they can support their families.” To that end, there are no high-pressure sales tactics at work with this team. Hansel and Chrissan do not want to earn clients’ money; they want to earn their trust and respect, which ultimately they hope will earn their business. “We don’t think that customers should sign a contract on the first appointment,” said Hansel. “And when it comes time to write an estimate, we have confidence in what we do and are upfront from the beginning. We can do projects to fit any budget.” Does this go-to kitchen and bath remodeling company sell its clients anything? Yes, they will sell you your dream, but they are not just salespeople. “One of our main jobs is to educate our clients, not only with respect to what is right for their project, but also to what might not work for them,” explained Hansel. “For example, if we feel that they might not get a return back on their investment in a remodeling project, we will let them know up front. If we don’t feel right letting them do something, we are open and transparent about it.” Although change orders are potentially inevitable throughout the remodeling process, Hansel and Chrissan strive to mitigate the situation by allowing the client to facilitate any change order. “There are no surprises that come up during the process,” said Hansel. With over 50 years of combined experience in home remodeling, Hansel and

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Chrissan have acquired invaluable skillsets in all facets of the industry and they have combined those talents to create an organization that supports a team of dedicated and skilled in-house employees. “We have our own staff and do not hand off the work to sub-contractors,” stated Hansel. “Of course, we have a strong network of some of the best trade partners in the industry with whom we have a long and successful working history.”


Because Hansel and Chrissan are truly hands-on with each project, the customer has the assurance that everything will be handled smoothly and conducted with an open and honest dialogue on a regular basis. “The clients only have to communicate with Barringer or myself,” commented Nick. “We schedule everything for them so they can just sit back, relax and watch things happen. We are working owners who don’t sit in an office. We are out in the field and managing each and every project.” That hands-on approach is an integral part of why a kitchen or bath remodeling project contracted with this dynamic team is more fun and exciting than stressful and challenging. “After the contract is signed, you can leave the rest of the work to us and just enjoy the process,” said Chrissan. Such a joint effort is the reason a trusting collaboration between contractor and client works so well. “We as the professionals can do our jobs while we let the clients make the decisions as to what they

Photo by Bill Mathews

want with our guidance and knowledge,” noted Hansel. Even after the kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is complete, the ongoing lines of communication do not end after Heartland Kitchen & Bath have completed your job. “We value the relationships we create with our customers, and that is something that continues long after the project is completed,” emphasized Chrissan. “We enjoy taking them out to a Royals game or out on the golf course. They have become not only our customers, but also our friends. It’s not unusual for us at all to get together for a backyard barbecue, either.” Heartland Kitchen & Bath also offers an excellent referral program and a unique three-year warranty on all of its work, which is far above most industry standards. “We stand behind our work and believe in always doing the right thing,” said Hansel. “And we are always there for our customers if something needs to be fixed or replaced, no matter the day or hour.”

For more information on Heartland Kitchen & Bath, visit them online at heartlandkitchenandbath.com or call 913.991.0294. You may also visit them on Facebook at Heartland Kitchen and Bath.

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