The Dubuque real estate company celebrates its 50th anniversary
Address: 2115 John F. Kennedy Road in Dubuque
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
When Bob Neuwoehner and Jim Curoe founded American Realty Inc. in 1972 in Dubuque, their first office was in Curoe’s kitchen.
The fledgling real estate company was a risky gamble by two young real estate agents who had little capital to invest but had boundless ambition.
“I didn’t have a penny to my name,” Neuwoehner said. “It certainly wasn’t easy at first.”
A few days after its founding, American Realty sold its first home. In 1983 the company moved to a new office at the Inn Plaza in Dubuque. Three years later, Neuwoehner and Curoe purchased land on John F. Kennedy Road and built American Realty’s current headquarters.
As he reflects on the company’s past, Neuwoehner finds it hard to believe what has become of American Realty.
The real estate company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has its central office building in Dubuque – along with three other satellite offices – sells residential, commercial and agricultural properties; and partners with 37 independent real estate agents.
The management of the company has also changed over the years. Neuwoehner sold his ownership of the business in 2019, and Curoe did the same 11 years prior. The company founded by two men is now owned by two women.
“I think it’s great,” Neuwoehner said. “The company is in good hands.
The change in ownership at American Realty reflects a broader trend in the real estate industry. When Neuwoehner first founded the company, real estate was largely a male-dominated field. That trend has reversed, and now 64% of realtors are women, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Shari Greenwood and Peggy Nesler, the new owners of American Realty, plan to continue to grow the business while following in the footsteps of previous owners who made it a success.
“Every day we have to make sure we’re on top of everything,” Nesler said. “It’s a great business, and we will continue to grow.”
The keys to success
At American Realty, individual real estate agents operate independently, as is the case at other real estate businesses.
This arrangement can often lead to aggressive competition, but Greenwood said his company has always pushed its agents to pursue mutual cooperation.
“Our office of realtors may technically be in competition with each other, but at American we’re not really in competition with each other,” she said. “We have a great team and we work together to make everyone successful.”
Another thing that sets American Realty apart is the company’s focus on education. Neuwoehner said he has always advocated extensive training for all incoming realtors to best prepare them for success.
“We don’t just bring people in,” he said. “We don’t just say, ‘Good luck, you’re on your own.’ We create opportunities for them and help them manage their small business within a company.
This mentality has paid off in helping the company maintain its workforce. Greenwood said many real estate agents contracted with American Realty stay with the company for several years, and several have retired with the company.
A focus on growth
American Realty has expanded its reach selling real estate in the Tri-State area over the years, a trend that continues under Greenwood and Nesler’s leadership.
Today, the company lists and sells properties in southwestern Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois and northeastern Iowa.
In 2012, American Realty opened a branch in Dyersville, Iowa, allowing the company to attract agents and clients to western Dubuque County and Delaware County.
The company opened a branch in Cascade in 2018, further strengthening American Realty’s presence in the region. A fourth office is located in Manchester, Iowa.
Neuwoehner said he hopes American Realty can remain a major real estate company in the region for another 50 years. He works in the company but knows that one day she will have to move on without him.
Neuwoehner stressed that he felt confident in the leadership of the new owners.
For Greenwood, American Realty is more than just a real estate company. She described him as a major contributor to the development of the local economy as he helps see through buying new homes and starting new businesses.
“Real estate agents have also helped this town grow,” she said. “We come up with ideas for marketing areas. Whether residential, commercial or agricultural, we are an important part of helping people get things done with their investment. »