March 15, 2017, marked the 30th Anniversary for Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC. Carol Bosshardt, owner and founder of the company, opened her brokerage with one simple philosophy – take care of the customer. For Carol, simply helping one sell or purchase a home was not enough. She wanted to base her company on world class service, establishing strong relationships, and giving back to her community. She has more than exceeded these goals.
Carol, originally from Rockford, Illinois, learned about real estate and new construction from her parents. Her mother was a Realtor, and her father was a builder. This foundation stuck with her even after she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work. In 1977, Carol integrated her mother’s experience with her own foundation in human services to follow her true calling: working with people. It is not a surprise that Carol received the Paul Harris “Service Above Self” Award for service to her community.
Carol chose to open her own real estate brokerage because she wanted to make the real estate industry more professional than what she had been experiencing for the 10 years prior. She recalls the level of training and professional services in Madison, Wisconsin, was far superior to what she was experiencing in Alachua County. It was her mission to do something about that. She wanted her company to have high training standards, the highest level of professional services, and truly give back to the community that would offer her these successes.
The idea of making the real estate industry more professional began with a personal experience when she first move to Gainesville in December of 1975. Upon moving into her home, she learned the furnace had no oil.It was some of those rare freezing days in Florida, and due to the oil embargo, no oil was available. Her young family with two children ages two and four years old were all huddled together for TEN days before they ever got heat. Back then there were no inspection laws, no walk-throughs, no protocols in place, and neither her Realtor, nor the broker, or anyone else they approached for that matter, seemed to care or offer any solutions. Carol knew she NEVER wanted anything like this to happen to any of her home buyers, or any home buyer ever again.
In 1977, Carol entered the real estate industry and set off to change it. The way she chose to change it was by setting an example. She wasn’t taken seriously at first, and she overcame many obstacles. Then in 1987, Carol opened her own brokerage; she attracted other like-minded Realtors to join her. As her company grew, together they led the way to reset the standards.
In 1988, she realized she had a need for a commercial, investment and land division. That is when she merged with Mike Ryals of Southern Realty. This started the division known as “Bosshardt Commercial”. Mike Ryals is still an integral part of this division, and has led it to an all time high as well as a model of success to be reckoned with by competitors.
In response to a growing need for her clients to rent their homes, either because it didn’t sell or because they had to move and could not make two mortgage payments, Carol found them renters and managed the properties herself! Soon she had properties for rent and renters who needed properties. That is how Bosshardt Property Management began in 1989. Mark Keohane came on board that year to help her develop that division. Many Realtors would not do this, because the money is not as good as sales, but for Carol it isn’t and never has been about the money. Her goal was to help the person who has intrusted her with their property. Today, Garry Griffin is the President of Bosshardt Property Management, managing 10,000 properties throughout Florida. Garry, who has been with Carol for 29 years, added a Community Association Management Division, and a Maintenance Division. And Mark Keohane? He too is still with Bosshardt Realty, he is a Realtor and still manages commercial rental properties to this day.
With her father’s experience in building construction, Carol also had a great desire to help builders market their properties. In hard economic times they struggled and it could be very costly to them. With the help of Anne Koterba, Patti Glenn, and Karen Blatt, she started a New Homes and Community Division to help builders sell their properties. Carol received authorization from the North East Builders Association to bring the CSP (Certified Site Professional) course to Gainesville and teach it in-house to the Bosshardt Realtors. With this education and certification Bosshardt Realtors were dominating force in the new home and community arena. Anne Koterbais still with Bosshardt Realty, though much of her time these days are spent working with Aces in Motion, Gainesville’s Area Community Tennis Association’s youth program, with a focus on underserved youth.
In 1994 Carol opened her newly built offices in Waterford Park in NW Gainesville. In three buildings, Bosshardt Realty, Bosshardt Title, and Bosshardt Property Management are housed. Eventually she also brought on an in-house marketing team to oversee the everyday marketing needs of the company. Everything just happened in a natural progression, as the company grew so did the services she began to provide. She knew it would prove more efficient to put more services under one roof.
With the strategic placement of an office in Haile Village Center in 1996, Bosshardt was able to better service Haile Plantation and entire southwest side of Gainesville.
In 1998 Carol started Waterford Title, now known as Bosshardt Title Insurance. Real Estate Attorney Kim Bosshardt, Carol’s daughter-in-law, is the President of Bosshardt Title. Customers now have access to full legal services in the real estate arena; buying, selling, leasing, closing, etc. Talk about a ONE STOP SHOP!
By now you are probably thinking Carol has done it all. But she wasn’t finished yet. In 2003, while the market was great, she went back to school. She attended the Warring School of Business at UF and received an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Even while attending school she opened an office in Sarasota. In 2006, Carol opened an office in Ocala, FL. Ocala is now thriving and in a growth mode. In 2007 she opened an office in Venice, FL. too. Carol has also co-founded a few local community banks in Gainesville and Ocala. In 1998 she co-founded Millennium Bank, which was sold in 2003. Then she co-founded Alarion Bank which she sold in 2014, and most recently she co-founded Prime Mortgage Group, servicing customers throughout Florida.
That’s not all. Seeing a need for storage for her customers, Carol opened 34th Street Mini Storage – a secure, climate controlled storage facility. By this time Carol had been labeled “a serial entrepreneur” by many.
In 2012, Carol decided it was time to let her son Aaron Bosshardt lead the way as President of Bosshardt Realty. Carol is still very involved in the company and retains the title of Chief Executive Officer. She can be seen in her office in the Bosshardt Title building, at management meetings, at company events, and many board meetings across Gainesville and Ocala.
Nowadays you can find Carol and her husband Mel Clark, on their farm; they have horses, ponies, chickens, and raise blueberries and other crops. Life on there farm is very relaxed and quiet. You may see them riding around on a golf cart with their grand kids, and their dog Charlie racing behind.
In 2013, Aaron and his wife, Kim, began the Bosshardt Charitable Fund. With the long tradition of the Bosshardt Companies contributing to charitable causes, he started the Charitable Fund to offer Realtors and staff a way to donate through closings, paychecks, or simply on a monthly basis. The Bosshardt Charitable Fund has benefitted not-for-profits like PALS Thrive, Children’s Home Society, American Heart Association, Stop Children’s Cancer, Elder Care of Alachua County, Habitat for Humanity and many, many others. Kim and Aaron spend many long hours fundraising and helping charities.
The culture of giving is rampant throughout the Bosshardt Companies. Many of the Realtors, staff and management serve on charitable foundations, volunteer their time, or give to specific charities each year. Well over 100 charities have benefited from the giving of the Bosshardt Team. Carol can be attributed to personally seeing some of these charities get off the ground, or get the boost they needed to survive. In 2015 Bosshardt Realty thought they would track the volunteer hours of their Realtors, management and staff. They were stunned to learn that more than 4,500 hours had been spent volunteering – that is over 12 HOURS A DAY for an entire YEAR!
After previously receiving the Chamber’s Business of the Year Award, and the Gainesville Sun’s Readers Choice Award; Bosshardt Realty was honored to receive the Corporate Legacy Award from the Community Foundation of North Central Florida in 2016. The Corporate Award recognizes a company that exemplifies giving back to their community through volunteerism and charitable giving. Bosshardt was honored to receive this award along with Gainesville Fisher House Foundation (Nonprofit Award), Ellen Gershow of Dell Graham (Professional Advisor Award) and Barbara and Phil Emmer (Donor Award).
That brings us to 2017, the 30th Anniversary of Bosshardt Realty Services. You now are fully aware of all the “services” one simple word entails, and now it is time to party. April 20th was what one could only call, “The Bosshardt Bash!” Realtors, staff, and management from the past 30 years turned up to celebrate. There was music from the 80’s, 90’s up to today, by Tom Collette of TDC Entertainment, and Storm Roberts of KTK served as master of ceremonies. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were served by Omi Risco, with a charcuterie board that was to die for. A slideshow played commercials and showed pictures from the past three decades, wine was enjoyed from custom wine glasses with the Bosshardt 30th Anniversary logo on them which everyone could take with them, it was truly a spectacular event! Carol, you have been such an inspiration the last 30 years. Cheers to another great 30 years!
Below are some of the pictures from the anniversary party.