Blog : Charity

Shakti and Service Dog Ember

Shakti and Service Dog Ember

Yoga is well known for its benefits to the mind, body and spirit. But for Canine Companions® graduate Shakti, it also led to service dog Ember.

Shakti, who’s had multiple sclerosis (MS) for 21 years, is an avid yogi and instructs yoga classes for people with disabilities. Two of her long-time students, both of whom have MS, would bring their Canine Companions service dogs to the weekly classes Shakti had been teaching. Shakti was able to see firsthand how expertly-trained assistance dogs can help a person with a disability.

Shakti’s journey to Service Dog Ember

Shakti’s MS causes her to have issues with her legs, and she uses an electric wheelchair for mobility. After observing her students’ dogs and the benefits they provide, Shakti decided to apply for a service dog herself. By having an expertly-trained service dog by her side, Shakti was hopeful her independence would be increased.

Shakti was as matched with Service Dog Ember – free of charge – by Canine Companions for Independence. Ember picks up dropped items and delivers them to Shakti, opens and closes, turns on and off lights, and so much more. Shakti says, “I can count on Ember to help me and be by my side wherever I go.” She continues, “This is such an amazing thing to happen for me.”

To learn more about the Veterans Initiative offered through our partners at Canine Companions for Independence, click here!

NextHome HomeFront opens in Mississippi

NextHome HomeFront opens in Mississippi

Crystal Boggs & Bobby Wantland

Pleasanton, CA — June 7, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome HomeFront. The new brokerage is the fourth NextHome franchise location opened in the state of Mississippi.

NextHome HomeFront will be owned and operated by top-producing REALTOR® Crystal Boggs. The brokerage will service the cities of Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, D’Iberville, and the remainder of Jackson and Harrison Counties.

The brokerage will provide various real estate services for the local community such as working with first-time homebuyers, investment properties, vacation and second homes, multi-family properties, land and lots, and military family relocation. Crystal says more than half of NextHome HomeFront’s business involves military housing.

Crystal will have another top-producing REALTOR® serve as the company’s broker of record. Bobby Wantland brings years of experience to NextHome HomeFront and Crystal is happy to be in business with him.

“Bobby brings a lot of experience and I really love how he builds relationships with people,” said Crystal. “He’s been like a big brother to me and I am so happy to have him be a part of this journey.”

“I never thought I would want to work in a partnership format,” said Bobby with a laugh. “But I couldn’t pass up a chance of working with Crystal. She has a great heart, she is always wanting to grow personally and professionally, she is totally selfless… why wouldn’t I want to be in business with her?”

After selling off her very successful party rental business, Biloxi Bounce House, which did more than 1,000 rentals annually, Crystal decided to go into real estate. Her interest in becoming a real estate agent sparked from the positive experience that she and her husband, Bryan, had with their REALTOR® – Bobby.

Crystal first became licensed in real estate in 2016 and started with Keller Williams Realty.

While she spent most of the first year learning the marketing and prospecting side of real estate, that paid off just a few months into her second year in the business. Within the last three months of 2017, she sold over $1 million in real estate – an incredible number considering the local average home sales price at that time was just under $140,000.

Crystal made the move to a local NextHome franchised office where Bobby was working. That move paid off and in 2018, she sold 24 homes with more than $5 million in total sales volume.

In late 2018, Crystal felt it was the right time to open her own brokerage. As the previous owner of a successful business prior to real estate, her experience and track record gave her the confidence to open NextHome HomeFront.

“NextHome HomeFront will be a boutique brokerage company where the agents will be treated like family,” said Crystal. “That will allow them to connect with the ownership/leadership team and know they will be heard and treated with respect.”

In 2019, Crystal was honored with one of the most esteemed awards a military spouse can receive – Armed Forces Insurance Keesler Military Spouse of The Year.

The Boggs’ have been married for 17 years and are the proud parents of Mecquela (age 15) and Bryanna (13). The family enjoys all types of outdoor activities including four-wheeling, fishing, and crabbing. They also love to travel and visited Germany, England, and France last year.

Please join us in congratulating Crystal, Bobby, and the rest of the team at NextHome HomeFront on the opening of their brand new NextHome office in Ocean Springs, MS!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Gadwood Group expands into Missouri

NextHome Gadwood Group expands into Missouri

Julie Gadwood

Pleasanton, CA — May 29, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Gadwood Group – Gravois Mills Branch. The brokerage represents the fifth office location opened in the state of Missouri for the NextHome franchise.

The new Gravois Mills location will be led by broker/owner Julie Gadwood and she will handle all day-to-day operations for the company.

Located two and a half hours east of their Shawnee, Kansas location, the NextHome Gadwood Group – Gravois Mills Branch will handle all types of residential property sales such as first-time home buyers, investors, farms, ranches and land, military and veteran’s assistance, relocation, foreclosures, short sales, and all forms of residential sales of 1-4 units. The agents will serve the needs of residents in Gravois Mills, Sunrise Beach, Osage Beach, Camdenton, Laurie, and the remainder of the Lake of the Ozarks area.

Julie has been focused on expanding to The Lake of the Ozarks area as many Kansas residents own second homes there. With one of her own agents selling their Kansas home and moving to The Lake of the Ozarks to live full time, it made sense to open the new location.

“The Lake of the Ozarks is one of the few lakes in our area that allow homes to be built lakeside,” said Julie. “This has made it a very attractive place for people to live and play.”

Licensed since 2005, Julie started her real estate career with Coldwell Banker Regan in Shawnee where she worked for six years. She originally intended real estate to be an extra source of income, but after selling five homes in her first six months in the business, Julie realized she had the ability to turn real estate into a viable career.

While she grew her real estate business to see nearly $8 million in sales annually, the most important thing for Julie was that she was able to still spend quality time with her children and not miss any of the important events in their lives.

In 2012, Julie went out on her own and opened Gadwood Group Realty Company Inc.

“I started my own brokerage because I wanted to have a platform and a business that allowed me to put the total focus on the client,” said Julie. “By owning my own company, I was able to have a high level of service and know that our clients would be really taken care of.”

Julie was able to grow the brokerage to over 20 agents and saw the company do more than 125 transactions and over $40 million in a single year.

Additionally, Julie was recently recognized for the tenth year in a row as a 5 Star Award nominee for her outstanding real estate service in her community.

After several successful years as an independent brokerage, it was a random stroke of luck that Julie found NextHome.

“I found out about the franchise during a real estate conference that I attended,” recalled Julie. “Over the years, there were several different franchises we talked to, but none of them really piqued my interest. After years of studying what NextHome was doing and after speaking with (NextHome’s VP of Sales) Charis Moreno, I felt that it was the right time to align my brokerage with NextHome.”

Julie and her agents are excited about the freshness of the company, the consistent branding, and the entire suite of tools and services they now have at NextHome Gadwood Group.

In addition to selling real estate, Julie and her team volunteer time to bettering the real estate industry and providing hope in their community.

As a member of the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® (KCRAR), Julie has actively participated in Habitat for Humanity, where she and her agents have helped rehabilitate homes in her community for those in need.

In 2018, the Gadwood Group were the recipients of the Spirit Award by KCRAR for their service in the community.

The company has also volunteered in the local coat drive and the local Ronald McDonald House organization.

When not selling real estate, Julie and her husband of 27 years (and high school sweetheart) David love to spend time with their three children.

Their eldest, Jake (25), is a graduate of Kansas State University with a focus on Finance Economics. Nick (22) is currently a student at the University of Kansas and is not only an Accounting major but a licensed real estate agent as well. Their youngest, Carney (19), is a sophomore at the University of Kansas and is majoring in Business.

Please join us in congratulating Julie and the rest of the team at NextHome Gadwood Group on their new NextHome office in Gravois Mills, MO!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Charlie and Devon: a veteran service dog team

Charlie and Devon: a veteran service dog team

It takes a distinct form of courage to take on a job called “Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician.” Especially while serving in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Charlie Linville, of Boise, is that kind of brave.

Even while recounting how he was injured, Charlie is matter-of-fact. “I stepped on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device),” says Charlie. “When I came to and figured out what happened, my leg was severely damaged, my hand was severely damaged and I had some brain injuries.” Charlie tried to save his leg but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it. “For 18 months after my injury I had my leg. I had several surgeries, but I was in so much pain I decided to have it amputated and live a happy life,” he explains.

Although Charlie had every reason to feel sorry for himself, he’s moving on. He’s still in great shape. He even climbed Mount Everest! And he’s a great father of two little girls. Despite his challenges, somehow he manages to stay positive. “I’m lucky that I’m not in a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” Charlie says.

Still, Charlie needs help with everyday tasks. That’s where Service Dog Devon III comes in. Charlie received Devon, free of charge, from Canine Companions for Independence in August. Canine Companions is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

“I have a lower spine injury that makes my left leg go numb so my balance isn’t always what it needs to be,” Charlie explains. “When I’m using my cane and carrying something, having the dog with me to pick up something that I’ve dropped, open a door or hit a light switch is a big day-to-day thing for me when I’m out in public.”

At home, Charlie does not always use his prosthetic leg. “Devon is learning to bring me the prosthesis when I’m sitting on the couch,” explains Charlie. “Sometimes I have a hard time getting up, and Devon can retrieve something and bring it to me. Just having someone with me to help do things that are really difficult or painful for me really affects my life in a positive way!”

Charlie is one of hundreds of military veterans who have received assistance dogs from Canine Companions. “Canine Companions assistance dogs are amazing, magical gifts,” says Charlie. “They change people’s lives.”

To learn more about the Veterans Initiative offered through our partners at Canine Companions for Independence, click here