Changes prepare Weigand for growth

Wichita's largest real estate brokerage is reshuffling its office lineup, headlined by a major downtown expansion.

Officials at J.P. Weigand & Sons announced Wednesday morning that the firm will move all of its corporate functions to the main office at 150 N. Market.

The company has purchased the old lock and key shop just to its north and is renovating 1,300 square feet to move residential general manager Gary Walker, the new-homes division, marketing operation and the company's foreclosure and bank-owned division under the corporate roof.

The company's south Wichita office at 10811 E. Harry will be consolidated with the current residential office at 13th and Woodlawn.

And growth continues in the company's newest office, in Derby, where another 1,300 square feet is being added to the already doubled space to accommodate 18 new agents.

Weigand chief executive Nestor Weigand said the changes should position the company for growth as the Wichita real estate market recovers from the recession.

"It's about communication and unity," said Roger Weast, Weigand's president. "We're getting sandwiched down south with Derby's growth and the South Harry office with our East 13th office."

Walker will continue as the supervising broker of the East 13th office.

Barb Boulanger will be the new branch manager there, with Sue Wenger continuing as assistant broker.

"Throughout the merging, there will be no layoffs of staff," Walker said. "It was very important to us to have places for all our staff because we didn't want to lay anyone off.

"It's a good move for us because Derby is growing so fast and taking on a lot of that southeast market. We've had a duplication of efforts between Derby and East Harry."

The moves free up space for additional residential agents throughout the Weigand system, which has seen its numbers drop from 319 to 284 agents in the past year.

"As far as key people go, we're not down," Weast said. "We've lost people who weren't doing well in a tough real estate market."

"It's a national thing," Weigand said. "Everybody's down. The local association is down around 10 percent."

Weigand is a century-old Wichita residential and commercial real estate firm with offices in Wichita, Hutchinson, Derby, Belle Plaine, Newton and El Dorado.

Its specialties include relocations and auction services, ranging from residential to agricultural land.