PITTSBURG — Nearly 30 years ago, Brian Jones said he wanted to see the community grow.
Fast forward to today and there’s been so many changes, from his office to Pittsburg as a city.

Jones runs a nearly 115-year-old real estate business, Jones Realty, now known as Jones Realtors. Eleven years ago Jones merged his business with Chuck Hosman’s, The Heritage Agency, which Hosman had owned and operated from 1978 to 2009. This merge created a second business, Jones Heritage. Jones Realtors became a referral agency and Jones Heritage continued to be a real estate agency.

The history
Jones Realty was established in 1905 by Frank A. Jones. In 1908, he was joined by his brother, Ernest, and the firm sold both real estate and insurance. Paul S. Jones joined his father in the business in 1946. In 1953, Ruth Sherman, sister of Paul, joined the firm and for 15 years was the only real estate sales woman in Pittsburg.  

In 1978 Brian K. Jones, son of Paul Jones, became the third generation of the family to sell real estate for Jones Realty, which handles residential, commercial and industrial sales.

Jones’ reason for going into real estate, well, was to set his own hours.  
“I was still a basketball junkie at that point, I loved basketball,” he said. Jones played basketball in high school and in college at Pittsburg State University. He was thinking one day he might even become a coach.

However, if he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid.
“I learned pretty quickly that I needed to work to get paid,” he said.

Around this time he also got married and had to meet the needs of his family. In April, Jones and his wife Pat celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have three children and all three did not choose a career in real estate, Jones said, but they are doing well in the career paths they have chosen.

The National Bank, First Federal Savings and Loan Association, City National Bank, KG & E and property for The McNally Corporation were a few of the commercial sites sold by Jones Realty over the years.

The firm was instrumental in the development of Random Acres in southeast Pittsburg and was the owner and developer of Westwood Place Addition in southwest Pittsburg, a Morning Sun article about Jones Realty’s 90th year in business reported.

According to Jones, the business started where the “Globe Building” was, near 4th and Broadway in Pittsburg. The business then moved to East 5th Street until it was sold to the Kansas Teachers Credit Union. That’s when they moved up to 1002 N. Broadway. Now the office is at 915 N. Broadway.

Jones also managed to track down their first ad in the paper which ran in Dec. 8 1905. It reads “... three bedroom home on west Madison, monthly payment $10 a month...” quite a difference in comparison today’s cost.

The business’ services now reach beyond Pittsburg, extending to Frontenac, Girard, and eastern Crawford County.

Technology too has changed, in the 90th anniversary article, Jones mentioned that the advancements in technology — fax machines and printers — made an impact on the business. This continues today, which now includes smartphones, computers and internet, digital cameras and video chat. He and the others can now have meetings through video, he said.

A little less fun, but another big change are the contracts. What used to be a two-page long contract is nearly 16 pages.

The Team
In the article about Jones Realty’s 90th anniversary Jones had mentioned how agents representing buyers was one of the changes from the earlier years in the business. This concept remains the same today.

Jones Heritage has a team of realtors and many have a specialty.
“We have a really good group of people,” he said. “We’ve been real lucky, we really are a good team.”

To name a few, Chuck Hosman often works in commercial real estate, Steve Kuplen in farm properties and Lary D'Amico in investment property. One of their team members, Monica Angeles, helps provide a service they haven’t had before. Angeles is bilingual and helps spanish-speaking customers buy a home.

The team also comes together to do community service projects. For example, on June 28, the group assisted the Pittsburg Salvation Army with sorting and other tasks as part of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas Day of Action. The business’ team has previously volunteered with Hearts and Hammers, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations in southeast Kansas.
“It’s volunteering, giving back to the community,” Jones said.

Jones remembered making connections and being part of the community when Jones’ father owned the business. Jones would go to coffee with his father, who would meet other business owners and in return community service opportunities and later sales came from it. Jones’ mother also encouraged community service.
“Those connections are really cool, but then again, you are helping people,” Jones said. “Everyone thinks you’re doing it for the money, and if you’re doing it for the money you’re going to lose and get into trouble. It’s not about money, it’s about helping lives and helping people.”

Real estate makes an impact as the customer makes the next step in their lives, Jones said.
“It could be the first house their buying, the last house they lived in or it’s helping them get through it,” he said.

These “steps” sometimes follow a death, retirement or an expanding family.
Jones said he sometimes walks into a newly on the market home where the family is still sorting through their home as they begin their next step in life — still looking through items left behind by a loved one, preparing to leave their home town or their first home.
“You have to be sympathetic,” he said. “A lot of it is helping people get through it, and a lot of the times it’s ‘you get to take these memories with you’.”

Whats next?
Jones will be wearing his iconic bow ties and funky socks to the office until he can’t drive any more, he said. His own father retired from the business at 85 years old.
“As long as I can drive and get around,” he said. “I love doing what I do, I love selling houses.
“It’s a joy coming in.”