Hardesty Real Estate: Some things never change

Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

Out with the old, in with the new.

Well, not really.

The new owner of Hardesty Real Estate of Miles City actually has been a partner with Carol Hardesty Cherry for two years and, as per their agreement, Dawn Bolejack-Leidholt has purchased the 50 percent she didn’t own.

Cherry had another business partner — Gary Meidinger — until two years ago. They owned the company following the death of Jack Hardesty, her father, in 1997.

The Bolejack-Leidholt/Cherry transaction actually was finalized and went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, but it’s been business as usual for them, working alongside associates Amber Rainey and Heather Nelson in the four-person office at 1112 Main St. in Miles City.

Each is an independent contractor.

“We’re all self-employed,” said Cherry, who has been a part of the business for 44 years, going to work for her father in 1973.

“Real estate was a lot easier then,” the 63-year-old Realtor/broker said. “It was a handshake and we had one page (of document per sale).

“I learned from my dad when Miles City was completely different, but it’s still a little farming community. Nothing has changed for me. I’m getting closer to retirement and (the sale) makes things easier. It was just the plan we had and now I’ve got that part done.”

She’ll still be a big asset of the company. “I’m planning on staying for a long time,” Cherry said. “I’m going to continue selling, working with the people, finding the perfect home for our clients.”

The biggest difference?

“She’s the boss now.”

That would be Bolejack-Leidholt, who is in her second stint with the firm that will continue under the name Hardesty & Associates Real Estate. She started with Mullen-Hardesty Realtors in 1993 and continued with Hardesty Real Estate in 2006.

Bolejack-Leidholt, who has a degree in chemistry, left from January 2007 to January 2009 to work for Sanjel.

“I was a lab rat,” she said of the job with the oil-related business. “I put my college degree to use.”

She returned as a broker in January 2009 and now is the sole owner.

“We just want to continue to offer the same great service,” she said, adding that the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Realtor.com are now part of the operation.

“We implemented the MLS in January. Change isn’t always well-received,” she said. “We’re just getting up to date in modern technology. Everything’s done on the Internet.”

She describes Miles City as “our own little utopia, surrounded by farms and ranches.”

Meanwhile, Miles City had 105 listings last week; usually there are 40-60. However, Bolejack-Leidholt said there were 20 sales pending.

“That is good,” she said of the anticipated sales, “but we would like more buyers. It’s the most listings I’ve ever seen in Miles City.”

Bolejack-Leidholt, basically a lifetime resident of Miles City, said owning the business in its entirety makes a difference.

“It’s a change,” the 46-year-old mother of four said. “Being the one person making 100 percent of the decisions can be stressful. It’s been scary and exciting all at once.”

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)