Name change won’t change objectives of business

The only thing changing at Seibel Real Estate and Auction, is the name.

Lyle Leppke, owner, has decided after nearly 15 years, to change the name of his business from Seibel Real Estate to Leppke Realty and Auction, Inc.

Leppke became involved with Seibel Real Estate and Auction in January 1984.

His older brother, Stuart, had purchased one-half the business from founder Bud Seibel.

That April, they found out Seibel had cancer, so Lyle purchased his half of the business and became co-owner with Stuart.

“I was a 23-year-old kid fresh out of college, trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life,” Leppke said. “I had no idea this was the best thing that had ever happened to me.”

A short time later, Lyle bought out Stuart and became the sole proprieter of Seibel Real Estate and Auction.

“There are not many young people in the auction business, and it is a hard business to get into,” he said. “Buying a company with a well-respected and established name was the best idea.

“Seibel’s had a good business and I was glad to use their name, especially as a young kid nobody knew,” Leppke said.

“I owe the Seibels a big thank-you,” he added. “They had an established name and good reputation, and put up with their name sticking around when they had no ownership in it.”

While he may have inherited a good name, Leppke said he worked diligently to uphold it.

“If I was going to do auctions, I was going to be an auctioneer people liked,” Leppke said.”And I was going to be good.”

Never one to search for the spotlight, Leppke said he was comfortable keeping the Seibel name with the business.

“You don’t change something that’s working,” Leppke said. “I’ve promoted this name far from home and people know the name.”

He said the idea to change the name was spontaneous.

“I was surprised at the number of people, even those close to me, that did not realize I owned the company,” Leppke said.

“I always had people asking me who owned it. If my name is up there, I won’t have to answer that question.”

Leppke has made a name for himself in the auction world, but said he still has some anxiety about the name change.

“Local people recognize my name, but you worry about people farther away,” he said. “This business has taken us pretty far from home.

“I could have left it Seibel and been fine,” he added. “Maybe things change when you get older. I think it’s time for my name to go up there.”

The name will be different, but the people who work there will remain the same.

Roger Hiebert, Rhonda Carlson, Kent Becker, Loren Groening, Cameron Reimer, Brenda Reimer, and Lyle Leppke will still be there to take care of business.

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