Emerald Waters Realty Keeping Up With South Walton Growth
December 28, 2014 by Manny Chavez
Emerald Waters Realty was founded in 1991 by Madge A. Pfaffman and Kathryn “Kittye” J. Green. Back then, there were only a handful of sales and rental companies in this area. Through the process of selling real estate, the company naturally developed into real estate management for the growing rental market.
The day-to-day management duties for Emerald Waters Realty is currently handled by Nestor Lorente and Chelsea Tully who both work out of their 30A office location near Seacrest Beach. Working for a small company, they both “wear many hats.” Rounding out the Seacrest office staff is Sherri Stephens, Administrative Assistant, and Christy Waggoner, Housekeeping Manager.
Asked to describe the company’s “territory”, they consider the area between Seagrove Beach and the west end of Panama City Beach as their primary location target. “With the phenomenal growth occurring in our area, we have chosen to be more specialized in a small geographical area rather than spread out in all directions,” explains Chelsea. Nestor agrees, “We are a small company and we are proud to stay small, allowing us to be flexible and able to customize the level of service offered to our owners and guests.”
Both Nestor and Chelsea are quick to point out how the real estate property sales and rental market has changed and how they have had to adjust to the changes.
“20 years ago, perspective renters were calling wanting to know if their unit would have air-conditioning,” laughs Chelsea. “Today, people are pretty much EXPECTING cable, internet, granite counter tops, and of course air-conditioning. We are no longer considered the lazy little beach town that we once were and the 30A area is marketed to upscale, resort-type tourists.”
“Of course, another big change in the past couple of years is the addition of more people flying into the area…making this much more than a driver destination. Our new International airport has opened the doors to travelers from all over the country as well as the rest of the world,” emphasizes Nestor.
According to Chelsea, the Emerald Waters guest return ratio is extremely high. “Our guests have been coming to us for more than 20 years now and many of them know our staff by name. We have a great relationship with our guests and always make sure they truly have their ‘home away from home’…this attention to detail is reflected in our high rate of repeat customers,” explains Chelsea.
Keeping up with technology is an ongoing project for Emerald Waters Realty. Being able to make use of the internet is near the top of the average guest request list. “Visitors to our area may be on vacation, but they by no means want to turn their phones off…they want to be connected 24-7.”
Emerald Waters Realty staff members all agree that it is their personal service to guests that keep them coming back. The future looks bright for area businesses and Nestor and Chelsea are poised to keep Emerald Waters Realty on the map.
Emerald Waters Realty can be reached at 850-231-2418, online at www.emeraldwaters.com.