The Premier Property Group and the State of the Real Estate Market

January 24, 2012 by Gwen Break

The Premier Property Group concentrates its efforts on real estate sales for Scenic 30A. This focused marketing strategy produced more than $200 million in sales in the area in 2011 for the brokerage firm. That total is well above most all other firms in the area.

Owner Keith Flippo, and broker and Vice President of Premier Properties Alda Sileo, credit their success to several factors but single out the company’s relationship with Tennessee Realtor Bob Parks of primary importance.Parks has 450 agents in middle Tennessee.

“I have two partners, Bob and Marie Parks,” said Flippo. “We do have some really good synergy in that we drive traffic back and forth.” And with a grin, “Only they drive more down here.”

Parks also provides other resources such as training, brand recognition and professional resources and marketing opportunities to which other local firms might not have access, said Flippo.

Other obvious factors helping in their success are lending rates and a more stable market.
Sileo said because South Walton felt the recession earlier, she believes it is seeing an earlier recovery as well.

“In 2005, we were already in decline where the rest of the county or even Florida wasn’t. Now, depreciation has come to a screeching halt,” Sileo said.

“Sales are occurring. Prices came down to where a lot people that feel they maybe got squeezed out of the market in the heyday are now seeing opportunities to come back here. (Before) they weren’t either comfortable or couldn’t afford to. Banks are lending and the rates are unbelievable,” said Flippo with special emphasis.

“In the last 12 months, and probably more than that, people have been -- I call it -- “parking cash” down here. They’ve got money, prices are down and people feel beach property is always going to be desirable. Up until the very end of last year, all my sales were in cash. I would say I have done well over $50 million myself this year and only three or four million has been financed.”

“The big guns have come in and parked their cash. When the economy slowed down after the heyday we looked back and what I classify “the big money” had pulled back 18 months prior. But we were so busy we really didn’t have time to piece it together. I feel they have come in and gotten their deals. A lot of them already owned here but are moving up. I think more people will need to finance but still yet are well able to afford a million-dollar property. I think that is our group we are going to see this year,” said Flippo.

Both Flippo and Sileo say they are also beginning to see an uptick in new construction and lot sales They credit this newest trend to finance rates, stabilization of the market as a whole and also the resolution of Florida’s insurance plight, which now allows for dramatic cost reduction in new home construction if built in accordance newly-legislated wind protections.

“Lots that haven’t sold in forever are now selling. Lots stopped selling because you couldn’t buy a lot and build it for the price you could buy a distressed property. That has changed, in our lifestyle communities particularly. We need more and better product,” stressed Flippo.

As business continues to increase so does Premier’s stable of services. Legacy Lending, with Jean Crews at the helm, JPB commercial Real Estate Advisers and Blue Title are all joint ventures in which the Premiere is a primary member. Beach Retreats is a wholly owned company by Premier.

There is also talk of expanding with an additional office in the Sandestin area. That would make the third office for Premier Property Group, one at Seacrest Village just west of Rosemary Beach, and at Watercolor.

“We are bullish on the real estate market,” stated Flippo.

“We need to get the word out to our feeder markets that what’s going on here is sales. I feel some people sitting in Nashville or Atlanta see their real estate market still flat and they assume it is the same here. I think it is us upon us as a brokerage and real estate independent agents to get that word out: Sales are increasing dramatically.” Flippo pauses and searches for the right words. “I just feel there are people sitting on the fence who think they are doing so rightfully but are missing out on a great opportunity.”

“A great opportunity,” Sileo emphasizes.

While their expertise maybe in high-end properties, the company has several listings in all price ranges and welcomes all buyers. Service, said both Flippo and Sileo, is their business, both to their customers and to one another within their many offices.

“Great agents, great support, great camaraderie ... and it is a fun place to come to work. It makes a difference when you love what you’re doing,” said Sileo. Obviously for the Premier Property Group, those are words to live by, and to profit from.

Thinking about moving to South Walton?

If you are thinking of buying property in South Walton, Keith Flippo of Premier Property Group said it is important to narrow your choices to a particular location.

“We can show house after house but until the client knows what kind of neighborhood he wants to live in, it’s not really productive.”

Narrow your choices, he suggest. Spend some time in the communities where you are contemplating living.

“Go to lunch at one of the restaurants, visit the shops, walk the neighborhood. Does it have the amenities and atmosphere you want?”

Flippo said there are distinct features that make each community special. It is important to know what you want in a home before you start buying.

Need guidance on what makes each area special? Agents at Premier Property Group can assist you in discovering those things that are important to you in a first, second or vacation home.

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Gwen Break's picture

Gwen Break loves to write and she loves to keep up with almost everyone and almost everything going on in South Walton.

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