Broker/owner Steve Cupolo opened Premier Properties in 1999 and got a Coldwell Banker franchise in 2010. The company is a full-service real estate company located in St. Augustine Beach at 661 A1A Beach Blvd. The broker/manager of the office is Rob West.
Who does what?
Cupolo oversees all branch offices and departments including sales, long term rentals, vacation rentals and community association management. He is the ultimate decision maker on most every issue including personnel and budgeting. His main responsibility is to manage the growth of the company through expansion, recruiting and mergers/acquisitions. He is very involved in the day-to-day operations and is available to all agents in any office for any issue requiring his attention.
West oversees the day-to-day operations of the main office. He implements and manages strategic organizational systems, procedures and policies for the company as a whole. He also trains, mentors, supports sales associates and support staff, produces and interprets monthly performance and financial reports for short and long term business planning, budgeting and organizational goals.
How many agents?
There are 49 agents and they are actively recruiting more.
Why go with a franchise?
"Two years ago, we came to the realization that as an independent company you can kind of reach a plateau and can't go any further," said Cupolo. "The advent of Coldwell Banker has been phenomenal for us. It's allowed us to bring on the top most motivated professionals and it's given us the opportunity to enhance our training program." Coldwell Banker has an international presence in 52 countries with 1,500 offices and 130,000 agents worldwide.
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties has seven locations including St. Augustine Beach, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach/Daytona Beach, World Golf Village, two onsite condo offices and an office that does strictly property management and short-term rentals in St. Augustine. There are 95 agents in the seven offices.
Their newest location is in the World Golf Village and opened last month. Karen Palmer is the broker/manager of that office which has 14 agents so far, but they are actively recruiting. Sharon McCafferty is the office manager. Mo Hotchkiss of International Golf Realty merged her office with the new office and brought her agents and rentals with her.
"With her 300 rentals and our rentals I think we will become unquestionably the largest real estate rental office in the area," said Cupolo.
What will new office do for you?
Cupolo said it will open a whole new area for his company to handle including greater WGV area, Palencia, Nocatee, 210 corridor and Vilano Beach. "The reason we chose that location is because it is right in the center of the hub," said Cupolo. "If you take an eight-mile circle from our office, you pick up everything in the Northwest quadrant. It was the perfect location for a new office."
The office has meetings the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. During those meetings they touch base on current events and what is happening in the community. "We will often take a specific contract and break it down individually," said Cupolo. "We will then do virtual tours on our flat screen television. We used to do caravans and the neighbors suffered because we parked all over the place and it was invasive. Now with the advent of videos, Youtube.com and virtual tours we can sit in that room for 30 minutes and see virtual tours of our nicest properties. We are saving gas and conserving energy and not ticking off the neighbors."
Who is in the office?
Beth Clark, Bill Miller, Caleb Cooper, Carmen Gilliland, Charles Ellis, Chris Philcox, Gay Marsh, Cindy Zimmermann, D.J. Della Sala, David Youngblood, Diane Grady, Donia and Doug Carr, Doug Detrick, Ellen Banob, Eric Huey, Jane Wolfe, Jean Meme, Jeanne Somerset, Jennifer Sauvage, Jill Little, John McKrow, Joy Tomlinson, Judi Schuyler, Julie Knowles, Karol Young, Kathy Addison, Lindsey Maguire, Manu Ruggeri, Maureen Loliva, Max Vinzant, Noel David, Paula David, Rick Mc Chesney, Robert Spence, Roxanne Gibes, Steve Gay, Teri Krause, Vicki Sicuranza, Vince Fattizzi, Wanda Chambers, Wendy Echols and Winston Burrell are agents. Cindy Reis is the Relocation director, Brittney Lewis is the Marketing & Social Media director, Gail Griswold is the agent/property manager, Janice Lindsey is the agent/rental manager, Joanne Gray is the rental assistant, Matt Kelley is an agent/rental manager, Kathy Trela is the office manager and Susan Strump is the marketing and public relations director.
Residential and commercial real estate sales, long and short-term rentals and community association management.
Current real estate market in St. Augustine?
"It is a stabilized market," said West. "The balance of supply and demand is equitable and in balance. The inventory is low and the median prices have seen a modest increase this year."
Cupolo said the market is really coming back and his office has been swamped with business.
Is Vilano Beach an up and coming area?
With the new Publix and various new shops in the area, business is picking up in the Vilano Beach area. "It is an up and coming area," said Cupolo. "For years the Vilano Beach had beautiful beaches, but the Vilano Bridge was questionable and not reliable. The advent of the bridge in 1995 has put it in a much more desirable location. That is why we thought having an office close to it will be advantageous to us. Vilano does not have a lot of empty space to build, but since the values have leveled, re-sales are coming on strong."
Type of agents?
Cupolo said he hires new and experienced full-time real estate professionals.
How do you compete in this market?
Cupolo said his agents are heavily involved in the community giving them a presence and allowing the people in the community to see them getting involved. "People want to see Realtors more than just the day they are trying to list their home for sale," said Cupolo.
"We offer probably the most extensive, professional training programs in any real estate company." The agents have access to Coldwell Banker University and there is also in-house training often at the office.
Area your office covers?
The office covers St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach and Daytona.
How do you compete in this market?
"Though the name helps, it's all about the people.
óby Michele Gillis