Domination of south island market gives Moorings Realty Sales Company big lift

PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

The Moorings Realty Sales Company is having a great year, dominating sales on the southern part of the island and getting ready to add another notable agent to its small but highly productive roster.

“I did not expect this summer to be as strong as it is,” said Moorings Realty broker Marsha Sherry. “I thought it would steady, but I would say it is more than just steady! Our numbers speak for themselves.”

Those numbers, drawn from MLS data covering the first half of the year up to June 26, are impressive.

Operating with just three sales agents, the boutique brokerage had the most transactions by far not just in the Moorings community where it is located but on the whole south section of 32963, from 17th Street to the St. Lucie County line, an area that includes Castaway Cove and other substantial communities.

“I am so proud of my agents,” said Sherry. “We are small but mighty!”

Within the sprawling, approximately 1,200-home Moorings community, the brokerage Sherry manages listed and sold nearly five times as many houses and condos as its nearest competitor, with 38 transactions compared to eight for the runner-up.

At the same time, Sherry’s three agents – Daina Bertrand, Erika Ross and Collier Proctor – were ranked one, two and three for number of transactions in the highly-regarded ocean-to-river country club community.

But the success did not stop there. This little-brokerage-that-could was also No. 1 in transactions on the whole south part of 32963, and Bertrand and Ross were the No. 1 and No. 2 agents in that section, known in the MLS as area 12.

Island-wide, Ross was No. 3 in transactions while Bertrand was No. 5.

Moorings agents list and sell in other island communities, focusing mainly on waterfront properties, but unrivaled knowledge of their home community is the foundation of their success, according to Sherry.

Ross has worked at the nautically themed brokerage since she was 21 years old and both Bertrand and Proctor grew up in the community, where their parents or grandparents have homes.

“Nobody knows The Moorings like we do,” said Sherry, who moved to the community in the 1980s and has been at the brokerage for 27 years.

In addition, the brokerage functions as a team in ways that protect property owners in the Moorings and help facilitate transactions with outside brokers.

If a Moorings Realty listing agent isn’t available for a showing, another Moorings agent – or Sherry, who is a non-competing broker – will squire the visitors around.

If an outside agent’s client wants to see several homes listed by different Moorings agents, they don’t have to make multiple appointments. Instead, one agent is assigned to show all the properties, simplifying the process and building rapport.

“We always accompany any outside agent to a showing to give them and their clients the benefit of our knowledge, and we never give up the keys to our listings,” Sherry said. “We respect outside agents and do everything we can to help them and their clients.”

The sense of teamwork at the brokerage is one of the things that attracted Chris Butler, longtime broker/owner at Villa Realty Associates, who will join The Moorings Realty Sales Company on Aug. 1, boosting the number of active agents to four. Two other semi-retired agents do business at the brokerage when past clients or referrals seek them out.

“I am really excited about the transition,” Butler told Vero Beach 32963 on Monday. “I have sold condos, single-family homes and oceanfront properties in The Moorings and worked with all the agents. I have great respect for them and their collaborative approach.

They are very professional but also very easy to work with. Moorings Realty epitomizes everything I was looking for in a brokerage.”

“We think Chris will be the perfect fit,” said Sherry, who needs another agent to keep up with the booming business but turned down several earlier prospects, waiting for just the right person to come along.

Butler said she is looking forward to being in the bright, watery world of The Moorings during her workdays. She and her husband tried to buy in the community during the boom but were outbid on several properties, and she said they would still be interested in moving to The Moorings if the right opportunity pops up.

“I love The Moorings,” she said. “My husband and I are boaters so it is perfect for us. To my mind, the community represents the best of what the Vero Beach lifestyle has to offer.”

Ross said it is that lifestyle – which has earned Vero the nickname of The Hamptons of Florida – that underlies the continuing strength of the real estate market in The Moorings and island wide.

“We have the tax advantages that are available in Florida along with our relatively small seaside town feel, which has been discovered since covid,” Ross said. “We have a rare lifestyle that you can live here whether you are retired or still working, with the ability to work remotely.”

She said this summer’s market is stronger than the last pre-pandemic summer in 2019.

“We have less inventory but I feel like there are more homebuyers out there.”

Low inventory supports prices and makes available properties even more desirable.

“Erika listed a waterfront house last Friday that went under contract on Sunday, with a backup offer,” said Sherry. “And we are closing a condo tomorrow for over ask. Things aren’t as crazy as they were in 2021, but business is good. The low inventory keeps those prices up there.

“I think our little company is as strong as it has ever been in its 40-year-plus history,” Sherry added. “It’s gotten harder to predict the future since covid, but I feel good about what is happening and think we will have a strong second half and excellent season this year.”

“There are always going to be buyers who want to live here,” said Ross.

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