It sounds like something they might hear from one of their clients — “We’ve outgrown our current place.”
The team at Real Living Casa Fina Realty has always loved the office’s Tampa Palms neighborhood, but needed more space than at the office in the Tampa Palms Professional Center.
So, in 2020, the agents will help people in New Tampa and surrounding areas buy and sell homes from a larger, more modern workspace in The Shoppes at Amberly, located on Amberly Dr., also in Tampa Palms.
Nick Parrinello, the Broker/owner of Real Living Casa Fina Realty, moved his company into its new digs on Dec. 17. “As we have continued to grow,” he says, “we needed more space and wanted a little more visibility.”
Casa Fina Realty began as an independent real estate brokerage in Tampa Palms in 2003. Nick came to work for the company in 2007, shortly before it became a franchise of GMAC Real Estate, which was rebranded as Real Living in 2011.
Nick bought the company in 2014. In the past few years, Nick says Casa Fina Realty has grown to be the third largest brokerage in New Tampa.
While the company has expanded from 15 agents, and Nick is excited to own a larger firm, he says he won’t let his Casa Fina outgrow its boutique feel.
“We have the same culture and our core values haven’t changed,” he says. “Some agents have been with us from the beginning.”
And, while the company serves 10 counties, and focuses on Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties, Nick says the heart of Casa Fina is right here, a few minutes south of Wesley Chapel.
“We have just one office and it’s always been in Tampa Palms,” says Nick. “We want to keep our roots here.”
He says many of the agents and staff live in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel, and the company sees the Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. corridor as its home and primary market.
While real estate agents typically work from anywhere — whether it’s driving around neighborhoods, meeting clients in restaurants or coffee shops, or making phone calls from home — Nick is optimistic that Casa Fina’s new space will be a place his agents will want to be.
“It’s a great location, in the same plaza with five spots to grab lunch without having to get in the car and drive,” he says. “We expect it to have a lively, vibrant atmosphere.”
Instead of cubicles, the new space offers agents shared private offices, where they can close the door for privacy, but have the efficiency of sharing the space with other agents.
The new location also features a large conference room for company meetings, or where agents can present seminars or classes to the community. Nick is planning to see that space used for customer appreciation parties, new homebuyer seminars and other events that bring people together, as well as to share valuable information.
While Nick says Casa Fina Realty serves about 700 families a year, the goal is to provide the best possible customer service to each one.
“We want to empower agents by ensuring they are well-trained and giving them the tools they need,” he says.
He describes himself as “a stickler for knowing the contract,” saying that having a license in real estate is just the bare minimum when it comes to being prepared to buy and sell homes.
“We’re not attorneys, but we are responsible for our clients,” he says. It’s a big responsibility, especially when contracts start at 12 pages and often grow from there.
He adds, “We all started out inexperienced and there’s nothing wrong with that, but inexperienced agents need the backing and support of management if something goes wrong.”
One Satisfied Customer’s Story
Lisa Souza is a Cross Creek homeowner who worked with Casa Fina agent Seena Allen when she and her family moved to the Tampa area from New York this past summer.
“It was extremely challenging, because we knew nothing about the Tampa area,” Lisa explains. “She honestly helped us get our dream home, and we’re so happy. It’s even better than what we hoped.”
Lisa says Seena was professional, patient and kind, and worked hard when things got complicated.
“We made an offer on a house but then found out there was lots of work that needed to be done after the inspection,” Lisa explains. “Our house in New York was sold, the one we wanted to buy fell through, and it was an extremely stressful time. But, Seena was such a pleasure to work with that it took the stress out of it.”
Lisa says that when issues popped up, Seena would call on her colleagues if she had questions or wanted another opinion about how to handle the issues. “They all got back with her almost instantaneously with text messages,” she says.
Nick says his agents work hard to ensure they are able to be a network of resources for their clients, whether they are in the middle of a transaction, or they are a past client from years ago.
“We try to be the go-to person if you need something,” Nick says. “Maybe you bought a house three years ago, but now you need a plumber. We think of ourselves as local guides or resources.”
He says that even in the days of Google and Yelp, people still prefer a personal recommendation. No matter what you need, someone in the company has a connection and a personal experience they can share.
Another way the firm provides added value to its clients is by serving as a full-service brokerage, with agents who specialize in commercial services and property management.
“If you need help finding a tenant or you need full management of your property, we fully cover New Tampa and Wesley Chapel and some of the surrounding areas,” Nick explains.
Casa Fina Realty also can help anyone who may need to move but isn’t sure if they want to sell.
“It gives us the flexibility to offer different options,” he says. “I can’t tell you how many houses we put up for sale and for rent at the same time and then see which happens first.”
He says sometimes people relocate and then move back, or sometimes they choose to sell after their home has been rented for a few years.
No matter what your personal situation is, Nick and the agents at Casa Fina want to help you determine what’s best for you and help make it happen.
Lisa’s experience with Casa Fina Realty has led her to recommend the company to both her mom and sister — both of whom she hopes will move to New Tampa — and an acquaintance who already lives in the area.
She says she told them, “The details will be handled thoroughly, things will be done quickly, and there will be a level of professionalism that comes from the heart.”
Real Living Casa Fina Realty is located at 15343 Amberly Dr. in the Shoppes at Amberly. To learn more, visit CasaFinaRealty.com, call (813) 569-6294, or see the ad on page 29.