By Camille Gillies
The hands on the clock aren’t the only things moving ahead this spring, as the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel real estate markets continue to gather steam.
Area real estate professionals report a significant surge in home sales and traffic, with some Realtors, such as Lessie Reyes, of Michael Green & Associates – Keller Williams Realty, getting multiple offers on residential listings in the New Tampa area.
“I sold a property in Hunter’s Green in just two days,” she announces, shaking her head in wonder. “It got five offers the day I listed it.”
Lessie, who launched her real estate career in 2007, describes the current market as “crazy,” which is how some people might have viewed her decision to leave a successful career in information technology to transition to a real estate industry that was about to implode at that time.
However, Lessie says she has no regrets and boasts an average of $4 million in sales each year. If fact, in the supposedly depressed 2010 market, she sold $8 million worth of property, including at least eight homes in the Cory Lake Isles community on Cross Creek Blvd.
“To be successful in real estate, you have to have a passion to help people and love your work,” Lessie says, explaining her success as one of the top-producing agents in the Tampa Bay area. “I enjoy it because I get to meet so many people. As an IT (information technology) administrator, I worked in an office and had the same team all the time.”
Before making the switch to real estate, Lessie was a systems analyst and data base administrator for CACI Marketing Systems /ESRI Business Information Solutions in Washington, DC.
She says that teamwork is essential in real estate, when so many parties play a role in closing a deal.
“Because I’m a team player and I have a good attitude, I can bring a transaction to a successful close,” she says.
Lessie stresses that her background in IT also comes in handy when she is analyzing “comps,” also known as “comparable home statistics,” and marketing a home on the internet, noting, “I can market a listing where today’s buyers will see it. Today, 95 percent of real estate marketing is done on the internet and I am computer savvy, so I can get my client’s property the visibility it needs. Keller Williams also has a great website.”
Lessie, who has been with Keller Williams Realty for two years, is a listing specialist working for the luxury residence team at Michael Green & Associates in Green’s South Tampa office. The firm specializes in marketing and selling waterfront, fine and luxury homes, estates and investment properties.
“By partnering with Michael Green’s superior marketing skills and extensive market knowledge, I am established with one of the nation’s top real estate professionals,” she states, adding that Michael Green consistently ranks among the Tampa Bay area’s premier sales specialists for luxury properties.
Although her office is located in South Tampa, Lessie handles properties throughout Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. She says she has a special affinity for the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas because she and her husband, Ralph, and their teenage son, Cheyenne, reside in Cory Lake Isles, where they built a home after moving to Tampa from Vienna, VA, in 2004.
“My husband is a microbiologist with Quest Diagnostics, near USF, and it was a great location for us and his proximity to work,” she says. “The area’s schools also were important to us, and we love the exclusivity and size of the community. I wanted to build a new home, and many of the neighborhoods at that time were built out, so Cory Lake Isles just made sense for us.”
Lessie says she also loves to decorate and dabbles in interior design, talents she employs when her clients need assistance with “staging” their homes for sale or when they ask for her advice about paint, carpet colors or countertop selections.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics-Computer Science from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, in her native Philippines, Lessie also knows how to analyze numbers, an integral component of pricing a house.
“I know the area so well, and being familiar with all of the neighborhoods here helps get my clients the best possible price for their homes,” she says. “I protect the best interests of my clients and I don’t believe in making empty promises. If I feel a home isn’t priced correctly, I’ll say so.”
Praise From Local Residents
Lessie recently sold Ryan and Vanessa Garl’s home in Hunter’s Green and then sold them another home in Arbor Greene.
“She has done a lot of work for us and we trust her, hands down,” Vanessa comments. “I recommended her to my best friend and Ryan has recommended her to a colleague at work. She is almost like family to us; my son even calls her Aunt Lessie.”
As the Garls waited more than seven months for a short sale to process, Lessie continued to show the couple other properties. “Lessie adapted to our style and knew where we were interested in looking. She was very patient and didn’t waste our time,” Vanessa says.
Like so many of us, the Garls value their time. They are busy with their professions — he, a private banker with Wells Fargo and she, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley — as well as with raising their two young children. As business people, they realize the importance of negotiation and stress that it is one of Lessie’s strong suits.
“She is a great negotiator,” explains Vanessa. “I think people sometimes don’t consider that (attribute) when choosing a Realtor and it is such an important component of any sale. She even met with the appraiser at our home and presented him with all of her own research and analysis. She is very detail oriented.”
The Art Of Selling New Tampa & Wesley Chapel
Lessie says New Tampa and Wesley Chapel are both great areas to sell because they appeal to a broad range of people, especially out-of-state folks.
“They like the young demographics and newness of everything,” she says. “We have a new mall, a beautiful, new hospital, and such great neighborhoods. They love the consistency of the neighborhoods. You don’t find that in other areas of Tampa.”
No matter what type of home you’re selling and whatever the price range, Lessie guarantees you’ll receive VIP treatment from her, stressing, “It’s really not about the money; it’s about building good relationships with people. My clients will tell you that I am hard working and professional, and that I’ll go above and beyond what’s expected of me. I like to think outside the box.”
And what does she think about this baffling real estate market we are currently experiencing across the Tampa Bay area?
“It’s volatile,” she says, adding that investors have upped the ante, after buying most of the Tampa Bay area (including those in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel) properties priced up to $250,000. “I now have investor clients looking at homes priced to $500,000,” she says. “They will probably just flip them or rent them out.”
If you’re considering putting your home on the market, contact Lessie Reyes at 298-5541; visit her on Facebook or email her at LessieReyes@KW.com.
For additional information, visit MichaelGreenandAssociates.com.
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