Lana Stansbury laughs and refers to herself as "The Accidental Real Estate Agent." Accident or not, this real estate agent has had quite a long and very successful career.
“I think you would be a great real estate agent,” a friend told Lana Stansbury after she sold her successful Louisiana business in 1999. As a gift, Lana was given the real estate course tuition and has been an agent from that point forward.
Stansbury left New Orleans in 1994 and moved to the Emerald Coast. While New Orleans will always hold a special place in her heart, Lana is happy to be away from the hustle and bustle of a city.
“I love the casual lifestyle here,” she said. "There is nothing like a solitary walk with my dog on the beach.”
This walk has become a Christmas tradition for Lana over the years. Recalling a time when she had to leave the 30A area and drive to Destin to get groceries, Lana is sure this is something that other locals remember as well.
“I’ve watched the area grow tremendously over the years,” said Stansbury. “Sometimes I miss the solitude, but mostly I appreciate the growth.”
And growth is what she is seeing.
“People are excited about real estate again,” Lana exclaimed.
This makes her excited too. Stansbury says one of the best parts of the job is getting to meet people from all over the country and from other parts of the world.
Lana notes that "prices have stabilized a bit and appear to be on the rise. The overall number of available properties for sale has decreased as homes are spending a shorter period of time on the market."
She added that it is becoming difficult to find a great property at a very low price — a sign that the market has really begun to recover over the difficult real estate downturn of the past few years. Lana feels that buyers in today's market are moving quickly to make the decision to buy based upon trends that indicate an upward move in pricing.
There are very few places with such a diverse natural environment as South Walton, and Lana feels lucky to get to have these life experiences. In one direction, she can be at the beach after a few minutes walk, and in the other direction she can be in one of the area’s many state parks.
“I’ve seen bobcats, bears, cubs, deer, and dolphins,” she said, “There are so few places to find such a combination."
Many of Lana’s clients have been with her through the years. She notes that some of her recent transactions were with families where she first met the kids when they were in diapers, and now they’re heading off to college. This speaks to Lana’s dedication and connection with the people she works with. “Strollers to diplomas,” said Lana, reminiscing.
Stansbury has no intention of slowing down and is looking forward to the next generation of clients coming to the area.
"Lana has the unique ability to make a client her friend," said Royce Mitchell, Broker of Prudential Real Estate. "With her dynamic, outgoing personality and vast knowledge of 30A real estate, Lana is a client's dream Realtor. She has worked one-on-one with many local developers and has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of all things relative to 30A real estate.
Lana is a tremendous asset to her clients and to our company, in addition to always providing a much-needed laugh. She has a tremendous sense of humor," said Mitchell.