SELLING LUXURY: Cindy Cole does it well (PHOTOS)
As owner of Cindy Cole Fine Homes and one of the Emerald Coast’s top Realtors, Cindy Cole is synonymous with the luxury real estate market. Since 2009, Cole has sold more Gulf front homes from Destin to Rosemary Beach than any other agent.
Specializing in the luxury waterfront niche market, Cole says she lives by the simple philosophy that "you only get better at things by doing them over and over again."
Cole continually ranks as one of the area's top real estate agents. Prior to opening her own brokerage in 2012, Cole achieved the ranking of Florida’s No. 1 RE/MAX agent in 2011. Cole believed that the Emerald Coast lacked a specialty real estate company with a narrow focus on luxury homes and investment real estate. Cole developed Cindy Cole Fine Homes to offer clients specialized luxury marketing, financial analysis and individual attention tailored to the specific needs of the luxury buyer and seller.
"First, you have to treat people the way that they want to be treated," she told The Sun. "We are very attentive to our clients, who are typically very high net worth, very savvy and have high expectations."
When working with potential clients, Cole says that Realtors in the luxury market are typically faced with different scenarios than those who are working with military buyers or first-time homebuyers. One of the first questions she asks a client is how they prefer to communicate, whether it's directly or through representatives.
"It's important to cater to these individuals in the same way they are accustomed to being catered to in all of their business and personal endeavors," she said. "My team is highly experienced."
“Our listing clients receive exposure online in mediums such as the Dupont Registry, Wall Street Journal and Unique Homes. We are constantly looking for innovative marketing techniques specific to luxury properties.”
In the luxury market, there are typically three types of buyers, Cole says. The first is the "investment buyer" who will purchase a property with plans to sell it in a limited number of years for a maximum return on investment. The complete opposite is the second home buyer who will purchase a home exclusively for enjoyment, Cole said, and would more than likely retire in the home. The third type of buyer is someone who purchases a home to use for a period of time and also rents it out as a vacation rental.
One misnomer about the luxury market is that buyers have so much money they don't care about the price of a home.
"They are hugely cost sensitive," she said. "They typically want to know as much about a home as possible, such as insurance costs, costs of operation, rental histories and flood zones. We make sure that we know everything there is to know about one of our luxury listings and we also make that information readily available to potential buyers and Realtors.”
Given her reputation and experience, Cole was recently selected to sell the Tom Christ-designed home at 376 Rue Caribe, which was originally built in 1994 and recently redesigned by Christ. The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home boasts nearly 5,000-square-feet and features direct beach access, a heated infinity pool, three fireplaces, and is on the market for just under $4 million.
As the market continues to show activity, Cole says there are plenty of signs pointing to a recovery. Inventory scarcity in the luxury market seems to be driving prices up a bit. To learn more about 376 Rue Caribe or Cindy Cole Fine Homes visit www.cindycolefinehomes.com or call 850-502-6344.
“It is an excellent time to sell a home,” Cole says.