Real estate is one of the driving forces of the Martha’s Vineyard economy. The Martha’s Vineyard asked writer Karla Araujo to speak to several real estate professionals about their business. This is the third in a series of question and answer conversations.
Q: Describe the strengths of your agency.
Lisa Stewart, owner/broker, Lighthouse Properties: Our people. Other agencies have lots of turnover. We’ve never had anyone leave. I’m proudest of that. It’s a tough business, competitive even within an office. But we support each other, share the same ethics, and have a lot of fun. We have strong roots in different towns and complementary areas of expertise. To me, chemistry is more important than dollars. I think people come to us because they feel like this is a good place to be.
Neal Stiller, broker/office manager, Cronig’s Real Estate: Longevity. Knowing the Vineyard. We sell property to lots of year-round people. They know us as local, not seasonal. We’ve lived here most or all of our lives. The agency was founded in 1917 and was one of only three on the Island. At last count, I think there are 80 now. And we had Carl Cronig as a mentor — the best thing you could ask for.
Art Smadbeck, partner/broker, Priestley Smadbeck and Mone Real Estate: We have very good brokers. We’re professionals who have been in the business for a long time. It’s the personalities and knowledge of the market and the business that make a difference.
Alan Schweikert, owner/broker, Ocean Park Realty: We have a lot of good people working here. Most of us are from Oak Bluffs, with one from Edgartown, one from Vineyard Haven, and one from West Tisbury. But we cover down-Island extensively and 90 percent of our business is in Oak Bluffs. We really know it — from Farm Neck to East Chop to Meadowview Farms and the old Victorians in town. We know the values and have a terrific referral system. Our best advantage is our history — we have an established clientele that enables us to capture listings and sales.