Scott Ingraham, owner of Scott Ingraham Real Estate Group in Panama City Beach, Florida, strongly believes in the power of teamwork. As the first company to employ the concept of a real estate team in Bay County, Scott’s success would seem to substantiate that belief.
Panama City Beach, located on the Emerald Coast in the Panhandle of Florida, affords it residents the luxuries of a year round subtropical climate and white, sugar-sand beaches.While the area is ideal for raising a family, it’s also a popular tourist destination thanks to the numerous recreational opportunities beachside living offers. Scott, an avid diver and boater, says “we have the world’s most beautiful beaches here.” Panama City Beach is also experiencing a bit of an economic renaissance after the tumult of the 2008 market downturn. The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, built in 2010 (the first international airport designed and constructed since the attacks of September 11) will help guarantee continued economic stability for the area.
Originally from Milwaukee, Scott moved to Bay County forty-two years ago, and after stints as owner of multiple businesses including a popular pet shop and a ten-year career with an international tour company, he took a short hiatus from the workforce to care for his wife and mother who were both diagnosed with cancer.It was during that time, and with the encouragement of friends, Scott decided to pursue a career in real estate.
Once Scott got his license and started working with Re/Max Real Estate, he discovered the transition was almost seamless.Scott says, “I found that it’s really just about getting two parties together, getting them to agree.Almost like a marriage – you’re just trying to get the two parties to the altar.
After nine years with Re/Max, he decided to go into business for himself and immediately began to focus on a new strategy: the real estate team. The Scott Ingraham Real Estate Group currently consists of 7 agents and two administrative assistants, and each specializes in a specific niche of the market, whether it’s condos, waterfront properties or relocation services. “Our agents are buyer specialists. All they do is focus on the buyer.
His wife Diane, a former executive with a national restaurant chain, was, as Scott jokes, “taken out of retirement” to join the team, and has become an integral component. “She got her agent’s license and broker’s license, and she pretty much handles all the brokerage activity…which I’m happy about,” Scott laughs.
As successful as the team concept has been, there are other elements to factor in to the company’s continued success, primary among them an early embrace of the internet as a marketing tool. In addition to television ads, publications and signs, the company offers visual tours of all listed properties, and has multiple websites, each of which is devoted to a different type of property or service. This maximization of browser search function helps ensure that a client looking only for a beachfront property lands on the specialized website that deals only with those listings.
Embrace of up-to-date technology and the team concept, while important to the company, are still a distant second and third to Scott’s primary explanation for his thriving business, 28% of which is generated by referrals: “We treat people well. People know us here.We’re honest folks. Everyone can say they give great service.We actually do and we have the words of the customers to back it up.” In fact, Scott encourages his customers to provide feedback, good or bad, so the team can continuously improve their service.Scott adds, “Our customers deserve our best and we strive to make sure they get it!”
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