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Coastal Realty SWFL operating out of two offices

July 11, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Since Coastal Realty SWFL opened six months ago, it has grown to two offices, one in Cape Coral and the other on Pine Island.

After spending 12 years at Century 21, Jay Johnson decided he needed a change and became part owner of Coastal Realty SWFL with Matt and Sally Ristau. Johnson's wife, Mary, is also apart of the team of owners.

"I thought it was a good fit," Johnson said of the change that occurred at the beginning of March.

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Coastal Realty SWFL owners and brokers Matt Ristau and Jay Johnson. The office opened at the four-way-stop at the beginning of March.

Matt said they began the business at the end of February/early March and within six months they have two offices and 13 agents.

"All great fit," he said of everyone involved.

Since the Ristaus began the business before Johnson joined the team, it provided for an easy transition.

"The systems and procedure's were in place," Johnson said. "I think it's a good move."

That move is ideal, he said, because if either of them - Matt or himself - go on vacation, there is always someone to cover the office.

Matt and Sally work from the Cape Coral office, while Johnson works out of the Pine Island office.

"We may not be number one," Johnson said of the realty businesses on the island, "but hopefully we will be the best one."

Coastal Realty SWFL, Johnson said, is progressing, due to the number of agents they have on staff between the two offices. He said they are currently looking to hire additional good agents for the office.

Right now the Pine Island office has eight active agents.

The nice thing about Coastal Realty SWFL, Johnson said, is the agents can work out of either of the offices if they so desire.

The business is thriving at the four-way stop, Johnson said, because it is a good strategic location for Pine Island, as well as the office in Cape Coral at the Bonefish Plaza because it is a growing area.

The Pine Island location, he said, grabs the attention of anyone coming onto the island and leaving the island.

"We are the ambassadors for the island," Johnson said, because of the booklets they hand out about the area.

In addition, Johnson said they set up a system that is convenient for their agents to obtain files and contracts online on their listings.

"Agents can access information to all files no matter where they are," he said. "It sets us a part from a lot of the Realtors on the island."

In addition, their website also provides individuals with the opportunity to access all the real estate that is listed.

Coastal Realty SWFL is also a multi-lingual company, Johnson said, which includes agents that speak Spanish, German, French and Italian among others.

Johnson obtained his real estate license in 1990. Since owning property has been a part of him since he was 14 years old, it only made sense to get into the market.

"I invested in real estate on and off," he said, throughout his life.

The real estate market Johnson said is currently varied.

"It was ramping up at the beginning of the year through April, May and June it slowed down," he said.

The homes that are on the market for under $200,000 have been strong in selling.

"The higher price homes up over $1 million is still depreciating," he said. "It is still a difficult real estate market. Prices are going up, but higher price homes are still depreciating."

The rental market, according to Johnson, is hot right now due to people being displaced from their homes due to foreclosures or short sales. He said individuals are looking to rent residential homes.

In terms of the commercial market on Pine Island, Johnson said it has held fairly steady over the last few years. He said the commercial market up and down the coast is still in recovery mode.

Johnson is a member of the Commercial Investment Realty Group, which meets twice a month, and includes many business members from Marco to Port Charlotte. He said it is a good networking group because individuals speak about the commercial market.



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