Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty in London was delighted to receive a call from Dale Sorensen Jr. at affiliate firm Dale Sorensen Real Estate in Vero Beach, Florida telling him of the firm's recent outstanding sales results. Nick says "I was not surprised to hear that Dale Sorensen Real Estate have celebrated such success. They are a great brokerage and have met the current property market challenges head on".
An article which recently appeared in Vero Beach 32963 magazine reads:
"Dale Sorensen, Jr., managing partner of Dale Sorensen Real Estate, makes it his job to spot trends in the local real estate market, and he says things are looking up on the barrier island. Sorensen points to data over a two-year period in the 32963 zip code showing inventory trending down and sales increasing, indicating that homes are being sold and some pricing power may be coming back to the seller.
“Over the last two years (through December 2010) you have inventory down 26 percent, under contract up almost 18 percent and homes sold up 20 percent,” he said. “It is still a challenging market to be sure, but our market is not freefalling which is what you might think from the national media.”
Sorensen says that while the sales prices are down -- in the 40 percent range from the peak -- buyers are out there and they are making purchases for homes that reflect that new reality. “I tell our agents demand is there, if you put a home out there at the proper price people will buy,” he said. “Every segment in Vero Beach is different and you have to look at the data and the trends to understand each of them.”
Despite the doom and gloom that seems to be attached to anything you read about real estate these days, Dale Sorensen Real Estate enjoyed a banner year in 2010. The company, according to MLS statistics, reached $129 million in 32963 sales last year, well over double its closest island competitor. It also initiated another $87 million in purchases by buyers, also more than double anyone else on the island. Overall in 2010 the company increased its sales in Indian River County nearly 40 percent in homes priced over $1 million compared to double digit decreases for other agencies. The one notable exception in that category was Windsor Properties, which saw an increase of 287 percent.
Sorensen says there is lots of room for sales to improve, but his company is poised to capitalize on that opportunity as it becomes available. That confidence is based on success in the past as the top real estate company in Indian River County and belief that his associates have an understanding of what moves the local market. The company’s recent success has been in no small part to the work Sorensen plays behind the scene managing day-to-day operations, mining a wealth of MLS data and working on securing and devising unique marketing opportunities to arm his agents. He says he has learned to trust his own instincts rather than follow the of the experts who failed to see the real estate bubble as it was forming and continue to predict a dire market for the foreseeable future. “It is basic economics, when supply went up demand plummeted and now we are seeing in some areas supply is coming down to what are more normal levels and prices are stabilizing,” he said.
Sorensen Real Estate, started in 1978 by Dale Sorensen Sr. and his wife Matilde, has been a force in the beachside real estate market for a generation. The company boasts nearly 70 agents, including Matilde Sorensen, who was the top-producing agent in 2010 with just over $46 million in sales.
The company is now comprised of three beachside offices and one on the mainland. It also attracts some of the top agents in the county. Of the top 25 Realtors in 2010, a quarter worked for Sorensen Real Estate. Together they generated a county-best $181 million in sales last year. “Our focus is to help our agents grow their business which translates into helping more buyers and sellers than any other real estate company on the island,” Sorensen Jr. said. It was under Sorensen, Jr.’s direction that the company last year acquired Coastal Signature Properties to build up a presence on the mainland, where he sees growth potential to rival his company’s stake on the barrier island.
“Our market share on the island is close to 25 percent,” he said. “Our market share in the county was about 12 percent. “My thinking was why we shouldn’t be 25 percent in the county as well. Based on what we spend in marketing our brand, which reaches the whole county, we should be able to do that.”
The agents affiliated with Dale Sorensen Real Estate point to the marketing power provided by the company and the array of tools at their disposal to not only help their clients, but attract buyers as well. “Dale Jr., has his finger on the pulse of not only the internet, but all kinds of creative tools that are being used by all different kinds of businesses,” said Sorensen agent Tripp
Hernandez. “He is focused not just on what is going on in Vero Beach, he looks at what is going on in Miami, or Tampa or New York.”
Sorensen Jr., has forged relationships with local media and an array of national and international outlets through the internet. His latest marketing move was to make Dale Sorensen Real Estate the exclusive provider of 3-D technology that first provides an internet virtual tour of the neighborhood and then takes you inside the prospective home.
Both Dale Sr. and Matilde Sorensen point to the addition of their children Elizabeth (a sales agent herself) and Dale Jr. as the point when their business really began to move to its current stature. “The fact that Dale and Elizabeth have moved back gives us four family members to take care of the business,” said Sorensen Sr. “I am not sure if it was just me and Matilde if we would have expanded the way we did.” Sorensen, Sr., said he did not necessarily expand willingly. It took the children to do some convincing that even in the lean times it was important to ramp up marketing and take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the internet. “They brought and infusion of a lot of fresh thinking and creativity,” he said. “They were able to convince us that if we did not invest and reinvest into the company – especially into technology – that we would be left behind.”
Matilide Sorensen says the addition of her children to the business allowed everyone to find their niche and capitalize on the strengths they bring to the company. “I am very good at selling, but I am a horrible manager,” she said with a laugh. “Dale Jr., was so far in advance of the marketing and of how real estate works, he had to take us along slowly, but he showed us.”
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