A drive through New Tampa and Wesley Chapel pretty much tells the story about how popular our communities are as places to live and raise a family.
A crowded commute is one clue, but a look around reveals a lot of new housing construction adding to the existing high-quality home inventory and brand new shopping centers on prime commercial properties.
There’s a lot going on real estate-wise and at the center of much it are the professionals at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group’s New Tampa Market office, located In the Publix-anchored The Shoppes at New Tampa in Wesley Chapel, on the southeast corner of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and S.R. 56.
Berkshire Hathaway’s New Tampa office is run by president and managing Broker Otis Bass, Jr., who joined the company in 2014 after a stint at Charles Rutenberg Realty. Bass says his team is ready to handle just about any kind of transaction that serves a client’s real estate needs.
“We are full service,” Bass says. “So we’re doing residential, luxury, commercial, and we even do property management.”
Bass also includes helping landlords find tenants as a service the firm’s property management team provides. Berkshire Hathaway’s online portal for rental properties is RentAHomeWithUs.com, which is the site to browse for rental properties and for tenants and owners to conduct business for everything from making payments to reporting maintenance needs.
“We help our clients get what they need in real estate, be it insurance, or a mortgage, or anything along those lines,” Bass says. “We have so many people within our circle we can give to them, so they can shop those services and decide which one is the best fit for them.”
He adds that the vendors Berkshire Hathaway works with share his firm’s commitment to providing high-quality service.
“We want to make sure they are client-centric; they put the customer first,” he says.
Although located in Wesley Chapel, Bass says that his office has a wide footprint that extends through eastern Pasco County and northern Hillsborough County.
The Berkshire Hathaway New Tampa Market office has a staff of more than 80 sales professionals, including sales associate Kathy Britton.
When it came time to buy a new home, and in short order turn around and sell her old one, Charla Harper-Hagen turned to Berkshire Hathaway. She is one client who is happy to attest to the high level of customer service provided by Britton and Berkshire Hathaway.
“I honestly can’t say enough good things about Kathy,” says Harper-Hagen. “We had two transactions, inside of a 45-day period, (and both) went smoothly.”
Harper-Hagen says a big reason her real estate deals went well is that Britton kept her informed throughout the process of buying, and selling, her homes. She said the level of personal service she received was excellent.
“Kathy answered all of my questions,” Harper-Hagen says. “She anticipated all of my needs and made sure that, as a buyer, I was comfortable with what I was signing up for and that I understood all the ins and outs of the offers that were presented.”
Bass says he honed many of his own current skills working in the mortgage industry for more than a decade. That experience, he says, has provided him additional perspective when it comes to his real estate management job.
“Getting into real estate was second nature for me,” he says. “I already understood contracts, titles, appraisals, surveys, and I pretty much knew what I was getting myself into. Once I got into real estate, I was having more fun than I was with mortgages.”
While the Berkshire Hathaway team has the industry expertise to conduct business, Bass says the ultimate decisions are made by their customers.
“What sets us apart is our approach, which is more of a consultative approach,” he says. “We want to help our clients make good decisions for themselves.”
Berkshire Hathaway’s role in those good decisions involve, among many things, interpreting market data or deciphering the terms of a contract for clients.
“We’re going to help them understand what they are doing,” he says.
New Tampa and Wesley Chapel families are probably used to their year-round home in paradise becoming a vacation destination for extended family members living outside of the Sunshine State, so an extra bedroom or other living space is part of a lot of transactions. Bass, who lives in New Tampa, says there’s also a growing popularity in properties that can accommodate more kin than just parents and kids.
“It’s quite a good area for multi-generational families, and that’s a lot of what I’m seeing,” he says. “We’re seeing grandparents living with nuclear families, and some of the builders are building multigenerational houses.”
CalAtlantic of Estancia, Bass says, is one example of builders specializing in extended-family housing.
A Name You Can Trust Globally
A review of the listings carried by Berkshire Hathaway’s New Tampa Market office shows homes from Odessa to Eustis in Lake County, but by virtue of Berkshire Hathaway’s corporate relationships, suitable dwellings can be found for moves to anywhere on the globe. Through the company’s international listings, Berkshire Hathaway also can help Floridians market their properties worldwide.
In fact, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Property Group’s online presence is a huge resource for information about home listings, as well as tips for buyers and sellers. There are links to Berkshire Hathaway’s YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Facebook page on the company website at BHHSFloridaProperties.com.
If the name Berkshire Hathaway seems familiar beyond the real estate business, it’s because it is derived from the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., which is chaired by billionaire financier Warren Buffett, who also is the company’s CEO. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group is one of the companies that make up HomeServices of America, Inc., which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
The HomeServices group of companies, of which Florida Properties Group is one, provides all the resources involved in supporting real estate transactions and investments under one roof, such as mortgage originations, title and closing services, insurance, home warranties and even relocation services that span the globe.
But, the company remains just as strong locally, as well.
The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group name went up on The Shoppes of New Tampa signage in early 2014. The company was founded in 1959 as Tropical Realty and Dewey Mitchell and Allen Crumbley acquired the business in 1984.
In 1988, they aligned with the Prudential Real Estate Network, which Berkshire Hathaway bought in 2012. There was a two-year transition period between 2012 and 2014 for the change to become complete for the Florida Properties Group.
That nearly 60-year period has coincided with the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas evolving from scrub land and cow pastures into vibrant active communities to live and conduct commerce.
Bass, a Florida native, is quite familiar with the market and its transformation.
“I grew up in Wesley Chapel before it was Wesley Chapel,” he says. “I’m one of the very few people you will meet who is from the area.”
Many, including Bass, feel that growth will continue unabated because of the quality of the area’s schools, access to healthcare and the promised addition of jobs.
“The population of Wesley Chapel is really going to grow in the next few years,” he says.
As members of the community they are helping to grow through their business, Bass says his Berkshire Hathaway team is committed to taking action to improve the lives of all residents.
This past Christmas season, for example, the company’s annual Cabernet Sleigh drive collected money, non-perishable food and gifts at its offices and delivered them to Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa on Dec. 15. Crumbley and Mitchell headed up the Cabernet Sleigh drive, which gets its names from the cabernet and cream colors the company uses.
You can meet the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group New Tampa Market team at their office, located at 1830 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. (between Bealls & Publix), visit online to browse listings at BHHSFloridaProperties.com or call (813) 907-8200.