Throughout the holiday week, YourObserver.com will be counting down the top 12 stories of 2009 (one from each month) from our Longboat, East County and Sarasota Observers. Check back each day for a reprinting — and any relevant updates — of the biggest news items of the year.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DEC. 3, 2009.
LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch announced Dec. 1 it signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary, Lakewood Ranch Realty Company, to Palms Real Estate Solutions as well as the rights to that name for residential sales purposes.
The new opportunity will increase Palms Real Estate Solutions’ market share in the area to 27%.
“We’re extremely excited about it,” the company’s CEO Helen Sosso said. “It’s a terrific group of agents in both offices. They are very productive. Working with SMR has been a very (good experience).”
Palms Real Estate provides management services to other real estate companies, including back office functions of accounting, marketing, training, support staff, real estate solutions, mortgage, title, relocation and international services.
Milt Flinn, president of Lakewood Ranch Realty, said the deal will provide his 35 agents with more technology and resources with which to work while allowing SMR to focus on its core businesses.
“We decided they could do it more efficiently than we could,” Flinn said, noting part of SMR’s long-range business plan is to focus on its core businesses of real estate investment, agriculture, mining and commercial operations. “(Lakewood Ranch Realty) has been a great operation, and we enjoy it, but it’s not really our business. This just wasn’t in our core holdings, and when this opportunity presented itself that would enhance what tools our agents had to work with, we just thought it would be a good decision all around.”
Flinn will remain as the company’s broker for the next few months but eventually will be replaced in that capacity by local broker Nick Figlow, Flinn said. Flinn will stay on as the president of LWR Communities, which overseas SMR’s brokerage and title companies.
Sosso, who has more than 30 years in the real estate field and is a past president of the Sarasota Association of Realtors, said she plans to open a new Lakewood Ranch Realty Company office on Lakewood Ranch Main Street within the next 30 days. The Market Street location will remain open for business as well.
SMR will grow its commercial real estate operations with hopes of expanding outside Lakewood Ranch’s boundaries.
Contact Pam Eubanks at email@example.com.
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