A Culture of Trust Is the Secret Sauce for New Florida Team

Above, from left, Lee Owen, Demelza Lisowski and Lehanna Amos

Agents Demelza Lisowski, Lee Owen, and Lehanna Amos were friends, co-workers, and sociable rivals at Corcoran Reverie Real Estate, in the strip of beach towns known locally as 30-A, when they decided last fall to pool their time and talents.

“As individuals, we were sharing strategies and successfully hitting our goals,” said Lisowski, who was Rookie of the Year in her first year with Corcoran seven years ago. “It was a natural and organic process for us to work together as a team.”

Headquartered in Santa Rosa Beach and naming themselves the Rabbitt Gorup, a nod to the ethics and values of Lisowski’s father, country music star Eddie Rabbitt, the three officially joined forces in January of this year and are working hard to hit a first-year goal of $15 million in sales.

Barbara Pronin: What was it that made the three of you decide to go all in as a team?

Lee Owen: For seven or eight years as colleagues at Corcoran, we’d been helping each other, sharing ideas and spending many hours together in and out of the office. It just seemed to us that we had an organic synergy and that working together was a natural outcome.

BP: And why did you name the team after Demelza’s dad?

Demelza Lisowski: My Dad strived for excellence every day of his life, and he expected excellence back from those around him. Growing up in Nashville, I saw him and my Mom buying and renovating several homes. He gave me the drive to be the best and work with the best, and we want our clients to know up front the integrity and dedication we bring to our work.

BP: How are you organized as a team? Who does what, and how do you communicate?

LO: We all have clients and we’re all fully invested. We talk and text probably 30 or 40 times a day. But where Lee is the investor specialist, and Demelza handles much of the admin work, Lehanna is the hustler—the rainmaker. She’s out there to bring in the business.

Lehanna Amos: Our inner strength, though, is that we work so well together. Our clients know that if you hire one, you get the whole team working behind you.

BP: How large is the area you serve?

DL: At present, it’s roughly the 20-mile stretch of beach towns along County Road 30-A, between Destin and Panama City – a very desirable area on the Florida coastline. Lots of golf, and water sports and sailing. It’s largely a second or vacation home region, very much a luxury market. We draw buyers from all over the country, and it’s a hot market for renters and investors.

LH: It’s always been a destination region, but even more so since the pandemic, because more people are able to work from home.

LO: And it’s an area we know well, because we’ve all lived here for a long time, and we are all outdoor enthusiasts.

BP: What would you say is the average sale price?

DL: On average, maybe $2.5 million, though there are properties valued at up to $20 million.

BP:  You said, “the 30-A area at present”…

DL: Yes, because we’re just beginning to expand into the Nashville market. It’s where I grew up and I know it well, and Eddie Rabbitt is a legend in Nashville.

BP: Are you open to expansion as a team, then?

LH: Not really, not at this time. We’ve hired an experienced social media manager to help get our story out there, and we get a great deal of support and championing from Corcoran management. But we really do have a special synergy as a team. It would take someone very special to fit into our culture.

BP: What would you say is at the core of that culture?

LO: Trust, I think. Each of us has implicit trust that the others will be there for us no matter what—that whatever we, or our clients, need will be there.

BP: What would you say is your secret sauce as a team? What will make you effective in the long term?

DL: We’re out to create relationships, not just transactions. We do whatever it takes to make sure the real estate journey is seamless for every client, and that each client becomes a friend for life by closing.

LO: We’re always searching for new answers. How can we make this or that better? We’re not shy about spit-balling ideas or trying something different.

BP: Any suggestions for other agents thinking of creating a team?

LO: Every team structure is different. We are friends first, less about who is leading the team and more about collaboration. But in every case, I think, synergy is important. It’s that indefinable but necessary something that makes you better by working together.

To contact the Rabbitt Group, email Liz@rabbittgroup.com.

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