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Conversations with Melissa Sontheimer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Sontheimer.

Hi Melissa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Hello! I moved from the Mid West to St. Pete when I was 18 years old in 2005. I grew up visiting my Grandparents who had a home in Bradenton. Funny enough, my high school sweetheart had family who lived full-time in Gulfport.

We came to visit over spring break our senior year when everyone else went to Mexico.

We decided quickly into the one-week trip that we were going to make Pinellas County our permanent home as fast as we could. We went home, finished school, and saved as much money as we could and on December 10th, 2005 we packed up Tony’s Red GMC Jimmy with as many of our belongings as we could… along with our two pets, and headed for the beach, for good!

When I was a child, I was infatuated with real estate, I knew every new subdivision development along the price points and specs of the homes as well. I used to beg my mom to stop at model homes so I could look inside and bless her heart because she would usually stop. Every Sunday, I would grab the classifieds from the newspaper and study the homes listed always circling the listings that I fully intended on buying.

I was probably 10 years old at the time, lol. Shortly after my arrival, I was enrolled full-time at the Aveda Academy back when it was located in Downtown St. Pete. I graduated and pursued my first career as a cosmetologist. The housing was just starting to crash as Tony and I was looking to buy a home.

This was my time to shine! Like most people we didn’t realize that we had options when it came to hiring a Realtor and we stuck with the gentleman that showed us the first house, we asked to see. This is when my real estate skills were initially put to use, I found the house and basically forced my “low-ball” offer to be presented.

My offer was accepted, and after inspections, I negotiated a brand new roof to be paid for by the seller along with termite treatment. Fast forward 15 years and hundreds of transactions later, I’ve become a top producer thanks, in part, to my ability to cultivate real relationships with my clients and it doesn’t hurt that my negotiating skills are second to none.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest challenge would be that I am not from the area, as most agents rely on their life-long relationships with friends and family to generate their business in the beginning.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I pride myself on building relationships first. My clients know they can trust and rely on me in every aspect of the transaction. I have come far enough in my career that I don’t have to rely on any single transaction to close.

This means if a hurdle comes up during a deal and it’s in my client’s best interest to walk away, then that’s exactly what I will advise them to do, my clients know they can count on me to always have their back. Lastly, teamwork makes the dream work.

After working on my own for the first six years of my career and using only a transaction coordinator, I’ve taken the leap and hired a full-time assistant along with a buyer’s agent to assist me in the day-to-day processes. BEST DECISION EVER.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Integrity.

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