2014: A year of new frontiers, 2015: A year of growth and expansion

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
The Destin Palms employees at a recent Christmas party.

Defining one’s place in a healthy industry is a challenge. Destin Palms handled it seamlessly – and that was no accident. With veteran Realtors, managers and carpenters under one roof, it was apparent that this team had a clear picture of what the Emerald Coast real estate, vacation rental and property preservation market needed. It could be summed up in three words: “One stop shopping.”

Today’s busy consumer finds Destin Palms a simple solution for all of their property needs.

Creating a profitable real estate division was one of the first objectives of 2014. A healthy combination of seasoned agents, up and comers and talent from out of state, gave the company a solid team with new ideas. The video production division provided a unique marketing tool that is unparalleled in the current marketplace.

“It’s a very competitive business and we have managed to take our personnel, both new and experienced, and put our company name on the radar of today’s buyers and sellers,” says Paul Couch, senior partner in the company.

Another division of the company that saw tremendous growth was the vacation rental and management department that is headed up by partner Jessica Forrester. 

“We set modest goals for 2014,” she laughs. “We quickly learned that good customer service, delivering on your promise and being honest with expectations, resulted in a doubling of the units we manage.” 

Of course being able to respond expeditiously to a problem or concern is a big reason customers speak highly of Destin Palms. Chris and Jeanne Hartmann came on the Destin Palms program in 2014. Chris says, “We have been with Destin Palms for 10 months and our revenue is already ahead of last year's totals. We have had fewer renters, but more revenue. Destin Palms knows the market and knows how to maximize revenue for owners while also minimizing wear n tear on our unit.”

           The home improvement division grew by leaps and bounds in 2014. Kitchen remodels topped the list, followed by new flooring and bathroom renovations.  And of course, at the core of all renovations is a fresh coat of paint. The painting crew of the renovation team was busy every day of the week.

“We are fortunate to have a team of painters that are not only reliable, they are talented, neat and conscientious about their work,” says remodeling director, and partner, Glenn Forrester. “It’s a respect our division has for the properties we service. We treat your home as if it were our own.”

Being local is another asset of Destin Palms. The company is located in Miramar Beach. It is not based in Texas or Louisiana with a subcontractor holding down the fort locally. This is the community that Destin Palms lives in, supports and relies on. And as a contributing member of the community, Destin Palms believes in giving back. From the annual beach clean up to contributing to Toys for Tots, Destin Palms and its employees have provided support to Children in Crisis, Children’s Volunteer Network, Goodwill Industries, Cure for Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Stand Up For Cancer, and The Salvation Army — all among the recipients of time, money and awareness by the staff.

“We are the community we service.  It is not just about selling houses or vacation rentals, it is about making our community stronger and being supportive of all it has to offer,” says Destin Palms owner Tina Couch.

In 2015, Destin Palms looks forward to achieving the numerous goals it has set for itself. Expansion is a priority. The real estate division is looking to add new agents to handle the workload and demands of the emerald coast. Condos, single-family homes, townhouses, business properties and lots for development are in high demand and Destin Palms is continuing to expand its staff in this department.

“Destin Palms provides all of the necessary tools to have a successful career in real estate listings and sales,” claims agent Carol Lee Libell. “ We have software for leads and our real estate dues and fees are covered, plus the office we work in is just beautiful.” 

Agent Bev Dudley agrees, “with office windows that overlook the Gulf of Mexico, it is a constant reminder of the scenic beauty in our area.” 

Realtor Michael Lardner enjoys the convenience of having an office in the Majestic Sun on Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach because, “Not only do I have a short commute, since I live in Miramar Beach, I have access to the wealth of “walk-in” clients who are staying at the Seascape resort and want to know more about the area.”

Destin Palms is not just expanding the real estate division. The Home Watch program is continually getting more popular with out of town clients because it offers peace of mind. Home Watch does what the name implies. The Destin Palms staff keeps on eye on your property, while you are away. A rental management agreement means your property is marketed, cleaned and prepared for arriving guests with payment collected and processed. 

The Home Watch program provides extra care and services. From picking up a package that is sitting outside your front door, to having the property inspected at regular intervals for routine maintenance and preservation, Home Watch is a concierge service provided to a property owner while they are out of town.

It is available, not only to people who have Destin Palms handling their vacation rental needs, but to any homeowner who is unable to visit their property on a regular basis. If your burglar alarm goes off, if your smoke detector starts chirping, if junk mail (or regular mail) is piling up, if your lawn service is neglecting your property, you do not have to worry because Destin Palms will take care of it.

Destin Palms Vacation Rentals has been growing at a steady pace and a new streamlined management system is in the works. A new website is under construction and software improvements are part of this technology push so customers will seamlessly check in, while owners will continue to enjoy an effortless relationship with the management team.

From employment opportunities to needing any of our services for your property, call Destin Palms at 850-424-1088 or stop by our offices in the Majestic Sun at 1200 Scenic Gulf Drive, Unit B in Miramar Beach.