Xena Vallone Realty: A Boutique Agency With Substance
By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa
Photography by Chad Spencer
As a successful agent with a nationally-recognized franchise, Xena Vallone had the opportunity to build a strong understanding of the real estate business. Unfortunately, much of what she learned involved the politicking and agent hierarchy of importance that is frequently based on individual production levels. An entrepreneur with a knack for problem solving, Xena formulated a solution to what she viewed as a lack of opportunity for real estate professionals: she opened her own brokerage. Today Xena Vallone Realty is making a name for itself as a boutique office that packs a powerful punch. A supportive and agent-centric environment breeds collegiality, positive energy and friendly competition. The result is a brokerage that breeds success for its agents as well as their clientele.
Xena’s forward-thinking approach involves a comprehensive look at the industry including identifying trends and changes, understanding the ongoing need for technology integration, and following through on a desire to exceed client expectations for the real estate experience. It’s no small order, but Xena has detailed a plan for herself, her business and her agents that is designed to accomplish these goals while providing agents with ample opportunities to establish or build their own careers.
“At Xena Vallone Realty, our agents are truly focused on ensuring that our clients receive the best possible service throughout a given transaction and beyond,” reveals Xena. “Accomplishing that involves a collaborative effort on everyone’s part. We realize that there is opportunity for everyone to enjoy success, so there is ample sharing of information and a tendency for agents to support each other within our office.” Communication is a critical element to success and Xena and her agents readily offer their colleagues vital information on industry trends and changes. An Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR), Xena shares her knowledge and training with agents to provide them with a more well-rounded understanding of a changing market. Within the office, she notes, other real estate professionals are doing the same. “From geographical specialties, to individuals who specialize in short sales, green real estate, international transactions and other market niches, our agents offer ongoing education to their colleagues in order to enable them to successfully adapt their businesses.” The office also offers a property management division which is designed to meet the needs of Sarasota’s ample rental and seasonal property markets.
Incorporating effective technology is an imperative element for the success of most real estate agents, and Xena has maintained her finger on the pulse of the latest trends and developments in order to maximize efficiency and facilitate smoother transactions. Tapping into her technological background, Xena is constantly evaluating new products and tools to determine how to best support her agents and their clientele. This approach extends beyond technology as well. “In general, I try to make things as easy as possible for my agents,” Xena reveals. Support includes signage, advertising and marketing, as well as an exciting new office situated in a high-visibility location. “We have nearly doubled our square footage,” says Xena of the new west-of-the-Trail office. Central to Downtown Sarasota and conveniently located near Siesta Key, the spot is indicative of Xena’s long-term plan for success. “We are poised to serve a diverse range of clients,” she explains.
As a group, the agents at Xena Vallone Realty enjoy an ideal combination of individual autonomy and business-related accountability. “Together we identify opportunities in advertising and marketing. We also take responsibility for developing our professional brand through active involvement in local boards and committees, charities and social organizations,” Xena says. “That’s a key benefit to working with a boutique agency. We provide a wealth of support and information, with an intimate working environment that is highly inclusive to all agents.”
Though she launched her agency in what was arguably one of the most challenging markets in Sarasota’s history, Xena reports that the business is thriving. “We are currently in the top twenty percent of our market,” she states. “And we’re gaining speed through exceptional customer care, integrity, and knowledgeable service.” While she aims to maintain a boutique agency, Xena acknowledges that an expansion plan is on the table. “We see an opportunity to eventually open a second office in Manatee County,” she reveals. “As our agents build their businesses, we will adapt accordingly.” In a changing market, there’s no better constant than strong business principles, and Xena Vallone is laying a solid foundation for long-term success.