Wendy Zintsmaster offers full service Keys real estate experience



 

 

Though Wendy Zintsmaster is an expert when it comes to the Florida Keys real estate market, her now 20-year long career began as somewhat of a happy accident. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in business and merchandising, she took her first job in the buying department at Burdine’s department store in Miami.

“Truth be told, my boyfriend since I was 14, who is now my husband of 20 years and father of my two beautiful children, had relocated to Key West, so I took a job in Miami with Burdine’s department store because it was the only buying office in Florida,” Zintsmaster says. “I’m from a small town in Indiana, so I have a lot of the Midwest in me and I didn’t really love the Miami culture. My husband told me to give Key West a shot — if it didn’t work out, I could take a job in a bigger city. As it turns out, that was a wonderful life decision. He scoured the newspaper for me and found an ad for an assistant position to top real estate agent Terri Spottswood. And since I was from a small town in Indiana, small-town living in Key West ended up being the perfect lifestyle match for me.”

 

 

After working as an agent with Terri Spottswood’s real estate group for 10 years, Zintsmaster started her own real estate division within the Truman & Co. Real Estate Services firm — and expanded the firm’s offerings. “I added a property management division to Truman & Co. and 20 years later I’m still selling real estate as well,” she says. “Real estate is practically all I’ve ever done. And as of now in my career, I can offer a full service real estate experience, which is my tagline because I have the property management bit of the industry as well. I have a big staff, so I have a lot of help, and I have 20 years of selling real estate only in Key West and the Florida Keys, which is a real specialty.”

The property management arm of Zintsmaster’s real estate portfolio is one of the things that sets her apart in the industry, especially in a town where vacation and long-term rentals abound and many homes serve as secondary residences. “Property management really opened up a lot of opportunity to work with local vendors and forge lasting relationships,” she says. “All of that is part of my success. It’s all about finding the right people in the community to work with and to refer people to so people who are joining our community are having a wonderful experience in Key West. The same goes with our vacationers — giving them the insight on what charters to take and which quality experiences to seek out so that they end up falling in love with Key West themselves. That often translates to those visitors either buying a home here or making Key West their home away from home routinely as they become snowbirds and utilize our vacation rental services.”

 

 

Zintsmaster attributes her success and longevity in the real estate industry to the transparency and commitment she brings to every client interaction. “Do and mean what you say and mean and do what you say you’re going to do,” she says. “It’s such a simple little thing that lends itself to success. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to go all in with it and generally I’ve been successful with that mindset. It’s a very Midwest way to be — I don’t know any other way! Work hard, show up, look professional and Key West will embrace that. I also feel very fortunate to have built a team that is like a family. They are a huge part of my success.”

And Zintsmaster’s long career selling real estate has also made her an expert in assessing her clients’ needs and matching them with the perfect property. “Every conversation with a prospective client starts off with figuring out what their plans are for the use of their home,” she says. “Whether it’s a second home or an investment property, how important rental income is, whether a home will be a vacation or a long-term rental — these are the first things I try to establish. Then it’s pretty easy to narrow in on what part of town and what price range we should be targeting.”

Zintsmaster also makes sure her clients are fully aware of the unique aspects of home ownership in the Keys. “There are stresses inherent in owning a home wherever you are, but some are particularly unique to us,” she says. “Insurance costs, which have everything to do with storm threats, wind and water, are some of the big ones I have to cover in the Keys. So I do everything I can to get people really comfortable with that and I make sure to refer them to really good insurance agents who can help walk them through the process once they decide to invest in a home.”

If Zintsmaster has learned anything in the 20 years she has spent selling and managing real estate in the Florida Keys, it’s that flexibility and adaptability are key. “Selling real estate in the Keys is really dynamic,” she says. “There is something different to tackle every day, which keeps you learning all the time.”

And this past year has not been without its ups and downs and learning opportunities. “As soon as the island opened back up in June we were back online,” Zintsmaster says. “The biggest challenge was probably the actual quarantine time. I was really stressed out about my employees and being able to keep them on the payroll and I feel really lucky that I was able to do that. I put my nose to the grindstone and got all the aid I could get to help them as much as possible. But having spent that time and valuing my employees as my first priority made all the difference in us being able to open back up full service with a bang. And our occupancy starting the first day Key West was open was amazing! I was also able to serve on the task force to help open up the Keys, which was great because it kept my finger on the pulse of what was coming and allowed me to help make good decisions for the community.”

For unparalleled expertise in the Key West real estate market, contact Wendy Zintsmaster at 305-923-5935 or wendy@trumanandcompany.com or visit www.wendyzintsmaster.com for more information. ¦

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