Giumentas have long real estate history in Palm Coast
The husband and wife team have been selling real estate there since the mid-1980s. Today, they own Exit Realty First Choice, founded in 2005. The office is at 4817 Palm Coast Parkway NW in Palm Coast.
“No one walks through the door anymore,” Honora said. “So we have a strong digital marketing strategy. Each listing gets its own website with a virtual tour and its own text code. We also do direct mail advertising.”
Honora is the firm’s broker of record. Ric also owns and runs the Ric Giumenta School of Real Estate at the same office location.
The two are also licensed mortgage originators and operate a mortgage business.Exit First Choice Realty primarily brokers the sale of residential property in Flagler County, but also has listings in northeast Volusia County.
It also handles the occasional commercial transaction and one agent is permitted to manage long-term residential rental property.
“We have our agents tell their clients that they are not only hiring them, but us as well,” Honora said. “I try and talk to every client who walks in and we look over every contract. That gives the clients a higher level of comfort."
The brokerage has 29 licensed agents, which has been steady through the years despite the real estate crash and recession from late 2007 to mid-2009 that resulted in many Realtors leaving the business and brokers closing shop.
“We have never been below 24 and never over 30,” Ric said in regard to the number of agents. “I have always said there is one market, good or bad, and you have to know how to operate in it."
Ric Giumenta has a business administration degree from Adelphi University in New York. He started in real estate in 1986, selling Palm Coast lots for the developer, ITT, from an office in New York City. He transferred to Palm Coast in 1988.
He left ITT in 1991. He went to work selling real estate for a Prudential franchise during the day and opened his real estate school for night classes.
He then sold houses for SeaGate Homes and then worked for a Century 21 franchise.
In 2000, the couple founded Florida State Properties & Development in Palm Coast. Ric’s school schedule was switched to a full-time day program.
Honora Giumenta has a degree in psychology and education from Iona College in New York.
Her parents bought a Palm Coast house and moved the family in 1988. Honora took a job in an independent real estate office and got her sales license.
She worked for a Coldwell Banker franchise and then became broker of a Century 21 franchise that was half owned by her parents.
“I was raw but I have to say the other brokers really helped me out and trained me,” she said.
After marrying Ric and her parents selling their share of the Century 21 franchise, Honora joined Ric in starting Florida State Properties in 2000.
The Giumenta’s wanted to franchise and had experience in other national franchises, but selected Exit in 2005.
“Their programs help build teams and all work together,” Honora said. “It’s the only one where sponsors of agents get residual commissions, even after retiring. It’s like a retirement program.”
With home sales rising in recent years, and with a low inventory of homes for sale, prices are rising to pre-recession levels. Enrollment in the school, once down to 10 or 15 students per class, is back up to more than 30. Both Giumenta’s are licensed real estate instructors and have many professional designations from the National Association of Realtors.
They are also both active in local and state Realtor associations. Honora was president of the Flagler County Association of Realtors in 2007 and 2013. Ric was president in 2004 and its Realtor of the Year in 2005.
“All those designations and training and members in the associations help us stay abreast of the latest issues in real estate to help our clients,” Ric said, “It has helped us build a network that if we don’t have the answer, we can make a call and find out quickly. It also helps us help our agents do what’s best for their clients, too.”