December 2017

Foundation Realty: Technology + Teamwork = Success

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

You don’t have to be the biggest game in town to be the best, but a head start helps when you’re in it to win. Real estate is a competitive business, and in 2008, Foundation Realty was out of the gate quickly, putting technology to work in a way that other brokerages were just beginning to tap. That advantage has kept them in the lead by more than a nose and is propelling their business to new levels at lightning speeds.

According to founders Charlene and Rich Neste (mother and son / broker-in-charge and managing broker), business is up 50 percent this year from last. Now on their third expansion, their prolific growth has spawned a brand-new office, recently opened in Bluffton, to better serve their clients and give their off-island agents convenient work access as well. The formula for success? Blending technology with teamwork.

It’s a fact that the Internet has changed the way business is conducted, and real estate is no exception. Long gone are the days of yard signs and Sunday afternoon drive-by sales. Today’s market is driven largely by search engine optimization (SEO), which is where Rich’s past IT experience and propensity for technology comes into play. “Our website shows up organically. We are the top local brokerage on Google for all the major key words,” he said. “[Potential customers] find us, and they have all the tools before they even get here.”

“And because we rank at the top of the search engines, we capture more qualified buyers,” Charlene added.

But cutting edge technology is only as valuable as the connection it facilitates. People do business with people, and that’s why Foundation Realty is fully invested in their team. With 45 agents and one support staff member per every five agents, there is plenty of horsepower to propel both buyers and sellers toward their real estate goals.

“We have someone to support our agents in every aspect of real estate, which helps the clients as well as our Realtors,” said Kim Ciuffreda, director of operations. “We offer one-of-a-kind training to help our realtors succeed, as well as, provide assistance to agents with leads management in order to promote a ‘you’re in good hands’ approach for our customers. Our closings department works to keep everything flowing so our clients move efficiently from contract to closing.”

When it comes to knowledge and experience, Foundation Realty sets a high bar. Area residents since 1994, the Neste family came from Long Island, New York in search of a better quality of life— “like most of our clients,” Charlene said. “Most of our agents have lived in the area for many years and are knowledgeable about the growth that has transpired here. That’s helpful because a lot of clients haven’t been here. They want to make sure that we are knowledgeable about the area, because they are not.”

Another key difference is the cooperative environment and true sense of camaraderie at Foundation Realty. “Everyone is busy and everyone helps each other,” Ciuffreda explained. “Our office works as a team to streamline the process.”

Whatever your needs, Foundation Realty is ready to assist in the most user-friendly manner. Whether you found them the old-fashioned way or with the click of a mouse, relax and let their committed team put their knowledge and state-of-the-art technical abilities to work for you.

Foundation Realty has two locations: 22 Folly Field Road on Hilton Head Island and 1127 Fording Island Road, Suite 102 in Bluffton (between Hobby Lobby and the PGA TOUR Superstore). For more information, visit or Or, call (843) 686-4002.

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