It started with fingerpainting. Then sleepovers. Then carpooling to college. Two girls who started as friends on the playground grew into two women who formed a power team in the real world. The real estate world that is.
Emily Strain and Heather Pabotoy were born and raised in the Keys, experiencing childhood like so few get to. How many kids get to grow up barefoot on the beach? Or sail to the Bahamas on summer breaks? Not many.
Being one of the few true “conchs” has given Emily and Heather a deep-rooted appreciation of the Keys and the lifestyle it offers. It’s given them a unique perspective and insider knowledge of the area. Not only because they study the market, but because they have experienced the lifestyle firsthand over the past 36 years.
In their youth, the girls would swim at the Quay and under the Old Bridge to Nowhere, fish, go shrimping, and do simple things like camp in Heather’s grandparents’ yard. The daughter of a boat captain, Emily’s school bus would often drop her off at the docks after school. They both spent countless days sailing and trolling the seas.
Those experiences incited a passion for helping others put down their own roots and make the Keys their home, whether it’s a vacation property or a permanent home. They also have a particular desire to help locals navigate the market that so often caters to high-paying vacationers.
“It can be very difficult for locals to find affordable housing in the Keys,” Heather explains. “It’s so important for our community to keep the people that work here living here. Emily and I take the most pride in helping local families do just that.”
In addition to helping local buyers find affordable housing, Heather and Emily specialize in selling residential real estate.
“Heather and I find it particularly rewarding to help our clients with, what is for many people, one of their biggest investments in their lifetime,” Emily says. “We take pride in knowing that the service we offer our clients is a valuable one.”
Last year, on average, Heather and Emily earned their clients $20,000 more than their competitors. They were able to accomplish this by selling their properties for 99% of the listing price while the average agent was only able to sell their listing for 95.33%. And the team did this 69 days faster than their competitors.
Their pride and determination to serve their clients and seamless support for each other as a team has earned them Elite Agent status. It is a title only given to the top 100 agents Keys-wide based on production. As members of the Elite Agent Circle, Emily and Heather are given the opportunity by their company to attend seminars and conventions to improve their skills and knowledge in this ever-changing industry.
The Strain-Pabotoy Team credits much of their success to their affiliation to Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co. and the resources provided to them. “It’s an ideal work environment with encouraging colleagues.”
Using their lifelong experience living in the Keys, Heather and Emily provide local insight based on their client’s individual needs and desires. They can introduce their clients to neighborhoods that have the best access to boating, fishing, or diving as well as the best areas for families or retirees and more. Whether buying or selling, clients of the Strain-Pabotoy Team can rest assured they have a knowledgeable agent looking out for their best interest.
These power agents may have moved on from Barbie Dream Homes long ago, but certainly not their dream of selling homes.
– Jerrica Mah is a writer, army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.