Make us your home page

Some real estate firms see no slump in satisfaction

Craig Beggins rallies troops of Century 21 Beggins Enterprises every day.

Craig Beggins rallies troops of Century 21 Beggins Enterprises every day.

It has become a popular recession-era slogan in Tampa Bay real estate circles: Working twice as hard for half the money.

So imagine the surprise when some of the employers ranking tops for job satisfaction in the St. Petersburg Times survey were intimate with the real estate downturn.

Real estate brokers. A title agency. A construction company. An apartment rental business.

In a realty business rife with forced mergers and outright business failures, Century 21 Beggins Enterprises has held up its end from its base in Apollo Beach.

The same is true of Realtec Group Inc., the realty company with more than 100 agents headquartered in Palm Harbor.

Over in Clearwater, National Title Network Inc. continues to operate with 50-plus employees.

If there's anything that seems to unite those three companies, it's a never-say-die sense of fraternity.

Craig Beggins, owner of Beggins Enterprises, holds daily marketing meetings to assess the state of real estate. Every day, agents get encouraging and instructional e-mails, including a "hot sheet" that alerts them to the company's sales tally.

"Our mantra is 'We're going to show you how to sell more houses,' " Beggins said.

For Camden Property Trust, a Houston-based company that operates 12 apartment complexes in Tampa Bay, satisfaction starts at the top.

Even though they live and work in Texas, owners Ric Campo and Keith Oden make it a point to attend annual Ace Awards ceremonies for high-flying employees in Tampa. Campo showed up at the recent ceremony wearing a maintenance shirt to show solidarity with his staffers.

"They really help pump everyone up," said Brooke Middleton, Camden's regional marketing director. "They could never do that Undercover Boss TV show, because we know them too well."

The Beck Group, a Dallas-based construction company, is a two-time winner of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Places to Work survey. The third-generation family-run company had to cut its local workforce but has avoided a deeper incision, thanks to the relative strength of the Texas market. Beck retained bonuses for employees last year and kept up contributions to 401(k) retirement plans.

"They offer a 3 percent match. They've never changed that," said Tampa office manager Sharon Frank, a 25-year veteran of Beck who's working through her third real estate downturn.

Most Florida economists predict that 2010 will be the last year of a five-year real estate slump. Here's hoping for even higher satisfaction in 2011.

Some real estate firms see no slump in satisfaction 03/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 19, 2010 1:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project


    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]