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At Skyline Investment Realty, creativity is the byword

Jeff Conway, owner of Skyline Investment Realty, says, “Everyone I meet is a buyer, a seller or an investor.” The entrepreneur has 15 years of experience in finance.
Jeff Conway, owner of Skyline Investment Realty, says, “Everyone I meet is a buyer, a seller or an investor.” The entrepreneur has 15 years of experience in finance.
Published Jan. 25, 2017

SPRING HILL — Whether buying a home for a roof over your head, or your hundredth as an investment opportunity, owner Jeff Conway at Skyline Investment Realty declares, "We can structure deals more creatively."

The 33-year-old entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in finance explained: "Other real estate agencies do one thing very well," marketing properties to put the most bucks in a seller's pocket. "What I instill in my team is, there's not a vanilla world out there. The result has to be a business decision, but there are multiple ways to reach that end, different ways to get to the end of the line.

"The bulk of our business is buying and selling residential real estate, facilitating closures through various kinds of financial agreements."

Skyline, a company not yet 2 years old, in addition to residential real estate sales, operates divisions in investments, private notes and property management, thus providing a seller with more opportunities, often of which they, or a standard agent, are unaware or haven't considered.

Conway cited a recent transaction in which the seller owned a vacant commercial property, unsold over several months by a real estate-only agency aiming for top dollar. The seller, having moved from the area, wanted relief from the responsibilities of absentee ownership more so than making a tidy profit.

"Top dollar is not the goal of every seller," Conway said. "Structuring a deal is the answer."

In this case, Skyline tapped into financing programs to obtain a comfortable sum for the owner and utilized investment products to accommodate the buyer.

The investment division also counsels clients on how they can turn low-interest savings products into real estate investments with a projected higher return, Conway noted.

"The private notes (division) I love the most," Conway said.

Skyline will buy a property and its mortgage from a bank and structure a deal so that "foreclosed" doesn't appear on the owner's credit report, which also allows the owner's continued residence.

"I like to call it loan modification," Conway said. "It's another tool to invest in real estate. And it helped the bank to get rid of a property it didn't want (on its books)."

The property management division is of particular use to banks with foreclosed properties, to property owners where no landlord is present and to snowbirds, whose Florida homes may be empty half the year.

"We'll find a tenant, market the home, clean up the property, do the landscape, pool maintenance, check the irrigation system works," Conway enumerated, "whatever they pay us to manage."

As for the real estate sales division, "The residential inventory is nil," Conway said. "The market itself is dry, the lowest inventory in Hernando County since the crash of 2008."

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However, he foresees growth north of State Road 50, particularly in Royal Highlands.

How does an agency build inventory?

"Sellers call us. We've built a reputation," Conway said. "We check estate sales, auctions from banks, send out fliers, newsletters, word of mouth."

Skyline is in investment mode itself, buying properties it rehabilitates, then sells.

Who are the company's customers?

"Everyone I meet," Conway said, "is a buyer, a seller or an investor."

The entrepreneur's high energy, garrulous style and eagerness to share the company's successes are tools as Skyline works toward creatively structured deals.

The employee roster includes six specialists in the office plus 10 agents in the field.

Said Conway: "I'm absolutely nothing without my team."

Contact Beth Gray at graybethn@earthlink.net.

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