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Posted By Joe Hamilton


It's easy to see that Melissa Rutland has real estate in her DNA. She taken the family business, put her own spin on it and had success. What's perhaps less known is that, for the Rutlands, community impact is as important as location, location, location. Melissa looks at each potential deal through the lens of St Pete character, and then leverages her creativity, experience and network to shape projects that deliver results for her clients and for the city.

Years in real estate

I’ve been in real estate 21 years.

Why St. Pete?

I’m born and raised here. At the age of 21 or whenever, I graduated college. All of my friends moved away to New York City and, “Oh, we need to go somewhere hip.” And I said, “No, I want to stay and make it hip.” So, here we are, after many years of creating – with other placemakers in the area – a very cool place to be. I love the energy, and what St. Pete has to offer.

What’s your speciality or favorite kind of transaction to be involved in?

I specialize in off market investment and development properties. My favorite type of transaction to be involved in is something that requires a lot of creativity.

What’s a unique perspective you have on real estate that others may not have?

My unique perspective is that a transaction can usually occur. It’s just, “What is it going to take?” and the creativity that I bring to a transaction. And introducing the right people to the right situation in order to create the solution is, really the unique pers

What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology or practice that you would share with our readers?

If you stay connected to what matters, you can do work that matters. That creates a difference in the community.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?

One of the things I can think of that I wish I had known three years ago is, this real estate market that we’re in today. I made suggestions to several clients to buy something. Had they known that we were in the real estate boom we’re in today, I guarantee you, they would have bought it.

What’s one thing you wish buyers or sellers knew in advance, to optimize their real estate experience?

I’m looking forward to digging in to some opportunities that are coming our way. I think the market is still emerging, even though it’s on fire right now. Specifically, multiple family and in the retail space, as new or emerging uses come about to the area, we can create projects that really benefit the community. That’s something I’ve been exploring with multiple clients.

What’s next?

More Place Makers

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