Former software programmer Anna Dementov is marrying her technical expertise with her real estate business to help buyers secure hard-to-find luxury homes.
Dementov has developed a system that scans the local neighborhoods, matching a buyer’s criteria to listings that may not have yet appeared on the Multiple Listings Services (MLS) network, which is used by real estate professionals to share information about properties on the market.
“When I got into this business, the only advantage I had on agents who have been in real estate or 20-plus years was my programming skills. I wanted to maximize that and have this edge over my competition. I have a formula that measures the market value and finds deals priced under market value,” Dementov said. She personalizes and manages a database of over 10,000 prospective buyers worldwide.
“I got into the off-market database deals as there were thousands of people who wanted a beach condo with certain features. The main problem is we have limited inventory. I started thinking about contacting sellers one by one who were not committed to a listing, but would sell their home for the right price,” she said.
Dementov has been a real estate agent for 12 years and developed her system five years ago.
“When you work as a programmer, it’s a 9-to-5 job and I wanted to move around and work with people who are relocating from different areas looking for homes,” Dementov said, stating she still considers herself as “a geek.”
She largely focuses on real estate deals in the downtown Clearwater, St. Petersburg and South Tampa markets.
In May, she closed a $6.525 million deal for a St. Petersburg penthouse. The deal represents the highest price-per-square-foot home sale in the Parkshore Plaza, according to Alona Dishey, the Remax Metro agent who represented the seller.
She also closed the sale of five condos in the JW Marriott Resort on Clearwater Beach, averaging a $1.5 million price point per unit.
According to her portfolio and estimated real estate deals, Dementov is expected to close $60 million worth of Tampa Bay area property transactions by the end of the year, with 50% comprising off-market deals.
The majority of her clients are second homeowners hailing from the Northeast, and who are typically already familiar with the city.
“The main difference in living in a condo versus an estate is that it feels like you have a whole staff – security, concierge, maintenance services – it’s a large appeal for out-of-towners,” she said.
In real estate transactions for waterfront lots listed between $3 to $5 million, it’s not uncommon to see a buyer completely gut and renovate the existing estate.
“There are many people who are asking for new construction, and when there isn’t any, we adjust the criteria,” she said.
While many of the buyers Dementov represents pay all-cash for the multi-million-dollar deals, she said there is some concern from buyers about the uptick in mortgage and flood insurance rates.