Talbot Sutter was 25 when he founded Sutter & Nugent Real Estate in January 2014.
The firm now has more than 120 associates and four offices.
“I started with my best friend Jason Milner, who I’ve known since kindergarten through Benjamin. Before that, I worked in a large company and realized the importance of getting back to basics and the art of selling real estate. That’s what inspired me to start Sutter & Nugent Real Estate,” said Sutter, who grew up in Jupiter.
The connections made at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach gave young brokers a head start. Parents of former classmates gave them lists, and it grew from there. Today, around fifteen Benjamin graduates are agents at Sutter & Nugent.
“The most important thing was that people trusted you to do a $2 or $3 million property,” Sutter said. “A few of them gave us small investment properties. We would treat them as if they were million dollar transactions.
Last name: Talbot K.Sutter
Title: President and Broker
Hometown: Born and raised in Jupiter. I live in Palm Beach Gardens now.
Education: Dated Benjamin for 14 years. Graduated from Florida State University with a dual degree in finance and real estate.
Family: My family has been in the area for a long time. We go back four generations in Palm Beach County and my grandfather, Jack Nugent, sold insurance and worked with John D. MacArthur, who inspired him to get into real estate. I also just had a little girl called Scarlett (4 months) whom I plan to integrate very quickly into real estate.
The “Nugent” in the company name is in honor of his late grandfather. Coincidentally, his mother Laurie Nugent joined the business a year ago as a broker after working for years at Waterfront Properties.
About your business: I started Sutter & Nugent Real Estate six years ago. I grew the company from two agents to over 120 associates. I opened four Gardens/Jupiter area offices in Lantana at Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach. Our Chief Administrator Jerrye Crawford has been with the business for over 30 years. Our sales have increased exponentially since the beginning of the year, we have increased by 85%. I enjoy meeting, hiring, training, mentoring and developing every agent that comes on board.
What’s new in your business? We are currently representing several high end builders with luxury homes ranging from $1-9 million in Palm Beach County, Jupiter to Manalapan, Delray Beach/Boca Raton to Pompano Beach and even up to the keys. It will be really fun to see these homes come up for sale this year.
First paid job and what you learned from it: My first paid job was painting farm fences with my brother. We used to go every summer to Highlands, NC to escape the heat with our family. When we grew up a bit my brother and I wanted to have some pocket money so we thought of different ways to do it and finally approached our neighbor (2 miles away) to help paint his dilapidated fence.
The owner gladly accepted our offer and agreed to pay us a total of $500 ($250 each), a lot of money when you’re 11 and 13, right? Well, the fence ended up spanning a 100 acre farm and took us all summer to paint.
Our grandfather Jack Nugent told us that we had talked to the owner about it and that we had to be true to our word and finish the fence, no matter what the cost. This is where I first learned that doing a little research on what you want to get into is helpful and can save you a lot of time. I also learned that your word is everything. If you say you’re going to do something, you do it.
First commercial break: The first break in the business sector came from the parents of friends with whom I was in school at Benjamin who trusted me and gave me the first opportunity to sell luxury real estate. I was extremely lucky and blessed to have this break because it takes some people years to get into a high end market.
How your business has changed: Our business has changed a lot in that it has become more structured. With all our offices, documents, files, etc. kept online and backed up by our servers, everything is so easily accessible and organized. This helps us avoid mistakes or setbacks due to disorganization.
The best book you have read: The best book in my opinion was “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. If you can imagine it every morning and every night before you go to bed, you can make it happen. I don’t care what it is. The human mind is amazing, if you give it enough thought, energy and action, you will get there.
Best advice you’ve ever received on running a business: When it comes to running a business, the best advice I can give is don’t cut ties. It comes back time and time again. You never know who knows who or when you’ll be dealing with that person again.
Reputation is everything and can go a long way if you have earned it.
What you tell young people about the real estate business: It’s a great way to maximize your income and it’s a great way to expand your life into new realms that would never be possible with a desk job.
Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure that you can share and what youdid he learn? Yes, always answer your phone. No matter where and when, answer your phone and if you miss a call, be sure to return it. Last year, I missed a phone call that cost me a $2 million ad (which sold out within weeks). It was a hard lesson learned, but it helped me remember how important it is to always pick up that phone!
What do you see for Palm Beach County? I see an influx of people from California, New Jersey and New York. From tax implications, weather, and an incredible standard of living, Palm Beach County continues to be one of the #1 places for people to come.
Palm Beach County will continue to grow and prosper. I think in the years to come you will see West Palm Beach rivaling New York and Chicago as a financial powerhouse.
Energizing lunch spot: CR chicks. People from all walks of life come for lunch – that’s why I love it. It’s a great place, good food, fast and always a great place to meet new people.
Where would we find you when you are not in the office? On a day when I’m not in the office, you can find me on the boat, cruising the Intracoastal looking for waterfront homes or fishing in the Atlantic. Two of my favorite things to do!
Favorite smartphone app: Voice Memos – I use this all the time. If I’m in the middle of something during the day and have a thought, I can save it and come back to it later at night. Or if I’m doing an open house and want to make a quick mental note of a potential client who walked through the door, I can do that. Easy to use and always useful.
What is the most important characteristic you look for when hiring? The most important thing I look for is driving.
Skills, polish, presentation. I can teach and give all that, but if someone has no motivation, it’s not for us. I look at someone when I hire them and can tell if they have the fire in their eyes that will make them a winner. Skills, contracts, negotiation – I can teach. The reader is the most valuable asset, and without him, you have nothing.