By Alicia Thompson
Barbara McGinnis, The Mother In Mother-Daughter Yellowfin Realty Team
REALTOR® Barbara McGinnis’ personality is as vibrant as her bejeweled glasses. She made them herself, she said, with tiny red, white, and blue gems for a patriotic look.
McGinnis obtained her real estate license in 1985, after raising her three children, and has been serving the Tampa Bay real estate market ever since. She started working for Yellowfin Realty in 2014, and splits her time between helping people list or buy a home and managing rental properties. She specializes in first-time home buyers, although she’s always happy to see repeat buyers or customers from the past.
According to McGinnis, the most important part of working with new home buyers is to remain patient. The average buyer sees eight to ten homes before finding the one that will be a future home. “We keep looking until that smile crosses their face that they just can’t wipe off, and they light up like a Christmas tree,” McGinnis said.
Right now, there are “more buyers than homes to buy,” said McGinnis. “We’re absolutely blowing up.”
Because of the market, where it can be hard for buyers to find existing homes in their price range and desired location, many are turning to developing communities. Especially in those situations, McGinnis said, a realtor is essential for navigating the contracts, inspection, and other aspects of the process.
“Most homebuilders will tell you that 80% are from realtors bringing someone in,” McGinnis said. “We know where communities are, we know the amenities. We know how to take the back roads.”
McGinnis calls Yellowfin Realty “phenomenal,” and loves that it’s family-owned. She works with her daughter, Kim Smith, which helps to keep them always available for their clients. They share an office and bounce ideas off each other, although it means that it can be difficult to step away from work. “When we’re on vacation,” McGinnis said, “it’s a rolling business.”
Yellowfin Realty was established in 2009, and is headquartered at 11256 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. McGinnis and Smith both work out of the nearby office located at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Call 229-8862 or visit yellowfinrealty.com.
Kim Smith, The Daughter In Mother-Daughter Yellowfin Realty Team
It was Kim Smith’s mother, Brandon REALTOR® Barbara McGinnis, who convinced Smith to take the real estate licensing exam. By that point, Smith already had a wealth of knowledge on the subject, but in a way that made studying for the exam more difficult. “The book does it one way,” Smith said, “but the reality is totally different.”
Now a REALTOR® herself, Smith works closely with McGinnis on the sale, purchase, and management of properties. They work so closely, in fact, that they share an office – and on days when her two daughters are off from school, they can be found around the office, too.
Smith was pregnant with her second daughter when she learned that her employer was downsizing, and she started working with McGinnis a few months after her daughter was born. Smith grew up in Seffner, went to Armwood High School, and now lives on the same homestead property where she was raised.
Family is clearly very important to Smith and McGinnis, and their proximity while working together means that they often finish each other’s sentences. Smith talks about the growth in Brandon, for example, and reminisces about a time when Highway 60 was only two lanes wide. “But as big as Brandon is getting, it’s still a bedroom community,” McGinnis pointed out.
It’s that small-town feel that both Smith and McGinnis enjoy about Brandon. However, they also caution about scams that arise when an area experiences such rapid growth. “Rentals go in hours,” Smith said, and there have been a rash of ads on Craigslist that offer low monthly rates, and then the supposed landlord collects deposits from multiple people for a property that’s not even available.
“People need to make sure they’re dealing with a reputable real estate company,” Smith said. It’s one reason she and her mother are passionate about helping local residents find properties to live.
Yellowfin Realty was established in 2009, and is headquartered at 11256 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. Smith and McGinnis both work out of the nearby office located at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Call 229-8862 or visit yellowfinrealty.com.