Native Realty Makes Strategic Hires for Residential Expansion – The Real Deal

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Jaime Sturgis wants to do it all; at least in real estate. 

His commercial brokerage, Nativey Realty, is moving in on the residential market. Sturgis’ Fort Lauderdale-based firm recruited Whitney Dutton, Chris Sedlack and Arber Balani, previously of Re/Max First, to spearhead its residential play in Broward County. The firm is also bringing in additional support staff, according to a press release.  

Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

Dutton is among the top producing agents in Broward County, with more than $225 million in sales closed since 2018, according to the release. 

The trio are the latest additions to Native Realty this year, which has been steadily beefing up its staff.

In October, the firm hired real estate associates Sarah and Jeremiah Adler, a couple that formerly ran an artist-centric co-living space. In March, Sturgis promoted  Kaley Tuning to chief operating officer, and Dan Ross to executive vice president. Both had been with the firm for four years. In November of 2022, Adriana Lilly joined Native as a vice president.

Sturgis launched Native in 2017, focusing on commercial properties in the Fort Lauderdale area. Its push into residential follows a trend of brokerages across South Florida expanding into Broward, which trails the rest of the region in luxury pricing. Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune Christie’s International Real Estate opened an office in Fort Lauderdale in June. Douglas Elliman opened two offices in Weston in February, and Compass expanded into Weston in April. 

More recently, One Sotheby’s International Realty poached Jonathan Keith’s Fort Lauderdale-based team from Compass in October. 

The pandemic supercharged markets across South Florida, but that’s not the only thing that  brought the spotlight to Broward County. All eyes were on Fort Lauderdale this summer when word got out that soccer superstar Lionel Messi was house hunting in the area. He bought a waterfront mansion in Fort Lauderdale’s Bay Colony neighborhood for $10.8 million in September. 

The county also continues to see record-setting sales. Bang Energy founder Jack Owoc paid $40 million for an oceanfront estate in Fort Lauderdale last month, setting a countywide price record for residential sales. 

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