Steve appears in the Top 100
People in Real Estate Magazine
Integrity, respect, trust, and above all, honor. These are the characteristics for which Steve Warren is known throughout Florida’s coastal communities and among investors across the globe. As a veteran of the U.S. Army’s elite 82nd Airborne, he carried those same principles to a career in real estate to become a successful investor with breathtaking properties at wildly popular locations such as Majestic Beach Resort and the founder of Pineapple Realty Group, one of the fastest-growing vacation rental websites for properties in Panama City Beach and Bay County.
Since 2013, Steve has helped hundreds of investors buy, sell, and design thousands of properties with transactions in the multimillions. In 2017, he launched Pineapple Realty Group. In less than four years, its grown by an astounding 500%—along with his personal portfolio valued at $5 million with properties that have doubled in value and bring an annual revenue of nearly $1 million in rental income. As a former title insurance executive and mortgage professional who executed hundreds of loans, Steve provides his clients with a unique and valuable advantage by helping them create properties for maximum rental income—and investors are lining up at Pineapple’s door. We sat down with Steve to learn more about his background and his commitment to helping people find the most lucrative properties in Florida.
What compelled you to start your own company?
I was raised by a single mom and grew up as the poorest kid in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Dallas. I would come home from school to make my own dinner and change my sister’s diapers, so my sense of duty was instilled in me at a young age. My time in the 82nd Airborne ingrained discipline, work ethic, and my sense of honor. After receiving my university degree in 2013, I worked in title insurance for two years and then as a loan originator for three, but I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and ideas about investing. One day, I said, “I’ll start my own company and bring my ideas to my own clients.”
Tell us about some of your favorite investment properties.
Every investor has properties that they’re most proud of, and mine are the beachfront condos my company owns in Panama City Beach. My favorite childhood memories involve going to the beach every summer with my grandfather and grandmother. We’d walk the pier in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, eat ice cream as the sun set over the ocean, and build sandcastles. After my grandfather passed away in 2016, I wanted to create something to keep his memory alive, and in 2017, my company purchased its first property. The immediate success of that one provided leverage for another property, and so on. My favorites are located at Majestic Beach Resort and Long Beach Resort because they make up the foundation of Pineapple Realty Group. Both are beachfront with a view of the white sands of Panama City Beach and have bedrooms facing the ocean with private doors to the balconies. The Long Beach Resort property is 1,426 square feet with two bedrooms facing the ocean and two bathrooms. The Majestic Beach Resort property is 1,274 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms. Both have received recent renovations where the entire unit was taken down to the studs and built back to meet the vision that I had of them.
How does your insight as a successful real estate investor and the owner of rental properties give your clients an advantage?
When potential investors approach me about buying a property, I start by asking about their goals and reasons for the investment. My goal is to explain the steps in the process—from the point of buying a property to getting the property online and guest-ready. Each step requires proper planning, negotiation, and the right team. As the owner of rental properties, and having gone through this process many times, my knowledge gives my clients the edge in this competitive market. As a real estate veteran with a long record of successfully guiding local, national, and multinational clients in their real estate acquisitions, asset reposition and dispositions, I can offer clients an opinion about a property’s value beyond the traditional six-month comparable set of sold properties. I know what it takes to get a property to where it brings maximum rental revenue, the costs of the renovations needed, and what guests look for when booking a rental property. All those factors, which are unaccounted for by other real estate agents, can determine if a property is a “hidden gem” or bad investment.
To what do you attribute your company’s almost immediate success?
I attribute much of our success to the market research and business planning done prior to purchasing a rental property. Once those steps are complete, then the real work begins—waiting for a buying opportunity, recognizing it when it presents itself, and acting on it, which is critical to setting yourself up for future success. Purchasing the property is only the first step in the process. You want to leave enough room financially for necessary renovations that will garner maximum rental income.
What do you enjoy most about your work or what drives you?
At a young age, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and real estate allows me to be creative and gives me the opportunity to build a product that differs from others on the market. Building a successful business is what drives me, and seeing my investors thrive.
What’s on the horizon for Pineapple Realty Group?
In addition to acquiring more long-term and beachfront vacation rental properties, Pineapple Realty Group is in the process of launching its own cleaning and maintenance company to service vacation rental owners in Panama City Beach and Destin. It will supply rental units with upscale amenities equivalent to those found in upscale hotels. It’s time for the individual vacation rental market to take the leap toward such offerings.
Founding Partner and CEO
Pineapple Realty Group
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