It’s the beach version of the circle of life. Renters fall in love with the Quiet Resorts and bring their families for vacation, year after year, building memories. They also, oftentimes, build lasting relationships with the rental agencies that provide the places for their families to build those memories.
When those beachgoers decide to become beach home owners, they often turn to the same companies. That’s been the recipe for success for Connor Jacobsen Realty for several generations.
Now, with the purchase of the longtime beach real estate agency by Joe Maggio Realty, the circle has widened a bit.
Maggio, who already had an office in Rehoboth Beach, has completed the purchase of Connor Jacobsen, along with Realtor Mike Moreland, after being approached by Marie Cahill, who had owned the business for about five years.
Cahill had purchased it from Joetta Jacobsen, who, with her husband, John, had purchased it from Susan Connor in 1993.
Connor had operated the business since the 1970s, according to Joetta Jacobsen. Before that, it had been owned by another family, Jacobsen said, dating back as early as the 1940s. As such, it remains the oldest real estate agency in Bethany Beach.
Connor Jacobsen built its reputation on rentals, mostly of tradition beach homes in downtown Bethany Beach, Jacobsen said. With the transition to Maggio, the business looks to expand its sales division. Maggio brings more than 45 agents — along with their expertise — into the new venture.
Cahill said she approached Maggio “after working on a nominating committee for the Women’s Council of Realtors that selected him as Entrepreneur of the Year. His background and commitment to the local community was a perfect fit for my clients,” some of whom had been served by the company for more than 40 years, Cahill said.
Maggio said the acquisition was “a very natural and complementary fit to our boutique business model,” adding that he hoped to bring additional tools, “like online booking, deposit insurance and credit acceptance to enhance the tenant and landlord experience.”
Moreland, as an investor, brings “a vast background and knowledge from his former career at Cisco Systems,” Maggio said.
Jacobsen said the core of the business has always been rentals, but that, often, longtime renters eventually became buyers. When they were ready to become owners, those former renters, she said, would tend to come to the company they had come to trust as rental agents. And then, Jacobsen said, her company would take care of those properties for their new owners.
“We would check on their properties, we would meet their needs” as they rented their homes to the next generation of visitors.
She said she looks back fondly on the years she ran the business.
“It provided a good living for me,” she said. “It provided for my children as they grew up; it put them through college.”
Cahill, who joined the company in 2008 as a manager, said she feels comfortable handing the reins over to Maggio.
“He’s got a very good reputation. People really do like them,” she said of the company’s new owners. All but one of the existing Connor Jacobsen agents are now with Maggio, Cahill said.
Looking back over her own tenure as owner of the longstanding business, Cahill said she is thankful for her relationship with Jacobsen.
“We’re still very close friends, Cahill said. “She worked at the office, which was great because I could go to her and say, ‘How did you handle that?’ ‘What do I do now?’ ‘How do you handle this person?’” Cahill said with a laugh. “She’s been a great agent. She’s been a great mentor to me. She really did show me the ropes, so to speak.”
Cahill, however, was no neophyte when she became the owner of Connor Jacobsen, having managed the Bethany Beach office of Long & Foster Real Estate for about 17 years. Her first foray into the real estate business came in the 1980s, when she lived in Albany, N.Y.
Now, though, she is looking forward to retirement with her husband, Jimmy.
“Jimmy and I are still happy and healthy together, and in June we’ll be married 58 years. We’re old! But we still have our health and we are young at heart, and we are great-grandparents.”
To find out more about Joe Maggio Realty, go to www.maggiorealty.com or call the Bethany Beach office at (302) 539-5500 or the Rehoboth Beach office at (302) 226-3772.