In a recent statewide listing presentation contest among 8,000 Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate sales associates, Roger Pettingell of the Longboat Key Coldwell Banker office took first place locally and regionally, and second place in Florida. In 2004, Pettingell sold $45 million in waterfront properties.
"My first job was in 1983 as a marketing assistant with Arvida Corporation here on Longboat Key. I was 22 and had just graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. I was a chemistry-biology double major and was bound for medical school, but I was so much more drawn to promotional and political things; it was so much more interesting.
"I found out about the job through my uncle, whose Coral Gables public relations firm was doing the national p.r. for Arvida's new Longboat Key Club. It was a great time; they were doing a lot of sports related promotions-a Grand Masters tennis tournament and a big golf tournament-and I was involved in the very first Offshore Grand Prix that basically started as a promotion of our new Harbourside Marina.
"After I was with Arvida two years, I got promoted to the corporate marketing office in Boca. When Disney bought Arvida I did liaison work between the two companies, cross promotion of the resorts and things like that. After a year and a half I became corporate marketing director, right up to the point where I could see there was going to be a limit to the upward growth of a position like that. I saw that the really successful real estate people were on the sales side, so I came back to Arvida Realty on Longboat.
"At the age of 29 I was on staff selling luxury condominiums at L'Ambiance. It's so funny to think about now-would I buy a million-dollar apartment from a 29-year-old guy? I believe the secret to my success has been my marketing background. I'm a tremendous believer in the product. This is my 18th year of selling the area I love living in."