As the top-producing realtor with Illustrated Properties for the past three years in a row, Vince Marotta has been one of the top brokers in northern Palm Beach County over the same period of time.
A member of the prestigious leading real estate companies of the world, Illustrated Properties is owned by Mike Pappas, who also helms The Keyes Company. With a combined 3,000-plus agents, The Keyes Family of Companies make up the largest independent brokerage in Florida.
For his part, Marotta has concentrated his efforts on the six most exclusive areas of northern Palm Beach: the 400-acre Bear’s Club, where Michael Jordan owns one of the 40 estates; Old Palm Golf Club; and Admiral’s Cove – all golf communities — and Jupiter Island (home to Tiger Woods); the Intercoastal Waterway and Loxahatchee River.
“I’m the only realtor who’s sold homes over $10 million in all six of those areas,” says Marotta, adding, “When a buyer is coming to town who wants the very best at the highest, wouldn’t you want a realtor who’s sold at the top of the market in all the areas?”
In addition to working at the top of the northern Palm Beach market, Marotta also sells a variety of other properties in the county for over $1 million.
“I’m as proud of the fact that I’m also the only realtor in a given year who’s sold the highest priced condo in every single beachfront community, from Jupiter Island to Singer Island,” he says.
VINCE MAROTTA: FROM IVY TO REALTY
A graduate of Yale University, Marotta considered following many of his fellow classmates into a career in finance, but instead found himself drawn to real estate.
“There was something about the tangible element of it: going from an idea to a piece of paper from an architect to a builder to then furnishing it and then turning around and selling it,” he explains.
Concentrating for years on the development end of the business, Marotta, like many others, was set back by the great recession and nearly wiped out by 2012.
“I had $25 million in construction loans. And there was just no new business being written and I was dying,” he recalls.
At that point, Marotta decided to switch to buying and selling real estate — for other people.
Early on, word got out around an oceanfront condo he was selling a unit in that Marotta was washing the salt-streaked windows himself. When he returned home, there were messages from five people in the building asking him to sell their unit.
“That just showed me that if you work hard at the lowest levels, you’ll work your way up,” he says. ”And that’s always been the way I built my practice.”
A STEP AHEAD OF THE REST
While many of his competitors work in teams of listing agents, Marotta prefers to show properties himself.
“I think it’s very important that you have somebody with 35 years of experience out there who knows the market, knows why that house is saleable and actually shows up to sell it,” he says.
Though he gets calls on a regular basis from big brokerages inviting him to join their ranks, Marotta remains loyal to Illustrated, where, he says, Pappas supports the agents in every way.
“I tell them, I appreciate the call, but I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” says Marotta, noting that all the top agents at Illustrated support one another.
“They’re always there to be helpful and collaborative. And I encourage the younger agents to reach out to me any time.”
IT’S NOT WORK IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO
A typical day for Marotta is spent looking at beautiful homes with highly successful people.
“They’re just looking for a nice place where they can enjoy health and happiness,” he says. “When you’re dealing at the highest end, people are beyond pretense. They’re just really cool people and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them, and I really love trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.”
For Marotta, the goal is to do the very best for his clients.
“It’s much more than earning the commission,” he says.
“It’s about reputation: it’s how you handle your clients and how you interface with other top realtors.”
In the stratosphere of northern Palm Beach real estate, there are about 40 or 50 top agents, notes Marotta.
“We all get along because we realize we’re lucky to be here and we try to work well with each other,” he says, adding, “I’m just fortunate: I have a job I really love.”
This article appeared on the cover of Behind The Hedges Palm Beach and Behind The Hedges Powered By the Long Island Press in December 2022. For more Palm Beach real estate news and features, click here.