Blog : leadership

NextHome announces new Toms River brokerage

NextHome announces new Toms River brokerage

Diane Traverso

Pleasanton, CA — March 26, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Nexus Realty Group, based in Toms River, New Jersey. The brokerage represents the ninth office location opened in New Jersey for the NextHome franchise and the 450th NextHome office opened nationally.

The new brokerage is owned by veteran New Jersey real estate agent Diane Traverso. NextHome Nexus Realty Group will serve buyers and sellers across Monmouth and Ocean Counties. 

Located about an hour east of Philadelphia and about 45 minutes north of Atlantic City, Toms River is the county seat of Ocean County. Known for its safety and sense of community, Toms River offers real estate options for young families, condominium communities, and beach lovers. The area is also close to Berkeley Township, where seniors enjoy the affordability and amenities of one of the area’s largest 55+ communities. 

Diane has held a real estate license since 1987. However, her full-time career took off in 1996 when she joined a small, independent agency in Monmouth County. In 2001, she obtained her broker’s license and, in the years that followed, Diane managed offices and worked for large franchised brands. 

In 2009, after several years in brokerage management, Diane dove back into real estate sales. Her commitment to unparalleled service helped Diane achieve the Circle of Excellence Award year after year. 

“I love what I do and am happy to be able to help so many clients and many have become great friends,” Diana said. 

Diane’s real estate career continued to flourish, but she always knew something was missing. 

“I really wanted to build something that I could be proud of and even pass on to my children one day,” Diane said. “I also feel like I’m a leader in the community and I want to build something that will make a difference in people’s lives.”

In early 2019, as she contemplated the coming year, Diane set a goal to open her own brokerage. If only she could find the right opportunity. Then, Diane took a Certified Residential Specialist course where she met a NextHome broker. 

“She told me how she had opened as a small boutique brokerage at first, and converted it over to NextHome,” Diane recalled. “It just sounded intriguing to me. I went home and started looking at the website and little videos and it just resonated with me.”

Today, Diane is using NextHome’s tools to become an industry leader and make a difference in her community.

“When someone comes to NextHome Nexus Realty Group, clients can expect professionalism,” Diane said. “I want to also give back to this community that has given so much to me.”

Diane is an active advocate in the New Jersey real estate community. She is currently the treasurer and secretary for her board office Monmouth/Ocean Regional REALTORS®, the New Jersey chapter president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, and also an active member of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. As she fights for the rights of REALTORS® and property owners, Diane monitors bills and advocates for changes that can positively impact her community. 

When she isn’t building her business or volunteering, Diane enjoys spending time with friends and dancing. She is the proud mother of two adult children, Dan and Kim. 

Please join us in congratulating Diane on the opening of NextHome Nexus Realty Group in Toms River, New Jersey!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new Jacksonville-area office

NextHome announces new Jacksonville-area office

Stephanie & Alfred Sanalila

Pleasanton, CA — March 24, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome First Coast, based in Saint Augustine, Florida. The brokerage represents the 68th office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage is owned by the husband and wife team Stephanie and Alfred Sanalila. NextHome First Coast will serve clients across Saint Augustine, Jacksonville, Orange Park, Mandarin, and the remainder of Florida’s First Coast area. 

According to tradition, the First Coast is the first area of Florida to be colonized by Europeans. Today, people flock to Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns counties for their superior school systems and stunning coastlines. Stephanie and her team at NextHome First Coast will primarily serve the area’s booming residential market. 

“I’ve been very focused on serving families,” Stephanie said. “This area has been growing like crazy, and for good reason. There’s a ton of history here, some great museums, a fantastic downtown, and a beautiful waterfront. Combined, all these things make our area a great place to raise a family.”

Many of Stephanie’s clients are attracted by the St. John County School District. The district is ranked No. 1 in Florida by Niche rankings and consistently remains ranked in the top six percent of schools in the country. 

Stephanie’s career prior to real estate reflects her love of, and appreciation for, good education. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in business and spent about 10 years working in educational publishing. She also spent several years teaching marketing at the college level. Eventually, real estate became a family affair after Alfred entered the industry.  

Alfred has been a licensed broker since 2002 and, together, the couple has spent many years providing their clients with unique market insights and perspectives. For the last few years, Stephanie and Alfred worked in Saint Augustine at a large national franchise.

The Sanalilas always knew they wanted to own their own business. So when Alfred stumbled across the NextHome brand in 2019, both Stephanie and Alfred knew they had found the right opportunity. 

“We started seeing how smart the all-around NextHome concept was, and how brilliant the marketing was,” Stephanie said. “With my marketing background, that really was a high point for me.”

Alfred liked how NextHome was unlike any other national franchise he had seen. 

“As I dug deeper into NextHome it really seemed like a fresh approach to real estate,” Alfred said. “It fills a need in our area.”

Today, NextHome First Coast is setting itself apart from other brokerages through its personalized approach to real estate. 

“It seems like the majority of my customers think that they are my only customer,” Stephanie said with a smile. “They are not, but they feel that way. I love helping clients, and also our future agents, feel that way.”

Stephanie is also a talented educator. Today, she is a NextHome certified trainer, giving her the ability to help agents earn National Association of REALTORS® designations. 

“Stephanie brings knowledge to the table,” Alfred said. “Her clients depend on her to know the process, know negotiation, know everything from contract offer to closing. They lean on her to be that skilled professional, and she delivers. Her ability to share information in an easy, casual, and approachable way definitely comes out.”

When she isn’t helping clients and agents, Stephanie is passionate about serving the special needs community. This passion began with her late brother Steve and her service honors his memory. Stephanie volunteers with Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine program, giving special needs individuals the opportunity to attend an unforgettable prom night experience. 

Stephanie also volunteers with the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville and is an integral supporter of their annual Buddy Walk. In the past, she has also worked with the U.S. Special Olympics Team as a Bocce Ball coach. 

Together, Stephanie and Alfred have three children: Lilly (12), Luke (11), and Leo (5). When they have the chance, the family loves to travel. 

Please join us in congratulating Stephanie and Alfred on the opening of NextHome First Coast in Saint Augustine, Florida!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces Bradenton, Florida office

NextHome announces Bradenton, Florida office

Xena Vallone

Pleasanton, CA — March 18, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome In The Sun, based in Bradenton, Florida. The brokerage represents the 67th office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise and the 446th NextHome office opened nationally.

The brokerage is owned by Xena Vallone, who has been serving the Sarasota and Manatee County area real estate clients since 2002. Xena and her team at NextHome In The Sun will serve all types of residential clients, providing expertise for first-time buyers, move-up buyers,  relocations, luxury purchases, and investment buying. In addition, NextHome In The Sun offers property management services. 

The brokerage helps all clientele across Bradenton, Ellenton, Lakewood Ranch, Siesta Key, Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key, North Port, Englewood, Venice, Port Charlotte, and the remainder of Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties. 

Xena entered real estate in 2002 following a career as a paralegal in New York. As a paralegal, she worked extensively with homebuyer contracts. 

“Because of that background, I am very particular and detail-oriented,” Xena said. “I make sure that our contracts are well written. In addition, seeing that process from the beginning of the contract through the end gave me valuable insights that I can now share with my clients.” 

After obtaining her real estate license in 2002, Xena experienced what it was like to work with two franchised brands – Coldwell Banker and Prudential – before opening her own brokerage in 2009.

In the midst of an industry downturn, Xena Vallone Realty expertly weathered the storm. As foreclosures expanded, Xena spoke at seminars and worked with area attorneys to give homeowners the skills and knowledge they needed to potentially save their homes. Xena also had a great team working for her at the time, and together they handled short sales. Xena Vallone Realty developed a reputation for excellent customer service and many of the clients Xena helped during the recession returned when they were ready to re-enter the market.

Xena Vallone Realty did well for 10 years. However, Xena knew that in order to recruit more agents in a changing industry she would need to offer the best marketing and technology available. She began researching franchises and several friends pointed her to NextHome. 

“First, I connected with NextHome’s Vice President, Imran Poladi, at a local event,” Xena recalled. “Then my friend Anand Patel opened a NextHome franchise in Tampa. Other agents then began telling me they were going to partner with NextHome. Finally, another friend of mine started his NextHome franchise and I began to think that I was missing the boat on this!”

After a careful six-month decision-making process, Xena opened NextHome In The Sun. 

“What really got me was NextHome’s back-end support and how well all the tools worked together,” Xena said. “Also, as a listing agent, I was really impressed with NextHome’s marketing capabilities. Then, when we went to California for our training, everyone was very welcoming and gave us a lot of ideas. The information and support you get is incredible. I really grew to love the family aspect of NextHome, probably because that’s a big part of how I want to do business.” 

Today, Xena is setting NextHome In The Sun apart with a focus on her company motto: Real Solutions, Unparalleled Service. 

“We are going to find solutions for any problem that might come up,” Xena said. “From contract to close we want to make sure everything works. I’m a checklist girl, so we make absolutely sure everything is in order and we have a reputation for showing clients that we are prepared. We are all about the experience!”

Xena has been actively involved in state and local real estate leadership for more than 10 years. She was the 2017 president of the REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee, which is currently 7,000 members strong. In addition, she has served on several state committees. Xena previously served on Florida’s Resort and Second Home Committee, which she chaired in 2019. Currently, she is on Florida’s REALTORS® Attorney Joint Committee as well as Vice-Chair of Florida’s Forms Committee. Xena has also served as a board member for her local MLS area. 

When she isn’t working, Xena enjoys pampering her two beagles and spending time at Bradenton Beach with her husband Dave, her son and daughter-in-law, and their three grandchildren. 

Please join us in congratulating Xena on the opening of NextHome In The Sun in Bradenton, Florida!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome On The Lake opens in Greensboro, Georgia

NextHome On The Lake opens in Greensboro, Georgia

Jo Jones

Pleasanton, CA — March 17, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome On The Lake, based in Greensboro, Georgia. The brokerage represents the seventh office location opened in Georgia for the NextHome franchise.

Conveniently located halfway between Atlanta and Augusta, Greensboro is a small town filled with local southern charm. The brokerage is owned by 40-plus-year real estate veteran Jo Jones. From her centrally located office in Greensboro, Jo and her team of professional agents can serve clients across Greensboro, Madison, Eatonton, and Milledgeville in the four counties of Greene, Morgan, Putnam, and Baldwin. 

Jo began her real estate career in the early 1980s, buying and then renting homes in Arlington, Texas. Eventually, she began working with Prudential Properties in Greensboro where she stayed for a year and a half. Her career then transitioned to another large, franchised brokerage before Jo settled in with a small independent office in Greensboro. 

After several years of selling success, Jo opened her own brokerage in 2011 – Jo Jones & Company. The office filled the needs of a niche market in Greensboro, providing unparalleled service for short term vacation rentals. 

By this time, Jo’s daughter, Tiffany, had joined the real estate industry and the mother and daughter duo began exclusively serving vacation rental owners. 

“No one in the area had done much with the vacation rental business when we came in, organized the process, and became the biggest vacation rental business in a very short time,” Jo said.

This focus ended up being a savvy business maneuver at a time when the industry was riddled with foreclosures and homeowners struggled through The Great Recession. 

“People were at risk of losing their homes, but we knew that this was a stunning, high-end, resort area with a lot of second and third homes, beautiful lake and golf retreats, and so much natural beauty it will take your breath away,” Jo recalled. “So we offered homeowners a way to cut expenses and create income without losing their homes. We knew when the market turned for the better these owners would become our sellers because of the wonderful relationship we had created with them.” 

On the flip side, because a lot of people didn’t have the means to go on lavish vacations during the Great Recession, the concept of the “staycation” gained steam. 

“The locals in the surrounding bigger cities, like Atlanta and Augusta, know and love this area, so we became the “go-to” staycation spot for Georgia,” Jo said. “Those guests became our buyers when the market turned positive again.”

In 2015 Jo and Tiffany divided the company with Tiffany assuming ownership of the short-term vacation rental business, rebranding to St James Vacation Homes. Jo retained the sales and long-term rentals. Even today the companies are exclusive partners to one another. In essence, the family owns all three pieces of an extremely robust real estate market.

After weathering the housing downturn, Jo knew it was time to take her marketing strategy to the next level. 

“My weakness as an independent brokerage was robust marketing,” Jo said. “Anyone who owns an independent will tell you that it is a real struggle. I was really looking for someone who excelled in marketing.”

While researching real estate marketing online, Jo discovered NextHome’s mascot Luke.

“I’m a huge dog lover and that really got me looking at the franchise,” Jo recalled. “Luke caught my attention, but the rest of the tools and support that NextHome offered really pulled me in. NextHome made it so easy – it was exactly what I was looking for.” 

Today, Jo is setting NextHome On The Lake apart by focusing on two specific aspects of the Lake County real estate economy – sales and long-term vacation rentals. 

“My goal is to create great relationships, give everybody exceptional service, and let things go from there,” Jo said. “We don’t have to be the biggest, we just need to be the best.”

When she isn’t focused on her clients, Jo is known for her love of animals. She regularly rescues stray and abandoned dogs on the side of the road and currently resides with seven of them. She is an annual premier sponsor of the Mansfield Oil Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 

Jo has been married to her husband Jim for 44 years and together they have three daughters. 

Please join us in congratulating Jo on the opening of NextHome On the Lake in Greensboro, Georgia!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Golden State opens in Woodland, California

NextHome Golden State opens in Woodland, California

Vicki Bourn

Pleasanton, CA — March 13, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Golden State, based in Woodland, California. The brokerage represents the 72nd office location opened in California for the NextHome franchise and the 445th location opened nationally.

Located about 20 miles north of Sacramento on Interstate 5, Woodland is a small agriculture town steeped in old west charm and filled with historic architecture. From her small-town office, brokerage owner Vicki Bourn serves buyers and sellers from Colusa to West Sacramento and everywhere between. The brokerage brings expertise to clients in Woodland, Davis, Winters, Sacramento, Colusa, Yuba City, Marysville, Dixon, Vacaville, El Dorado Hills, and the remainder of Sutter, Colusa, Yuba, Placer, and Sacramento counties. Vicki and her team of agents are happy to serve clients anywhere within a 60-mile radius of Woodland. 

NextHome Golden State’s foundations are built on Vicki’s 25-year background in mortgage lending and real estate sales. Vicki began her career in the industry in 1994 as a mortgage banker with All Pacific Mortgage. For over a decade, Vicki used her thirst for learning to become a regional expert in various mortgage programs. 

“With my sales client’s needs in mind, I try to match them to the lender and program that will benefit them the most,” Vicki said. 

With her mortgage banking background, Vicki is familiar with VA, FHA, and EEM (Energy Efficient Mortgage) loans as well as the CalHFA down payment program and many more lending tools available for her clients.  

In 2005, Vicki transitioned those skills into the real estate sales industry. After obtaining her license, Vicki began working with the ERA franchise in Woodland. Two years later, she partnered with Lyon Real Estate where she successfully sold from 2007 to 2010. Vicki’s career then took her to a RE/MAX franchise and later to Cache Creek Realty. 

Eventually, after more than 13 years in real estate sales, Vicki started thinking about opening her own brokerage.

“After so many years in the real estate industry, I knew I could leverage all of that knowledge to build an industry-leading brokerage and provide superior client service through every aspect of the sales process,” Vicki said. “It was time for me to do things on my own terms.”

In 2019 she connected with NextHome broker Cory Gold with NextHome Cornerstone Real Estate in Davis, California. 

“He opened this whole new door to me,” Vicki said. “I liked what he showed me in his office and I liked what NextHome’s VP of Sales Charis Moreno had to say. In the end, I just think NextHome’s materials and the company’s tools are far superior to what I had ever been offered at any other brokerage.”

Today, Vicki is building NextHome Golden State with professional agents who are willing to collaborate and share their ideas. 

“That collaboration and involvement from agents is very important to me,” Vicki said. “Although I am the broker, I don’t know everything, and I strongly feel that we can always learn from each other. With that collaboration, NextHome Golden State can create a new path with an environment where people can feel safe sharing ideas and expand on what they want to do. Here, an agent can focus on what motivates them and use the NextHome tools and marketing to fulfill their needs. Our team can also expect that I will always have their back and help, no matter what they need.”

That level of support and friendly collaboration has an impact on the buyer and seller experience as well. 

“Our clients can expect access to a happy, active, different choice brokerage,” Vicki said. “I think what NextHome offers is far superior to what anyone else around offers, and our clients truly benefit from that.”

When she isn’t selling real estate or supporting her agents, Vicki volunteers with the Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor #30. Founded in 1875, the organization is dedicated to historic preservation, documentation of historic structures and places in the state, the placement of historic plaques, and other charitable functions within California. Currently, Vicki is involved in the restoration of a historic church in a nearby town. For Parlor #30, Vicki has been sponsoring free concerts for Woodland on the first Friday of every month since July 2019. She also enjoys golfing, gardening, biking with her three dogs, and entertaining.

“My all-time favorite thing is having my dining room table filled with people and being able to cook for them,” Vicki said.

Vicki is the proud mother of two grown children Katy and Wayde, and the grandmother of five. 

Please join us in congratulating Vicki on the opening of NextHome Golden State in Woodland, California! 


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new Ohio brokerage

NextHome announces new Ohio brokerage

Amanda Mignano

Pleasanton, CA — March 11, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty, based in Byesville, Ohio. The brokerage represents the seventh office location opened in Ohio for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage is owned by top-producing seller Amanda Mignano. With her guidance and leadership, NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty can offer superior service and expertise in lake-front properties, farms, and commercial transactions. In addition, NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty agents have extensive experience in all types of residential transactions, including relocations, investments, and REO properties. 

NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty serves buyers and sellers across eastern Ohio including  Guernsey, Noble, Muskingum, and surrounding counties. Located just 10 minutes south of Cambridge, Byesville is a small town of just over 2,400 people that sits just minutes past Interstates 70 and 77 in Southeastern Ohio. Amanda is originally from Monroe County in Southeastern Ohio, and moved to Guernsey County in 2008.

During a brief period prior to beginning her career, Amanda resided in Summit County, Ohio while attending college at Kent State University.

“The woman who sold us our house at the time became my introduction to the industry,” Amanda recalled. “I was pregnant with my third child and she offered me a job as a secretary for her. The job was such a blessing because it was more flexible and I could bring my daughter to work.”

Amanda thoroughly enjoyed her time at Croft Realty, a small independent brokerage. However, when the housing market began to falter in 2007, Amanda’s secretarial position became one of its casualties.  

Amanda decided then it was time to obtain her real estate license. She became licensed with Croft Realty and started working shortly after with Real Living Realty One in Wadsworth prior to moving back to Southeastern Ohio. She then worked at Real Living Parry Real Estate in Cambridge. For the next several years, Amanda muscled her way through The Great Recession as a real estate agent picking up whatever work she could. 

“I took my training and the things I had learned through experience and I really used the franchise’s tools to build my career,” Amanda said. “I was able to find a little more success than other agents around me and, in time, I began to really build my reputation and my contacts.”

In November 2010, Amanda accepted an offer to join Century 21 Gibson Turner and Associates. Since joining the brokerage, she has been that office’s REALTOR of the Year, earning the distinction every year from 2011 to 2018. 

During the height of her career, Amanda was able to close 84 transaction sides, handing $3.2 million in sales volume. The achievement is even more remarkable in an area where the average home price hovers around $80,000. 

In 2018, Amanda felt the need to take her career to the next level. 

“I had accomplished what I could as an agent and I knew in order to continue growing I needed something more,” Amanda said. “I needed to grow in my business and the only way to do that was to continue my education and to open my own office.”

Amanda began to research all different types of franchises and, through an internet search, she discovered NextHome. 

“The access we get to company leaders and the ability to talk to real people was a huge incentive,” Amanda said. “When I talked with (NextHome’s VP of Sales) Charis Moreno, there was no beating around the bush. She told me exactly what I wanted to know and the whole process was very simple and open. She treated me the way I wanted to be treated.”

Today, NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty is leveraging NextHome’s excellent branding, internet presence and reputation to serve a growing number of clients. 

“The internet presence was very important to me,” Amanda said. “The company also maintains a great reputation and the people who work for NextHome really set it apart.”

Amanda is continuing to build her brokerage with high-producing agents who are looking for a leader who understands their unique needs. 

“As a top-producing agent for all those years, I’m able to sit across from those agents who might want to join NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty and say, honestly, that I know what a brokerage needs to provide agents who want to be high-producers,” Amanda said. “What we can offer is a level of enthusiasm and creativity – we think outside of the box. In addition, I think agents will really enjoy the team aspect that we have. This brokerage is run with a collaborative spirit rather than a competitive one.” 

When she is not building her business, Amanda enjoys kayaking at nearby Hawking Hills, yoga, and outdoor sports. She has also served as her local board president, vice president, and director, and OAR district director.

Amanda will celebrate 15 years of marriage to her husband Scott this July. The couple shares five children; Jeffery (32), Michale (30), Kaylee (21), Megan (18), and Sara (14), along with four beautiful grandchildren.

Please join us in congratulating Amanda on the opening of NextHome New Horizons Equity Realty in Byesville, Ohio!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Beach Time Realty expands in St. Pete Beach, FL

NextHome Beach Time Realty expands in St. Pete Beach, FL

Annie Fleeting

Pleasanton, CA — March 3, 2020 — NextHome is thrilled to announce the further expansion of NextHome Beach Time Realty in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The new brokerage offers resort property owners a fresh option for licensed Community Association Management. In addition, NextHome Beach Time Realty will continue to provide friendly and professional residential real estate sales and vacation rental property management services to the Pinellas County area, including the cities of St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores, St. Petersburg and Tierra Verde.

The brokerage builds on the success of NextHome Beach Time Realty’s two other offices. This continuing success is guided by owner Annie Fleeting. Annie opened her first NextHome office in December 2015 in St. Pete Beach and expanded by opening another branch office in Redington Beach in November 2018. The latest addition is their second St. Pete Beach location, in the vacation rental community of Sunrise Resort. Number Three officially opened in November 2019. The new office aims to provide superior resort management service and compliments the brokerage’s recent management agreement with Sunrise Resort. NextHome Beach Time Realty is now managing Sunrise Resort’s 58-units of family-friendly condominium rentals.

“St Pete Beach was just named the #2 beach in the United States and #16 in the world by Trip Advisor for 2020! We have hundreds of thousands of visitors who come here from all over the world,” Annie said. “We are excited about this new facet of our business and are thrilled to provide property owners a management resource that is engaged, connected, and cares.”

Annie is using NextHome’s suite of tools and support to continue to serve clients across the stunning St. Pete Beach and surrounding areas.  

“It is so exciting to be part of something bigger,” Annie said. “We tell people that NextHome is the ‘Google’ of real estate. There is no question the NextHome brand is getting noticed in our county with three of the offices in the Top 100 out of 799 offices being NextHome locations!”

Annie met her future and charming husband, Robert Fleeting in 1982 when he was importing two of Britain’s largest-selling beers into Tampa, FL for a test market. The couple moved to Robert’s home country of Scotland in 1986 and built a successful property development company. Their developments included nightclubs, hotels, and shopping centers. In 1996, the Fleetings sold all of their existing enterprises in Scotland and moved back to the United States.

In truth, real estate has always been a family affair for Annie, who began her career working in her father’s property management company at the age of eleven! (That same company is currently owned and operated by Annie’s brother, Jim, and responsible for managing more than 4,000 units). In 1997, the Fleetings returned to the property development business – this time making a mark in the Florida market. Along with other partners, the couple formed Coral Point Homes – a development group that built more than $150 million in multi-family housing primarily in Pinellas County.

The Fleetings started a real estate brokerage, Beach Time Realty, in 2010 to service the needs of homeowners who wanted to turn existing housing into vacation rentals. As the market improved, Beach Time Realty helped those same property owners sell and reinvest into new properties. With over 50 properties under property management and sales volume increasing, Annie knew it was time to grow her brokerage and franchising with NextHome made the most sense. Every year under the NextHome flag, Annie’s brokerage has dramatically increased both real estate sales and her property management portfolio. In 2019, they sold over $30,000,000 in residential real estate, in addition to adding significantly to their property management portfolio.

“NextHome Beach Time Realty has a level of service that is somewhat unique to our market,” Annie said. “We help investors evaluate their investment purchase in both rental income opportunities and negotiating a fair purchase price. We are able to help acquire the property, manage tenant relationships, and help the property owner re-sell and re-invest.”

“I have been fortunate enough to meet Annie in person and she is an exceptional addition to the NextHome franchise,” said NextHome CEO, James Dwiggins. “She has a proven track record of running profitable businesses in the real estate space.”

When not selling real estate, Annie enjoys spending time with Robert and their four children and five grandchildren. Avid soccer fans, the Fleetings were the owners of the Premier League soccer team, Kilmarnock FC, from 1989-1996.

Please join us in congratulating Annie, Bobby, and the rest of their team at NextHome Beach Time Realty on their third NextHome office location!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

What First-Time Homeowners Need to Know About Filing Taxes

What First-Time Homeowners Need to Know About Filing Taxes

If you bought a home for the first time in 2019, you probably have questions about filing your taxes. Learn more about filing taxes for the first time as a homeowner.

Buying your first home is a big deal. It’s perhaps the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and it can bring independence, privacy, self-reliance and stability, as well as setting you on the path towards financial security, freedom and flexibility.

If you bought your first home in 2019, you’ll be filing taxes as a homeowner for the first time this April. You may have heard that first-time homeowners can get a big tax break. Well, we have some bad news and some good news regarding that.

Bad news first: The homeowner tax credit for first-time home buyers is a rule that no longer exists. You can only take advantage of it if you purchased your first home on or before September 30, 2010.

But the good news is that there are still tax advantages to homeownership. The added good news is that you don’t necessarily have to be a first-time homeowner to take advantage of them. You can continue to benefit from homeowner tax advantages for the entire length of time you own your home and even after you sell it. These tax tips for new homeowners will show you how.

You Can Deduct Mortgage Interest and PMI

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), you can deduct any interest you paid on your mortgage, as long as you borrowed $750,000 or less. This includes mortgage interest you paid as part of closing costs. If you bought your home on or before December 15, 2017, you’re grandfathered in under the old limit of $1 million, so you can deduct loan interest on mortgages up to that amount. You can take this deduction every year you’re paying on your mortgage, and for subsequent home purchases as long as your loan amount is below the threshold. You can also deduct the interest you paid on a home equity loan up to $100,000, as long as you use that money to improve your home.

If you borrowed for your home with a downpayment of less than 20 percent, you probably have private mortgage insurance, or PMI. You can deduct PMI payments as long as your adjusted gross income is less than $100,000 if you’re married or $50,000 if you’re single.

You Can Deduct State and Local Taxes

You can deduct your state and local taxes, or SALT, from your federal taxes, up to a limit of $10,000 under the TCJA. If you pay your taxes through an escrow account, you’ll see that amount on your Form 1098. If you pay local taxes directly to your municipality, make sure to keep a record of your payments so you can deduct those from your taxes, too.

A caveat: you have to itemize in order to deduct SALT payments, PMI payments and mortgage interest. SALT deductions, and mortgage interest deductions, too, might benefit you at tax time if you live in an expensive, high-tax area. Otherwise, you may be better off taking the standard deduction, especially if you’re married. If you’re single, on the other hand, your mortgage interest, PMI and SALT might easily exceed your standard deduction.

Do You Qualify for a Homeowner Exemption?

In many states, some homeowners qualify for a homeowner exemption or homestead exemption, which can lower your property tax bill, usually by lowering the assessed value of your home.

Who qualifies? Well, that really depends on your local laws. Typically, these things are decided on the state, county or municipal level, and requirements can vary widely. Commonly, homeowner exemptions are given to the elderly, the disabled and veterans, but some jurisdictions give them out to homeowners below a certain income threshold or homeowners who make specific improvements to their property, such as planting a rain garden or a coconut tree. Typically, you do have to use the home as your primary residence in order to qualify.

Some Energy-Efficient Upgrades Still Bring Tax Benefits

You can’t get tax breaks for most energy-efficient home upgrades anymore, but you can still get them for solar panels through 2021. If you had solar panels installed in 2017 through the end of 2019, you can get back 30 percent of your costs in the form of a tax credit. If you install panels in 2020, you can get back 26 percent of the cost, and if you install them in 2021, you can get back 22 percent of the cost.

Home Office Deductions May Be Available, Too

Whether you work from home full-time or just have a side hustle, you may be able to take a business use of home deduction. You can deduct $5 per square foot for up to 300 square feet of office space for a total deduction of up to $1,500. However, you should make sure that your home office is exclusively used for business purposes, and check with a tax professional to make sure you’re meeting the strict guidelines required to qualify for this deduction.

Before you file taxes as a homeowner for the first time, you need to know what tax credits and deductions you qualify for. Homeownership brings many tax advantages on the federal, state and local levels. It’s just one of the many reasons why owning your own home pays off.

For more helpful tips from our partners at American Home Shield, check out their blog!

NextHome announces new office in Michigan

NextHome announces new office in Michigan

Paul Armstrong

Pleasanton, CA — February 20, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Evolution, based in Belleville, Michigan. The brokerage represents the 17th office location opened in Michigan for the NextHome franchise.

Owned by Belleville-local Paul Armstrong, the brokerage serves the growing suburban area between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Although the town of Belleville is only 2.6 square miles, its central location between two of Michigan’s biggest cities and its rural charm make it an attractive option for new homebuyers. 

“A lot of people see the value here that you are located between those two big cities, but you can still get that country feel,” Paul said. 

Paul’s real estate career began soon after he purchased his own home for the first time. 

“I read extensively, I searched online, I got pre-approved, and I really educated myself on the process before even reaching out to a REALTOR®,” Paul said. 

Then, when Paul finally began looking for a real estate agent, he couldn’t find one. 

Eventually, Paul began asking patrons at the local bar where he worked. That approach finally connected Paul with the broker at a small independent office, and she was able to help him buy his first home. 

“She did an awesome job,” Paul said. “After going through that whole process I asked if she would be willing to take someone on as a new real estate agent. She took me under her wing and that’s how I got started.”

In 2014, Paul got his license and successfully sold real estate for the next two years. 

Then, in 2016, he opened his own independent brokerage alongside a partner – MI Choice Realty. 

Now in a leadership role, Paul built a fulfilling career and thriving business. At its peak, the small independent had 26 agents working under its banner. Paul personally closed between 50 and 65 transactions annually – all while still coaching and training agents. 

After three years with MI Choice Realty, Paul decided it was time for him to go out on his own and open his own brokerage. 

His search for the right fit began in November 2019, that’s when he discovered NextHome through a mutual friend. 

Michael T. Moore, owner of NextHome The Boulevard in Rochester, Michigan, introduced Paul to the company and Paul was impressed. 

“He showed me the overall value it offered not only to the broker/owner but also to the agents,” Paul said. “The toolset is incredible – really unrivaled. I also like the fact that NextHome caters to a small brokerage and the company won’t look down on us for wanting to be smaller and more client-centered. In fact, they celebrate that client-centric approach. I love that I get to focus on growing the brokerage the way that’s best for my clientele instead of what’s required of me by a big, sprawling company.”

Today, NextHome Evolution is positioning itself as a no-nonsense resource for buyers and sellers who want highly-trained and knowledgeable agents. 

“I want the real estate process to evolve,” Paul said. “That’s where NextHome Evolution came from. As we build a brokerage of high-quality agents, we can show that there is an evolution happening in this industry. We are evolving toward a focus on quality experience over transaction numbers, and that’s something we can offer that sets NextHome Evolution apart.”

Even when he isn’t working, Paul’s passion is real estate. In his spare time, he enjoys studying architecture and working on obtaining his building license. One day, Paul dreams of building one or two custom homes. 

Please join us in congratulating Paul on the opening of NextHome Evolution in Belleville, Michigan!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces newest Virginia office

NextHome announces newest Virginia office

Dora Smith

Pleasanton, CA — February 13, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome 1st Choice, based in Bracey, Virginia. The brokerage represents the ninth office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise.

NextHome 1st Choice is owned by Dora and Mike Smith and, alongside well-known agent Kim Wallace, they are ready to serve the area’s luxury, residential, and commercial markets. 

Located near the Virginia and North Carolina border, Bracey is the closest interstate access point to Lake Gaston – an area where Dora has helped many clients find the perfect luxury home. Since the 1970s, Lake Gaston has been a popular retirement and vacation destination. Its 350 miles of shoreline attracts people from across the world, and today more than 150,000 call the area home. 

Licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina, the brokerage also serves Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Lunenburg, Warren, Northampton, and Halifax counties as well as the Granville, Wake County, and the Louisburg and Raleigh areas. 

Dora and Mike’s first foray into real estate took place more than 20 years ago when Mike started his construction company – RCS Construction Incorporated. Mike’s passion for building continued a tradition of general construction excellence in his family that had been passed down through three generations. The company works mostly in new residential construction, although the Smiths have also built some commercial properties. In his early career, Mike served his country as a Ranger in the U.S. Army and holds a hydraulic engineering degree. Dora also has a professional background in industrial engineering. 

Although she was involved in the construction business, Dora knew it was wise to diversify her skill set. In 2007, she obtained her real estate license and began working with Century 21 Clary in South Hill, Virginia. 

“I enjoyed the culture and the broker remains a dear friend and mentor,” Dora said. 

Dora continued to work for the company even after it was bought by a large, national franchise in 2016. However, the NextHome brand had already caught her eye and Dora thought that opening a NextHome brokerage would be a great choice as she grew professionally. 

“At the time, NextHome had really just started and its refreshing perspective and strong culture was attractive,” Dora said. “NextHome cared about people. ‘Humans over Houses’ wasn’t just a trite expression; I could tell that the company cared about its people and its agents.”

She began to look into opening her own NextHome brokerage around 2016, but life had other plans. One evening, Mike and Dora were attending a volleyball game at the University of North Carolina when Mike went into cardiac arrest. 

“His heart stopped, and by some miracle we were already across the street from one of the best hospitals in the country,” Dora recalled. 

Although Mike recovered, his health scare prompted the career-driven couple to look carefully at their priorities and values. Sometime later, Dora’s family experienced another tragedy when her brother died in a motorcycle accident. 

“When something traumatic like that happens, it makes you really look around at what’s important to you,” Dora said. 

Over the next few years, Dora prioritized caring for her husband and spending time with the couple’s teenage daughter. Her focus became family and faith rather than profits and prestige. 

Once their daughter graduated from high school and went to college, Dora decided the time was right to finally open her own NextHome brokerage. 

NextHome 1st Choice opened in February and the NextHome difference has already caught the attention of local home buyers and sellers.

“It’s the ‘Humans over Houses’ philosophy that sets us apart,” Dora said. “For us, that isn’t just a catchy phrase or marketing slogan. It’s the way we have tried to conduct ourselves for years. We’ve been here 20 years and we have an excellent reputation because we always do our absolute best to exceed expectations. People who know us know that we will do everything within our realm of possibility to please our clients and get them what they want. They know we will go the extra mile.”

Their values-based approach to business also continues to attract talented agents. 

“We want to attract the right people,” Dora said. “I don’t want to just focus on numbers, I want to focus on quality. We would love to work with ethical agents who do the right thing when no one is looking – agents who really care about their customers and who are going to follow through.”

Dora is also passionate about helping professionals in her community achieve their best potential. She has served on the Lake Gaston Chamber Board and is currently a member of the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Real Estate Board.

Dora and Mike will celebrate 35 years of marriage in September. They are the proud parents of their daughter Marissa, who they had the privilege of adopting when she was seven years old. An accomplished student who recently started her freshman year of college, Marissa hopes to one day build a career as a surgeon. 

Please join us in congratulating Dora and Mike on the opening of NextHome 1st Choice in Bracey, Virginia! 


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.