Peggy Gachet lives and works in paradise, and as a leading broker-associate for Watson Real Estate in St. Augustine, she helps others find their piece of paradise as well.
She knows firsthand the attraction others have to the St. Augustine and St. Johns County area. She and her husband Tom visited the area more than a dozen years ago and Peggy was immediately hooked. They purchased a vacation home in the area, but soon decided part-time in paradise wasn´t enough. Tom was a pilot and could live virtually anywhere.
“We decided that walking barefoot on the beach and being a part of this extraordinary community was something we wanted to do all the time,” Peggy tells it. “I said to Tom that I could do this, I could make this my home. The decision was the best we´ve ever made.”
Their decision required Peggy to leave her position with Delta Airlines. She had worked with the airline for 16 years in customer service and marketing capacities in markets across the country. Her career with Delta and the skills she had developed over the years translated extraordinarily well in her move into real estate.
“During my career with Delta, I held a number of positions that revolved around customer service. The airline has a reputation for striving for the highest customer satisfaction. I became a manager and trainer, which allowed me to learn various aspects of offering the highest levels of service. My skill set allowed me to transition to real estate with fairly rapid results.”
Peggy earned her real estate license and looked into several real estate firms but soon settled on Watson because of the professionalism and the comprehensive training offered. She found the structure Watson provided new REALTORS® was just what she was looking for. The Watson family of companies also played a role in Peggy choosing to work with the firm. “This company is really a trendsetter in the industry. Our family of companies, from real estate to title to mortgage to property management to many more offers our customers a one-stop shop for their real estate needs.”
After several years honing her sales skills of increasing closings throughout the St. Johns County area, Peggy convinced her broker that Watson needed an office on St. Augustine Beach/Anastasia Island to better serve customers in the growing area. The company agreed, with one stipulation, Peggy would manage the office. This would bring new responsibilities and time commitments, but Peggy felt strongly about the need for the office close to a strong and growing customer base.
“I committed to manage the new location until the office could be constructed and mature,” she adds. “It was a very hectic period, because not only was I responsible for growing the office from four to nearly 40 agents, I was still selling.” Her sales reached and impressive $12 million during her last year as manager.
Peggy has now transitioned out of managing the St. Augustine Beach office to become a sales associate full-time again. She couldn’t be happier. “I enjoyed the experience and the challenge of management and wouldn’t have traded it for anything, but I am truly doing what I love. I get to work with customers all across the area and focus 100 percent on customer service and sales.”
As a full-time associate, Peggy has more time to dedicate to her other great love: Non-profit volunteer work. Since moving to St. Augustine she has worked with a number of non-profit agencies to better the lives of families and children in the area. It is her way of giving back to the community that welcomed her so openly when she relocated.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Augustine United Way and Communities in Schools, an agency dedicated to helping kids stay in school and prepare for success in life. She has recently dedicated significant time to the National Guard Foundation, which benefits members and families of those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We have such a fantastic commitment to helping others in our community. This is evident every day in the work of our non-profit agencies and wonderful volunteers throughout the community.”
Peggy´s dedication to non-profit community service has earned her the respect of her peers and community leaders. “Peggy is a leader both in her profession and in her community service work which is evident by her participation in United Way, the largest donor funded charitable campaign in our community,” said Ronnie Hughes, former publisher of the St. Augustine Record and 2005 Chairman of the United Way. “She is more than a board member: She’s a take charge person whose leadership in various community service fund raising projects has certainly benefited the less fortunate in our community. Her energetic and enthusiastic personality no doubt has played a role in her success at both endeavors.”
For Peggy, community service, customer service or real estate sales are all about the same thing: Relationships. She has chosen to develop relationships with individuals and organizations she believes in and causes she supports. Whether in her professional life, volunteer work or her church, she develops lasting relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved.
Her relationships with past customers exemplify this commitment to lasting friendships. Peggy has found that keeping up with her past customers is one of the most important elements of her business. She is proud to count many of her customers among her closest friends. She is just as proud of the fact that a great majority of her new business is generated by referrals from satisfied customers.
One such satisfied customer is Mary Jane Dillon with Flagler College Administration. Peggy recently helped her sell her home. “Peggy is the consummate professional. She handled every detail with ease and made the complicated process incredibly smooth. She is also very pleasant to work with. I can´t say enough positive things about her.”
Another relationship Peggy works on every day is the one she has developed with St. Augustine. She has become one of the community´s finest ambassadors and sings its praises to any and all who will listen. Her love for her adopted home town is obvious, whether the historic streets of Old City, the beaches or Ponte Vedra or any of the many area museums. She is still in awe of the natural beauty and ideal climate which comes from living on the coast. Keeping track of the rapid development of many parts of the community is a challenge. “I pride myself on being aware of the homes inventory in the market, but it seems every few weeks a new community development is announced. Our growth is almost mind-boggling.”
With the almost constant addition of new communities throughout the area, Peggy works to build and enhance relationships with builders. New construction makes up a significant portion of her listings. She works with builders and developers introducing both spec and custom homes to the market.
The attraction to the area by longtime residents and newcomers is something Peggy definitely relates to. She sees her role as one of helping people reach their dreams of living in St. Augustine. She works in all areas of St. John´s County and assists buyer s and sellers from every segment, from first-time homebuyers to executives and retirees. “Connecting you to your dreams is more than a slogan for me, it is my mission. I get to play a part in helping people reach their goal and achieve their dream of living here in this very special place.”
For Peggy Gachet, nothing is better than sharing paradise and connecting with her friends, new and old.
Call Peggy if you are looking for someone who will be as committed to your personal goals as you are.
Article by Chris Metcalf of Broker Agent Magazine
Peggy is also the recipient of the 12 Who Care & Hands On Jacksonville awards in 2009 for her extensive work with non-profit organizations.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of St. Augustine, Inc. and is active in several local non-profits.
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