Rob & Chris Desino
As the principles of Ocala Horse Properties, the brothers from Rochester, N.Y., have earned their place as the leading Real Estate company selling horse farms throughout Ocala and Marion County. In addition, they also own Wellington Equestrian Realty and between the two companies, they represent the largest portfolio of premier horse properties in the world.
“We have a passion for everything we do,” says Rob.
“We enjoy getting to know people and sharing our enthusiasm for horses. We believe in pure customer service and pride ourselves on taking the time to listen to the needs, wants and desires of our buyers. Then we find them the perfect farm.”
The result of their passion is obvious. With Chris and Rob’s leadership, Ocala Horse Properties sold and listed nearly 50% of all Marion County farms valued at $500,000 or more for 2012. In addition, Ocala Horse Properties sold more farms than nine of the nearest competitors combined.
Their drive and determination showed early on as the twins were top performers in every sport they played. But it was competitive rowing where they first made a mark on the national scene.
While attending Hobart College, they were two time National Collegiate Champions. After graduation, the brothers moved to Philadelphia where they trained and competed for the US National & World Championship Team. Prior to the 2000 Olympics, Rob suffered an unfortunate career ending injury and they turned their focus to another passion – restaurants.
Rob and Chris created a chain of very successful restaurants throughout Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., where they honed their exemplary customer service skills. “Restaurants are the best training for having an extreme focus on keeping guests happy,” says Rob.
After selling their restaurants, they felt as if the horse farm real estate business was the next step and chose Ocala because they both had wintered here with their horses. They also had invested in Marion County horse farms and had first hand knowledge of the value and charm of the area.
“We were hooked the first time we were in Ocala,” says Chris. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else because Ocala is simply perfect.”
Their enthusiasm and passion is evident every step of the way.
Not only is Ocala Horse Properties the leader in farm sales, the twins take great pride in customer service ensuring personal attention to every detail. “We enjoy what we do so much, it’s not work,” says Rob. “People notice that and we’ve had comments about how ‘hands-on’ we are.
“We are just very passionate about the farms in Ocala and love the real estate business. Many of our former clients are now our personal friends.”
“What a compliment that is,” says Chris. “We know each client is an individual and we take the time to get to know them and what – specifically – they are looking for in a farm. Our goal isn’t to just make a sale and be done. We know our clients are going to be our neighbors and we treat them like one from the beginning.”
“We create an experience for each person we work with,” says Rob. “We both enjoy spending time with and getting to know people.”
Ocala Horse Properties believes in a comprehensive approach and the first outing to look at properties with a new client from out of town usually lasts a few days. Clients will leave with a market education and a firsthand knowledge of specific properties suited just for them, and hopefully a contract in hand with their future dream farm.
That complete focus allows for a vital and open discussion of Ocala, the area and any questions from the client. It is time well spent!