Matt Varney – Ocala’s Top Real Estate Agent in 2022

Matt Varney - ocala's leading realtor
2022’s Top Real Estate Agent in Ocala & Marion County Florida:
Ocala Horse Properties’ Matt Varney

Ocala Horse Properties’ Matt Varney is the top realtor of Ocala and Marion County for 2022

While many agents are strong in either sales or listings, Matt is a strong leader in both, with numbers for both sales AND listing volumes coming in at nearly $75,000,000. His listings and sales volume totaled an impressive $149,104,800. The next closest farm agent totaled $48,277,655, more than a hundred million dollars less.

“One of the secrets to our success is we spend an enormous amount of money on marketing to make sure people see what we’re selling, but also to educate them about the area,” said Matt. “When they come to town we want them to have a real Ocala experience.”

As a longtime Ocala agent, as well as a farm owner who is married to a successful equine veterinarian, Matt truly understands both sides of the story.

“There are a lot of listing agents and selling agent out there,” he said. “The reality is, we do both very well at Ocala Horse Properties: we are good at bringing buyers and sellers together and we the most extensive portfolio of equestrian properties in the country at our disposal. Being incredibly involved in the equestrian industry lends itself to our success. We’re giving advice out of true experience; anything people want to do on their farms, we’ve probably done on our own properties recently.”

Common Mistakes

Matt said that some of the biggest mistakes he sees with buyers and sellers is when they hire someone to help them that will only tell them what they want to hear.

“When agents do this it comes from lack of understanding, lack of confidence or lack of experience,” he said. “I’ve always prided myself on telling people what they need to hear both the seller and the buyer. We’re not doing that for a sale in the moment, we’re doing it for the relationship going forward. We really take the avenue of, ‘If I was in the position of the buyer/seller, knowing what I know about the market, what would I do?’ And if we’re not comfortable then not only will we speak up, but we will go into detail. In the end, it is about education first.”

He points to his own sales and listings numbers as evidence of consistency. “It’s very rare to have an agent be both equally consistent on the list side and sell side– they’ll typically focus on one end of the spectrum or the other – but at Ocala Horse Properties, we do both,” he said. “Because of that knowledge of both sides of the transaction, listing and selling, we have a better understanding of the local market and it helps us establish relationships for the future.

Part of Matt’s success is due to personal investment of his time and interest. For example, he said, “Today I’m going to a property that the owners bought four years ago; they renovated over that time. Even though they have no intention of reselling, they want my opinion about how to make the house better for resale. I often do this, with both houses and bare land. To do this well, you need to understand what type of person is going to be the buyer, so if you’re just a listing agent you won’t know what you’re talking about. You have to understand both sides.”

As a longtime Ocala agent, as well as a farm owner who is married to a successful equine veterinarian, Matt truly understands both sides of the story.

Things to Watch Out For

Matt cautions that when you’re selling a property, don’t just hire someone out of convenience, like a family member or friend. Be sure that you understand the market and that you understand the agent’s statistics. Ask them, ‘Who is the buyer for my property and why?’ Most importantly, “what have you sold like my property?”

Ocala Horse Properties is constantly investing real time and dollars in advertising. “Our listings are not just posted on social media, and we’ve created a database that’s lasted over 15 years now of people that are real buyers.”

While the market was hot in 2021, things slowed down in 2022. Still, Matt saw only a 23% change in his sales numbers, while his next closest farm sales competitor saw a 98% drop in sales.

He said, “My big thing is that you hire a realtor – you hire OHP – because we have a proven track record, not over the past couple of years, but for more than a decade, of significant sales and bringing people to the table.”

Where Are We Headed?

Matt acknowledged that in recent years, low interest rates made the real estate market uncharacteristically strong. “During the ‘Covid boom’ where people were buying left and right at low interest rates, as a realtor you essentially needed a pulse to be somewhat successful,” he said. But through 85% of my career the case has been that you do have to work hard, it’s not a side gig! For the past 15 years, we’ve invested the same money when the market numbers are down and when they’re up, which is why we’re so consistent.”

Matt sees a bright future for Ocala and greater Marion County. “The World Equestrian Center (WEC) is more settled, and they still have plans for expansion,” he said.
For equestrian clients, choosing Ocala Horse Properties makes sense financially and personally. “We’re professional, we’re invested in the area, and our knowledge of both the listing side and the selling side is unsurpassed.

Click here to speak to Matt and the team at Ocala Horse Properties about listing, locating, or creating the property of your dreams.