■ BY SUE ERWIN
Brian Faro has spent many summer days fishing with his friends near the pier at the north end of the island. He also remembers coming to the island to play softball games with Stuie Middleton, Charlie Coleman and others who grew up on this island and are now working here and in the surrounding communities.
Brian grew up in Englewood and attended Englewood Elementary, L.A. Ainger and then Lemon Bay High School.
He was born in Toms River, New Jersey, and his parents moved here when he was three years old. They decided to relocate when his grandmother moved to Englewood and purchased and operated a small resort, the Emerald Palms Resort and Apartments on McCall Road. She mentioned that there was another small resort for sale, so his parents moved down to purchase it and run it.
Always maintaining a strong work ethic, Brian cut lawns as a teenager and saved up money to purchase a small boat so he could fish in the flat waters around the island.
“We would wade in the water and fish near the pier and occasionally come into contact with a shark or two,” he said.
After graduating from high school, Brian worked as a cashier at Walgreens on Dearborn Street in Englewood.
He moved to Orlando with a friend and starting taking online college courses through the University of Phoenix. It was 2004 and he was still working at Walgreens when the company offered him an opportunity to take a fast track to management.
“I went from a cashier to a store manager in four years,” he said. “They have an excellent training program.”
During that time, school became less important than his career path. While living in Orlando, he reconnected with Rachel, a friend from high school. The two began dating and eventually were married. In 2010, Brian was offered the opportunity to transfer back to the Englewood store.
“It’s my hometown, so of course I jumped at the chance,” he said. “All of my family and almost all of my friends are here.”
Brian and Rachel currently live in north Englewood with their beautiful four-year old triplet girls: Ashtyn, Brynn and Corlynn.
His parents, Todd and Bea, as well as his younger sister Lisa and older brother Curtis live in Englewood.
Nowadays, the time he spends in Boca Grande is mostly for business. Brian is a Realtor for Paradise Exclusive Real Estate. He’s been a licensed real estate agent since 2014. The company has four offices: one located next to the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce on Park Avenue, one on Placida Road in Cape Haze, one in Port Charlotte and a new office on Dearborn Street in Englewood.
An open-house celebration was just held on July 4th.
Brian chose to go into the field of real estate after having a conversation with Realtor Bob Melvin at a Rotary Club meeting in Englewood. He was researching several different career fields and made the decision because he knew a number of people in the area, and he thought that might help to create a base of clients.
“I told Bob I was looking to change careers, and he advised me to get my license and welcomed me to work with his team,” he said. ”For the first few months I just shadowed him and learned all I could from him and the other agents.”
After several months, word got out that he had become a Realtor, and some friends from Englewood started referring clients.
Soon he was listing and selling on his own. And he kept getting busier. Realizing he needed to act on the opportunity, he started researching real estate companies in Englewood and eventually found that Michael Saunders was a good match. He worked as an agent in the Englewood office for almost two years. He built up his business significantly and was soon part of the top 100 performing agents in the area.
“Last year was my third full year, and I was in the top 10 percent in sales volume among the 800 agents who are a part of the Englewood Area Board of Realtors,” he said.
Brian became a colleague of Jim Benson, broker at Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, through business interactions in the community. He started following the performance of agents at the company.
“I’m always evaluating how things are going in the real estate industry, because I’m always trying to learn,” he said. “I noticed that the production per agent was significantly higher than in many of the other brokerages in the area.”
He felt he was ready for a new challenge and talked with Jim about making a move. He officially started working at Paradise Reality last December.
He said that the favorite part of his job is meeting new people and creating positive experiences for his clients. Regardless of whether it’s business, personal or charitable, he enjoys taking negative experiences and helping to make them positive, and real estate is exactly that, he said.
”I enjoy the initial interaction of meeting with the clients and understanding their needs, and then being there to help explain the potential bumps in the road and how they can be resolved.”
Brian has an extremely calm and cool demeanor and believes his people skills are very important to his job and his clients. He’s very active in the community and understands the importance of being involved with local organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, the Placida Rotary Club and the Englewood Area Cancer Foundation.
He is also on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast and is currently a mentor for the organization. He meets with his “little” for one hour each week.
“We will usually meet at his school, and I help him with his homework and chat with him about things that are going on in his life.”
When Brian isn’t working or fulfilling his community organization responsibilities, he enjoys fishing, golfing and spending time with his family and friends.
He owns a boat but hasn’t had the chance to use it much since the girls were born, but the family is looking forward to using it more in the future.
“We have brought the girls out on the water, but we still want to keep our attention fully on them,” Brian said. “But they are getting close to the point where we’ll be going out there regularly.”
Brian fished in one tarpon tournament this year, and Rachel fished in the 2017 Ladies Day tournament. Neither caught a silver king.
He brought two kids from BBBS to the island to fish in the Kids’ Classic Tarpon Tournament in June.
“They really enjoyed the experience, and I was glad to be on the boat with them.”
You can reach Brian at the Paradise Exclusive Real Estate at 471 Park Avenue on the island.