Olive Branch Realty

Olive Branch Realty

Reaches Out to Serve the Community


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Since 2001, Debra Haskell has been a Top-50 agent every year and was named Realtor of the Year in 2005 and 2006 for new home construction. She is designated by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a Short-Sale Specialist and also specializes in new-home construction. But Debra found something missing in real estate, something she wanted to bring back to a market in which she loved working.

Debra wanted to create a real estate company with a heart, a company of people who see their clients as more than a number or bottom line. With large corporate offices, Realtors are often squeezed into a corner of rules and regulations, unable to make concessions that might push a difficult deal to a successful completion. And so, with a passion for serving her community, Debra created Olive Branch Realty.

“The olive branch is a very Biblical symbol,” explained Debra. “It’s mentioned many times in the Bible and it is what God put in the bird’s mouth to signal Noah that it was safe to come back and take the animals off the Ark. I labored over the name for months. I wanted something that speaks about my philosophy and I wanted to create an agency where people feel comfortable and safe. They know they’re going to be handled with respect and ethically.”

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Debra has begun building her team starting out with Deb Kerber, Michael Abalsamo and Joseph Topic. “I want to work with Realtors who understand my philosophy about serving the community,” says Debra. “They have to treat all people with respect. Deb, Michael and Joseph not only share my vision, but I highly respect their experience and their commitment to their clients. I am lucky and very proud to have them on the team.”

None of this would have been possible without the encouragement and support of Bill Whitney, Debra’s boyfriend. “He gave me the strength and the courage. He uplifted me and believed in me enough to say, ‘You need to do this. I will be here to support you, to encourage you. But people will benefit from you opening your own business.’ He is not only the love of my life, he is my mentor.”

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“I only want 14 Realtors total,” explained Debra, “because I want to keep the group small enough so they work as a family – with each other and not against each other. I’m creating a team; so if a client’s Realtor is busy, another Realtor can step in, answer questions and do things so the client isn’t jumping through hoops working within one Realtor’s schedule. A good Realtor is going to be busy so you need the back-up and the support. The Olive Branch is one branch on a big tree. You need the tree to support the branches. It’s a different approach to real estate.”
Olive Branch Ribbon Cutting“The Bible also talks about when you get a neighbor, cutting a branch off your olive tree and giving it to your neighbor so they can provide sustenance for their family,” continued Debra. “It’s about being a good neighbor. As far as I’m concerned all of the clients that we deal with, they are our neighbors. We all live, eat, sleep, go to church, raise our children, deal with the schools, deal with everything together; so why treat your clients as a number, as a transaction? You are placing people in a home or selling a home for a client who has real-life situations going on. People want to know that they are in good hands.”

“Olive Branch Realty is a place where clients can trust who they’re dealing with to handle their business in the most ethical manner,” continued Debra. “That is why the name, Olive Branch. It’s a symbol of peace, victory and safe harbor.” Olive Branch Realty is located in Lakeside Village at 1489 Town Center Drive North, Lakeland. Visit www. olivebranchrealty.net or call 863-816-5829. 







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