At 92, Jeanne Coyle Sargent is retiring after 49 years in real estate. May be.

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TAMPA – It is rumored that after 49 years as a real estate agent and a career that includes creating a division and negotiating a land deal for a mall, 92-year-old Jeanne Coyle Sargent is considering retirement this year.

“The rumor is correct,” said Coyle Sargent. Then she added with a laugh: “Maybe. I want to retire. But maybe it will happen next year, and I can retire in 50 years. I would like to live to be 50 ”.

So 2022 will be her last year in real estate?

“Maybe,” Coyle Sargent said, laughing again.

Coyle Sargent has been thinking about leaving the business since she was 65.

Every year she tells herself that this is her last year. And every year she decides to work for another year.

“I’ll probably retire before her,” said daughter Gina Coyle, 61, who has worked with her mother since 1993. “This is my mother’s love. It looks like her baby. “

Realtor Jeanne Coyle Sargent, 92, left, and her daughter, Gina Coyle, 61, pose for a portrait at Coyle Realty in Tampa.
Realtor Jeanne Coyle Sargent, 92, left, and her daughter, Gina Coyle, 61, pose for a portrait at Coyle Realty in Tampa. [ MENGSHIN LIN | Times ]

Coyle Sargent is “almost certain” that she is the oldest real estate agent in the area. “Everyone else who started around the same time as me died. How long will I be doing this? As long as I can move. “

Real estate was originally a temporary solution to her family’s financial problems.

It was 1962. The oldest of her four children was 12, the youngest was 2, and her first husband, the late Dan Coyle, had health problems.

“I realized we needed $ 2,500 to live on,” said Coyle Sargent. “Someone suggested that I get involved in real estate. I sold six houses pretty quickly and realized that I was good at it. “

Coyle Sargent couldn’t remember her first sale, but Tampa Bay Times found my first real estate ad.

Published on April 28, 1963, an advertisement for “a spacious old house in the Plant High area.” The house had three bedrooms, a “large living room” and a separate playroom.

“At the time, these houses were selling for $ 10,000,” she said. “You could get it for $ 500. Today it could cost over a million. “

In the early years of her life, she worked in other firms, before in the early 1970s. Spun off on its own and found Coyle Realty, which it still owns from 3216 W. Bay at Bay Blvd.

It was not easy to set up a company because of the gas crisis, she said. Clients canceled appointments because it was too far from home. Coyle Sargent regularly walked for miles to show the house.

She recalls showing dozens of homes to one client for months that year. When Coyle Sargent found the “perfect home,” she said, “the buyer told me that this was all she ever wanted in a home. But she said she just didn’t like it. Then I decided that I also needed to get into commercial real estate. It’s more about numbers. “

One of the first commercial properties Coyle Sargent acquired was Harbor Island in 1974, when it was a phosphate shipping terminal. Another agent closed the deal earlier than she could, and the island was later transformed into a gated community in the city center.

Connected: When only their family lived there, the young brothers found adventures on the isolated island of Harbor.

But over the next few years, Coyle Sargent’s real estate company began to make big deals.

In 1976, according to Tampa Bay Times archives, she helped create Carrollwood’s Lake Ellen Beach Park division. The Eckhart family owned nine houses on one site. They hired Coyle Sargent to sell the land. She suggested breaking it down into nine packages.

Then it was such a unique process, Time The county reportedly had to “walk” Coyle Sargent through a “first-of-a-kind” process in which a real estate agent shapes a planned construction in conjunction with a homeowners’ association.

In 1979, her company agreed to sell Graves Dairy to Federated Department Stores Inc. This land was converted into downtown Brandon, now Westfield Brandon.

A few years later, her company closed a dairy deal that the developers were using for most of the Summerfield Crossings community, but she couldn’t remember the details.

“These areas have changed a lot,” said Coyle Sargent. “They went from cows to transport.”

Her biggest commission was on one of her most recent commercial sales.

In 2019, according to Coyle Sargent, she sold warehouse property in Tampa for about $ 3 million. She did not reveal the address or the seller.

“She totally came to life during this deal,” her daughter said. “But it’s not about the money she made. It was about making money for a client. “

This client, according to Coyle Sargent, is now “half retired.”

And so, she says, she continues to postpone retirement.

“How else will I have the opportunity to experience such joy?” Coyle Sargent said. “There is so much happiness and excitement when I find someone their first home or help someone sell a property that leads to retirement. When you like what you do and you can still do it, it’s hard to give it up. “

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