November 17, 2022 • Bluffton

50 Years of Real Estate in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton

Real Estate Stalwart Rick Turner Celebrates Half a Century in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Market

(Pictured above: 3 Tidelands Court | Sold for $2,950,000)

Rick Turner began his real estate career on Hilton Head Island in the early 70s, selling $90,000 oceanfront lots that today are worth over $3,000,000. Now routinely representing multimillion-dollar luxury homes, Turner is closing in on 50 years of a landmark real estate career in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton. The industry has significantly changed since Turner arrived here from Indiana in 1972. 

He considers himself privileged to contribute to the development of the Island and Bluffton, see the rise of internet marketing, and navigate the market highs and lows for his clients. Likely the area’s longest serving full-time Realtor®, Turner stands by the same principle that made him successful as a door-to-door Bible salesman in college: hard work. 

Several years later, Turner was at the helm of Lighthouse Realty, the first of four real estate brokerages he co-founded during his career. Feeling ill-equipped to manage his firm’s Realtors®, he attended the National Association of Realtors® conference in 1980. He was in search of leadership tips, but what he found was the next big idea that would propel Hilton Head Island real estate forward. 

Rick Turner, Realtor®
85 Cumberland Drive | Sold for $2,600,000

“It blew my mind,” he said of the four days of classes. “We were good salespeople on Hilton Head Island, but we knew little about how to be great Realtors® and market listings.” After being mesmerized in a class taught by the number one agent in the country, Carole Kelby, he asked her to teach his company for two days.

“She said, ‘Where is your company located?’ and I said the magic three words: Hilton Head Island.” It wasn’t the first, and it surely wasn’t the last time Turner’s lush island home would seal a deal. “For two days, she taught us how to be professional Realtors®, and Hilton Head Island real estate changed then and there.” Within two years, the brokerage was doing the most volume on the Island. Kelby’s real estate-specific insights put weight behind Turner’s customer-centric approach to sales. The combination would yield results for many years – through financial ups and downs and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was on the phone every day of the pandemic,” said Turner. “The way I’ve survived through the years is by ‘knocking on doors’, whether that’s on the phone, through text, or on an actual door.” Turner believes in consistent prospecting and advises those looking to enter the industry that the three most important activities of a successful Realtor® are prospecting, prospecting, and prospecting. “Do what mediocre salespeople don’t like to do, and that is prospect, because you get a lot of no’s.” 

His advice is particularly well-timed as an influx of new agents navigate their first market shift. Turner also believes firmly in putting his client’s needs first. 

“I decided early on that was how I would do business; I care more for my clients than I do for myself. I want what is best for them.” 

Identifying like-minded agents and teaching them how to market their listings led to one of his most significant career achievements. In 2015, the serial entrepreneur opened a new brokerage. At the onset, it was ranked last out of 143 real estate firms in the Hilton Head Island MLS. Under Turner’s leadership, the firm steadily recruited teachable, ethical agents and rose to the ranking of ninth. It’s a success many people would hang their hat on, but Turner isn’t heading for the sidelines anytime soon. 

His team with partner and award-winning Realtor® Linda Rudd, Turner & Rudd Group, has enjoyed several decades as Top Producers and currently represents one of the most expensive homes in South Carolina. Aligned with Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty, Turner’s and Rudd’s business is booming within the worldwide network available through Sotheby’s International Realty®. 

“In the same way the Montage is bringing luxury tourists to our area, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is bringing in an increasing number of luxury buyers.” Turner and Rudd embody the Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty promise of local expertise with a global reach. 

Deeply connected to this area’s past and irrevocably committed to its future, their next big idea remains to be seen, but you can guarantee it will serve the community well.

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