Sarah and Heath Dorr, owners of Hills, Homes and Land, were both born and raised in Tampa, FL. After graduating from Wesley Chapel High School, they moved to Yuma, AZ, where Heath was stationed in the Marine Corps. After two deployments to Iraq, they decided to come home and start a family of their own. Following a six year venture in the restaurant industry, along with other pursuits, they took over the family real estate business in January 2019. Sarah and Heath shared the story behind their journey and why they're excited to carry on the family tradition.
"Hills, Homes, and Land has been a family business for over 15 years," Sarah said. "My mom, Gayle Ostovich, first started the business as a way to share her love for horses and the country lifestyle. She specialized in land and equestrian properties all over the Pasco and Hernando area. She was well known in her community for being a hard working mom, as well as one of the sweetest and most professional Realtor’s you could ever meet."
Gayle unexpectedly passed away in January 2019 and left the family business to her youngest daughter, Sarah, and her favorite son-in-law, Heath. At the time, Sarah and Heath were owners and operators of Al's Famous Pizza, another family business previously owned by Heath's grandparents.
"We bought Al's Famous Pizza from my grandparents in 2013," Heath said. "They owned if for 22 years prior. When we bought the business, most people didn't even know it was there. We went from one to 20 employees and we both really enjoyed fixing it and growing it." Sarah added, "We had no idea what we were getting into. We were naïve, but also optimistic."
Not long after Sarah's mom passed away, Sarah and Heath sold the pizza business to focus exclusively on Hills, Homes and Land. Several months prior, they were already taking steps towards a career in real estate. They finished up real estate school and plotted their next move.
"Heath brought up the idea of taking over my mom's business," Sarah said. "She had a large database of clients and we felt like we could continue her legacy. She was so passionate about the business. We wanted to honor that."
Whether you're looking to buy, sell or invest, Hills, Homes, and Land is well positioned to serve its clients in all aspects of Real Estate. Sarah and Heath have the knowledge and resources to handle unique or common Real Estate transactions. Their focus is always on their clients. They don't discriminate and, according to Sarah, all types and sizes of properties are of equal importance at Hills, Homes, and Land.
"We love a challenge," Sarah said. "Bring us your hopes and dreams and we’ll handle the rest. We enjoy connecting with people that we wouldn't normally have the opportunity to work with. Many people go into buying a home without any knowledge on what to do. It is extremely rewarding to be able to provide a positive and smooth experience for them."
Looking ahead, Sarah and Heath are focused on community involvement and building meaningful relationships with clients as a way to grow the business. "With traditional realtors, when you close on a property, your clients are out of sight and sometimes out of mind," Sarah said. "We're the complete opposite. We stay in touch with our customers. In fact, we've become friends with many of them." Heath added, "We also do a lot of community fundraisers and we're part of non-profits, including Ducks Unlimited of Pasco County and The Boots & Roots Foundation. Our involvement keeps us out in the community and people recognize us in a positive way."
Currently operating as a "team" under a different brokerage, Sarah and Heath also plan to expand Hills, Home and Land into its own brokerage to continue to provide one-of-a-kind service for current and future customers and to retain more of their earnings.
What advice does Sarah have for aspiring entrepreneurs? Don't give up," Sarah said. "Being an entrepreneur is never easy and is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind, but as long as you don't quit, you always win! Also, don't be consumed by your business."