Golden Bear Realty expanding to Charleston market

By Ashley Barker
Published March 3, 2014

A real estate company owned by the family of golf legend Jack Nicklaus is planning to open an office in downtown Charleston this summer.

Boutique style agency Golden Bear Realty LLC has signed a letter of intent to move forward with a lease at 960 Morrison Drive. The 6,000-square-foot facility is expected to be ready by June, according to Todd Vance, a regional vice president of Golden Bear Realty.

The company already has a business address in Summerville and has two agents working in the area, Vance said. Two additional agents are focused on the Mount Pleasant area, and there’s also an agent in Kiawah Island and Johns Island.

Vance said 96% of buyers and sellers start their real estate search online, and Golden Bear Realty wants to capture that traffic in the Lowcountry. Agents have been building an Internet presence in the Charleston market for the past three months, he said.

“Charleston gets numerous accolades; therefore, it gets searched,” Vance said. “Charleston is very nostalgic just like our namesake. It’s a great business decision to come into that market, and it gives agents a very competitive platform where they can do business.”

Jack Nicklaus, described “a big cuddly golden bear” by an Australian writer in the 1960s, has done business in the Lowcountry and helped design a golf course at Kiawah Island. His youngest son, Michael Nicklaus, is the CEO and president of the Florida-based real estate company.

“My family loves Charleston and the feel of the Lowcountry,” Michael Nicklaus said in a statement. “We believe Charleston is the perfect place to expand our luxury real estate business.”

Vance said the company, with more than 100 agents, is also looking to expand into the Hilton Head Island and Vail, Colo., markets.

“We’re part of a global network,” Vance said. “Jack has loaned us his brand, and his business is on a global level.”

On Feb. 1, the company launched a new website to include Charleston real estate listings.

D.J. Morris, director of business development for Golden Bear Realty, said the new website is available for potential buyers in 81 languages.

“With our new and improved website, we have created the ultimate user experience, where the real estate is broken down by city and community,” Morris said in a statement. “Then, we have taken it a step further and broken each city down and divided it into categories for golf, waterfront, condos and townhomes, foreclosures and short sales, vacant land and commercial real estate.”

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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