Sharon E. A. Hupprich, Owner-Broker
P.O. Box 12178
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 00801-5178
voice 340.774.1620 ~~~~~ fax 340.774.1634
Island-style living… for a week or a lifetime!
Calypso Realty, “a boutique full service real estate Company” was formed on March 1, 1996 with Sharon E. A. Hupprich as the principal broker. Sharon was a sales agent with Byrne-Brown Realty beginning in 1985 and the sales manager from 1987 until February 1996 when the owner left island and closed the business in the aftermath of hurricane Marilyn. During her tenure at Byrne-Brown Sharon managed several sales associates and became a National Association of Realtors® Million Dollar Club member. Her specialty was and still is the high-end market; both sales and listings. In 1981 Sharon left a Boston hospital administrator’s position to move to St. Thomas when Xerox Corporation transferred her husband Fred. Sharon and Fred are full time residents and homeowners on St. Thomas since 1981. Fred (everyone calls him “Coach”) eventually left Xerox and in 1985 joined the faculty of the prestigious Antilles School http://www.antilles.vi teaching math, science and physical education. He is now the Director of Athletics.
Calypso Realty handles the full spectrum of real estate transactions from sales of residential homes, home sites, condos and businesses to commercial sales and leaseholds, and the leasing of properties long term and short-term vacation homes. Calypso currently has over 25 units in the long-term property & rental management division and 4 unique properties in the vacation property & rental management division. We enjoy an excellent reputation with our owners, tenants, guests, sub-contractors. We maintain properties for off-island owners in a cost-effective and competent manner with excellent attention to detail. We have handled everything from minor maintenance and repairs to large-scale construction and re-construction of properties. We replenish and re-supply inventory as needed and in concert with our owners and tenants. We do not accept properties in poor condition. We will work with and assist owners in bringing their property up to a very good standard to optimize the rental potential and to obtain a quality tenant in our competitive rental market.
Completing the full spectrum of real estate, Sharon has listed and sold many businesses from boutiques to restaurants and bars and leasehold build-outs and improvements. From American Yacht Harbor and Secret Harbour in the east to high end downtown Charlotte Amalie and restaurant leaseholds in Frenchtown, Sharon has participated in many successful leasehold transactions.
The vacation rental business has grown from a few simple condos to four unique properties from beach side condos to the luxurious 6 bedroom waterfront pool villa; Peace of Mind overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Thatch Cay and down island. This part of the business has provided many potential purchasers their “first look” at living on a tropical island. Our advertising tag line is … ”Island-style living…for a week or a lifetime” and many people take it literally and purchase a primary residence or second home with us at Calypso Realty!
Calypso Realty maintains aggressive advertising all year, recognizing that St. Thomas really doesn’t have a “season” anymore. Tourists visit all year and many serious purchasers make the summer and fall their “hunting trip” while things are a bit more leisurely paced allowing more time to look around while taking advantage of the value season accommodation rates that are sometimes 30% less than winter rates.
We have had print ads in Destinations magazine, St. Thomas-St. John This Week (the “yellow book”), Houses magazine, Innovative’s Yellow Pages, and throughout the year in Islands, Conde’ Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit’, Caribbean Travel & Life, Travel & Leisure and other select and highly visible international publications. In 2013 we started advertising in BIRD’S EYE VIEW, the monthly in-flight magazine of Cape Air which is not only on-line but in the seat back of every seat. Considering they fly 700,000 passengers annually to many resort destinations in the US and Caribbean, this is an important market to reach. Calypso Realty received an invitation from Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate® and Calypso. This is a very important advertising tool for all properties particularly the ones in the million$+ listing price. Please visit us: http://www.luxuryrealestate.com/profiles/42149-sharon-e-a-hupprich
We are listed in all the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism publications since we supply important monthly demographic data via occupancy reports. Tourism maintains a web site and aggressively markets the destination along with all of their partner hotels and villa companies.
Our most important advertising tool is our extensive web site www.CalypsoRealty.com Started in mid-1996; our web site was and continues to be a cutting edge web presence for St. Thomas real estate. We have refined and adjusted many times since the beginning, but kept it simple since our visitors tell us how easy the site is to navigate. We also enjoy links with many publications such as the print media listed above and others. We have sophisticated technology to track the origin of our hits on our web site including Google Analytics. Our re-designed web site rolled out in December 2009 with a fresh new look and a new web hosting company. We are excited about all the possibilities this new technology affords us. We have the hardware and software to edit the site, and produce high quality imagery with our own digital cameras and photography by other professionals allowing for a constantly evolving web site. Our new web site is hosted on state of the art servers off-island. There are backups to backups so we will never be down. Our new webmaster is physically located in Florida, but is available to us 24/7. He has developed highly refined software to enable us to do 100% of the editing of our website. So, in essence we are our own webmasters and can change the web site at will. Very important in this fast paced business. We also employ a company that manages our SEO work and we have sponsored ads on Google US and World, Bing, Yahoo and MSN so when someone does a search for real estate or vacation rentals on St. Thomas Calypso Realty will come in either first or second. The stats from the first month of 2013 demonstrate that while the average click thru ratio is 3% we have an average CTR of 13.2% which is considered very high in the industry. People have called regarding certain listings and made the trip to St. Thomas and made a purchase based upon our web site alone. So, our content rich web site works!
Another very important tool is the IDX link (public portal) to the Multiple Listing Service®. People are constantly returning to CalypsoRealty.com to access the link to MLS. We have purchased and installed the latest style link (an upgrade from the basic link) on our website allowing potential buyers the most comprehensive MLS® information. Check it out yourself when you visit our website.
We are complemented almost daily on our logo and name. People recognize immediately that it says “this is island-style real estate”. The logo is recognizable everywhere so that people don’t even have to see the name to know its “Calypso Realty”. Our advertising signs on properties generate calls and drives buyers and sellers to our web site.
Sharon’s membership in the following organizations brings credibility and professionalism to the business: St. Thomas Board of Realtors, Virgin Islands Territorial Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association, Caribbean Hotel Association and the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce. Sharon Hupprich has served in various capacities with the St. Thomas Board of Realtors® from 1994 to 2003 when she completed her term as second vice-president and serves on various committees as needed.
In June 2003 Sharon was nominated and accepted a position of Director and became Secretary of the Board with the prestigious Board of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands www.cfvi.net. She co-chaired the annual “Angels” campaign for several years that raises money to support the 90 named funds at CFVI and provides mini-grants and scholarships among other support. In the 2009 campaign we raised close to $400,000 in just 5 months and celebrated at a gala thank-you party for our donors of $500+ in March 2009. Sharon completed six years on the Board with CFVI and in June 2009 ‘retired’ from the Board. However, she continues to support CFVI’s philanthropic goals focusing on education, children and families.
After serving on the exploration and steering committees, in March 2004 Sharon was elected to the permanent Board of Directors and Chair of the Site Selection Committee for Habitat for Humanity International, U.S. Virgin Islands affiliate www.habitat.vi Sharon served until mid-2008 when she passed the reigns to some new energetic board members. Habitat broke ground for the first home in November 2006 and the first
concrete footers were poured in January 2007. We proudly dedicated the home in June 2009 and the new first time home owner moved in with her family. Exciting stuff! We hope you’ll help us achieve even greater work by supporting HFH of the USVI!
In 2012 Sharon was asked to serve on the fundraising committee of My Brother’s Workshop http://www.mybrothersworkshop.org/ and she happily accepted. MBW has been a passion of hers since Scott Bradley started it in 2008. Their Mission Statement says it all: My Brother’s Workshop has been organized to provide hope, faith and purpose to at-risk and high-risk young people in the US Virgin Islands by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training, education and job placement. These efforts are being made in association with other local and national groups functioning with purposes consistent with those listed below. The new home with a workshop and training facility is located at TuTu Park Mall outside in the parking lot. You will see young men working there most days as well as working off site on paid and volunteer projects. Please join us in making this incredible program a success. Sharon would love to arrange a tour for you, just ask her!
Sharon’s knowledge of and close relationships with all the local lending institutions, title companies, surveyors, and insurance companies assures the most comprehensive information for our valued customers and clients. Close colleagues on St. Croix and St. John assist the Calypso clients that desire a real estate purchase on our sister islands. Sharon provides those brokers with complete information on the client so that their needs are met promptly and professionally.
Carlene LaPlace, is the manager of Calypso Realty and is Sharon’s licensed sales assistant. Carlene moved to St. Thomas from Oregon in 2000 and after working in two other well-respected real estate companies, we were fortunate to have Carlene join Calypso in November 2008. Carlene manages the Property Management division including vacation rentals and long term leasing. Carlene passed her real estate sales exam in October 2008 and also assists Sharon's clients with their real estate services. Carlene lives on the east end of St. Thomas with her husband, Andy LaPlace, a native Virgin Islander. Andy is the manager of Cowpet Bay East Condominium Association, which is next to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. In their precious spare time they enjoying boating and fishing and their extended LaPlace family activities!
Calypso’s offices are conveniently located in Havensight on the first floor of the St. Thomas This Week building, which is just about 250 yards east of the Havensight Mall entrance. With the all-important convenient parking right in front of our building, we would love you to visit us! Just look for the attractive three story beige West Indian style building with the hip roof, French doors and windows and blue shutters. We have all the latest equipment along with a charming setting allowing us to work hard for you.
Over the years Sharon has assisted a local and international clientele, private and public sector, corporate and personal, in the exploration, leasing, listing and purchasing of Virgin Islands properties. Corporate clients include Trammell Crow, Esso, AT&T, Heery International, Southern Energy, Cellular One, Sun Glass Hut, Metro Elevator, Cross Country Staffing, Professional Nursing Service, Medical Consulting Services, Cape Air, Marriott, Innovative Communications, Innovative Communications, Daily News, Federal Government and the USVI Government. For many years Sharon has assisted several U.S. companies interested in establishing new VI companies under the U.S. Virgin Islands EDA program: http://www.usvieda.org Beginning with the initial introduction to the island to the leasing of office space and purchases of condos and homes, we are a full service real estate company.
A short history of the St Thomas’ real estate market… The market started strong in 2003 and continued to grow. It was a red-hot market in from 2005-2007. The demand for high-end homes, condos and land exceeded many predictions. Commercial and residential leasing has been steady since 2002. In the third quarter of 2008 the market made an adjustment and values and activity steadily declined. However, the lower interest rates, availability of mortgages in the USVI and the fact that we are an attractive year round U.S. destination that does not require a passport along with the pro-business administration of Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., who took office in January 2007 and began his second term of office in January 2011, has helped steady our market during this global economic crisis. We are seeing an uptick in real estate sales and high end vacation rentals in first quarter of 2013 and we are hopeful it will continue. Below you will see an indication of the market in the transactions and total volume.
In calendar 2012, Calypso closed on 15 sales with 17 transaction sides representing over $3,210,000 in total sales volume, along with over $755,000 in commercial and short and long term leasing.
In calendar 2011, Calypso closed on 12 sales with 17 transaction sides representing over $3,337,000 in total sales volume, along with over $643,000 in commercial and short and long term leasing.
In calendar 2010, Sharon personally closed on 13 sales with 17 transaction sides representing over $6,456,450 in total sales volume, along with over $893,087 in commercial and short and long term leasing.
In calendar 2009, Sharon personally closed on 12 sales with 17 transaction sides representing over $7,940,000 in total sales volume, along with over $1,405,000 in commercial and short and long term leasing. In calendar 2008, Sharon personally closed on 14 transaction sides representing over $5,147,000 in total sales volume, along with over $743,000 in short and long term rental leasing. In calendar 2007, Sharon personally closed on 20 transaction sides representing over $11,074,500 in total sales volume, along with over $772,000 in short and long term leasing. In calendar 2006, Sharon personally closed on 30 transaction sides representing over $15,238,000 in total sales volume, along with over $830,000 in short and long term leasing. In calendar 2005, Sharon personally closed on 43 transaction sides representing over $18,065,000 in total sales volume. Residential and commercial leasing represented an additional $900,000 of sales volume in 2005. In calendar 2004, Sharon personally closed on 39 transaction sides, representing over $12,500,000 in total sales volume. In calendar 2003 Sharon personally closed on 48 transaction sides representing over $14,800,000 in total sales volume.
The real estate market has been adjusting since 2008 and we’re adjusting with it. Even in this downturn, we have a great client base with second and third generational referrals (friends of friends of friends!) which assists us in sales and rentals. I have had a diversified business since 1996, melding a strong sales and listing program with short and long term rentals which has proven to be beneficial whether a robust or soft market. We have many vacation guests and tenants that contact us months and sometimes years later to make a real estate purchase. So happy tenants turn into even happier buyers!
As you can see, Sharon’s boutique real estate company is small, personal and successful. In years past she had agents and broker associates working for the company. However Sharon discovered that she was spending more time managing other people’s business when she should have been doing what she loves; listing and selling properties! So out with the people that were taking up desk space and back to business! Carlene is the best, most knowledgeable assistant and since she is licensed she fully supports Sharon’s clients at all times. Team Calypso!
Sharon prides herself on knowing the market inside and out. She excels in marketing listings and in particular with our content and photo rich website she can present detailed listings to the web savvy buyer. Also, the MLS service provides a wonderful opportunity to expose listings to the worldwide market through www.Realtor.com We can upload as many photos as we want onto the MLS listing as well as survey drawings, floor plans, anything and everything to better ‘tell the story’ of the listing. People that are searching for properties are hungry for information and we will provide as much information as possible to link the buyer with the properties they are considering. And our website and MLS listings beat out other companies on St. Thomas hands down. All you have to do is logon once to www.CalypsoRealty.com and you will be convinced that this is the company and Sharon Hupprich is the Realtor® to best serve you! We have sold many first time buyers their starter property. However, Sharon has always been considered a luxury property broker as she has listed and sold more million dollar+ properties than most any other currently active Realtor.
Let’s talk further about your specific real estate requirements in detail. Thank you again for your interest in my company Calypso Realty. We look forward to working with you.
Sharon E. A. Hupprich
Owner-Broker, Realtor ®
Carlene LaPlace, Licensed Sales Assistant