Business June '17

Meet Smith & Associates Platinum Group: Your Neighborhood Realtors

Connie Lancaster and Cynthia Serra, have been friends for forty years. Nearly 20 years ago, they decided to bring together their love of this city and knowledge of the area to serve the citizens of this one-of-a-kind community and are now two of the top Realtors in St. Petersburg, “We were here before the city went through its recent renaissance”.

“Florida is nice, but I really LOVE St. Petersburg!” said Connie, who, has lived in The Historic Old NE neighborhood with her partner, Annie, for 25 years. Originally from SC, she previously was in the high-end European automobile business for 20 years. Her love of investing in Real Estate made it an easy transition when that industry changed.

Cynthia, also a resident of the OLD NE has a Master’s in Education and was a teacher and coach for many years before moving to St. Pete from SC. Her parents had moved to the states from Peru when she was a child and eventually Florida. After she has had the pleasure of showing buyers from out of the area around the city, her favorite sentiment to convey is “And we live here!”

Joining Connie and Cynthia in the Platinum Group are three more top- notch Realtors: Olympia (Pia) Hiotis, Dan Casper and Carolyn Robinson.

Pia, who is Greek and hails from Ohio, loves all of the art and culture that St. Petersburg has to offer. She spends a lot of her time enjoying the walkability of the city, kickboxing and playing with her two dogs, Zoe and Lola. She and her partner of 30 years left Columbus OH to be near family after she sold her business.

Dan, originally from Chicago, comes to town with 23 years of design experience, #bonus! He and his partner, Louis, fell in love with the diversity and inclusiveness of the community, the daily sunshine and the tasty foodie lifestyle. Dan truly enjoys helping first- time home buyers navigate through the home-buying process, and seeing their dreams become reality.

Carolyn grew up in West Virginia, where she obtained her real estate license in 1986. After visiting her brother in Tierra Verde several times, she just knew this is where she wanted to live. So in 2001, she packed her bags moved to the Sunshine City. “St. Petersburg is a melting pot. People from all over the world come to live here. It has such a friendly atmosphere,” Carolyn said.

Helping clients make their dream of home ownership a reality is what makes it all worthwhile for this group. As a consensus, they adore all the hidden treasures of St. Petersburg. Each area has a distinct personality and pride
of ownership. Little-known neighborhoods such as Tropical Shores, Pink Streets, Old Southeast, South Pinellas Point and Bahama Shores are just a few of the gems they can help you find. Pinellas County is hot!

“St. Petersburg is so much more than the downtown,” Dan said. “And, no matter where you live, you are only five miles from the beach,” added Connie.

Connie and Cynthia reminisce about St. Pete before it became all that it is today. They attribute the start of the positive changes to the grassroots push and renovation of the Vinoy Hotel back in the 1991. Since then, the whole area has grown by leaps and bounds, and is on the radar. “This is definitely the place everyone wants to live, we are a global destination now. We have been discovered” Connie said.

“Right now, it’s a sellers’ market, but there is still no better place or no better time to buy,” Cynthia said. Real estate is a “connections” business. Our company Smith and Associates sells more of its properties than any other agency because we network as a real team and have affiliates nationwide and throughout the world! “We have the inside scoop on many properties before they hit the market!”

This amazing group promises to guide their clients every step of the way from high end cash buyers to first time home buyers, who have to be pre-approved before you start the home search. They are not only willing, but hoping to help walk you through the entire process.

Pia said, “Even if we hit some areas of trouble, there is always a solution. We have resources and partner with a team of professionals that enable our clients to get to the closing table!” This group thrives on repeat customers and referrals; their goal is to be your realtors for life!

Who better to assist you than a Real Estate group who knows this city from east to west and everywhere in between? Smith & Associates Platinum Group are standing by and ready to help you sell your home and/or find a new one.

For more information about buying or selling your home, contact Pia Hiotis @ 614-561-5996 or email Dan Casper @ 773-965-6465 or

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Upcoming Events

  1. Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann

    February 10 @ 10:00 am - July 15 @ 5:00 pm
  2. St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs

    February 20 @ 8:00 am - February 23 @ 5:00 pm
  3. 10th Annual St. Petersburg Jazz Festival

    February 21 @ 7:30 pm - February 25 @ 10:00 pm
  4. Schoolhouse Rock!

    February 23 @ 12:00 am - February 24 @ 12:00 am
  5. Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon

    February 24 @ 5:00 am - 11:00 am