Anyone considering moving to a new area is most likely looking for an idyllic place to live, work and raise a family. Often times, beautiful weather, a charming local atmosphere and a favorable real estate market also come into play when someone is searching for the perfect place to build a life. When potential property buyers narrow their search to Florida, Vero Beach stands above the rest as a jewel mine of beautiful real estate and luxury homes.
Al Benkert, owner of Vero Beachside Sales-Rentals, is one of many local residents who feels he has found a little piece of paradise here in Vero Beach. Al was born and raised in Whitestone, New York, where he worked in his father’s bakery all through his childhood. After graduating from Holy Cross High School, Al enlisted in the Marine Corps at age seventeen and was deployed. When he completed his tour with the marines in Vietnam, he attended St. Francis College and graduated with a degree in Psychology in three years.
Once he completed his education, Al started his career with Bankers Trust in New York, working as a computer programmer. After several years spent working as a consultant for major companies in the New York area, Al joined Ryder System in Miami and made the move to sunny south Florida. Over the next 25 years, he rose to be an Information Technology Director at Ryder, and eventually other Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Roadway, and Freightliner. During that period, Al and his wife raised two beautiful daughters and owned many homes, living in New York, New Jersey, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Akron Ohio and Portland Oregon.
Unfortunately, Al’s fast paced lifestyle was abruptly halted when he underwent a 5-way heart bypass. After the serious health scare, Al re-engineered his life style- he learned the Japanese art of Reiki, started eating healthy, began running 5k’s, brushed up on his water skiing, learned to rollerblade and how to play tennis. He also got divorced from his wife and started volunteering at Tony Robbins Seminars, where he still to this day helps people walk on hot coals and change their lives.
When Al left the corporate world, he did some real estate investing, eventually settling here in Vero Beach. Al has long ties with our beautiful community; he vacationed here with his parents in the 50’s, honeymooned at the Holiday Inn in the 60’s, watched his parents retire here in the 70’s, his sister and nephew moved here in the 80’s and lived here in the 90’s while traveling for IBM as a project executive in their outsourcing business.
Once he had settled down in Vero, Al opened Vero Beachside Sales-Rentals, which utilizes Al’s many decades in the area to match each of his clients with their own personal paradise. Vero Beachside Sales-Rentals is a boutique real estate brokerage with island and mainland agents. Al himself is a luxury home specialist, an E-Pro, a short sale/foreclosure resource, a broker and of course a realtor, as well as the owner of his extensive real estate business.
According to Al, Vero Beach real estate is selling these days. Since 2011, total sales commissions for Vero Beachside Sales-Rentals have risen over 220%, with the Central Beach Area a particularly active region. It is turning back into a sellers’ market, with inventory going down fast and prices on the rise. Al prides himself on the fact that he and his agents service their clients as Real Estate Consultants- advising them on their home purchases, property sales and management of their real estate investments- rather than just acting as sales people.
Over the last decade, Al has become a very active member of the community, serving on the Board of the Oceanside Business Association for many years, serving as president and vice president when needed. He has been responsible for insuring that the Farmers Market was a year round Saturday event, that the concerts continued on a monthly basis and has been instrumental in the annual Christmas parade. Al has also served in the local Board of Realtors, been a chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Realtors Association, and for many years has been a member of the MLS committee. And finally, Al has run for city council and remains involved in local politics.
These days, Al lives on the barrier island in a water front home where he spends his free time entertaining his grandchildren and taking them boating when they visit, as well as entertaining with his beautiful fiancée.