“Developing communities is about more than land, it’s about people.”
The first thing twin brothers Will and Mark Adkins will tell you about a career in real estate is that it’s how you treat people that’s most important, even more so than developing land. “If you treat people with respect and do the right thing,” says Will, “then that will sustain you through the ups and downs of the market. That’s something we founded the company on 25 years ago, and I’m glad we did, or else we may not be here.”
Based out of Cornelius, N.C., The Waterfront Group has come a long way in the last quarter of a century—from a fledgling developer in the early ‘90s buying up small parcels of land, to a large, multi-community sales and marketing company that has created some of the most successful, self-sustaining communities in the country. Through it all, they have remained true to their values—and loyal to the people who helped them get there.
A different kind of developer
“Waterfront Group is comprised of friends and family,” says Will. “That’s how we started, that’s how we’re always going to be. We’re a tight-knit group and we are loyal. From day one we’ve tried to do everything in-house so we can control quality and deliver on expectations.” And deliver they have. Their Eagles Nest community, located in the High Country in Banner Elk, North Carolina, has been the fastest-selling mountain community in the southeast over the past five years: from 2014-2019. The reasons for that are numerous: great land, high elevation, quality homes, first-class amenities, you name it. But most of all, the success at Eagles Nest is the result of Will and Mark being committed to developing communities responsibly, in a way that preserves the land and gives homeowners a living experience that is not only dynamic and amenity-rich, but in accord with nature.
“When the economy crashed back in 2008-2009, real estate was hit first, and hit the hardest,” says Mark. “The entire market was turned upside down, especially the second-home market. A lot of developers left people hanging trying to protect themselves. But we made a commitment to stick by people, to stick by our communities, and finish what we started and make things right. It wasn’t easy. But it was the right thing to do. And we survived. That is probably what I’m most proud about over our 25-year history—that we stayed true to our values and stood by our word.”
Building toward the future
So much of what Will and Mark do is about creating multi-generational, legacy communities that can be enjoyed by families generation after generation. And though it’s the past 25 years that they are celebrating this year, it is the road ahead that truly is their focus, and guiding light. “Certainly Mark and I are proud of what we have been able to create with so many great people at the Waterfront Group,” says Will. “But what really interests us is what we are working on now. We aren’t the type to rest on our laurels. ‘Our history,’ to us, is something to learn from rather than something to celebrate. We are of course thankful for the successes we have had, but beyond that, we feel grateful to have worked with so many great people, friends and family, and for being able to create communities that families enjoy, day after day. And being able to continue doing that for the next decade or so, with all these great friends at Waterfront Group, is what really inspires us.”
To learn more about the Waterfront Group and their collection of resort communities, contact us today.