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Raso Realty marks 45 years in Cape Coral

July 19, 2018
Lehigh Acres Citizen

A pioneer family of Cape Coral is celebrating a business milestone this year.

Raso Realty, established in 1973 by Joseph Raso -and since passed onto his family, is celebrating their 45th year in the Cape.

Gloria Tate, Raso's daughter, has been involved with the business and community for decades and still works at the office the company has occupied for all these years.

Article Photos

Gloria Tate sits at her desk at Raso Realty, which is celebrating 45 years in Cape Coral.


"We built our business on what my father built it on - faith, family and friends," Tate said.

The Rasos packed up from Pittsburgh in 1960 and arrived to the hurricane forces of Donna, which Joseph and his then-pregnant wife Grace named their fifth daughter after.

Tate said her father was the first bartender in Cape Coral, until he decided to get his real estate license and worked with Gulf American.

In 1973, Raso opened his own agency. The rest as they say, is history.

His impact is still felt to this day, as he and wife Grace were the first president and first lady of the Cape Coral Italian American Club, one of the first organized clubs in the city.

"All these years later, we still get people coming in looking for my dad. Or they have his iconic business card with him and his car, a Lincoln. People still have it, believe it or not," told Tate.

A framed picture of Joe receiving a trophy for being Cape Coral Country Club golf champion from baseball legend Connie Mack sits high a top a cabinet in the office, as if Joe is still keeping an eye on his family.

She read from a card they received from a client who did business with Tate's father in 1978, congratulating them on their 45th anniversary and how they are still enjoying their home the Rasos helped them develop.

"We have a handful of clients we've known for 40 years. The people who come through our doors become family," Tate said. "We have history here. We are a very close-knit organization. I think us and Wonderland are the last two independents remaining from the pioneer days."

Raso Realty is truly a family and community driven business.

Joe passed part of his legacy on to Tate's sister Cathy, who became the broker of record until recently when she passed it onto Dennis Hackworth, her son, who, according to Tate, has really gone above and beyond in his role.

"He has taken our business to the next level. He's constantly reinventing us," praised Tate.

"As a small independent office, trying to compete with so many other offices in town, we've had to continually upgrade and compete on a wider range. He's done a really good job with that."

A big reason for Raso Realty's success is their history in the community, which Tate said gives them a leg up on the competition.

"I think our biggest success is the way we treat our clients and customers and our involvement in the community goes hand in hand. It's all about community relation and building a better city," she said.

Despite the challenges of the market, interest rates and mortgage crisis, they have found a way to be a successful independent group in a world of bigger agencies.

Reinventing, remarking, rebranding and staying current with all the trends are the ways Tate said they have kept afloat.

"For us, if you come into Raso Realty, we can tell you what happened when. And with my perspective from being on (the Cape Coral City) Council and staying involved in government, I can tell you what the future is looking like," Tate said. "If you're looking to build or buy somewhere, hopefully my knowledge is strong enough that I can tell you what might be coming, what might impact your value. You know, all the things you need to know about Cape Coral because it is a different city to invest in."

Tate served on Council for 11 years, was president of the Chamber of Commerce and believes it is important to preserve this history of the city her family helped develop.

She still is involved in city government and believes it is key in her line of work to know what government is doing in the community.

Speaking of community, Raso Realty and its employees have done a tremendous amount of work in Cape Coral.

"I have a passion for service in the community," Tate said. "We're all very involved in community events. We believe that investing in the community is what keeps Raso Realty diversified and knowing what the needs are in our community."

Some of the efforts made by the team include the Veteran's Day parade, Relay for Life, Touch a Truck, working with Cape Coral Caring Center and so much more.

"Anything we can do to reinvest in the community is prime for us," Tate added.

She says her journey over the years has been an interesting, yet very rewarding, one.

What she hopes to see is the business continue to be successful and keep family ties to it.

"I would like to see it continue to prosper, stay with our family and our agents continue to work within the community and play a vital role in the growth and welfare of this city."

Raso Realty is at 4812 Cape Coral Street where the company has been since its inception.



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