When Ron Melander first arrived in Savannah in August of 1989, the oleanders were in full bloom.
He was surprised to see palm trees and banana leaves everywhere. “The town felt kind of tropical to me,” he says, “especially coming from Upstate New York.” It was appropriate that Ron’s first impression of Savannah was of its vegetation, as this is how he would come to know the town. “I visited someone who lived on one of the squares and was fortunate to see early on how the town is anchored by the Historic District.” Soon after, Ron was hired to garden for one of these historic properties, and over time he became very familiar with many historic gems through their fragrant green spaces. At one point, he says, “I had keys to so many homes, the next logical step seemed like a real estate license!”
As Savannah has grown and changed, Ron has seen it all. His network and watching the market as it has evolved. In 2005, he began to specialize in historic homes. “Working with historic properties requires a certain amount of respect and care,” he says. “Also, I try to stay attuned to the emotional aspect of selling. It’s not always just a numbers game.” It’s not surprising, then, that Ron gets exceptionally high marks from clients for his sensitive handling of sales in the historic district. Clients describe him as “extremely knowledgeable,” “adaptive,” “tireless,” a “true professional” and the agent with all the best contractors on speed dial.
But if Ron is a people person who keeps the human element in mind, he will be the first to tell you that he’s not a systems guy.
And, increasingly, systems come in handy when dealing with extraordinarily unique and complex historic properties. Fortunately, Ron has a right-hand man who is — his business partner Jordan Gray. “Jordan is very intelligent, quick on the computer and really complements my non-systems personality,” says Ron. “His technological savvy enables us to watch the market very closely, keep up with extensive inventory and cultivate a deep understanding of the market. He’s also just a really nice guy, and genuinely enjoys the work.”
In his 60s now, Ron figures he will continue doing what he loves for another ten or so years. Then, he says, he will be looking to get back to his roots. “When I’m no longer working full time, I’d like to become more involved in the community, devote more time to the Park and Tree Commission and hopefully do some work with the urban tree canopy.” For now, however, Ron Melander and Jordan Gray are here for Savannah’s historic homes, and those who love them.
by Dani Ray
Ron Melander and Jordan Gray
Savannah Historic Properties
Keller Williams Realty Coastal Area Partners
(912) 441-7124 or (912) 233-1575