Crowley Associates Realty
Front row, from left: Nancy Joseph, Sherry Ternahan, Betsey Parrett and Roberta Troy. Back row: Brian Crowley and Peggy Douglas.
Joe del Tufo
Whether you’re a property owner with a beach home that you’d like to rent or a vacationer looking for a place to stay at the Delaware beaches, Crowley Associates Realty stands ready to help.
Founded in 1973 by the husband-and-wife team of Tom and Wanda Crowley, the business is now in its second generation, co-owned by their daughter, Sherry Ternahan, and Wanda’s son, Brian Crowley. Ternahan runs the firm’s Rehoboth office and Crowley runs the office in Bethany Beach.
Between the two offices, the firm manages more than 500 rental properties. With 14 weeks in the traditional Memorial Day to Labor Day summer season, that translates into potentially 7,000 weekly rentals—enough to keep the company’s 20 to 25 employees in constant motion.
“A lot of people look at us as just rentals, but that’s not all we do,” says Ternahan, noting the firm’s increased involvement in the sale of beach properties.
Most of the rental customers are beachgoers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Washington, D.C., area, and many of them come back year after year, often to houses they’ve come to think of as their own, Ternahan says.
But not all vacationers think alike. Some want to be close to the beach, some don’t. Some want one-level homes and others insist on having bedrooms on the first floor. “We interview every prospective renter, and we know our inventory well. Our agents are familiar with all of our properties,” Ternahan says.
As a smaller firm, Crowley emphasizes personal service. For out-of-town owners, they’ll check the condition of properties before and after storms, and help locate plumbers, electricians and cleaners when those services are needed.
“The BBB is the force that gives us credibility and status within the community,” Ternahan says. “Because of the BBB, people view us as reliable and trustworthy. They don’t depend just on our hearsay.”