The Story Behind St Petersburg’s All-Lesbian Real Estate Team

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It’s not often that you come across a real estate team made up of a group of LGBTQ individuals. In fact, some people find it hard to locate a brokerage firm that understands the challenges faced by a non-traditional family.

Based out of St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay PalmerHouse Properties Team does more than understand the LGBTQ lifestyle – they live it. Barb Rowland, Suzanne Feese, Melissa Davis, and Diana Fryman are an all-lesbian team of real estate agents who dedicate their time to helping residential and commercial buyers and sellers make their dreams come true.

How the Firm Was Formed

The partnership began a state away, in Georgia. In 2016, as life partners and business partners, Rowland and Feese opened a Downtown Decatur PalmerHouse Properties Real Estate office. Only three years later, the duo opened another office in downtown St. Petersburg.

Davis and Fryman then joined the team. Since then, the team has been helping individuals with all of their real estate needs.

The Stories Behind the Brokerage Team

Everyone on this lesbian-led PalmerHouse team has a unique story to tell.

Barb Rowland and Suzanne Feese

Barb Rowland

For 20 years, Barb Rowland was a railroad executive working with Norfolk Southern, CSX and ConRail in marketing. During a career transition, Rowland spent three years as the Director of Tennis at Stone Mountain Tennis center where she worked with Billie Jean King and World Team Tennis in both Atlanta and Charlotte, NC.

After returning to Atlanta, Rowland began her 19-year real estate career, something that came naturally in her progression as her parents owned a real estate company in Miami, Florida, where Rowland grew up.

Rowland has earned many accolades. Twice, she was nominated as the Business Woman of the Year by the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, the Georgia Voice Newspaper named her the Best Real Estate Agent of the Year.

Suzanne Feese

Although newer to the industry, Suzanne Feese is also an award-winning Realtor.

After spending over 20 years working as a corporate tax attorney, Feese started to follow her passion with a career in real estate. And her career started off with a bang, as DeKalb Association of Realtors named her the Top New Realtor for 2016.

Feese has a unique background. In 1984, she was named Valedictorian of Agness Scott College. After that, she went to law school at Yale and received a law degree. In 1999, she was named as one of the Outstanding Young People of Atlanta. But her work as a tax lawyer wasn’t her only successful endeavor. She also served as a board member for the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and was the chair for the Georgia Center for Children.

The Duo

Rowland and Feese opened the St. Pete office for PalmerHouse Properties (a company gay owned Company owned by Kevin Palmer and Tom Ellicott with over 2,000  agents in Atlanta) and continue to sell real estate in both the Decatur/Atlanta and the Tampa/St Petersburg areas. For four consecutive years since their business partnership started (2016-2019) Rowand and Feese have been honored as among the top 5 teams/agents for the 2000+ agent PalmberHouse Firm, with more than $60 Million in closings and more than 225 closed transaction sides.

When they aren’t working together, the two are traveling the world side-by-side.

Diana Fryman

Diana Fryman has been in the St. Petersburg area for more than 30 years. She is a former restaurant operator, affectionately known as “Dfry” by the community She also boasts an educational profile that includes a Master’s Degree in Business and a Bachelor’s in Psychology.  She possesses a certification from the Graduate Realtor Institute and is a Dale Carnegie program graduate. Diana has been married to her wife, Diann, for 11 years, step-sons Joey and Sean, and credits her wife for her unconditional support in launching her real estate career.

Originally from Ohio, Diana experienced her grandparents love for Florida and moved here in 1995. Her love of people and sense of humor have given her a Florida family that shares her love of  sporting events, incredible dining, and beautiful beaches , creating lifelong memories!

Meeting Barb in 2019, Diana joined the existing Barb and Suzanne team to assist in the dream of serving the LGBTQ community needs. Barb’s passion, goals, and experience aligned with Diana’s, and Suzanne’s legal insights provided the final touch! There was no going back!

Melissa Davis

Melissa Davis is someone who enjoys socializing, travel and photography. You can often find her trying out a new local restaurant, or volunteering her time for the GFWC St. Petersburg Junior Women’s Club.

Davis and her wife have been together for 12 years and have a three-year-old son. Originally from Minneapolis, the couple relocated to St. Pete in 2010 and live in the north Kenwood area. Davis has been in real estate for eight years and has always had a love for real estate and architecture. “I really enjoy working with first time homebuyers, those relocating to the area… And lottery winners lol!” laughs Davis.

Davis joined PalmerHouse in 2019 after meeting the founder, Kevin L. Palmer, and real estate experts, Rowland and Feese, at a real estate conference. “I was impressed with the support offered to their agents and integrity of the company itself.”

Community Collaboration

The PalmerHouse ladies love to collaborate with fellow LGBTQ business owners to “keep it in the family”. Their primary lender is Savvy Mortgage, owned by married couple Tracie Mayo and Eileen Donovan, and their primary Title company is Consumer Title, owned by Scott Armstrong, an out-and-open LGBT community member. Both companies are also supporters of OutCoast.com!

More About the Firm

If you want to learn more about one of the only LGBTQ real estate teams in the area, contact Tampa Bay PalmerHouse Team today at 727-498-8618  or email barb@barbrowland.com.

*Content sponsored by PalmerHouse Properties.

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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january, 2023

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