Spring Fling Party – Thanking Vacation Rental Homeowners

Do you rent your Outer Banks vacation home with Southern Shores Realty?  Not only is our program the most straight forward, honest, and the best around town, but we also throw the beach’s ONLY homeowner appreciation party year after year!

Now this isn’t your average “You’re invited to a blahdity blah luncheon” party.  I’m talking BIG, boom, PAH – Massive party tent, Kelly’s catered buffet lunch, libations, incredible giveaway prizes, activities for kids, local business product spotlights, and much much more!



Now, you may ask yourself “Why do we have a Spring Fling?”  To answer that first and foremost, we like fun!  We are a tightly knit group here and any excuse to celebrate is generally taken advantage of full force.  The other reason is, well, we LOVE our owners!  Without all the amazing homeowners we work with and their lovely homes we wouldn’t have the great business that we have today.  We like to show appreciation, and Spring Fling hits the nail squarely on the head!


spring-fling-celebration-obxThe day kicks off with the signing in of all the confirmed guests and owners.  As you can see by the photo, the turn out is quite impressive and the line typically starts wrapping around our building in no time.  In 2013 almost 700 guests attended, some from as far away as Germany to attend!  Once signed in, homeowners and their guests receive the latest and greatest Spring Fling T-Shirt and other cool SSROBX goodies!


outer-banks-rental-home-managementAfter registration is complete and freebies have been collected it’s time to mingle!  Besides the gourmet food, entertainment, and prizes to come, the rental property management staff hand picks select local businesses to showcase their products and services to Southern Shores Realty’s homeowners.  This is a wonderful opportunity as many of our homeowners actively engage in upgrading or remodeling their homes to fit the growing needs and desires of today’s vacationers.  The latest and greatest gizmos, gadgets, guest welcome gifts, home accents, and more are all available to see.  Most of the time, the actual business owners attend the event and engage 1-on-1 with our homeowners.  This is part of the event that is highly acclaimed by both the businesses and the homeowners as adding value to our rental program by keeping property owners “in the loop!”



While engaging with local business representatives, homeowners are treated to a full day of raffle prizes and giveaways!  This is one of the most popular parts of the party (no wonder) and traditionally features high end electronics, home furnishings, area gift certificates, and other prizes donated by local sponsors.  Locally donated raffle prizes in the past have consisted of woodworks, beach-themed home accents, gift baskets, charter fishing trips, and more.

southern-shores-realty-spring-fling-obxThe Spring Fling celebration also features many fun activities for the children that attend.  Rita’s Italian Ice is a traditional favorite stop, a face painting booth is set up all day, and local entertainer, DJ Magic Mike, has created balloon animals for all who want as well!  The beauty of the day is that young or old, everyone enjoys their time and Southern Shores Realty gets to thank our entire family!

The last element I haven’t mentioned in depth yet is… the food!  No Spring Fling would be complete without an all-day all you can eat catered treat.  Preparing and serving up some of the finest grub on the OBX, Kelly’s has catered the Spring Fling celebrations for as long as one can remember (I asked around).

The bevy of delectable consumables stretches out over several tables and it becomes a hovering point for most of the day.  Last year’s lineup boasted authentic Eastern Carolina pulled pork BBQ, fish and grits, hot dogs, baked beans, world famous sweet potato biscuits, coleslaw, and southern fried chicken.  Kelly’s, hands down, has been a staple of excellence for Outer Banks cuisine since they day they opened.  While the day holds many exiting parts, the buffet is always a highlight and talked about once the party is over!

The 22nd annual Spring Fling celebration will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 and promises to be another fantastic time!  Many new businesses will be represented, including those from our fantastic Guest Rewards program.  Thank you for taking the time to read about this party that we throw for our homeowners.  They are the lifeline of our business and we wouldn’t be “The Outer Banks Expert” without them!

Know someone who owns a rental home on the Outer Banks?  Have them give us a call at 800.334.1000 for more information on joining our awesome rental program!  Heck, if they join soon enough, they’ll get the invitation to this year’s Spring Fling as well!

Southern Shores Realty #1 OBX Vacation Rentals Food Donor

Mike Stone, Vice President of Southern Shores Realty, presenting a check to Kathy McCullough-Testa, Executive Director of the Beach Food Pantry, and Steve Hanson, Vice President of the Beach Food Pantry Board of Directors.  (PRNewsFoto/Southern Shores Realty)
Mike Stone, Vice President of Southern Shores Realty, presenting a check to Kathy McCullough-Testa, Executive Director of the Beach Food Pantry, and Steve Hanson, Vice President of the Beach Food Pantry Board of Directors. (PRNewsFoto/Southern Shores Realty)

Southern Shores Realty is proud to announce a milestone for its community outreach efforts.  According to Kathy McCullough-Testa, Executive Director of the Beach Food Pantry, the team at Southern Shores Realty and its guests collected over 1,000 pounds of food donations in 2013; topping the list of Outer Banks vacation rental companies.

Southern Shores Realty has a long history of giving back to the community on the Outer Banks and surrounding areas.  Historically, donation recipients include: the Albermarle Family YMCA, League of Women Voters, Dare County Arts Council, Interfaith Community Outreach, and many more.

Southern Shores Realty is also proud to announce its annual Beach Food Pantry sponsorship for 2014.  “Since our earliest days we have found value in taking care of our neighbors and each other,” says Mike Stone, Vice President of Southern Shores Realty.  “We consider it a responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities we serve.”

Southern Shores Realty is a family owned, family oriented vacation rental company on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  They have been in business since 1947, making them the longest operating Outer Banks vacation rentals company. Their 2014 vacation rental inventory boasts over 600 rental homes from Corolla to South Nags Head.  Call 1.800.334.1000 or visit their rentals search page to start planning your next Outer Banks vacation.

TOP 10 Reasons to Vacation with Southern Shores Realty

Choosing an Outer Banks vacation rental home is fun.  Real fun!  There are thousands of rental properties all over the Outer Banks and dozens of realty companies and property managers who do an excellent job satisfying our beach’s visitors year after year.

Since I have your attention, I’d like to give you the TOP 10 reasons why you should absolutely book your next OBX vacation with Southern Shores Realty.  I’m talking without a doubt, no questions asked, going to have the best experience ever… here goes:


ssr_logo_309x207Southern Shores Realty has been proudly serving Outer Banks vacationers just like you since 1947.  I hope this webpage stays around for some time, but as of today that’s over 66 years!  Do you remember what you were doing in 1947?

With all those years under our belt comes unmatched experience and a natural knowledge on how to do things the “right” way.  We take pride in our decades of vacation rental experience and cherish the opportunity to earn our guests’ business year after year.


Photo taken by Terry Moore for Southern Shores Realty.The Outer Banks is one of the best family vacation destinations in the world.  When you bring your family to the beach with Southern Shores Realty, you are bringing your family to ours.  We are a family owned business and a tightly knit group of people who love what we do.  We are also part of the Outer Banks family; donating to hundreds of local organizations and charitable causes over the years.  When you book your OBX rental with SSR, rest assured that our family will do everything we can to make fantastic memories for yours!


outer-banks-map-rentals-selectionIt’s all about having the perfect house; right?  From Corolla to South Nags Head, Southern Shores Realty professionally manages and rents over 600 homes that offer exceptional and varied choices to our guests.  While many of our guests enjoy the satisfaction of staying in the same home year after year, others may enjoy experiencing multiple homes and new rental properties each time they vacation.

Whether you are seeking an Oceanfront rental with priceless views of the Atlantic Ocean, or a secluded beach box nestled in the maritime forest, Southern Shores Realty’s abundance of properties keeps our family of vacationers returning year after year!


we-love-our-jobsIsn’t it obvious when people enjoy their job?  Guess what, we all work at the beach!  Pretty cool right?

At Southern Shores Realty, we love what we do!  We help people vacation, and we think that’s awesome.  The next time you step into our rental office on a beautiful summer afternoon on the Outer Banks, take the time to enjoy talking with our front desk staff or greeting a maintenance worker servicing your home.  Your complete satisfaction is our #1 goal, and we have fun taking the time to earn it.


outer-banks-family-vacationWe appreciate your loyalty.  Many Southern Shores Realty vacationers have been renting with us for over 50 years!  As a family owned business we know how important family traditions are, and we would be honored to be a part of yours.  We will always continue to provide the best service, selection of homes, and area resources to all of our guests, making sure your vacations are filled with memories that last a lifetime.

Easy to Use

booking-on-a-tabletYesterday’s luxuries are today’s necessities, right?  Well, we’ve got you covered!  Southern Shores Realty’s website has been praised by hundreds of long-time OBX visitors as the hands down, easiest to use.  From our multiple search tools to easy to understand calendars & rates, our website has been designed with you in mind!

Southern Shores Realty is also pleased to announce that we have introduced mobile booking!  There’s no telling exactly when and where the “itch” to book your next Outer Banks vacation may occur so we’ve prepared for all devices!  Enjoy the conveniences and power of our full website right on your mobile and tablet devices.  Online booking has never been easier and we’re pleased to introduce it as the best on the beach for your mobile devices!


outer-banks-blogThe Outer Banks is big.  Real big.  Many of our seasoned vacationers know these beaches like the back of their hands.  But for some, a little assistance and knowledge is welcome, especially for first timers.  Our staff is all local, all the time!  We aren’t called the “Outer Banks Expert” for nothing!  We have an oversized Outer Banks Vacation Planner on our website that’s jam packed with area information like things to do, where to shop, and restaurants to eat at.  We also have a full-service Outer Banks Blog that’s home to some of the best articles and perspectives on everything from OBX Surf Fishing to Outer Banks Weddings!  Whether you are a 50 year vacationer or on the fence about visit #1, you are going to fall in love with all the resources Southern Shores Realty has available for you to plan the best vacation ever!

OBX Love

obx-loveWe love the Outer Banks.  Quite frankly, it’s hard not to.  With that love for the OBX comes fantastic knowledge, advice, information, and entertainment for our visitors!  Our YouTube Channel is full of great video collections like “REAL Outer Banks Vacation Moments”, that highlight pivotal moments and milestones of a true OBX vacation!

So go ahead, click on over and get lost in the Outer Banks content we have for you!


guest-rewardsAs if your vacation isn’t rewarding enough, Southern Shores Realty offers exclusive rewards to our valued guests as a “Thank You” for staying with us.  Now these aren’t your everyday, coupon clippin’ kind of savings.  I’m talking about fantastic area offers and unique deals that we’ve secured just for our visitors.

Ranging from nightly entertainment to outdoor excursions, our Guest Rewards program is designed to offer varied Outer Banks experiences, at incredible discounts, that can be enjoyed all week long!


best-outer-banks-rental-companyIt can’t be all that bad to toot your own horn if it sounds wonderful, right?  Take a look around on various travel websites, review blogs, etc., and see what others are saying about Southern Shores Realty.  We’re the highest rated Outer Banks vacation rental company on Yelp.com with a 4.5/5 star rating, we carry a 4.5/5 average property rating on TripAdvisor.com, and boast a 4.8/5 overall business rating on Google.  Put that all together and you get a remarkable repertoire of reviews from real renters!  (Sorry for alliteration abuse!)

Horn tooting aside, you can rest assured that we operate to the highest standards in regards to our business.  We believe it’s not worth doing something unless you do it right, and customer satisfaction is paramount.  Why not go ahead and start browsing for your next Outer Banks vacation rental home today?

Here’s to Vacation!

Outer Banks Beach Report October 7, 2013

Wow – what a GREAT day to be on the Outer Banks!  The 7th Annual Duck Jazz Festival, 2nd Annual Seafood Festival, and Oceanfront views are on the docket today!

Remember my Jazz Flute Stunt?  If not, check it out here!  -> 2012 Duck Jazz Festival Beach Report.

Moving to The Outer Banks – How To & What to Consider

You would love to move to the Outer Banks!  Who can blame you?

I spent the first 24 years of my life as a resident of the great state of Pennsylvania.  Through those years I spent countless weeks on family vacations to the Outer Banks.  It was inevitable, I fell in love with the area much like everyone else who truly appreciates it.

Visits were paced at around 2 per year, and the relationship transitioned from exciting vacations to a strong emotional bond with the Outer Banks.  I would feel empty inside if I couldn’t get to the beach during the year.  As soon as we would get back from one trip we started planning the next.  This is the Outer Banks “bug,” and once you’ve been bitten, there’s no cure except… moving here.

I always knew deep down inside that one day I would live on the Outer Banks, though I didn’t ever guess it would be at the age of 24 and only 2 years out of college.  However, that leads me right into the valuable tips to relocating to the Outer Banks that I would like to share with you.

Moving to the Outer Banks



It’s one thing to want to move to the Outer Banks.  It’s another to make it happen.  You have to be willing to sacrifice time, money, effort, and all that comes with moving far from home in order to relocate here.  You will face unforeseen tests and trials that all need handled appropriately to make your move a reality.  Be 100% committed that you will be moving to the Outer Banks should the opportunity arise.  The chances for it all to work out smoothly may come at a time that you’re not ready for.  You need to jump on any chance that comes your way and take it as your ticket to happiness here!

Relocate While You are Young(er)



I hate to use the example of my parents, but I will.  For as long as I can remember, it was a true goal for my parents to one day move to the Outer Banks.  They talked about it endlessly with serious considerations and dialog all the time.  The one main hurdle that seemed too difficult to overcome was that of having children established into local schools and social environments.  I really respect their decision to hold off on any major relocation until we all finish college.  My younger brother just entered his sophomore year at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (Go SRU!) and I’m sure they intend to honor their promise.  The moral of the story is if you can relocate to the Outer Banks before you have any major commitments in your life it will be much easier and timelier.  I have to admit, my parents relish the fact that I moved here and they make any excuse they can to visit me AKA “go on vacation!”

How to Find Jobs at the Beach



Finding jobs at the beach is tricky.  Most of us don’t live anywhere near the Outer Banks and have to do most of our job hunting from hundreds of miles away.  One of the best ways I found job openings on the Outer Banks was on the internet through websites like Craigslist.  You must be careful not to fall prey to some of the cold-call jobs on there, but Craigslist is a valuable website that many OBX employers will advertise job openings on.  The Dare County Jobs Board is also a GREAT page to bookmark!  I looked at this page everyday as new jobs are added regularly.  I was also very fortunate that my dad gets the local newspapers delivered to PA.  The Coastland Times has a large section of employment opportunities on the Outer Banks inside of it.  With a combination of internet searches and calling in on print ads, I managed to secure my fantastic career that I have today!  Don’t forget to check out Career opportunities with Southern Shores Realty as well!

Outer Banks Jobs



Here is the tricky part.  Unless you are retired or plan on working from home on the Outer Banks you will need to find a job that matches your skills and background.  As a vacationer here, you should be somewhat familiar with our industries and have a general idea of what jobs are available at the beach.  The truth of the matter is: tourism is king!  A overwhelming majority of the businesses and employment opportunities on the OBX will circle around the tourism industry and include jobs in vacation rentals, restaurants, rental equipment, beach services, etc.  There is a smaller portion of employment in industries like health care, commercial fishing, and other local needs that may align with your background.  The point to take away here is to be flexible with what you are looking for.  Be willing to think about new opportunities that may be just as fulfilling as your current employment.  Also be prepared for changes financially with your Outer Banks job, more often times than not you may have to take a pay cut in order to facilitate your move.  The cost of living relative to local salary scales may make you a little uneasy about doing it, but most who desire to live here make the move to live at the beach, not to make it rich!

How to Find Housing at the Beach



Finding permanent housing or Outer Banks long term rentals can be much like that job hunt.  Most people who are interested in moving to the Outer Banks live in some kind of long term rental for a period of time until they get settled in.  Summer time is the most difficult time to try moving to the Outer Banks as many seasonal workers are in the towns and occupying a majority of the available apartments and homes for rent.  If you can, work on the logistics of your housing at the very same time that you are offered work.  Housing comes and goes fast here so you need to be able to work diligently while keeping as fast as possible!

Outer Banks Apartments



For those moving to the Outer Banks, an apartment rental is the perfect solution to secure housing temporarily while making sure your move is worthwhile.  Most professionally managed OBX long term rentals will require at least a one year lease to be signed.  This secures the rental for you, the landlord, and quite frankly, makes managing them more organized.  There are many benefits to renting from a property manager, like Southern Shores Realty.  Speaking from first-hand experience, having professional managers to get in contact with locally and with dozens of resources and years of experience is quite comforting compared to renting from “some guy” who lives “somewhere” who knows “someone” who can “fix” something… you get the idea!  The cost relative to other markets in the United States is slightly higher for long term rentals on the Outer Banks.  This is mostly driven by the limited supply and enormous demand.  Make sure you get the best for your buck and do consider going to the pros!

I hope that you find this information helpful.  I remember reading as much material as I could on the Internet before my move to the Outer Banks.  Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comment section below.  You have to be brave to relocate to the Outer Banks, especially if you live really far away as many of us vacationers do.



Enjoy your life, you only get one.  Take chances, they don’t come often.  Don’t ever live all your life wondering what could have happened if you made the move!  I took the chance, and now get to look at this view every night!

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A Hotel Room vs. A Vacation Home

Many people, when vacationing on the Outer Banks, are still using hotels and are missing the benefits of staying in one of our many Outer Banks vacation rentals. So we would like to bring to your attention a few things you many not have considered in a vacation home that greatly exceeds the value of a hotel.

Vacation in Comfort

Hotels are neutral space, clean, but empty of personality.  A house or condo will be equally cleaned and cared for, but it’s more of a living space with unique decor and separate rooms, not just a bedroom with a bath.  You can relax in your own room or join the conversation in living, dining, pool, hot tub, and game room areas.  Staying at a vacation home on the Outer Banks means not sharing your hot water with a couple hundred people, not having tiny rooms to relax in, or have the fun that comes with paper-thin walls.

Spend More Money On Having Fun

A vacation home is often less expensive than a hotel, particularly for large families.  You can rent an entire house instead of multiple hotel rooms.  Renting a house or condo is a great way to save money that can be used for other fun things on your vacation.

Increased Convenience

Vacation homes have their own laundry facilities, internet connection, entertainment center, and kitchens. You can enjoy movies at no extra charge.  Many homes include board games, cards, games rooms with pool tables and Foosball tables, and some even have arcades. Vacation homes come with plenty of amenities, many of which include a hot tub and swimming pool.  Also, you have your own parking so there’s no competition for getting the close spots. Vacation homes come with helpful information about the area, including the best local shops, nature spots, and eateries.

Location, Location, Location

The most expensive and exclusive hotels are usually right next to the beach or whatever vacation hotspots you are seeking, but often the more budget, and family friendly, hotels are not in such an ideal location.  However, vacation homes are likely to be right where you want to be and in a residential neighborhood for more of a relaxed feel, especially in Southern Shores and Duck.

Bring the Whole Family.

It can be difficult to find hotels that allow your furry friend to stay with you, but many vacation rental properties are open to pets.  Your pet will feel more comfortable in a house or condo as well, especially compared to a hotel room.  With a vacation home, you don’t have to deal with paper thin walls.

Service That Goes The Extra Mile

Hotels pride themselves on courteous service, but your vacation rental company is more likely to go the extra mile to help you have an unforgettable, worry-free experience.  Vacation homes depend on repeat business, so they want to make sure you’re satisfied.

Support a Small Business

By booking a vacation home, you’re helping finance a “Mom and Pop” operation, rather than a powerful, corporate hotel chain.