Dean Saunders

Broker, Founder

(863) 648-1528


Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM is owner/broker of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) in Lakeland, Florida.

Since 1985, Dean has specialized in Florida land and conservation easements. He served in the US Senate as Agricultural Liaison, Special Assistant, and Director of External Affairs to US Senator Lawton Chiles, then Governor Chiles (D-FL).

From 1992 to 1996, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where his strong passion for supporting landowner property rights and conserving the integrity of a property’s natural resources culminated in his authorship of groundbreaking conservation legislation.

He comes from an eighth-generation Florida agricultural family, earned a BSA from the University of Florida in Fruit Crops, Food and Resource Economics, and is a recognized Florida land and conservation easement authority.

In 1996, Dean formed the real estate brokerage firm as Saunders Real Estate, LLC and affiliated with the Coldwell Banker Commercial brand in early 2006. This affiliation brought a national and global presence to the firm.

In 2019 Saunders Real Estate, LLC affiliated with SVN Shared Value Network®, a globally recognized commercial real estate brand united by a shared vision of creating value with clients, colleagues and communities.

Dean receives significant recognition for exemplary sales performance from both the CBC affiliate network and regional industry organizations.

• In 2018, he was awarded the APEX Top National Producer Award, being recognized as the highest-producing agent in the country for land sales based on qualifying production volume.
• He has earned the #1 Sales Professional annual recognition in the CBC affiliate network five times, most recently in 2018.
• He led the company to CBC’s highest honor, the Commercial Elite annual award for outstanding company sales performance and customer service 14 times.
• He was recognized as the Florida Realtor® of the Year by the Realtor® Land Institute (RLI).
• In 2003, Saunders was selected by the National Association of Realtor®, along with Alan Greenspan, then four-term chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, as one of the exclusive nine “Notables.” As a Notable, Dean was considered by his peers to be among the influential in real estate nationally.
• He worked on one of the largest land transactions in Florida’s history brokering 80,000 acres in the Florida Panhandle for $565,000,000

Dean serves on the advisory board of the Bergstrom Real Estate School at the University of Florida, where he contributes to the professionalism and education in the real estate industry. Dean is a member Realtor® of the Lakeland Association of Realtors®, among others, including the Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors® and the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of Realtors®.

He is the former chair of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), which oversaw nearly 200,000 real estate licensees in 2001 and is past president of the Florida Chapter of Realtors® Land Institute (RLI). Dean served as Chairman of the Legislative Committee for RLI and on the Board of Directors of RLI. He also served on the Board of Directors for Alico, Inc.

As an industry authority, Dean is published and quoted in a variety of respected journals, such as The Land Report, Florida Investor, Florida Trend, and Florida Forests. He authored the benchmark, award-winning consumer publication, We Create Solutions: A Primer on Conservation Easements, and produces a real estate Florida land conference based upon his innovative work through the Lay of the Land Market Report. The report is the only source for verified Florida land sales and values for specific land property types.

Dean resides in Lakeland, FL with wife, Gina, and their four children and is an avid hunter with numerous trophy mounts. Each year, the Saunders family commissions an original painting to add to The Saunders Collection: Natural Lands of Florida and Agricultural Heritage from well-known Florida wildlife artists.




Agricultural Land
Legacy Ranches, Large Acreage Land
Ranchland, Recreational Land, Pastureland
Citrus Groves
Conservation Easements
Florida Land Values & Verified Sales Analysis
Creator and Publisher of the Lay of the Land Market Report of verified FL land values
Producer of the Lay of the Land Florida Land Conference
Author of We Create Solutions: A Primer on Conservation Easements


• APEX 2018 Top National Producer Award
• 2018 APEX Broker of The Year in the Ag Land Sales – Ranches
• APEX 2018 Largest ALC-to-ALC Transaction Award
• APEX 2018 Top 20 Producer by the Realtors® Land Institute
• CBC - Commercial Elite Office – top 15 Global: 2018-2010; 2008- 2006
• #3 in the Top 5 Sales Professionals – among 3,000 CBC commercial professionals
• CBC - #1 office Florida – 2018-2011, 2008-2006
• The Land Report's America’s Best Brokerages – Best Land Brokers Nationwide – 2018-2010
• Realtors® Land Institute (RLI) APEX Top Twenty Producer Award – 2018, 2017
• The Land Report's Timberland Deal of the Year – 2014
• MerComm, Inc. Marketing Awards – Galaxy Award for 21-page pamphlet “We Create Solutions for Landowners” Conservation Easement, authored by Dean Saunders - 2002
• MerComm, Inc. Marketing Awards – Mercury Award for 21-page pamphlet “We Create Solutions for Landowners” Conservation Easement, authored by Dean Saunders
• CBC - #1 Sales Professional North America – 2018, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006
• CBC - Top 2% – 2016-2006
• CBC - Circle of Distinction Platinum – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006
• CBC - Circle of Distinction Gold – 2013
• CBC - Circle of Distinction Bronze – 2009
• CBC - #1 Sales Professional in the State of Florida – 2016-2015, 2011, 2010, 2008
• CBC - #1 Sales Professional by Specialty – Land – 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008
• CBC - #1 Sales Professional by Specialty – Sales – 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008
• CBC - Top 5 Producers Regionally-South Region – 2007
• FGCAR - Pinnacle Award – #1 Top Producer – National – Land – 2016, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2012, 2007, 2006
• FGCAR - Pinnacle Award – Overall Top Producer – 2014
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – #1 Overall Top Producer -Land – 2016, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2006
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – #1 Overall Top Producer – Polk County – 2016, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – #1 Overall Top Producer by Volume – 2016, 2011
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – Top 10 Producer Overall – Polk County – 2010
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – Top 10 Producers – Land – 2008
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – Top 10 Producer Overall – 2008
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – Most Deals – Polk County – 2006
• CFCAR - Hallmark Award – Top 10 Overall in Sales – 2006
• Realtors® Land Institute - Florida Land Realtor® of the Year – 2013