Office: (843) 785-7215  Fax: (843) 781-6723  Cell: (843) 384-8252  E-mail:

Tom Tolpa, Founder and President of The Ocean Broker Real Estate Company has been a fixture in the Hilton Head Island Real Estate Community since 1974. He has personally sold a half a billion dollars' worth of Hilton Head Island real estate, including more oceanfront homes, lots, and villas than any other Island real estate agent.

Tom came to the Island in 1973 to escape the cold winters of Upstate New York and enjoy a warm golf and beach haven. A scratch golfer in high school and college, he comes from a family of six professional golfers; his uncle Ted Kroll scored eight wins on the PGA tour in the 1950's and 1960's and was top money winner in 1956. Tom achieved that level of excellence in his real estate career on Hilton Head Island and is recognized by the Island real estate community as the authority on oceanfront.

Tom’s background is in computer/scientific sales. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and he brings that same technical expertise and detailed approach to the business of Hilton Head Island real estate, a strategy that has paid handsome dividends for the clients he represents. Some of the island-wide record sales that Tom Tolpa/The Ocean Broker has produced are:

1977 – First oceanfront lot $100,000+
1981 – First oceanfront lot $500,000+
1990 – First oceanfront lot $1,000,000+
1993 – First oceanfront lot $3,000,000+
2001 – First oceanfront lot $4,000,000+
2002 – First oceanfront lot $5,000,000+
2006 – Highest ever sale $9,200,000+

As founder and president of The Ocean Broker Real Estate Company, Tom is committed to providing excellence in all aspects of the Hilton Head Island experience.



Office: (843) 785-7215  Fax: (843) 781-6723 Cell: (843) 304-2530  E-mail:

Once you meet Barbara and get to know her, you imediately realize that she is proud of her Southern heritage and proud that she has called the Lowcountry her home for more than 32 years. Born in Nashville and raised in Chattanooga, she graduated from Girls’ Preparatory School. She then went on to the University of Virginia and graduated with honors and a Bachelor's degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt.

She raised two daughters on Hilton Head and taught at their school, Hilton Head Prep, for 16 years, establishing many long-lasting relationships on the island. Her husband, William Byrd, is an acclaimed builder on the Island, an asset that has been very beneficial in many of her successful transactions. As a long-time resident in many different gated communities on the Island—including Sea Pines, Port Royal, and Wexford, where she currently lives—Barbara is uniquely qualified to sell real estate.

At the core of Barbara’s business philosophy is expertise, attention to detail, commitment to professionalism and service, and dedication to following up with clients. Her sincere approach to building long-term relationships and bringing added value to every transaction has made her a very successful residential real estate expert, resulting in multi-millions of dollars in closed transactions. “I provide the most comprehensive level of buyer and seller services in a true Southern style, where the truth gets told," she says. "I sincerely believe that direct and honest communication is the basis for any successful business relationship.” 

Barbara is a member of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and the Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island. She was awarded the Distinguished Sales Award and continues to be a top producing realtor. She is a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head and Hilton Head Heroes; her hobbies include tennis, golf, and cycling.



Office: (843) 785-7215  Fax: (843) 781-6723  Cell: (843)-384-2888  E-mail:

Born in Bergen County, New Jersey and raised in New Canaan, Connecticut, Mark is a proud native of the New York Tri-State area.

After graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor's degree in English, Mark worked his way up from sales to management positions at ChemPoint, where he helped the technology-savvy chemical distributor grow from $48 million to $325 million in 11 years. His various roles included managing multiple sales teams to hit budget expectations, driving the marketing plans of multi-million dollar product lines, developing new business, and representing top customers.

Mark grew an appreciation for the Lowcountry through regular visits over 15 years to see his wife's family, which inspired him to work with his father-in-law, Tom Tolpa, at The Ocean Broker. His curiosity for understanding client needs, creative marketing ideas, and positive enthusiasm make him a welcome addition to the company. Backed up by The Ocean Broker's 40 years of success, his new outlook offers a breath of fresh air to the buying and selling process. When he's not at work, Mark is playing jazz guitar, reading mysteries, or taking care of his two daughters, Elvie and Iris, at his home in Old Town Bluffton.