Tom Tolpa - hilton head realtor

Tom Tolpa

Real Estate Agent


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.

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.

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+

What Tom's Clients Are Saying

"Tom has helped us with five houses in Sea Pines in the 11 years we have known him. Each transaction has gone smoothly and his office is always on top of the details and at the forefront of any issues that may arise. His honest approach to both buying and selling in that market is refreshing and makes for fact-based decisions."


"Our experience with Tom Tolpa dates back to 1988 when he served as our agent in buying our first house in Sea Pines, and again in 1996 and 1997 when we bought our current home and sold the first one. He had been recommended by friends in Asheville at my workplace who had bought their Sea Pines properties through Tom, characterizing him as "a no frills professional who really knows the market inside-out.

"The outstanding strengths of Tom and his organization are, first, their level of integrity and trustworthiness. Tom's honesty, forthrightness and aversion to either unrealistic promises to sellers or pressure selling tactics with buyers demonstrate that serving the best interests of his clients is his overriding priority.

"The second strength is experience, as Tom has been selling high-end Sea Pines properties since the 70's, knows this market probably better than anyone on the Island, and can point to the long list of multiple transaction clients as proof of his clients level of satisfaction.

"Finally, it has been our experience that Tom is one of the easiest people to work with, and when we have changed direction on several occasions, Tom has been right with us, honoring our decisions and seeking to adjust his efforts to meet our new needs, or simply to sit tight and wait until we figure out what we really want.

"We have recommended Tom to many friends over the years and have never found myself in the position of apologizing."

Tommy & Gene Arnold

"For quite some time, we'd been looking to purchase a condo in Hilton Head that we could use for our family vacations. We fortunately met up with Tom Tolpa to help us in our real estate search. Tom has been on HHI for more than 20 years and knows the island inside and out. He was patient with us and listened to us asking us questions about what we would want for our place. Because he knows the area so well, he was able to make several suggestions to get us started. It wasn't long, I think a month or so, before we found the perfect place.

"While we didn't start out looking for a broker who'd been on the island for a couple of decades, we highly recommend it now to others who might be looking for a place. Experience trumps education."

Ivory King