Illustrated by James H. Sager
It’s early in the morning, yet the streets are already lined with a kaleidoscopic array of lawn chairs even though the Venice Boat Parade of Lights is still days away. When did these portable recliners appear? And who set them up— midnight elves working overtime? I find it quite amazing that we are still living in a day and age where it is possible to leave a brand new $20.00 beach chair unattended for days on end without having to worry about theft and molestation. Is it our quaint downtown atmosphere and relaxed Florida attitude that brings out the best in people? Or is it the amenable holiday spirit that keeps the miscreants in check? It would be interesting to know how many folding chairs and blankets actually disappear prior to the event’s beginning. If I had to guess—according to the abundant numbers out there—not many. This large-scale small town phenomenon makes me oddly proud of the city I live in and provides hope for a future that seems to be much brighter than many might anticipate.
Illustration by James Sager
Let’s start this entry with a one-question quiz: Whatever could possibly prompt herds of Floridians and flocks of snowbirds alike to leave the comfort of their pillow top mattresses at 7AM on a rather chilly Saturday morning? If you are struggling to find a plausible answer, let me fill you in: yard, garage, estate, and rummage sales. Now is the time of the year when hoards of local residents are out in full swing hoping to discover timeless treasures, unique artifacts, and gently used bargains. Who among us isn’t tempted to make a lowball offer on an old oil painting bearing a Van Gogh-like signature in the lower right hand corner? Or what about that designer handbag in perfect condition, it seems to be ridiculously underpriced! And look over there—isn’t that the pink feather boa worn by that guy who recently sold his bay front mansion?
Among these enchanting finds you can often stumble across one or another open house and/or discover a new and unfamiliar neighborhood. Combining one’s love for bargain hunting with an explorative neighborhood excursion is an excellent strategy for anyone looking to expand his or her knowledge of the area. As an added bonus, many of the sales are conducted by charitable organizations and churches in order to raise funds—a great way to support the local community! So what are you waiting for? Next Saturday morning coax a companionable Realtor friend into joining you on a voyage par excellence- you will be amazed what you can discover!
Upcoming sales in Venice, Florida: http://www.yardsalesearch.com/garage-sales-venice-fl.html
Illustration by James H. Sager
How can we integrate hip and popular social media tools with long-established but proven real-estate marketing techniques? Are these two nemeses the notorious apples and oranges? If so, can they then be squeezed into a rich and succulent juicy mixture in order to save them from fruitless isolation?
Social media can no longer be viewed as just a passing fad; like it or not—it’s here to stay, in one form or another. Therefore it’s imperative that we embrace its quirkiness and use it to our advantage. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Yelp, and Mobile Apps transcend the boundaries of classic sales tactics and offer an unprecedented opportunity for growth and development. These interactive tools not only allow us to collaborate through synchronous and asynchronous means of communication but also teach us to be concise and responsive. The invigorating power of the public forum forces us to become better agents; after all, who doesn’t love those “likes” and passionately crave encouraging affirmative feedback?
While certain applications can surely assist us in managing and lightening our workload, they cannot and never will be a substitute for individual, face-to-face client interaction. A cordial lunch with a customer will go a long way— it might even stretch beyond the boundaries of a casual business-centric encounter and become a long lasting friendship. The same can rarely be said for an incidental tweet or a random Facebook comment.
Once we come to terms with the fact that social media tools are a supplement rather than a surrogate pertaining to our professional conduct, we can then deliberately initiate a blog, freely share our listings, effortlessly create documents in the cloud, and instantaneously respond to our clients’ wishes and concerns—the possibilities are endless. So, the answer is yes—apples and oranges make a perfectly fine cocktail, ready to be spiked with our very own spirits
Most realtors are social folk; we love happy hours, embrace impromptu get-togethers, and welcome each and every opportunity to mingle and exchange information. The topics during these lively conversations can range from the mundane “when will Microsoft 8 be compatible with the multiple listing service” to the bizarre “he opened the door and there he was, draped only in a pink feather boa…”
In spite of competition from more “interesting” subjects, the number one question these days is “how is the market?” The answer to this sometimes complex and tricky inquiry springs readily to mind and rolls off the tongue quite easily lately: “Not bad at all.” The overall consensus seems to be that homes in Venice are in high demand, which is evident by an influx of ready, willing, and able buyers. Realtors are out and about, setting up appointments, showing homes, and making deals— less time for socializing, but first things first.
I knew things were changing when my Canadian friends reported on the latest upsurge in the notorious “How To Invest In Florida Real Estate” seminars taking place throughout the provinces. While the National Association of Realtors recently reported that nationwide “existing-home sales declined modestly, but inventory continued to tighten and the national median home price recorded its seventh back-to-back monthly increase from a year earlier,” our local market seems to rally across the board.
Why is that, you might ask? In my humble non-economist but out-there-in-the-field based opinion it means that Venice continues to be a much sought-after place to live, love, and cherish. Those who already call this little piece of paradise home are not the only ones who favor its quaint downtown area, world-class beaches, active art and entertainment scene, and its many refreshing happy hour opportunities.