Thursday, March 30, 2017

Are You Stuck in a Real Estate Time Warp?

Evolution is a slow process in any industry and real estate’s technological evolution is no different. For many years while working as the IT Director as well as the technology support manager of the Real Estate business at Re/Max Alliance Group in Sarasota, FL, I worked toward creating an online system that would allow clients to able to sign and initial contact documents to avoid multiple reprinting, faxing, and the time delays associated with all the back and forth. Today, several large organizations have produced web based secure software that allows us to have documents electronically signed via email. Today, Re/Max Alliance Group uses such a software package.

I was in the computer world as a programmer before there were hard drives and ‘mice’ and know better than most that technology is a catalyst for change in most industries.  The real estate industry, in particular, has undergone major changes over the past 10 or more years and shows no signs of slowing down. While the basics of selling real estate haven’t changed, the tools used to do it have. Because of these tools, you and I can access virtually anything, or anyone, from a smart phone or tablet. I can complete paperless transactions from wherever I am. Gone are the days of being tied to an office or desk. Gone are the traditional ways of buying and selling property involving a land line and a fax machine.

Using this technology, I am able to get all parts of a purchase contract negotiated between a seller in Sarasota, FL and a buyer in, for example, Bombay India in 1 day! Without this system, that would have required hundreds of dollars in FedEx fees and several days, to say nothing about consuming a sizable chunk of a tree!

If you are stuck in a time warp and are leery of doing transactions online, worry not! The idea of paperless real estate transaction technology is obviously not brand new. It has been in the industry for a decade following the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act. Both acts were passed to ensure that paperless real estate transactions signed electronically were legally binding. I will go into this further in a future Blog.

In spite of all this technology, the real transaction happens because of the personal communication between you and your Realtor. If you have questions about using these services feel free to call me at 941-315-1185. And...if you are looking to buy or sell your home in Sarasota, FL, my hometown, definitely call me!

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Sarasota Experience!

One of the slogans for Re/Max is: “It’s the Experience®” and this is very important on a couple of levels. When looking for the best Real Estate agent to help you buy or sell a home in Sarasota, Florida, most people are interested (or should be!) in the background and experience of the person they are choosing for one of the most important purchases they will have. So here’s a little something about me!

As the former Technology Director for a decade at RE/MAX Alliance Group and a lifelong Sarasota resident, I combined my real estate technical background, thirty-year construction experience and knowledge of Sarasota to help you buy and sell homes in my hometown. To do the best job possible, I joined RE/MAX Alliance Group. As a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), a Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS) as well as Residential Construction Certified (RCC), I can assist you in making an informed decision.

The second level of “It’s the Experience” is YOUR experience in the buying or selling process. I always endeavor to achieve the following criteria for my clients:

  • Make it a learning experience - from the very beginning, I always educate my clients about the process, such as pre-qualification for financing, the difference between single family homes, condos and villas, types of insurance needed, especially for flood areas and in general, learning about the Sarasota experience.
  • The communication experience - I keep you informed every step of the way and am always available for questions and assistance with the details. Good communication is essential!
  • Ensure a smooth experience - I can assist with helping you choose and manage home inspection services, mortgage, title and closing services, insurance companies, moving services, pest control and all the things necessary to make your transition smooth.
  • Make it fun experience - Yes, it can be! I am always happy to give my clients the grand tour of Sarasota and all the fun things there are to do here.
  • And ultimately, I ensure a great experience in achieving your goal and ‘checking all the boxes’ when buying or selling your home. I don't believe it's my function to SELL you the home I think you need - it is to HELP you find and identify just the right home for YOU.

I have been very successful buying and selling Sarasota Real Estate in Sarasota; I have achieved this by providing excellent service for more than ten years. I am committed to my community and have a deep personal interest in the clients I serve. If you are searching for real estate in Sarasota, Florida, I look forward to showing you the town I know - see Sarasota through my eyes and trust me to help you find the opportunity of a lifetime in the wonderful hometown I have known and loved for decades. To learn more about me, visit my website

Friday, March 3, 2017

Sarasota’s Skyline - Cranes in Action!

It is easy to derive a sense of well-being from the abundance of stunning views in downtown Sarasota. From the azure waters of the Sarasota Bay, to the perfectly poised architecture of the John Ringling Bridge and the eclectic, yet charming design composition of our lovely little city. One addition to the skyline of downtown has added excitement and optimism for many, in the business sector at least, – cranes – and not Sandhill Cranes. Yay! 

Those capricious cranes, so elusive during the recession, have reappeared. There’s a flock of them now with their wondrously long necks causing a lot of ruckus in the Sarasota Downtown area. The tower cranes can be seen in almost every direction in downtown Sarasota, lifting concrete forms and other materials around construction sites and swinging them into place with the stately movements of a giraffe. It's fascinating to watch!

Dozens of projects, some spanning the maximum 18 stories, will permanently change the appearance of the Sarasota skyline, a post-recession surge of building fueled by pent-up demand and confidence in the future. The city has issued building permits valued at more than $1 billion in the past three years. While that total include all types of construction, such as repairs and renovations, the new projects are the top-dollar draws. In the 2016 fiscal year alone, the city processed $442 million worth of permits.

Consider that our country is growing by 3.5 million people a year. That means in 15-years we’re going to have 52.5 million more people living amongst us. And here are more numbers from around the southeast to think about:

  • Florida: Current population of just under 20 million people is expected grow to 25.5 million people by 2030, a 27.5 % increase
  • Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg: Current population is 2.2 million and expected to grow to just under 3 million by 2030, a 31% increase
  • Sarasota County: Current population of nearly 400,000 residents is expected to continue to grow.

As a lifetime Sarasota resident, I have seen many changes to our skyline, both good and bad. However, I remind myself that today’s construction is for tomorrow’s population, and the populace is moving into our urban core at a quick pace. Our city is growing vertically. This is driving the need for more high-density housing. When I first started as a Realtor almost 10 years ago, there was nary a crane to be seen in downtown Sarasota and a lot of concern about the economy…which makes cranes a magnificent sight to behold these days, after years of worry that they might become extinct. And in case you’re wondering –state bird of Florida is the Northern Mockingbird… unless you’re a developer or Realtor in Sarasota! 

If you are looking to buy a home in my hometown of Sarasota, call me at Re/Max Alliance Group and I will share my memories of the growth of our beautiful skyline and find a great home for you Sarasota's paradise!

Sources and Credits: Sarasota Herald Tribune, Allen Morris, SVN Commercial Advisory Group