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Older People Are Leaving Florida - 02/27/07 05:09 AM
St. Petersburg, Florida, once had the reputation of being a retirement haven - now the average age is 39.3 and it's hard to find a green bench in the city. The distorted clock seems an appropriate age for this shift in demographics. The New York Times analyzed data from the Censur Bureau and determined that people are still moving to Florida in their 60s, but older people are reversing this move. For people 75 and older, more are leaving Florida than coming. The same is true for people over 85 - more are leaving than coming. Much of this is due to aging (11 comments)
Ask not "How Much Will You Pay Me?" - Ask "How Much Do I Pay You?" - 02/24/07 08:26 PM
Not enough agents treat their real estate careers as a business. When they interview with a real estate company, they ask what share of the commission they will get: is it 50%, 70%, 95%? What is included, what are you going to do for me? That's the question asked by an employee, not a business owner. You're an Independent Contractor. That means you're in Business, even if it's a business of one. You ARE a business. Turn the % around - what are you paying the real estate company? 50%, 30%, 5%? What are you getting for that money? It could be training, (29 comments)
Florida Builder Offers College Tuition Incentive - 02/24/07 04:44 PM
We've heard about closing costs, furniture and even cars, but Taylor Woodrow Homes has come up with a new twist: buy a new home in Palma Sola Trace in Bradenton, Florida or a new home in Founders Club in Sarasota, Florida, and Taylor Woodrow will put $11,000 into the Florida Prepaid College Plan for a child of your choice. Students can choose to use this at Florida state universities, community colleges, and a selection of private colleges as well. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area. (6 comments)
Show Home - St. Petersburg, Florida - February 24 to March 18, 2007 - 02/24/07 04:33 PM
Home tours have been a good way to raise money for charities, schools, and the arts. Sometimes it's a single day tour of a group of homes or gardens, sometimes it's a single home that's open for a few weeks. (Our European friends don't always understand that the entrance fee benefits an organization, not the owner of the home.) 125 Lamara Way NE on Snell Isle in St. Petersburg, Florida is a designer show house to benefit the Florida Orchestra. Sponsored by the Florida Orchestra Guild, the home is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday, and noon to (0 comments)
Lockbox Security - 02/24/07 04:17 PM
We think that sellers understand when we explain a lockbox to them and when we talk about its security. Today yet another seller called me about the lockbox. She was at the property, meeting with carpet cleaners, and her key didn't work. Would I please give her the code to the lockbox so she could get in? Sorry, I can't do that. Ethics and rules aside, it's just not possible. You need a keypad as well as an authorization code to beam at the lockbox to allow it to open. So, I'll come with my keypad and open the door. The (2 comments)
Hooker Tea Company, Beach Drive, St Petersburg, Florida - 02/23/07 04:53 PM
Looking for an early morning wake-up cup of tea? a mid-afternoon tea latte cooler? an evening put-me-to-sleep tea? The Hooker Tea Company at 300 Beach Drive NE in downtown St Petersburg, Florida, is the place to find it. Shawn Hooker and his associates not only offer more than 100 varieties of loose tea, they help you choose among them. They offer free internet access for those who want to tea online, and comfortable chairs for conversationalists. They have a wide selection of tea pots, tea cups and assorted tea accessories - many choices for gifts. Green tea, black tea, white tea, red tea (2 comments)
Croatian Naive Art in St. Petersburg, Florida - 02/23/07 04:35 PM
Located across from Straub Park on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, at the base of Parkshore Plaza, is Croatian Naive Art, a gallery and museum collection of Croatian art. Founded and owned by Jim and Donna Nannen. What a wonderful, colorful collection! Sue Cooper-Street is the Museum Director, and is quick to welcome you to the gallery and make you feel at home. Comfy leather furniture encourages you to talk with Sue or Jim about the art and artists - and anything you want to know about St Pete as well. Hungry after seeing all this art? Moon Under Water (1 comments)
Books, Bookworms and Bookaholics - 02/20/07 05:28 AM
Yesterday when I read Jonathan Washburn's blog It's Raining Books, which actually related back to Mark Flanders blog on Let's Have a Contest, my thoughts were on books, rather than contests. I thought about the recent blogs on great books to read and thought, OK, I'll start a book group.
Now, I'm a member of Millionaire Real Estate Book Club, and Realty Blogging Book Club, though I haven't contributed or visited them in a while (more intentions than time), but neither of those fit all these general books I had in mind. Well, rather than just jump in and start something, (12 comments)
When is a bedroom not a bedroom? - 02/19/07 06:20 PM
Here's a room - it's 11 ft x 15 ft, has a proper closet, has sliding glass doors that lead out to a balcony, has all full height walls, has a door that closes properly and shuts off the room for privacy; it isn't a walkthrough so you have to walk through this room to get to another room. It's part of the house - you don't have to go outside or through the garage or through any un-air conditioned space to get here. Is it a bedroom? We have another listing with an 11 x 16 room, with double windows instead (2 comments)
Pinellas County Florida Luxury Market Update January 2007 - 02/18/07 06:19 PM
Pinellas County, Florida has 1,161 properties over $1,000,000 listed in the Multiple Listing System, nearly equally divided between single family homes and condominiums. Just under 10% of these are currently under contract. There is currently a 4 year supply of luxury homes. There are 15 homes listed betwn $5,000,000 and $10,000,000 and two homes are listed over $15,000,000. More details are available on our website, as well as charts comparing the luxury market in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area. (0 comments)
Pinellas County Florida Market Update January 2007 - 02/18/07 06:13 PM
Pinellas County Florida, encompassing Clearwater, Saint Petersburg and 22 other municipalities, including many beach communities, is located in west central Florida, between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and has just over 1,000,000 residents, 87% of them full time.January 2007 statistics have been released by the Pinellas Realtor Organization. Although the Simms Team saw an upturn in showing activity, offers and contracts this month, overall statistics show an opposite trend. January absorption rates have dropped below 2006 levels, with a 4.2% absorption rate for single family homes and a 2.8% absorption rate for condos and townhomes. A more detailed report is (0 comments)
2007 Grand Prix is returning to Saint Petersburg Florida - 02/17/07 04:27 PM
Downtown St Pete will once again be the location for the Grand Prix. The 2007 Honda Grand Prix will take place along the downtown waterfront on the weekend of March 31 - April 1. Roads and part of the Albert Whitted Airport will be blocked off; viewing stands will be erected; floating docks for visiting yachts will be placed in the South Yacht Basin. The American Le Mans Series will be raced on Saturday, March 31 and the IndyCar Series will race on Sunday, April 1st. It will be a loud and exciting time. Some condo owners invite friends to party (2 comments)
Tropicana Field adds curb appeal in St. Petersburg, Florida - 02/17/07 12:49 PM
St. Petersburg, Florida: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have been changing things since Matt Silverman took over. The prior owner of the Devil Rays didn't care much about the public, and they responded in kind. Since ownership changed and Silverman came on the scene, the team and its owners are reaching out to the public. Fans are welcomed and encouraged. Parking fees went away, food prices came down, renovations took place. This year the Devil Rays will be adding a quarter of a million dollars in landscaping near the entrance of Tropicana Field. The improvements will not only be seen up (3 comments)
Book: Exceeding Customer Expectations - 02/17/07 12:39 PM
Often books written about particular companies can be a bit boring to readers outsider that company, but this one was excellent, both for its information about Enterprise Car Rentals and for the customer service philosophy that can be so easily translated to real estate, mortgages, staging, etc. Did you know that Enterprise is now the nation's #1 car rental company?is a privately owner $9 billion global powerhouse?buys more cars every year than any other company in the world?is the largest seller of used cars in the US?has recorded gains each year for the past 50 years?is one of the most successful family owned (8 comments)
Serving multiple generations - 02/17/07 12:05 PM
We take pride, as do most agents, in not only having repeat clients, but in serving multiple generations as well. We have served three generations in some families. I have to commend an agent in Kansas, Judy Johns (who I've known for many years, based on her self promotions at various CRS Sellabrations), who is recognized in the current issue of Today's Buyer's Rep, the REBAC publication, for working with her first fourth-generation buyer from the same family. Congratulations, Judy, for providing that family with such great service! Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches (4 comments)
44% Difference in Price??? - 02/17/07 12:00 PM
Is it the seller or the agent??? Randy Pruthero blogged about a property that was priced $13,000 too high. Here's one that's $110,000 too high. Tami was showing townhomes in a particular St. Petersburg community to clients last week. This particular complex is new, started in 2005 and finished in 2006, with a number of investor purchases. There are currently 23 townhomes on the market plus 2 that are under contract. The two in question are the same floor plan, with 1,481 sq ft and a 2 car garage, both vacant and never occupied. One is priced at $249,900 and the (2 comments)
Kristal's back - 02/16/07 04:29 PM
Congratulations, Kristal, on getting back in #1 position on ActiveRain. One of the nice things about the #1 position is that there is no monopoly on it - Kristal, Tony and I have all been playing with it, and Teri is still in the running, too. Another nice thing is the comraderie - all four of us correspond with each other and encourage each other. ActiveRain is a great community - one of sharing and caring. Thanks Matt, Caleb and Jonathan for setting the right tone. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the (4 comments)
St. Petersburg is City for the Young - 02/16/07 04:24 PM
St. Petersburg, Florida once has a reputation of being a retirement city, one that appealed to old people (I can use that word, because I'm one of them). That's been changing for a long time, as the average age is under 40. Colin Powell's group, America's Promise has just named two Tampa Bay area cities, St. Petersburg and Bradenton, as part of the 100 Best Cities For Young People. The decision was based on five community efforts critical to young people: "caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; safe places in which to learn and grow; a healthy start toward (1 comments)
Tampa Bay new home prices soar - 02/16/07 01:54 PM
While the newspapers are publishing articles of doom and gloom (the Tampa Tribune today talked about the fourth quarter of 2006 and stated that the Tampa Bay area was the worst in Florida), statistics from the Tampa Bay Builders Association reports that even though the market is taking a breather from 2005, prices are still rising. They compare October 2006 to October 2005 (it's in their February 2007 newsletter, but it seems everyone is using slightly old statistics). In Hillsborough County (Tampa) the average price of a new single family home rose 12% from $334,449 to $373,957. In Pasco County (adjacent to the (0 comments)
Ovation groundbreaking - 02/16/07 01:35 PM
Ovation, an exciting luxury condominium in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, held their groundbreaking, appropriately, on Valentine's Day. A tent was erected on the site for an excellent catered breakfast and for congratulatory speeches and recognition of the various participants in the project. Speakers included the development partners: Mike Cheezem from JMC Communities, Ambassador Mel Sembler from The Sembler Company and Jimmy Aviram. Mayor Rick Baker once again proclaimed, "It's a great day in St. Petersburg." Even the weather cooperated, with a balmy, sunny day. After the speeches, officials shovelled some dirt. Following the official ceremony, Sharon Simms also got in her two (0 comments)
Who Said Points Don't Count? - 02/13/07 07:49 AM
Yesterday we received a call from an out of area owner asking us about listing their luxury waterfront condominium here on Tierra Verde. The client found me on ActiveRain and commented that she didn't know what points were, but that I had thousands more than anyone else (obviously, for this area). Did points earn the listing? No, of course not. But they did provide the initial contact point, and open the door for us to discuss our qualifications and the positioning and marketing of her property. The more places people see you, the more places they're able to learn about you, the more (5 comments)
International Attendees - 02/10/07 09:55 AM
Tami and I just finished teaching a CLHMS designation class in Dallas. 6 of the attendees were from outside the United States - five from Mexico and one from Bulgaria. What an opportunity to increase our international understanding! Many parts of the world don't have a Multiple Listing System. It helps to understand how real estate works in those areas, so that you can better understand and educate your international clients. If you know the differences in customs and terminology, you can help them know how to work with you. Many countries are members of ICREA, an international consortium that, among other things, (4 comments)
Attend Classes Outside Your Area - 02/10/07 09:49 AM
One of the purposes of attending classes is to network, and to exchange ideas with others. You have many chances to talk with people from your own area, and are not too likely to get (or send) referrals to your own area. Take a little more time and spend a little more money to take classes out of your area. There are different customs and ways of doing business in different areas - learn from them. Your market is going to change - whether for better or worse - so talk to some people in markets that have already changed. How (0 comments)
Website Content - 02/10/07 09:37 AM
Agents are always short on time, and there are companies everywhere offering to sell us things that save us time. There are many website providers who offer either template sites or features that we can incorporate into our own web sites. School information, weather, comparable city data - now there's emphasis on neighborhood information. Remember what we've heard about duplicate content? If the same content is on multiple sites, that's a negative, not a positive. If we have links to other sites that host the content - the content and hits accrue to their site, not to ours. It's not easy to (15 comments)
The Internet is Changing Real Estate - 02/10/07 08:52 AM
USA Today had a long article yesterday on how the internet is changing real estate. I think they missed the point, though. One of their conclusions was that because the buyers could do so much themselves on the internet, that real estate agents were now just taking care of the paperwork. The article made no mention of the advisory and counselling services that are so very important. Data is certainly available on the internet - in fact, an overwhelming amount of data. The internet buyer, however, is looking for someone to interpret this data, to add knowledge of neighborhoods and trends (1 comments)
Breaking Into the Luxury Market - 02/07/07 11:43 PM
Kathy LeRoy asked me how to learn more about the luxury home market. While she is not living a luxury lifestyle, her son attends a private school and she'd like to market to other parents there. I thought her question was one that many other agents would like to have answered as well, so here's my response: You're off to a good start, Kathy. You don't have to live their lifestyle to be successful in selling luxury real estate. The best recommendation I can give you in learning about the luxury market is to check out the Institute for Luxury Home (25 comments)
Buyers Should Interview Agents - 02/06/07 07:39 AM
Yesterday Rob and I met with a new First Time Homebuyer. She had done a good job preparing herself for the buying process, both in educating herself, and in getting her financial house in order. When I suggested in our phone call that she come in and meet us and discuss the process and her needs, she was very happy to do that - and said during our meeting that she wasn't sure agents would be willing to just talk with her. So much of the buying process is based on a relationship - the buyer is entitled to know specifically who (1 comments)
We're Missing Good Posts - 02/06/07 07:31 AM
Though we have Featured Posts and Associate Lists, we're all missing good posts. When we read the summaries that have been posted, how many of the comment state that they missed at least one of those posts. When someone mentions another post here, or someone who recently joined ActiveRain and posted, how often have we missed it? It's very difficult to find posts you've missed. Some days I get through all the posts on a particular Affiliate list - other days it's limited by my time. When I go through new posts, once I get back to the ones I've previously read, (2 comments)
What correlates to Agent Income? - 02/05/07 06:23 AM
A study that NAR and Laurie Moore-Moore were involved in showed that the two factors most correlated to income and success in real estate were the CRS designation and the use of technology in business. We've had some recent blogs about Sell-a-bration and continuing blogs about technology, and many of us have the CRS and are using technology. I'd have to agree. Many of us have strings of designations after our names, some were very hard to achieve, and others very easy. Many are more specialized than the CRS - whether it be CCIM, CIPS, etc. - but I'd have to agree...if I (6 comments)
The Next Generation - 02/04/07 01:57 PM
Today I received a letter through ActiveRain from a client that I sold a home to in 1989, and for in 1993. His oldest daughter is now in St. Petersburg, preapproved, and ready to buy her first home, and he would like me to help her. It's always rewarding to work with clients again, and their families. Interesting that he contacted me through ActiveRain rather than directly through my website or e-mail. I'll have to ask him about that when I see him next week. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa (3 comments)
Market Update - Bayfront Towers - Beach Drive - Downtown St Petersburg Florida - Pinellas County - 02/03/07 04:56 PM
January 31, 2007 Market Update on Bayfront Towers, 1 Beach Dr SE, St Petersburg Florida - Pinellas County While Bayfront Towers may not be the most beautiful of the downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, condos, there's no questioning the wonderful location. This is a view of the Grand Prix race from one of the tower units. The condominium units vary in size and view. There are currently 18 condos listed in the MLS for sale, ranging from 1,180 sq ft to 3,988 sq ft and ranging in price from $349,000 to $1,650,000. In 2006 the Multiple Listing Service showed 11 closed sales, ranging (0 comments)
The Cloisters, directly across from the Museum of Fine Arts in downtown St Petersburg, Florida, has three units per floor, below the Penthouses. There are currently three units listed in the MLS ranging from 1,719 sq ft to 2,065 sq ft. The prices range from $750,000 to $880,000.
Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area. (0 comments)
Market Update - Parkshore Plaza condominium - Beach Drive - Downtown St Petersburg, Florida - Pinellas County - 02/03/07 04:32 PM
January 31, 2007 Market Update - Parkshore Plaza condominiums - 300 Beach Dr NE - St. Petersburg, Florida - Pinellas County Parkshore Plaza opened in late summer 2006 in a prime location on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Across from the park and the Museum of Fine Arts, it has magnificent views of Vinoy Basin and Tampa Bay. The main tower building has four units per floor, below the penthouses, and there are city homes condos surrounding the tower. There are currently 21 units listed in the MLS, from $800,000 to $3,500,000. Two city homes and one penthouse are under contract. Sales (0 comments)
Market Update - Florencia Condominium - downtown St. Petersburg Florida (Pinellas County) - 02/03/07 04:17 PM
January 31, 2007 - Market Update - Florencia Condominium - downtown St. Petersburg, Florida - Pinellas County The Florencia, at 100 Beach Drive NE in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, rarely has units available for sale. The building looks across the park and marinas out to Tampa Bay. Other than the penthouses, there are three units per floor.
There is currently only one condo unit on the market, which is 3,000 sq ft and is listed for $1,975,000. During 2006, only two condos sold in the Florencia, both just over 2,700 sq ft, for $950,000 and $1,250,000. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in (0 comments)
Market Update - Vinoy Place Condo - St Petersburg Florida - Pinellas County - 02/03/07 03:55 PM
January 31, 2007 - Market Update - Vinoy Place Condo - St. Petersburg, Florida (Pinellas County) Vinoy Place has four towers of condominiums, flanked by townhomes. There are also a few lower level condominiums in Towers 3 and 4. As of January 31, 2007, there are 6 units listed in the Multiple Listing Service. One is a townhouse with 4,326 sq ft listed for $2,990,000. There are two tower units, 3600 sq ft at $2,495,000 and 3,000 sq ft at $1,150,000. In addition, there are three lower units from 1,793 to 1,929 sq ft and ranging in price from $795,000 to $875,000. One (0 comments)
Unlicensed Contractors - 02/02/07 06:54 PM
When we're considering a remodelling project, we often think about licensing - the benefits of a professional license, proper insurance, and workmen's compensation. But what about the times someone comes to your house asking to do a "little" job? Your palm trees need trimming, and it's just too high for you to reach now. Your windows are dirty, and someone is here offering to clean them for you. The young couple looks so nice, and they're really trying to start a business....you've seen this fellow do the trees down the street and he does a really good job.... Don't, don't, don't. If everything (14 comments)
Combine Resort Property and Luxury - 02/02/07 06:42 PM
For those agents planning to attend the NAR Resort Property Symposium in Vail from June 24-26, you have the opportunity to accomplish two goals in one trip - the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing will be offering its CLHMS designation course at the same hotel in Vail from June 27-28. Vail should be a great destination in June, and here's a good reason to extend your stay. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area. (0 comments)
St Petersburg Florida Market on the Upswing - 02/02/07 06:37 PM
The market is improving in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida. Our activity started picking up in mid-December and January has been very busy - lots more showings, offers and contracts. The prices haven't started up again yet, but it's very encouraging to see the stand-off broken and properties going to contract. Most offers are still low in relation to list price, but in most cases these can be negotiated. If you have a non-flexible buyer or seller, this usually doesn't happen. I often tell sellers not to be upset with someone who has written an escrow check and signed an offer - be (0 comments)
Florida Tornadoes - 02/02/07 06:31 PM
Everyone talks about the hurricanes that hit Florida, for which there are generally days of warning. We often have damage from sudden squalls or tornadoes that come out of nowhere. This morning was such an example. I woke to lightning, heavy rain and high winds - which lasted about an hour. Only later in the day did I hear about the tornadoes in other parts of the state, with 19 lives lost. In looking at the photos on the web, most of the damage seemed to be to mobile homes. Only moments from normal living to total devastation. Each day, we have (0 comments)
Wrong Idea About Buyer's Agents - 02/02/07 06:26 PM
Our MLS has places for a listing agent to fill in the commission offered to a buyer's agent, a transaction agent, and a non-representating agent. This morning I saw a new listing that offered a lower commission to a buyer's agent than to a transaction agent - an unusual situation in our market. This evening I happened to be talking to that listing agent and when she was telling me about her new listing, I told her I noticed that she was offering a lower commission to a buyer's agent than to a transaction agent. She proceeded to say that it was (4 comments)
Information on Real Estate, Properties, Traditions, Neighborhoods, Market Activity and other items of interest in the Tampa Bay area (St Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Bradenton) and the Gulf Beaches, Florida.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.