Tale of Floor Duty in Key West

Real Estate Agent with Preferred Properties Key West

Several years ago I was a Realtor at Prudential Knight and Gardner Realty on Duval Street. I had floor duty that day which meant I was available to meet with potential buyers who would come inside to discuss buying real estate in Key West. I was in my office doing something on my computer when a man in his mid 30s and his father came in to discuss something. I left my office and met with the two in the reception area. The younger man was heavy weight and wore an ill fitting tank top that showed off his root beer belly. His dad sat on the sofa and said nothing.


The tank topped man asked me a question about the stock market.  I said we sell real estate, not stocks. He asked "This is Prudential, isn't it?" "Yes" I replied but added that the Prudential Securities was a totally different company. This discussion went on for a few minutes until he gave up on securities, and then asked me how much his house in Ocala was worth. I asked "where" to which he replied Ocala. I told him he needed to talk to a Realtor in Ocala, that I had no idea what houses are worth in an area that far away. He queried "You are Realtor, aren't you?" I said yes then added I did not know where  in Florida Ocala is located let alone have any idea what houses are worth there. In mind mind's eye I could just see his mobile home rusting in the hot Ocala Florida sun.

Then he asked how much houses in Key West cost. I asked what type of house and in what part of town. "Tell me all" he said. I pressed for more information from him about his needs and price range.  Instead he started a new line of inquiry - "Where on Duval is the all you can eat buffet?" I told him I didn't have any idea. His question explained how he got that root beer belly. He went back to discussing how much houses cost in Key West. He became very frustrated with my lack of knowledge about prices. Finally, he asked in all sincerity, "This is the Key West Indies, isn't it?" With that I said I had work to do, got up, excused myself, and went back to my office.


Shortly thereafter the receptionist thanked the two men for stopping in and then heard the door shut.  When I felt certain they had actually left the office, I went back to the reception area and asked her "Where is the camera?" I was sure I had been punked or that I was on Candid Camera. 

Today I am a Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  I still do floor duty on occasion. I still don't know where Ocala is. Nor care.



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Florida Monroe County Key West
floor duty
gary thomas realtor
key west real estate blog
preferred properties key west
key west indies

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Gary. Big Boy needed to kill some time. Unfortunately, you were the victim! Enjoy your day.

Mar 05, 2019 04:33 AM #3
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

hilarious.  I think that could only happen in the Keys. ha

Mar 05, 2019 12:18 PM #4
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Funnyy and interesting floor duty story  Gary Thomas !  It's been years and years since I've done floor duty but I'm sure I can't top your story with my stories from long ago.

Mar 05, 2019 01:30 PM #5
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Gary - not the most unusual floor duty post but it could easily be in the top ten.

Mar 05, 2019 03:52 PM #6
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I know where Ocala is and you should be grateful that you are in Key West. My sincere apologies to the residents of Ocala.

Mar 05, 2019 06:49 PM #7
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA
DomainRealty.com LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Your story makes me shake my head too Gary and recall a very recent conversation. Last Sunday a guy, who just got off a plane from up north, came to my OH to thaw out (his words). After the walk-through he asked me where he was. My off the cuff answer was 2-1/2 miles from the beach. His reply was that's too far and I'm a renter not a buyer. So what is he really doing at my OH? 

Mar 05, 2019 08:55 PM #8
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Key west is kind of a good place to have any kind of duty, is it not? Interesting stuff!

Mar 05, 2019 09:55 PM #9
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Haha, that was a funny buyer visit. I wonder what ever happened to them.

Mar 06, 2019 03:57 AM #10
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I imagine floor duty in a resort area would bring in all kinds!

Mar 06, 2019 11:35 AM #11
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

My guess is that they came in for the AC while the wives were shopping. I get that occasionally.

Mar 07, 2019 02:51 PM #12
Leo Namiot
Canopy Mortgage - Jacksonville, FL
Outstanding Service & Great Rates

Great story..... I love Key West!

Mar 07, 2019 03:10 PM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gary

This was an entertaining read, but probably not so entertaining when you were experiencing it! I expect anyone who has done floortime has some interesting anecdotes. I was waiting for a good punchline!!


Mar 07, 2019 05:43 PM #14
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Key West is my favorite vacation spot! Although I'm not a fan of the abrupt landing at the airport. Lol.

Mar 07, 2019 05:43 PM #15
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

All I remember about Duval Street is the number of "partying" people crowding the area. Didn't even know there were any Realtor offices there, but then I wasn't looking for real estate or an all you can eat buffet!


Mar 07, 2019 08:28 PM #16
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Your recollection reminds me of how I kept index cards at the front desk which I would use to record details about very potential client I served.

I learned so many things about the people calling like how they would send me on a wild goose chase just trying to give them information on homes they couldn’t remember location, price, style, etc.

They taught me to focus more on what they wanted, then gave them information on potential matches.

I would use my floor time when the phone was not ringing to rotate through the index cards calling those people I initially spoke with, inquiring their status. Eventually some were converted into clients served. Lots needed counsel on cleaning up their credit.

Very rarely was an up call about serving a ready willing able cooperative buyer or seller. The name of the game was converting them into clients over time.

Floor time taught me a lot about endurance patience perseverance pounding those telephone keys in the chicago Southland market place.

Mar 08, 2019 12:39 AM #17
Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

Our location is good and our bathrooms are clean.  We make sales from people stopping in -some to use the bathroom and some to get info on the area.  I make all my agents take 2 sessions of floor time per week.  I think this keeps them grounded and it lets me see how they work with people.  

Mar 08, 2019 04:31 AM #18
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Congrats on the featured post!     Floor time can be a waste or it can pay off.    I can always get other work done while being present "just in case."    To me it's worth it over the long run.  As long as we know how to politely limit our time with certain people 

Mar 08, 2019 10:22 AM #19
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I thought this story was going to have a different ending!  I'm sure you were at least courteous to these people!

Mar 09, 2019 09:49 AM #20
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Gary it takes all types in our line of work. Thanks for sharing.

This made me think of the story I heard early on in my career about not judging the book by its cover in regards to potential clients. Not sure if it is true or just urban legend. The story was about floor duty in the Pacific Northwest, where a roughly dressed man driving a beat up SUV went into an office wanting to buy an island in the San Juan Islands.  The first office agent looked at the man's attire and vehicle, made a judgment that he was financially not able and said sorry can't help you. So this buyer went across the street to another office. The other agent on duty took the man at his word, and helped this man buy an island.  The buyer was Bill Gates.  

Gary, I was kind of hoping this was the direction where your story was headed.

Mar 10, 2019 09:23 AM #21
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
klm Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

You have got to love floor time. I did floor time when I first started, and we would get the same inane questions. One of my favorite questions was, "Can you tell me how much to get into that house on so-and-so street?". I came to realize the callers meant "to rent". I would have to explain the house was only for sale, not for rent. We would go around the merry-go-round a few more times before the caller would finally understand. I would say 30% of the calls went like this.

Mar 19, 2019 03:15 PM #22
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Gary Thomas

Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information