Dec. 28, 2008

Pimping Out Buyers For a Hot Cup of Joe

Image courtesy Jeffrey Guterman

When The Real Estate Market Gets Better

There are thousands of economists and analysts that are trying to predict when the economy and when the Florida real estate market is going to get better. They all think they have the answer. In actuality, they’d bet better off shaking a magic eight ball. I have the answer for you. I can’t give you a date but I can give you a sign.

Since I’ve been selling Bonita Springs Florida real estate for about a decade I’ve seen and learned a lot. I was here during the beginning of a lot of development. I was just getting in the business when the mega builders showed up and turned our city from a tomato patch to the golf course capital of the world.

When we were a tomato patch the windows to restaurants were boarded up over the summer. Hitch hiking was semi-safe since everyone was a retiree. If you hitched you were usually picked up in a powder blue Cadillac by a gentleman with white hair and his wife in the passenger seat. They were usually on their way to get groceries.

The appeal to being a coastal town almost untouched by development was discovered and the express train to land clearing was headed our way.

Centex showed up and built in West Bay Club, Shadow Wood and Palmira, Pulte showed up and built in Spring Run and Copperleaf under the watch of Bonita Bay Group. WCI built anything with the name Pelican in it, Pelican Landing, Pelican Sound, Pelican Preserve, Pelican Marsh and Pelican Bay.

The developers all had a common dating technique. It was almost like having a “line” to pick up women in a bar. Developers loved the real estate agents and courted them by showering them with gifts of nifty promotional items, luncheons, drawings, give-aways and sales incentives. Why would they do that? Well, real estate agents work with buyers. Real estate agents also list and sell homes of people who want to buy newer, bigger, better or smaller if they’re downsizing. They wanted us to pimp out our customers and get them to buy their product.

Back in the day, those regular sales meetings that nearly every real estate agency holds was usually highlighted by a catered breakfast sponsored by a local development and national builder. Ah, I remember it well.

Flash forward about five years from the hay day: This fall I attended the National Association of Realtors convention in November. While spending time with a couple of Denver real estate brokers someone said, “I wonder how we’ll know when the market is getting better”.

Coffee cups. We’ll start getting coffee cups again. When the developers need us again they’ll start passing out their branded mugs for Joe and I’ll be rolling in style again. Currently, I’m down to a Jack Parker Homes mug. My closer at First American Title gave me a new one about a month ago but I accidentally broke the handle off of it, immediately. Bummer dude.

There you have it. The secret to the real estate market recovery is *coffee cups*. When the big boys start peddling their coffee cups things will be looking up.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Larry and Kristal for the Trent Realty Coffee Cup they gave to me, scored from NAR 2008. I now have two cups that are real estate related.

Al Gorithm felt sorry for me when I told him the story of my dwindling coffee cups so he ordered me an official Warren Miller coffee cup that I got last week.

The time space continuum is broken. Warren Miller has just proven that more money can be made skiing than in real estate.

If you are a builder or developer taking pity on me, send a coffee cup not condolences.

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