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Tired of hoping an Internet lead will turn into a buyer?

Meet Buyers Faster Make Sales Now

df Meet Buyers today.

Downing-Frye has 1,000+ Listings and Numerous Open House Opportunities. Meet Buyers face-to-face – TODAY.

Discover the Downing-Frye Difference Call us today to make a difference in your career. Opportunities are waiting. For a confidential discussion please call: Naples:

Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs: Shawn Strodoski, Recruiting Manager (239) 330-0845 Shawn@DFryeRealty.com www.JoinDFR.com

Bonita Springs:

OPEN HOUSES Mike Hughes, Vice President (239) 398-7572 MHughes@DFryeRealty.com


Jerry Murphy, Mgr. Bonita Springs (239) 877-2002 JMurphy@DFryeRealty.com

64,000+ CLOSINGS SINCE 2000.

O F F I C E S : 8950 Fontana Del Sol Way #100, Naples, FL 34109 | 3620 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, FL 34103 27399 Riverview Center Blvd. #101, Bonita Springs, FL 34134 | 719 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145

Table of LETTER FROM THE Contents PRESIDENT 4 MLS FAQ 6 FL Amendment 5 8 B.E.S.T Designation 10 Q3 Market Stats 11-12 Voting History 12-13 Home Sweet Florida:

Homestead’s Beautiful Benefits Part 1: Initial Qualifications for Homestead

15-16 Social Media Marketing 101

18 Realtor® Rant 20 How to Vote 23 Amendment 6

Greetings Members! It seems like the only thing hotter than the Florida sun right now is the SWFL market and our agents have been busy making up for lost sales in March/April. It’s impressive, especially during this time of year which is typically considered to be the “slow” period for our market but we have been steadily bleeding inventory. The Bonita Springs-Estero area alone is showing an estimated 3.6 months of supply which is the lowest it’s been since August 2015 (Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself on Market stats). If you have a friend or family member that has been waiting for that “right time to sell” – You may want to give them a call. Tis’ the season for staying off social media and loving your friends and family unconditionally. We are coming up on the 2020 U.S. Election and during these times it can be nerve-wracking or upsetting to many, but it’s important to be involved now and have your voice heard. “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate” (Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President). For this reason, I urge every Realtor member to go out and vote for this election but don’t stop there! Local and state elections are important too! Time and time again we see many issues come around that affect our industry and you owe it to yourself to get your voice heard. Go out and vote! Lastly, I wanted to mention that we’ve been hearing agents express more and more frustration when dealing with other Realtors in the last few months. I know it has been a hard year for many of us, but it is important to remember that as Realtors we are here to help make our client’s biggest financial decision and part of that process is working with other agents and being available. Let’s all make sure we are being the best Realtors we can be and if you see someone struggling or having a hard time let us nicely nudge them and remind them of how we should hold ourselves professionally. I wish you all the best and hope that everyone has a successful rest of the year!’

Dena Wilcoxen

Bonita Springs-Estero REALTORS® President 2020-2021 ABR, GRI

REALTOR® Review Committee: Commitee Chair: Ned Hale, Brent Greer, Kevin Weinkauff

For magazine advertising opportunities please email Kevin@BonitaEsteroRealtors.com

Secretary President Dena Wilcoxen Dave Jeronimus

Treasurer DeAnn Suchy

Director Jerry Murphy

Director Hunter Habib

Director Chris Blondin

Director Past President Director Mark Ledbetter Ursula Weinkauff Patrick McGuire

Director Fawn Estes

Director Angie Parker

Director Adam Ruud

‘Meet the Directors’ Jerry Murphy, Broker of Downing-Frye Realty Inc. How Long Have You Been a Licensed Realtor®?

I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in New Jersey since 1978 and a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida since 2009. I have always participated in Real Estate Board activities both in New Jersey and Florida. Shortly after I became the Managing Broker for Downing Frye’s Bonita Springs office I returned this company to its membership at BER.

What Made You Decide to Dedicate Your Time to BER?

It was important to me that I became involved with our local board to contribute and offer my many years of experience. Previously when I was District Manager and Managing Broker for Coldwell Banker in Naples I was a member of NABOR and served on several committees including Media and Arbitration.

What Do You Want to Accomplish as a BOD Member?

I want to continue to help our organization stay a recognized and valued real estate source to our members, the public, and our community.

Patrick Mcguire, REALTOR® of RealtyQuest Inc. How Long Have You Been a Licensed Realtor®? 4 years What Made You Decide to Dedicate Your Time to BER?

I strive to be a person of service to others and serving at BER has been very educational and rewarding.

What Do You Want to Accomplish as a BOD Member?

I want to help our association improve and grow responsibly, focusing on member services, safety, and education. I also want to make sure our Realtors and the community we serve have a political voice locally, at the state level, and nationally.

Update Residential Comp Sold Input, “Add a Comp”, feature into Matrix. Found under the “Add New Listing” feature from the Input Tab

This new Input feature will allow agents to enter off-market sales into the MLS for Comparable purposes. The required fields for Input have been significantly reduced from the Residential Listing Input but the layout of the Input mirrors that of a Residential Listing Input with the addition of an “Optional Field” tab that allows users to add any additional information that is not required. This Input is exclusively for closed sales that were not listed in the MLS at the time of contract/closing. Examples are Pre-Construction, Under Construction, New Construction, For Sale by Owner (FSBO), and Office Exclusives. Below are the new rules regarding Residential Comp Sold Input, “Add a Comp”: 1. Residential Comp Sold Input is for Residential Properties only 2. Brokers, Office Administrators, and MLS Staff are the only ones that can close a Residential Comp Sold Input/ Add a Comp. Agents may enter all of the required and optional field data and upload the photo(s) but will not be able to mark it Closed/Sold. 3. Brokers and Office Administrators should have the following items on file before closing Residential Comp Sold Input/Add a Comp. a. Copy of the fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement b. Copy of the HUD/Closing Statement c. One Property Specific Photo 4. Only sales that occurred on or after January 1, 2020, may be entered into the Residential Comp Sold Input/ Add a Comp. The system will not accept any sales before January 1, 2020. Please join us for one of our upcoming Residential Comp Sold “Add a Comp” Input classes to learn more about how this new feature works. For more info see our video on the topic! Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie68vT5vkjQ&feature=youtu.be

Michael Michetti

Joshua Rudnick

James “Jay� Caudill

Big Firm Quality, Small Town Service. PH: 239.325.4070 | Woods, Weidenmiller, Michetti & Rudnick, LLP a Florida Professional Limited Liability Partnership The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide to hire an attorney be

Amendment 5 Proposed “Common-Sense” Change to Florida Homestead Portability By Samuel Colburn, Esq. – Attorney with Woods Weidenmiller Michetti & Rudnick, LLP

Florida Homestead is one of the most prevalent and

documented protections of home ownership in the state of Florida, bringing with it a variety of benefits. These benefits and protections, while not automatic, can be easily obtained. Even though one’s property will inevitably remain subject to Florida real property taxes, the Florida homestead tax exemption can provide for additional benefits, including but not limited to: •A reduction of the taxable value of the property by at least $25,000.00. •A three percent (3%), or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less, cap on the valuation of homes which receive the homestead exemption i.e. “Save Our Homes” – See Florida Statute § 193.155. BUT… what happens when you decide to sell your current “homesteaded” property? How can you ensure that the new property you are buying retains these “homestead” benefits? Do these benefits automatically transfer to your new homestead property? And how long do you have to accomplish this? It is likely that you are eligible to transfer, or “port,” this benefit to your new residence, hence the term “Portability”. However, this is not an automatic right and requires swift action on the part of the homeowner to ensure they do not lose the benefit of the homestead exemption. Portability allows eligible Florida homestead owners to transfer their benefits from their old homestead to a new homestead. The current “Save Our Homes Amendment” was passed back in 1992 and mandates that a homestead exemption for the new homestead must be applied for within two years of January 1st of the year in which the previous homestead property was sold. However, problems can arise. For example, when someone sells their property towards the end of the year and builds a home that is not to be completed prior to January 1 of the following year. In this particular scenario, it appears that two years may not necessarily add up to actually two years. This exact dilemma was posed by Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty and serves as the basis for Florida Amendment 5, or the Florida Extend “Save Our Homes” Portability Period Amendment. If passed, Amendment 5 will extend the Portability period from two years to three years. Amendment

5 is set to be on the ballot in Florida when voters hit the booths on November 3, 2020. Amendment 5 makes logical sense. When passing the 1992 amendment, it is reasonable to assume voters intended for every eligible homeowner to be provided two full years to meet such portability requirements. Extending the time period by an additional year will provide every homeowner the benefit of what the voters intended in the 1992 amendment. Amendment 5 also appears to make economic sense, as a reduction in local property taxes is projected by approximately $1.8 million beginning in fiscal year 2021-22 and eventually projected to over $10 million annually. In short, there does not appear to be much reason to oppose Amendment 5 and it seems to make common sense. By voting “yes” for Amendment 5, voters of 2020 will essentially be clarifying what the voters of 1992 intended and that is to afford all eligible Florida property homeowners ample opportunity to ensure that the rights afforded under Article VII of the Florida Constitution equally apply across the board.

Samuel Colburn Sam Colburn is an attorney at the firm of Woods, Weidenmiller, Michetti & Rudnick, LLP and practices firm’s real estate deparment. Michael Michetti is the founder of the firm’s real estate department and serves as General Counsel to B.E.R

ealtor® Spotlight


“Amy” Amarilys Alvarez 2020 WCR Local President Elect/R.A.I.N Volunteer

What organization do you work with?

Amy Alvarez is serving as 2020 President Elect for the Women's Council of Realtors® Bonita Springs Estero Network.

What does Women’s Council of Realtors® do?

Women’s Council of Realtors® is a network of successful Realtors®, advancing women as business leaders in the industry and in the communities we serve. (But, don’t let the name mislead you – We are inclusive and value our Male counterparts.) The Women's Council of Realtors®provides an environment in which members support each other and work together to achieve personal growth and business success. Members are career-minded professionals who operate based on a shared value system of integrity and respect and a commitment to excellence and continuous learning and development.

What recommendations do you have for our readers?

I would strongly recommend getting involved and giving back. When I joined the Women's Council of Realtors® as a newly licensed agent, I saw it strictly as a pathway to learning. To my surprise, I found myself in an inclusive environment where I felt uplifted and empowered, ready to face the many challenges ahead. Because real estate is a constantly changing entity, I do not by any means profess to know everything. But what I do know is this: I am passionate about us Realtors collaborating to raise the bar and lift our profession to a higher standard in the eyes of our community.

Why did you become a Realtor®?

My decision to become a Realtors® was the result of a conversation I had several years ago with a broker friend of mine from New York. I was telling him about the residential rental properties I had purchased shortly after moving to Florida and my plan to personally manage them. I had made it a priority to take pride in my properties and make sure I had happy and satisfied tenants. When my friend asked about my experience in purchasing my first home, I remembered how grateful I was to have worked with an agent who really cared. That got me thinking that maybe I could be that kind of Realtor - one with the passion and commitment to provide my customers with the best possible representation. So I decided to go for it, and one week later I was sitting in a classroom taking the pre-licensing course!

*Amy Donates a portion of each sale to "R.A.I.N" a no-kill animal rescue organization dedicated to reducing the number of pets in need through public education and spay/neuter of all of our animals.

BSER Proudly Presents:

The Local Designation for the Local Expert! • • • •

6 Handpicked Essential Classes That Will Make You a More Knowledgeable Agent 2 Historic Walks of Bonita Springs and Estero 2 FREE Required License Renewal Classes (LIMITED TIME ONLY!) 1 Stop for Your 14-Hour License Renewal

• 1 Unbeatable Price... B.E.S.T Class Options (Choose 4) • Answering Objections: Provide tools necessary to achieve sales goals


Draw on the knowledge gained in this course to help sellers and buyers Recognize why objections are important to the sales process

Develop an effective communication skill set Describe the communication process

Understand the steps of the sales cycle Discover the importance of the sales cycle in your success Understand the importance of a positive self-image with your customers

Plan and execute an advertising/marketing campaign Develop a plan to maintain a positive working relationship with customers Identify the best marketing method for individual properties

Identify the seller’s needs, concerns and motives for selling Develop the skills necessary to create a market analysis and establish a list price

Qualifying prospects Adhering to the CAN-SPAM ACT of 2003

• Communication Skills Effectively respond to the needs of buyers and sellers • Elements of Successful Selling

• Marketing the Property and Servicing the Seller

• Preperation and Presentation Identify the content and structure of a listing presentation • Prospecting for the Qualifying Buyers Identify sources of prospects


Must take 4 out of 6 classes and complete 1 historic walk (Exceptions will be provided for those who need it) Each class is 2 hours and counts as 2 credit hours towards your license renewal. Along with those requirements, you will be able to take our Code of Ethics *3CE and Core Law *3CE class for free to complete your full 14 hours. The designation will be recognized at Bonita Springs-Estero Realtors but won't be recognized Nationally or Statewide

Affiliate Spotlight

How has being an affiliate member of Bonita

Springs-Estero Realtors® benefited your career?

When I relocated to SWFL I had the choice of multiple different boards to join. I chose Bonita Springs-Estero Realtors because of its size. The smaller board was appealing to me as I don’t feel like I am just a number. It is easier to build relationships and friendships that have benefitted me both personally and professionally.


hat role does your business play in the real estate industry?

My mortgage company provides lending options to residential home buyers. We offer loan options for primary, secondary, and investment properties. As a mortgage broker, we offer more loan program options and potentially fewer restrictions than most banks and mortgage lenders while still being extremely competitive with rates and fees.


hat are your favorite parts of living in southwest Florida?

One of the absolutely amazing parts of SWFL is the breathtaking sunsets. No two are ever alike. In addition to that are just the beaches and all we can do on the water. The fishing, boating, kayaking, or admiring the wonders of the magnificent wildlife here. Can never get enough of seeing an alligator in the wild. Such amazing creatures, not to mention the range of different beautiful birds.

Steven Fishman Buckeye Lending Solutions, Inc. President Ohio (440) 773-9941 Florida Office (239) 980-7588 Fax (216)-278-7169

“I donate a portion of my proceeds from each closed transaction to a facility that assists in helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction and I donate my time to these facilities. After joining the board I wanted to get active and have since participated in the Leadership Academy, served on the Membership in Motion Committee, and am currently the chairman for the Professional Development committee and sit on the Professional Standards Committee.”



4450 Pelican’s Nest Drive Bonita Springs, Florida 34134 (239) 947-2282


We invite you to visit the Nest!

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9/16/20 10:50 AM

Voting History

United States Election History 1992






2016 Past Election graphs and more information about each election can be found on 270towin.com To win a presidential each candidate needs to gain 270 electoral votes from the electoral college and the number portrayed in each state during each election yeah shows the number of electoral votes each state has. These electoral votes change based upon population within the state - not the size of the state. For instance - Florida has moved to 29 votes from 25 in 1992

What Can We Learn? • Florida is a huge win for anyone looking to secure the 270 electoral votes. • Florida has voted for both Democrats and Republicans almost evenly within the past 30 years. (3 times Democrat Majority, 4 times Republican Majority) • As Florida’s population grows - so does its weight in the national election. Gaining 4 Electoral votes since the 1992 national election. • There are a select few numbers of states that vote PURE Democrat or Republican. Going back even further in history will show you that most states have voted for one or another.


Why is this important? More then likely if you’re reading this, you are a Florida resident and live in one of the biggest swing states in the United States of America. Any good friend/coworker/spouse/family member wouldn’t tell you who to vote for but as your friendly Realtor board of choice, all we want to tell you is to just GO VOTE! Many people echo the sentiment that “Oh, Florida is a ______ state” or “my vote doesn’t matter here”. That simply isn’t true. Check up on the history from the last few decades.

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Look at the demographics and the publically published Florida party members and you will see that either way it is closer then you would think. There are plenty of online recourses to find out where you stand and who your candidates should be. Have your name be heard - There is nothing more important and patriotic than voting in this and every upcoming election!

P: 239.319.2579 | E: jfarr@themooregroupfl.com 23190 Fashion Dr, #205, Estero, FL 33928 *This is not a loan commitment or guarantee of any kind. Loan approval and rate are dependent upon borrower credit, collateral, financial history, and program availability at time of origination. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Corporate Address: 3701 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Charlotte, North Carolina 28273. Cardinal Financial Company, Limited Partnership (NMLS ID 66247, www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) has the following licenses. Additional licensing information can be found at https://cardinalfinancial.com/licensing/.

Sweet Home Florida:

It has been said that “Detroit builds cars, and Florida builds homes.” The Sunshine State’s appeal goes far beyond warm weather, white sand beaches, and no state income tax.

This is the first in a series of articles explaining the many

benefits of homesteading in Florida. Sunshine State homesteaders are protected via three distinct categories as provided for in the state constitution. First, owners of homestead property are entitled to specific exemptions related to ad valorem taxation. Second, there is some protection against forced sale by outside creditors. Third, a Florida homestead is restricted for purposes of alienation and devise by an owner. Importantly, each of the three features of Florida’s homestead protections has its own standards. That means that, for example, a property that qualifies for the homestead protection from outside creditors may or may not qualify for the homestead benefit for ad valorem taxation, and vice versa. It is the initial taxation benefit that this article will explain, with future articles covering Save Our Homes, portability, and the other advantages. Calculating Florida’s homestead tax exemption is a bit complicated. The current exemption is $50,000 deducted from the assessed value, of which the first $25,000 applies to all property taxes including school district taxes, and the second $25,000 applies to assessed values between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes. For example, if you owned a home with an assessed value of $135,000, the first $25,000 would be exempt from all property taxes, the next $25,000 of value would be fully taxable, the third $25,000 would be exempt from non-school taxes, and the final $60,000 would be fully taxable. To initially qualify for a homestead exemption, one must meet several conditions. First, one must be a “natural per-

son” who holds a legal or beneficial interest in a property located in Florida on January 1 of a given tax year. That means that a person may hold title via a life estate, a standard revocable living trust, or Florida land trust in most circumstances. Property owned in the name of an entity such as a corporation or LLC, however, does not qualify for the homestead exemption, even if the entity is solely owned by a person who resides on the property. The person must be a Florida resident who intends to make the property either their own home or the home of someone dependent upon them, such as a child. Note, however, that contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum number of days per year that a person must reside in the property. The important concept is an intent to return to the property, even if the owner is absent from it for many months. A provision in the Florida Statutes even allows you to rent your home for a short term without affecting your homestead exemption. Specifically, you can rent your home after January 1 of any year and still keep the homestead exemption for that year, as long as the property is not rented for more than 30 days per calendar year for two consecutive years. Renting the home for any longer period will result in the loss of the homestead exemption. United States citizenship is not a prerequisite for Florida homesteading—courts have ruled that intent to reside on the property, along with proof of permanent legal residency such as a green card, is sufficient. Other proofs of residence requirements vary from county to county. Lee county generally requires a Florida driver’s license, at least one vehicle registered in Florida, a voter registration card or green card, and a copy of the deed to the property.

Homestead’s Beautiful Benefits Part 1 Initial Qualification for Homestead

Most counties also require a filer to sign an affida-

vit attesting that neither the person applying, nor that person’s spouse, is obtaining a homestead or primary residence tax benefit in Florida another state. This is because only one homestead exemption is allowed per “family unit”. Though the law does not explicitly define “family unit”, it is generally interpreted to mean an intact, together family. Accordingly, a married couple that is not permanently separated is entitled to only one homestead exemption. The definition of a married couple includes same-sex marriages. Courts have held that the burden of proof of permanent separation is on the person seeking the homestead tax benefit, rather than on the property appraiser. Whether two unmarried, cohabitating people can each have a separate homestead exemption is more of an open question. As a practical matter, it would likely be difficult for the property appraiser to allege that two unmarried people are a family unit, thus increasing the probability that they would each be able to claim a separate homestead. A wide variety of properties qualify for the homestead exemption. A house, a mobile home located on owned property, a modular home, a condominium, and a coop may all be considered a homestead. In this article, we have only just scratched the surface. In the coming months, we will detail some of the other beautiful benefits of owning a Florida homestead.

Creative Corner Never Give up!

Never give up on anything in life! Always stand up! Don’t give up the fight! Whether you’re a newbie, or you’re trying to make the sale, or you’ve just taken your test, and you’ve just failed. Maybe you’re a seasoned Realtor, with lots of flair, and spunk, Yet you can’t make that sale, You’re in a funk. Things have changed in the world, It’s clear to see. Now we are dealing with covid, and we have to wear masks. It’s a bit challenging, It has kicked our a**! Wake up every morning with love in your heart, It’s going to be a beautiful day right from the start, Let’s make a difference! Let’s change the world! You’re not just a Realtor or a newbie to us, You’re someone that cares, and you’re someone we love! So if you’ve failed your test or you can’t make that sale, Never give up, because we’re standing right here.

Ned Hale, Esq, is a Florida Board Certified Real Estate Attorney with over 20 years of experience. He has offices in Estero, Fort Myers, and Sanibel.

You’ve got this ! This isn’t a joke! No matter what office you work at, We’re all the same, You’re part of our team, We’ve got your back! Let’s all stand up and kick some a** ! By: Tabatha D. Hale


Social Media Marketing By: Bondilyn Jolly

It’s no secret, human beings crave connection and collab-

oration, and these “COVID times” are creating a distinct void when it comes to personal interaction and a sense of community. More than ever, people are turning to social media to help fill that void. Digital social interaction allows friends, family and business colleagues to stay entertained, connected and informed. Netflix is reporting record streams. Facebook is reporting record engagement times and logins, and more and more business is being won in the “virtual” world than the “real” one at this moment. As a real estate professional, it’s critical for you to consistently interact with a large number of people, but if you are one of the many that struggles with how exactly to use social media for your business…you might be feeling more overwhelmed than ever before. No worries.

------------------------------------------Download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide at: TryElevate.com/SocialMediaMarketingGuide -------------------------------------------

No worries. We’re here to help! The Marketing professionals at Elevate have created an all-inclusive guide to all things “social media”, including a 4-month content marketing calendar to help you give your online marketing the kick-start it needs! Ever wonder what are the best days of the week and times of day to post on different social media channels? This guide tells you! Looking for ideas about the different types of content that your online audience wants to view? This guide tells you! Tips from pros in the industry? Yep. How many times a week you should post on a social channel? We cover that, too. And, at the end of your guide you’ll receive some special offers for additional marketing assistance, including a FREE review of your current social media with an Elevate Success Coach, where to register to receive FREE daily marketing tips direct to your inbox, and how brokers can request a FREE gap analysis to look at what’s missing in their marketing and technology offering.

AUTHOR Bondilyn Jolly VP Marketing, Elevate | Managing Partner, 3sixtyfive.agency ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bondilyn Jolly is a tech entrepreneur, investor and business leader. She currently serves as the VP of Marketing at Elevate (tryelevate.com) and the Managing Partner of 3sixtyfive.agency, a new full-service digital & creative ad agency servicing the real estate sector. .

Why is social media so important for your Real Estate business? 4 out of 5 US homebuyers use an online resource at some point in their search. (Zillow) 90% of Millennials, 78% of Gen-X, and 48% of Baby Boomers are active on social media (NAR) 65% of homebuyers say they are influenced by friend’s home buying posts on Facebook or Instagram (Inman) 73% of homebuyers say they’re more likely to list with an agent offering to do listing videos (NAR).

Facebook. The cure for the COVID blues? Over 70% of Facebook users login a minimum of 6 - 10x per day, and those numbers have only climbed during the past several months. Don’t think of Facebook as something that’s only designed for arguing politics, looking at cute sloth videos, and connecting with old friends from high school. Business professionals are networking, sharing and collaborating more than ever before using a channel that already draws such a large audience every day. So…how often should YOU be posting on Facebook alone? Our guide recommends a minimum of 2 - 3 posts per week, and provides ideas for the types of content you should be sharing.

YouTube. A billion users and counting! It’s time to stop being intimidated of creating video! Online audiences are more likely to engage with a video than most any other form of content, and YouTube is the “King Daddy” of them all. YouTube offers you the opportunity to present virtual listing tours, showcase client testimonials, demonstrate your expertise with educational Vlogs (video blogs), and more. Looking for ideas on the types of content you can create for YouTube? Download our guide!

Instagram. Perfect for real estate. Instagram is all about keeping it short, sweet and very visual. On this platform, photos and videos rule..with text taking a backseat. Great content ideas for real estate are showcasing your day-to-day activities around communities you represent, virtual house tours, happy clients, and featuring local business, people and feel good stories. Want more great social media tips, tricks and strategies? Of course you do! Which is why you should download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide at: TryElevate. com/SocialMediaMarketingGuide. You’ll receive 17-pages of awesome content to help you and your real estate business. All you need to do is stop binging on Netflix long enough to read it!

4 out of 5 US Homebuyers


Log in 6-10 times a day

1 Billion+

Active Users

September is Realtor Saftey Month

Our Top 5

Realtor®Saftey Tips for 2020 Safety is something every good Realtor® should have on their mind. I’d advise for everyone to read all 56 tips off NAR’s website but for today - I’d like to handpick 5 tips that are appropriate for the year 2020 and those I feel are more relevant than ever considering the recent climate. Tip #3 Don’t be too public

I think we all know someone guilty of this. Social media has made it easier than ever to share with your friends and family all the exciting and fun things that are going on in your life. However this invites some unwanted attention too many peoples lives. Every time you post something online you are providing information that can help anyone track where you are. Every picture you take has a Geocode that can be reversed searched and every post to make on social media has a hidden address attached to it. So be careful with what you post. I’ve worked with a handful of agents who have been stalked online or have had unwanted visitors appearing at their address because of their profession. As a licensed agent in the state of Florida a lot of your information is public. To avoid unwanted attention please keep your account updated and check what information is provided to the public. Please report and suspicious activities!

Tip #5 Open house safety

Open house safety has changed a lot in the year 2020 – let’s hope that soon days of sanitizing every parcel and requiring PPE will be behind us. However, consider that after all this you are constantly meeting with strangers and open houses invite difrent types of dangers. If you are immune compromised always consider that your guests might not only present physical dangerous but also on a viral or bacterial level. Always let someone know when you’re hosting an open house and if you can always bring a friend or coworker with you. Never assume that everyone’s left the house before you locked up for the day.

Tip #24 Your Email is Public

Tip #54 People are not who they say they are

Remember when I said don’t be too public? You could learn a lot about someone on their social media’s or by just doing a quick Google search online. However on the other hand you can choose what you’d like people to know. Let me introduce you to a new term many of you haven’t heard of. Some people can curate their accounts as a “sock puppet” account. These accounts are used to portray a different person then who they actually are and some people go as far as to create multiple sock puppet accounts in order to throw you off when you do a background check of your client. This is something that has been appearing more and more as time goes on but keep that in mind that social media’s don’t tell the full story of your client. More importantly, as is been traditional for a few decades scamming is a huge issue in our industry. And as mentioned before do not distribute any personal or financial information over email or even over the phone if you have the choice.

Tip #35 Don’t dial and drive!

Last but not least, although this pertains to general safety– please stay off your phone when you’re driving. Invest into Bluetooth and hands-free options because real estate agent’s spend a lot of time driving. Download text to speech Apps or services that will read Messages out loud. Use those hand free options when answering calls. If you come across a question that needs you to look through papers or search up, either pull over or wait into you get to your destinations to answer them, it’s not that urgent. Texting and driving is illegal in the state of Florida and remember that whenever you’re driving your largest risking your own lives you’re risking the lives of those around you.

Did you know that every email you write is public? I bet now you will... Be sure that every time you write an email you aren’t adding any personal information or financial information.

Remember that these tips and more are always on NAR’s website (WWW.Nar.Realtor). They get updated all the time and altered constantly to match our ever-changing industry. Have any safety tips you think should be added? Reach out to me! My email is: Kevin@BonitaEsteroRealtors.com

Realtor® Rant

Many Realtors also left their own written comments but will remain anonymous:

During the last few months we’ve been recieived a few more complaints then usual. • “Dishonest, lack of follow through while under contract (example...not ensuring Because of this we’ve decided to survey all of our Realtor members to find out what the majority of complaints are now in our business with 5 selection options and a written response section. 61 Member selection responses were collected.

Top Complaints in order:

the seller’s made improvements by dates agreed upon), sloppy admin” “Not specifying if the property is owner occupied or vacant in the MLS or in the confidential remarks.” • “Complete lack of understanding of RE Contracts” • “Don’t return phone calls or emails in a timely manner. Team leaders who won’t return calls, they have an assistant call.” • “My 2nd pet peeve is Full Voicemail box. Come on people, you are running a business!!!” • “No show for showings and don’t call. Call me when late or cancelling a showing after set up with ShowingTime. Leave a light on after showing.”

What Should We Take Out of This?

• Failure to give feedback on showings I guarantee 99% of our Realtors are superstars that are responsive and = 40 perform all their duties like a professional. It’s been a hard year for everyone and especially with all that is going on it’s important to be a touch nicer to • Full voicemail box = 30 everyone. • Subpar photography in MLS = 22 Over 50% of the complaints are basically about a lack of feedback. Our • Failure to read private remarks in the market has done surprisingly well all things considered and if you are too MLS = 18 busy to manage your listing you can always add a Co-Agent to your listings • Arrive early or late to showings = 16

Data collected: 8/29/2020

or create a team. Don’t understand Real estate contracts? We have excellent instructors who teach contract classes all the time and your brokerage is always available to answer the questions you have! Feedback is important - No one expects you to be available 24/7 but responding within 24 hours during business days should be standard for all. Let’s be sure to head into 2021 on our best foot!



Paradise within Reach Single-Family Homes from the low $300s*

COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS 5% COMMISSION** Clubhouse & Amenities Now Open!

Beach-Entry Pool & Lap Lanes • Sandy Lounging Beach Bocce Ball • Walking Trail • Fitness Center Exercise Studio • Spacious Multi-Purpose Room Tennis & Pickleball Courts


Sales Center and Model Homes Open Daily 28250 Seasons Tide Avenue • Bonita Springs, FL 34135 • 239.225.2691 • drhorton.com/swfla Located on Bonita Beach Road, approximately four miles east of I-75. D.R. Horton is an Equal Housing Opportunity Builder. *Home and community information, including pricing, included features, terms, availability and ame-

nities are subject to change or prior sale at any time without notice or obligation. Pictures, photographs, features, colors and sizes are approximate for illustration purposes only and will vary from the homes as built. **5% commission is only available for D.R. Horton brand homes in the Seasons community on contracts that are written and ratified from 9/1/20 through 12/30/20 and close no later than 6/30/21. Commssion is paid to broker at the time of closing only. 5% Commission offer subject to change at any time without notice. 5% Commission cannot be combined with other offer. Total commission paid is subject to limitations, if any, on total broker commission imposed by homebuyer’s lender. Florida Registered Building Contractor License # CBC1258802

Do You Know How to Vote? Here’s What You Need to Do... You have 3 options when it comes to voting as a Florida Resident:

Voting Locations and Registrations: For Lee County Residents - Use website “www.Lee.Vote” For Collier County Residents - Use Website “www.Colliervotes.com”


• You will be asked to show a valid photo ID with a signature to vote in Florida. Acceptable forms include: Florida driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; US passport; debit or credit card; military ID; student ID; retirement center ID; neighborhood association ID; public assistance ID; veteran health ID issued by the US Department of Veterans Affairs; license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm; or an employee ID card issued by the federal government, the state of Florida, or any county or municipality. If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide another ID that has your signature. • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot. Your ballot will count if the signature on your ballot matches the signature on your voter registration record.

Voting on Election Day: • Election Day is on November 3rd, 2020 - Make sure you know your voting location and what their operating hours are.

Early Voting: • Early voting in Florida will be held from October 24th to October 31st, 2020 - Make sure you know your voting location and what their operating hours are.

Absentee Ballot (Mail-in-voting):

• Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application. • Fill out the application completely. • Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Saturday, October 24, 2020. • When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it. • The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters, mail back their voted ballots at least 1 week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues.

Message from RPAC Major Investors “

Do you know how hard RPAC works for you as a REALTOR? Besides protecting our business model they also work hard to protect personal property rights. Giving to RPAC is like voting in an election: your voice counts and it also matters.

Dena Wilcoxen - 2020-2021 BER President & 2020 RPAC Major

“I’ve been an RPAC supporter all of my real estate career. It’s important for issues that affect homeownership to be addressed at the local, State and national level.

...we need our advocates. It is critical that we as Realtors® vote at every opportunity.

Cindy Kruesi

- 2020 RPAC Major Investor - 15 Year BER Member

We Can’t Wait to See You Again

Amendment 6 Benefit to Spouses of Deceased Disabeled Veterans

Every election cycle we find that there are some issues that in all honesty should be pushed through without a vote, but with how Florida handles its voting, this is an issue that has found its way onto the 2020 ballot. All Americans across both isles want to take care of our veterans and their families and this is just another one of those additional benefits I think most people can agree on. Brief Homestead Synopsis: Homestead makes it more affordable for a Florida Resident to live by minimizing the tax burden on the state’s homeowners. Homestead (If the homeowner goes through the process of filing for it and receiving the benefit) exempts the first $25,000 in the assessed value of the property, fully taxes the next $25,000 in assessed value, exempts the next $25,000 asides from the school district taxes and taxes the rest normally. Through homestead exemption, you can get $50,000 of your $75,000+ home exempt from being taxed. All agents need to be very familiar with homestead laws and if not - Our instructor Ned Hale teaches a great class going all over homestead exemption from head to toe.

So as it is right now - Homestead is received by the spouse, but only the normal homestead exemption benefits every Florida Resident can receive. With this amendment passing, we would see the Veterans homestead exemption being inherited by the spouse until the spouse decides to leave their current home, remarries, or sells their current home. There has been a whole plot of passed amendments over the past 20 years in Florida pertaining to veterans and homestead laws and as a good agent, it is essential to read up on them. Find more information and additional veteran homestead rulings here: https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Amendment_6,_ Homestead_Property_Tax_Discount_for_Spouses_ of_Deceased_Veterans_Amendment_(2020)#Homestead_tax_discounts_for_veterans_in_Florida

Go out and VOTE! By Kevin Weinkauff, BER’s Education/ Communications Director

Did You Know?

What this amendment aims to do is to increase the flexibility of homestead and help those affected by losing a loved one who is a veteran. Currently, the additional homestead property tax discounts veterans receive are • This amendment passed in the Florida House of Repset to expire upon the veteran’s death and is not someresentatives with 100% of active members voting yes thing that is extended to their spouses. (71 Republican and 44 Democrat votes) The additional benefits to veterans are dependent upon • This amendment needs a “Supermajority Vote” to be their honorable discharge status and any disabilities approved. A Supermajority needs 60% of all votes to attained during their time in service. be yes in order for this amendment to get passed. There is a lot of variances when it comes to the additional homestead benefits for these individuals but it is • • If passed - The amendment will take effect during the based on percentages of disability. next homestead cycle on January 1st, 2021. • • Homestead has been altered in the Florida Constitution 12 times since 1980.

25300 Bemwood Drive, Suite 1, Bonita Springs, FL 34135 Phone: (239) 992-6771 Fax: (239) 947-9573 www.BonitaEsteroRealtors.com BONITA SPRINGS-1:STl:RO --REALTORS@--

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The Realtor Review | Q3 2020