Building Bridges 2009 CID President Jag Grewal wants commercial, residential agents to act as peers, and partners Page 6
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The Experience Is Everything.
Sarasota Realtor® Volume 6, Issue 2 FEBRUARY 2009
Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. 3590 South Tuttle Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34239 Phone: 941/923-2315 FAX: 941/923-0191 www.sarasotarealtors.com
Building solid bridges between commercial and residential real estate practitioners is the goal of 2009 CID President Jag Grewal as he looks ahead to the challenging year.
MLS System Upgraded
The Mid-Florida Regional MLS system recently released the updated, upgraded 5.0 version of the software package, and we have the scoop for system users!
12 Improved Website
The Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s web site has been enhanced by newly elected official Bill Furst in the first of his promised improvements to the office.
15 Pendings Up Again Volume 6 • Issue 2 • FEBRUARY 2009
Pending sales of SAR members once again topped the 500 mark
for the 12th consecutive month, a sign of market stability.
28 WCR Plans Great ‘09
The Sarasota chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors® has put together a dynamic year of events to help members achieve success in the upcoming year.
In every issue
President-Elect Erick Shumway RE/MAX Gulfstream Realty Secretary David Clapp RE/MAX Alliance Treasurer Michael Bruno Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc. Immediate Past President Helen Sosso Prudential Palms Realty Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roberts Mission Statement The mission of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® is to advance members’ professionalism through delivery of education and resources while upholding the Realtors® Code of Ethics. We are committed to be the leading advocate of real estate in the communities we serve by protecting private property rights and expanding relationships with individuals and organizations both locally and worldwide. Sarasota Realtor® is published monthly by the Sarasota Association of Realtors® Inc. Editorial Staff Director of Communications Ray Porter Director of Member Services Dan Andrews
10- Governmental Affairs 12- Property Appraiser 14- Ethics in Action 16- Sales and Listing Statistics 18- CID Update 20- Education Programs 26- Broker Corner 28- WCR News 30- Membership News 31- International Real Estate 32- Calendar of Education/Events
Director of MLS Information Systems Jesse Sunday Director of Professional Development Catherine McCaskill Governmental Affairs Director Marc Mansfield Production Coastal Printing, Inc. Sarasota Realtor® Advertising: For information on advertising rates and deadlines, contact Ray Porter at 941/328-1168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscriptions: The annual dues of every member of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc., includes a one-year subscription to Sarasota Realtor® magazine. A yearly subscription for Sarasota Realtor® magazine is available to non-members for $25, plus Florida sales tax.
ON THE COVER: 2009 CID President Jag Grewal is pictured at the Jan. 20 CID general membership event, and with his family - from bottom left, Daniel (15), Joshua (13). Jag, Amy and 2-year-old Jake. In the background is the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of the most recognizable symbols of Australia..
President William Geller Suncoast International Realty
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Editorial ideas and manuscripts are welcomed. Byline articles and columns express the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the policies or sentiments of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. All submitted copy is subject to editing. 2009 Copyright© by the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.
SAR notes progress on strategic plan goals As committees begin their work for 2009, it is a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of 2008. SAR achieved great success last year through the dedicated efforts of many volunteers serving on committees and leadership positions, as well as the professional staff. Here is a brief look at the goals and achievements. Professional Development Hundreds of courses, seminars and programs were presented on a variety of topics, including short sales, MLS, Green, International, technology, and Core Law and continuing education. Three designation courses for GRI were also presented. Governmental Affairs SAR developed a “Get Uut the Vote” campaign to increase the impact its members have on elections, and participated in several local initiatives to influence public opinion. Coalitions were established with other organizations to increase our effectiveness. SAR’s Public Policy was updated to provide a framework for our advocacy. Communications The website was revamped and enhanced to provide members a one-stop resource for information. A digital flip-
page version of the magazine is now posted on the website. The Time 2 Buy campaign continued throughout the year to provide positive information to members, the media, and the public. Our statistical pages in the magazine were enhanced, and distribution of that information was expanded. Monthly statistical releases were issued to the media and membership. In the community, SAR launched a Surge of Support for Veterans, and awarded four scholarships to college students. Governance Benefits to members were expanded to include discounts on auto insurance, prescriptions, dental, cell service, among others. Fourteen new, emerging volunteer leaders participated in SAR’s first ever leadership program to identify new leaders for the future. A task force began work to resolve parking limitations at SAR, eventually seeking proposals from members for suitable properties as a potential replacement. SAR discontinued maintenance of its own contracts and forms in favor of using the more current FAR forms for consistency. Last but not least, after years of discussion, the reality of a regional MLS was achieved. SAR property listing data was added to the Mid-Florida Regional MLS in August 2008, becoming part of a 10-county database.
Green Homes Expo coming up March 27 at Chelsea Center Become more familiar with this trend towards green homes so you can better serve your customers. Attend the 2nd Annual Green Homes Expo at the Chelsea Center, March 27, 2009 from 2 to 7 p.m. Over 60 exhibitors will provide a wealth of products and services for display. In addition, speakers will be making presentations throughout
the afternoon on a variety of topics. It’s free to everyone, so invite all your fellow agents, clients and friends. During the cocktail hour, enjoy organic wine tasting and snacks. Sandwiches will also be available for purchase. See Page 13 for details on the Green Homes Expo.
Distinguish yourself by earning the NAR Green Designation. The “core” course for the designation will be offered at SAR on April 22-23, 2009. Then choose from a residential, commercial, or property management green online course to complete the designation. See Page 20 for more information.
SAR Dues Billing: Termination Notice Feb. 15th All SAR members with unpaid dues will be terminated for non-payment at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16. Reinstatement will require payment in full of all amounts due at date of termination, as well as a $150 reinstatement application fee (NO EXCEPTIONS). BROKERS: Please check and make sure your agents have paid their dues. If an agent is no longer with your firm,
please provide the Association with a DBPR form 2050 showing termination of their license with your firm. If you have any questions regarding the amount due on a member’s account, please call the SAR Accounting Department at 923-2315. If you have questions regarding a member’s association with your firm, please call the SAR Membership Department.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Cover Story 6
SAR 2009 CID President Jag Grewal seeks cooperation The new year has started on a wave of both positive anticipation, and tentative apprehension as the local commercial real estate market attempts to navigate the ever-changing economic crisis that pervades the nation. What will the new year bring? Jag Grewal has a few thoughts, and some advice for both commercial and residential agents. Q: What is the state of the local commercial real estate market in early 2009? A: The local commercial real estate market will probably weaken for the next two quarters before we begin to see any sign of the light at the end of the tunnel. We are beginning to see this with our office market showing higher vacancies which impacts the retailers, restaurant owners and business owners. Q: In historical terms, how does the current market compare to the markets of recent memory, and the best and worst markets of the past? A: I have not been through a cycle here in the US, so I have no point of reference. Even though we hear comparisons of this cycle being the worst since the Great Depression, we need to remember it is not worse THAN the Depression. We still have a low interest rate environment to do business. Q: How much of an impact have we felt from the national residential real estate downturn, and the economic crisis? A: Sarasota as a community is inextricably linked to tourism and real estate, so the impact is tremendous. As such, all links to those industries are being challenged. We are seeing job losses, companies are choosing not to expand into larger spaces, the hotel owners are seeing a drop in occupancy. We need to remember why we live here, what motivates us to do business here and it also forces us to re-evaluate our priorities in life. It is causing us to trim back on our lifestyle, which is healthy even if it feels uncomfortable. Q: How much is the local commercial market tied to the residential market? A: I have always maintained that our two markets lag by about 18 months. Our call volume came to a standstill in September 2006 and we are just beginning to get a few more call now. I think that we will begin to see some change late this year and into 2010.
Q: What can the Commercial Investment Division of SAR do to effectively help local commercial Realtors® handle the current situation? A: The best thing we can do is to provide our members with up to date information on the market forces. By that I mean that we need to have data on the Jag Grewal office vacancies, i n d u s t r i a l reports, forge relationships with both Sarasota and Manatee Economic Development Corporations to provide more cohesion between all, provide more opportunities for commercial Realtors® to do business and great, great speakers! Q: What are your plans in 2009 as CID President? A: To make each of our monthly meetings informative and educational is a priority. I want members to walk away with a piece of information that they could use to get a deal done, get a listing, share with another broker, whatever it is to help them be a better broker. It was good to hear from a member that he got information from this past month’s meeting that he shared at his office. That is precisely what I am trying to achieve. We have weekly deal making sessions for any and all to attend. The idea for 2009 is to boost confidence, to create as many marketing opportunities, to get new speakers in, collaborate with our peers in the industry and generate activity. Q: How can the CID reach out to Realtors® in
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Meet Jag Grewal
It was a long and winding road that brought Jag Grewal to Sarasota eight years ago. Born in West Malaysia, he attended elementary school there. Then it was on to Singapore, and middle school. At 14, his family immigrated to Australia, where Jag completed high school at 16 and won a university scholarship. While only one of two students to successfully complete a rigorous program in Electrical Engineering, he decided, upon graduation, to join his father’s property development company and learn the business. It was quite an education. High interest rates in Australia in the late 80s and early 90s hurt the market. So Jag not only learned how to manage real estate investments successfully in exuberant times, he learned how to manage them successfully in a volatile environment. And he learned he had a passion for the business. Jag married Amy in 2005. Demanding, fast and unforgiving, the game of squash is a passion of Jag’s. In 2005 he organized and hosted an event that attracted squash players to Sarasota from all over the world. He hopes to make it into an annual charity event. Jag joined Coldwell Banker Commercial in 2002 and has been successful in the local market ever since. His list of awards is long, however, being recognized as the top 5 producing team for Coldwell Banker Commercial worldwide is his proudest achievement to date.
neighboring associations that do not have a commercial organization? A: Good question. We are looking into that and would be open to suggestions. Again, the buzz word for 2009 is collaborate. Q: How can the CID involve residential Realtors® in the current market?
A: Residential Realtors® play a key role as they are the ambassadors for our community. They talk to business people, to CEO’s, to visitors to our area all the time. Often times, the CEO of a company will be in town looking for a second or third home and will eventually move here. He or she will either start something else here or move their
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Continued on P. 29, See CID PRESIDENT
MLS Power Marketing location moves In a continuing effort to assist SAR Realtors®, Brokers and Affiliates increase their business prospects, we have relocated the normal MLS Power Marketing sessions for Zones 2 and 3 to the Knights of Columbus facility, 4880 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota (see map). Did you know, the Power Marketing and MLS Tour is not ONLY for touring or pitching listings! You can attend to meet our Affiliate members, and get to know them better so that when the opportunity presents itself you can use their services. Get out of your office and let your mind get out of the daily routine to see what other agents and companies are doing to market their listings. Come for the business networking - it’s always easier to do business with someone you know! For whatever reason you decide to attend, remember Power Marketing is held at the University Park Country Club on the FIRST Thursday of the month and all other Thursdays it is now held at the Knights of Columbus. Networking starts at 8 a.m. and property pitching begins at 8:30 a.m. The sessions always begin with informative updates from SAR staff and committee members. See you there!
MLXchange version 5.0 improves system
On Tuesday, January 13, Mid-Florida Regional MLS upgraded MLXchange to version 5.0. The new version of MLXchange now hosts new features that include improved report editor functionality, increased map search capabilities, and ease in finding member and office information, as well as other enhancements. Multiple Map Selections in One Search - In MLXchange 5.0, the map has been enhanced to allow up to 3 separate map areas to be selected in a single search. Inventory Watch Changes - The Home Page Inventory watch has been enhanced to allow personal, office and firm listing information. The inventory watch will also include listings from the “List Agent 2” field. 8
Listings Search Now Include Member/Office Lookup - In MLX 5.0, you can perform a member or office name lookup without having to leave the current criteria search that you are using. Goodbye Designer Tool / Hello Enhanced Report Manager - The Designer Tool application will no longer be needed, as Report Manager will have new features that include: - Editing Multi-Record Reports, such as multi-row, multi-column and label report types. - Copying and saving an existing report to a different property type. For more information on the changes, visit www. mfrmls.com and click on the related links.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
MFR MLS, Fannie Mae launch pilot program to ‘shorten’ Short-Sale transaction times The Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service has been selected by Fannie Mae as one of two markets nationally to launch a pilot program, aimed to reduce foreclosures and speed up short-sale transaction times for central and southwest Florida. “We are honored to be working with Fannie Mae,” says Merri Jo Cowen, CEO of the Mid-Florida Regional MLS. “We are ready to do our part to help revitalize the housing market.” The pilot project is focused initially on about 300 properties throughout central and southwest Florida including the
Orlando, Tampa and Sarasota metropolitan areas. Areas include Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Osceola, Polk, Hillsborough, southern Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.. Sixteen of the properties are located in Sarasota. Designed to streamline the short-sale process which can take several months, Fannie Mae’s pre-approved home prices take the guesswork out of negotiating a sales price. To stimulate the market and move those properties they have determined Continued on P. 27, See SHORT SALES
Sarasota Young Realtors® plan 2009 schedule The following is the current 2009 schedule of events for the Sarasota Young Realtors®, subject to change: February Meeting February 10, 2009 Social February 18, 2009 Luncheon February 27, 2009 March Meeting Social Luncheon
March 10, 2009 March 18, 2009 None
April Meeting Social Luncheon
April14, 2009 April15, 2009 April 3, 2009*
*Tentative date* SAR quarterly membership meeting
May Meeting Social Luncheon
May 12, 2009 May 20, 2009 May 29, 2009
June Meeting Social Luncheon
June 9, 2009 June 17, 2009 June26, 2009
July Meeting Social Luncheon
July 14, 2009 July 15, 2009 July 24, 2009
August Meeting Social Luncheon
August 11, 2009 August 19, 2009 August 28, 2009
Meeting Social Luncheon
September 8, 2009 September 16, 2009 September 25, 2009
October Meeting Social Luncheon
October 13, 2009 October 21, 2009 October 30, 2009
November Meeting Social Luncheon
November 10, 2009 November 18, 2009 November 2009
December Meeting December 8, 2009 Social December 16, 2009 Meetings begin at 4:00 P.M. at SAR Socials begin at 5:00 P.M. (Ceviche, 1216 1st Street) Luncheons begin at Noon at SAR
John Kiernan Phone
CERTIFIED GRADUATE REMODELER AGING-IN-PLACE SPECIALIST SELECTED TOP 50 IN AMERICA State Lic. # CBC040759
4007 39th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34208
941 748-1219 Cell
941 726-2318 Fax
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Governmental Affairs 10
Changes to the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for Second Home Sellers
By Marc Mansfield, Governmental Affairs Director
Last monthâ€™s article described the new rules placed into effect as a result of the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act when a second home is converted to a principle residence. This month courtesy of NAR we provide examples of how this new rule impacts second home sellers.
Remember, when a former second home is sold, some portion of the gain may be taxable, even if the owner has lived in the home for the required two of the previous five years. The examples below illustrate the application of this new rule. Example 1: Post 2008 Purchase and Sale: Charlie, whose tax filing status is single, bought a vacation property costing $400,000 on March 1, 2009. On March 1, 2012 he converts the property to his principal residence. On March 1, 2014, he sells the property for $700,000, realizing a gain of $300,000. He has owned the property for 5 years and used it as a principal residence for 2 years. On these facts, 40 percent of the gain (2/5) is eligible for the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion (2 years use as a principal residence divided by 5 years of ownership. The remainder of the gain (60 percent: 3 years as non-principal residence/5 years of ownership) will be taxed at capital gains rate that applies in the year of the sale. Of the total $300,000 gain, $180,000 ($300,000 x .60) will be treated as a capital gain. If the capital gains rate in 2014 is still 15 percent the total tax would be $27,000 ($180,000 x .15) Since the remaining $120,000 gain is less than $250,000, $120,000 is eligible for the exclusion. Example 2: Pre 2009 Conversion to a Principal Residence: Fred and Ethel bought a condo that they have used solely as a rental property since 1989. They decided to simplify life by selling their house and moving into the condo. They moved into the condo on April 15, 2008. In April 2019, they sell the condo. They have a very low basis in the condo because it was used as a rental property for 19 years (1989-2008), leaving them a gain of $600,000. When they sell the condo, they will be eligible for the $500,000 exclusion because the property was FEBRUARY 2009
their principal residence on January 1, 2009. In this case they will pay tax on the $100,000 excess over the $500,000 ($600,000 gain minus $500,000 exclusion) at the capital gains rate effective for 2019. In addition, they will be liable for the depreciation recapture taxes for the years that the property was used as a rental property. The depreciation recapture tax will be imposed at the rate effective for 2019. The current rate is 25 percent. Example 3: Pre 2009 Purchase and Post 2008 Sale: John and Susan, who file a joint return, bought a vacation property in 1985 for $100,000. During the years they have owned it, they have used it solely as a vacation home. On January 1, 2011, they move into the home and begin to use it as their principal residence. During the time they have owned the home, they have added $125,000 in improvements. The community where it is located is now a major tourism and resort area and they have enjoyed significant appreciation as well. In 2020 they sell the home for $1 million. Their taxable gain and exclusion are as follows: Total amount of gain - $775,000 ($1 million selling price minus original costs of $100,000 and improvements of $125,000). Taxable post 2008 gain - This is the number of years AFTER 2008 that the property is NOT used as a principal residence, divided by the total period of ownership: Number of non-residential years - 2 (2009 and 2010 Number of years of ownership - 35 (1985 â€“ 2020) Taxable Gain - 2/35 x $775,000 = $44,285 Tax on non-residential use - $6,643 (assuming 15 percent capital gains rate) Exclusion - Remaining gain $730,715 ($775,000 minus the $44,285)
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Remember, when a former second home is sold, some portion of the gain may be taxable, even if the owner has lived in the home for the required two of the previous five years.
Excludable amount - $500,000
property after January 1, 2009.
Remaining taxable amount - $230,715 ($730,715 minus $500,000) Tax on excess over exclusion - $34,607 (assuming 15 percent capital gains rate) Total tax liability - $41,250 ($34,607 plus the nonresidential use tax of $6,643) General Considerations: • The policy goal of the change was to look at the use of the www.sarasotarealtors.com
• The original policy objective of the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion was to provide tax benefit for property that is used as a principal residence. Thus the new rule allocates the exclusion only to use as a principal residence. • After 2008, when a second home is converted to a principal residence, the rule of thumb will be that the longer the period of use as a principal residence, the greater amount of the excludable gain.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Property Appraiser For more information, contact the Property Appraiser’s office at 941.861.8200. 12
Appraiser website enhanced to achieve ease of use by property owners
By Bill Furst, GRI, CRS, CIPS Sarasota County Property Appraiser
You’re invited to experience the exciting new features available on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website - www.sarasotaproperty.org!
It’s my pleasure to announce the addition of many new features to our website, www.sarasotaproperty. org. The website has been an asset to the community from the time it was originally developed, serving Realtors®, appraisers, mortgage lenders, contractors, a vast array of businesses and the general public. Now, as of January 6, 2009, the Property Appraiser’s website has been enhanced to provide some of the features you have requested. You’ll find these valuable research tools for each parcel: • Building Details – This feature provides added information on building characteristics; a building sketch; building sub areas, (living areas, porches, garages, etc.); and special features, (swimming pools, docks, sheds, etc.). • Historical Data – You may now view individual records for each parcel for multiple years starting with the year 2000. A table and a graph charting market value, land value, building value, assessed value and taxable value for each parcel is also available. • An itemized list of the tax exemptions for each parcel. • Enhanced property record searches providing more information. • A direct link to the current tax bill. • A direct link to the appraiser’s maps should be ready soon. Aerial photographs are also in the works. • And now, drum roll please, you can download the countywide appraisal data file – ownership information, sales data and mailing address changes are posted to the web site daily – providing you with access to the up-to-date information you need. So, what can you do for us? You can tell us what additional information you would like to see included on the website or added to the download file. As Realtors® you are intimately FEBRUARY 2009
familiar with the characteristics (bedroom, bath and room counts, building and land area, pools, etc.) of the properties you list. Let us know if you find any discrepancies or differences between our information and yours. Our goal is to make the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website one of the best in Florida and we welcome your support, comments and suggestions in helping us achieve that goal. The staff is here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using the contact information below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Contact Information Email to email@example.com Telephone – (941) 861-8220 Fax – (941) 861-8260 In person – Sarasota office – 2001 Adams Lane at the Terrace Building Venice office – 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 101 at the R. L. Anderson Administration Building. Mailing Address – Bill Furst Sarasota County Property Appraiser 2001 Adams Lane Sarasota, FL 34230
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
2nd Annual Green Homes Expo Partners: Sarasota, Manatee & Venice Realtor® Associations & Sarasota Building Industry Association Silver Sponsors: Artistree Landscape Bungalow Builders EcoTechnologies ESC E-Z Breathe Ventilation G. Fried Flooring Lakewood Ranch LandMark Bank Macy’s Termite & Pest Control Positive Change Magazine RE/MAX Alliance Group Zest! Of Sarasota Catering
March 27, 2009 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Chelsea Center 2506 Gulf Gate Drive Sarasota, FL 34231
Free! Public Invited! Exhibitors will showcase • Indoor air and water quality • Green home construction • Solar products • Water conservation techniques • Florida-friendly landscaping • Green home cleaning products • Natural pest control • Energy efficient products • Energy efficient mortgages Don’t miss informative presentations every hour on the hour! Prizes and drawings! Learn simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint by attending workshops throughout the afternoon! Preview NAR’s New Green Designation for Realtors®!
Phone: 941-328-1167 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethics in Action 14
If the property seller approves, purchase offers must be divulged
Seller T, a widowed elementary school teacher in the Midwest inherited a choice parcel of waterfront property on one of the Hawaiian islands from a distant relative. Having limited financial resources, and her children’s’ college educations to pay for, she concluded that she would likely never have the means to build on or otherwise enjoy the property. Consequently, she decided to sell it and use the proceeds to pay tuition and fund her retirement. Seller T corresponded via the Internet with several real estate brokers, including Realtor® Q whose Web site prominently featured his real estate auction services. An exchange of email followed. Realtor® Q proposed an absolute auction as the best way of attracting qualified buyers and ensuring the highest possible price for Seller T. Seller T found the concept had certain appeal but she also had reservations. “How do I know the property will sell for a good price?” she emailed Realtor® Q. Realtor® Q responded “You have a choice piece of beachfront. They aren’t making any more of that, you know. It will easily bring at least a million five hundred thousand dollars.” Seller T acquiesced and Realtor® Q sent her the necessary contracts which Seller T executed and returned. Several days prior to the scheduled auction, Seller T decided to take her children to Hawaii on vacation. The trip would also afford her the chance to view the auction and see, firsthand, her future financial security being realized. On the morning of the auction only a handful of people were present. Seller T chatted with them and, in casual conversation, learned that the only two potential bidders felt the property would likely sell for far less than the $1,500,000 Realtor® Q had assured her it would bring. One potential buyer disclosed he planned to bid no more than $250,000. The other buyer wouldn’t disclose an exact limit but said he was expecting a “fire sale.” Seller T panicked. She rushed to Realtor® Q seeking reassurance that her property would sell for $1,500,000. Realtor® Q responded, “This is an auction. The high bidder gets the property.” Faced with this dire prospect, Seller T insisted that the auction be cancelled. Realtor® Q reluctantly agreed and advised the sparse audience that the seller had cancelled the auction. Within days, two ethics complaints were filed against Realtor® Q. Seller T’s complaint alleged that Realtor® Q had misled her by repeatedly assuring her—essentially FEBRUARY 2009
guaranteeing her—that her property would sell for at least $1,500,000. By convincing her she would realize that price— and by not clearly explaining that if the auction had proceeded the high bidder—at whatever price—would take the property, Seller T claimed her interests had not been adequately protected, and she had been lied to. This, Seller T concluded, violated Article 1. The second complaint, from Buyer B, related to Realtor® Q’s pre-auction advertising. Realtor® Q’s ad specifically stated “Absolute Auction on July 1.” Nowhere in the ad did it mention that the auction could be cancelled or the property sold beforehand. “I came to bid at an auction,” wrote Buyer B, “and there was no auction and no mention that it could be cancelled.” This advertising, Buyer B’s complaint concluded, violated Article 12’s “true picture” requirement. Both complaints were forwarded by the Grievance Committee for hearing. At the hearing, Realtor® Q defended his actions by noting that comparable sales supported his conclusion that Seller T’s property was worth $1,500,000. “That price was reasonable and realistic when we entered the auction contract, and it’s still reasonable today. I never used the word ‘guarantee;’ rather I told her the chances of getting a bid of $1,500,000 or more were very good.” “But everyone knows,” he added, “that anything can happen at an auction.” If Seller T was concerned about realizing a minimum net return from the sale, she could have asked that a reserve price be established. Turning to Buyer B’s claim of deceptive advertising, Realtor® Q argued that his ad had been clear and accurate. There was, he stated, an auction scheduled for July 1 and it was intended to be an absolute auction. “The fact that it was advertised as ‘absolute’ doesn’t mean the property can’t be sold beforehand—or that the seller can choose not to sell and cancel the auction. Ads can’t discuss every possibility. It might have rained that day. Should my ad have cautioned bidders to bring umbrellas?” he asked rhetorically. The Hearing Panel concluded that while Realtor® Q had not expressly guaranteed Seller T her property would sell for $1,500,000, his statements had led her
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Continued on P. 15, See ETHICS
December pending sales rise as market weathers storm SAR statistics graphics, charts appear on Pages 16-17 in this issue Pending sales rose to 571 in December as reported by members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, topping the 500 level for the 12th month in a row. Pending sales last month were much higher than the 374 reported in December 2007, which indicates that local real estate has not mirrored the national downward trend. Pending sales reflect contracts executed by buyers and sellers. The recent numbers demonstrate a consistent, steady pattern, which means the national economic slowdown has not significantly deterred buyers in the Sarasota market. “We are demonstrating strength in a difficult real estate environment, and that reflects on this area’s basic attractions,” said 2009 SAR President Bill Geller. “Sarasota still has the beaches, the cultural life, the great schools and wonderful climate and natural amenities. This is still paradise, and buyers have been able to take advantage of the lower home prices to make some amazing deals on quality properties.” For the year 2008, the Sarasota market had 5,820 sales of homes and condos, just under the 6,176 reported in 2007. December 2008 saw 406 total sales, compared to 424 in December 2007. December’s total was higher than November 2008, when 311 sales were reported, a 30.5 percent increase from the late fall lull. The late summer and early fall months are traditionally the lowest period of home sales in the Sarasota market, and the recent upturn indicates the traditional season surge is beginning, even in the face of the recession and credit crisis. One reason for this could be the historic interest rate plunge, which has seen the average 30-year fixed rates drop below 5 percent for the first time in decades. “For customers who can take advantage of these rates, particularly first time home buyers with decent credit scores, this is an incredible time to purchase real estate,” said Geller. “With the low rates, in combination with the lower prices, buyers are able to get into their dream home with very affordable payments. We haven’t seen this convergence of attractive pricing and low interest rates for years.” The median sale price for single family homes rose slightly
in December, coming in at $175,000, compared to last month’s median price of $170,000 – a 3 percent increase from November 2008. Median condominium sales prices have been fluctuating widely throughout 2008, and settled at $255,000 for December 2008, a 30.8 percent rise over the $195,000 in November 2008. For the entire year of 2008, the single family home median sale price was $230,000, while condos were $320,000, both approximately 26 percent lower than the 2007 figures. Another important market tracker – the absorption rate of properties on the market – continues to track lower than last year at this time for both single family homes and condominiums. Absorption rate is the number of months it would take to sell the entire remaining listed inventory in a particular category, based upon the sales for that particular month. For December 2008, the absorption rate for single family homes stood at 19.1 months, compared to 35.1 months in December 2007. For condominiums, the absorption rate dropped to 31.8 months in December 2008, lower than the 37.2 months reported in December 2007, and much lower than last month’s rate of 41.7 months.
in the opinion of the Hearing Panel, violated Article 1. Turning to the ad, the Hearing Panel agreed with Realtor® Q’s position. There had been an absolute auction scheduled— as Realtor® Q had advertised—and there was no question but that Realtor® Q had no choice but to cancel the auction when he had been instructed to do so by his client. Consequently, the panel concluded Realtor® Q had not violated Article 12. - Case #1-31: Protecting Client’s Interest in Auction Advertised as “Absolute” (Adopted May, 2005. Cross-referenced with Case #12-18.)
From Page 14 to that conclusion and after realizing Seller T was under that impression, Realtor® Q had done nothing to disabuse her of that misperception. Moreover, Realtor® Q had taken no steps to explain the auction process to Seller T, including making her aware that at an absolute auction the high bidder—regardless of the bid— would take the property. Realtor® Q’s actions and statements had clearly not protected his client’s interests and, www.sarasotarealtors.com
SAR Affiliate of the Month The February SAR Affiliate of the Month is Liberty Savings Bank, Brian D. Arledge, Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender. Congratulations!
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Sarasota MLSSM Statistics December 2008 Single Family Condo
Unit Sales 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Dec‐07
Single Family Condo
Median Sale Price $400,000 $350,000 $300,000 $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000 $0 Dec‐07
Mar‐08 Apr‐08 May‐08 Jun‐08
Median Sale Prices
Median Last 12 Months
# New Listings
# Off Market
This Month Last Year
Nov 90.7 92.0
Dec 93.0 93.0
Last Month YTD
Jan 90.9 92.0
Single Family – Sale Price Vs. List Price % Rates Feb 89.9 92.0
Mar 93.1 93.2
Apr 93.2 93.3
May 92.3 92.0
Jun 92.2 93.0
Jul 93.3 93.0
Aug 93.4 92.0
Sept 92.4 93.1
Oct 93.2 93.1
Statistics were compiled on properties listed in the MLS by members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® as of Januarty 9, including some listings in Manatee, Englewood, Venice, and other areas. Single-family statistics are tabulated using property styles of single-family, half duplex, and manufactured. Condo statistics include condo, co-op, townhouse, and villa. Source: Sarasota Association of Realtors® 16
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Sarasota MLSSM Statistics December 2008 Single Family Condo
Inventory 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Dec‐07
600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Dec‐07
Median Sale Prices
Median Last 12 Months
Months of Inventory
# New Listings
# Off Market
Oct 92.4 91.0
Nov 89.5 91.0
Dec 91.0 91.0
This Month This Month Last Year Last Month YTD
Condo – Sale Price Vs. List Price % Rates 2007 2008
Jan 92.5 91.0
Feb 93.8 91.1
Mar 94.2 91.0
Apr 97.1 91.0
May 92.2 92.0
Jun 94.4 92.0
Jul 93.1 93.0
Aug 91.5 90.0
Sept 91.3 90.0
Median sales price is the middle value, where half of the homes sold for more, and half sold for less. Listings sold were closed transactions during the month, while pending sales account for contracts executed by buyers and sellers during the month, that may not have closed yet. DOM indicates the average number of days that sold properties were on the market before a contract was executed. Sarasota Association of Realtors® MLS www.sarasotarealtors.com
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Commercial Investment Division 18
Commercial Investment Division hears panel discussion on 2009 views The 2009 outlook is much like the current picture in commercial real estate, with the national financial news tending to drag down the economic outlook. But in general, the local commercial real estate industry is glad to have 2008 in the past, and looking forward to a 2009 environment as chance to enter a new era of prosperity, with lower lease rates and more affordable commercial property for sale. “We’ll all probably be more conservative in our lifestyles and choices, but going forward we expect there will be many opportunities in the local market,” said Janet Robinson of Abbey Realty. The panel assembled by the CID, which Brian Kennelly, Lakewood Ranch Realty, who presented the Office Overview; Robinson, who presented the Industrial Overview; Sandy Turner, Oakmont Capital Resources, who presented the Retail Overview; and Charlie Brown, Insignia Bank, who gave a local Banking Perspective. According to the panel, the financial market crisis and ongoing recession will have a negative impact on 2009. But
The local commercial market outlook hinges on the national economy, but optimism is apparent for 2009 and beyond, based upon lower lease and sale prices. looking ahead to 2010, after the government’s economic stimulus programs have had a chance to kick in, the improved infrastructure spending, job creation and tax rebates should propel the real estate sector into a brighter future. The CID holds several informative programs throughout the year on the third Tuesday of each month,
designed to assist local commercial real estate practitioners in their dayto-day business lives. This year’s CID President Jag Grewal has placed an even greater emphasis on these monthly programs, and the CID has also initiated a weekly Deal Making Session on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. to help stimulate greater market activity.
CID plans programs, events for 2009 Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2009 Economic Discussion From a Local, Regional and National Perspective Tramm Hudson - Moderator Joe DiSanti-Wachovia - National Perspective Chris Pennywell-Superior Bank - Regional Perspective Sean Powers-Landmark Bank - Local Perspective Offsite Meeting Will Be Held at University Professional Park, 5911 Honore Ave. (located at University Parkway and Honore Ave.) Sponsor: Abbey Realty
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 TBD Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst Sponsor: Insignia Bank Tuesday, May 19, 2009 TBD Tuesday, June 16, 2009 TBD
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Whether it’s investing in multi-units or leasing space for a business, using a REALTOR® who specializes in commercial real estate to conduct your property transaction is a savvy move. REALTORS® know the business side of real estate, the ins and outs of an often complex, jargon-filled process. Let someone who knows the market guide you through, so you can get back to what you do best—your job.
Every market’s different. Contact an SAR Commercial REALTOR today. ®
Visit www.suncoastcix.com today for commercial real estate information!
©2009 National Association of REALTORS
Go Green in 2009 with new designation • Green Residential Real Estate National Association of Realtors® Green Designation Core Course • Green Commercial Real Estate April 22-23, 2009 • Green Property Management. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students who complete the Core Course Cost: $295 (by April 8, 2009) receive a one-year membership in the NAR After April 8: $325 Green Resource Council. Instructor: Lynn Nilssen Location: Sarasota Association of Realtors® After taking this course, you will be able to: “Green building is fundamentally • Recognize the features that make a home altering real estate dynamics. The or building green and resource efficient in NAR Green designation is not construction or remodeling, use and operation part of a current fad. Two thirds • Inform customers and clients of the of consumers are in tune to green significance of LEED, Energy Star, and other building and understand that there rating systems is a link between green homes, cost Lynn Nilssen savings and healthy living.” - McGraw • Discuss the cost-benefit of resource-efficient Hill Smart Market Report 2007, Green building and home systems, materials and land Homeowner Issue usage Demand for healthy, energy-efficient and eco-friendly • Recognize, validate and respond to concerns and homes is increasing. Realtors® who know what to look priorities of the green consumer, seller, buyer, for or know how to market a Green listing will have tenant, builder, developer the competitive edge for buyers and sellers; and will be • Make the appropriate disclosures consistent with the better able to protect their clients from being “greenNAR Code of Ethics and state regulations washed.” • Describe the interrelationships of sustainable In order to earn the NAR Green designation, the communities, Smart Growth, natural habitat student must successfully complete the Core Course and conservation, New Urbanism and land planning one of three elective courses.
Code of Ethics Training Requirement: Get reinstated quickly If you are one of many NAR members who have not completed your Code of Ethics requirement, your membership has already been suspended. Here’s how you can get reinstated in the shortest possible time: • Take NAR’s free online Quadrennial Ethics class. See the course URL below. A test is required, and no CE credit is available. Fax documentation of completion to the Education Department at 941-923-0191. www.realtor.org/MemPolWeb.nsf/ pages/quadrennialethicstrainingcour se?OpenDocument • Take an online course through SAR’s website and earn three or four hours continuing education credit as
well as the Ethics requirement for $15 or $20. Visit the web site URL listed below: www.realestatece.com/cgi-bin/z_ home?id=FLSARA Fax documentation of completion to the Education Department at 941923-0191. Another option if you can wait until Feb. 9 to be reinstated. The next Orientation Code of Ethics will be held on Feb. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. This will be offered in the classroom and there is no test. It is also free of charge to SAR members. Visit www. sarasotarealtors.com to register today as this course will very likely fill up in advance.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Annual Visa & Immigration Update
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009 9 a.m. to Noon Instructor: Valleri Crabtree $30 Members; $50 Non-Members
March 16, 2009 9 to 11 a.m. $10 Members; $20 Non-Members Attorney Donna Scarlatelli will present the SAR International Real Estate Council’s annual immigration 14 Hours CE (classroom) and visa update on March 16, 2009. The seminar will Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 10-11, 2009 outline the current paths (or roadblocks, as the case may be) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for investors and families from overseas to purchase U.S. Instructor: Valleri Crabtree real estate. The seminar will also cover little-known ways $79 Members; $99 Non-Members to secure permanent residence regardless of nationality. Annual Income Tax Update The program will be Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 held at the Sarasota Instructor: Drew Munson, H&R Block Senior Tax Advisor Association of Realtors 9 to 11 a.m. Auditorium at 3590 S. $10 Members; $20 Non-Members Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239. The seminar CRS 202: Sales Strategies for Residential will run from 9:00 AM Specialists until 11 AM. March 10-11, 2009 Donna Scarlatelli, Esq. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. is an attorney practicing Instructor: Frank Serio, CRS, CRB immigration and Location: SAR Auditorium nationality law in the SAR Members: $300 (by March 25) $329 (after March State of Florida. She is admitted to practicing 25) immigration law Non-SAR Members: $325 (by March 25) $354 (after anywhere in the U.S. March 25) In this market, do you think you could use a course on working She is the founder of her own firm, Scarlatelli, P.A., with with buyers? Top sales associates enjoy a competitive advantage offices in Sarasota. because they understand what motivates and influences their customers. Sales Strategies gives students the inside track to win over prospective buyers by teaching them the necessary strategies that make their sales quick and efficient. Students will learn how to work with today’s new buyer through counseling, salesmanship and negotiation. These effective strategies will give agents customers for life. If you want to make more sales in 2009, it doesn’t get better than this class. This course counts as one Core course towards earning the CRS designation. Visit www.crs.com for complete information on earning the CRS designation.
Listing and Selling Overleveraged and Short Sale Houses
Monday, March 23, 2009 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Instructor: Ulrich Leinhase, Maximum Success Inc. 3 Hours CE Credit $30 Members; $50 Non-Members Realtors® are surprised when they learn that commissions are hiding in overleveraged, pre-foreclosure, and short sale houses. To find these commission dollars you have to attend MSI’s Listing and Selling Overleveraged and Short Sale Houses Workshop. The workshop provides the compass and road map to those commission dollars. The workshop covers: finding, pricing, and marketing overleveraged properties; the foreclosure process and time line; pre-qualifying the seller; preparing a professional results oriented short sale package to submit to the mortgage lender(s); negotiating strategies; and most important... closing the deal and getting paid. The workshop is designed for real estate professionals concerned with state and federal legislation and the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Announcing 2009 GRI Course 1 in Sarasota GRI Course 1
Dates: Feb. 23-25, March 2-4, 2009 Times: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (varies) Credits: 45 hours salesmen’s post-license credit 14 hours continuing education credit NAR Code of Ethics Requirement for 2012 $325 for SAR Members by 2/9/09 $350 for Non Members by 2/9/09 After 2/9/09: Add $25 Register at www.sarasotarealtors.com In today’s competitive business environment you need more than just motivation and initiative to succeed, you need the advantage of the education you receive in the GRI program. NAR statistics show that those who earn the GRI designation earn substantially more than those who have not. But don’t wait too long to sign up for GRI Course 1! SAR is the only Realtor® Association in the vicinity that’s offering any of the courses in 2009 and we expect the course to fill up quickly.
Date: April 14, 2009 1 to 2:30 p.m. Instructor: Tony Martinez Location: SAR Auditorium Cost: Free to SAR Members Consumers are catching on to the value of an e-PRO certification! Join the dynamic group of Realtors® who are flourishing in the e-PRO community. This workshop offers tips and tricks for reaching customers online, but basically gives you a snapshot of the technology certification which is taken online. Attendance at the workshop gives you a $25 discount on the online course. Check out the designation which is being promoted on the #1 consumer real estate website, www.realtor.com!
In a hurry? Don’t wait in line, go online! GRI Course I is now available online through a special Florida Association of Realtors®’ website: www.fargri.com. Online convenience places the course at your fingertips, whenever you want it, and offers the same license renewal menu of credits that the live version does.
Mark your calendars for more classes in 2009 GRI 2 May 27-29 and June 2-3, 2009 GRI 3 July 27-29 and Aug. 4-5 14 Hours Continuing Education Aug. 11-12, 2009
Dedication and hard work pay off!! We congratulate our members who recently completed the requirements for the National Association of Realtors® designation and certificate programs:
ACCREDITED BUYER REPRESENTATIVE (ABR) Judy T. Nimz Michael Saunders and Company
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Improve your MLXchange education level Pre-registration is required for all MLXchange classes at www. mfrmls.com. All classes are hands-on in the SAR Technology Center (except for Entering and Updating). Registration is limited to 18. Please be sure that you will attend if you reserve a spot!
MLXchange Basic Feb. 2, 9 a.m. to Noon Feb 19, 1 to 4 p.m. Learn the basic tools of MLXchange. It does the work for you, emailing the listings that match your client’s criteria automatically through auto notification. Learn the quick way to find a listing or view your inventory with one click right from the home page or create a professional CMA in less time than it takes to drive to work. This is a mandatory session for all new users. - Review the home page features - Add a new client from the search module, saving a search and setting prospecting notification features - Searching and viewing listings, using the map, showing road, aerial, hybrid, and locator features - Adding additional search criteria - Viewing/printing/emailing reports, images, virtual tours, tax, map, driving directions and MLS listing history - Customizing hotsheet configurations - Search Tax - Creating a professional CMA - Personalize user contact information
Design Web Pages and Capture Leads Feb. 4, 2009, 9 a.m. to Noon One of the most crucial components in today’s real estate professional’s day-today business is capturing and handling leads along with time management. This course will teach you how to set up your personal agent and client web pages, contact management and scheduling features that go hand-in-hand with a successful real estate business.
Entering and Updating Listings in MLXchange Feb. 2, 2009, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Feb 19, 2009, 9 to 11 a.m. This class is mandatory if you will be entering and updating your own listings. You will be taught how to input and modify listings, enter photos, and add attachments along with valuable tips and techniques. - Listing maintenance authorization forms
iMapp - Interactive Tax and Mailing Labels Feb 5, 2009, 9 a.m. to Noon In this class you will learn how to use the tax search features of MLXchange, access iMapp’s interactive maps, tax data, comparables, auto-valuations, and easily create mailing labels for your favorite area. - MLXchange tax search, using map and field searches, printing mailing labels
- Explain the importance of accurate data - Rules and Regulations - Review the profile sheet - Entering a new listing, using tax auto pop, reviewing the fields that have specific entries in the Rules and Regulations - Adding images, attachments, open house information, Supra Key and ShowingTime - Inventory watch - easiest way to modify the listings
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
iMapp tax search, viewing parcel, GIS, MLS listings, zoom levels, street, aerial and flood zones - Measuring tool, pan and save map - Creating, viewing and downloading mailing labels - Illustrate the link to the tax appraiser website - Viewing and modifying the criteria for comparable properties - MLS and foreclosure searches
Affiliate Focus 24
Marketing: Quantity vs. Quality By Tina Darling SAR Affiliate
Why? When? What? To Whom? These are all very important questions regarding your marketing, especially during these trying times. The phrase “you have to spend it to make it” comes to mind. There is a buyer and seller for everyone – it’s up to you to make that happen. Your presentation speaks to your potential clients about who you are, your professionalism and integrity. Whether through personal interaction, via your business card, eBlasts, phone voice, attitude, or produced advertising materials, the messages reflects directly upon you. The first two are easy to answer: Why and When? Readers know the many reasons why marketing right now is important. Every piece of marketing you put out is, in essence, a “sales rep” for you and your product. Now is the time. While everyone else is cutting back on their marketing, take this chance to increase yours. Get out there, ahead of the crowd, and stand out. What and To Whom? Now those are the most important questions! The answers are QUALITY and QUALITY! Regardless of what you are sending, be it eBlasts, direct mail campaigns, newsletters, or promotional items, it has be useful and of quality. We’ve all heard people say “I’ve tried direct mail and it didn’t work.” What they really meant was they tried using direct mail and what they used didn’t work for who they sent it to. In this time of economic slow down, it’s not about quantity, it’s about QUALITY. It’s beneficial to understand your options in marketing, prior to dipping into your hard-earned marketing budget. There are three keys to marketing - what you’re marketing, who you’re marketing to and how often you’re marketing it. Take direct mail for instance. Marketing by mail is still (even in the tech-oriented world we live in) very effective. “While technology has significantly affected the way we work, communicate and socialize with each other on a daily basis, we find some types of technology such as e-mail marketing to be most effective when they are used in conjunction with traditional methods of grabbing consumers’ attention,” said Jim Litwin, vice president of market insights at Vertis Communications. The 3 keys to direct mail are: 1 – Mail something of quality. Get with a designer who thinks outside the box and will design something that’s effective and that stands out. 2 – Mail to a quality list. Don’t use just any mail house, find a distributor who understands your target market and has the capability to build a list that zerosFEBRUARY 2009
in on that market. Use a distributor who will sit down with you to determine what you need and then spend time weeding through the data to perfect your list. Many mail houses today think it’s all about quantity, and while that may be somewhat true, it’s not entirely accurate. For example if you’re selling a $50,000 vehicle, you can take your mail piece to a regular mail house and blanket mail it one time to 10,000 people. What if 8,000 of those people could only afford a $20,000 vehicle? Why not find a distributor who can narrow the list to one of QUALITY. Have your distributor single out the 2,000 people who could afford the $50,000 vehicle and mail them the postcard FIVE TIMES. This leads us to… 3- Repetition. Any salesperson worth his or her commission check will tell you that landing worthwhile new business takes a repeated and concerted effort – and lots of contact with the decision-maker. This is all the more true with salesmanship in print. Another effective and inexpensive method of marketing is Email Advertising. And again, sending quality information to the right consumer or colleague is the key. Email Advertising suits our “immediate gratification generation”. More…faster…for less. However, it’s only effective if it’s done with…that’s right: QUALITY. 1- Email something of quality. – Find a designer who will design a real “WOW” factor eBlast, and come up with a short and effective subject line. 2- Mail it to a quality list. Use the distributor that will mail it to an “Opt-In” list, a list of people who WANT to see what you’re selling. If a real estate agent is sending an Open House announcement to other real estate agents, it’s not about quantity, don’t send that announcement to all the real estate agents in the state. Use a distributor who can narrow down the list. Send it to the agents in the local area THREE TIMES - once as a “Save The Date”, then an “Invitation” then a “Friendly Reminder.” Again this leads us to… 3- Repetition. It’s a busy time for everyone, who doesn’t need a “heads up” or “friendly reminder” now and then? It is through repetition that you establish your credibility, establish brand familiarity, and become the first thought when a need for your type of product or service arises. That’s Quantity vs. Quality and the keys to marketing. Quality and Repetition win every time. Tina Darling, the founder and owner of Innovative Agent Services. As a longstanding affiliate of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Tina is known for specializing in eBlast and Direct Mail distribution. For more information visit www.InnovativeAgentServices. com. or call 941-921-5027 or via email at TinaDarling@ Comcast.net.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Broker Corner 26
Help sales associates start 2009 on high note By G.M. Filisko REALTOR® Magazine
“We wanted to get sales associates positive about activity,” says Zois. “By rewarding activity, our team leader has created habits in sales associates. If sales The best athletes stand out not just for their first-place associates start doing enough of this activity, they’re finishes but also for the drive that gets them there. You going to get good at it and probably get results.” can say the same thing for the best sales associates. Building Positive Energy Yet even your most driven top performers can ease Steve Peletz is also concentrating on activity that off the gas pedal as the year winds down and holiday generates business, not only prospecting but also demands intervene. Couple that with the frustration of activities that promote associates’ personal well being. a difficult market and even the best may have trouble “I’ve focused on keeping sales associates positive in finding motivation at year end and into 2009. terms of investing in their career in a forward-looking “A lot of sales associates have hung it up for the year, way,” says the president and CEO of Peletz and Co., for all practical purposes,” says Fred Doleac, broker- a three-associate boutique in San Francisco. “I’m less owner of the 35-associate RE/MAX Innovations in concerned about what transactions they can close by Boston and the 30-sales associate RE/MAX Country the end of the year than on their long-term prospects. Properties in Amherst, N.H. And though some of his I’ve encouraged them to focus on things that they can’t associates are having a great year, the production of address when they’re busier, such as long-term business many others is mirroring the Amherst market, where development and building relationships with clients.” sales are down about 15 percent. One way Peletz is suggesting associates build But if there are some legitimate reasons for slower relationships is by taking time for themselves. “I’m sales, that doesn’t mean that you just have to accept the encouraging them to get involved in other aspects of inevitable and hope for better next year. Here’s what their lives that might broaden their network, whether brokers say they’re doing to keep their sales associates it’s exercise, social activities, or whatever else they enjoy. motivated into 2009. By adding new interests, sales associates aren’t solely focused on the present transaction,” he explains. “Other Prime Those Competitive Instincts Debbie Zois, CRS®, GRI, knows first-hand about activities help people stay balanced and energized when sales associates running on autopilot as the year winds things aren’t perfect. I also encourage sales associates to become involved in community organizations, now that down. they have the time to invest.” “Every October, offices go to sleep,” says the owner“There’s a twofold benefit to community involvement,” broker of the 210-associate Keller Williams Realty, Las Peletz continues. “You’re helping that cause, but you’re Vegas and the 115-associate Keller Williams Realty, St. also spending more time with people in general and George in St. George, Utah. “We’ve always had a threedeveloping relationships. That’ll return a benefit down month lull. Business drops off, and it’s January before the road.” sales associates start doing business again. But real estate Another byproduct of sales associates doing things is always about having properties in the pipeline. If sales associates stop prospecting in October, guess what? they enjoy is the positive mental attitude those activities generate. “This kind of market can be discouraging,” They don’t get business until April.” This year, Zois’ St. George office team leader came up says Peletz. “By being involved in activities outside with a plan to keep associates engaged during the last the office, you’re focusing less on the one transaction tomorrow and more on the bigger picture overall. In quarter of 2008. addition, maintaining a balance and keeping perspective “We have a contest called ‘Productivity Warrior,’” says on the market will probably make them happier. When Zois, “and any new or experienced sales associate can people are happy, they’re better at selling.” win.” If that’s not motivation enough, Peletz reminds sales Unlike contests that reward sales associates for listings associates of a simple fact that’s true for many throughout taken and sold, this challenge rewards them for lead- the country. Their 2008 production determines their generation activity. Points are awarded for the number compensation for 2009 and beyond. of doors sales associates knock on, the number of calls “There should be no shortage of motivation for shortthey make to sellers whose listings have expired, and term production,” he says. “Sales associates whose 2008 the number of contacts they make to their sphere of production is currently lower than in 2007 need to focus influence. FEBRUARY 2009
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
on year-end production to avoid losing ground on their commission split in 2009. There’s a lot at stake.” For example, Peletz says, closing one or two transactions in the waning days of the year could push a sales associate from a 70–30 split to a 75–25 split for the following year. “If this downturn continues and there are fewer sales next year,” says Peletz, “you want to have the highest split possible.”
Offering Incentives to Boost Sales At Doleac’s two real estate companies, educating associates about buyer and seller incentives is the key to a healthy end of the year. “Our company is being very proactive about training sales associates on the tools and incentives available today and adding some of our own,” he says. “We’ve given salespeople information that has helped change their attitude so that they can tell consumers with confidence this is a good time to buy.” For example, Doleac is showing sales associates how to educate buyers about the interest-free loan of up to $7,500 for first-time home buyers that was included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Since the credit expires June 30, 2009, associates need to understand that buyers must act
SHORT SALES From Page 9
the amount they are willing to accept as a loss on a pre-foreclosure property through this short-sale pilot program. “By streamlining and speeding up the process, inventory is reduced and everyone wins,” says Marty Hunt, President of the Mid-Florida Regional MLS. “One of the keys to stabilizing real-estate values is to reduce the excess inventory of homes currently available for sale and move toward a balanced
soon. “Our sales associates must have a very strong working knowledge of that program so that when they’re with clients, they can answer questions,” says Doleac. “We’re also providing sales associates with the message through handouts and e-mails so that they can present the facts more clearly.” The company is also sweetening the deal for buyers by offering a rebate at closing for those who act now. “We’ve put some of our commission into the game,” explains Doleac. “It’s like a sale, and we tell buyers that it isn’t going to last forever. But if they buy now through us, we’ll give them an additional
$1,000 toward closing costs.” Sellers aren’t forgotten, either. Doleac’s companies are offering move-up sellers a guaranteed bridge mortgage so that they can purchase a home without the purchase being contingent on the sale of their current home. “The company funds the program,” explains Doleac, “which is intended to give move-up buyers the incentive to buy.” The program, which the company funds through private investors or traditional lenders, gives sellers a loan for up to two years as long as they list through his company.
market. Realtors® can use the MLS to assist buyers looking to purchase these pre-approved short-sale properties.” As an alternative to a foreclosure, a short sale takes place when a property is sold for less than the amount owed, with the approval of the mortgage lender or lenders holding the note. Typically, when a buyer and seller agree on a short-sale price, it is often met by delays by the lender, investor, or mortgage insurance company who must approve the reduced payoff and absorb the loss. The lengthy delays can jeopardize the
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
transaction—in some cases the lender will reject the purchase offer after weeks or months of waiting if it doesn’t meet their criteria. The Mid-Florida Regional services 13 Realtor® associations in 10 counties, including the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, and has approximately 30,000 members. Homebuyers can log on to www.MyFloridaHomesMLS.com to find the most up-to-date information on home listings in central and southwest Florida, including short sales, preforeclosures and foreclosures.
Sarasota Women’s Council of Realtors® plans for incredible year in 2009
2009 By Janice Litke 2009 WCR President
2009 is here, and the Sarasota chapter of WCR is working hard to make the new year as dynamic, energized and exciting as the last. We thought an introduction of the new WCR leadership would be a good way to get started. Janice Litke, President Janice, a successful Realtor® with Prudential Palms Realty, has been an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors® since 2004. She has held Leadership positions on their governing board and served on State and Local committees. Janice attended the University of London and has earned her MBA from USF. In her former Executive Management career as well as her real estate career, she is known for her dedication to professionalism and her focus on superior customer service. Janice volunteers her time with United Way and Women’s Initiative and attends Community Bible Study. When not practicing real estate, Janice is on the golf course or enjoying the Florida lifestyle living on Lido Beach with her cocker spaniel, Joey. Karen Grant, President-Elect A licensed real estate professional since 1990, Karen is currently with ReMax Tropical Sands. She is consistently one of the areas Top Producing Agents and holds GRI and ABR designations. A Davis Honors graduate of University of California, she has 10 years retail management experience. Karen is a member of the SAR Grievance Committee, and volunteers with Rob’s Rescue Cancer Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a WCR governing board member and is the 2007 Outstanding Member of the Year. When not working real estate, Karen’s beautiful voice can be heard singing with the Florida West Coast Symphony.
Cindi Jackson, VP Membership An “Ohio buckeye” transplanted to Sarasota, Cindi’s real estate career spans over 25 years. She is very active in WCR, both at the State and Local Level and has served in various leadership roles. She is the recipient of the 2005 Honor Circle Award and 2006 Affiliate of the Year. An active member of Toastmasters, Cindi believes strongly in giving back to the community. She has co-chaired the Community Outreach Committee of SAR and was honored as the 2005 Humanitarian of the Year. She is a member of the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club and is the 2006 Kiwanian of the Year. Cindi is a proud mother of two grown daughters and one perfect granddaughter! Mary Conklin, Treasurer Mary has been a Realtor® for four years after a successful career as a speech/language pathologist. She and her husband, Tom, work as a team, and have been a “team” in marriage for 41 years. They have two married children and two grandchildren. Besides real estate, Mary’s other passion is travel, and she and Tom have visited many interesting places all over the world. Dave Swenson, Recording Secretary Dave has been a Realtor® since 1992 and is currently the Broker/Owner of EXIT Creative Realty. Originally from Minneapolis, Dave served in the Marine Corps from 1982-86. He attended Edison Community College and New College of USF. Dave is also an
2009 Line Officers
Janice Litke President Prudential Palms Cell: 727-403-1814 JaniceLitke@hotmail.com
Cindi Jackson Vice President of Membership Exit Realty Signature Properties Phone: 941-907-7730 email@example.com
Dave Swenson Recording Secretary EXIT Creative Realty Cell: 941-544-4366 firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Grant President-Elect RE/MAX Tropical Sands 941-349-3460 email@example.com
Mary Conklin Treasurer RE/MAX Alliance Group Cell: 941-504-4292 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Mastro Corresponding Secretary Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Cell: 586-2402 email@example.com
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
accomplished classical pianist, performing in various dramatic roles in the Cape Coral Community Theater and his church. Dave is married to Marsha and they love traveling around the world discovering other cultures.
Mary Mastro, Corresponding Secretary Mary’s public relations degree serves her well as she works tirelessly as a buyers’ specialist with the Jana Martin Group at Keller Williams Realty. Living in the Sarasota area for 20 years, Mary and her husband/partner, Nick have raised 3 children and 2 dogs. They enjoy travel and sporting events as they support their favorite home town team, the Chicago Cubs. Mary is also active on the Cardinal Mooney High School Advisory Board serving on their nominating committee.
Programs Calendar 2009 February 13 - Program Meeting – “The Changing Market” – Angela Massaro-Fain March 13 - Program Meeting – Green Panel Lynn Nilssen, Green Certification Instructor Sandra Adomatis, Green Appraiser Randy Moor, Exec Director. Efest Florida and Positive Change Magazine
LWR Green Builders (LWR largest Green Master Planned Community in US) Grant Castilow, MyGreenBuildings March 20-22 - Summit Chicago April 14-15 Realtor® Legislative Days Tallahassee April 17 - Sandee Rains – Consumer Credit – Buyers Credit Issues and Identity Theft May 9 - Programs Meeting – Honoring Past Presidents and State Presidents Joint Meeting SAR/MAR May 11-16 - WCR/ NAR Mid-Year Washington, DC June 24 - Joint Meeting with SAR July 10 - Program Meeting – Mary Wolf – Path to Success August 14 - Jack Wolf – “It’s Never To Late To Learn To Relate” and Elections August 18-23 - WCR/FAR Annual Conference – Orlando September 11 - Annual Fashion Show October 9 - District Forum November 12 - Emily Sperling, Community Relations Manager, EDC November 11-16 - WCR/NAR Annual Conference – San Diego December 10 - Installation and Farewell
Q: Will the CID make any changes to the annual golf tournament, considering the state of the economy and the From Page 7 difficulty to gain sponsorship funds? A: The golf tournament will go on this year – it may not operation down here. I have suggested that residential and be the same as we have seen it in the past, but it is an event commercial Realtors® begin “dating” over lunch! that will take place. Q: Your predecessor placed an emphasis on governmental Q: How do you see your role as leader of the CID? affairs. How much of an emphasis will you place on interaction A: It is not that hard to lead when I have a great board with local government and officials? of directors. The board members of the CID are a great A: The emphasis will always be there – we are all in the group of people that are committed to this industry and same boat and the sooner all parties recognize this, the our community. They are selfless in their service to their better. industry and their peers. There is no leading needed, they Q: How will you market the Suncoast CIX system to are all individually and collectively motivated. bring in more members? Q: What strengths do you bring to the position from A: The system that we have is great and the developers of your professional background? the program seem to be improving it at every opportunity. I think that the way to increase membership is to raise the A: My professional background has less to do with the awareness about the system to our brokerage community. position than does my passion for this profession and our We are going to be working on this throughout this year. wonderful community.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
The Association is pleased to welcome new members!
Bauman, Lawrence, Award Real Estate Services Camarota, Samuel, Samuel R Camarota R E Broker Hendricks, Gary, Sarasota Property Consulting Kohl, Thomas, Kohl Realty Kropp, Keith, Frontgate Realty Inc. Quist, Barbara, RE/MAX Advantage Rlty Hernando Regan, Michael, Michael J Regan Salas, Jose, PROPERTY1ONE Smith, Nancy, Nancy Smith R E Broker Suss, Kirsten, SandN Real Estate LLC
Akins, Susan, Coldwell Banker Residential R E Bassett, Janet, Signature Sothebys International Bondy, Michael, WEICHERT Realtors® On The Key Cats, Ronald, Cityscapes International Realty Group Courter, Dawn, Academy Realty Group LLP Cuffaro, Adam, Academy Realty Group LLP Davenport, Michael, King Mortgage and Realty LLC Giordano, Maureen, Atchley International Realty Haeussler, Barbara, Rosebay Real Estate International LLC Icely, Shawn, SB Realty Inc. Kelley, William, Interstate Commercial Brokers Keyser, Stephen, Michael Saunders and Company Kromer, Donald, Horizon Realty Lonsdale, Kristy, Michael Saunders and Company Mollin, Sandra Kim, Century 21 All Aces Realty Neff, Donna, Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Piskoty, Steven, Action Realty of Sarasota LLC Schwartz, Karen, Hunt Florida Real Estate Taglione, Stephen, Abbey Realty LLC Tanaka, Amy, Saba and Associates Wingate, Amy, Byrd Realty Inc.
Albano, Michael, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Aviles, Lillian, RoseBay Real Estate Inc. Badessa-McDonald, Lynn, Prudential Palms Realty Bassett, Janet, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Beacham, Deborah, Michael Saunders and Company Bollettieri, Jeri, Academy Realty Group LLP Bright, Paul, ELITE Properties LLC Burke PA, Carol, Listing Services Direct Burke-Phillips, Michelle, Coldwell Banker Res R E Burwood, Stephanie, Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Carte, Susan, Michael Saunders and Company Cleland, Douglas, Prudential Palms Realty Cochrane, Michael A, Prudential Palms Realty Cornuke, Paul, Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Cowley, Benjamin, WEICHERT Realtors® On The Key Crichton Gold, Peter, Engel and Voelkers Anna Maria Cuffaro, Adam, Academy Realty Group LLP Currey, Todd, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Currey, Tamara, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Davis, Wendy Sue, Realty Executives Solutions Dean, Thomas, Florida Gulf Coast Realty LLC DuFort, Arnold, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Fadley-Dane, Iva, Waterside Realty LLC Fridh Jr, Eric, Coldwell Banker Res R E Greer, Kay, Beckmann Properties Guenther, Patricia, Signature Sothebys Internat’l
Gwynn, Gary, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Henry, William, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Hutter, Margaret, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Ivan, Patrice, Jennette Properties Inc. Jaquith, Helen, RE/MAX Advantage Rlty Hernando Kirkpatrick, Yolanda, Prudential Palms Realty Lewis, Craig, RE/MAX Alliance Group MacKenzie, Margo, Waterside Realty LLC Mahoney, Mary, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Makowski, Bryan, Kohl Realty Marshall, George, Michael Saunders and Company Martin, Carmen, Prudential Palms Realty Martin, Carmen, Coldwell Banker Res R E May, Pamela, Signature Sothebys Internat’l McDonald, Barbara, York Real Estate Inc. McDonald, Michael, Prudential Palms Realty Milton, Julie, True Real Estate Inc. Minton III, Dave, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Morse, Marcia, Coldwell Banker Res R E Morton, Cindy, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Neff, Donna, Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Paley, Sheldon, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Petsinger, Robert, Prudential Palms Realty Pirot, Gerard, Hunt Florida Real Estate Porter, Nick, RE/MAX Alliance Group Razick, Shirley, Prudential Palms Realty Reid, Erin, RealtyOne Alliance Riahi, Isabelle, Blakeley and Associates Realty Roemer, Jennifer, Ken Brand Lic R E Broker Rosenfeld, Sam, Surfside Properties Rueger, Fred, Harry Robbins Assoc Inc. Rutstein, Jo, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Salkin, Marcia, Michael Saunders and Company Samuels, Carole, RE/MAX Alliance Group Sas, John, Cunningham Prop Mgmt Corp Schubring, Michael, ELITE Properties LLC Shaw, Stephanie, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Shepard, Lisa, Peens Property Group Inc. Sikdar, Rinat, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Smith, Dennis, Homes and Dreams Realty Inc. Smith, Annette, Allen Real Estate Services Inc. Soublis, Paulene, Michael Saunders and Company Steakley, Doris, Andrews and Associates Realty Stephan PA, Karin, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Streck, Thomas, Wagner Realty Sutton, Ginger, Waterside Realty LLC Talbot PA, Karen, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Tanner, Dawn, Andrews and Associates Realty Tipton, Brenda, Horizon Realty Ward, Angela, Florida Realty Group Warren, Charles, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Whitfield, Keith, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Whitfield LLC, Sharon, Signature Sothebys Internat’l Winger, Michael, RE/MAX Tropical Sands Winger, Ann, RE/MAX Tropical Sands Wood, Brian, Sarasota Style Realty Inc.
New Affiliate Members American Home Shield 1011 68th St NW Bradenton, FL 34209
Continued on P. 31, see MEMBERSHIP
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
Did you know that nine percent of home sale transactions in Florida in 2008 were by foreign buyers? Or that Florida is the most popular destination of home buyers from abroad? SAR presents opportunities for you to be part of this market. Business development trips are planned this year to several locations (France, Spain, Canada, and the United Kingdom). The first is just around the corner. Seize the opportunity! The largest real estate expo in France for primary and secondary property investment will be held March 19-22 in Paris, France. In 2008, over 40,000 buyers attended the Salon National de L’Immobilier to see 250 exhibitors, and a survey indicated that 17 percent were seeking homes outside Paris or abroad. Most important – 10 percent of the hits on Immobel.com come from France, and SAR members’ properties are displayed on Immobel. • SAR will have a booth to promote the Sarasota area, its lifestyle, and investment potential. Attend the expo to reach qualified, affluent Europeans looking for second home and investment property and interact with French real estate professionals to establish referral relationships. • Advertise in two issues of Les Annonces, a catalog
MEMBERSHIP From Page 30
Phone Number: 800-800-8880 Representative: Leigh Cloud Specialty: As the founding and leading Home Warranty Company, we have over 35 years of experience caring for our customers. With over 1.3 million home warranties in force nationwide, and over 11,000 contractors in our service network, we lead the industry in delivering innovative home warranty products to our customers.
Kiernan Remodeling and Design
4007 39th Street East Bradenton, FL 34208 Phone Number: 941-748-1219 Representative: John Kiernan Specialty: “Kiernan Remodeling + Design is an award winning remodeling firm, trusted for over 20- years, offering personalized Architectural Design, Interior Decorating and Construction, all in-house, making it an
distributed monthly around Paris by our French partners, FNAIM and also at the expo in March to all attendees. The deadline for the February issue is February 6. • Promote properties in a catalog to be produced by SAR and distributed at the expo. You decide at what level you wish to participate. But don’t delay, because time is short. Please contact Catherine McCaskill (328-1167) or Carla Rayman if you are interested. More reasons to participate: • Florida is the most popular destination of home buyers from abroad. • The south gets 46 percent of foreign buyers, with Florida getting 55 percent of those from Europe. • In the year ending May 2008, 26 percent of Realtors in Florida had at least one foreign client. • Nearly 75 percent of foreign buyers purchased single-family homes for vacation or investment. • The median price was $297,400, with 14 percent over the price of $750,000. • And 43 percent of the buyers paid CASH! easy, and all in one seamless process.”
325 Central Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 Phone Number: 941-366-9161 Representative: Samuel Holladay Specialty: We provide architectural and interior design services for private as well as public sector clients.
International Real Estate
Be part of the global market – no travel required
The Oaks Club
301 Macewen Drive Osprey, FL 34229 Phone Number: 941-966-2161 Representative: Kathleen McManus Specialty: This private country club offers the finest in championship-style golf on two 18-hole courses, a professional tennis facility, and exquisite dining in three restaurants. The most attractive feature of The Oaks, however, is its vibrant social life, whether taking place in the clubhouse or among friends in one of the luxury residences situated within the gated community.
Sarasota Realtor Magazine
S ARASOTA A SSOCIATION OF R EALTORS ® E DUCATION /E VENTS C ALENDAR Tuesday
2 9 a.m. MLXChange Basic 1:30 p.m. MLXchange E & U
3 8:30 a.m. CID Board
4 7:30 a.m. Toastmasters 9 a.m. MLX Design Web Pages 1:30 p.m. MLXchange Tools
8 a.m. Power Marketing, (University Park CC) 9 a.m. MLXchange iMapp 1:30 p.m. MLX Custom Reports
9 a.m. CID Deal Making
9 a.m.– 4 p.m. New Member Orientation, Code of Ethics
9 a.m.- Noon Core Law 9 a.m.—5 p.m. 14 Hrs. CE.
11 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. 14 Hrs CE
16 President’s Day SAR closed
7:30 a.m. Toastmasters 9 a.m. Income Tax Seminar
8 a.m. Power Marketing (Knights of Columbus) 9 a.m. MLXchange E&U 1 p.m. MLXchange Basic
8 a.m. GRI 1
8 a.m. GRI 1 9 a.m. iMapp 1:30 p.m. MLX Custom Reports
8 a.m. CID General Membership 9 a.m. MLXchange CMA 1:30 p.m. MLXchange Advanced
8 a.m. GRI 1
8 a.m. GRI 1
8 a.m. GRI 1 8:30 a.m. SAR Board of Directors
8 a.m. GRI 1 9 a.m. MLX Design Web Pages 1:30 p.m. MLXchange Tools
8 a.m. Power Marketing, (Knights of Columbus)
8 a.m. Power Marketing (Knights of Columbus)
8 a.m. Power Marketing (University Park CC) 9 a.m. MLXchange Basic 1:30 p.m. MLXchange E&U
9 a.m. CID Deal Making
9 a.m. CID Deal Making
9 a.m. CID Deal Making
Note: All events/classes are at SAR, except where noted
Mid-Florida Regional MLS Training
The classes E & U (Entering & Updating), Tools, Design Web Pages, MLX Intro, MLX Advanced, iMAPP, Custom Reports and CMA are all Mid-Florida Regional MLS training classes offered at no cost to MLS participants. All classes (except E & U) are HANDS-ON in the SAR Tech Center. Please register for all MLS classes at the MFRMLS website: http://mfrmls.com. Click on “Training,” then “Quick Class Registration” and follow prompts.
Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. 3590 S. Tuttle Ave. Sarasota, FL 34239
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID MANASOTA, FL PERMIT NO. 451
Published on Jan 28, 2009