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Sarasota and Her Islands: Icons of Waterfront Living

Sarasota easily ranks as one of the leading Florida destinations for buyers of waterfront properties. And it is easy to see the reasons why.

First, water is a major element in the geographical features that shaped the city and the fortunes of the Sarasota real estate market. Out of the city’s total area of about 25 square miles, water accounts for 10.5 square miles.

These waters mostly manifest in Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico adjoining parts of the city and its barrier islands—Lido Key, Bird Key, Longboat Key, and Siesta Key—to the west. Significantly, Sarasota waterfront properties are not confined to those next to the bay and the gulf. In Sarasota’s barrier islands, there are plenty of canalfront properties with premium valuation like our Judy Kepecz-Hays team’s listing in Bird Key.

Mainland Water Features

In the mainland, South Sarasota notably provides another superb waterfront setting along Phillippi Creek. On both flanks of this waterway rich in natural charm, many neighborhoods have already been developed and also incorporated non-waterfront properties like the lot that our team listed recently on Riverwood Avenue.

Residences built fronting man-made lagoons and lakes further widen waterfront residential choices in Sarasota. Many of these water features have been included in local real estate developments to serve as stormwater retention ponds and help prevent flooding. Others form part of the water features of golf courses around which residential neighborhoods have been deftly woven.

Varied Price Points

Given the varying locations of Sarasota waterfront properties, their price points can vary significantly as well. More so that the residential types in these prime neighborhoods vary as well. Typically, million-dollar price tags on beachfront estates like our team’s listing in north Lido Key.

Luxury options could likewise be found in beachfront or bayfront Sarasota condos such as Ritz-Carlton Towers. Expect pricing to be more moderate for waterfront residences built within communities in the mainland, particularly price quotes for multi-family dwellings.

For prospective sellers, it is crucial to note that the typical buyer of a waterfront residence would be looking beyond the house’s build or structure. They would examine as closely if its waterfront setting—whether beachfront, bayfront, canalfront, or lake front—matches their lifestyle perfectly.

The Buyers’ Checklist

The buyers’ main considerations could revolve around property features that support such activities as boating, fishing, and other water sports activities. They’d like to find out the types of activities allowed on the local body of water, as in some areas, there may be restrictions on speedboats, jet skis, and other water vessels.

In beachfront or bayfront residential market listings, prospective buyers would pay close attention to such features as storm shutters, hurricane-resistant doors and windows, and other essential structures protecting the house from the elements. Some buyers would also be particular about having seawalls and boat docks. Equally important are the government initiatives in place or on the drawing boards to protect local waterways.

Be it buying or selling waterfront real estate, the market considerations loom plenty and unique. For more insights, email or call our team and benefit from the decades of experience we have gained on waterfront real estate sales and marketing.

Virtual Reality Modes Present Sarasota at Its Best

The Covid-19-induced new norms of safer-at-home and physical distancing are by no means barriers to residential sellers from presenting Sarasota’s major points of interest to prospective buyers. Aside from virtual tours of residences, various attractions in Sarasota could be appreciated through remote means.

The Facebook page of Ringling Museum, for example, live streams every Friday a tour of this famous museum’s Bayfront Gardens. A horticulturist at The Mable Ringling Rose Garden, Kai Sacco, hosts this virtual tour which is also recorded and available after each live-streaming. Kai also offers tips for Florida-friendly planting and pollinators, besides walking viewers through the amazing features of the museum’s landmark gardens.

Family-centered Learning Programs

Through social media, Selby Gardens also offers similar virtual feeds on the botanical delights in Sarasota. The education team of Selby Gardens has also come up with a scavenger hunt that provides families with tools and guides to identify various plants within their backyards. The results of these plant hunt adventures could then be shared in Selby Gardens’ Facebook or Instagram accounts.

Some remote samplings of the best Sarasota has to offer are likewise accessible courtesy of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Through the museum’s online facility, you can view the 28,000 works in the Ringling collection including Asian art, Baroque paintings, outdoor sculptures, and historic circus images.

Aspiring residential buyers, moreover, can appreciate the learning-from-home program that the Ringling Museum has adopted because of the recent stay-at-home response to Covid-19. The learning activities that Ringling offers support not only students and teachers but also caregivers. These activities are regularly updated and could be enjoyed with whatever art supplies are available in a household.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Van Wezel Foundation have partnered in a similar project as well. Called Artworks Anywhere, this new arts and education service is available online for free. This program is designed for educators, parents, caregivers, and kids.

Artworks Anywhere includes both live-streaming and on-demand recordings of art learning activities. This program seeks to encourage families and their children to create art in its many forms, such as stories, poems, drawings, dance moves, or songs. The projects are set around Van Wezel’s various resources including its teaching artists.

Works from Access Sarasota

More of Sarasota’s attractions could be previewed extensively online through the programs of the county’s Access Sarasota television and communications team. Its works include story times from public libraries on Mondays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, Access Sarasota features nature walks with staff from Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.

The team has also started live-streaming Sarasota sunsets on Tuesday and Friday evenings. These webcasts, which are also available in the Access Sarasota’s archives, have become popular nowadays that local beaches are closed and most residents are confined indoors.

Sellers of real estate properties in Sarasota can indeed count on plenty of virtual reality tools to help promote their sales listings. While access to Sarasota’s major points of interest is temporarily restricted, there are still great ways to bring attention to them and in the process contribute to highlighting the value of local properties.

Where the Country Lifestyle Clings in Sarasota

It’s really amazing that Sarasota, despite the recent surge of new real estate developments in the county, still offers a good selection of residential properties that essentially provide the delights of country living. Most searches for these charming residences typically gravitate toward communities located east of Interstate 75, specifically those along the southern and northern flanks of Fruitville Road.

Just this January, our Judy Kepecz-Hays team listed a residence at the Racimo Ranches in this area. In so doing, we can tell you more about the many underlying elements that make its neighborhoods attract homebuyers.

Laid-back but Accessible Setting

The marketability of residences in the Racimo Ranches neighborhood, for instance, got a recent boost from the extension of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard south to Fruitville Road. This extension notably opened an alternative route to the traffic-prone Interstate 75 that opens access to several major destinations to the north.

The improved transportation infrastructure on this side of Sarasota puts its residents just a short drive northward to commercial hubs like the Mall at the University Town Center. And there are more nearby attractions coming for the residents of Racimo Ranches and its neighboring residential communities.

These emerging magnets to homebuyers are shaping up as part of the Lakewood Ranch development, Waterside, just minutes north from Racimo Ranches. The town center being developed in conjunction with this Lakewood Ranch project in Sarasota is expected to open by the first quarter of 2021.

Called Waterside Place, this town center is being groomed to become a major entertainment destination in our region. Besides its waterfront restaurants, shops, and special events, Waterside Place will likewise host the new $30-million campus of The Players Centre for Performing Arts which is moving from downtown Sarasota.

Dominant Equestrian Neighborhoods

Significantly, these neighboring real estate developments are unlikely to spoil the countryside feel in the Racimo Ranches neighborhood. For one thing, the residences of this area occupy acre-sized lots. This area is also dominated by two equestrian communities—Fox Creek Acres and Pine Valley Ranches. Like those in Racimo Ranches, the residences in these two communities feature not only large single-family houses but also grand luxury estates.

Also dominant in this area is the Tatum Ridge Golf Links just east of Racimo Ranches. This golf course provides an unspoiled natural environment that enhances the quality of life in its neighboring communities. It features well-preserved wetlands and 11 lakes, creating a thriving habitat for native Florida wildlife. Besides play on its 18-hole layout, this facility also features a restaurant, a pro shop, and golf practice facilities.

Other outdoor delights near Racimo Ranches could be enjoyed at the 300-acre Celery Fields. A part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, this local attraction is ideal for bird watching and hiking. It also serves as a primary stormwater collection zone for Sarasota County, thus helping protect the integrity, as well as the marketability, of local real estate properties.

There are indeed many factors shaping buyers’ interest and market demand on Sarasota’s residences. Jumpstart your real estate sale or purchase with the expert assistance of our Judy Kepecz-Hays team. Email or call us to gain more insights in the local market.

Where the Country Lifestyle Clings in Sarasota

It’s really amazing that Sarasota, despite the recent surge of new real estate developments in the county, still offers a good selection of residential properties that essentially provide the delights of country living. Most searches for these charming residences typically gravitate toward communities located east of Interstate 75, specifically those along the southern and northern flanks of Fruitville Road.
Just this January, our Judy Kepecz-Hays team listed a residence at the Racimo Ranches in this area. In so doing, we can tell you more about the many underlying elements that make its neighborhoods attract homebuyers.

Laid-back but Accessible Setting

The marketability of residences in the Racimo Ranches neighborhood, for instance, got a recent boost from the extension of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard south to Fruitville Road. This extension notably opened an alternative route to the traffic-prone Interstate 75 that opens access to several major destinations to the north.

The improved transportation infrastructure on this side of Sarasota puts its residents just a short drive northward to commercial hubs like the Mall at the University Town Center. And there are more nearby attractions coming for the residents of Racimo Ranches and its neighboring residential communities.

These emerging magnets to homebuyers are shaping up as part of the Lakewood Ranch development, Waterside, just minutes north from Racimo Ranches. The town center being developed in conjunction with this Lakewood Ranch project in Sarasota is expected to open by the first quarter of 2021.

Called Waterside Place, this town center is being groomed to become a major entertainment destination in our region. Besides its waterfront restaurants, shops, and special events, Waterside Place will likewise host the new $30-million campus of The Players Centre for Performing Arts which is moving from downtown Sarasota.

Dominant Equestrian Neighborhoods

Significantly, these neighboring real estate developments are unlikely to spoil the countryside feel in the Racimo Ranches neighborhood. For one thing, the residences of this area occupy acre-sized lots. This area is also dominated by two equestrian communities—Fox Creek Acres and Pine Valley Ranches. Like those in Racimo Ranches, the residences in these two communities feature not only large single-family houses but also grand luxury estates.

Also dominant in this area is the Tatum Ridge Golf Links just east of Racimo Ranches. This golf course provides an unspoiled natural environment that enhances the quality of life in its neighboring communities. It features well-preserved wetlands and 11 lakes, creating a thriving habitat for native Florida wildlife. Besides play on its 18-hole layout, this facility also features a restaurant, a pro shop, and golf practice facilities.

Other outdoor delights near Racimo Ranches could be enjoyed at the 300-acre Celery Fields. A part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, this local attraction is ideal for bird watching and hiking. It also serves as a primary stormwater collection zone for Sarasota County, thus helping protect the integrity, as well as the marketability, of local real estate properties.

There are indeed many factors shaping buyers’ interest and market demand on Sarasota’s residences. Jumpstart your real estate sale or purchase with the expert assistance of our Judy Kepecz-Hays team. Email or call us to gain more insights in the local market.

Sarasota’s Winsome Landmark: Five Points

If we are to choose some of the landmarks most iconic of the city of Sarasota, Five Points in the heart of downtown should easily come out among those on top. Both residents and visitors could easily agree on this choice, given the charming features in this area where five thoroughfares converge (hence, the area’s name).

Here, the two doglegs of Main Street meet with Central Avenue as well as with North and South Pineapple Avenues. In August 2011, a roundabout was completed where these thoroughfares meet to provide for easier and safer traffic, especially for pedestrians. The well-landscaped roundabout also eliminated the unsightly traffic lights formerly installed at Five Points.

Namesake Park

This downtown Sarasota hub is more popular though for its lush and leafy Selby Five Points Park which flaunts several public art display contributing to the city’s aesthetics. The park likewise occasionally hosts specials events, such as the city’s traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

In recent years, the Market at Five Points was also held at this park every Wednesday from November to April. It was ran by the same group handling the Sarasota Farmers Market each Saturday of the week on Lemon Avenue.

Just adjacent north of the park is another local attraction—the Selby Public Library—the largest in Sarasota County. It is not only known for its extensive collection of books and other reference materials in various subjects. The library is also known for its various free program and events for the youth and adults.

In addition to the library, there many downtown shops and dining destinations in the Five Points area. This neighborhood is likewise host to the Sarasota Opera House on North Pineapple Avenue. Opened in 1926, this is a historic theatre offers more besides cultural performances. It also holds school programs, a summer camp, and outreach projects.

Cornerstone of Growth

Much of Sarasota’s urban growth, it could be said, revolved around Five Points. Significantly, the city’s first skyscraper—the First Bank and Trust Building—that was constructed during the 1920s on the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street.

After several ownership changes, this building was eventually demolished to give way to the construction of a mixed-use condominium building—Plaza at Five Points. This condominium was developed as a high-rise sporting a Neo-classical architectural design.

Plaza at Five Points, definitely one of downtown Sarasota’s pride, was completed in 2005. It has 52 residential condos, and these were set from the 11th floor up to the 17th floor of the building. Four penthouses, one of which our Judy Kepecz-Hays team recently listed, occupy the top floor. The other residential floors of the building have been laid out with eight condos each. Commercial and business establishments take the spaces from the ground floor up to the ninth floor.

Iconic Condo Perks

The features of Plaza at Five Points are archetypal of mixed-use downtown Sarasota condominiums. Its residents have a private entrance lobby separate from that of the condominium’s commercial tenants. Three high-speed passenger elevators, plus one service lift, serve the condo’s residents exclusively.

Other residential amenities are as desirable and include a luxurious clubroom with a grand view of Sarasota Bay. It provides many amenities such as an entertainment center, a wet bar, fireplace and catering kitchen.

Purchase of a condo in the Plaza at Five Points is also bundled with these amenities: a swimming pool with a sundeck a gazebo, and grill area; a modern fitness center and spa; boardroom/library; a garden terrace; and guest suites.

Sarasota Bay Flexes Asset in Hawks Harbor

Just early this February, our Judy Kepecz-Hays team put on the market a residence in a waterfront development—Hawks Harbor—that exemplifies the compelling value proposition of properties just off Sarasota Bay.

This community is located south of Bay Drive in Bradenton, only about one-fourth mile west of the vital roadway of U.S. 41. Hawks Harbor is an upscale gated community comprised of only about 50 residences. Many of these houses are directly located bayfront while others are along a deep-water canal leading off to nearby Bowles Creek onward to Sarasota Bay.

The inland houses in Hawks Harbor were built around a charming lake with a fountain accent. With this setting, splendid water views could be enjoyed in all of the residences. Verdant and lush landscaping also set a quiet setting for this community, right from its Bay Street entry lined with tropical Florida palm trees.

Classic Luxury Features

The residences in Hawks Harbor were constructed starting in the early 2000s (our team’s listing was completed 2002). The houses located bayfront or canal-side typically feature private boat docks. For the non-waterfront residences, deeded access is available at the community’s marina allowing unobstructed access to Sarasota Bay,

Hawks Harbor, overall, is an upscale neighborhood with its residences built in compliance with green-building standards. Moreover, these houses comply with the new Florida building code that sets tougher hurricane protection measures.

A good number of the residences in Hawks Harbor are valued in the million-dollar range. The community’s dwellings consist of an impressive mix of architectural styles like Mediterranean, Caribbean, Cape Cod, and Key West designs. The typical features of these luxury dwellings include spacious game rooms, wine cellars, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools, and boat docks with storage

Golf in Nearby Sara Bay

Hawks Harbor is more than a boating community though, as it is conveniently located close to some of the major points of interest in Sarasota and Bradenton. The community’s residents, for instance, can avail of membership in the nearby Sara Bay Country Club. This country club, founded in 1926, is located on Willow Street just a few minutes’ drive east of Hawks Harbor.

Sara Bay features a championship golf course that underwent an extensive renovation completed in October 2018. It nonetheless retained the original design of noted course architect Donald Ross. Play on this 18-hole layout runs at a par 72 over 7,012 yards. Sara Bay Country Club also offers social and dining facilities for meetings and celebrations.

Besides these perks, residents of Hawks Harbor also have easy access to the sports facilities of the IMG Academy. Baseball, football, soccer, tennis, golf, and lacrosse are among the events that IMG hosts.

Several schools serve Hawks Harbor families with school-age kids. These include Bayshore Elementary, Harlee Middle, and Bayshore High School. In sum, this community captures all the delights of living in Sarasota with generous slices of a namesake bay as the centerpiece.

Luxury waterfront properties are the specialization of our Judy Kepecz-Hays team. Call or email us if you want to buy or sell a residence in Sarasota and her islands.

Ritz-Carlton Golf Club: A Condo Sales Booster

Looking at the total number of U.S. golfers (some 24.2 million in one count), it makes sense why golf facilities are among the amenities sweetening many of Sarasota luxury real estate deals. These perks are not only exclusive to single-family residences within or near local golf communities. An option on a golf club membership is also among the come-ons for sales listings in upscale condominiums like the bayfront Ritz-Carlton Residences where our Judy Kepecz-Hays team currently has a well-priced listing.

Buyers eying this high-rise condo on 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive gets a rare chance to join the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. Its world-class golf course is located on a 316-acre spread on 70th Terrace East in Bradenton northeast of downtown Sarasota.

Designed by noted course architect Tom Fazio, the Ritz-Carlton 18-hole golf links weave a lush, tropical landscape designated by Audubon International as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The course features 12 scenic lakes and endearing elevation changes.

For Amateurs and Pros

A round in this golf course is a tour amid mature oak trees, serene and lush wetlands, native grass fields, and colorful flowering shrubs. Built in 2006, the course shines certainly not only because of its environmental excellence hailed by Audubon. The Ritz-Carlton links, a par 72 layout, offer very reasonable fairway connections between the tees and greens that let golfers unlock a quick-paced play.

Whether you are a golfer with a low handicap or a high handicap, course designer Fazio has plotted a hole-by-hole challenge for you to enjoy. He came up with six sets of tees to choose from at the Ritz-Carlton golf layout.

The most challenging of these extends on a championship range of 7,417 yards. Expect the round of play to be at its tamest on the course’s forward tees of 5,175 yards. Here, the newbie golfers have varied options to skirt around the links’ string of puzzling hazards.

Posh Club Amenities

Caddies of the Ritz-Carlton golf club provide not only professional advice on play strategy. Throughout the game, they will pamper you with their concierge services. Professional golf instruction and a practice area catering to all aspects of the game are also among the club’s facilities.

Players also have access to a grand, full-service clubhouse with a grill and bar, plus ladies and gentlemen’s locker rooms with attendants. The club likewise features an award-winning golf pro shop.

With all its outstanding features, the Ritz-Carlton golf club has received many accolades. These include those from Golf Digest, Zagat, and Conde Nast Traveler. The club, given its topnotch golf facilities, also co-hosted the Florida State Amateur Championship in June 2018. It also takes pride in being the home club of Peter Uihlein, the U.S. Amateur Golf Champion in 2010.

Golf amenities are but one of the factors enhancing the values of Sarasota luxury condominiums like the Ritz-Carlton Residences. Its condo owners can likewise seek membership in the Ritz-Carlton Members Beach Club in Lido Key and the spa and salon in the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel just a short walk from the condominium. Learn more about the primers driving the values in the Sarasota luxury real estate market, call or email our Judy Kepecz-Hays team.

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Ringling College of Arts—Sarasota’s Pride

There are so many things that Sarasota takes pride in and put the city on the search map of luxury homebuyers. The Ringling College of Art and Design, founded in 1931, is one of these stellar attractions. For nearly 70 years, it has served as a valuable asset of the Sarasota community.

In the 40 years that our Judy Kepecz-Hays team has served the Sarasota market, we have seen how Ringling College and its graduates have helped elevate our region in the national and international consciousness.

Alumni Animators Win Oscars’ Limelight

In the Oscars early this February, some Ringling College alumni again shared a bit of the award’s limelight. These former students of the school are animators who worked in Oscar-nominated films like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Endgame, and Avengers. More than 50 Ringling College animators were also part of the crew in the 2019 Oscar-nominated productions Ralph Breaks the Internet and Incredibles.

These notable accomplishments by the graduates of Ringling College have helped elevate it among the best animation schools in the U.S. In one academic ranking, the college emerged as second and was rated ahead of other reputable schools in California and New York.

All told, Ringling College offers academic training in 13 creative disciplines. Besides computer animation, these programs include fine arts, film, game art, virtual reality development, and creative writing.

School on Expansion Mode

As of fall 2019, 1,660 students are enrolled in the school’s campus on the northeast quadrant of U.S. 41 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The school expects its enrolment to grow further, and it opened additional facilities recently including a new library, a soundstage complex and a visual arts center.

A further expansion of the 49-acre Ringling College complex north of downtown Sarasota is now in the works. In January, the Sarasota City Commission approved the proposal of the school to amend the Ringling Overlay District. Among other things, this approval paves the way for expanding the school’s footprint up north to Guilford Lane and Patterson Drive.

Down the southeast corner U.S. 41 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the school plans to build a “signature building” primarily for academic facilities and gallery space. A new on-campus residential hall and a dining hall are also on the drawing boards of the expansion plan of Ringling College. The school is notably consulting its neighboring residential communities to address potential issues and concerns.

Separately, the school expanded its presence south of downtown Sarasota. Last December, it opened the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College that features exhibits of contemporary artwork.

Notably, this art museum’s building is also host to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI). Here, Sarasota residents, as well as those from Manatee County, can choose from various courses covering such topics as finance, foreign language, technology, and politics.

OLLI is also the place to attend lectures on relevant topics. This February-March, the institute is holding a six-session series—“Listening to Women” featuring lady achievers in their chosen fields.

The Ringling College of Art and Design is but one of the many elements that combine to raise the quality of life in Sarasota and add value to local properties. We can share more on the other important factors that are involved in the sale or purchase of a local residence. Call our email our Judy Kepecz-Hays team today!

Shift in Residential Design Preference Looms as Housebound Days Rise

Grooming a house with an open floor plan for a market listing? Consider this: buyers’ preference may be veering away now from this open concept typically combining the living room, dining room, and kitchen into a single great room.

Because of the recent lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19, buyers’ demand instead may increasingly turn to residences with segmented, multi-room floor areas. This as social distancing and work-from-home setups become more ingrained into our new norm.

This trend away from open floor plans may already be long underway. A study a few years back showed that Americans spent on average an extra 8 days at home in 2012 compared to 2003. This increase in homebound days was traced to more employees working from home, as well as to the rise in online shopping and the growth in available home-based entertainment like streaming video.

More Pressure Is On

Likely prospects of home-schooling due to Covid-19 also now add pressure to rethink open floor plans. There are certain disadvantages inherent in this design, too, which need looking into if you’re selling an open-concept residence. Some of the common complaints in open-floor-plan houses include the lack of private spaces, lingering cooking smells, poor sound quality and echoes, and lackluster lighting.
These drawbacks became even more pronounced with COVID-19’s profound effects on our lifestyle. The pandemic has made it impractical and difficult to weave household activities like online work and home-schooling in a single, open area. In this scenario, walls and segmented rooms appear necessary for separate uses, such as an office suite, a study area, and even an exercise room. Enclosed, comfortable spaces, like “she shacks” and “man caves,” could also be additional selling points now for home buyers.

There are other basic considerations to veer away from open floor plans. Segmented rooms, for example, can contribute to energy saving. Heating or cooling in rooms that are not currently in use could be turned off for better energy utilization.

Marry the Best of Both Worlds

Selling an open-concept residence, however, need not necessarily entail a renovation to set up walls. In the home showing, try to present the best of both an open floor plan and a closed-off layout. What the seller can do is clearly define the zones in the open floor plan layout so that the perception of space within the layout flows better functionally and aesthetically. Here are some tricks to do this.
First is furniture arrangement. Place furniture next to each other so that its function defines a specific zone. This visual manifestation is the strongest way to give a certain space or area its distinct personality.

The use of color is another powerful approach to delineate spaces in your residence. This could be achieved through several elements, such as wallpaper, paint, accent pieces, paintings, or mounted photos. You can also tweak lighting, geometry, and floor variants for a clear-cut presentation of the various spaces in your residence.

Priming up a residence for market listing now needs some extra attention, as buyers are currently adapting to new lifestyle norms. Our Judy Kepecz-Hays team can assist you in addressing such shifts. Email or call us for more updates on how to sell your residence amidst the changes our market is currently experiencing.

At Your Service: Remote Client Engagement

Working from home and serving clients remotely will be the Judy Kepecz-Hays team’s new norm for this April at the very least. During this time, digital marketing tools shall keep our services running even as a state-wide lockdown has been declared by Governor Ron DeSantis to counter the spread of Covid-19.

To a certain extent, it’s business as usual for our Judy Kepecz-Hays team. We have recently listed in the MLS a luxury residence at the Longboat Key condominium, Pierre. Quite comforting for us and our clients, remote work practices and cutting-edge tools are now available to help expedite sales and hurdle market difficulties brought by the worldwide Covid-19 crisis.

We can skip onsite or in-person showings of properties during these times when “social distancing” and “safer at home” are buzzwords in daily activities. Like any tech-savvy real estate sales team, we have taken internet marketing to a whole new level besides having a website and an online presence within the Coldwell Banker network.

Cutting-edge Communication Tools

Thanks to a wide selection of software, we can work from home and closely communicate with clients beyond exchanging emails. Our team can readily initiate a video conference through the Messenger App in the Judy Kepecz-Hays Longboat Key Coldwell Banker Global Luxury business page on Facebook. This app, like most other tools now available, is mobile-friendly, so we can be in touch even with clients on the go.

With video conferencing, we can perform seller and buyer consultations effectively. An app, like Facebook Messenger, can accommodate several parties in a video conference. Hence, our video calls can likewise involve the real estate agents representing the seller or buyer with whom our client is in negotiation with. Conversely, we can represent our client in a video conference hosted by our counterpart agent. Notably, a video conference can be recorded for a review if needed.

To everyone’s advantage, there are several other alternatives to Facebook in video conferencing with features that are useful in facilitating a deal. Among these options, one of the typical choices is Skype. This platform, being a product of Microsoft, works seamlessly with tools vital to presentations and discussions, such as MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The contracting parties in a deal and their agents can wade through the necessary documents in the entire selling process. The file-sharing option and screen capture available in video conferencing make it easy to discuss the real estate offer letter, deeds, affidavits of disclosures, and other documents related to deal negotiations.

Virtual Property Tours

Properties on the market are also easy to show to serious buyers. In-person/onsite showings of agents’ market listings can be substituted with virtual tours. Well-produced tours would typically provide prospective buyers a 360-degree perspective of a listed property aside from views of its interiors.

Virtual tours are produced by assembling a sequence of videos or still photos. Other multimedia elements like music, sound effects, and narration can also be used in virtual tours. This way, a tour can fully convey the ambiance of the residence and its neighborhood.

There are many ways to keep real estate buyers and sellers engaged even amidst major challenges like Covid-19. Expect that our Judy Kepecz-Hays team shall continue helping such engagements, with the health and safety of everyone too as very much a part of our concern.