1) What’s your opinion on the health of the market in Apalachicola?
I work the Cape San Blas / South Gulf County market which is more of a beach market than Apalachicola. The majority of our sales are second properties, with about a roughly 2:1 ratio of lots to home listed at any given time. Our inventory has been declining since the market high in 2007, but is still too large. In a relatively small market, we currently have a total of 403 MLS listings, with 284 lots and 113 homes. In mid-2007, we had 555 listings, with 200 homes and 355 lots, so it has definitely improved.
2) What has been your strategy for staying ahead in a tough market?
Strategizing methods of communicating with a wide array of consumers and positioning myself as their preferred source for information regarding our market. In the past 12 months, literally 100% of my closed transactions have been internet sourced.
3) How has technology played a part in your approach to your business?
Because of the nature of our market, with our primary market being metropolitan Atlanta, the internet has become the number one source of information for our consumers. Smartphones have given me my life back as I no longer need to be tethered to my office, my office is now located wherever I am. I can travel and respond to calls and emails immediately, access my office files wherever I am, research and provide MLS data, take and send HD photos and videos, .pdf files, etc.
4) Where do you see technology in real estate headed and what role does MLS technology – specifically – play?
When the internet first came on the scene, the real estate trade voiced serious concerns that it would render the role of Realtors as no longer necessary to the real estate transaction. The internet has actually greatly improved our trade with the quality and quantity of information and services we can now provide consumers, and those consumers are now coming to us far-better informed than 15 years ago. I think our technology will become single sourced from a hardware base, probably somewhere between the current smartphones and the iPad. That technology will drive how the MLS evolves and I think the MLS of the future will become the center of where and how we conduct our business: contact db management, electronic files, our virtual office, marketing platform; in short, a one-stop shop for conducting our real estate business.
5) What technical investment, if any, do you plan to make to aid your business within the next year?
Toying with the idea of an iPad, but holding off to find out what is planned for the next generation. For now, I’ll stick with my iPhone.
6) If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would be cast to play you?
LOL! Politics is my passion – no idea what’s going on in Hollywood so I tossed this one out to my peeps. After a good bit of wine and discussion, their recommendation to me is Meryl Streep or Glen Close. I’m going with Streep – I can’t see me dropping a live rabbit into a pot of boiling water ala Close in ‘Fatal Encounter’.