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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Twitter Anyone?

I just got back to the office after attending a 3 hour Twitter workshop in nearby Bonita Springs. Who would have ever thought, just a few short years ago, when I first got interested in blogging as a means to stay in touch with friends and family while I was out of town, that I would turn into this social network junkie! (just kidding, it's really not that bad--yet! I actually schedule my social networking) But, Chip & Sam (our assistant) asked me, "...three hours to just learn twitter"?? Trust me, it's not just twitter! It's a whole new twitter vocabulary, twitter applications, twitter as a "search engine", twitter as a way to build relationships...It's about "tweeting" the right stuff and and RE tweeting...linking...sharing...It's about Direct Messages and shortening URLs. It's about getting my message out there as THE real estate expert in Naples Florida! It's about doing everything we can to try to stay ahead of the competition...who are all fast on our heels...These young lions today are getting out of university with degrees in real kidding, master degrees in real estate! In the end, I'll match my experience in Naples Real Estate up against them any day of the week, but if I don't stay up to speed with all that the Internet offers, they will all be leaving me in their dust! Anyone who continues to do business as usual hasn't heard that Twitter had over a 1,700% INCREASE in unique visitors in June 2009 vs June 2008! Isn't that impressive? The entire process is fascinating to me. When they day is done, it really is all about relationships...and I met some wonderful people today...You can bet on it...I WILL be following them on twitter, and they'll be following me! -and Who knows, maybe one day one of them will buy a home from us in Naples! Click here to follow the Harris~Peppe Team on TWITTER!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Social Networking Works!

Today I have a really neat FACEBOOK story that I'd like to share... About 3 months ago I received a call from a past customer who asked if Chip & I would be interested in a referral? She knew it was in an area that we don't often work, and she said she would completely understand if we wanted to refer it out to another agent. She said the buyers were friends of her brother. I gladly accepted the referral; this is the lifeblood of any business. I've often said, it takes less energy to keep a past customer than to find a new one...and Why more folks don't have better systems for staying in touch is beyond me...anyway... I proceeded in getting in touch with the prospect and after a great phone interview I mailed out a complete Naples package, and we began regular communication via email. They flew to town for a weekend (from New Jersey) about 8 weeks ago and I showed them homes. During the conversation I asked them how they knew my past customer's brother. The wife replied, "Oh, we don't actually know her brother...I've never ever met him...we are just in the same 'group' on day I commented about coming to Naples to look at houses and he replied to me and told me his sister lived in Naples and had a really good agent." Long story short--Today we closed on their new home in Naples! They ended up paying more than they originally planned because they bought a house with a guest house attached to the property and went together with their parents to make the purchase! It was a wonderful transaction from start to finish! Part of the challenge these days is finding the time to keep up to date with all the new technology. We are only just experiencing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social networking. From a business perspective, making productive use of your online time is crucial to your success in today's market, regardless of what you do for a living! --and, The re-connections you make with old friends is a wonderful bonus! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about social networking...and don't forget, if you know anyone looking to buy or sell in Naples Florida, we hope you will consider referring them to The Harris Peppe Team! Thanks, and make it a great day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slow and Steady

The headline reads, "Economists: Slow recovery on tap", but when you read further, much of today's front page article in USA Today is much more promising than not...Although 63% of the economists say the recovery is slow and gradual, Two-thirds say existing home sales have hit bottom! Bill Cheney, chief economist at MFC Global Investment said that since both the housing and car markets fell so sharply, both have the "potential to generate some large percentage increases". I think everybody is trying to remain cautiously optimistic. Housing remains front and center...Florida went into a recession nearly a year ahead of the rest of the nation...both resales and new home sales last month exceeded everyone's predictions, rising 11%. Here in Naples we are seeing so many positive signs, including pending sales up 99% in June '09 vs June of 2008; and closed sales for that same comparison up 38%! Inventory is down, Average days on the market are down. The pent-up demand for real estate is becoming more and more evident as buyers are looking for well priced properties in good locations; price being the first consideration...."buyers" being the optimum word! Internet leads so far this month have exceeded February, typically our busiest month for inquiries...and our phones are ringing. Unemployment, a big factor in the recovery, is expected to hit double digits by the end of the year, but here's some interesting information: Did you know that unemployment for those with less than a high school diploma is already hovering around 14% ? With at least a college degree, less than 5% unemployment... here in Naples unemployment rose to 8% recently, due primarily to the decline in housing permits which peaked in late 2003...and for those tracking, fell 86% since that point in time. Luckily Naples remains very attractive to those who have always gravitated to the area...High income retirees from the Northeast & Midwest and foreign nationals from both Canada and Europe. Even though those high-end earners took a beating in many cases, the home they would have paid $3 million for a few years ago is now listed below $2 million...and they're back here now looking for these good values and making offers....knowing that "slow and steady" wins the race! For information on what The Harris-Peppe Team thinks are some of the best buys in today's market, please call us. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to earning your business. Have a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Naples Florida Luxury Home Update

The positive press about real estate is not just effecting the lower price points. 35 properties went under contract so far this month, per the Naples Multiple Listing System, with list prices at or above $1 million dollars! There have also been 51 closed sales this month, including a Port Royal home which sold for $6 million! There are a lot of excellent buys in the luxury market. Chip & I have seen a dramatic increase in our Internet hits in the high-end since unveiling our newest website, We think one of the best Previews buys currently on the market is our listing at The Olde Naples Seaport. (click on the link to view the virtual tour) We began marketing this project when it was nothing more than a rendering. The 1st phase has 15 townhomes starting at $1,150,000. There are only 7 left. The 2nd phase comprised of two bay front penthouses. Both have sold; Penthouse south for over $3 million dollars, and Penthouse north for over $2 million. Presently there are both furnished models as well as "decorator ready" residences available. There is a world class marina right outside your door with moorings available for yachts up to 150'. You are walking distance to all the downtown amenities, including the beautiful Naples Beaches, which were rated #1 in the nation by the Travel Channel in 2005! The remaining condos all have spectacular views, over 3,300 sq ft of air-conditioned living space, a private garage and elevator, 3 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bath, and best of all: a roof top deck which features a built-in grill and a hot tub! Imagine the morning views out across the bay from that vantage point...or a dip in the hot tub under the stars! Please call The Harris Peppe Team for all your real estate needs. We are hoping to hear from you soon and look forward to earning your business! 239.370.0574 direct. Thank you, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Classic Olde Florida Architecture

Come see why we think this exquisite home is one of Naples finest new construction offerings. (click on photo for larger version)
Beautifully situated on an over-sized lot with lush, tropical gardens; winding brick-paver walkways meander throughout the landscaped homesite which overlook a picturesque waterway boasting direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. A boater's dream come true...the 10,000 Islands and the back water channels are just a short boat ride away and are brimming with fish and native wildlife.
This home is located in the prestigious community of Royal Harbor and was built in 2008 in the Olde Florida style architecture with Hardie-plank siding and a tin roof. No details were spared. Wrap around porches and french doors allow the outside to become part of the inside. The intricate multi-terraced tray ceilings with crown mouldings, hardwood flooring, gourmet kitchen with granite, custom lighting & Viking appliances, spacious bedrooms & luxurious baths, fabulous outside kitchen and bar, refreshing pool, soothing hot tub and an outdoor living room with fireplace are just a few of the features which sets this home apart...the list goes on and on!
Call The Harris Peppe Team for a private appointment to view your new home today! 239.370.0574

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cool Things to Do in Naples Florida for the Summer!

The long, hot days of summer are here and if you are looking for something really cool to do, we can suggest a few of our favorites!
How about summer golf? The South Florida PGA 2009 GolfPass membership is available for only $48 per individual. It offers play on over 200 South Florida courses! Look for GOLFPASS on the menu bar on their home page! This is an believable opportunity!
If Art & Culture is your thing, a day wandering through the 15 exhibit halls at The Naples Museum of Art, or perhaps the beautiful von Liebig Art Center downtown? Peruse the galleries on Fifth Avenue South. You can find them listed on the Downtown Naples Association website. Both the Collier County Museum and Palm Cottage have summer hours, too!
Want to be entertained? The Naples Beach Hotel (see photo) hosts FREE Jazz concerts on their lawn...mark your calendars for August 22nd and September 19th! If you want to see what's happening at The Naples Philharmonic it's easy. Just log onto their website. They already have their 2009-2010 season posted!
Maybe getting close to nature is what you are yearning for...did you know that Naples residents can go to the Naples Zoo for FREE on the first Saturday of every month? If you haven't been there lately they have a wonderful new Bear Exhibit! Of course, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which is maintained by the Audubon Society, is alive with wildlife and color in the summer months...see my blog post from earlier this month where I talked about the rare and beautiful ghost orchids. This is a magnificent way to spend the day! Or, why not rent a boat or jet-ski and explore the backwaters in Naples?
Of course, let's not forget so many of our favorite restaurants offer summer specials! Chip & I went out to dinner Saturday night to one of our old favorites that we haven't been to in awhile to take advantage of their awesome summer special...pick from any two entrees on the menu, plus a bottle of wine for just $25 dollars! We happily recommend The Mangrove Cafe!
A great way to end any day? Sunsets at the Naples historic 1000' pier are always the best place in town to witness the sun dipping down into the gulf. You can meet new friends, talk to the fishermen and enjoy the ambiance at Naples' most famous landmark!
Last, but not least, it's a great time to buy real estate! Please call The Harris-Peppe Team today: 239-370-0574. We've been selling the Naples lifestyle since 1981 and we would consider it a privilege to assist you or someone you know with a summer sale in paradise!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Biggest Net

I've written a lot of posts about the size of the net that Coldwell Banker casts to ensure our listings are exposed to the most prospective buyers around the world...Just this week at The Tech Tour that I attended in Estero I learned that The Harris-Peppe Team listings are posted on over 350 websites. I can't imagine any other brand with that kind of dominance on the Internet! Chip & I have three very active websites. All designed to cater to a specific market segment. Our Luxury Properties are featured on our site. This site lists our team's listings as well as all listings in the Naples area priced at or above $1 million dollars. We have another website, which allows every single listing in the entire state of Florida to be posted. These are categorized by city, from Apalachicola to Zephyr Hills and everything in between! Our most popular site is In fact, last month we tracked over 247,000 organic visitors on this site. Content is changed regularly, so you'll want to bookmark this site by making it a favorite and come back to visit it often. Approximately 50% of our business is generated from this website. We have experienced unparalleled success due primarily to this commitment of promoting our web marketing, a powerful organic web presence as well as an unmatched level of customer service. Selecting the right real estate agent and team is crucial. It makes all the difference in the world; and in our case, the "world" is exactly what sets us apart! Coldwell Banker has over 105,000 agents worldwide in 3,600 offices, in 47 countries. Our sales volume last year in the U.S. and Canada alone topped $225 Billion dollars! If you want your Naples home or condo exposed to the best and biggest demographic of buyers, please call The Harris-Peppe Team at Coldwell Banker Previews International today. 239-370-0574 (direct). We look forward to earning your business and hope to hear you soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Place to Hang Your Heart

Looking for a place to hang your hat? Beautifully renovated, from top to bottom; come see why we think this lovely villa in Windstar Country Club is one of the best buys on the market in Naples Florida! Wide open floor plan with soaring ceilings and a breathtaking lake & golf course view...this 3 bedroom residence boasts over 2,300 square feet of air-conditioned living area plus a garden-side lanai and a private 2 car garage. The newly designed kitchen features top-of-the line appliances, high-end cabinetry and granite. The spacious Master bedroom opens to a private courtyard and has a wonderful new en suite bath with separate tub & shower, double sinks and a private water closet. Warm hickory floors and custom painting throughout creates an inviting ambiance rarely seen in most Florida villas in this price range. Best of all, you are just steps away from your own privacy garden which leads directly to a very large pool & entertainment area. The amenities at Windstar are incomparable--a brand new club house plus a masterly designed Tom Fazio golf course for the avid golfer. The community also features a world class, deep-water marina within its gates, making it the only golf course community in Naples right on Naples Bay! A boat shuttle will take you and your guests to a private island for a day of sunning and shelling on one of the prettiest beaches you'll ever find. Windstar is also an Audubon approved neighborhood with one of the lowest densities of any golf course community in SW Florida! This is true Florida living at its best, and we are certain once you see this (click here for virtual tour) magnificent home, you'll want to hang your heart here forever! For more details or for a personal tour of this property, please call The Harris-Peppe Team at 239-370-0574.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Rare Occurrence

The very rare ghost orchid is in full bloom in Naples Florida!
The Ghost Orchid is the rarest of all specimens of orchids and perhaps the most revered in the world! Right here in Naples, at the Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for the 3rd consecutive year, we are experiencing this magnificent and rare occurrence. The current blooming phase consists of 10 buds and is visible from the sanctuary's boardwalk now through the beginning of August. (photographers are urged to bring powerful telephoto lenses as the blooms are 45' up in an ancient bald cypress tree about 150' from the boardwalk). Area botanists have nicknamed this particular plant a Super Ghost because it bloomed 3 times in 2007 and again 3 times in 2008; both summers with multiple buds. Typical ghost orchids might have 1 or 2 buds and bloom once per year, if at all.
If you are interested in traveling to Naples to witness the ghost orchid firsthand, the area's Convention & Visitors Bureau has a special "orchid deals" web page! or you can call 1-800-688-3600.
Click here for more information about this magnificent bloom!
There is rare beauty all around us. South Florida is the only place on earth where the ghost orchid is now known to bloom...We truly are blessed to call Naples us if you'd like to call Naples Home.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America

The Statue of Liberty has come to embody the true essence of America. She has welcomed countless immigrants and visitors to our shores since being dedicated in 1886. The "New Colossus", famous sonnet written by Emma Lazarus, also symbolizes the universal message of hope to all people seeking freedom around the world..."Give us your tired and your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...I lift my lamp beside the golden door." I will say that for certain, one of the most moving and memorable experiences in my life was cruising into New York harbor, in our own boat, having cruised all the way there from our home in Naples Florida, and seeing this lovely lady in the distance. It was July 4th, 2007...we could never had planned it any better...we watched fireworks that night from the bow of our boat with Lady Liberty in the shadows of the lights in the sky...I get goose bumps just thinking about it now. (photo inset can be enlarged by clicking on it~that's Chip, whom I am proud to say, has since become an American citizen!) Here are some fun facts:
  • There are 7 rays on Lady liberty's crown, some say for each of the 7 continents, others say one for each of the 7 seas!
  • The exterior copper covering of the statue measures 3/32nd of an inch...less than the thickness of two pennies!
  • The inscription of the statue's tablet reads: July 4th, 1776 in Roman numerals.
  • The model for the face is reputed to be the sculptor's mother Charlotte Bartholdi.
  • The statue's real name is, "Liberty Enlightening the World".
  • Closed since September 11th, 2001, the crown is re-opening TODAY!

The Harris-Peppe Team wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July celebration with your friends and family. Please keep a moment sacred today remembering the many sacrifices that have been made and are still being made on our behalf around the world for our freedom and the freedom of all people. Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Inventory Down. Sales Up!

It's the first day of a new month and a new quarter. We completed our month-end reports yesterday and we are also carefully reviewing the year-to date statistics in each of the markets that we are most active. We found a few interesting conclusions based on data from our local MLS that I thought I would share. Keep in mind, these findings are inclusive of all geographic areas in Naples. Certain market segments are holding there own better than others, and indeed, certain areas are quite active and showing strong signs of leveling off. More than just a few local real estate gurus are predicting we may be at or near the bottom.
  • Residential Sold Listings peaked in June of 2005 with three subsequent spikes in the next 3 years in March 2006, May 2007 and May 2008. The most recent peak in May 2009 marks the first time since September 2005 that closings in the Naples MLS exceeded 700 units!

  • Residential Pending Sales By Month, which is typically the best barometer for determining what is happening "now" shows a marked improvement when tracking pendings June 2005 through to the present. The average number of pending per month over the past four years has been 475, but in April and May of this year we exceeded 1000 each month!
  • Residential Median Sold Price Per Month indicates the "middle" (half sold above this price, half sold below) from June 2005 to May 2009 at $352,006. However, if all listings priced at $300,000 or less are taken out of this equation, the Residential Median Sold Price By Month dramatically becomes $515,718. (keep in mind, 4 years ago you'd have been hard pressed to find any listings priced under $300,000 in Naples Florida. Today approximately 40% of our inventory is listed under $300,000).

  • When duplicating this same search, but only going back 12 months to June 2008 another interesting result occurs. The Residential Median Sold Price By Month hit a low of $175,000 last month. However, once again when we eliminate all closed sales of listings priced below $300,000 from the search criteria the median price for this date range is back up to $517,371.

  • Currently, Naples MLS inventory is down to under 9,000 Residential Active Listings. Just one year ago, in June 2008, we had a 33.76 month supply in inventory. But, when we take our current inventory and chart it with the current 12 month trend of pendings and closings we calculate that as of June 30th, 2009, we have a 20.79 supply in months of Active Residential Listings.

There is a strong demand for well priced listings; today's buyers are looking for value. Interest rates have remained stable. ~and We feel very lucky to be selling real estate in Naples Florida. Chip & I have had a good 1st and 2nd quarter. Year-do -date pendings and closed sales exceed 2008.

Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any comments or questions concerning the current state of the real estate market here in Naples Florida. The Harris Peppe Team is happy to provide you with details about any specific communities or condominiums. We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to earning your business. Please call us anytime at 239-370-0574 direct. Thank you...have a super month!