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Monday, May 30, 2011


"I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers" ~ Ephesians 1:16
On this Memorial Day, The Harris Peppe Team would like to invite you to join us as we honor the brave men and women who have given their lives so selflessly over many generations to allow us to live in a country committed to freedom. It is our deepest prayer that we live a life worthy of their sacrifice.
As you go about the activities of the day, celebrations with a picnic, a family reunion, or backyard barbecue, I only ask that you will take the time to honor those who have given their lives so that we can all pursue a life of happiness and free choices. A prayer of gratitude all those who stand guard today. Wherever you are in the world, please come home soon, safe and sound.
Let us also not forget to offer up a prayer to those who have lost a loved one...the families who mourn their lost heroes must be comforted my our nation's commitment to freedom.
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe,
to assure the survival and success of liberty."
~John F. Kennedy
Thank you, make it a great day, and God Bless America, The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, May 26, 2011


What makes a person decide to retire?
This week a dear friend of mine at the office, a lady about 80, decided to retire....I remember when I met Pat for the first time when I joined Coldwell Banker back in 1986...She was then, about the same age that I am now...Where did those 25 years go? And am I still going to be doing this 25 years from now?
I watched the Oprah finale yesterday--I can't believe Oprah has been on TV for 25 years...This morning I decided to stay home and watch it again. Here in the quiet of my peaceful home, it was like listening to a great sermon...the kind of sermon that you could sit through for hours, that moves you to tears, and makes you feel the holy spirit...and like so many times over the years, Oprah was talking right to me...straight to my soul soaked up her words...and i began to think about who I am, what I do, and what is my calling...Over the years I've grown along with Oprah--and as many of you know, I could rival her many hairstyles and poor fashion statements...She and I share similar philosophies about life, and love, and God...and she has caused me more times of inner reflection than most of the people in my life that I've known intimately.
Today I needed to hear her message--her simple explanation of 'a calling' prompted me to write this blog post rather than to simply record my feelings in my journal...
There are times, after selling real estate for 30+ years that I ask myself, "Is this my true calling?" At times I wonder, 'is this industry changing so quickly that I cannot continue to keep up with the technology, the marketing, the consumer expectations?'...It is especially at this time of year, after a busy season, when I look back at both our successes and our failures of the past 150 days; the long hours, the seminars & classes, the committee meetings, the ad proofs, the open houses, the paperwork, the deadlines, the leaky roofs, the mold reports, the interruptions at the office, or the contracts that fall apart...yes, this is when i am a bit weary...this is when I ask myself, 'is this my calling?' ~and then all of a sudden, someone like Pat says her good-byes, and 25 years of memories come crashing through...and it is so funny that you don't remember the names of the inspectors that gave you trouble, or which house had termites and which mortgage didn't get approved...In this moment I reminisce about the fun we've had, the holiday parties, the real estate conventions...OK, here it comes, my 'Aha moment': I think about the lives I've touched...the people I've met...the relationships I've made and kept...My calling? Yes, this is my calling...I don't sell bricks and mortar, I help families find homes...I make a difference in people's lives...just like Oprah, just not on as great a scale...
So, what makes a person decide to retire? For each of us it is, or will be a different answer...For some it is the magic number of an age, or the number of years you've been with a company...for some it is the fast pace of an industry changing more quickly than they can keep up with, for others it is the desire to give back...the time to volunteer and serve in a different capacity, for some it is the idea of taking life easy and traveling, and for others still a need to care for a spouse, or to move closer to children...All I know is this: As long as I still feel like I am making a difference in people's lives, I will sell real estate. As long as people like Pat, (not just the Oprahs of the world) touch my heart, I will know that I am indeed, living my calling.
Thanks, and make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, May 23, 2011

Naples Ranks High On "Most Relaxing Beaches" List

A recent article in U.S. News Travel magazine ranked Naples Florida beaches as the #5 "Most Relaxing Beach" in the United States and the Caribbean. [although I am a bit perplexed as to how Corfu made the list at #6 since I believe it is in Greece, yes?] Anyway, Naples beaches are pretty spectacular. When customers tell me that they are first time visitors to Naples, but follow that comment with: 'I really don't like Florida, but have heard so much about Naples that I wanted to check it out', I tell them: "Naples is unlike any other coastal town in Florida!" Whereas many other Florida beaches are lined with hotels & motels, bars & restaurants, and neon signs leading you into souvenir & T-shirt shops...our beaches are predominantly lined with quiet residential neighborhoods, including the entire beach front south of Coquina Sands comprising of only family homes, mostly mansions, along the gulf. Each avenue ends at the beach with public beach accesses. The multiple entrances guarantee less crowded beaches, even during our peak season there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out. You can walk south for nearly five miles from Golf Drive, past the historic 1000' Naples Fishing Pier, all the way to Gordon Pass without seeing a highrise. The beaches are wide, the sand is soft & pristine white...Very few 'Spring-breakers' come to Naples because it doesn't have the same draw as, let's say, a Ft. Lauderdale or a Clearwater Beach...Not a lot of loud music or frisbee throwing going on here.
I think "relaxing" best describes our beautiful beaches...hope to see you getting a little bit of Naples' sand between your toes soon!
Call us to get information on Naples Real Estate beach properties today! 239.370.0574
Thank you and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's Happening In Paradise?

Things got quiet around here pretty quickly this year...the seasonal snowbirds hung in longer than usual, possibly because of the later than normal Easter, plus the inclement weather up north...but, all of a sudden, in the past week or so, it has gotten very quiet. We didn't 'ease' into just kinda' happened one day. I found myself driving on an otherwise busy road this morning without another car in sight! Hello, where is everybody? The locals just finished celebrating the annual Naples City Fest which culminated on Saturday with The Great Dock Canoe Race...There are a lot of really neat things to do in Naples this time of year, and the weather is absolutely perfect! The glorious Royal Poinciana trees, the Jacarandas and the Tabebuia [see inset] trees are all in full bloom! People that leave before mid-May never get the treat of viewing these amazing flowering trees in person! I showed property over the weekend to a couple staying at The Residence Inn and they told me they were the only 'non-European' visitors at the hotel! Yes, we Neapolitans are getting ready for summertime...
Here are a few local Naples real estate statistics that I thought you might find interesting:
  • Presently there are 6,717 Active Listings in the Naples area MLS. 2,996 of them are priced at or below $300,000. 1,152 are priced at or above $1 million, and only 612 of them are 'short sales'.
  • Currently there are 2,359 homes & condos under contract [pending, or active with contingencies].
  • There have been 3,438 closed sales year to date. Of those, 295 have been Previews properties: those listed at or above $1 million, and 2,321 of the 3,438 closed sales were listed below $300,000 which is approximately 67% of the closings.
  • Short Sales get a lot of press, but only 13% of the total closings year to date were listed in MLS as short sales. In addition, only 11 total closings priced above $1 million were short sales!
  • Of the 932 closings last month, nearly 700 were cash buyers!

I suggest you take advantage of this time of year, and come back to Naples to look around. The hotels and restaurants offer some fabulous discounts...the weather is beautiful, and there are some amazing real estate opportunities!

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and hope to earn your business. Make it a great day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

*info is derived from the local Naples sunshine MLS and is deemed accurate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Naples Real Estate Blog: What is a QR Code?

First posted 7 months ago, long before most of the QR Code murmers began, I thought it was a good idea to re-post--for those of you still unsure of the future of QR Codes! Trust me, they are changing the way we send and receive information! Click on the link below to read the full article as previously posted by The Naples Real Estate Blogger. Naples Real Estate Blog: What is a QR Code?: "Once again, Chip and I are leading the charge in new marketing ideas! According to Wikipedia, a QR Code is a ' matrix barcode, readable by ..."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Do We 'Own' Our Prospects?

I do my best to qualify buyers before beginning the house hunting process. Whether it be at an open house or a sign call, after 30+ years in the business, I have my list of questions readily at hand...One of the first questions I ask a guest at an open house, or an incoming phone inquiry is this, "Are you working with another real estate agent?" Sometimes the answer is 'no', and sometimes the answer is 'yes'...It doesn't mean I am not going to help them, or not answer their questions--it just establishes this unspoken boundary right from the start. If they tell me they are working with another agent typically I will ask them who the agent is...and if it is someone I know, I always tell them that they are working with a great agent, and how wonderful it is that they are loyal. This makes them feel know, confirming that they have a great agent, and it also makes them feel less guilty about calling another agent to get answers to a few questions if their own agent is unavailable. It's happened to all of us--The buyer phones us to ask about a listing they saw on the Internet...we are unavailable so they figure, what harm can it do to just call the other agent...and it really shouldn't be that big of a deal. Most people still really don't understand how our business works exactly. Think how nice the world would be if we all just say nice things about each other, and help each other out...Alas, that is not always the case. So, what is proper etiquette? What is ethical?
Recently, an agent at another company received just such a call from a past customer of The Harris Peppe Team. This particular prospect has completed four transactions with us over the years. He told the other agent that he was working with us. [The reason he called the other agent was because he thought we did not have updated, accurate information about a listing which had been under contract, but had fallen through.] The point of my blog post is this: The other agent, even after knowing that the prospect was 'our' customer continued to contact him, and at one point said that his "knowledge and time was valuable", demanding to be told "who are you going to do this deal with, me or Chip Harris?" This was an unfortunate situation and a poor reflection of what can happen in our industry if we don't treat people the way we want to be treated--Needless to say, our customer was very uncomfortable with this, and he did not put an offer in on that agent's listing! There's a moral there, too!
So, "Do We Own Our Prospects?" No, we do not. But, I can assure you this: If another real estate agent's prospect calls me to inquire about the status of a listing, or information about a home that I am sitting open, I will be sure to tell them that you are a great agent...unless of course, you're the one that this blog post is about...then I just won't say anything.
Thank you, and Make it a GREAT day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Naples Florida Residential Pending Sales UP UP UP!

I'm a very visual person, comes from my art background I guess, but you have to admit, a picture can paint a thousand words. Take for example the chart below [click on picture to enlarge]. This graph depicts the Pendings month by month for the past 4 years in Naples Florida. Who can argue that sales are up? If this doesn't convince the buyers that are on the fence that it's time to make a decision I'm not sure what will. As for the sellers: If you are not getting offers, there is probably only one reason: You are overpriced! Inventory is way down, less than 7,000 Active Residential listings in the Naples MLS...remember when we had over 16,000 listings? It wasn't that long ago! Activity has remained brisk even into May! I remain very optimistic about the Naples Real Estate market.
If you would like additional information about the listings available in a specific neighborhood, and/or details about the activity that an area that you either live in, or are interested in purchasing a home or condo in, please call or email us anytime: 239.370.0574
Thank you, and make it a GREAT day! The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zillow Estimates of Value in Naples Florida

More than once in the past few weeks I have had the same conversation with a potential customer having to do with the accuracy of the "Zestimates" on
I just hung up after trying to substantiate an asking price of a home listed on Zillow and decided to view those listings which I know for a fact are priced very well, just to see what value Zillow has put on them. In all cases, [and I checked over a dozen addresses], the zestimate was well below the listed price. In one case the list price for a home directly on Naples Bay was 'zestimated' at over a million dollars below the list price. I think, as an agent, we need to inform the public as to the reason why this happens so often on Zillow. Here's my attempt to clarify:
Let's take the example of a home listed in an estate area within a subdivision. Estate area being considered as one of the premium lots and larger, luxury homes. Also within this particular gated community there are garden apartments, villas and single family homes on zero-lot lines as well as the "estate-size" lots. A diverse selection in price and architecture. Zillow determines value based on the closed sales which have occurred recently in the geographic area closest to the subject property. If the subject property is listed at $1 million dollars, and 2 of the 10 most recent closed sales were also in the estate area of this community, but the other 8 closed sales were in either the villas or the homes on smaller lots, then the value will be based on non-comparable properties because zillow uses all the sales, not just the 2 that were most comparable!
I hope this makes a little bit of sense. In the end, buyers need to work with licensed, professional real estate agents so that they do not overpay for a home and condo--And seller's need to work with agents prepared to determine value by doing a Competitive Analysis based on the best comparables available in any given market.
Please call us personally if you have any further questions or comments. 239.370.0574
Thank you, and make it a GREAT day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger