+ Michael Saunders & Co. seesincrease in real-estate interest
Michael Saunders & Co. reported on its blog, www.thesaundersblog.com, that during the first four months of 2009, the company’s appointment center had an increased call rate of 30%, compared to the same period in 2008. The call rate increased as the year progressed, with a 34% spike in April.
Web traffic to the company’s Web site, www.michaelsaunders.com, rose 37% during the first four months of the year, with increases in international traffic.
The highest number of Web visits from outside the United States came from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland.
+ Prudential Palms sees strongest month in terms of units sold
Prudential Palms Realty sold 30% more units in April 2009 than in April 2008, making last month the strongest in the company’s seven-year history in terms of the number of properties sold.
“People who have kind of been holding out are now convinced that it has bottomed out,” said W. Howard Rooks, the company’s director of development.
According to Prudential Palms Realty broker/owner Helen Sosso, much of the increase comes from short sales and foreclosures, which now account for 75% of the company’s business.
Sosso said that the company has recently gotten more calls from outside of Florida, including many from baby boomers who aren’t ready to move to the area yet but plan to do so in the next few years.
“We’ve seen many multiple offers that we haven’t seen for a number of years,” Sosso said.
Prudential Palms Realty merged with Rooks Morris Real Estate in January. The company has approximately 265 agents serving Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.
+ Prudential Palms to offer ‘Rainy Day’ help for homebuyers and sellers
Prudential Palms Realty recently brought in a program through the Rainy Day Foundation that could help homebuyers who encounter financial hardship.
For $550, a seller can purchase a policy for the buyer of his or her home that will cover mortgage payments up to $1,800 a month if the buyer loses his or her job within two years of closing. The policy can also be used if the buyer encounters unexpected expenses.
+ Torrington and Derr sell Oaks listing for highest price since December ’07
Michael Saunders & Co. associates Ken Torrington and Terri Derr, both of whom work out of the company’s Longboat Key office, recently sold a listing in The Oaks Bayside for $3,175,000 — the highest price paid for a residence at The Oaks since December 2007.
Joan Parkinson, of the Michael Saunders & Co. Palmer Ranch office, represented the buyer.
+ Michael Saunders & Co. holds Reinvent Yourself ’09’ conference
More than 400 agents from Michael Saunders & Co. attended the company’s “Reinvent Yourself ’09” conference Friday, May 15, at the Chelsea Center, in Sarasota.
Michael Saunders, founder and president of the company, opened the conference by discussing the challenges the real-estate market has faced over the past four years and the opportunities that now exist.
Matthew Ferrara, president and CEO of Matthew Ferrara & Co., discussed how agents can take advantage of new technologies and social-networking channels.
The conference consisted of other seminars and panels, many of which focused on technology and social networking.
Drayton Saunders, the company’s executive vice president, closed the conference by speaking about the company’s future.
“Technology is changing the way the business is done, and today is all about that change,” he said.
+ Island Real Estate of Anna Maria Inc. announces its top agents for April
Island Real Estate of Anna Maria Inc. recently announced its top agents for the month of April. Kathleen White was named the top sales agent, and John van Zandt was named the top listing agent.
+ Wagner Realty names its top listing and sales agents for April
Wagner Realty recently announced its top agents for the month of April.
Listing honors were given to Woody Woodworth, of the Longboat Key office; Peter Feuerstein, of the Anna Maria office; Donna Bucher, of the West Manatee office; and Bob Blanchard, of the corporate office.
Top sales awards went to Dee Dee Burke, of the Longboat Key office; Penny Bray, of the Anna Maria office;
The Royal Team of Peter and Gina Uliano, of the West Manatee office; Barbara Mollanazar, of the corporate office; and Ryan Hoffman, of the commercial division.
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Realtor groups consider merger
The Realtor associations for Manatee and Sarasota counties will vote Sept. 16 on merging their organizations.
Home in Bay Haven sells for $1.51 million
A home in Bay Haven tops all transactions in this week’s real estate.
Home of the Month: The Music and the Memories
A Siesta Key home masterfully embodies the Sarasota art world.