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Legacy of our status as the Sunshine State

by Roger Pettingell

There is a Secret to our Beautiful Sunsets

Weather here complements our waterfront beaches

Rainbow over the Chart House
Rainbow over the Gulf - This rainbow ends at the Chart House where we conduct business in our office.

One day last week there was a generous amount of rain falling, but the sun was shining brightly. It was actually a beautiful sight. Even with the rain falling, Florida can still make its claim as the Sunshine State. On almost any day you will find plenty of sunshine, even in the summer when the sea breezes move in from the Gulf of Mexico for a morning shower. In the summer afternoon you can set your watch by brief afternoon showers as humidity fuels the rain clouds. The rain is refreshing and can actually change the heat index 10-20 degrees cooler. The heat index is a combination of humidity and temperature.

It is easy to say that in summer a weather forecaster here has a very easy job. It seems that daily the weatherman here will predict a 50/50 chance of rain in the afternoon with warm temperatures. There is a great deal more of complexity and with computer models are more accurate with the timing and the ferocity of the storms.

They are also able to predict much further in advance when a storm is forming that has potential for heavy rainfall and damaging winds. We have a good history for avoiding hurricanes. Myth or truth, it is said that sacred Indian burial grounds protect the land from dangerous storms. The last hurricane to have a direct hit here in Sarasota was 55 years ago with Hurricane Donna. New residents of Florida learn quickly how to make preparations in the unlikely event one should strike here.

The lack of dangerous wind storms make Sarasota a good location to live. With an average temperature of 81 degrees for a high and 65 for the low, this is a comfortable range for most people. The higher temperatures in the midsection and southern portions of Florida can be intimidating to someone looking to relocate here, we enjoy the breezes from the gulf for a subtropical climate. Climatologists classify the land south of Naples as an equatorial savannah while Miami area is in an equatorial monsoon zone and Jupiter is classified as a rainforest climate.

Tropicana Field dome
While it appears ready to rain at Tropicana Field, the dome offers AC and protection from the elements.

The amount of rainfall here averages 45 inches per year. From June to September is a rich growing season for flowering plants and garden vegetables. Florida citrus crops represent roughly 65 percent of the United States production for consumption. Florida oranges are shipped widely in Canada and grapefruits are primarily exported to Japan. Tropicana was founded in Bradenton and became a world-wide leader in the production of orange juice since its beginnings in 1947. It remains as the single highest purchaser of Florida fruit and has the naming rights to Tropicana Field, the air-conditioned dome for the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team.

And how cool is it to see lush green grass on manicured lawns here. Water is needed and the summer rainfalls peak in August with an average of 7.6 inches. But lightning also provides a growth spurt and color for the grasses here. We are in the lightning belt of the United States, the central section of Florida that extends to the east coast. A single strike of lightning is only an inch in diameter, but delivers up to 45,000 amperes of electricity that strikes the ground. With each lightning strike nitrogen is replenished into the ground to deliver spectacular lawn results. Oxygen in the air combines with nitrogen to produce nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide is also introduced into the ground by fertilizers and animal droppings.

At dawn or dusk our beautiful vistas are bright with vibrant red and orange hues. Picture that at sunset and the deep blue sky contrasts these colors for a grand spectacle. I personally like cloud formations at sunset, the colors paint the clouds for even more spectacular lighting effects. We are fortunate to have these cosmic events made in part from the dust particles that circulate in the air across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.

Sand particles from Africa color the skies a deeper red
Brilliant Hues at Sunset - Sands from the deserts of Africa make their way here for more vibrant reds.

Our winter climate and waterfront availability attract the snowbirds to swell our population in January and February. The average low in these two months is a comfortable 53 degrees. Although natural citizens of Florida may have never seen snow, it does fall here mostly in the northern part of the state. Your best chances to see snow in the winter months are very early in the morning, as it typically melts once it hits the ground. Snowfall has been recorded as far south as Homestead in 1977, just south of Miami. And although it is hard to imagine for me, the coldest day on record in Florida was set on February 13, 1899 in Tallahassee when the temperature dipped down to -2 degrees Fahrenheit. That was also the coldest day on record in Louisiana, two days after the coldest day on record in Washington, DC.

Visit for the weather, move here for the lifestyle. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Using technology for selling real estate

by Roger Pettingell

Ahead of the curve to market home sales

Process for informing our clients and to track progress

2001 Website of longboatrealestate.com
2001 Website - This is how my website looked in 2001, one year after its launch.

I firmly believe that in order to succeed in real estate you have to implement technology in your business. They become the tools that help communicate with clients and provide information that can give you a competitive edge. I work hard so my clients can make intelligent decisions based on information that is supplied through technology. This is the age of the Internet.

It starts the first day I get a listing. I set up a new client with comparative market analysis (CMA) reports through a service provided by Coldwell Banker and a market snapshot service that can give a client price points of sold homes and homes that are currently available in their community. After all, buyers set the price of a home in a market. Theses reports sent to the client also provide a good view of the inventory for the community in which the home is located. We can set the price of the home based on this information, or change the price if the market turns in either direction. In addition, on my website I provide CMA histories back to the year 2008 for 18 different communities on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.

I also know that the sales cycle for lead nurturing potential clients can be months. As new visitors to my website I try to give them enough information so they will return. For these reasons visitors can see what is available on the market. Last month in my blog I suggested different ways to search this website and have made it simple with map searches or more comprehensive with advanced searches. By registering on the website new visitors will receive updates and my newsletter on the third Wednesday of each month.

Information on home pricing is in abundance on the Internet. Online services like Zillow and Trulia can give an estimate of the home, the actual figures from home sales in the reports I send are a more accurate depiction of the home’s value. However, these services do not take into account upgrades to the home or whether a condominium is on the sixth floor with a view or the fifth floor without one. That could mean a $200,000 difference in pricing.

REALTALK™ #14 Comparative Market Analysis
I discuss CMAs and how you can use them for price research in REALTALK™ #14.

Visitors can also review government services, school information and the weather. We all know how great the weather is here. On the site are monthly temperature averages, water temperatures and precipitation averages.

Each listing receives its own URL, or web address, through our single property site structure based on the physical address of the property. This web address is distributed to over 40 real estate portals including Trulia, Zillow, realtor.com and more.

Customers receive showing feedback through an automated system that generates an email to the showing agent, and sends an email to the client when the agent responds to a short survey.

Our efforts on social media have increased as well. We can quickly inform our readers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn as we have a significant event. I will announce this blog article there today. This morning I pushed out a link to the news article that announced my mid-year sales volume of $50 million and that I am still the lead Realtor in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Become a friend or follow me on any of the social media platforms. Pick the one that you like to use and that should be sufficient. We use YouTube for our REALTALK™ video series and to upload videos of properties for sale. Drone technology allows us to show the community that the home is located.

Our email database is segmented so that we can inform other Realtors of new listing and price changes, or our client list where we generally limit its use to delivering the monthly newsletter. We do not like daily email bombardment in our lives so we extend that courtesy to you.

We use transactional technology as well. Customers can electronically sign contracts, addendums and disclosures from anywhere in the world. This technology is growing up as well. As more people use smartphones and tablets we have to adapt our technology for the platforms that are ubiquitous in our daily routines.

That is the technology that clients see. What they don’t see is the back end, the nerve center that keeps our office current on each client. Our customer relationship management (CRM) software gives us a snapshot of each client from listing to closing. We launch a cascading series of events that begins with a market snapshot I described above and follows a set plan until the property is closed at the title agency or law office. Since I have a lot of repeat business I can look back into the history so that I have a responsible view of your likes and dislikes, or the process of a previous sale.

The technology we use helps our office stay informed about the sale or purchase of your home. We use it also to provide you with enough information that you can feel comfortable with the choices you make about the sale or purchase of your home. We have some great properties for sale now. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

White sand meets blue water forms a great attraction

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota renown for world class beaches

Tourists and home buyers attracted by beach quality

REALTALK™ #53 talk about area beaches
Bay Isles Beach Club - In REALTALK™ #53 last week I talk about our splendid area beaches.

The waterfront here draws tourists from around the world, at its pinnacle are the beautiful white sandy beaches that separate Sarasota County and Longboat Key from locations on the east coast of Florida. The bright sand is in stark contrast to the teal colors of the water that spreads to the skyline in the west for lazy day sunbathing and spectacular sunsets. It was my pleasure last week then to stand on the beaches at Bay Isles Beach Club on Longboat Key to feature why the club, and the local beaches, are so special in REALTALK™ #53.

Bay Isles Beach Club provides a secure location for residents that pass through either of two manned gates on Longboat Key. Membership is included with the property purchase in single family home communities such as Queens Harbor, Corey’s Landing, Sabal Cove and Harbor Oaks. Fairway Bay, Grand Bay and Marina Bay are condominium communities that also enjoy the fabulous beach that is associated with club membership. On the beach are amenities associated with an exclusive lifestyle that include showers, pavilions, restrooms, and grilling areas for private parties. Membership access to the beach is on a short list of beach availability on Longboat Key. Private homes and hotels line most of the 11 miles of land where the sand greets the Gulf of Mexico.

Longboat Key residents that have purchased homes in Country Club Shores on the lower end of Longboat Key enjoy their private canal dock space and their proximity to the world class golf courses of Longboat Key Club. It is also a short ride by bike or car to Lido Key beach through St. Armands Circle. Since 1990 the park has been owned by the city but operated by the Parks and Recreation Department of Sarasota County. It had been the site of the Lido Key Casino, built in 1940 but was demolished in 1969. It already had become a favorite location for sunbathing.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition is held in November each year.

Longboat Key and Sarasota residents travel a short distance to one of the finest beaches in the world, Siesta Key. The 99 percent quartz pebbles reflect the heat so standing in the sand is comfortable on even the warmest day of the summer. Besides named as the best beach in America by Dr. Beach in 2011, it was classified as the whitest and finest sand in the world at the Great International Beach Challenge in 1987. Travel Channel claimed that it had the best sand in America in 2004 and most recently was awarded this year as the #1 beach in the United States by online service TripAdvisor. Lifeguards make this a very safe beach for swimming and a great location for The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competitions each November.

In REALTALK™ #53 I mention Manasota Beach, one of the lesser known and lesser populated public beaches off the coast of Englewood. This area has four beaches with public access on the seven miles of Manasota Key.

On the northern end of Longboat Key is a popular beach for boaters but accessible by land. The shallow waters of Beer Can Island is popular with the younger crowd. Near to this location is Whitney Beach, on the gulf side, just west of Gulf of Mexico Drive with public parking on Broadway Street.

Water Club, Longboat Key, Florida condominium beach
The white sands of the residents' beach of the Water Club, Longboat Key, is an invitation for relaxation while listening to the sounds of the surf.

Just a short drive north on Gulf of Mexico Drive over Longboat Pass Bridge is Coquina Beach. This a public beach with plenty of parking and fine arts and craft beach markets nearly every Sunday. This beach is expansive with lifeguards, restrooms, showers and a quaint little beach concession that serves light food, drinks, beer and wine. Caution should be taken if swimming by the bridge, tidal currents can be strong. There is plenty of beach place that make this popular in Manatee County.

We have some great properties for sale behind the gates of Bay Isles including those in the communities mentioned here. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

National Events Showcase Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Another Superboat Spectacle Put to Rest

Positive Image Projected with Televised Grand Prix

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday
Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in the final round of races.

Congratulations to local Phantom 9 boat owner Kim Niemann for taking first place in the Vee Lite division of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix this past weekend. While the power boaters were wrapping up their races on Sunday another national tournament had its teams entering town for today’s opening ceremony on the beaches of Siesta Key. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) begins its nationals for baseball in Sarasota in the home of the spring Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.

Teams from around the country are in town to participate in the tournament for ages 14-19 in pool play and then the championship round that concludes next Sunday on July 12. The AAU has been inspiring girls and boys amateur athletes since 1888 in a variety of sports. To have the baseball championships here in Sarasota is quite an honor. Teams will also participate at the Buck O'Neil Complex diamonds off Hummingbird Avenue and Clark Road. The AAU also has many national events in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

In June Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O'Neil Complex was host to the Florida Finals of baseball’s Prospect Wire circuit. Prospect Wire was started in 2004 as an organization that participates in scouting events for high school athletes that have a path to major league baseball.

There were many area fireworks on Saturday
There were many opportunities to view fireworks once the rain subsided on Saturday.

And there is more than baseball here in Sarasota. The Florida State DanceSport Championships will be held at the Ritz-Carlton later this month and Nathan Benderson Park is set to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Last month the Ski-A-Rees Stadium on Ken Thompson Parkway by Mote Marine and Aquarium was host to the Southern Regional Championship for skiing.

These activities draw attention to Sarasota in a very positive way. The nationally televised Super Boat Grand Prix showcased the beauty of Sarasota and the surrounding waters. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

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Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?

Experience

  • Over 33 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.

Achievements

  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.