Real Estate Information Archive


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Current technology for real estate sales

by Roger Pettingell

Staying current and moving forward

Using technology to market homes and track closings

REALTALK #106, Sharpening the Sword
Sharpening the Sword - How I stay ahead of the curve in real estate technology, REALTALK™ #106.

Cyber Monday is a good day to review current technology that I use to market my listings and communicate with my clients. I also use technology to share information among the staff and to track the progress necessary for each client to close on their homes in the most efficient manner. With this technology we nurture new and potential clients so that their needs are also met. The technology in our office is a variety of software and hardware that is either “off the shelf” for realtors, or customized from leading vendors.

Most of my customers are home sellers. To start, each listing has its own website. The address is commonly associated with the physical address such as one listed last week at A community like the Players Club at 1445 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat key will be promoted by its community and residence number, such as I like using this form of Internet promotion because I can put more information on the site that I may not be able to include in the MLS system or that which appears on and I can include more documents that are commonly requested by potential buyers. It also is a great format to communicate with the search engines. We can input details in the Internet syntax, or metatags, for search engine optimization. These websites are syndicated to over 40 Internet portals commonly associated with real estate sales.

I promote each home sale as a featured listing on this branded website, In order to stay current with the requirements of the Internet giants like we are switching to a responsive design on our site that should be ready for launch early in December. Currently, we are optimized for mobile devices that presents a different experience on SmartPhones. The new design will respond to each device and present the best experience for an end user searching for property to buy. Google has announced they will favor this type of technology in their search results.

Longboat Key Home Prices
Home sellers begin their pricing research on Longboat Key and Sarasota through this free website.

That is my branded site to promote the homes I am currently selling. I recognize that most potential buyers and sellers begin gathering information on home sales through Internet sites, long before they make their first call to an agent to represent them. is my website that is established for sellers to get an estimate of their property’s value, and list comparable homes in the area. With an email address, the seller will receive updates on their home if the value should increase or decrease. For buyers exploring the waters, so to speak, my website is a good way to research home prices. By entering an email address the buyer will receive updates on new properties that open up on the market. Both of these websites are free to use.

We are also fortunate that our information for each listing is updated through the Coldwell Banker systems. In October there were 8.1 million visitors to with 12.6 million listing views. A majority of worldwide visitors were from the United States and Canada, our prime market targets. We continually feed videos, photos and descriptions to the Coldwell Banker telephone connection. An 866.600.6008 number advertised in local newspapers such as the Sarasota Herald Tribune connects a code in our listings advertised on that page to information about that property. Those listings are pulled from another system that we actively update with high resolution images, property descriptions and open house dates. All these feeds spread the word. The intent is to get quality information and photos in front of many people in our target audience.

A new technology we started this year gives the buyer a view of the property in three dimensions. These 3D floor plans are digitized in a way that the potential buyer can walk through a home as a virtual presentation. You have a choice of doll house or floor plan view to begin your navigation through the home. The photographer takes a 360 degree image of each room that is stitched together with software so that you can walk through the home as though actually being there. What I like about this system is that a visitor can master the techniques in just a few minutes. The Matterport system can be seen in this Bird Key home at

Matterport 3D floor plans for this home at 670 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key
3 Dimensional Floor Plans - I recently introduced this new technology as a virtual tour, website visitors walk through the homes I list for sale.

Our office has internal systems to track phone calls and processes for the efficient closing of all home sales. We store documents in digital format and have the ability to have digital signatures on contracts to avoid the lengthy paper flow. This Docusign system permits us to have legally signed documents between buyers and sellers even though they are great distances apart. Our system for escrow deposits is more secure than many systems that I have been involved with. Our office tracks each closing for a smooth transaction, from the home inspection to the closing at the title or law firm office.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a good one. I listed a secluded waterfront home last week in the Sleepy Lagoon community of Longboat Key. This elevated home has three bedrooms, is on a deep-water canal with boat dockage and 10,000-pound lift. The home at 712 Marbury Lane has a two-car garage has been completely remodeled. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
712 Marbury Lane $729,000   Photo Slideshow


Community spotlight on Seaplace

by Roger Pettingell

Good value on the beach at Seaplace

Variety of floor plans among 11 buildings on the Gulf

Beach Access at Seaplace
Gulf of Mexico - Residents walk to the beach from their Seaplace properties for sunset gazing.

There is good value in Sarasota properties on barrier islands along the Gulf of Mexico coast. You can find some of the best values at Seaplace on Longboat Key, an amenity-filled community of 461 residences on 42 acres. They are at such a good value that 24 of these units sold in the last 12 months, an average of two per month with an average sale price of nearly $478,000. These properties in 11 buildings offer variety as well, a selection of town-houses on the north end of the community, and more residences among two mid-rise buildings and seven garden buildings. There is something for everyone in lifestyle, convenience and recreation at Seaplace.

Take, for instance, the convenience of shopping with a Publix supermarket and CVS pharmacy near the northern exit of Seaplace. A variety of restaurants are in the same shopping complex or within a close proximity. Shopping in the boutique stores or dining in the fine restaurants on St. Armands Circle is another convenience for Seaplace homeowners. The cultural arts of Sarasota is just a short drive over the Ringling Bridge. There you can take in a play, schedule to see world-class performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall or go to the opera and ballet. Many of these shows are available within blocks of each other in downtown Sarasota.

As for recreation you have plenty of choices. Within the community are two heated swimming pools and three Har-Tru tennis courts. There is a his and hers fitness center. With a Longboat Key Club membership you will have access to two of the best championship golf courses, conveniently located just north and the other south on Longboat Key. Community amenities include a recently updated clubhouse, game room and library. Bike riding is popular on the expanded width of Gulf of Mexico Drive. Or you can choose to walk on one of the many paths that connect to parks on the island.

Heated swimming pool at Seaplace
Seaplace amenities - There are many amenities at Seaplace including heated swimming pools.

Seaplace is a place to gather with friends or make new relationships. Social gatherings are listed on their website. Water aerobics are scheduled Monday through Friday and alternate between the Funplace and Clubhouse pools. The computer club meets on Mondays, but two of the club members have volunteered to be on call seven days a week to help solve some of those nagging computer problems. Groups gather ad hoc on game day to play a variety of card games. Pickleball is also a common recreation. Movie night is every Tuesday, and cooking recipes are shared among the owners.

Construction of Seaplace properties began in 1974, and by 1979 these homes were completed for residential occupancy. Many of these units have been upgraded since them with modern conveniences. The two or three-bedroom residences have also been kept up to date with building updates for better protection from storms. Some owners enjoy the convenience of leasing their unit. Seaplace is less restrictive in their lease policy, a residence can be rented for a minimum of two months provided that it is residential use. Owners list their units through popular rental websites or through

Owners have access to on-site management during business hours. For security, there is a manned guard gate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Longboat Key is ranked among the top five safest places to live in Florida. used 2014 FBI crime statistics to rank Longboat Key as fourth safest among Florida cities of 5,000 residents or more. Criminals are on notice. Longboat Key has a north and south entrance through its main thoroughfare, Gulf of Mexico Drive. At these two points police constantly monitor license plates with video identification alerts and flag cars that have been identified as used in a crime.

Penthouse Seaplace sale
One of my two Seaplace sales within the last year, a penthouse overlooking the landscape and the Gulf.

Seaplace is a great place to relax and wonderful location to watch sunsets with your toes in the white sand beach. In the past year I have sold two top-floor properties at Seaplace for an average sale of $599 per square foot. During this period the average price per square foot was $388. This week I updated the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports for November at Seaplace. This report has current active, pending and sold listings within the last year. These monthly reports for this community record a comparison history of sold properties back to January of 2008.

Last week I added two more listings to my inventory. On Lido Key within a short walk to St. Armands Circle I have a new listing at 66 N. Washington Drive. The views of the Ringling Bridge and Sarasota skyline are mesmerizing. This luxury estate has a deep-water dock, heated swimming pool and spa. The second waterfront estate listed last week at 670 Mourning Dove Drive also has dockage and pool. I submitted a 3-Dimensional floor plan for this home. I would encourage anyone looking for a luxury estate to schedule a showing for this home on Bird Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Address List Price Media Slideshow
66 North Washington Drive $4,930,000 Video Photo Slideshow
670 Mourning Dove Drive $2,999,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Historic Sarasota Municipal Auditorium

by Roger Pettingell

Iconic Sarasota landmark has its history

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places

Municipal Auditorium on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Sarasota Municipal Auditorium - Completed in 1938, in 1995 was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places for its significance to the community.

There were many events over the past weekend and hope you were able to enjoy some of them and the wonderful weather. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition, the Chalk Festival and its associated surrounding events in Venice, and the St. Armands Circle Fall Art Festival were among the few. You may have also seen the Bowls USA 2016 US Open. If you stopped to see the lawn bowling competition you likely parked in the lot of the Municipal Auditorium, where the Vintage Collectibles Fair was going on. The auditorium is as famous as Sarasota itself and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It’s also a favorite image to send as a postcard, along with the statue Unconditional Surrender.

Land for the building was acquired by the city in 1935 following a default on taxes owed to Sarasota. Local civic leaders and then Sarasota Mayor E.A. Smith requested federal funds from the Works Progress Administration, renamed Work Projects Administration that year. The WPA was one of several civic programs begun under the New Deal initiative of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the 37 acres of acquired land a grand municipal building was to be constructed. When completed the auditorium floor had 10,000 square feet for use as an exhibition and dance hall. The stage was large at 1,500 square feet. Glass blocks on the front provided natural lighting to the interior of the auditorium. The barrel styled roof gave it a unique look and added to the spacious grandeur of the interior.

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium interior
The floor is 10,000 square feet with a 1,500 square-foot stage and filled with visitors this past weekend.

By February 1938 the Municipal Auditorium was completed and opened with a grand celebration of three thousand spectators. Through private donations a recreation club was built on the western end of the building. Soon after tennis and shuffleboard courts were added and lawn bowling brought some more prestige to the area through the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club, one of three original clubs that are still in existence to this day. The SLBC started in 1927 in McAnsh Park but moved to the recreational facilities here upon completion of the auditorium. This group hosts the US Open. The Garden Club and Memorial Auditorium have historic designations as the other long-standing tenants.

During the years of World War II the auditorium was a respite hall for the Army and Navy Club. Following the war, concerts were held by the Florida West Coast Symphony until 1969 when the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall was completed. The symphony later changed its name to the Sarasota Orchestra in 2008, but continues to be recognized as the longest continuous performing orchestra in Florida.

Renovations in 1970s drastically changed the look of the auditorium, replacing the historic look with a modern design. Even the glass blocks on the front of the building were covered. In the next decade efforts were made to restore the building to its original design and a push for national recognition was started. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1990s when private donations, along with government preservation societies and the city of Sarasota provided enough funds to restore the original building. The building achieved recognition on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and the restoration work was completed in 1997.

Hazzard Fountain
Hazzard Fountain - Artisans constructed this famed fountain on 1940. Over the years it has been moved, removed, stored and eventually returned during restoration in 1995. The marquee sign alerts visitors of the Collectibles Fair November 11-13.

The famed fountain out front that was constructed in 1940 had also seen its share of changes over the years. An original donation to the city, the lighted Hazzard Fountain was designed by the son of the architect who drew up the original plans for the auditorium. The father, Thomas Martin, and son Frank are etched into the history of this Sarasota landmark. The fountain had also its share of controversy in the history of the auditorium. It had been moved a couple times to accommodate widening of Tamiami Trail, and then removed around the time that the auditorium was modernized in the 1990s. The Hazzard Fountain was placed in storage for a period of time and also served as the entrance to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. During the restoration of the auditorium in the mid-1990s the Hazzard Fountain made its way back to the grounds of the auditorium in 1995.

Today the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium continues to fulfill its original intent. On most weekends visitors enjoy the collectibles fairs, stamps or exotic gem shows. As a continuation of the US Open this week, there will be a health and wellness expo this weekend. The Gem, Jewelry and Bead show will go on the weekend of December 2. An annual favorite, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar will be held the weekend of December 10. It is touted as the fair of crafts and arts for the world’s delightful irregulars. If you are into Art Antiques, the show on January 19 would be well worth attending. The National Stamp Exhibition is set for February 3. What Women Want, Lifestyle & Wellness Expo is scheduled for the weekend of April 1.

The architecture, history and significance to the city of Sarasota were some of the factors cited for its placement on the national register. But a major influence was the community’s involvement in the restoration of the auditorium. As it sits today is almost as it was when originally completed in 1938 for public and recreational use.

Crazy good event schedule for this weekend

by Roger Pettingell

Sand sculpting to festivals fill weekend

For local real estate, SarasotaMOD highlights schedule

Blue Pagoda, Victor Lundy
The Blue Pagoda - This 1956 design by Victor Lundy will be on the SarasotaMOD tour this weekend.

There are many events starting this weekend. There are veteran’s day celebrations, festivals, plays, 5K runs, improv, expos, sidewalk sales, a master’s sand sculpting competition, comedy, concerts, a medieval fair, benefits, water ski shows: the list goes on. I will list some of these at the end of this article. But one that pops out in real estate is the annual SarasotaMOD, a celebration to modern architecture in Sarasota. Friday through Sunday participants will have the chance to review the works of some of the best architects at SarasotaMOD. There will be something for everyone interested in architecture and the history of these buildings.

This year we celebrate Victor A. Lundy, a famed 93-year old modernist architect and one of the early Sarasota School of Architecture leaders. His creation of the motel in Mineral Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This motel was constructed in 1958 and expressed Lundy’s intention as a building that symbolized the fountain of youth. Its unusual shape won the 1958 special award the American Institute of Architects.

His local accomplishments will be on tour this weekend. He designed the Blue Pagoda building for the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. This building constructed in 1956 will be on the Trolley Tour of Victor Lundy’s Iconic Architecture. Tickets are available now online for the tour with guide Christopher Wilson. Other Lundy architectural feats on the trolley tour include the Waldman building, St. Pauls’ Lutheran Church, its Fellowship Hall, South Gate Community Center, Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church and the Murray Homes building. The trolley tours start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The acrobats on skis, Ski-A-Rees, perform their last show of the season this Sunday.

Real estate editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Harold Bubil, will be the guide for the for the second trolley tour that will also start at 1 p.m. both days. This tour will showcase some of the buildings designed by famed architects Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell. Rudolph was honored in 2015 at SarasotaMOD.

There are self-guided tours and tours of Rudolph’s Umbrella House and Hiss Studio, designed by Edward Seibert and built by Philip Hiss. On Friday meet Victor Lundy at the Blue Pagoda near the Municipal Auditorium on Tamiami Trail where the official proclamation for Victor Lundy Week will take place starting at 5:30 p.m. Lundy will also be available Saturday night with dinner under the stars at the Umbrella House starting at 7 p.m. As of this writing there is one seat remaining for this event limited to 40 guests. There are also opening and closing parties on Friday and Sunday, respectively. SarasotaMOD is in its third year and is a partnership of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation and The Sarasota Museum of Art.

Weekend opera, plays, musicals

If you are in town for SarasotaMOD and have some downtime, here are a number of events that may interest you, starting with two daily performances running through Sunday:

  • Don Pasquale, Sarasota Opera House: This comic opera by Gaetano Donizetti about greed and lifelong happiness of marriage and inheritance.
  • Assassins, Manatee Performing Arts Center, Bradenton: This controversial Tony Award winning musical tours history through its violent assassinations.
  • The Wiz, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Sarasota: This musical is an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s, The Wizard of Oz. It runs through November 19 with a limited number of seats remaining.
  • Young Frankenstein, The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Sarasota: One of Mel Brooks’ most humorous movies for the live stage is presented through November 20.
  • Book of Days, FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Sarasota: Also running through November 20, these drama actors in training take on Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days, a murder mystery set in Dublin, Missouri.
  • Get Out of Dodge, play, Venice Theatre, Venice: The third performance running through November 20 is set in Idaho and portrays the challenges of a suburban New York woman who transitions to small town life, with some humorous moments.

Weekend events starting Friday

There are plenty of single day and other events this weekend worth looking at, starting with the Veteran’s Day celebrations on Friday:

  • Veterans Appreciation Day, St. Armands Circle, Friday
  • Veterans Day Parade, Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key, Friday
  • Hein Jung & Grigorios Zamparas, matinee series, Living Lord Lutheran Church, Lakewood Ranch, Friday
  • Siesta Key Crystal Classic, sand sculpting competition, Siesta Key beach: November 11-15
  • Chalk Festival, Airport, Venice: November 11-14
  • Pavement Music Festival, Airport Fairgrounds, Venice: November 11-14
  • Cirque Ma'Ceo, equestrian circus arts, Airport Fairgrounds, Venice: November 11-14

Saturday only

  • Customer Appreciation Expo, Robart's Arena, Sarasota
  • 5K Fun Run, Airport Fairgrounds, Venice
  • Fiesta Italiana, Adventure Park, Lakewood Ranch
  • FST Improv, Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
  • Laugh Your Paws Off, Larry Miller comedy benefit, Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Saturday and Sunday

  • Annual Fall Sidewalk Sale, St. Armands Circle
  • Annual Art Festival, St. Armands Circle
  • Sarasota Medieval Fair, Fairgrounds, Sarasota
  • Todd Murray's Croon, artist series concert, Historic Asolo Theatre, Sarasota

Sunday only

  • Ski-A-Rees, water ski show, Ken Thompson Park, City Island
  • A Tribute to America's Veterans, Riverview Performing Arts Center

I hope you are able to really enjoy some of the events this weekend and honor our veterans on Friday. I have two new listings last week, residences on Longboat Key that are worth looking at. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1445 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #203 $679,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1125 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #103 $629,000   Photo Slideshow


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?


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


  • 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.