Friday, October 9, 2015

American Caribbean Real Estate Dominates Third Quarter Sales. Oh Yeah, And I Really Tick Off Some Brokers.

Never one to be afraid of putting his feet into the fire, your Conchquistador is about to piss off some Brokers.
A little, "Emperor's New Clothes".

Because the fact is, for Sellers, the Brokerage really doesn't directly have anything to do with whether you should list your property with a particular agent or not. (Yes... Heresy be Damned!!)

You see, Seasoned Agents have their own way of marketing and working their business, and if they're successful, they're are successful for a reason. And the Brokerage really doesn't affect the end-user that much, as it pertains to which Brokerage that agent is affiliated with.

If you are a homeowner and you're considering listing your property, and you just call up XYZ company because you think XYZ company has nice TV ads and lots of offices, and decide to give your listing to whatever agent answers the phone you could be making a huge mistake! 
Now, I know I'm going to catch the ire of some of my colleagues, but it's true. In the old days of real estate, it may have been true that type of formula worked. But in today's real estate, the Brokerage matters more to the Agent, then it does directly to the customer.

A Quality Agent will pretty much give you the same results whether you use that same agent with Company A, Company B, or Company C.  That is because in today's world of Real Estate, your listing success has more to do directly with the agent, than it does with the Brokerage.

Now to the agent, the Brokerage is a Huge Deal. The right Brokerage is critical to their continued success.  Take your humble Conchquistador for example:  I'm affiliated with American Caribbean/ Christie's International Real Estate because they give me the best tools, best support, best environment, best colleagues, and of course best split, for me to provide exceptional service to my clientele. They Maximize my efficiency.
After 20 years in the business, I've seen seen many, many brokerages. And I've worked for a host of them as well. Heck, I even ran several,  but in all my time, American Caribbean is the best brokerage I've had the privilege to be associated with.

Agent Success is not just about the Tools, but the Vibe and Support from a Brokerage.
Those… Tools… That Support… My colleagues… Those intangibles, are what give me the backbone to be able to provide the Service that produces Results. (The Smart Brokerages that recognize this and provide these tools and environments, are the ones that are able to recruit and retain great agents.)

This is also why I believe American Caribbean, over the last quarter, dominated sales figures for the Upper Keys. For our Agents, it's the right fit for us to bring the best service to our Clientele and therefore...RESULTS!

As you can see, American Caribbean was able to reach exceptional heights, selling Keys Real Estate.  I am also proud to say that I was my office's Top Producing Agent during this same time period.

At the end of the day, I will take a fantastic superstar agent who gets results at a mom-and-pop company, then a new or lackluster agent at one of the huge conglomerates, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. And you should too.

Work with an Agent who gets great support from their company.  Put the experience and expertise of The Conchquistador to work for you! For more information on the outstanding real estate opportunities that exist in the Keys, call me at 305.439.7730 or email me at

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Shack by The Sea, He Said...$2.2M Later.....My Most Challenging Sale Yet.

I Love Paradoxes.  So much so, that in my previous life, many moons ago, in the far off land of California, my Band's name was Paradox.
A self negating statement that is somehow true, a walking contradiction.  A deafening Silence, the deaf musician, the Entertainment Industry Executive who doesn't want flashy but simplicity, by the water... a Shack by The Sea.

Yes... "A Shack By The Sea", these were his words.  And being your humble Conchquistador, I HAD to find it for him, and it is my latest sale, one full of Paradoxes and unique challenges (Always a recipe that wets my whistle).

We looked at quite a few properties, but my clients, both, Entertainment Industry Executives, and some of the nicest and coolest clients I have had the privilege to work with (again, another Paradox: Nice Entertainment Industry Executives) saw this property and fell instantly in love.

They wanted simple, and open water, and we found it. 
And what a Jewel!  
1.5 Acres of mature native hardwoods, that open up to a magnificent bay vista. Stunning pool and cabana area, covered boathouse, boat basin and lagoon, wetbar tiki hut, the COOLEST Keys BBQ Station, and oh Yeah... a delightful, simple, unassuming 1960s flat roof Conch House and separate guest house, both very nicely updated.

Yes, this place was Cool, and Conch-y, and oh so Awesome.  It reeks of Hemingway, and Ziggy; Manny and Isa, and a simpler time when water came to the Keys in a tube from the Mainland.

But, to say that it was a bumpy coral road to get to the Closing Table is an understatement.
We walked away from the deal twice.
The Seller insisted on his price, which to many of our local agents, appraisers, and people with any sense was way to high.  $2.29M for a small little 60s house on an acre and a half??  
But my Buyers HAD to have it!!
So with heated negotiations, we settled on $2.2M.  
And the fun began
The bank had serious misgivings about the value and the seller, (a Commercial Real Estate Broker, who wanted to cut away half of the standard provisions in the contract!) gave us no wiggle room on financing.  We HAD to close no matter what, on Closing Date, regardless of appraisal, anything to do with the bank or insurance,  or anything other than inspections, putting my Buyers $100K deposit at risk, and we had a very truncated time to get financing.

And then, right in the middle, we found a 22 year old open permit, that the bank insisted we get closed before closing date.  A permit that had been difficult to close for almost a 1/4 century?? Well time for your Conchquistador to roll up his big boy sleeves and get it DONE!  What others could not get done in 23 years, I got done in 2 weeks.  Gotta love experience!

Next Hurdle... Appraisal.  The Big one.  Prior to our executing the contract my Buyer wanted me to contact several appraisers to get their rough guesstimate on value. Of the several that I contacted, none went higher than $1.7M.  Houston, we have a problem.  
My Colleagues scoffed at me that I let my Buyer Offer that much, when they clearly thought it wasn't worth it, To which the Sellers response was...I don't care.  So, it was time to Charm, cajole, plead, and Educate, the Appraiser (one that I had previously queried, whose value was $1.7M) as to why this property should appraise at $2.2 with the lack of directly evident comparables.  We got creative, I had her think out of the standard value box, and lo and behold Sweet Jesus!!! A $2.2M Value!!! (Appraiser thinking outside the box =Paradox!)

I could go on and on about a myriad of challenges, challenges that utilized, many of my very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a 20 year career, skills that make me a nightmare for difficult transactions like this one (Nod to Liam Neeson), ( Last minute Insurance woes, and a 5 Hour Closing among them) but my character count is almost up.  

The bottom line is, and to add to Alec Baldwin's monologue in Glen Garry, Glen Ross, you need more that just Brass Balls to succeed in Real Estate. You need Creativity, Belief, and an unmitigated sense of SERVICE and DUTY to your Client (MY ego wanted me to tell the Seller to STICK it, and walk away countless times), to see to it that THEIR Dream is Realized.  Whether its a mobile home, a Magnificent Estate, or... A Shack by the Sea.

The Details:  
95370 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
List Price:$2,290,000 / Sold Price:$2,200,000
Mile Marker 95
1.5 Acres on the Bay Description: TRIPLE MINT CONDITION 3/2 WITH A PRIVATE 1/1 GUEST HOUSE... Enjoy this 1.55 Acre Estate located in the heart of Key Largo, FL. Impact resistant floor-to-ceiling glass windows encase the sunny living room and dining room. This home’s spectacular water views will leave you speechless.
Featuring a completely renovated open kitchen with granite counter tops, central heating/cooling, swimming pool, tiki bar, and wooden deck overlooking the ocean. Social outdoor lounge with a fire pit, hot tub, grill, sheltered concrete dock, and boat ramp.
Listed by Bravo and Partners Real Estate.

The Best Part?  The Best Part was at the Closing Table and hearing them saying that they were So Very Happy. 
That's really why I do this.  It really isn't for the $$, it's bringing Joy to people, in the best way that I can . (Real Estate Agent in this for other people's Joy vs $$$? Big Time Paradox indeed!)
Put the experience and expertise of The Conchquistador to work for you! For more information on the outstanding real estate opportunities that exist in the Keys, call me at 305.439.7730 or email me at