Congratulations Photo Contest Winners!

Last week, Seabrook Island Club announced its winner and two runners-up of its Summer 2016 #MakeitUniquelyYours Photo Contest! Congratulations to Molly Bisceglia, Greg Lozanoff & Amelia Rowland on their spectacular Seabrook snapshots! The next round of the #MakeitUniquelyYours Photo Contest begins September 1st – don’t forget to enter AND vote!

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“The Franklin Club”

Last week I was privileged to attend a conference as a member of a newly formed organization called “The Franklin Club” (named after Ben Franklin). The group was formed by PGA Magazine, who annually holds a similar “Leadership Summit” meeting of golf professionals from the top private golf courses in the country. This meeting was PGA Magazine’s effort to extend the concept to “influential golf real estate leaders.” The meeting was held at Reynolds Plantation, near Atlanta, and most of the 40 or so members attended from as far away as California, Colorado and Wyoming to the nearby Kiawah, The Cliffs and Bald Head

The meeting provided a great year-end opportunity to not only share marketing plans and ideas with some of the most successful communities in the country, but to take the pulse of the health of the resort, second home and retirement community markets going into the new year.

Here’s some top line conclusions:
– There is tremendous strength in the “super rich” market, especially in the Western states and in the big cities of New York, Miami, San Francisco and Southern California. New very high-end communities are being developed concentrating on families with golf as only a part of an overall “wellness and fitness” theme.

– Money is being poured into communities that went into foreclosure and receivership during the past 6 years. Reynolds and The Cliffs are prime examples as new “developer” owners have purchased and the communities are being reintroduced into marketplace. Reynolds for instance, was bought by Metropolitan Life (the Snoopy blimp guys) with very deep pockets.

– There is an overall sense of optimism that our segment of the market, while having lagged behind much of the traditional market, is slowly catching up. This tracks with Seabrook’s consistent progress over the past 6 years. There is concern that the continued weakness in the first time homebuyer market all over the country is still slowing progress.

– It is abundantly clear that the marketing shift to electronic and interactive techniques has fully taken over and having experts in this field driving your strategies is critical. The trick is to use these new tools to drive the “experience” of your community while creating long-term relationships with the best leads out of the thousands in your database.

I came away with a fresh look at the strengths and weaknesses of Seabrook Island in today’s marketplace. Overall, it’s clear that we are in an amazingly strong position. We don’t need or want a developer or investor to pump in money. “Island One” has created a strong underlying financial structure for Seabrook and it’s governing organizations; Charleston keeps a continued flow of visitors coming our way; Thousands of prospects, guests, families and friends stay on Seabrook Island each year; and Kiawah Island provides us with a supply of resort owners who are looking for a more community minded option for permanent living. A strong national economy driving improved confidence would be the final piece to the puzzle.

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Preparing for Sale

I’m sure you have noticed the large number of new homes being built on Seabrook over the past two years. That trend is continuing and it shows a high level of confidence in Seabrook’s future and in the general economic picture. For the first time in years we are even seeing a sprinkling of “spec” homes being built on Seabrook Island.

We have also tested the market by placing builder’s plans on certain unsold homesites and offering a package to prospective buyers. We have seen some success with this strategy.

While this is all good news, it also clearly places an even higher focus on the importance of “condition” as a selling point for older homes. A very high percentage of homes and villas currently for sale on Seabrook were built in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Many of these are on highly desirable homesites with magnificent views, since they were the earliest home sites chosen as Seabrook was developed. Many need varying amounts of upgrade to compete with newer properties.

As a full service company, Seabrook Island Real Estate is gearing up to help owners of these properties prepare for sale in hopes of reducing the length of time a home is on the market while increasing the final sales price. Having a comprehensive plan to prepare and update your property, in advance of offering it for sale, is crucial to lowering your stress level. It also gives you the best chance of selling it for the most money, in the least amount of time, and helps you to better compete with newer homes on the market.

If you are thinking of listing you property in the near (or even distant future), and are interested in learning more about the building a plan and team for preparing you property, feel free to call me or your favorite Seabrook Island Real Estate Sales Executive. We are also in the process of planning a Property Preparation Expo at the Club. The Expo will be an open forum showcasing a wide variety of experts in this field to help Seabrook property owners plan for the future.

Thanks as always for your continued support and business,
Joe Salvo

Announcing our #MakeItUniquelyYours Photo Contest!

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Proud to announce our #MakeItUniquelyYours photo contest!

This is your chance to show us how you make Seabrook Island Uniquely YOURS!

Enter on our Facebook pages, or visit our website www.discoverseabrook.com/news-and-media.php and add your pictures! You can also enter on Instagram or Twitter by simply hashtagging #MakeItUniquelyYours

Deadline to enter is October 15th. Winners will receive a Seabrook Island Gift Bag filled with goodies! Make sure to hashtag #MakeItUniquelyYours and VOTE for your favorite pictures!

End of Summer Update

Except for a weird two week period in early July, the Seabrook Island Real Estate market continued to be quite active over the summer. Right now there are 101 properties either closed or waiting to close in 2014, with almost four full selling months remaining in the year.

The most improved portion of the market is single family homes. In 2013, a total of 46 single family homes were sold, while in 2014 that number is already 44 and is on a track to be about 60 by year end. Villas are on track with 2013’s numbers, when 61 were sold. So far there are 46 villas either closed or waiting to close, again with four sales months remaining. Continuing on this track would mean an increase in residential sales of about 10% by year end. At the writing of this article, there were 91 single family homes on the market and 96 villas. This translates to about a year and a half supply, well down from the highs.

Sales of homesites are lower than last year with 13 sites closed or waiting to close. There were 30 closed homesite sales in 2013 and now 105 homesites on the market.

In the meantime, our marketing efforts and those of our Sales Executives continue to bear fruit, and your real estate company has generated the highest market share of sold properties in the history of the company. Real Estate produced a healthy profit for the first half of the year and helped to generate a significant increase in Club membership. We expect that to continue in the 2nd half based on the number of sales already waiting to close at this time.

A detailed comparison of the first half of the year shows that the Seabrook Island Real Estate market was in line with or better than our main competitor communities in the Charleston area and significantly better than competitors South of us in the Hilton Head/Bluffton markets. Inventory backlogs are also in line or better than in those markets.

As an added service to our current and future clients, Seabrook Island Real Estate is looking into programs to help owners of older properties, those built in the 1980s and 90s, to find ways to efficiently upgrade features of their homes in order to generate a higher return when they are ready to sell and to get their homes sold quicker. You will hear more about this in the near future!

Hope y’all had a great summer and as always, please feel free to call me to talk about the Seabrook Real Estate market.

Buying vs. Renting

Happy April everyone! We hope everyone had a good Easter holiday and start to spring! The island is buzzing with the new season starting. And the weather is finally starting to make it feel like summer. Welcome to everyone that is here visiting! And for everyone who isn’t here, you should come see us!

With tons of renters coming for the summer, long-term renting has become an interesting topic. Should you rent long-term or should you buy? Everyone comes to this question at some point in life. It’s no different on Seabrook. We have tons of amazing rentals here on the island, but we also have beautiful homes too. Throughout the US, the rising cost in rent has started to change the way people are investing their money. Low mortgage rates are starting to be a game changer, because why would you renew a lease when you could break even on a house in less time? Take into consideration the assets you gain with a home purchase, the appreciation of equity is a huge factor. Also, buying and then renting out your second home is a great way to make residual income. The biggest benefit for renting long-term is that you wouldn’t have to stay anywhere for an extended period of time.

But on an island like Seabrook, why wouldn’t you want to come and stay?

Thanks for reading! Be sure to comment!

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Meet the Agents

Happy March to everyone! If you haven’t been following us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have missed that we recently launched a “Meet the Agents” campaign for our SIRE Sales Team.

What, you might ask, is the point of this campaign? After much collaboration, we here at SIRE have realized that a name and a biography does not do our team justice. You deserve to know who the people are that are representing your Island and Club on a day-to-day basis. Therefore this campaign is to help you put a name with a friendly face. This campaign will also help our agents better their personal branding initiatives, with updated pictures and personal logos that will help distinguish them from other agents. By doing this, we hope to expand our agents’ and company recognition. We hope that this campaign will show that we are the best Real Estate company to work with when buying and selling on Seabrook Island.

Thank you for reading, we hope to see you soon!

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