ORLANDO, Fla., March 20, 2020 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and higher pending inventory in February 2020 compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,693 last month, up 9.1% from February 2019.Read More »
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Several years ago, Andrew Bell, broker-owner of NextHome Assurance Realty in Jacksonville, was asked to dress up as the Blues Brothers and perform with a friend at a Women’s Council of Realtors® event. “I thought, ‘well, I guess this works as my friend (Peter Gruenther) was tall and thin like Dan Aykroyd, and I resembled Jim Belushi (the original Blues Brothers),” says Bell. “We were such a hit that people started asking us to perform at other events.”
One event was for the Realtors® Political Action Committee. “It was at the Pink Flamingo Lounge, so we decided to dress in pink suits,” he says. “People were off their rocker; they loved us,” he says.
Bell decided that they should take advantage of the popularity and the pink suits to do something positive in the community.
“Obviously, the pink suit ties in with breast cancer,” he says.
Through his research, Bell met Jeri Millard, founder of In The Pink.
“It’s a store that provides things people need when they go through chemo and have cancer, like mastectomy bras, wigs, lotions and more. They also have head-shaving parties and yoga,” says Bell, who notes that In The Pink is not just for those with breast cancer, it’s for any type of cancer. “They not only provide physical support but emotional support as well. What I liked the most is that Jeri told me that no matter whether the person has insurance or not, they all get the same stuff. They were providing a service to people who didn’t have the money to get what those with insurance would be able to get easily.”
He says, “We’re in real estate. It’s all about the community. So, with In The Pink, all of the money raised stays in the community. In fact, for every dollar raised, a dollar goes toward helping local people with cancer.”
For Bell and Gruenther, it was the perfect fit.
“Wherever Jeri needs us and whenever Jeri needs us, we’re there to raise awareness and money,” Bell says. “For several years, we had a float in our local Beaches Parade. We’ll perform at a chili cookoff fundraiser, we’ll emcee events. With the last chili cookoff, more than $24,000 was raised. That wasn’t just from us. It’s a whole team that puts on this event.”
For Bell, participating in a charity that helps people in the community is vital.
He adds, “I believe local monies raised should stay in our community. Of course, I want to help everyone, but too often, with bigger charities, you’re sending a quarter of the money out of state. I want to make an impact where I live and work. Let’s go out and raise awareness. Let’s create a buzz. Let’s create some excitement and get people to dig deep into their pockets because the money that they’re spending is helping people here in our community.”
However, Bell says, “the true unsung heroes are the people who we’re helping raise awareness for, and that’s all that matters.”
For more information on In The Pink, go to https://jaxinthepink.com/location/jacksonville-beach/
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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 21, 2020 – Florida’s housing market started the year off on a positive track, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and higher pending inventory in January 2020 compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,298 last month, up 17.9% from January 2019.Read More »
TAMPA BAY, Fla., Feb. 14, 2020 – There’s a lot to love about Florida, and Florida Realtors® showcased some of the Sunshine State’s best qualities to a 74-plus member delegation of the Spanish International Realty Alliance® (SIRA) this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 12, 2020 – Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2019 with more sales, higher median sale prices and more pending inventory compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.Read More »
MIAMI – As a Cuban immigrant, Justine Jimenez Garcia, broker-owner of Countywide Properties ERA Powered and a coach with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), knows how important it is to mentor young Latino students on the possibilities for success.
“My alma mater is Miami-Dade Community College, so I wanted to give back,” she says.
Jimenez Garcia’s parents came to Miami from Cuba in 1970. “My parents saved enough money washing dishes and cleaning hospitals to buy their first home,” she says. “A couple years after that, my father became ill and passed away. Having that home meant safety to our family.”
That prompted her to get into real estate in 1994.
“When I got into the business, I had a very good role model as a broker. I saw that if you worked hard, long hours and knocked on people’s doors and introduced yourself, you had a very good opportunity of controlling your own destiny,” says Jimenez Garcia, who was named a Top 250 Latino Real Estate Agent by NAHREP.
Knowing how hard it is to be successful in business, Jimenez Garcia wanted to help students see the possibilities and opportunities out there for them.
“I work with college students,” she explains. “I let them come into my office and teach them how to network and market themselves. I serve as a role model. I give them a roadmap into being a business owner and starting out. It opens the doors for them. It opens their eyes.”
One of Jimenez Garcia’s first mentees now is a successful attorney practicing real estate. Jimenez Garcia also shows students the benefits of homeownership.
She says, “There are studies that say that kids born into a rental household are more likely to rent, and the ones born in a home that is owned are more likely to own. We can change that by mentoring young people and teaching them about how important it is to own a home. My ultimate goal is to have the Latino community grow their wealth and have more than 50% of them own homes.”
Jimenez Garcia also speaks around the country educating Latino entrepreneurs on how they can build their businesses.
“Access to capital is a big issue for Latinos,” she says. “It’s something that NAHREP is trying to work on through its wealth project: The goal is to develop more Latino millionaires and help businesses grow.”
The path to success is education, Jimenez Garcia believes. “I just completed the National Association of Realtors®’(NAR) C2EX program, and I highly recommend it to all Realtors®.”
Overall, she encourages Latino students to look for any and all opportunities.
“I tell them to keep their eyes open and get out and network,” she says. “There’s a program I talk about a lot. It’s in collaboration with Stanford and it empowers Latino entrepreneurs to grow. It’s called the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. I want to spread the word about those programs. Volunteering in your community will make you a stronger business leader.”
And, that, says Jimenez Garcia, is worth the hard work and long hours she puts into her business and the community.
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ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 27, 2020 – The U.S. economy continues to grow – and Florida’s economy is doing even better, outpacing the nation’s growth, according to economic experts who spoke to a crowd of more than 400 Realtors® at the 2020 Florida Real Estate Trends summit during last week’s Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 22, 2020 – The holiday season was a time of good cheer for Florida’s housing market, with more closed sales, higher median prices and increased pending sales plus more pending inventory in December 2019 compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,557 last month, up 23.8% from December 2018.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 16, 2020 – Florida Realtors® congratulates several leaders in Florida real estate for being named to the 2020 Swanepoel Power 200 list of the most powerful leaders in residential real estate.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 14, 2020 – Real estate helps drive Florida’s growth, and figuring out what lies ahead in 2020 is a key question for policymakers, residents and Realtors. That’s the focus of this year’s Florida Realtors® 2020 Real Estate Trends summit, which also will feature a panel discussion on the latest trends in construction and development.Read More »