Gift baskets and dog walks: Orlando Realtors go to great lengths to find sellers in tight market

Mar 4, 2022 | ARMEL NEWS

By   –  OBJ Staff Writer & Orlando Inno Reporter, Orlando Business Journal


When Deanna Armel encounters neighbors while walking her dog in Lake Nona, she asks them the same question: What’s your number? 

Armel, owner and broker of Armel Real Estate Inc., is trying to find out what sales price would convince residents of the southeast Orlando community to put their homes up for sale.

Metro Orlando’s home inventory has been tight for years, and it has reached historic lows since 2020. The metro features 1,729 existing single-family homes on the market and 21,000 Realtors, creating a competitive industry among agents. This situation has local Realtors relying on connections with past clients while forging relationships with potential future clients whenever possible. 

For Mainframe Real Estate LLC agent KeAusha Jordan, that means ensuring everyone who previously bought and sold with her has “no choice” but to remember her, she told OBJ. That’s why Jordan leaves a gift on past clients’ doorsteps every month. 

Those gifts range from pumpkin carving kits in October to “Netflix and chill” baskets for couples during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Plus, she has hosted Santa Claus appearances, organized Easter egg hunts and rented out movie theaters to keep connected with past clients. 

Meanwhile, other agents educate homeowners about the opportunities presented by a housing market with escalating prices. For example, Christine Elias, founder of Winter Park-based Urban Dog Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, previously told OBJ she contacts homeowners who may be on the fence about selling and shows them the numbers. 

Elias works with title companies to assemble a preliminary settlement statement, she said. “It shows what they would net at closing, in cash. I got a client to list a condo because it told him he could make $90,000.” 

Some of these strategies were used by Realtors before the pandemic, but they have become increasingly valuable after local home supply plummeted in 2020 and 2021. In January, inventory stood at 2,379 homes, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. That was a 66% drop from 7,030 homes in January 2020. 

The median sales price sank 1.4% from $340,000 in December to $335,000 in January. Despite the month-over-month decline, the median price last month was 21.8% higher than the January 2021 median price of $275,000. 

Local housing market trends are important to the economy. In fact, each Florida home sale has an estimated local economic impact of $90,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. In addition, the housing market often is considered a reflection of the local economy’s overall health.


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