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Marco Island: A Wonderful Southern Paradise With Some Luxury Real Estate Challenge

Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015



1450_Gulfstar_Drive_S-Living room-1

(selling luxury property – like this gorgeous home we sold three months ago – requires some different thinking)

When our first clients to buy on Marco Island a few years ago fell in love with a home on the water we could see why – broad canal views, short drive to restaurants and beaches, unrestricted boat access to the Gulf of Mexico – all at prices below the usual Naples market. Beautiful, affordable and carrying that island panache which sets you apart from the maddening crowd. Let’s take a look at the Marco Island market this morning and see how business is fairing.

First the big picture. The Naples news reported today Marco Island inventories were low (please see the full article at

We do not agree with the Newspaper and think inventories are at normal levels. I know, it is not smart to argue with someone with “gallons of printer’s ink” but here goes. By our math supply is 11.36 months – normal or close to “equilibrium” as we real estate professionals say (all figures from the Matrix MLS this morning). For all you quants check my math … There are 599 properties for sale and 211 have sold in the last 120 days. We would expect some support for future price increases at this level but not much. By comparison the Naples market is running far tighter, 6+ months and supportive of price increases.

Big picture numbers may be misleading.  Let’s look at an important Marco Island market segment – the luxury market. Here we see a different story implying different actions for sellers. If we define “luxury” as properties over $2,000,000 we see 86 such properties for sale this morning, 11 sold in the last 120 days and a supply of 31+. At these higher supply levels we would expect the price of luxury properties on Marco Island to fall unless buyers show up and transaction volumes increase. But it is not that sample.



455 Palm Cir East Pool

(long inventories, smart buyers, online marketing and international reach are but a few considerations to move a property as beautiful as this one)

Luxury properties in many cases are a market of “one.” These are special homes and condos with very special attributes – sometimes once in a lifetime buying opportunities. The buyers of these properties are also different. Sure they are wealthier than the average buyer but there are other behavioral differences as well.  The seller needs to understand the buyer here – especially at higher supply levels.  For example, the luxury buyer is more likely to start their search online AND they may send others to check the place out first. There are other important traits you should know about but let’s start with these.

So what? Why do these differences matter? Well the “so what” is the seller needs to tailor their marketing approach based on these findings – when you are in a “long” market at 31 months the art of marketing luxury properties to a different set of buyers really mattes.


(the kitchen in the same home – one key to the buyer’s interest)

How do we do it? Well there are a few techniques, at least considerations, we would like to pass on to the luxury property sellers in Naples and Marco Island or in fact anywhere. Here in brief are a few ideas:
1) Eyeballs not websites. Online marketing is more than a website. Our website is great – sure – and the national real estate providers offer exposure but you need more. As an example – in addition to our favorite website – we have 10,000+ monthly followers through social media and we deliver 15,000,000+ pairs of eyeballs to your property. More than other firms – we would be pleased to show you the numbers.  If the buyers are online you want to be out there advertising – just like Mr. Collier’s advertising of old.
2) Realtors not buyers. You may have a buyer stop by but you need to network with the other luxury realtors. As an example we built a network of national realtors. High end property means higher commissions which means “build it and they will come” – other realtors will be pleased to refer buyers to other realtors to share in in the commissions.  This allows you to get lots of realtors working for you.
3) International AND Domestic. It is estimated 21% of all Naples area buyers are international. So what? The “so what” is do you and your realtor have a brand that makes sense to the the international buyer? Do they know and trust your brand? Hmmm, if you were buying property in Europe which brokerage would you chose to work with?  A brokerage local OR unknown to you or an international brokerage and a familiar name? Interesting.
4) Referring Websites. Many luxury buyers are looking online – everywhere. A recent buyer of ours – for personal and family reasons – was deciding between Barcelona, New York City and Naples. Where do these buyers search online? Beyond the obvious big national names they look at specialized luxury websites – ones which cater to these folks. Get your property listed there. Duh! We can help you do it.
5) Visual POP. If the luxury buyers are looking online from afar AND they are going to incur the expense of sending their folks to look at your place you had better have some great visual “pop”.  You do not get to speak with them when they make the first cut – your property and its lifestyle must speak for itself. Virtual tours sure but you need to think about the lifestyle here and add that to your push. We are “Previews” agents – a group first using video marketing way back in the 1940’s. We get it. Your property needs to “Pop” and sell this wonderful lifestyle of ours.


(the master bedroom suite with a view across the mangroves)

So the Marco Island real estate market is at equilibrium by our math – pries should move sideways, maybe climb a little if the buyers continue to show.  The luxury market on Marco Island is going to need some specialized help to sell those one of kind properties. Of course it can be done and we hope the ideas above are of help to our reader selling luxury property anywhere.

If you would like to know more about living here in Naple and Marco Island, Florida please give us a call at 239.595.3921. We have toured or owned property in Naples for nearly forty years and we are truly fortunate to call this wonderful paradise our full-time home.

Please consider reading our book “Understanding Naples Real Estate” to get you started on your real estate search or just give us a call about things to do here.

We look forward to meeting and talking with you soon,

Mark Goebel PA, Nan Goebel PA and David Goebel, PA
Co-Founders of the Naples Best Addresses team
Coldwell Banker
Mark Goebel, PA and Nan Goebel, PA
REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South
Mobile: 239.595.3921 239.595.3920
Facebook: NaplesBestAddresses

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No legal, investment, or tax advice is being given in this Blog.  Consult with legal, financial and tax professionals before acting on any real estate transaction.  Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.
We are pleased to announce a portion of our real estate earnings go to support the The Naples Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity Collier County, The Race For The Cure Citrus Ride, The Seacrest Country Day School and The Naples Winter Wine Festival.
Some of the data relating to Naples homes for sale and Naples real estate for sale on the website comes in part from the Broker reciprocity program of M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. The properties displayed here may not be all the properties available through the MLS reciprocity Program. This information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Buyers and sellers are responsible for verifying all information about their purchase prior to closing.
Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
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