Making the Case
Most people don’t get to live in paradise until later in their adult life, when decisions are their own and a successful career has come and gone. Then comes retirement.
Though, after years of working and planning, how do you find a perfect fit?
Jason Becker had this exact thought while working as a golf pro at a high-end club in Naples and taking on graduate school to earn his Master’s degree in higher education.
“During the schoolwork I was writing a lot of papers on the golf swing and my instructor asked me to write something different because I had written like 20 papers on that,” Becker said, the President and Co-Founder of Golf Life Navigators.
“I always wondered why you would invest in a [golf] club if it’s not the right fit for you.”
That’s when Becker stayed in the golf realm, taking a swing at something bigger. What he discovered through case studies, pertaining to the 176 golf courses in Naples and Fort Myers, was a breakthrough that took off in January of 2014.
Golf Life Navigators was formed.
What began as a school project turned into Becker’s entrepreneurial venture, a Naples-based golf club and real estate matchmaking business that simplifies the relocation process for snowbirds making the transition to the Florida sunshine.
Even better, it comes at no cost for clients.
“I formed the business model out of the investigative case studies and went to 20 of my private members and raised some feed money from them. I never thought I’d take that leap as an entrepreneur, but the numbers were in my favor,” he said.
Those figures were off the charts—as many as 300,000 Americans moving to the Sunshine State per year since 2012—a huge pool of exactly what Becker needed.
So far, the former golf pro has capitalized, following through with his plan perfectly.
A Michigan man originally, Jason Becker moved to Southwest Florida in 2003.
Like so many other future Florida residents, he wanted a change in lifestyle. Becker was tired of the snow-covered winters and wanted to trade that for sun and sand on a year-round basis.
Fast-forward 11 years, and Becker was here to stay. His career was taking flight.
“After launching the company in January of 2014, within 60 days we had over 160 clients just by word of mouth. 90 percent of our clients wanted to parlay a real estate search under one umbrella,” Becker looked back to the roots of his takeoff.
Golf Life Navigators was becoming an ace on the scorecard, even more so a lifestyle choice for 55-year-old snowbirds who wanted to score big without paying the price.
Signage of the gain of Becker’s business: three employees has turned into 26.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a year from now we’re sitting somewhere in Tallahassee explaining how much revenue we’ve made,” he said of the statewide growth within Florida’s borders. “Naples [Florida] is well on its way. I can’t imagine where we’ll be six months from now.”
As for extending the boundaries beyond Golf Life Navigators’ current offices in Naples, Orlando, Sarasota and Palm Beach County, Becker said it’s a matter of time.
“Other markets need our time and consultation, so we’re trying to do as much as possible with the demand and the resources.”
However, just based on demand, the expansion has begun in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“By force we had to rapidly get in those other markets, hire the right folks, really just have a leverage to buy in. How we leverage that is by having PGA pros that have 15 plus years of experience, that know the right spot,” Becker described.
The President and Co-Founder admitted that he has drawn interest from up north, his former home, but Becker wants to keep growing his brand where it’s hot first.
Keeping it Personal
When Becker was a student, he wasn’t ignorant as a golf pro either. Over time, he saw a framework for disaster and, with help, took it upon himself to find an answer.
Seeing unhappy club members, Becker took it personal.
Golf Life Navigators was the escape from negativity repeating itself over and again.
“We try to incorporate a lot of real-life examples. People invest too much money and want to get into a new facility, but they’ve stuck themselves,” Becker pointed out.
That’s why his business and their clients are the perfect pair. Both are looking for the perfect fit with one another in hopes of matching an ideal club with a new home.
To Becker and Golf Life Navigators, it’s about getting it right from the get-go.
“What we try to dig into is the social expectations of the person. When we work with a club, we don’t need to know everything about the course but what clubs are in the club. You already know what they’re
With 26 PGA golf professionals scattered around Florida, Becker’s business model is to meet with the client one-on-one, spend four hours on the golf course with them, and even provide the snowbirds with extra knowledge pertaining to the state itself.
After all, people from the north are here to enjoy newfound luxuries.
“When people come down here they’re in vacation mode, in a resort setting and a tropical place. If you’re a consumer, you’re getting all this information you may not have known until you’ve met with us. Everyone has different interests,” he said.
Today, Becker has altered the landscape of matchmaking, turning his own questioning on investments into a two-fold answer: golf clubs and real estate.
With that, he has turned a former negative into an increasing positive.
“The coolest part is that you’ve made all these friends, helping them make the biggest buying decision of their lives. There’s no negativity. It’s a big positive experience,” Becker justified.
Now, with an onboarding system that has over 800 new clients, Golf Life Navigators is the lead engine to get snowbirds to paradise more efficiently than ever before.
By: Tyler Mosher, Naples Herald
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