Golf Community Real Estate is in High Demand – enter a new breed of real estate agent
By: Jason Becker, PGA of America
By: Jason Becker, PGA of America
Looking back just six months ago, the golf industry was beginning to make a significant pivot from famine to feast in terms of consumer demand for golf, golf real estate and outside activity.
I don’t know that anyone could have seen it coming, but we certainly embraced the surge of folks from around the country eyeing Florida as an escape. Many consumers said: Enough is enough. I’m not going to wait any longer to invest into my future.
An influx of buyers arrived swiftly into the Sunshine State, with cash in hand anxious to buy golf memberships and golf homes. Buyer trend data at Golf Life Navigators shows 75% of the marketplace is now planning to combine the search of club and home. For most, it is a 50/50 split on which is more important – the club or the home. Add spousal difference of opinion to the equation, and you have a complex search in the hands of consumers looking to expedite their decision.
As we enter into a new chapter of buyer demand for golf and golf lifestyle, another opportunity is increasing for the real estate community – the demand for a “Golf Certified Real Estate Agent.”
Buyers who are embarking on this search are looking for guidance. Don Larson, a Chicago native, began his search for a club and home in Naples several years ago. The search involved finding his ideal golf experience and the perfect home and amenities for his family. When asked what gave him the most anxiety about the search, he said: Our biggest concern was finding a real estate agent who knew the golf clubs and the specific amenities of each. From 1500 miles away, I was a bit leery to begin calling brokerages hoping to connect with an agent who was trustworthy and truly knew what I was looking for.
Larson went on to say that he had to interview multiple agents as many did not possess the intel he needed to help filter the options. Fast forward to today, and you have thousands of buyers like the Larsons who are combining the search and are looking for this unique breed of real estate agent.
Currently, one of the most sought-after markets in Florida is the Venice region, just south of Sarasota. What’s not to love? Venice offers beautiful beaches, art, culture and plenty of great golf courses and communities. David Brown, a Golf Certified Real Estate Agent in the Venice region, has had a historically busy year and sees the demand growing from buyers who are seeking an agent with his skillset – someone who knows golf and real estate.
I asked David a few questions about the recent demand for golf homes. He was gracious enough to provide his insight and predictions for the Florida golf/real estate market.
Jason: Today, 58% of buyers would like to purchase a home in a golf community, a 9% increase since this time last year. Do you see that demand continuing with your buyers who are looking to purchase a golf home this summer and fall?
David: What I am hearing from buyers confirms that increase. COVID has accelerated many buyers’ timelines, and these younger buyers want more than to just join a golf club. They want to become part of a community.
Jason: We see buyer demand growing each day at GLN of folks wanting to connect with a “golf-centric” real estate agent. Are you hearing more questions about specific golf communities then in the past?
David: The golf buyers I work with appreciate the added benefits, knowledge and services that I provide as a Golf Certified Real Estate Agent (and former PGA Professional). Having your Realtor be an integral part of the golf club selection process is something totally new and comforting for buyers.
Jason: Capital improvements at the clubs seem to be a common theme in 2021. Are buyers asking you about improvement plans at various clubs? Do you believe the average agent would have a pulse of those dynamics to accurately provide feedback?
David: Capital improvements are generally paid for from reserves and/or special assessments to the members. Buyers purchasing a property in a club with an ongoing or future planned capital improvement need to know clearly what additional costs they will incur at closing, as well as, the long term annual fees and if those improvements merit that cost. I believe a Golf Certified Real Estate Agent is better versed than the average agent in knowing how those improvements will affect the overall value of the golf club and the resident members.
As we enter into the summer months, time will tell on the increasing demand for golf memberships and golf homes in Florida. Our intel at GLN tells us that buyers are aggressively traveling to Florida this summer with hopes of increased inventory levels of golf homes and decreased crowds. They are ready to buy, now!
For the golf and club industry, this is great news as we all continue to embrace buyer demand for the game and lifestyle. For the real estate community, this continuing influx of buyers should be a lucrative opportunity to grow business. However, be cognizant that buyers of golf and real estate in 2021 are interviewing agents in search of one that has a golf acumen. It doesn’t mean you have to play golf or be a member at a prestigious club but certainly need to understand the basic dynamics of private clubs and the general differences of the clubs in the market. My suggestion, become a Golf Certified Real Estate Agent like David Brown and position yourself as the agent for whom buyers are searching.
Did you know, the annual transactional volume of real estate sales in Sunbelt golf communities exceed 35 Billion-dollars a year? Buyers are seeking a real estate agent that is educated in private club dynamics and can articulate the general differences of the clubs in their local marketplace.
Are you one of these agents? Or, would you like to be?