Island views: How's business been going?

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Ken Knauf

Manager, Marco Island Real Estate, LLC

Business is going well, as compared to several years ago at this time. More buyers have surfaced that are taking advantage of the decreased prices of available properties, especially on Marco Island. We all know that there are short sales, foreclosures and pre-foreclosures, and people are getting in while they can. Financing is available and interest rates are good, and it has spurred activity. Most of us who are active in this profession are looking forward to a good season this winter, and that’s good for everybody, because as real estate goes, other businesses go also. Marco Island and Naples are destinations for visitors from all over the world. Those people are often able to buy here, and may be doing so before others are buying property in different economic regions. They are ahead of the curve and in a position to take advantage of current economic conditions. Marco Island as a community stands out because there is no other area of the country that is comparable to Marco. Some people compare us to Hawaii, because we are a barrier island with a subtropical climate, but we are attached to the mainland. All of these features are attractive to buyers.

Robyn Shiffler

Group sales manager, Sunshine Tours and Charters, Marco Island Princess

Sunshine Tours has always stayed very steady, both in season and during the off-season. We are expecting a great season this year. The Marco Island Princess opens again in early December, and we are anticipating an enthusiastic response to her seasonal return. We are looking forward to seeing our friends and neighbors on the Island who can also expect a positive trend, at least as good as last year, and very likely even better. We use hotels’ and condos’ occupancy rates as a guide, and when we look at the numbers, so far, it looks great.

Janet Keefe

Co-owner, Obsessions

We are working on our second season, and just got back from our buying trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas. We are finding a lot more people are coming to the Island earlier this year. Our first season was a great success, and we’re looking very much forward to our second season. Things are picking up, and the Island has a real good pulse to it again. Our newness to the community, when added to recommendations by our current customers, is building our business. Word of mouth is very important to any business on Marco.

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