4 questions for a pro: Sarasota-area Realtor Daniel Matusiak


Originally from Montreal, Daniel Matusiak has been in the real estate business for 30 years. He moved to Sarasota in 1991 and owned a RE/MAX franchise. Now he focuses on high-end properties, mostly waterfront.

He recently affiliated his company, Action Realty, with Campins Luxury Real Estate in Miami, which has carved out a niche assisting athletes and entertainers nationwide with their real estate needs.

As part of a nationwide luxury broker network, Matusiak considers himself a luxury property marketing consultant. Correspondent Chris Angermann interviewed him about his approach to the high-end market at his office on Stickney Point Road.

Q: Who are your buyers?

A: Mostly CEOs or CFOs of major corporations from Europe and Canada. The interest rates are low; that’s why the money exchange is good for people outside of the United States. My initial focus was on international clients. We have a lot of Americans now, too, but three years ago they were scared of moving their money.

I affiliated with Campins because they direct their focus toward pro athletes, models and media people. That is where the high-end income is. We’re putting a portfolio together, which we are sending to agencies for athletes so they have something in hand.

I made my own contact in Canada with the NHL in Toronto. We send them property information to try to attract the players to the West Coast, to get them here to relax, because that’s what Sarasota is all about.

Q: Is there an untapped market for luxury properties out there?

A: A lot of people from Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela come to Miami. They haven’t discovered this area yet. There are CEOs from major companies who only know about Miami and Orlando. Most pro golfers stay on the east coast of Florida. About three months ago, the Arizona Cardinals stayed at the Ritz Carlton here — they usually stay in Tampa — and I met some of the players. They were saying, “This is paradise.” They felt at home here right away.

Q: How do you get your listings?

A: I don’t look at how many listings have sold, but how many have expired. That’s an important number. An expired listing is an unhappy customer. Expired means a Realtor got your house for six months, and it didn’t sell, so it has gone out of the MLS. We have 192 properties in the high-end market — $1 million and up — that have expired. That’s around 25 percent of the listed luxury properties. That’s a lot.

When I sit with the homeowners that didn’t sell, I want to know why. We need to address the problem — it may be price, location, appearance, etc. Then I try to figure out who will buy that house. I do a lot of printing — cards, brochures — to mail out. Maybe it’s old fashioned — I like Twitter and the Internet — but I learned when I started out that a picture is worth a thousand dollars in real estate. I also create a website for each individual house, with pictures, video tours, surveys, elevations, disclosures of all the expenses, hurricane data, flood insurance, etc.

Once I identify buyers, I try to get them to see the house. I will fly them here, if necessary. By then, they will have all the data for that house, so when they arrive, the only thing left is: Do they like it or not? I don’t sell a house; the house sells by itself. I always believe when you walk into a house and the house talks to you, you are going to buy it. If it doesn’t do anything for you, I can tell you “gold, pink and diamonds,” it won’t change your mind.

Q: What should sellers be aware of?

A: That the market for high-end properties, for $1 million and up, is good. But it depends on the marketing and how that property is shown. That’s why I sit with them to see who will buy their property. If you have a dock — how deep is the water? If I have someone who wants to bring his 40-foot yacht, but the water only allows for a 27-footer, it’s not going to work. If your penthouse is downtown, I’ll look for someone from New York who’s used to walking to restaurants and shops.

The key is to target the right buyers. Luxury property is very different from the regular market. A luxury home is like a Bentley or Rolls-Royce — it’s custom made.


Last modified: December 27, 2013
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