Bubil: Nurturing quality traffic


The Parade of Homes exists for one primary reason — to get you to drive way out east, or right around the corner, and look at new model houses.

It is a long-treasured American pastime — dreaming. (And wondering, “Why doesn’t my house look like that?”)

Maybe you are just curious. Maybe you might decide to buy one. You would be in the minority of Parade of Homes tour-goers, but the minority is getting smaller all the time. After several dreadful years, homebuilders are making a go of it again.

Builders are reporting heavy traffic at the 77 model homes featured in the 2014 Parade of Homes, which is presented by the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association.

But there’s traffic — people walking through the models and signing the guest books — and there’s “quality” traffic.

“We are seeing multiples of traffic” at model homes during the Parade as would normally be seen, said John Cannon of John Cannon Homes. “It is nice to have the people in looking, but it is very high-quality traffic. It’s not just lookers.”

Cannon has four models in the Parade of Homes. Neal Communities has the most entries with 10; Lennar has seven.

They all want quality traffic. That is defined by the questions tour-goers ask, said Cannon.

“I have a weekly meeting with my salespeople and we discuss what we call our ‘pipeline,’ ” said Cannon. “From traffic units to appointments to putting proposals together, to visiting their site to do an analysis of what conditions we might encounter and what cost ramifications there are — all of those kinds of things, which are precursors to people buying a home, we are very busy with.”

• Realtor Roger Pettingell was named Coldwell Banker’s No. 1 sales associate in the state for 2013. He closed 59 sales worth $61.85 million, up from $50.7 million in 2012. He also sold more listings at $1 million or more in Sarasota County than any other Realtor, according to Trendgraphix, and was the top agent in Sarasota and Manatee counties by sales volume. He had been named No. 1 four out of the last six years. “We are extremely proud of Roger,” said Clark Toole, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Florida.
• You probably have read that a Jacksonville-based development firm called GreenPointe Holdings is seeking to develop the vacant Sarasota Quay site. GreenPointe’s senior vice president is Roger Postlethwaite, who made a huge impact on the Sarasota region when he planned The Meadows for Taylor Woodrow in the 1970s and Lakewood Ranch for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch in the 1990s.


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: March 1, 2014
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