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  • Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach chosen for Watson Realty Corp.’s 43rd branch office opening

    by Watson Realty | Jun 24, 2014
    New Smyrna Beach, Fla. June 24, 2014 Sugar Mill Country Club, a premier golf community, has been selected for the opening of Watson Realty Corp.’s 43rd branch office July 1, 2014.

    The office will be located at 100 Club House Circle, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168.

    The Sugar Mill office will focus its sales and property management on the closely surrounding area. This will include Sugar Mill Country Club, Sugar Mill Gardens, Isles of Sugar Mill and Sugar Mill Landings.

    “This will be the 14th office in the Central Florida Region,” Jeff Fagan, Regional Vice President of the Central Florida Region explained. “The office allows an outstanding opportunity to expand the Watson Realty footprint in eastern Volusia County.”

    Operations of the office will be handled by Vice President/Managing Broker Patsy Bradley who will also continue her role of managing the New Smyrna Beach office.

    “This is a great opportunity to expand our business in New Smyrna Beach,” Bradley noted. “I am excited for my new role and to open this office.”

    Sugar Mill Country Club is conveniently located an hour from Orlando and only 15 minutes away from the beach.

    Watson Realty Corp. (WatsonRealtyCorp.com) is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com ), and a four-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award. LeadingRE is the largest network of premier locally-branded firms producing over one million annual home sale transactions and provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services. These services include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.  

    For more information on Watson Realty Corp., visit www.WatsonRealtyCorp.com  or call 800.257.5143.
  • Abraham Blocker Appointed Assistant to the President, Watson Realty Corp

    by Watson Realty | Jun 17, 2014
    Jacksonville, Fla. – June 17, 2014 – Watson Realty Corp. is pleased to announce the addition of Abraham Blocker as assistant to the president, Ed Forman.

    Blocker was recently honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for ten years. He most recently served as a recruiter in Jacksonville Beach, where he received multiple awards and was recognized as rookie recruiter of the year in 2013.

    Blocker has been deployed as an infantryman and small unit leader in support of combat operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for Watson Realty Corp.,” Blocker said. “Its core values and commitment to legendary quality service are what attracted me to this outstanding organization.”

    He is a licensed REALTOR® and is currently attending Jacksonville University for business management.

    “Abraham has a proven history of leadership and dedication,” explained Ed Forman, president, Watson Realty Corp. “He shares the company values and will be an excellent resource.”

    Blocker, a proud husband and father of three, is actively involved in his church and continues to serve in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He enjoys exploring northeast Florida with his family.

    Watson Realty Corp. (WatsonRealtyCorp.com) is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com ), and a four-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award. LeadingRE is the largest network of premier locally-branded firms producing over one million annual home sale transactions and provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services. These services include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.  

    Abraham Blocker can be reached at ablocker@WatsonRealtyCorp.com or by phone at 904.596.5935.
  • Hurricane Preparedness Part Three

    by Watson Realty | Jun 16, 2014

    Preparing Your Pets for Hurricanes and/or Evacuations

    One step often forgotten in preparing for storms is preparing to care for pets. When an evacuation is ordered, you MUST take your pets with you.

    Having pets with you can effect what supplies you need as well as what shelters you can stay at. Most areas offer three types of shelters in case of emergency: general population, special needs and pet-friendly.

    Although the locations of the shelters are not determined until needed, there are guidelines concerning each type of shelter.

    Pet-friendly shelters do not require pre-registration, but there are guidelines as to who can be accepted into the shelters. Pet-friendly shelters accept dogs, cats, rodents, birds and rabbits. Reptiles will not be allowed in any shelters.

    To be allowed in the shelter, pet owners must have proof of vaccinations and registration. Animals must also be properly crated or caged as well as properly maintained by their owners.

    Have a back-up plan in case of shelters filling up. Research pet-friendly hotels and other places to shelter your pets in the event of a storm. Some hotels will make exceptions for pets in the event of an emergency. Have a list of these places prepared ahead of time.

    Pet supplies necessary in the event of an evacuation:

    •            Ownership/registration paperwork

    •            Medical records

    •            Necessary medication

    •            Leash/collar

    •            At least a three-day supply of food and water, bowls for food

    •            Litter and litter box

    •            Cage or crate

    •            Towels/blankets and cleaning supplies

    •            Toys

    •            A current photo in case your pet gets lost

  • Beth Ruggeri Appointed Managing Broker of St. Augustine Beach Office

    by Watson Realty | Jun 12, 2014

    St. Augustine, Fla. – June 12, 2014 – Watson Realty Corp. is pleased to announce Beth Ruggeri has been promoted to Managing Broker of the St. Augustine Beach office.

    Ruggeri has 28 years of realty experience in St. Johns County. She has worked for Watson Realty Corp. since June 2010 as a Broker Associate and Technology Trainer.

    “I am very excited to enter this new stage of my career,” Ruggeri said. “My experience and knowledge of St. Augustine will help this office and my associates continue to prosper.”

    Ruggeri became a licensed real estate broker in 2003, owning and operating her own brokerage firm. She has worked in real estate since she moved to St. Augustine in 1986, shortly after graduating from Auburn University.

    “With a long history in real estate, Ruggeri will be a great asset as Managing Broker,” said Ed Forman, president, Watson Realty Corp.

    Ruggeri is a proud mother of two, actively involved in her children’s sports and activities. She loves St. Augustine and the coastal lifestyle. Going to the beach and boating are two of her favorite ways to relax when she isn’t working.

    Watson Realty Corp. (WatsonRealtyCorp.com) is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com ), and a four-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award. LeadingRE is the largest network of premier locally-branded firms producing over one million annual home sale transactions and provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services. These services include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.  

    Beth Ruggeri can be reached at bruggeri@WatsonRealtyCorp.com or by phone at 904.494.2575.

  • Watson Realty Corp. celebrates recent LeadingRE graduates

    by Watson Realty | Jun 11, 2014

    Nine Watson Realty Corp. team members recently earned the LeadingRE Service Expert Certification (LSE) through Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Institute 2.0 online training program.

    Completion of these courses demonstrates an ongoing commitment to providing outstanding customer service and leadership excellence.

    Belinda Blanton – Deland
    Sherri King – Deland
    Maryfrances Walsh – Deland
    Lauren Martilli – Hodges
    Wallace Gainey – Intracoastal
    Amber Nappi – Jacksonville Relocation
    Craig McCall – Orange Park Blanding
    Earl Leatham – Oviedo
    David Morse – Port Orange

    Nine Watson Realty Corp. team members recently earned the LeadngRE Relocation Specialist (LRS) through Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Institute 2.0 online training program.

    Completion of these courses demonstrates an ongoing commitment to providing expertise relocation services, customer satisfaction and leadership excellence.

    Marianne Fearon – Hodges
    Amber Nappi – Jacksonville Relocation
    Jim Ruddy – Longwood
    Joel McManamey – Maitland
    Bill Underwood – Orlando Relocation
    Liliana Kilgore – Ponte Vedra
    David Morse – Port Orange
    Kimberlee Ormond – South Beach
    Zenda Rexroad – Orlando Relocation

    Five Watson Realty Corp. team members recently earned the LeadingRE Sales Specialist Certification (LSS) through Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Institute 2.0 online training program.

    Completion of these courses demonstrates an ongoing commitment to increasing sales performance, leadership and excellence.

    Casey Omura – Champions Gate
    Sherri King – Deland
    Earl Leatham – Oviedo
    David Morse – Port Orange
    Vicki Butcher – Sunbeam/Baymeadows

  • Watson Realty Corp. names Robert and Barbara Johanson as top listing sales associates for May in Palm Coast office

    by Watson Realty | Jun 10, 2014

    Palm Coast, Fla. – June 10, 2014 – Husband and wife team Robert and Barbara Johanson were recently recognized as top listing agents for the month of May with $1.19 million in listings.

    The Johansons were also recognized as top listing agents in March, as well as top selling agents in April 2014.

    The pair joined Watson Realty Corp. in 2007. They work together to provide quality service to all of their customers, buyers and sellers.

    “With both of us working for our customers, they get the advantage of the expertise of two trained professionals 100 percent of the time,” said Barbara Johanson.

    The team was presented with a President’s Award from Watson Realty Corp. at the North Central Awards ceremony earlier this year. This recognition is only received by agents who close with between $3 million and $5 million for the year.

    For more information to view listings, Robert or Barbara Johanson can be reached by phone at 386.246.9279 or via email at robertjohanson@WatsonRealtyCorp.com.

    Watson Realty Corp. (WatsonRealtyCorp.com) is honored to be a founding member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (www.LeadingRE.com ), and a four-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award. LeadingRE is the largest network of premier locally-branded firms producing over one million annual home sale transactions and provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services. These services include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.  

  • 5 Top Money Lessons for 2014 Grads

    by Watson Realty | Jun 06, 2014

    Whether graduating from high school or college, this year’s crop of grads undoubtedly learned a lot – including, one would hope, some practical life skills. But, say the money experts, it’s not uncommon for kids to graduate without a good grounding in the money management skills they will need in the real world.

    Holly Perez, a consumer money expert at Intuit, told U.S. News & World Report the top five money lessons she believes today’s graduates need to live by:

    1. Know the basics – Get acquainted with on-line tools that help you monitor your finances. Many automatically categorize your debit and credit card transactions, meaning you can see how much you've spent on groceries, entertainment, etc. at a glance. You can also set up budgets and get notifications every time you're close to busting your own budget.

    2. Live within your means – If you now have your first full-time job, spending money is tempting. Keep your regular expenses in mind at all times and resist buying extras you can’t afford without getting into debt. If you’re smart, you will make a monthly deposit into savings as one of your regular expenses.

    3. Pay off student loans – More than 60 per cent of this year’s college grads will leave school in debt for student loans. Be proactive about paying more than monthly minimums, because the sooner you pay off your debt, the sooner you may really will have disposable cash.

    4. Stash away retirement savings – It may seem like a lifetime away, but it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Challenge yourself to keep on increasing your contributions as your income increases.

    5. Be wise with credit cards – The short rule is, if you don’t have the cash to buy it, you probably shouldn’t buy it at all. Credit cards are great for convenience and emergency situations, but be wary of using them for big-ticket items that will put you into long-term debt with high interest rates. Use cards cautiously and pay off balances every month.

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

  • 3 Tips for Choosing an Assisted-Living Home for Your Parent

    by Watson Realty | Jun 05, 2014

    Seventy percent of people age 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to a 2014 study by CareScout, a division of Genworth Financial Services.

    “But that doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice their quality of life,” says Peder Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living, www.concordisseniorliving.com, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

    “In fact, a person who needs some assistance with day-to-day living will often find he or she is much happier in a good assisted-living community with an atmosphere that reminds them of their former home.”

    And it doesn’t have to be outrageously priced, notes Johnsen, a third-generation ALF operator whose family pioneered the contemporary congregate community model.

    The median price for a private, one-bed home in an ALF community is $42,000, he says, citing the CareScout report. By contrast, a semi-private nursing home bed costs a median $77,000 a year.

    But it’s up to prospective residents and their families to ascertain the quality of the community and whether it’s a good match for the person who will be living there.

    “ALFs are not federally regulated and states vary widely on the breadth of oversight they provide, so you can’t necessarily rely on the law,” Johnsen says. “And don’t rely on salespeople either – that’s the biggest mistake people make.”

    There are, however, a number of easy ways to see if a home has a truly caring atmosphere and well-trained staff.

    Johnsen offers these tips:

    Ask to see the home’s state licensing survey, an assessment that usually includes inspections, audits, interviews with residents, etc. Every state has an ALF licensing agency and all have some form of survey system for ensuring that certain standards of quality are met, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America.

    “Requirements vary from state to state about how often the surveys are conducted and how the public can access the reports, but no matter what state you live in, you should be able to ask the ALF for its most recent report, or obtain it from the licensing agency,” Johnsen says. 

    The surveys will tell you if problems were found – or not – and what the ALF did to address them.

    Visit the ALF during non-business hours.

    Go before breakfast or after dinner – times when the administrators aren’t around. What’s the atmosphere? How do employees behave with the residents?

    “That’s a good time to talk to residents, too,” Johnsen says.

    Be a “mystery shopper,” he suggests. Pretend you’re just visiting the community – not scouting it out as a prospective customer.

    Ascertain how truly “homelike” the community is.

    In your own home, if you don’t feel like eating breakfast at 7:30 a.m., you don’t have to. You can have breakfast at 10. You can get snacks when you want them.

    “Depending on what’s important to your loved one, there are potentially many rules that can affect how ‘at home’ a person feels,” Johnsen says. “Some communities allow residents to have pets, others don’t. Some provide lots of activities. At some, residents can quickly and easily arrange for transportation or a service like hair styling.”

    Not every community can offer everything, he notes. That’s why it’s important to look for those features that are especially important to your loved one.

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

  • Hurricane Preparedness Post 2

    by Watson Realty | Jun 05, 2014

    To continue your preparation for hurricane season, it is crucial to understand what to do in the event a storm hits. Review these tips on steps to take when a storm is heading your way. Also check with your county’s emergency management department for information specific to your location. Duval County residents can find the 2014-2015 Emergency Preparedness Guide at www.jaxready.com.

    In the event of a storm:

    • Bring outdoor items indoors. Bring inside any loose items including outdoor furniture, grills, plants, toys, trash cans and more. If bringing a grill into a garage, ensure the propane is turned OFF.
    • Unplug electronics. Unplugging electronic devices can protect them from damage from an electrical surge.
    • Shelter valuable items. Secure valuables away from windows and doors, preferably in a closet or interior room.
    • Fill up your gas tank. Ensure that you have a full tank before an evacuation is ordered and lines build at gas stations. Even if an evacuation doesn’t seem likely, it is wise to have at least a half a tank of gas.
    • Prepare your home. Secure storm shutters, utilize dead bolts and secure all doors and windows.
    • Follow the plan. In times of panic, it is important to think smart. Follow your hurricane plan and use your best judgment.

    FEMA Evacuation Tips:

    • Plan family meeting areas within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
    • Familiarize yourself with alternate evacuation routes in case of road closures or traffic delays. Choose several destinations in different directions.
    • Leave early to avoid being trapped in the severe weather.
    • Be alert for road hazards including damaged roads and bridges, road closures, fallen trees or downed power lines.
    • Take your emergency kit with you on the road.
    • Bring your pets with you, but realize that only service animals are allowed in most shelters.
  • Hurricane Preparedness Tips Part One

    by Watson Realty | Jun 03, 2014

    Hurricane Season is officially upon us. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a quiet Hurricane Season for 2014, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of being prepared.

    Predictions call for between eight and 13 named storms, three to six of which being hurricanes. Hurricanes are defined as tropical cyclones with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

    Major hurricanes are tropical cyclones with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or higher. The predictions for 2014 call for one or two major hurricanes.

    Hurricane preparedness involves steps needed to be taken in advance, while there are other steps to be completed when a storm is approaching.

    Be sure to remember that predicted storm paths and intensities are purely speculations. Conditions can change quickly so it is important to be prepared even when a storm isn’t predicted to hit or be that strong. Being properly prepared can save lives as well as save your home in the event of a disaster.

    Below are tips on how to keep your home and your family safe in the event of a hurricane.

    Steps to take now:

    • Make roofing repairs to protect your home. Check for loose roof tiles and take steps to re-secure. Check the roof for hurricane straps to secure the structure. Repair any damaged or cracked beams. Check for any roof leaks.
    • Install window covers to protect from wind damage. Window panels, shutters and other products are available to help secure windows in the event of a hurricane.
    • Prepare your yard and landscaping for high winds. Properly trim trees and shrubs to remove any broken limbs. Landscape with shredded bark mulch instead of gravel or stone, which can cause more damage.
    • Clear out gutters. Clean gutters and downspouts allow for better drainage and can prevent roof damage.
    • Prepare an evacuation plan. Determine a plan for your family and safe evacuation routes. Identify local shelter locations. Decide what to do in the event of a major hurricane, when to evacuate, what to do with pets and where to go. Make sure each family member knows and understands the plan.
    • Prepare an emergency/disaster kit. Emergency kits should include a battery-operated radio, extra batteries, flashlights, cash in case ATMs aren’t functioning, a three-day supply of food and water, change of clothes, a first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications. Make sure to have at least one gallon of water per person, per day. Also consider any special items that might be needed for infants, elderly or disabled family members. Remember dishes and utensils for food. Don’t forget a can opener to open non-perishable food items.
    • Check your insurance coverage. Check your insurance to make sure you have sufficient coverage in the event of a major storm.
    • Prepare a go kit. A go kit should contain copies of insurance policies, contact information for insurance companies and emergency contacts, a home inventory, extra keys and any important personal or financial records.