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Top 5 Business & RE Books

I’m a book nerd.  There I said it.  There are few things in life that I enjoy more than curling up in a window seat on a rainy day with a book.  Or in a hammock on a sunny day at Fort Zachary Taylor…  In honor of National Book Lover’s Day (which was actually last week on 8/9 but I’ve been a bit behind due to this summer cold that decided to sneak up on me!)  I thought I’d share with you 5 books that have influenced my life, not only in real estate but in life in general, in no particular order:

  1. Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way – Richard Branson
  2. The One Thing – Gary Keller
  3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  4. The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
  5. The Book on Rental Property Investing – Josh Turner

* Sidenote:  Each of these books can be ordered through our local Key West bookstore:  Books & Books, just give them a call (305-320-0208) and they will give you a ring when it arrives for pickup!

Each of these books have had a different effect on me but the one thing they all had in common was that I couldn’t stop highlighting passages and quotes that made me think and transform into light bulb moments.   I go through periods in my life where I crave knowledge and can’t download books fast enough to my kindle and then times when my brain is pulsing with so much information I have to chill and take a step back and process.

Do you have a favorite business (or any!) book that you’d like to share?  Comment below and let me know what I should add to my reading list.

I am a full time real estate agent in Key West, if you’re interested in purchasing or selling in Key West or The Florida Keys, please contact me, Krystal Thomas at krystalthomasre@gmail.com or 305-394-4073.

 

 

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Simplifying the Real Estate Transaction

Did you know that this week, 8/5-8/11 is Simplify Your Life Week? As if we needed a reason to simplify our lives.  With “Back to School” just around the corner many of my clients and friends are gearing up for a busy fall and upcoming “season” that lies ahead.

I’ve found that the simpler I can make something, whether a meal I’m cooking, a process I’m learning, or a routine I’ve had for years the easier things seem to flow and the more grateful and mindful I am. That being said one of the things I’ve really focused on as a real estate agent over the past year is to simplify the process for my buyers and sellers.

Real Estate transactions are complicated but they don’t have to be for client, in my mind, my job as an agent is to make this a simple experience so that it brings more mindfulness to the transaction and that the buyer and seller don’t get caught up in the minutia of the transaction.

Here are a few ways I’m simplifying the real estate experience for my clients:

  1. E – Sign Errrrythang – Docusign, an electronic signature platform, has changed my life, not just professionally but personally as well. This super user-friendly platform allows me to send, receive, and sign documents electronically. This is especially helpful in a destination/ niche market where buyers and sellers are constantly on the move. E-signature is THE way to go.
  2. FREE Listing Consultation – Are you thinking about selling your house but know that there are some things that you need to take care of prior to listing in order to maximize your profits? Let me help you make that list and prioritize it. Some projects are more important than others when preparing your home to sell.
  3. I’ve Got A Guy –Need a recommendation for an AC repair man? How about someone to haul away all the debris from your demo? Need a wet bar installed? I’ve Got a Guy. Having a locally recommended and accredited list of vendors on hand for my clients allows for them to have work performed quickly and gives them confidence in the work being performed.

Of course, these are just a few, but a great example of how using these techniques and more I’m able to simplify the process for both buyers and sellers and create a positive customer experience.

I am a full time real estate agent in Key West and ready to help you SIMPLIFY your Key West real estate transaction. If you’re interested in purchasing or selling in The Florida Keys, please contact me, Krystal Thomas at krystalthomasre@gmail.com or 305-394-4073.

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Mini Lobster Season

One of the conversations that I’ve been having with locals is that Key West is moving closer and closer to no longer a seasonal town. Traditionally summer (June-Sept) has been the “slow” time of year but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that over the past 10 years the tide has started to change.  I realized it this month when I was waiting for 10 minutes to cross the street in my car because of the steady stream of tourists.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining!  I recognize that our economy is built on tourism so bring on the tourists!

July has become the 3rd busiest month in Key West (February & March being the first and second).  Why July you ask?  My theory has a lot of moving parts but I’ll break it down:

FACT:  It is less expensive to rent a house for a month than for a few days or a week.

FACT:  July is still considered “off season” in terms of the lodging/ hospitality calendar so the cost to rent a home in Key West for the month of July is less than ½ of the in season/ February/ March rate.

FACT:  Key West is a major Florida destination for Independence Day Celebrations.

FACT:  The summer is one of the best times of the year for fishing in The Keys.  The water is calm and smooth as glass and the fish are plenty.

FACT:  Mini Lobster Season is the last full week of July and is a period of  2 days where locals and tourists can go lobstering (limit 6 per person) before they open the waters to the commercial fishermen and regular lobster season on August 6th.

*This year the mini season falls on July 25th and 26th (make sure to always verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife). It begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday. The regular 8-month lobster season is always August 6 through March 31.

Combine all those and you’ve got one hell of a reason to make Key West your July destination!  And if you follow me on social media you know that one of my favorite hashtags is #livewhereyouvacation so let me get to work for you!  If you’re looking to buy in the Florida Keys please give me a call or shoot me a text at 305.394.4073.  I am a full time Realtor with Preferred Properties and am ready to help you find your Florida Keys Home.

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Sunset Celebration

One of my favorite sayings is “Celebrate Everything”.  That’s also one of the unofficial mottos of the City of Key West because we sure do like to celebrate the heck out of holidays! This week is Capture the Sunset Week and in it’s honor I’ve got my top 5 places to catch the sunset in Key West.

 

My Top 5 Favorite Places to Watch the Sunset

 

The Galleon (617 Front Street) – The quintessential tiki bar tucked away inside of the Galleon Resort.  Cocktails, beer, wine, and live music on the open water, you just can’t beat it (if you can find it!)

 

Fort Zachary Taylor (601 Howard England Way) – Take a bike ride down to the Truman Waterfront and follow the signs that point you to the beach.  Fort Zach, A Florida State Park, is home to lush pines, sandy-esque beaches, and one heck of a sunset view.

 

Latitudes (Sunset Key) – Treat yo’ self.  For the special occasion sunsets hop on the ferry and head over to Sunset Key.  You can pick your seating, inside or out, but I’d recommend requesting a table outside on the beach if you really want the full experience.

 

Mallory Square (400 Wall Street) – More of a tourist favorite than a locals favorite but you can’t talk about Key West sunsets without mentioning this spot, home of the famous Sunset Celebration.  Every night local artisans and performers head to Mallory Square to celebrate the sunshine.

 

From a boat (Middle of the Ocean) – If you’re coming to Key West I always tell people to really make it a point to get out on the water.  I’d venture to say that having the crystal blue ocean as our backyard is one of the main reasons us locals choose to live here.

 

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Hemingway Days & Events

There’s perhaps no other author in history more synonymous with Key West than Ernest Hemingway and we put on one hell of a celebration to honor him!

Wikipedia describes Hemingway as: an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style—which he termed the Iceberg Theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three of his novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

This year the 38th Annual Hemingway Days to honor Mr. Hemingway will kick off on Wednesday July 17th and run through Sunday July 22nd.   Hundreds of Hemingway lookalikes and fans will converge on the island to celebrate the late author and his literary works.

Events include the famous Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, Paddleboard race and 5K run/walk, street fair, marlin tournament and The Running of the Bulls!  For a complete schedule of events click the link below:

 

https://fla-keys.com/news/article/10331/

 

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Set Yourself Up for Success. 

Set Yourself Up for Success.

 

This is one statement that I have really been working on in 2018.  One morning last year I woke up and I remember everything just seemed off.  I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up in the middle of the night to move to my bed.   When I woke up, an hour later than I had planned, I realized I had overslept because my phone was dead and I had forgotten to plug it in when I relocated in the middle of the night.  I got dressed, grabbed my computer, and headed to the office.

When I arrived my client was waiting for me and I quickly ushered them into the conference room while I fumbled to get my computer up and running  (it too had died overnight and if you’ve ever worked with an overworked and overloaded 5 year old computer you know just how slow time can move when you’re waiting for everything to boot up!)

The meeting was successful and I had signed my buyers agent agreement but when my client left I still found myself behind the eight ball for the rest of the day.  My phone kept dying because of the insufficient charge the night before and I went home feeling defeated.  That was the day I decided to really put into practice what I preach, being proactive instead of reactive.

So often we are in the fast lane of life and things are flying at us faster than we can respond.  We don’t realize how taking a second or two to set yourself up for success will impact your tomorrows until it’s too late.  Now when I turn in for the night I do 3 things:  plug in my iWatch, plug in my phone, and charge my computer.  This does 3 things to help me kick off my day on the right foot:  I wake up on time from my phone alarm, I track my calories and fitness progress from my morning work outs and when I get home from the gym I can get right to work without waiting 10 years for my ol’ Bessie of a computer to get with the gets.

I challenge you to take a look at your morning and nightly routines and ask yourself this question:  What is the one (or 3!) thing you can do tonight to set yourself up for success tomorrow?  Is it as simple as plugging in your phone?  How would packing your or your family’s lunch the night before make for a better, smoother morning?

If you really want to grab the bull by the horns and kick start your morning routine I’d highly recommend Hal Elrod’s book Miracle Morning but for those looking for a quick fix just remember to plug in your phone J

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Mel Fisher Days

Each year a celebration is held to commemorate Mel Fisher’s famous 16-year search for the Spanish galleon Atocha which lead to a $450 million dollar treasure discovery in the waters just off Key West.  A series of events are scheduled that will fun from July 12th-14th, 2018 and 100% of all net proceeds from these events will benefit Wesley House Family Services.

During the annual celebration participants can visit Mel Fisher’s Treasures Private Conservation Laboratory or celebrate the treasure hunters mother lode at the Schooner Wharf Bar Dock Party where you can tour the vessel, have meet and greet opportunities with the Golden Crew of the Atocha discovery, and of course bid on the MEGA silent auction!

For a complete list of activities, dates and times please visit the event website:  http://melfisherdays.melfisher.com/

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29 Cactus Drive, Big Coppitt

Every once in a while a property comes along and I think damn, what a great opportunity to add some value.  That’s exactly what happened when I went to look at 29 Cactus Drive for a client last week.  Listed by another agent, the property is located on Big Coppitt, about 10 miles north of Key West.

Big Coppitt has long been a haven for families and Keys residents that want the convenience of a short commute to Key West but more bang for their buck when it comes to real estate. 

This particular home is located on Cactus Drive, just before you reach the gem streets on Big Coppitt.  It has a huge yard (but full disclosure has been recently subdivided).  The subject property sits on about 4200 square feet and on the canal.   The home itself sits up a bit, which will be helpful when it comes to flood insurance for the prospective buyer.

The house was built in 1979 by the original owner and is three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; it screams 1980.  The brown cabinets, mirrored walls, and faded pink carpets had my mind going a mile a minute.  I liked the layout of the home with the master bedroom and bath on one side and the guest rooms and bath on the other allowing for added privacy.

Take out a wall, replace the floors and fans, upgrade the kitchen and voila!  You’ve got a great home on the water.    If you’re interested in a fixer upper on the water this is the one for you.  Contact me for additional information and/ or to schedule a private showing.

 

Link to listing and photos:  https://www.flexmls.com/share/1ZsT9/29CactusDrBigCoppittFL33040

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Key West 4th of July Happenings!

When it comes to celebrating Independence day there are few places I’d rather be than Key West, Florida.  Sunshine, beautiful boating weather, and a spectacular fireworks display make Key West the place to be for the holiday.

Did someone say Key Lime Pie?  Kick off the celebration with the Annual Key Lime Pie Festival on June 30th with the Key Lime Kick Off Party and Key Lime Pie Drop!  Other events include a Sip & Stroll as well as Key Lime Brunch and Pie Hop.  Check out the event website for additional information and details:  http://www.keylimefestival.com/

Rotary Club of Key West will host their annual 4th of July Firecracker 5K Walk/ Run at White Street Pier at 7:30am on Wednesday, July 4th.   Net proceeds will benefit the Edward B. Knight FKCC Vocational Scholarship.  Get your fitness in early and then you’re all set for a beach/ boat day!  Click here to register:  https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/KeyWest/RotaryClubofKeyWest4thofJuly5K

Looking for the best view of the Key West fireworks?  Head to The Casa Marina where the Rotary Club of Key West will host the annual 4th of July Picnic.  The picnic will start at 5 p.m. at Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St. and runs until after the fireworks at 9 p.m.

General admission is $10 (kids 3 and under are free) and includes live music, dancing on the beach, family fun zone with slides, bounce houses, face painting and a silent auction. Food and drinks will be for sale, and there will be a good view of fireworks at 9 p.m.   VIP tickets are $250 and include reserved seating on the beach with a great upscale buffet, three-hour open private bar and spectacular view of the fireworks.  For tickets please visit www.keystix.com.

Sticking around after the holiday?  One of my favorite musicians, Eric Lindell, will be in town for the weekend performing at The Green Parrot on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Check out The Parrot’s live music schedule for dates and times:  https://www.greenparrot.com/key-west-live-music/month/

See you on the dance floor!

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Pets & Key West

I recently had a phone call from a potential buyer who was staying in Key West for the weekend and was interested in discussing Key West real estate.  After the ultimate game of phone tag I received a message from him that said he and his wife were expanding their search for a retirement house to different areas of Florida.  He went on to say that they “were on a walk the night before and they saw a dog in a little fenced in yard and he looked so sad and that’s when my wife and I decided Key West was not the right place.”

I was a little taken aback because in my mind Key West is the ultimate destination for pets!  We are such a pet friendly community and while the actual yard space might be limited in some cases there are certainly homes in Key West with a substantial yard for your doggies to run amuck and if you aren’t lucky enough to have a large fenced yard there are many other options such as the pocket parks around Old Town, Dog Beach or the dog park, and of course the new Truman Waterfront that is always peppered with dogs and their owners on walks no matter the time of day.

We also have a plethora of bars and restaurants that are pet friendly.  If you’re pup is into shopping I just saw one at TJ Maxx this afternoon so I guess we can go ahead and ad TJ’s to my list of pet friendly island spots!

Here are a few of my favorite pet friendly places on the island that never seem to disappoint:

Bar/ Restaurants

Pepe’s Café – Pepe’s Café, the oldest eating house in the Florida Keys, fought for their right to have the pups pony up to the bar back in the day.

Hurricane Hole – Located on Stock Island this laid back bar on the water loves the pups.  If you’re feeling squirrelly holler at the Lazy Dog crew and take your pup for a paddle!

Blue Macaw – An oasis in Bahama Village, this local watering hole always has water dishes out for the pups!

Tipsy Rooster – Located in Old Town this funky little bar also doubles as a package store.  Stop by and have a drink, leave with a bottle!

 

Shopping:

Coco’s Monkey – Rescued is My Favorite Breed is their motto, this super cute boutique is located on Simonton Street and Molly, the stores inspiration is usually at the store for meet & greets.

 

Playing:

Grinnell Street Pocket Park  – located on the corner of Grinnell & Angela Streets this charming pocket park is my old stomping grounds and great little spot for the pups in Old Town.

Truman Waterfront – Recently redone the Truman Waterfront has become an attraction for both people and pets!  Lots of green space, open fields, and a pretty great view to boot!