I currently have a Floating Home for sale here in the Florida Keys.

Asked by Mark Bartlett, 33050 Sat Sep 22, 2007

The home is owned free and clear, the Dock Slip is rented. Any suggestions on how to market this unique home? http://photoshow.comcast.net/watch/qb5up7TH

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Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sun Sep 23, 2007
MUCH better! Now ... a few more suggestions for improvement.
It is a little bit long, I'd take some pics out (ie: the one with a shot of the bathroom with two towels, the one of you and your wife at the end, you have a few duplicate shots and even though I watched twice, I can't remember which now - but mostly the kitchen)

I'd also take out the small shot of the laundry area unless you have the cabability to do panarama stitching, it makes me think it looks very small, you don't want any negative thoughts. I LOVE the one of your wife with the fish, the manatee and the sunset! It shows how much FUN you have and that is what you want to present.

Not sure if you can adjust the timing of each shot, but the one at the end with the price doesn't stay up long enough and I think it has your contact info. This isn't a big deal if you send an email (or have a flyer with the video) as they will get the info either way, but if you could adjust to leave up another couple seconds to give time to click on the pause button - that would be better.

I'd do a flyer with this web site on it and post it EVERYWHERE. Put it on Trulia, yahoo, google, ebay and every agent you know. Even though they can't list it since you don't own the land, they may help you free to get the business when you buy another house. OR.... as I said before, try hiring a consultant to get you more PR. It will cost you a little money, but that is what selling a product is all about.

Good luck and let us know how this turns out for you. oh - btw - I can forward this to all of the marine guys I know, just send me an email of what you would say when sending to someone.

You can reach me by email at paulabean@homeorlando.com or call my cell. I don't work in Marathon, (but go there often and LOVE IT!) so this is completely gratisand unbiased info - I'm not posting to get your business. Just send fish, oysters and lobster ;-) lol!

If you'd rather call me, you can reach me at 321.228.HOME(4663)
1 vote
Mr.P, , Arizona
Sat Sep 22, 2007
I watched your video, It was the very best I have ever seen. I see a lot and rarely finish any.
You have totally turned my marketing upside down.
Side note
De clutter:
Pictures in kitchen
Laundry room
More pictures of the water, and sea life.
Can you call it a house boat, Does it have a motor?
Youtube it
point2 agent
Craigslist backpage
Guest blog to a realtor in your area?
You should have a Realtor, or is that personal property?
Whatever, Google most unusual homes and link up.
Yacht club?
Water Ski Club?
Scuba people?
Marine biologist?
you need to market to those people, via internet.
Blog it, tell how wonderful it is to live there.
Good luck
4 votes
Bill Warren/…, , Mortgage Lending
Sat Sep 22, 2007
Great video Mark. Agree that you need info on the video that tells about the price, square footage, etc. Financing would also be an issue for buyers. Here are some companies that you could contact and see if they could finance it for a potential buyer. Free HouseboatDepot Financial Resource Listings

Company/Services Address Contact
Ganis Credit Corporation
New, Used or Refinancing NA Phone: 800-234-4446

Offshore Marine
Specializes In Houseboats NA Phone: 800-524-9850

Trident Funding Corporation 1077 Bridgeport Avenue
Shelton, CT 06484 Phone: 888-386-3888
Fax: 203-944-6556

Union Planters Bank, N.A. P.O. Box 820
Somerset, KY 42502 Phone: 877-728-1718
Fax: 606-679-4992

Hope this helps.
2 votes
Troy S. Hens…, , 33040
Tue Oct 9, 2007
Call an agent within Realty Execuitves Florida Keys by the name of John Schaefer at 305-923-0314. He has sold a large amount of those types of properties in the last few years.
1 vote
Jennifer De…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sat Sep 22, 2007
I would definitely take advantage of the uniqueness of this home and make sure to work with a realtor who focuses on marketing to the vacation, second home and retirement market segments. While your buyer maybe in your backyard, you may have equal if not more buyer opportunities advertising on a media platform that has a truly national reach perhaps with a focus the northern states.
1 vote
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sat Sep 22, 2007
The home is approx 1100+ sq. ft., larger than most Condos in the area. Living Room/ Dining room, Galley Kitchen with lots of cupboard space, 2 full baths with tub and shower, Master bedroom with walk in closet, small home office (could be additional closet) and a small laundry room. Large deck on the front side with double entry french doors, and a small deck off the rear from the bedroom. The home has an upper loft that is about 14X20 and makes a great guest room. Plenty of room as we have a sofa, loveseat and queensize bed up there. The home is has new Central air throughout and is being sold fully furnished at $285,000.00. 21ft boat for your sunset cruise is included!
1 vote
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sat Sep 22, 2007
AWESOME video Mark!

Aside from the suggestions already made, I would put something on there about the square footage, age, price and condition. Also you need contact info should someone have any other questions and want to see it.

In the State of Florida, an agent can't list and sell a property unless the seller owns the land underneath it, so that rules out timeshare, houseboats, and manufactured homes or trailers where the do lot rent and don't actually own the dirt underneath - which means this will be up to you to do (or you can use the help of a real estate consultant for marketing - get with me on this for more info).

I agree that I'd show more pics of the lifestyle... get some fishing shots, sunset and/or sunrise shots, what you want to do is place the viewer in the lyfestyle they are buying into.

Contact everybody in your area that has anything to do with water, and put flyers with your slideshow on them....scuba companies, charter tours, fishing, any marina's, see if you have a communtiy website for Marathon you can post on, or something related to the Keys.

You may want to put a sign on your boathouse saying it's for sale (in the window, or if they will let you post it on the dock ?) Does the place you rent the dock from have a bulletin board you can post a flyer on? In the keys, most advertising is local... My brother just came from there on a fishing trip, My husband works for the Sheriffs office in the marine patrol dept, so I get lots of waterffront inquiries from all these water enthusiasts... since my husband has worked with boats all of his life, has his captains lic, is a certified scuba teacher, Diver, yada yada yada, his dream (and many others like him) is to move to the keys when they retire and open up a dive shop/charter co, etc. So don't rule out marketing to specific niche markets like this.

Good luck and if you have any questions about the consulting method, email me at paulabean@homeorlando.com or call me and I'll be happy to give you some idea's on that.

Now for my final question..... WHY would you want to move from there and where are you going?
1 vote
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Tue Oct 9, 2007
Troy, Thanks for your reply. The difficult part in marketing is due to the fact that there is no "real" property involved, thus prohibiting agents to list or sale (although in most most of my marketing I offer a finders fee or "agent/broker protected). I have no problem in paying an agent that brings a potential buyer. Due to the high cost of houses here in the Florida Keys, I see it as a viable solution to the dreamers that want to live here but conventional housing is not within reach. I have spoken to a number of local agents about this an I see it as an opportunity to salvage a buyer that they would normally turn away.
0 votes
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sun Sep 23, 2007
Thanks to all of your input-Patrick, Jennifer, Paula- I've revised my slideshow incorporating your ideas. Thanks Again! http://photoshow.comcast.net/viewshow/mH7DR6IX
0 votes
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sat Sep 22, 2007
Plans are for us to stay local...have to have water and sunshine. We are probably going to buy a small home as we need a yard for three small dogs.
I am a little leery regarding seller financing for a couple of reasons. First, I would like to use the money towards the purchase of a new home and secondly because it floats and is semi-mobile I would not want to way the risk.
The home is not motorized, but easy to tow. We had it towed about 70 miles up the ocean when we purchased it about 5 years ago. Actually, our small 21ft boat towed it last year when we switched Marinas.
Dockage runs about $900.00/month which includes, water, sewage pumpout, cable and preferred seats at the marina Tiki Bar. The upside is you pay NO REAL ESTATE TAXES.
0 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sat Sep 22, 2007
great ideas! I'll be checking out your web site at http://www.houseafloat.com to see what you do with it. Alas, yes, the time for my family to retire is NOW, but the Orange County Sheriffs office won't pay a pensions for another 5 yrs - so that is not an option for us now. If it WERE.......I'd be on the phone with YOU IN A HEARTBEAT!

Tell me your thoughts on owner financing, where you are moving? I know lots of people who may be ready now.......just not me. Also........is the houseboat motorized? Can you move it from the dock? What are the dock expenses?
0 votes
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sat Sep 22, 2007
Thanks all of you for your input!
We will be taking new photos this weekend to replace the ones with clutter etc., maybe get some different views. Comments regarding lifestyle photos are a good idea. I am updating our website, http://www.housefloat.com, with more info and pictures.
Paula- I think the time for your family to retire and open that dive shop in the Keys is now! Perhaps a floating Dive Shop! And I know just the right building.
0 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sat Sep 22, 2007
Just thought I'd put another .02 in here........ You said you own this free and clear - would you be willing to offer owner financing? If so, you could probably unload this in a heartbeat.

Still don't know what the price is, or the terms, so email back and let us know and we can give more help from there.

Paula Bean
0 votes
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