Involvement. In the real estate profession, it goes with the territory. Successful professionals understand that it's, essential to be an active part of the community they're trying to list and sell.
seems to be particularly true of real estate specialists. Meet Richard Messier, who specializes in institutional properties including schools, governmental buildings and churches. A deeply religious man, he is also
adept at the statesmanlike qualities required to navigate an institutional transaction through the governmental process.
We'd also like to introduce you to Jack Webber, who lists and sells a variety of aviation
properties. Webber, who spent 27 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, is more comfortable in the cockpit of a plane than he is in a conventional office.
Then there's Bill Posey, whose business is helping the buyers
and sellers of racetracks. Posey, who once owned a racetrack himself, is often observed speeding around the last curve at local races.
A Task of Devotion
For Richard Messier, it all started when, as a real estate professional in
Michigan, he obtained a listing for a church. He couldn't give it away.
"The more I tried," he said, "the more I ran across people who had another church they wanted to sell. Finally, I just came up with a
Messier, an agent with Real Estate One Commercial, has since moved to Orlando. In addition to churches, Messier specializes in all types of institutional properties, including schools, libraries and
city halls. He employs his marketing program, which includes equal parts of patience and diplomacy, for all types of institutional properties.
'The first big problem in dealing with a church, library or school is that
generally, there are a lot of owners. When an institutional property is sold, it takes a long time for them to make up their mind to do it. It's a different type of seller. A lot of times, I'll talk to somebody for
literally years. People I'm talking with today, may never sell. I know that and accept it
A large part of his success, said Messier, is in being able to identify the use for a piece of property. If
no one seems to want to buy a church or a library, then maybe they'd like to use the property and the building as a restaurant.
"All commercial property and its value is in its use," said Messier. "If you can
identify the use, you can identify the value."
Something in the Air
Planes and airfields are more than a mild interest for Jack Webber, of Merrill Lynch Realty in Boca Raton. Aviation is Webber's life long passion.
With a background that
includes 27 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Webber's choice of a real estate specialization is only natural. 'I just thought that knowing all the people I know in aviation, maybe I could do something as a
specialty," he said.
Webber, who has been flying since 1939, zeroed in on a Florida market that includes 100 aviation communities. These are everything from the dirt airstrip, to several posh developments for
those who don't Re to leave home without their private aircraft.
Admittedly, said Webber, his market is not vast. "It's a very narrow market segment," he said, "but if you take someone who knows aviation and the
needs of aviators, then it's a natural. For me, this is just a good, fun way of earning a living."
Life in the Fast Lane
The fast lane is the only lane for Bill Posey of Posey & Company Realtors in Rockledge.
A lifelong enthusiast of auto
races, Posey has found a way to earn a real estate livelihood with his passion through the buying and selling of racetracks.
Posey, a former racetrack owner who is still an active auto racer, said involvement is
essential for his business. "You have to have your pulse on the sport. There are so many different kinds of races, owners and participants to keep in touch with. Our clientele goes from the morn and pop dirt
track to the Fortune 500 owner. We have properties listed that include everything from an eighth-of-a-mile track to a super speedway for $10 million."
Although auto racing is among the top four spectator sports
in the country, Posey said track management is a very volatile business. "The mortality rate for racetracks is high," he said. "Nearly 30 percent of all tracks change hands every two years. It's generally because
of poor management and misunderstanding. If someone's always loved racing, they think they can buy a track and lots of spectators will break their necks waiting to come in. It doesn't work that way."
and sellers of racetracks together is a facet of real estate that demands discretion. 'The worst thing that can happen to a racetrack is for the clientele to know the place is
for sale," he said.
"Spectators will start thinking about something else to do instead of going to races. Drivers will no longer be committed to the track."
With representatives in 35 other states, the company relies heavily on a strong
network of other brokers. Within the net- work, confidentiality is key. Posey maintains files on nearly every track in the country, but because discretion is the comer- stone of his business, the tracks are
identified to prospective buyers only by confidential file numbers.
As in anything, said Posey, the ultimate success of his business depends on knowledge of the market. "The only way you really know
about anything in real estate is to be involved. That's especially true with racetracks. The more ways you're involved, the more successful you become."