By Thomas Scaringella, VI Form
Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers
Dear Fifth Form Peers,
First, congratulations on your newly earned title as, Rising 6thFormers! It is a huge accomplishment with many prospects. Seek out all the opportunities you can. Although unrecognizable now, from this day until the end of next year, every experience is going to culminate together and lead you down paths to be explored. Lion Term was one example of this for me.
Since I was little, a fascination of formulas and numbers consumed my inner self. Immersed in the sports section of the Boston Globe invoked motivation, aspiration, and infatuation. The stats were the most intriguing. Someday, I imagined, I would be like Tom Brady or Big Papi. Or not. There were no unexpected wins for me generating global crazes. However, my love of statistics and teamwork did drive me to the role of an athletic team manager multiple times since 7thgrade. Fast forward, ironically, I had a similar encounter with real estate; the area of focus for my Lion Term project.
Over a year ago, our family was inquiring about real estate in Southern Florida. Initially, the thought was dull. My head was into college visits, a summer job, and seeking out summer activities in the north. Driving around with my family to visit new, humid terrain was not ideal until I sucked it up and forced myself to get engaged. Quickly, I began performing my own research and evaluating stats. Grabbing real estate booklets, snatching the Sunday real estate section of the New York Times, and studying online searches became a pastime. Reviewing home days on market (DOM), analyzing price per square foot, identifying % of increase or decrease in previous selling price, comparing tax assessments and homeowners association fees among various communities, and grasping how much time realtors put into a sale (and at what cost) were among some of my interests. As such, selecting an assignment for Lion Term was a “cushy number.” Fortunately, I established a good relationship with the Florida agents, and they took note of my analysis and enthusiasm. After acquainting the Sister Listers Delray Beach Lang Realty team of Lion Term, they graciously extended an offer to work with Nolan Moore and me.
My Essential Question was:
With the influx of retirees and the already prominent population of retirees in Florida, how is that impacting current real estate agency strategies, as well as their future plans in terms of ability to attract new buyers?
The most challenging piece of this project was developing the Essential Question. Narrowing down a focus and writing a succinct objective took multiple passes. Complicating the exercise was taking into consideration the real estate team and understanding how I could benefit them at the same time.
During the project, I learned that flexibility and an ability to quickly expand the EQ was vital. The focus on retirees subtly shifted with current market needs. Sister Listers was in the process of acquiring more in-depth knowledge of newer family communities. Therefore, visits to other types of communities became a priority. Collecting information and meeting with Toll Brothers and GL Homes sales representatives was a daily occurrence. Assessing home prices and family clubhouse amenities were criteria observed.
Sister Listers spent valuable time with us. Sister Listers showed us how they are entrepreneurial while also part of the corporate environment. They showed us an example of how they used social media and a video to promote a recently listed mansion. They discussed the use of hosting social events to create publicity around properties. Most impressive, we learned how there is so much more to real estate than what you see on House Hunters and Love it or List it! Realtors have enormous pressures and decisions to make when listing and selling homes. Some agents prefer to list, some sell, and others concentrate on both.
The best parts of Lion Term was the independence and how we were treated as mature professionals by agents and homebuilders. I was also encouraged that the project exceeded my expectations. I learned more about the business side of real estate, solidifying my desire to pursue the field further. I am excited to build on last week’s encounters. For instance, The Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies at Lehigh University offers clubs and extra-curricular activities for students to join. I will seek ways to reciprocate and include Sister Listers in my real estate exploration. In addition, out of great appreciation to Sister Listers and St. Mark’s for supporting this assignment, it would be ideal for all of us to partner together and host an admissions event in Delray Beach at the Bridges Clubhouse in the future.
Reflecting upon this extraordinary Lion Term experience a theme surfaced: weaving my past to grow my present. Not only does the theme apply to my own involvement, but the same premise is one I also urge you to consider starting today and give thought to what would be meaningful for your own Lion Term project next year. Please look at relationships as genuine and means to build mutual trust and credibility. Last week I would not have been in Delray Beach if I did not already establish a respectable relationship with Sister Listers. Make the best of situations. A year ago in the cramped hot car, I changed my attitude to embrace what we were encountering. The mindset allowed me to find a way to generate something positive. Think about what you really like and look for ways to link your passions to everyday occurrences. Small events in your life can be the most reflective and significant. Create your own web of networks. Lastly, if you know anyone interested in real estate in Southern Florida, please contact me. I will connect you with Sister Listers. They are dynamic, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and will leap to help you. They will not disappoint! It was an honor working with them and I wish you the same experience for your Lion Term project next year.