As some of his clients have aptly pointed out, Bill Reiman wears many hats. He does so with the uncanny faculty to excel at whatever he does. From constructing upscale homes to inspecting empty lots to marketing listings, Reiman has taken his two ventures – R.K. Reiman Construction, Inc, and a real estate agency, The Brokerage Real Estate Refined – to the fore of luxury real estate in Marco Island, Florida.
With a mindset for success, for himself, his clients and his employees, Reiman has just concluded a strong first half of the year. The remainder of 2018 looks equally promising and replete with opportunities – and Haute Residence talked with Reiman about them, among other things.
You recently completed 1151 Vernon Place, and the home looks amazing. Tell us more about the project and the features the homeowners can enjoy?
We wanted to go with a different strategy for this spec home, so we decided to go smaller. We are known for our larger luxury homes and quality and details, so we wanted to put the same quality and detail in a smaller more affordable home.
Most small homes for sale on Marco Island are what I like to call cookie-cutter homes with less expensive finishes and no details. With 1151 Vernon we didn’t go cheap on one thing and made sure to add our usual attention to every detail that we are known for.
The home sits minutes away from all Marco Island has to offer. 1151 Vernon Place offers 2,317 A/C Sq. Ft./ 4,472 Sq. Ft. Total, with a wide water view and has the fastest direct access out to the gulf for someone who enjoys boating. Three bedrooms, study, three full baths, inviting open great room floor plan, gourmet kitchen, dinette, expansive indoor/outdoor living area, outdoor kitchen, and a large pool and spa. The home also features crown moldings throughout, upper-level granites and quartz tops, stone and tile throughout, Thermador stainless appliances, impact windows and doors, custom cabinets, cypress outdoor ceilings, propane cooktop, grill, and water heater, spray foam insulation, stone paver decking and much more.
This property truly is a hidden gem in Marco Island Florida. Also with the recent demand for vacation rentals on the island, the property also offers a great vacation rental opportunity for any investor because of the area. It is close to a lot of Marcos most popular restaurants like Snook Inn.
Marco Island closed a great season this year. What are your insights from your business’ perspective? Any other successful projects?
It was a great season, and if the economy continues to improve, I think it will be even better next year. I successfully listed and sold three properties within a two-month span and also sold five new construction jobs and I am still working with future clients on projects now. So I had a good season and look to finish out the year strong.
Some things I noticed this year is that if an existing home was priced right, it sold. But if a current home is overpriced, it sat through a busy season. This is common sense for most agents but believe it or not some still overprice. This helped new construction sales increase due to the overpricing of older homes. Let’s face it, if a client can buy a lot and build what they want, and have a brand new home for a little more money then what an older existing home is selling for its kind of a no-brainer, right?
Most clients are smarter and more educated these days thanks to the many options they can find online. So if you don’t price an existing home correctly, they are not going to waste their time looking. Every house I list for a potential client I price correctly. If the client wants to price a property too high, I won’t take the listing because more than likely it will sit for the listing period. With so much inventory and the potential to build new, you have to be smart and honest with your sellers. This is why we are here, to help guide buyers and sellers with our knowledge of our markets
What new projects are you working on?
We are currently working on a couple of significant projects for completion next year. The biggest one is a new model home. I wanted this home to blow people away, and I know it will. We recently partnered with a large design company out of Palm Beach called Decorators Unlimited and are already moving forward with design and finishes. The home is four bedrooms, five baths, and we will be showcasing our usual attention to detail and upper-level finishes. Another project we have is a spec home on Spinnaker Drive on Marco Island. It will be a five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath home with the main living area on the second floor. We did this because you can look out and see the ocean. It’s an awesome layout and also the home sits a few steps from the beach. We also will be working with The Decorators Unlimited on this project as well.
Just recently you contracted a lot at 1011 Coronado for property construction. What can you disclose about this recent deal? What goes into the selection of an empty lot for a house?
After narrowing down my client’s search for the perfect lot we negotiated a deal for 1011 Coronado. This property offers wide water views looking at all the condos and hotels in the distance. They will be able to watch the sunset every night. It truly is the perfect lot for them and after looking at other options, I’m happy to have been the one to guide them through the process. We have already been in discussion about what we will be building on the property, which more than likely will be a single story home that maximizes outdoor living area and views from all directions.
What is your process in helping clients envision the perfect place for building a new home?
I have helped many clients in the past find empty lots because I know what goes into a vacant lot prior to construction. Believe it, or not many things can factor into a vacant lot that can cost money when building. This is where I help clients because I can guide them and show them things they should be looking at before construction.
I have a process that I go through when helping my clients with a property. First I evaluate what exactly they want. Some examples of questions I always ask are what exposure do they prefer in the back? Do they want a view? What is their budget? What areas of the island do they like most? Are they big boaters and how do they spend their day on the water? These are just a few things I discuss. Then I narrow down a list of empty lots I send to them. I am always thinking ahead for my clients so one of the key questions I always ask is will this property have great resale?
Once we narrow the choices down to four or five properties, I then go out to the vacant lots myself and walk them for the client. If there are any issues with low dirt, bad seawalls, animals nesting, older neighboring homes, or any other thing that may affect value I let them know. Vacant land on Marco isn’t cheap and people trust me with my knowledge of the area and background in construction to guide them to make the right choice. They also trust me with my negotiation strategies because if it needs something like extra dirt or a new seawall I am familiar with pricing and can negotiate these things into a deal. I have grown up on Marco Island, and like 1011 Coronado, my clients value my opinion and what I think will be the best situation for them now and in the future.
You have had yet another successful season this year. Did you gather any new lessons working on the most recent projects?
We currently have 10 build jobs going on so it has been a very good year. Some lessons that I gathered from current projects is that things are definitely changing in design. New styles of homes are starting to pop up and we are shifting away from the old Mediterranean style. People are going with more light colors and openness in their designs. They are adding more customized features to their liking with much more available options to choose from with different materials like flooring, trim, countertops, cabinetry, etc. Homes are getting smart and voice recognition along with automation are becoming a must-have. Energy efficiency is becoming a standard in most homes we build. I personally am really loving the change and I know the future of home construction and design will only get bigger and better.
You lead both a construction business, R.K. Reiman Construction, Inc, and a real estate agency, The Brokerage Real Estate Refined. How have you divided your time between the two this past six months? What are some of the challenges of doing so and how do you overcome them?
It is a challenge dealing with both businesses, but I enjoy it. I have done both real estate and construction now for a while and had a lot of success in both. But coping with both can be hectic, and I have missed out on some opportunities because I had too much on my plate at one time. Some days, I am pricing and going through the features in a home for a client, other days I’m out at a job site going through what needs to be done, and other days I’m dealing with selling one of my listings or writing a contract to purchase a property.
I do find myself playing catch-up at night quite a bit and it can be hard dealing with everything because it usually hits you all at once. Clients have said I wear many hats dealing with both construction and real estate but the trust they have in me because my background has helped my business tremendously. But in the end, I am only one person and only have so much time in a day. So I had a vision that if I could train agents and feed them with my knowledge of construction and teach them my sales strategies that I could free up more time for myself. This is why I started The Brokerage.
I have been training agents taking them to different job sites for a few hours a week to help them learn how homes are built from the ground up. If I have to be at a job site to check on something I call an agent to meet me there so that I can walk them through the job with me. I have always said that if you know your product from the ground up, you can sell it to anyone. So, I teach my agents exactly how the homes are built so when they show a house they know exactly what to look for in a quality product or how to sell any listing we get. It also allows me to put them in our new construction homes that I can’t sit, to help push our product and generate more business for themselves. It’s a win-win for me because it frees up more time to focus on the companies and helps my team generate business. The environment within The Brokerage is always about learning to thrive and win so that every agent can be successful. I am here to set them up in situations other agents that don’t work at The Brokerage don’t get the opportunity to be in and sitting daily in new construction homes definitely gives my agents a leg up.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
I constantly write down my goals daily. One of my major goals for the year is to grow my real estate company to about 10 agents. The company currently is small because I have an office under construction and my training process takes some time. Another major goal is to get a vacation rental branch of The Brokerage up and running. This will be for luxury rental properties only and will feature a concierge service to clients.
My yearly goal for construction is to build more homes than any other builder on Marco and I accomplished that last year and the goal never changes I plan on doing it again this year.
I also want to sell $20 million in new construction custom build jobs for 2018. I also plan on expanding the company and building luxury homes outside of Marco again. For my personal real estate, this year I want to list and sell 10 luxury homes by 2018. Ten homes may not seem like a lot to a typical agent, but, I am not a typical agent because I deal with a construction company full time. I am currently at five. I also run a home watch company and want to expand it from the six homes I currently watch over to 10 homes by next year.