Hundreds show up for tours, several people make offers on homes
by: Barbara Sherman SIGN MAN — Ron Lynch wheels away a sign set up to promote the Summerfield Showcase on June 4 and 5 as the event drew to a close Sunday.

By all accounts, the second Summerfield Showcase was a rousing success, and organizers are still jazzed about the event that generated renewed interest in the 55-plus community.

The event was held June 4 and 5 to introduce outsiders to the "hidden gem" that includes all forms of housing, a golf course, Clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, and more activities and clubs than you can shake a stick at.

Realtors held open houses at many of the homes for sale, and other activities included tours of the Clubhouse and golf course, a barbecue for guests and residents, entertainment provided by talented residents, and enthusiastic homeowners talking to guests about the community they love and call home.

Diana Miller and Ken Miller were the co-chairs, and while they worked really hard, they both felt the results were well worth the effort.

Cari Froeber, Summerfield Civic Association administrator, called the event "absolutely fantastic."

"I can't say enough good things about Ken and Diana," she said. "We had over 200 people register. And the residents were so dedicated - we ran out of volunteer nametags."

As of June 17, Froeber said that five homes had sold for the month, compared with three each month in January through April and four in May.

"With over two weeks left in the month, I would expect a spike in the sales numbers for June," she said. "We have four pending. Things are moving, especially if they are priced right. And we are still getting follow-up calls. After the first Showplace in September 2009, there was steady interest in Summerfield for six months afterwards."

Robyn Starr Dezendorf, a Realtor with Keller Williams, was one of the gold sponsors of the event and said after it was over, "I'm jazzed about it. Everyone feels the same - it was a great weekend."

Ten days later, she said, "I met with buyers all week afterwards. I have one offer, and another coming. The comments have been great. An endeavor of this undertaking should probably be held only every other year, but this was better than the last one, and we thought that one was great."

For this year's event, 39 agents participated and 39 properties were held open out of about 51 for sale, resulting in 35 good leads, according to statistics compiled by Dezendorf.

"We had 300 packets to hand out at the Clubhouse, and we only had one or two left over," she said. "I think about 500 people ate at the barbecue, and close to 400 toured the Clubhouse. The best thing was the numbers of people that came through the open houses.

"At one of my properties for sale, I stopped counting at 160 people. The majority of open houses had at least 20 people go though, and six had 45 or more. There were other numbers like 78 and 88, and no zeroes."

Dezendorf, who started the popular First Sunday in Summerfield whereby many homes for sale are held open on the same day, said that she never sat down during the weekend and picked up 15 to 20 clients. "Some aren't ready to buy right now, but it's a process," she said, adding, "Summerfield is unique, and Realtors have to understand the properties."

Co-chair Diana Miller agreed that the weekend went extremely well.

"The comments from the Realtors couldn't have been better, and the sponsors were pleased," she said. "We had quite a few more guests than we did in 2009, and we know not everyone registered at the Clubhouse.

"There were a lot of pieces to the event, and they each were successful - the trade show featuring the clubs and activities, the bus tours provided by Summerfield Estates, the open houses."

According to Miller, some residents are already talking about holding another Showcase.

"There was one suggestion for twice a year," she said. "It is a lot of work to put on, but we got good results. Several people said they didn't even know Summerfield was here or they didn't know the golf course was here. I feel we met our goals.

"Some people came and looked but are not ready to buy now, but they could decide to move to Summerfield later. One thing we didn't do last time that we are doing this time is to send out follow-ups to those who registered and remind them of our First Sundays."

Miller said that for her personally, "a big bonus was getting to know more people who live here." She added, "I was pretty darn happy with the results."

Co-chair Ken Miller, a Realtor with Ken Miller Realty, was another gold sponsor of the event and was equally happy with its success.

"Boy, there were a lot of people," he said. "We got two offers that weekend or the next day. It created a frenzy, and buyers felt they should step up. The event introduced Summerfield to so many people."

Also, Miller thought the event was successful "because it brought people in the Summerfield community together."

He added, "Everyone helped each other out. I thought everything went well, and I hope we can do it annually. Diana did such an amazing organizational job - she was outstanding."

The Summerfield Marketing Committee has been working to make people more aware of the development and its amenities, including putting large "Public Golf" signs at Summerfield entrances on Durham Road.

"The committee is stepping up its efforts, and it shows," Miller said.

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