SRQ Magazine | August 2016
In Real Estate
Many a retiree has made the move to Southwest Florida, but that isn’t always the last time they have to pack up their things. Moves into smaller houses, retirement homes or condominium units often provide better places for later life, but moving is hard, and a growing number of professionals today focus on making senior transitions as easy as possible.
Dave Minton, a Sarasota businessman involved in real estate off and on over the past 15 years, realized the need as he moved his mother into a senior living facility a couple years ago. Selling a condominium. Finding a new home for her car. Figuring out what furniture to keep and what to dispose of. Updating a will. The list of tasks seemed endless. “The family was stressed out, figuring how to do this or to do that,” he recalls. But he also bumped into other families dealing with similar problems, and the experience ultimately gave him an idea for a new real estate business model. “It just struck me how many pieces are involved when someone is transitioning,” he says. Now Minton has helped launch Senior Transition Services, a boutique approach to real estate especially geared for moves made late in life. The idea is to coordinate a variety of services necessary for late-in-life moves, or even for families that have lost a loved one and need to deal with an estate. Senior Transition Services formally launched last month as a division of ONE Sarasota Realty Group, with Minton in charge of the effort. Minton will help clients with his growing network of attorneys, accountants, movers and other professionals. He has appraisers on-call and movers who can do cross-town or cross-country hauls. He even has a list of contractors to handle home repair matters that may come up unexpectedly. “It’s so both the senior and their family have one source of contact to take care of all that is involved in a transition,” he says.
And he isn’t the only professional turning his attention to moving senior clients. Sue Ellen Addicott founded Senior Moves in 2007 and today the company helps about 20 clients at any given time through some phase of a major move. “We help with everything except actually carrying stuff from one space to the next,” Addicott says. Her business doesn’t help with real estate transactions, but will go into a clients home and help organize and downsize their life to fit new digs. “We help them determine the things they don’t need or don’t want,” she says. For the 60-and-over crowd, that can be a physically and emotionally draining task. A staff member will even sit with clients as movers pack things in one location and unpack them in another. Her own history includes a number of management positions for medical offices or nonprofits. She retired to Florida herself following friends to the region, but this endeavor ultimately took her out of retirement.