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Bruce Myer makes a ‘Key’ move

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

For Bruce Myer, a Longboat Key based Realtor of more than three decades, being at a closing table is nothing new. In fact, Bruce has sold more Longboat Key real estate than virtually anyone — no small feat considering the competitiveness and intensity of the market on the 10-mile island.

But last month, Myer made a strategic move of his own; he moved his family home to Bird Key after raising his three sons on the mainland. And Myer could not be more thrilled.

“I think Bird Key is one of the best single-family communities in all of Sarasota. I can bike the bridge or to St. Armands and be at the office or playing golf or tennis in 5 minutes,” says Myer, a long-time enthusiast of both sports.

And Bruce is very aware that Bird Key has become something of a residential hotspot over the past five years. The island has about 500 homes and prices range from the low $500 thousands to the $7 million to $8 million mark.

For Myer, it is the manicured grounds, the fact that an architectural review board helps ensure property values and housing integrity are maintained and the strong homeowners association that help preserve the safe and serene character of the small enclave of residences this was a major draw.

More importantly to Myer, he is surrounded by friends he has made over the decades, and is closer to two of his greatest passions — golf and tennis at the Longboat Key Club.

And the move is a natural one from a business point of view.

Bruce is an early riser. By 7 a.m. he heads to his South Longboat Key Coldwell Banker office, which overlooks New Pass, drinks a coffee as he gets on the MLS and looks for anything new to market, any offers that have come in and starts his day before the day’s distractions start to appear.

Myer says it is referrals and repeat customers that have been the Key to his success over the past three decades. And he adds that his success over the recent past couple of years is very much attributable to the organization and professionalism of Cindy Shatzle, his assistant for the past few years.

And keeping customers happy in a market that attracts knowledgeable and business savvy buyers and sellers requires not only intimate knowledge of every property and transaction in the luxury market, but an ability to negotiate and bring a sense of reality to both sides of every negotiation.

And yet the day for Bruce is not solely business. The intensity of his occupation is tempered by his commitment to his three sons, Parker, Blake and Chase. Chase is still in the home — a senior at St. Stephens. Parker recently graduated from Rollins College and Blake is a Junior at the University at Florida.

Bruce grew up on his grandparent’s farm of many thousands of acres in Fontaintown, Indiana. He says his life was very structured and straightforward; there was no alcohol, not even soda could be found on the farm. He said he grew up with an intense passion for basketball, baseball and golf and had the good fortune of joining his grandparent’s on their many trips when he was child to Longboat Key.

In fact, his family was one of the first owners at the Islander Club since 1970. His mother still lives in the same residence at the Islander that he visited so many times while growing up.

Bruce said he has maintained life-long friendships with those he went to prep school with at McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He then attended DePauw University and earned a degree in European History. After graduating, Longboat Key quickly lured him back and become his permanent home since he was 22 years old.

After numerous part-time jobs selling candy and toys at Maas Brothers, he moved to Arvida’s Islandside Tennis Center where he earned $3.25 per hour maintaining courts. Myer admits he spent more time playing tennis than on maintenance.

Within a year his real estate career was underway when Arvida’s Robert E. “Chip” Anderson nudged him into real estate. And as the cliché’ goes, he never looked back.

At age 26 he set the record for the most residential sales in Sarasota at $8.6 million in residential properties. The trend of performing at the very top of his field has continued for the next 30 years to the present. In fact, Myer sold more Longboat Key real estate than anyone else in 2012 and this year stands to be better than last year.

In many ways, Myer has refined the art of making a tremendously challenging and stressful job look easy. And while that may not be the key to success, it is the universal sign of talent.

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