Best of Our Blogs: Brightline trains on way; Fla. Realtors conference


All Aboard Florida‘s Brightline said Monday that its first passenger train is set to arrive this fall at the company’s rail repair facility currently under construction in West Palm Beach.

“Once in the facility, it will undergo several months of static and dynamic testing,” Brightline said on its website. “When the dynamic testing begins, the train will be running on a short “test track” between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.”

Brightline began construction on the rail repair facility in January.

The facility, just north of downtown West Palm Beach, will be used to repair, maintain, clean and store Brightline’s trains, All Aboard officials said. About 50 people will work out of the 12-are site at 601 15th Street, which is also expected to serve as an office for the company’s conductors, engineers, and on-board service staff.

Initially, five Brightline trains will be housed at the site, officials have said.

— Jennifer Sorentrue, Malled!

Four things to know about Florida Realtors conference

I spent Thursday in Orlando at the annual conference of the Florida Realtors. Some thoughts:

100 percent companies are multiplying. The model, which promises agents a bigger share of their commission checks, has gained popularity. La Rosa Realty of Celebration, Florida Capital Realty of Miami and Only Way Realty of South Carolina are among the 100 percent brokers recruiting agents.

Barriers to entry aren’t getting steeper. RealEstateExpress.com is at the trade show marketing its $99 real estate licensing course — a fraction of the $325 to $425 charged by Gold Coast Schools. Many in the real estate industry have griped for decades that it’s too cheap and easy to earn a real estate license, but that’s not changing. Last year, a report by the National Association of Realtors concluded that the thing agents fret most about is “marginal agents” flooding the industry.

Realtors are keenly interested in Internet marketing. Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, drew a standing-room-only crowd. Among his insights: Consumers’ online attention spans max out at eight seconds.

The market is back to almost-normal. By my count, trade-show booths paid for by homebuilders outnumbered those bought by short-sale and foreclosure companies.

— Jeff Ostrowski, RealTime


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