"Nudist Realtor's hook: low clothing costs
Jen Roberts, nudist Realtor, drove fast with her top down.
You could see her hair -- blond, tied up -- and shoulders -- glossy and tan. She was rubbing on sunblock with her free hand and taking the long route to Haulover Beach, where clothes are optional.
She drove south along the train tracks for a while and crossed into East Hollywood. The houses were comfortable but not ostentatious. The yards were big and shaded, and some were fenced for privacy.
If you were a nudist -- and even if you weren't -- it would be a nice place to live, if you had a lot of money.
''You can't even look at a place for less than $300,000,'' she'd said earlier, back at her Hollywood office. ``Prices are shooting up and I don't know where it's going to end. I hate to say it, but if you're going to get in, you'd better do it now.''
In this, of course, she sounded like all Realtors. But not when she talked about the hateful roughness of cloth on her skin, and how three of her first 15 sales were to nudists she met via the Internet.
Last year, her first in the business, she sold a small home to a young family of nudists for slightly less than $400,000, a preconstruction condominium to a single nudist man for $369,000 and an older unit on the Intracoastal Waterway to a nudist couple from New Jersey for $250,000.
Those people were ''in their early 40s, very cool, very nice,'' she said.
Nudists in general are a Realtor's dream, demographically speaking.
''They tend to be a little older, probably a little more settled, at a stage in life where they're looking to buy a home,'' Roberts said. ``And, of course, they like sunshine and the beach.''
DESTINATION OF CHOICE
They especially like Haulover, where the northern tip is designated as the only clothing-optional beach in Miami-Dade County. She claims the beach gets one million visitors a year, many of them undoubtedly nudists tired of throwing rent money down the drain.
Her own nudism -- she slipped into the lifestyle when she was 24 and is now 37 -- has been helpful in this particular segment of the market, because there's always something to talk about.
So she visits the beach when she can and always takes business cards with her. Naked people do not, as a rule, have pockets to keep business cards, but they often have beach bags.
Roberts stepped out onto the sand, but she was not nude this time. She wore a denim skirt and tank top and kept them on, though the afternoon was hot.
The place was full of nudists -- strolling nudists, chatting nudists, sunbathing nudists. It was strangely quiet. Even the nudists chatting did so in hushed tones, as if the absence of cover demanded manners to compensate.
She approached one Larry Fleischman and gave him her card. Larry does a fair bit of modeling, he said -- nude, obviously, though just now he wore a feathery hat and a sarong. He agreed that these are great days for nudist real estate; he himself just bought a place.
''Prices are going crazy around this beach,'' he said. ``Absolutely. What you need to do is do some advertising.''
''I've been meaning to,'' Roberts said.
SPREADING THE WORD
She's working on a logo to stick on Frisbees and beer cozies to give away at the beach. She was quiet about what it would look like, but did reveal some tag lines:
The Naked Truth about South Florida Real Estate -- wordy. The Realtor With Nothing Up Her Sleeve -- an improvement certainly, but still annoying.
The last one was South Florida, Naturally, which sounded just about right."
Jen, if you're reading contact me. I want to option your story. We'll take it to Hollywood and make a bundle!