By Dale Madison
Realtor David Daso has been a staple in South Florida’s real estate market for nearly a decade. Like so many other members of his profession, he has seen the market rise to the top, and watch it tank.
But according to Daso and his partner, Robert Wilfong —who ply their trade at Atlantic Properties International Business Café on Wilton Drive—they are seeing new life breathed into the market in general and this community in particular. “The condo sales are roaring back,” explains Daso, with relish. “Right now, we have 15 buyers just looking for condos and, frankly, the single family dwellings are also on the comeback trail.”
On May 14, Daso, Wilfong, & Team will strut their professional stuff when they debut on the Home & Garden Television (HGTV) series “House Hunters.” “The great thing about this series is it was all filmed in Wilton Manors,” says Daso. “It deals very much with the LGBT community.” Wilfong promises that locals will recognize many of the locations which were chosen by the show for filming. “This session of the series was taped at the main bar at Georgie’s Alibi and the final scenes were filmed at Naked Grape,” Wilfong notes.
The pair works with Atlantic Properties’ broker and CEO Carl Marzola—himself a local fixture for over two decades—to promote the lifestyle and comforts of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s “gayborhood.” Daso and Wilfong are also building a charitable network, contributing 25 percent of their listing commissions to local service organizations of their client’s choosing. In March, they awarded their first check to Broward House.
Their broker, Marzola, likewise kicked in a quarter of his broker’s commission. The process was repeated last week, with an endowment of $1,160 to the Poverello Center Thrift Store and Food Bank. The two place a lot of faith in the real estate market’s comeback, and they say the numbers support their optimism. “
We recently had a listing in East Oakland Park, and the asking price was $589,000,” Daso explains. “We got a cash offer of $575,000. But it was a great property and we were able to get a nice price. That’s always nice when you get that for your client,” he adds. Wilfong and Daso used the time they spent on “House Hunters” to educate a national market as to the reality of real estate prices in Wilton Manors and the surrounding “gay-gentrified” areas.
“We pointed out in the show that ‘gone are the days’ of getting a condo for $75,000. The same condo in Drake Tower, for example, a year ago is now selling for $109,000,” Daso demonstrated. “So we are definitely seeing a turnaround.” The two are excited about their growth in Wilton Manors, both personally and professionally.
They are looking forward to sharing their business philosophy and style with their premiere next Monday on “House Hunters,” which will replay several times during the month. “The crew plans to return in about three months for an update,” says Daso, with the nervous excitement of a high school junior waiting for his prom date, then adds—all business, “It is truly great exposure for the community and for South Florida real estate in general.”
“House Hunters” airs on HGTV on Monday, May 14, at 10:00pm. The program will be aired at Georgie’s Alibi in the Manchester Room.