Busy real estate market leads to increase in agents

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- With the real estate market heating up on the Suncoast, the area is also seeing an influx in the number of people becoming realtors. And in some cases, realtors who stopped selling homes during the great recession, are getting back in to the business.

Young and old, potential realtors are flocking to the Suncoast, hoping to bank on a hot housing market.

At 67-years-old, Bob Desteno is going back to work. “It's not something I anticipated. I really didn’t come down here to work, I came down to retire. But after a while you need something to keep you busy.”

That something, for him, is real estate.

For years, he sold homes in New Jersey. Now, he wants a stake in the Suncoast's sizzling housing market, even if it's not a full-time job. “At my age, I’m not looking to make a fortune doing the business. I'm looking to do good business, steady business, and affiliate with a quality company.”

He's not alone. Many are taking courses at Ed Klopfer's real estate school in Sarasota, where enrollment is exceeding expectations. “We are definitely seeing an influx; roughly 20% this year. The market is changing. People are more optimistic coming into the business.”

Also seeing an influx is the Sarasota County Association of Realtors, where membership is up 10% over the last year. And in Manatee County, it’s up 8%.

So why now?

Klopfer says with the recession being over, it's all about Florida's desirable location for both potential homeowners and realtors. “Everyone wants to move to Florida. It's the Sunshine State. No one wants to retire and go to Ohio that I know of.”

Just ask Desteno. “The Baby Boom generation coming down, looking for the second place to live, or live the rest of their lives, has created a real demand.”

A demand he just couldn’t pass up -- even if it means coming out of retirement.