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For the last several weeks, we’ve been teasing the content of this year’s A to Z Issue, a celebration of people and businesses who have been successfully riding the turbulent waves of change and offering service and hope to the community at large. The print edition is now arriving in local mailboxes, but if you can’t wait for the hard copy, here’s the digital version — and meanwhile, welcome to the letter “R”:

Though real estate sales slowed during the first wave of stay-at-home orders this spring, the situation has changed.

“There’s not enough listings,” Smith & Associates CEO Bob Glaser told us during his “Tampa Bay Talks” video interview with dRTB Publisher Tom duPont in June. “It’s a seller’s market.” Mortgage rates are low, homeowners have become more conscious of what their own homes are lacking — and with the increased reliance on virtual data, the audience of prospective buyers has expanded. During virtual home tours, said Glaser, “agents are able to walk through and really talk to the heart of the home and the neighborhood.”

Robyn Gunn of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has long seen the benefit of videography and 3D “Matterport” tours, she says, but she’s found that lately “buyers have really embraced, and relied upon [those technologies], especially for sight-unseen property purchases.”

In-person showings are still important, though, and Realtors are vigilant about safety measures for agents and clients. Smith, The Thorn Collection | Coldwell Banker and many other real estate companies are doing their part to help those affected by the pandemic, as with Thorn’s Lunch for Lifesavers fundraiser and Smith’s food collection drives.

And while we’re on the subject of real estate, we can’t ignore the most celebrated property of the summer: Bill Edwards’s spectacular home and guest house on Snell Isle is now on sale for $19,995,000, offered by luxury and waterfront specialist Dania Perry.

Next: S is for Sports: Rays, Bucs, Bolts, Rowdies — they’re baaack!

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