Photos special to the Coastal Breeze
| First-place finisher Laurie Kocak, right, and Audra Snyder of Hughes Exterminators.


First-place finisher Laurie Kocak of Premiere Plus Realty, right, and Kari Bone of Discovery Village of Naples.

Some Marco realtors took a break from racing to keep pace with the island’s red hot residential market to have some fun by participating in a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt. 

The hunt was put on by the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors for its member realtors and the title companies, lenders, law firms, builders, insurance firms and other vendors that comprise the ranks of its affiliate members. About 10 realtors and 14 affiliates took part in the three-day event. This was MIAAOR’s second scavenger hunt, coming on the heels of one held in September.

“There was less of a turnout this time, but we expected that since the market has turned insanely busy lately,” said Caroline Charde, the association’s communications director. “But lots of great connections were made and some of our newest agents got to meet affiliates they had never (before) made contact with.” 


As with most scavenger hunts, participants had to make a variety of stops, in this case, face-to-face contact with the affiliate businesses that took part, and do three things: 

  • Obtain a signature from an affiliate representative on their game card
  • Take a selfie with an affiliate representative
  • Check-in on MIAAOR’S Facebook page



The winners were those who submitted their time-stamped, filled-in game cards the fastest. 

“These are all preferred vendors of the Marco Association of Realtors and basically it’s a chance for everybody to get in front of each other,” explained Charde. “Especially with COVID, it’s been a while since we’ve been together in person.”

Third-place finisher Charlie Neal, of Anchor Real Estate, and Donie Branchedor of Kramer Kellerhouse, Chartered.

In recognition of the hectic schedule a booming market requires of realtors, and the fact some affiliates are located as far away as north Naples, steps were taken to make their interaction a bit easier accomplish. Some of those vendors would set up shop, tradeshow style, in the association’s conference room, allowing the realtors to visit them without leaving the island. Each day had a different selection of businesses.

“That way people can have a one-stop shop and hit three or four vendors in one stop and get their signatures,” said Charde on the hunt’s first day. 

In true tradeshow fashion, there was a door prize and vendors were offering gift bags to those who came to the conference room. Some of the gift bag and promotional swag, such as flip-flops and sunblock, was in keeping with the event’s theme, the “Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt.” 

Actually, the hunt’s official title was the “RSN Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt,” with “RSN” standing for MIAAOR’s Realtors’ Support Network, which came up with the idea for the event at one of the group’s monthly meetings last year. 

“We were just trying to come up with some out-of-the-box ideas to get our affiliates in front of our members,” said Charde, before noting that MIAAOR had to cancel the large annual trade show the organization holds each September at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, or the Marco Island Yacht Club.

“We were not able to do that, naturally, so a couple of us started thinking about what we could do and it was, ‘Let’s have a scavenger hunt where they have to visit the office,’” she added. “They’re out and about anyway visiting the title and mortgage companies, so why not make it fun? That’s how it started.” 

Charde said the hunts have proved to be a big hit with both realtors and vendors. “We’ll probably have another one toward the end of the year because it is such a big hit,” she added.

The senior living community Discovery Village of Naples is an affiliate member that has taken part in both hunts thus far. 

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to meet our local realtors and residents and to make those connections with our community partners,” explained Kari Bone, a community relations specialist at Discovery Village. “That could be realtors, it could be home warranty people, we all make the whole wheel turn. The past year has been really tough with COVID.”



Fifth-place finisher Jill Gad, right, and Cheryl Stokes of New American Funding.



Winners of the Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt

  • 1st place: Laurie Kocak, Premiere Plus Realty
  • 2nd place: Maria Pizzino, Keller Williams
  • 3rd place: Charlie Neal, Anchor Real Estate
  • 4th place: Bruce Mitchell, Keller Williams
  • 5th place: Jill Gad, Keller Williams

The first through third place finishers received a $300 gift card to a Marco restaurant of their choice, while the fourth and fifth place finishers received a $150 gift card to a Marco restaurant of their choice. Prizes were paid for by the participating affiliates. 

Regions Bank raffled off a door prize of a Harry and David Gift Basket and the winner was Charlie Neal, while Discovery Village of Naples raffled off a $100 Publix gift card, which was won by Bruce Mitchell.