Business briefs: Local realtor showcases properties to Brazilians

September 10, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Teresa Witte of RE/MAX Platinum Realty recently went to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to represent her firm's Global New Homes division at Investir USA Expo, a real estate expo.

More than 1,200 people attended the two-day event featuring exhibitors from Miami, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota and New York City.

A native of Sao Paolo, Witte was invited to speak on "Brazilian Brokers Working with American Brokers" and was interviewed by three Brazilian media organizations. She also used her time in Brazil to establish partnerships with Brazilian real estate brokers and agents.

In addition to her knowledge of the builder properties she represents, Witte is connected with a network of professionals who can give buyers advice on matters related to taxation, immigration, money transfers, property management and financing.

According to a 2012 survey of Florida Realtors, conducted by the National Association of Realtors in cooperation with Florida Realtors, international buyers represented about 19 percent of Florida residential sales during the 12 months ending June 2012. In that time, total residential sales were $58 billion, and sales to foreigners were estimated at $10.7 billion. The countries of Brazil and Venezuela have increased as sources of buyers, according to the report.

Seminar offers waysto avoid fraud

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance will hold its September executive briefing on small business fraud.

The meeting will take place 7:30-9 a.m. Sept. 18 at Keiser University, 6151 Lake Osprey Drive.

Jeff Gerhard, CPA with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, will talk to business owners about minimizing their risk of fraud.

Business owners and their employees can learn about the variety of scams, how to detect them, and the importance of policies and procedures to minimize their risk. Continental Breakfast provided by the Culinary Institute of Keiser University

Seating is limited. Register at www.LWRBA.org or contact info@lwrba.org or call Sherie @ 941-757-1671 for reservations.

Weather App aimedat Florida farmers

TALLAHASSEE -- Agricultural producers across Florida will be able to use their smartphones or computers this week to get real-time local weather data through the "My Florida Farm Weather" program.

The program, developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in partnership with University of Florida's Automated Weather Network, provides up-to-the-minute information on key weather variables, including rainfall, temperature, humidity, dew point, wind speed and wind direction.

A map of the state aggregates data collected from weather stations on private agricultural lands throughout Florida. Visit fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/mffw/ and check the box next to "Grower" to view the data. The information is also available on Android smartphone plat

forms. An iPhone platform will be available in coming months.

The department has partnered with agricultural producers to install the weather stations and input data into a test site.

So far, 79 operations are participating in the pilotprogram, with more applications pending. Producers enrolled in Florida's agricultural Best Management Practices are eligible to participate.

Producers are eligible to receive funding for one weather station for each 300 acres. The department provides 75 percent of the cost of each device up to $5,000, with a total cap of $25,000 per producer.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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