Meet John Garuti III, the master of Babcock real estate and Scrappy's guest on Episode 8 of The Come Up

Babcock Real Estate Does The Come Up

How do you get into a sun-kissed mecca that simultaneously promotes environmental sustainability while not breaking the bank?

Call John Garuti III, the kingpin of Babcock Ranch real estate and the latest guest on Content with Teeth’s video podcast The Come Up, charting mover-and-shaker entrepreneurs in SWFL from Naples to Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Babcock is the first solar-powered town in the United States residing in sunny Southwest Florida, a low-tax state friendly to both retirees looking to ride out their golden years and Millennials looking to become homeowners without paying a fortune to The Man Uncle Sam.

John has sold more than 100 homes in Babcock and talks to The Come Up Host Scrappy Jackson in our latest episode.

The Come Up Episode 8: Babcock Ranch Real Estate Highlights

Da’ Big Apple: The Come Up Host Scrappy is from Manhattan; John is from Queens. Who’s going to win the Battle of the Boroughs for those who relocate to the Sunshine State?

Welcome to the Ranch: John tells Scrappy how he discovered Babcock Ranch and went from having no job or prospects to being the biggest realtor in one of the hottest master-planned communities in the entire United States.

Video Marketing Master: John details how he used YouTube to build his real estate empire. Entrepreneurs should take note of John’s recipe for success when it comes to video.

Power of the Sun: Yes, Babcock is solar-powered. John details how that is just the tip of the scales when it comes to the community’s environmental sustainability. People who care about the Earth, watch and learn!

Catch other key nuggets on Episode 8 of The Come Up like how to pocket some serious coin by flipping a Babcock mansion to a cool $1.3 million.

About John Garuti III & Content with Teeth

For UnBoring Content like The Come Up, contact Content with Teeth HERE. Find out more about Babcock Ranch Realtor John Garuti III HERE.

The Come Up Episode 8 Video Transcript

Scrappy Jackson:

What up, what up, what up? Welcome to The Come Up, a business video podcast featuring Southwest Florida entrepreneurs. I’m Scrappy and today our guest is John Garuti III. He’s an expert in prolific at Babcock Ranch Realty, having sold over 50 pre-construction homes in the ranch. We’re brought to you by Content With Teeth. My man, Mike, a dynamic local content marketing agency aimed at helping you generate qualified leads, conversions, and brand awareness. They do it really big, just like this fathead behind me. So if you want to be our next guest, we’d love to have you on this podcast. Go ahead and hit me up on Instagram at Hey Scrappy or Mike at 21,000. Just text him. John, how are you?

John Garuti III:

I’m doing great, man. How are you?

Scrappy Jackson:

It’s great to see you. In preparing for this I watched a tremendous amount of your videos. You’re prolific when it comes to marketing.

John Garuti III:

Thank you. It’s how I started my real estate business.

Scrappy Jackson:

Very cool. When did you start?

John Garuti III:

Well, I actually got my first sale here in August of 2020. So been doing real estate just under two years now.

Scrappy Jackson:

Oh, wow. So you’re a total opportunist because this is a great time to get into the game.

John Garuti III:

Yeah. Well I moved to Babcock Ranch at the end of 2019 and I was the 347 homeowner here according to my garbage man. And I just said, “Man, they’re building 20,000 front doors here. So maybe if I get into real estate right about now it may work out,” and it sure has so far.

Scrappy Jackson:

Very smart. Very smart. I understand you’re from New York.

John Garuti III:

Originally from Queens. Yep. Born and raised.

Scrappy Jackson:

Okay. I’m from money making Manhattan.

John Garuti III:

I’m from across the East river.

Scrappy Jackson:

Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m 58th and second. So I kind of know it pretty well.

John Garuti III:

Nice.

Scrappy Jackson:

Yeah. Yeah. So in New York, what were you doing previous to realty?

John Garuti III:

Well, in New York, my father had a big manufacturing business in Queens. So I kind of grew up in that business. He started it with his father back in 1978. It was a pretty big business, did a little over $10 million a year in revenue and we actually manufactured right there in Queens and we delivered to all the mom and pop tile shops right there all throughout the city. So yeah. I kind of had a good business up upbringing, just being involved in that from summers in high schools and college and then after college I worked there full-time until we sold the business at the end of 2017.

Scrappy Jackson:

So your crazy busy in New York City, what brought you to Babcock Ranch? It’s a huge departure.

John Garuti III:

Yeah. My wife and I, we had just had our second kid there at the end of 2017 and I worked for the people that bought our business for a year and they’re a big French multinational company, huge like billion dollar company, and I wasn’t really feeling that corporate culture. It wasn’t me. And my wife, we had wanted to get out of New York for a while just to have more. We had young kids and we were looking for greener pastures and my wife wanted to move warm and my family, we had been coming down to Naples since like 2006 my parents bought their first condo. So I was always coming down here two, three times a year to hang out and we said, “Hell, why not? Why not move to Florida? Let’s try it out.”

Scrappy Jackson:

How did you discover Babcock Ranch?

John Garuti III:

Just I was living in Naples and we didn’t know where we wanted to move, what we wanted to do, and then we kept hearing about Babcock and lo and behold, we came up here I think the first time in January of 2019 and at the time it was barely anything here still, but we just kind of fell in love with the concept and everything that the town stood for with the sustainability and environmentalism and we just said, “This is the place for us to raise our family.”

Scrappy Jackson:

So have this great job in New York, you move to Florida, but somewhat of a risk in sacrifice in becoming an entrepreneur. I mean, there’s a lot of competition in real estate, a lot of realtors out there.

John Garuti III:

Oh yeah. Yeah. It was the biggest risk I ever took in my life and we moved here to Florida with no idea what we were going to do, man. It was definitely a big risk. We had no jobs, my wife and I, we had two kids. I mean, I had enough money saved up to make that move, but yeah. It was definitely scary at first.

Scrappy Jackson:

So do you have a niche in Babcock Ranch?

John Garuti III:

Yeah. I think I rarely have done well with the new construction and helping relocation buyers and my YouTube channels really I think what’s helped me connect with that audience because as you know, this is a huge relocation market, not only Florida, but Southwest Florida and people, they’ve been hearing about Babcock Ranch from all over the country and they do their research now, like everybody does online today and I’ve just been able to connect with a lot of people from all the helpful and useful videos I’ve put out there. So I think if there’s one niche that I’ve like really nailed down it’s those relocation, new construction buyers.

Scrappy Jackson:

Okay. Yeah. Well you’re definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to social media and video marketing and one of the things I got from you and watching your videos is you seem really credible. You seem like a nice warm guy. Is that true or is it just a big front?

John Garuti III:

No. I’m crazy. I’m mean. I don’t like people at all. No, just kidding. You know, with my videos, that’s me. What you see in those videos, that’s me as a person. I’m very upfront about everything. I don’t sugarcoat anything. I also don’t hide anything. One thing I think people connect with is that I’m putting it all out there and if you like it, well let’s talk. If not, hey, no worries. I’d rather-

Scrappy Jackson:

That’s great.

John Garuti III:

You find out everything you need to know about this neighborhood to make an informed decision, whether it’s to move here or not to move here.

Scrappy Jackson:

Got you. Got you. Tell us about Babcock Ranch.

John Garuti III:

So they’re building 19,500 front doors here. Eventually everything you’ll ever need will be right here in town. So it’s pretty exciting. They just passed about 2000 home sales. So a lot more to come. Probably another 20 years I think at least of building more houses here and I heard some big things that are coming. Like we just finally got Publix. We’re starting to get restaurants. I heard of like some hardware stores, some home good style stores coming, and the town just continues to develop. Like I think the one thing right now is the builders can’t build the homes here fast enough.

Scrappy Jackson:

Wow.

John Garuti III:

There’s a lot of supply chain issues getting materials and whatnot. It’s taking builders longer to build, but this place is going to be a full town one day. What’s nice is we’re surrounded by 73,000 acres of nature preserve. The master plan’s going to have like 50 miles of hiking trails and-

Scrappy Jackson:

Oh, nice.

John Garuti III:

We have an awesome HOA that I think’s very friendly. We get high speed gigabyte internet with our homes here. So it’s really-

Scrappy Jackson:

And you’re solar power too, right?

John Garuti III:

Yes. That’s the other big pitch, right? We’ve got this huge solar array just North of the town and all the energy during the day is powered by that solar array. And then at night we switch to that big gas plant there on the Caloosahatchee River.

Scrappy Jackson:

Tell us about the demographics. Is it usually retirees, families, single people? Who’s the majority of people moving to Babcock Ranch?

John Garuti III:

You got the whole spectrum of people here. That’s what I love. Like I mean, I’m married with young kids. So tons of families, tons of kids here, and then you’ve got everything, the empty nesters. You’ve got the seasonal folks. When you look at like the golf course, that’s a more seasonal neighborhood, but when you look at the rest of the neighborhoods in Babcock Ranch, for the most part, it’s people that are living here year round working in Southwest Florida. We’re still such a young town. So that’s the exciting thing. Like even getting in here now you’re still getting in at those mason stages.

Scrappy Jackson:

John, you’re a pioneer. Speaking about different cities, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, from a Punta Garda perspective, you must be infusing their life tremendously from an economic standpoint.

John Garuti III:

Yes. Well Punta Garda, believe it or not, is now the seventh fastest growing city in the United States and I think part of that is from the growth here in Babcock Ranch because technically our address is Punta Garda.

Scrappy Jackson:

Sure. Sure. What does 300 grand get me in Babcock Ranch today?

John Garuti III:

Nothing. Yeah. The prices have gone up. You could still get a condo on the golf course, but that comes with higher HOA fees. So unless you love golf, I don’t recommend buying there per se.

Scrappy Jackson:

Sure.

John Garuti III:

But yeah. Right now like the minimum price points are going to be like the low to mid threes. So you get up to 330, 350, now we could look at some villas and then low fours and up really and I’ve just sold a house here for 1.6 million. So you can go custom with builders on the big lake. So there’s every quality level, every price point here, which is nice.

Scrappy Jackson:

I saw your video maybe 18 months ago and you said, “We’re approaching the million dollar mark.” And now you sold one for 1.6. Is that true? Like 18 months ago I could have bought for under million and sell that same house and flip it for 1.6 already?

John Garuti III:

Yes. That house, maybe not a million dollar house. I mean, those couple bought for 1.3 and the million dollar homes didn’t accelerate in value as fast as the smaller priced home. So for example, the first house I bought here, I paid 325 for, I just sold it for 560. So-

Scrappy Jackson:

Wow.

John Garuti III:

My timing, I got very lucky and I saw a lot of the homes in that 300, like high twos, low threes, low fours even, a lot of those homes since the start of 2021, they’ve gotten over 80% appreciation, which is just a sign of like this crazy real estate market we’ve been living through here the last two years.

Scrappy Jackson:

It has been crazy and with increased demand and less supply, the rates are going up so high, the prices are going up. Do you recommend to people that have an opportunity to sell now, strike where the kettle is hot. You did over $560,000, but then maybe you have multiple properties, but the average person, if they sell, they’re going to be stuck with paying high rental rates given inflation. What are your thoughts on that?

John Garuti III:

Yeah. Well I think you kind of hit it there. Everybody’s situation is unique, right? So one big injection right now is, “Oh, I’d love to sell, but if I sell, where do I go?” If you’re selling right now high you’re buying high.

Scrappy Jackson:

Right.

John Garuti III:

So it really comes down to your situation. That’s like the one thing I’m very keen on doing with all the clients I’m working with. Like even if they’re leaving town, like let’s talk about all these things because the more I know about you, the more I can help you. Yeah. I think one of the best things right now for people is like that move up, right? So if you bought and you want a more expensive house or you want a bigger house, because you have so much equity or you’ve gained so much equity with the increase in prices, probably the best thing you could be doing right now is moving up if you want to stay locally.

Scrappy Jackson:

You sound like a realtor. Because I’m thinking to myself, “It’s going to peak at some point.” Is this really the best time to buy?

John Garuti III:

Yeah. I think the prices did peak already, but real estate, it takes six months for a real estate market to change. So I think we’re starting to just see that shift.

Scrappy Jackson:

You’re a chill dude from my perspective, but the thing is, I can feel your passion. I really respect and appreciate that about you.

John Garuti III:

Thank you. I am passionate. I tell people this is the first thing I’ve done in my life that I actually really, really enjoy. So it’s easy for me to get up every day and work on marketing, work on videos, and-

Scrappy Jackson:

Nice.

John Garuti III:

And helping people just makes it all that sweeter.

Scrappy Jackson:

Very nice. Finally, you’re growing up in Queens. You’re 12 years old. If you could give advice to that 12 year old self, what would it be?

John Garuti III:

Yeah. I would’ve told myself don’t be such a hard ass. Get yourself some good mentors early on. Some people that can teach you. People who are doing what you want to do, right? You need to go to the people who have already been there to get that advice, get that mentorship, and don’t ever stop learning. When I was younger, I was just, man, no lie, growing up in that family business I think it was like a detriment in many ways because I had it too easy. I never had to like struggle. And I think looking at how I want to raise my kids, like even though we have nice things now and stuff, I don’t want them growing up like I did. I want them to struggle for the things that they want to have and make it a priority for them that they got to earn the things they want. So-

Scrappy Jackson:

Sure. Sure.

John Garuti III:

If I could go back in time and tell myself these things, like I would’ve started real estate 10 years ago.

Scrappy Jackson:

True. True.

John Garuti III:

But I was stuck in the family business. So it was kind of hard to get out of that for many reasons. Mainly emotional ties to the family and you know-

Scrappy Jackson:

Sure. Of course. Of course. And that’s what makes it so much sweeter today because you appreciate it more.

John Garuti III:

Yeah. I know. And that’s the thing. I was very blessed and fortunate to grow up the way I did because all that growing up in the business, it did give me an amazing business background. I mean, I know how to do a lot of things. I know accounting, I know finance, and for a lot of people starting a business, they got to learn all these other things on top of like the sales and marketing. I did definitely get a good up raising in business, being born into that family business. So-

Scrappy Jackson:

Very cool.

John Garuti III:

Has been very beneficial now that I’m succeeding here in real estate.

Scrappy Jackson:

Very nice. You’re JG III, John Garuti III. Do you want to give a shout out to EXP Realty?

John Garuti III:

I’ve got to give a shout to EXP because it’s definitely the best platform for any real estate entrepreneur in the world. There’s nothing like it. The founder, Glenn Sanford, he’s amazing. He built the company the way real estate agents always wanted to build the company. So I’m going to be with this company for all my life. I ain’t changing. Other real estate agents, don’t call me up trying to recruit me because I’m in EXP forever. And any other real estate entrepreneurs, I promise you, this is the company for you.

Scrappy Jackson:

Very cool. Very cool. This is The Come Up. It’s a podcast, a video podcast, featuring entrepreneurs throughout Southwest Florida. It’s brought to you by Content With Teeth, a very dynamic happening content marketing agency. Check them out. They’re really, really good at what they do and you can see this by this big fathead behind me. They’re very, very big at what they do. John Garuti, it’s a pleasure to talk to. I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot today. Thank you so much.

John Garuti III:

All right. Thanks Scrappy.

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