By Michelle Caceres

The staff at Slugger’s Café on Bloomingdale Ave. isn’t flipping burgers at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, but the restaurant is open and occupied by dozens of real estate professionals coming together to share information about their listings, articulate buyers wants and needs, and announce open house events.

The Brandon/Valrico Pitch Group, headed up by Fidelity National Title Account Executive Tim Ryan and Keller Williams Realtor Garth Jones, is free to join and designed as a networking tool for realtors, mortgage brokers and title agents.

“In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner heard ‘If you build it they will come’,“ said Ryan. “We have built this and the realtors are coming.”

He equates the group to one big lively office meeting with all realtors receiving an invitation.

Jones said this is an excellent opportunity to get to know fellow realtors in an informal setting and market listings at the same time.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to accurately describe your listings in the MLS, but in this group we can stand up and verbally express the great features about a home,” he said.

Members of the group are finding success. Agnes Lirag with HomeXpress pitched one of her listings at a meeting. Another realtor knew a client would fall in love with it. That client viewed the property, obtained a loan through Scott Stone at Florida Mortgage Firm (another group member) and closed it in 21 days.

“It was on the market two days and it sold thanks to this group,” she said.

Not all Pitch members are realtors. The group is open to all people who work in the real estate business, from mortgage brokers to insurance providers.

The group has been so successful that two spinoff groups have formed: The New Tampa/Pasco Pitch Group meets every Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. at the Latin Twist Cafe located at 2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., and The New SouthShore Pitch Group meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. (beginning Tuesday, October 28) at the Hawks Point Welcome Center at 1611 Oak Pond St. in Ruskin.

For more information about the Pitch Group, contact Ryan at 928-2862 or Jones at garth@thesellingagents.com.