Suncoast Post Interview with Renaissance Man, Ray Collins
Ray Collins doesn’t sit still for long. After a career in television news, he’s now making waves with his high-end videos in the local real estate world, and also running for an elected office in Sarasota County.
The Suncoast Post recently caught up with the downtown resident to find out more about why he’s throwing his hat in the ring—and we found out his reasons go back to his childhood:
Suncoast Post (SP): How does it feel to be sleeping in and no longer giving us the morning news on ABC 7?
Ray Collins (RC): Great! It was like constant jet-leg! My doctor said I wasn’t doing myself any favors with that schedule.
SP: How long were you doing the news?
RC: I first started getting paid during college to do the news at a commercial station in my college town.
SP: Do you miss it?
RC: I miss some parts about it, but I’m finding other creative outlets and staying involved in other ways.
Ray Collins in Real Estate
SP: You write a monthly column about real estate for the Suncoast Post. How did you get into real estate?
RC: I love this area; I know a lot of people and I thought I could bring some marketing and networking skills with my media background to real estate. I’m affiliated with Coldwell Banker. Good people.
SP: And how is it working out so far?
RC: Great! I’ve sold two homes during the pandemic, and I’m listing two high-end homes now, including a $1.3 million dollar condo on South Palm.
SP: I bet the name recognition helps since people know you from your years on TV here.
RC: Probably. But what’s helping me stand out is my background in video production. I’m producing professional videos about the properties I list, and that’s created some extra attention. The video I did for the condo on South Palm got over a thousand ‘hits’ in the first few weeks!
Politics Involvement & More
SP: That’s a good way to stand out. So, tell us about your decision to jump into politics!
RC: I was approached to run for the Sarasota County Charter Review Board in District 2. The incumbent is running for re-election but actually now lives outside the area during the week, so they wanted to get somebody who lives here full-time.
SP: What exactly is a charter review board?
RC: It’s a way for citizens to suggest new initiatives. The board can recommend to move items to the voters in a referendum.
SP: How many charter amendments have there been over the years?
RC: Just over 20 in the past 50 years.
SP: And why did you want to throw your hat in the ring?
RC: It sounds cliché, but I want to protect our quality of life. I love this area and I want to play some sort of role. My late father ran a business in Buffalo, worked hard six days a week and I want to make sure entrepreneurs like him always are protected.
SP: Best of luck. What else are you involved in?
RC: I still have a media consulting company. I have been training several people on media skills. I’m also a travel writer. I’ve been published over 100 times in the past ten years, including about 50 resorts around the country.
SP: Wow. You don’t sit still!
RC: (Laughs.) I try not to. Play a lot of tennis and go for bike rides with my prettier half Erin, too!
SP: Where do you ride?
RC: We live downtown, so we go to Siesta Key, lock our bikes, and walk the beach. One time we rode all the way down the Legacy Trail to Venice and had lunch at Sharkey’s. Our most ambitious ride was up Longboat Key to Anna Maria Island. We packed overnight bags and stayed at a resort up there. Fun.
SP: Sounds really great. Best of luck in the primary August 18th.
RC: Thank you!
Photo Credits- Top Photo, Ray Collins / Photo with Camera, Cliff Roles / Concert Photo, AlanRphoto.com