A New Jersey real estate agency may have set a new record for the lengths it will go to market a property — more than 3,500 miles over nearly six years.
The saga began on May 14. Hannes Frank was walking down the beach in Bordeaux, France, when he saw an object lying on the sand, Fox News reported.
“It was curious,” Frank, 64, told The New York Times. “I looked at it and found it quaint.”
The sign was missing a piece, but in the part that was legible, he could read, “Diane Turton Realtors 732-292-1400.”
In an internet world, it was simple to find the company, so Frank sent the real estate firm an email.
“Hi, Just wanted to let you know that I found part of one of your signposts washed up on the beach near Bordeaux France pictures available if wanted. Not in best shape after that crossing,” he wrote.
“I initially thought this has to be a prank,” said Perry Beneduce, the Point Pleasant, New Jersey-based company’s marketing director.
But they checked. As it turned out, the company did have a property for sale in Brielle, New Jersey, when the storm hit.
“The sign had to be pretty sturdy to withstand all that wind and rain,” business founder Diane Turton told People magazine. “In my 53 years in the business I’ve never had anything like that happen. It’s like a message in a bottle. It’s crazy.”
“It’s so rare that he would be kind enough to take the time to write the name down then go back on the Internet and find me,” Turton said. “I want to bring the sign back so we can frame it.”
“This shows that people still care. We were overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it,” she added.
The agency, knowing the publicity power of social media, described what happened on its Facebook page.
Diane Turton, Realtors – A Truly GLOBAL Real Estate Company! Two weeks ago, a resident of France contacted our…
“Two weeks ago, a resident of France contacted our Marketing Department regarding Diane Turton, Realtors signage that washed up on the beaches of France. The Diane Turton, Realtors signage was lost during Hurricane Sandy and was discovered by Hannes Frank on the beaches of Bordeaux, France,” the company said. “The Diane Turton, Realtors Wall Office owned the sign which was lost from one of their waterfront listings during Hurricane Sandy. Having our signage wash up in France on the beach truly proves that Diane Turton, Realtors is a global real estate company.”
The sign’s trans-Atlantic trip may not have been its first one, according to oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer.
“There is a great gyre of water that runs from New Jersey to northern Europe down to Spain and back to New Jersey and takes 3.3 years on average, and it takes about a year and a half to drift across the North Atlantic one way from New Jersey to France,” he told The Times, suggesting the sign was on its third trip around when it was beached. “So five and a half years is just about right.”
“What you have is a low-windage object,” he said. “It kind of floats flat in the water. Typically those travel about seven miles a day.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.