Like many area residents, Jon started to visit the area in the mid 80’s, coming to visit with his father, Ted, step-mom Fran, and little brother Kurt. He made the visit permanent in early 1999. Jon started in the local real estate market with Marco Beach Realty immediately, and worked through the company changeover to Prudential Florida WCI Realty in 2002. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois but left the frigid north for a warmer climate in Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. There the humble and reserved Jon Busch earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice, graduating with honors.
Upon graduation, Jon initially did an internship in the Attorney General’s Office and set his sights high up into the FBI someday, but his journey required him to complete employment with law enforcement first. So, Jon went to work for the Phoenix Police Department. In the long run, he was very glad he did saying his experience, “Helped me develop, it molded me, and taught me a good disciplined work ethic.” Starting his first day off on patrol with a homicide, all the unseemly things a large metropolitan area can have in its dark side came into sharp focus. “There was a bit of everything, from gang violence to kidnappings, rapes, murders, car-jackings and major vehicular accidents. I saw a broad spectrum of people under a wide range of circumstances.” Jon felt there was little opportunity to move up quickly in this position, so he made a move to the Adult Probation Department. Once there he started moving up rapidly from Standard cases to the Intensive Probation cases. “Intensive Probation was a term used for specialty advanced cases, such as home arrest that required 24 hour monitoring. My partner and I worked with sex offenders, violent criminals, and multiple DUI offenders. I also made sentencing recommendation for the Judges. Sometimes they’d abscond and we’d have to go find them.” What happened to working with the FBI? Jon said, “It didn’t pan out, because another opportunity came my way to change my career into real estate.”
Jon visited Marco Island off and on all the while he was in Arizona. “One day I decided I wanted to live in paradise, so I made the move to Marco permanently.” Jon apprenticed for one year under a top real estate producer, his own father, Ted Busch.
Jon really is well-known in this area for his kindness and generosity towards animals. “I’ve had this passion since I was young. I got it from my grandmother who was always taking in strays; raccoons, squirrels, robins, dogs, she would take in anything that needed help. She passed away in 2003.” Jon works primarily with the Humane Society of Naples in dedication to his grandmother’s values. The Humane Society of Naples operates as a no-kill shelter, and each animal adopted is spayed or neutered. “There are a lot of people out there today who can’t afford to feed their pets. Sometimes, when I am at the store, I add in a few hundred dollars in dog food and I drop it off at the Humane Society or Domestic Animal Services. It’s a much better solution to donate food and keep the pet in the family, than it is to surrender the pets at the shelters. My grandmother taught me it is important to try to make a difference.” Jon was also a member of a group that organized, and help fund the opening of Marco Island’s dog park, Canine Cove. “This park has been a huge success, and a wonderful place for people to socialize their dogs. I have three American Eskimos myself, and one is a rescue. They love running freely and playing at the park.”
One little known piece of information about Jon is he has a passion for fast cars. It all started while attending college at ASU and working nights for General Motors at the Desert Proving Grounds. Jon was a certified high-speed test driver, and was one of only a handful of people,certified at the time to drive a million dollar future Corvette production car. In 2004, he graduated from Bob Bonduraunt’s School of High Performance Drivers (famous alumni are Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon). “I just had a lot of fun doing it. It was a very intense four day course for a racing certification. Attending a course like this will make you appreciate the mental and physical intensity professional drivers have at high speeds. I also recently attended the BMW Performance Driving School in Greenville, SC.” When asked what his wife thinks of his lead foot, all Jon could say was, “My wife is VERY cool, a lead foot in training, and we love going to the NASCAR races!”
Jon not only loves his BMW, he loves his Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle Ultra Classic, too. He’s been riding with Marco Riders for about 10 years. “My wife has her own motorcycle. On Wednesday nights we do a dinner run up to Estero or North Naples, and on Saturdays we do much longer runs. We might ride out to Key Largo, Sanibel, or Venice and have lunch, then ride back. The Marco Riders are always giving back to the community, they are a very generous group of men and women. There is always some charity run to plan on, and we try to do all the parades when possible.”
How did you meet your wife? “I met Suzan in at the Miami International Airport. We took a puddle jumper together from Miami to Naples, and talked our heads off. We’ve been together for 12 years now. She is a native of Naples and my best friend! She works for White House/ Black Market as a District Sales Manager. Chico’s is their parent company. She used to travel all over the United States covering 75 stores, but recently pared down her job and now only has 14 stores. She’s been with them for 20 years, and loves her career. Suzan is a role model for an employee to start from the bottom, and work your way up to top management.”
Jon and Suzan fly a Marine flag under the American flag in their front yard and are very patriotic. “I am grateful to all the men and women who have served, and we even have a son-in-law in the Marines. He was in Haiti after the earthquake assisting there with the relief efforts. He’s now serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in the infantry. Being a patriot is close to my heart. We are also proud members of the PGR.” What is the PGR? “The Patriot Guard Riders, is a group of patriots and veterans, usually by motorcycle, who attended local military funerals, and occasionally do welcome homes at Ft. Myer’s International Airport. Our motto is, we Stand for those, who Stood for us!”
Besides his motorcycle, Jon is an avid cyclist who put on over 5000 miles in and around the Marco/ Naples area, just last year! He rides charity events whenever possible such as the Miracle Limbs benefit for amputees, the Susan G. Komen cancer ride, or the Naples Pathway Turkey Ride which are 100k plus rides. “There were a handful of pros in the November Turkey Ride. I kept up with them for about 27 miles. That’s not bad for a 40 year old, to keep up with the 20 something’s! Suzan rides as often as she can with me, too. We’ll put on 75-125 miles a week.”
So, what was it like selling a record-breaking property on Marco Island? “I learned a tremendous amount! There was a lot of work, and out of pocket expenses involved in selling that property, plus it was a 24/7 effort. I worked with some great people including Realtors, Bob Lyons, and Tom Walker. Mr. Walker’s buyers are very good people, and they are a great addition to our community.” When asked about the current market today? Jon feels it is a great time to be a buyer. “It’s like shopping at Nordstrom on the half off rack.” Where do you get your clients? “90% of my customers are referrals from satisfied past clients. I absolutely love my clients! They come from all walks of life, and from just about every profession. This is truly paradise, and an awesome place to own a piece of it! Buyers today are end-users. It maybe a second home or a vacation property, but they will use the property themselves. Once in a while, I even see clients and their pets in the dog park, which brings a smile to my face!”