By YVETTE C. HAMMETT
Realtor Kerin Clarkin is a guy who likes to have fun. He’s using that love of life to introduce people to locally owned eateries and other fun places in the Tampa Bay area and to subtly promote his real estate business.
“Fun Tampa is your source for food and fun reviews from different places throughout the Tampa Bay area,” the website notes. “We only promote locally owned businesses and encourage you to let us know about the coolest places to go.”
“For right now the goal is, each week, I try to add content to the website,” Clarkin said. He has two goals — food and fun.
“It’s just 30-second video clips of where to go. It showcases the establishment itself.” It is not about him, he insists, but about showcasing what this area has to offer.
“It’s like, ‘Hey, check out this place for a really cool bar.’ The other thing I do is a specialty foods category. I do a 20-second video of really cool places.”
Clarkin started out with the idea of doing food reviews, but quickly realized if everything is going to be positive, it can’t necessarily be an honest review. So, instead, he decided to showcase the places and let visitors decide for themselves.
“I decided to showcase cool specialty items,” said Clarkin, of Kerin Realty. “Like at Bern’s Steakhouse, check out the French onion soup. At First Choice Barbecue, check out the spicy macaroni salad. It is amazing.”
He recently visited Anise, so check out the sticky buns.
Clarkin is quick to point out that he charges no one for these business promotions. “The fun aspect is there, and it’s only mom and pop, never corporate businesses.”
“The whole point is I was sick of going on Google or 813 area to find places to go and knowing that those businesses, they paid to get on the list. There are so many cool places you’d never know about if you can’t find a free site that just tells you things.
“I do real estate, and if you are in real estate, you should know about your entire community,” Clarkin said. “I am going to give really cool insight into what to do in your neighborhoods.”
When Clarkin first moved to Tampa, he lived first in Carrollwood, then South Tampa, Rocky Point, Ybor City, Seminole Heights, Brandon and Westchase.
“I really got to check out a lot of cool places,” he recalled. “Tampa is such an awesome place to go, but it’s the same places that come up on search engines. It isn’t fair to the local businesses.”
Clarkin said he avoids places where business owners are rude to him. “But I meet a lot of business owners and it helps my business, too.”
Clarkin started www.funtampa.com about five months ago and, ever since, has been adding a video a week.
“Right now, I do restaurants and fun places and bars. I have plans to go to go cart tracks and other places people will take their families. I also do a lot of big events. Nobody does anything like this.”