Friday, March 8, 2013

National RE Report

Since I'm here with all my meetings cancelled, during yet another snowstorm, I have time to update this blog on my recent trip to our network's annual conference.  We are a proud member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a group of independent brokers who together have the largest share of the U.S. market, outpacing all of the franchises.  The entire group meets once a year, to brainstorm, compare note, and give out performance awards.

Pearce was a big winner in the awards line-up.  We won in almost every category, and we won the overall "Crown of Excellence" in our size division.  Maureen Campbell, our Relocation Director, also won for her community service to the industry and the network.  It was an exciting night!  It shows that you don't have to be a mega-company, or a franchisee, to master the art of moving families across the country and around the world.  It also proves that our long-term strategy of corporate calling and relationships with local businesses and organizations, which Paula Feeney has been spearheading for many years, really works.  We outperformed people in markets with much greater potential, and did it with glowing evaluations.

While we were there, we had the chance to attend many sessions and roundtables on the industry and current conditions.  It's clear that Connecticut has a long way to go, before we catch up to the rest of the country.  The big news everywhere else was lack of supply.  Many markets only have a month or two of inventory, and homes going on the market can receive up to 50 offers!  Our market has 7 months of supply under $300,000, 15 months over $300,000 and under $1 million, and 31 months over $1 million.  That's really different.

The other consensus was that 2012 was a very good year for the companies present, although, as with many other industries, it had more to do with cutting costs than in increasing sales.  I'd say that most people saved $2 for every $1 they made with improvements in sales figures.  There is also a trend toward fewer agents doing even more of the business.  It used to be that, as in almost any set of statistics, the 80/20 rule.  80% of the business was done by 20% of the agents.  Now it's about 83% done by 17%.  To make that point even clearer, 46% of all agents in the industry did not make any money at all in 2011, the last year for which figures are available.  That shows you that we are truly a profession where "you eat what you kill".

We came back very optimistic about 2013, however, and ready to go out and win those awards all over again!  There is clearly a need for great real estate service, and we want to provide it in ever increasing amounts for our region.