Another year has come and gone, and the real estate industry continues to plug along under the malaise of the housing downturn that has yet to hear the word "recovery" since the 2007 Sub Prime domino was the first to fall. Our firm was only 2 at that time, and we are still standing. Actually, we're doing a bit better than standing. Here's how we did in 2011:
Out of 872 MLS member firms, our company was ranked 55th in closed sales. This puts us in the top 6% of brokerages in our Multiple Listing System, which is run by the second largest association in the State of New York.
Of the $17 million in sales volume we closed, over a full 3rd was from our growing team, a huge increase in percentages over previous years. This was among my most important goals from last year at this time- to grow our family of producers. I expect that the trend will continue. I predict that I will be less than half of the dollar volume in 2012, and that my own personal production will still be higher.
Regarding my own personal production: I was ranked 29th out of over 6500 agents for closed sales in 2011. This actually constitutes a "down" year for me personally, as I was previously in the top 10 from 2007-2010. However, this was by design. I sent far more business to my team, the production was distributed among our associates, and we'll parlay that experience into a stronger 2012. Dozens of inquiries a week are given to our team to follow up with, and given the caution of the public, our conversion rate is encouraging.
Regarding the team: there are 25 licensees associated with the company with several more waiting in the wings. In a climate that has seen some firms close or merge with others, I am proud that the brand we are building is growing. As happy as I am with the talent and hard work of our agents, prouder still am I of their integrity and scruples. If you work with a member of this firm, you can expect that they'll be fierce, ethical advocates for your best interests. When my caller ID is the number of one of my agents, the typical conversation is not how to just make the sale alone; it is almost always how to take the best care of the client. We don't hire just anyone here. You can't teach honor. I am humbled to have these guys with me.
I was recently re-elected to my 3rd term as MLS Vice President, and I was on the committee which oversaw the merger of three local associations into the new Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, which now covers 4 counties of New York City's northern suburbs. The name is pending, but the merger is in full effect in January. I was humbled to be included in this endeavor.
That which is not growing is dead. The plans for 2012 include a cutting edge revamping of the company website, an overall increase in our web marketing, and to put every listing the company carries to be on page 1 of Google for the most common consumer local search terms. We will add more quality agents and brokers. They will also have better tools with which to serve their clients and build their practices.
Behind the numbers are some awesome clients, all of whom have a story. We helped some short sale clients leave their situations with dignity. We helped some first time home buyers build that first nest. We wiped our share of tears, we gave our share of happy hugs, and the firm got some new friends who will refer future buisness because we took care of them. I am greatful to everyone who chose us as their broker in 2011.
Men can't give birth. Next to my family, this brokerage is my baby. It is my name, my reputation, and my passion. Anyone who knows me knows this- I love building my brand, and the goals for 2012 are aligned with that purpose.