Thanksgiving….my favorite holiday was truly a season of gratitude for our team. We celebrated and expressed our gratitude to nearly 400 of you who honored us by coming by our Petal and Oak Grove offices for a seasonal pie. It has been heartwarming to hear team members expressing love and appreciation to our clients and friends as well as to our team members for team spirit, unity and focus we share.
Thanks to you and your amazing support, our team has exceeded our team goal of $65 million closed in 2014. We are especially pleased that we have been able to increase our listing sales by 24% this year while the overall market has increased by 1.6%.
100% of our Realtor Team and three of our support staff members attended the NAR Convention in November. We invested in new technology to better showcase our sellers’ properties; we also attended three day sessions that will enable us to sharpen our skills and better interpret our marketplace for the benefit of our clients.
A new designation, Sellers Representative Specialist (SRS) has been added. Adam and I completed the inaugural class with fifty other Realtors, both national and international.
“SRS Designees are said to be a driving force in some of the industry’s most innovative and successful real estate companies,” said the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers.
Locally and nationally, we see some signs of the housing market growing stronger. Locally, one sign has been an increase in the $300,000+ price range. Year-to-date closed $300,000+ has increased by 32.3% from 2013. There is also a decrease in foreclosure/short sales locally from 20% to 18%. US home ownership rate dropped for the ninth year – edging down to 65.1%. US home ownership for age groups 25-54 is at its lowest since 1976 while ownership of households 75 and older is now a record high. Negative equity is 11.9% while approximately one-third are debt free in their home ownership, a very positive sign!
As consumer confidence improves, consumers aren’t just looking for the biggest house on the block. They’re looking for more efficient use of space and a greater area allocated to “workhorse” spaces like the kitchen. Home buyers want unique features and amenities. Today’s home buyers are very focused on lifestyle and the way they live life.
Looking toward Christmas celebrations as we spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy Christmas music in our churches, and celebrate the greatest event in human history – the birth of Jesus Christ; we also begin our focus on the upcoming 2015 New Year. Recently, our team has spent focused time on what we did well (“Our Hits”), what we could do better (“Our Misses”), and new action items.

Christmas blessings to you and your families!

DeLois and Team