A Very Good Year

To sum up 2010 for the agents at Michael Saunders & Company is as easy as borrowing the song lyric immortalized by Frank Sinatra back in 1966. “It was a very good year.”

Mind you, not the best year ever in terms of total dollar volume; but perhaps one of the most satisfying, given today’s extremely harsh economy combined with the challenges of what is perhaps the toughest real estate markets in the region’s history. Needless-to-say, we are in awe of how well our agents played the extremely difficult hand they were dealt in 2010. “Humbled” might be the better word, as their considerable efforts on behalf of their clients and customers not only exceeded ambitious company-wide goals set this time last year, but also vastly outperformed the market in general.

A review of all year-to-date residential sales throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties—based on an actual accounting by the Mid-Florida Regional MLS—reveals a slight overall improvement for the tri-county region versus 2009. Unit sales through mid-December were up 3%; while dollar volume was up .5%. Not at all bad considering the number of distressed properties that weighed heavily on the market throughout the year, to say nothing of the expected lull in sales that followed the end of a popular housing tax credit.

For the identical period, unit sales at Michael Saunders & Company are up 30.3% versus 2009. Dollar volume is up as well, by 23.1%. Moreover, of the $3.528.1 billion in volume sold through mid-December by all agents in the three county region, the agents of Michael Saunders & Company were responsible for a 38% share of it, or $1.340 billion. And the year isn’t over yet. A substantial number of transactions, representing tens of millions of dollars in additional volume, are expected to close by year’s end.

So let this be the first thank-you note of 2011; a New Year’s message to all our clients and customers who made this level of performance for our agents possible. Thank you for a very good year and for the opportunity to prove why we believe so strongly in our agents. This year, their average closed volume per agent through November was more than $2.5 million, an increase of 17.2% over last year.

We add a second heartfelt thanks to our 550-plus agents for the level of performance, cooperation and camaraderie that resulted in their ability to find buyers for our own listings and provide service to both sides of our transactions 42.3 % of the time. When you list your home with an agent of Michael Saunders & Company, the odds are now approaching even that another one of our agents will help you find the buyer. Not surprising since our agents meet weekly to preview and discuss each other’s newest listings; then “caravan” together to personally visit them once they’re officially on the market.

There’s been increased activity in the luxury tier of our market as well, putting to rest once and for all the mistaken belief that few properties in the price ranges above $ 1 million are selling. Through November, agents from Michael Saunders & Company were involved in one or both sides of 147 closed transactions of properties with prices in excess of $ 1 million, for a total volume of $374.1 million—a 31.03% increase over 2009. This has allowed our agents to garner 42 % of the transactions over $1 million and 75% of all transactions over $5 million throughout the entire market area that they serve. (Source: Trendgraphix, November 2010)

The real estate market is expected to be no less challenging during the first half of 2011, after which most economic pundits believe a more noticeable housing recovery will begin taking shape. How best to predict the final outcome of 2011 for the agents at Michael Saunders & Company? To borrow yet another song lyric immortalized by Ol’ Blue Eyes, we think “the best is yet to come.”

  • User Gravatar Mariea VanPraet
    December 22nd, 2010

    Fabulous article and so positive and upbeat – we have definitely ‘weathered the storm’ and it looks like 2011 is going to be an even better year.
    Congratulations Michael and Drayton. May you both have a Blessed Christmas and much Health and Happiness in 2011.

  • User Gravatar Helene Johnston
    December 22nd, 2010

    THANK YOU Michael for your kinds words!! Many thanks to you and Drayton for your fine leadership…helping us navigate these tough waters. It’s been a GREAT year for many of us … our best year yet – and to borrow another famous line, “the best is yet to come.” Merry Christmas to all !!! Helene & Scott Johnston, Realtors

  • User Gravatar nancymoore
    December 23rd, 2010

    It’s was so encourgaging to read your “up beat” letter.

    My sincere appreciation for your and Drayton’s leadership which accounts for the success of agents under your wing.

    Merry Christmas – Happy New Year – and looking forward to a more prosperous

    Nancy Moore

  • User Gravatar Theresa Brown
    January 4th, 2011

    I read the article in the newspaper and it made me feel good. We talked about it in our sales meeting this morning and it made me feel even better. Read it again here and made me feel damn proud! Put it on my Facebook for all my friends to see. It’s got me revved up! Happy New Year to all!

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