With nearly three and a half decades of experience behind us, we’re old enough to have experienced several real estate cycles, wise enough to predict developing trends and changing market conditions; and nimble enough to reshape our customer service model as quickly as new challenges and opportunities mandate. Meanwhile the “youngster” in us consistently earns high marks throughout the industry for always being among the first real estate companies to import the benefits of the latest information and technologies to our clients and customers. Michaelsaunders.com, already widely regarded as one of the best web sites in real estate, is presently undergoing a dramatic transformation to further enhance its user capabilities.
As every business blessed with longevity knows, success typically comes from correctly identifying an underserved market, serving it as never before; and never becoming too comfortable with the status quo. Combining success with the growth needed to sustain it requires a willingness to continually offer the same brand of exemplary service to new segments of the market.
When Michael Saunders opened the company’s first office on St. Armands Circle in 1976, her motivating principle was to offer a level of service and sophistication never before experienced by buyers and sellers of luxury properties along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Her success in achieving this goal has long since been well-documented. As recently as the past three years alone, agents of Michael Saunders & Company have been involved in 89% of all transaction sides involving properties priced from $5 million and up.
Over the years, Southwest Florida’s explosive population growth, its expansion inland and growing importance as a preferred retirement and second-home destination have provided the ideal opportunity to extend the same level of service and sophistication to buyers and sellers across all price ranges. Moreover, some of her earliest clients pleaded with Michael to help their children, parents, friends and acquaintances purchase properties in the evolving lifestyle communities east of Route 41. They also petitioned her to start a commercial division—which she subsequently did—because they wanted similar expertise in locating properties from which to launch new business ventures.
In short, they wanted Michael Saunders & Company to do everything as well as it did anything. So we’ve answered the call by growing our regional coverage to include 23 strategically-located offices—from which to systematically cross-market our sellers’ properties from one branch to another—while adding a host of innovative new services that appeal to discerning clients and customers across the full gamut of prices, properties, transactions and neighborhoods. We’ve since taken to calling these our “core services” because they are core to remaining the market leader.
As consumers lead increasingly hectic lives, the notion of having all their real estate needs competently managed under one roof is an indispensible service for a company to offer. This resulted in the introduction of MSC Mortgage and MSC Title, core services based on carefully hand-picked ventures with Wells-Fargo Home Mortgage, Chicago Title and First American Title, each a leader in their respective field. These long-standing divisions make it possible to coordinate a real estate transaction with much greater focus and efficiency; while still being privy to the most competitive mortgage rates and loan packages; along with the best systems for ensuring clear title to a property.
As the market for new housing gradually recovers, our New Homes & Condominium Division is marketing bank owned condominiums along the coast and continues to work behind the scenes advising builders and developers—here and elsewhere—on when, where and what to build. And although commercial property sales in the region are presently in the doldrums of its cycle, commercial leasing provides the bright spot. Year-to-date, MSC Commercial continues to vastly out-perform the market with 75 new leases executed involving 188,272 square feet and $8.8 million in lease payments.
When today’s real estate market demanded whole new sets of skills—involving such previously rare or archaic transactions as foreclosures and short sales—Michael promptly launched divisions to facilitate each of these increasingly common, but poorly understood, transactions. Her only mantra in deciding whether to move forward: “If it can’t be done with complete excellence, we won’t do it.”
Over the next few weeks, as we enter our 35th year, we will present profiles of our core service capabilities. In other words, we’ll outline exactly what you can expect from a company that stakes its reputation on providing an exceptional array of services anchored by our core values of excellence, integrity, communication and mutual profitability.
Next week: What you can expect when you list your luxury home with Michael Saunders & Company