With 2013 mere hours away I am pleased to close the books on another successful year that saw the company weather the challenges of the changing market and continue on the path of encouraging growth. We eclipsed some goals set in last year’s end of year report, fell short in others, and are set up for a strong new year. At the risk of sounding brazenly self aggrandizing, there is an awful lost of positive to note as we build the brand.
Out of about 900 member brokerage firms in the Hudson Gateway MLS, our company was ranked 53rd in closed transactions, putting us strongly in the top 6% of brokerages for that metric. Last year I was about two thirds of the company production and my goal was to be less than half in 2012. I reached that goal. For the first time since founding the firm in 2005, I was not the majority of company dollar volume. I still closed well over 30 transactions, but the team’s continued growth and improvement eclipsed my own production for the first time. This was important to me. In building an enterprise, it is crucial that the company, and not just one person, has strong production. My goal in 2013 will be along the same lines: I am committed our rankings improving, and I want to be one third or less of the production personally.
Our team has indeed grown and reached some rewarding benchmarks. First, we have expanded to 34 agents and associate brokers. The growth of the team included the addition of our first ever Vice President, Angela Johnson, who joined us in July to assist in implementing systems to better run the organization and spearhead the hiring and development of new associates. I remain at my teams’ disposal 100% as well. I have the greatest respect for Angela and greatly value her contributions thus far.
2012 also saw the revamping of the company website and my personal blog. The new jphilip.com unveiled in March has averaged about 20,000 page views per month and made a huge impact on developing new clients and customers for the team. My own self hosted blog was also rebooted in March, and the feedback has been rewarding. It remains one of the firms’ best assets. Our web presence has always set us apart, and that will continue with the upgrades.
In July, the firm was awarded membership into Westchester Real Estate, Inc., the area’s most prestigious and highly regarded consortium of independently owned brokerages. This is an achievement that I am incredibly proud of.
I was also among 20 agents selected nationwide to be part of Zillow’s Agent Advisory Board. We had our first meeting in September, and I believe that the group is making a difference. It is an incredible team of industry leaders, and I am also impressed with Zillow managements’ desire to do right by their premier agents.
2013 will begin my 4th term as Vice President of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. The New York Association of Realtors has appointed me as the 2013 vice chair for the bi-annual Technology Forum, and I remain a state director on the MLS and Technology committees.
The year was not without setbacks. Not every goal was reached. Deals fell through. New hires didn’t work out. But overall I remain humbled at the incredible men and women who have chosen my firm to their professional home, and I will make sure that in 2013 we exceed their expectations. This much is for sure: as I look over the results of the soon to be closed 4th quarter, it is clear that the first quarter of 2013 is set up to be extremely productive. We will absolutely hit the ground on January 1 running, and I have over 30 incredible people to thank for that.
The takeaway for the consumer is clear to me: companies grow and contract for a reason, and we remain committed to learning, development, being our best, and getting the best results for our clientele. That is why we grow.