Written by JohnReinhardt
Hurricane Sandy barreled through our backyard and affected 12 of our 14 managers. Our market area was flooded and in ruins. Our friends and neighbors needed our help to try to get out of the terrible disaster that was thrown in our lap. Sales were the last thingon our mind.
Fillmore went into action and created a Fillmore Cares Team that raised funds and helped the community in any way possible. When
I look at the year, I’m proud of the efforts that our agents have made to make a difference and touch the lives of those in our community.
Here is an excerpt from my PRESIDENT”S MESSAGE that was presented at our Filly’s Awards that was held on February 7th.
Welcome to the 46th Annual Filly’s Awards - February 7th, 2013President’s Message – John P. Reinhardt
Congratulations on surviving one of the toughest markets that we have ever seen. We have turned the corner. All economic indicators show us that there is more demand for housing in our area and inventory is drying up quickly. As we discussed at a recent gathering, the Goldilocks syndrome is now taking place. We are going from a market that was too cold to one that is too hot. Our downtown offices are putting homes on the market and they are getting gobbled up with bidding wars once again populating our streets.
Congratulations on surviving one of the toughest personal challenges we have ever seen also in 2012. Hurricane Sandy destroyed our homes,
our neighborhoods, and our businesses. People are still suffering tremendously as we strive to rebuild and renew our communities spirit with optimism and excitement about the future.
Congratulations on not only being a survivor of the two mentioned disasters; the real estate market and hurricane Sandy, but I commend your spirit and resilience in finding new ways to generate business and activity when others have given up. Many of you in the room today have had one of their best years ever in 2012. There are dozens that made 2012 their greatest year since they started the business. Now, doesn’t that tell you a lot about our people. Doesn’t that tell you a lot about YOU!
I’m proud, and you should be too, of the fact that despite a virtual shut down in business for the last two months post Sandy, sales were still slightly higher than 2012. If the hurricane didn’t hit, we were on track for a nice bump in sales. December closings roared ahead with a million dollars in closings and helped us to finish the year strong. We expect 2013 to be the beginning of the next wave in Brooklyn real estate sales, as the economy REcovers, the REnewed interest in Brooklyn real estate shall come back with a vengeance. There are some out there that would caution that there is the birth of the second bubble already underway! For us, we are RE-energized with the increase in activity and promise of greater sales for 2013.
Many agents left the business in the past few years, and that’s ok. Just like there has been a correction in the market for home prices, there has also been a correction in the number of agents that are needed for the industry. This is a great thing for those of us remaining. There are fewer agents in the industry, but the competent agent will earn more money. This trend will continue over the next few years and there will be a professionalization of the real estate industry that will be a by-product of the change. Agents will reinvent themselves to handle more business and to service the needs of the consumer how they want to be serviced.
In 2012 Fillmore accomplished some interesting milestones in the industry. A new Fillmore.com was created that is built upon a strong foundation. We have 16 different languages included at this time, which makes the site truly international and perfect for the Brooklyn marketplace. Automatic video tours in different languages are also a big hit among foreign language speaking buyers and sellers.
Watch the new modules roll out and build upon the amazing cutting edge foundation upon which our site rests. You’ll notice and appreciate the higher rankings that we’re enjoying on search engines due to the back end of the new site. As the year progresses, you’ll see Fillmore.com rank higher and higher as it delivers more and more buyer and seller leads for our agents.
Fillmore Mobile App: Did you know that there’s an App for that. The Fillmore App is available in the iTunes Store and Google Play? You should be telling your customers about it.
SellerDashboard: Use has doubled over the past year, and we expect it to grow exponentially when we announce it to every seller when they list their home. Agents should step up to the plate and make sure that they are taking full advantage of the program and understand it’s benefits.
Zap – Powered by Zip is teaching agents how important it is to respond to the consumer on their terms. We’re growing the program and taking it up a notch this year.
Boot Camp: Fillmore Boot Camp has been so well received by our agents that we are continuing it for this year. You can expect a boot camp class every sixty days.
Fillmore Institute: Online training is now available on a variety of topics. Agents should take advantage of this FREE to you program.
Fillmore Cares: When the hurricane hit, Fillmore mobilized into ACTION! Fillmore managers, agents and friends came out of the woodwork to lend a hand. We filled up HQ with hundreds of bags of supplies, clothes and medical items. We’ve collected over $10,000 in cash and goods that we distributed back to the community. People came in on weekends and did whatever it took to make a difference. We delivered items to people in need, and orchestrated action teams that got the job done by helping to clean out, drain out, and fix up homes for those that couldn’t do it themselves. Governor Cuomo set up a NYS Recovery Relief Center at Fillmore HQ.
FillmoreCares was a startup group that made headlines and received local and national recognition for the efforts made by our team. I was particularly proud of Zane Burnett and the team for playing such an instrumental part in helping those who needed assistance most. Our managers and agents also did a great job in finding apartments for many of the families that were homeless. Fillmore waived the rental fee and we were grateful to have the opportunity to help many families in a time of need.
Thank you to all of you who pitched in to make a difference in our community and in our world. You have added a special shine to the name Fillmore Real Estate that will live on in the minds and hearts of our neighbors.
Toy Drive: We ended the year with helping to gather hundreds of toys for children in need. We helped those special children who were affected by the hurricane. We combined efforts with Bay Improvement Group to host a special holiday party and toy drive. We created new relationships and we are going to continue to work with the community with a wounded warrior program that benefits the brave soldiers that have given so much to us.
FillmoreCares Breast Cancer Fundrasier was a smashing success. Pat Reinhardt lead the team to a record-breaking event with over 16,000 raised to support Breast Cancer related causes. Again, this was an amazing effort that many of you here have helped to contribute to, and it wouldn’t be anything without your undying effort and support. As a bonus, this year’s Fillmore Cares team consisted of Ann MacBride and Ken MacBride where they proudly represented our company in the Avon Walk and raised additional funds on behalf of Fillmore and Pat Reinhardt. Great job guys. You know that this cause has really hit home this year, as our Executive Partner and Mom faced the challenge of facing the disease herself this year. I must say, MOM you are an amazing inspiration and you have given so much to others as we watch how wonderfully you handle the challenge. You look great and we’re all so proud of you!!
I’m not going to go into a long description of why we need to renew, but I will stress just a few main points that should get us started.
We know that the consumer has changed. Our theme for the past two years has been Be the Change that You Want to See. We’ve been all about change, so it’s nothing new for us. We are ahead of our competition in so many ways, but I remind you of this because the opportunity to really gain market share is right in front of us. In all tough times, millionaires are made and new ways of doing business are created. The real estate industry is presenting an opportunity similar to the Gold Rush of 1949. You have the chance to change your career in a BIG way. I’m not talking big…I’m talking REAL BIG! People that get it, are blowing away the competition. They’re blowing the other brokers and agents out of the water in some marketplaces around the country. Agents that had strongholds on certain communities have been replaced by better communicators, and when I say communicators, I am referring to the top agents ability to communicate more regularly, and with more relevance.
Take a deep breath here…
Do You want it?
I can lead you there. WE have the team that can show you the way to future success like you could only imagine in the past. You think that $100K is good? Dream BIGGER! Why stop at 200K? With a little help and guidance, you can transform your great skills and your sphere of influence into a huge cash register.
Of course we’re going to hear the pundits saying that we don’t need to do things differently, and that’s ok…but if you’re hearing the message and want it, and i mean really want it, you are going to make a monumental shift in your career this year.
RENEW: The first thing necessary is to get rid of the old baggage of thinking that we’re in a bad market. Get excited about the opportunities in today’s real estate market and lets renew our commitment to being IN the real estate business. We need to be in it with our whole hearts.
REENERGIZE: Once we renew our commitment, we need to get back to the gym and do some heavy lifting. You know that nobody loves the gym…but they love the results and benefits that the gym brings to them.
REDEDICATE: Let’s get back out there and let everyone know that we’re still in the business and we are ready to help like you’ve never seen before.
REINFORCE: Let’s keep the great skills that got us here today, but build upon them. NOW is the time that we need to examine our weak links and reinforce them with new tools and strategies.
RECREATE: Sometimes, reinforcements aren’t enough. Perhaps it’s time to RECREATE ourselves. So many success stories around the country are popping up about agents that have recreated themselves and have received astounding results. Great agents are teaming up with great new agents and creating powerful teams that harness the strength of today’s technology with the solid relationships and skills of top producing agents.
The battle is being won in the streets. in the neighborhoods. Winners are demonstrating their expertise in the local marketplace in ways that were previously impossible or extremely difficult to accomplish.
I don’t expect you to understand the entire concept today, but I do hope to accomplish the mission of getting your awareness up to the fact that there is an amazing opportunity to make a BIG change in your career. REALLY BIG.
As the year progresses, I look forward to continuing the dialogue of what can be done to help you to take it to the next level. Together, we can make it happen. Let’s Do It!!