You know you’re doing something right when the CEO of the company flies in from out of state to personally say hello.
That’s exactly what happened for the local Century 21 M&M Associates office Tuesday, April 27 when Richard Davidson, President and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC flew in from New Jersey to speak with the No. 1 real estate company in the country that just happens to be headquartered in the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Oakdale played host to the real estate giant when he came to present C21 M&M an award for taking the No. 1 spot for sales in 2009, selling a hefty 7,000 homes, cementing their position as a major player in the real estate market.
“It’s not often you get someone like Rick here in Oakdale,” John Melo, CEO of C21 M&M Associates said of their auspicious visitor.
Davidson, who was appointed president and CEO of the large real estate company in February, was eager to meet the people behind the local office’s stellar success, though he said he wasn’t surprised.
“It’s no surprise given the professionalism of this organization,” Davidson stated. “They’ve done a great job expanding the business in a smart and profitable way. The Century 21 M&M team have done a tremendous job. I’m happy to be supportive.”
Davidson talked with the team managers as well as presented Melo and Larry Matos, broker and C21 M&M Associates President with the Top Company Award, which will be displayed at the new Oakdale offices.
In his capacity Davidson will lead the organization’s approximately 7,700 independently owned and operated franchised brokerage offices and 117,000 sales associates in 67 countries and territories worldwide. With such a wide expanse of responsibilities, it’s easy to see why Melo and Matos were tickled to host his visit to Oakdale.
Prior to his post with C21, Davidson served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and as president and COO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. With 23 years of experience in the business, Davidson said he has “feet on the street” knowledge, which he was ready to share with the C21 M&M team managers.
“In the industry today there is an increase in unit sales and a significant decline in inventory,” Davidson said, noting there was also a 3.3 percent increase in the existing median home price over March 2009.
The federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers was certainly a boon and a strong selling point, particularly for those who had been left behind in the housing market prior to the bubble bust.
“The tax credit was a major benefit,” Matos said. “And it seems more of a long-term fix for the economy.”
Melo agreed, saying, “All the attention had been put on the buyer to stimulate the market.”
While the residential market is showing signs of a slow but promising recovery, the commercial market, which typically trails the residential market by two years, is now feeling the pinch.
“Retail chases rooftops,” Davidson explained. “The commercial market is more closely connected to jobs and there were 8.2 million jobs lost through the recession. It’s going to be some time before we see improvement.”
As public confidence waned in the stability of commercial mortgage backed securities, banks became less comfortable in lending money to commercial operations, such as dairies in the local market, which are currently being hit.
However, Davidson, Melo and Matos were quick to point out that it is an excellent time for residential sellers as well.
“There are great deals out there because replacement costs are higher than the purchase price,” Matos said. “It’s a great opportunity to buy up because you’re buying in a depressed market. You can leverage your money to buy a better home.”
Historically low interest rates, low pricing, and healthy inventory create a good investment environment for the right buyer.
“This is history in the making,” Melo said. “I don’t think we’ll see the same elements coming together again.”
And C21 is primed to ride that wave all the way home as they prepare to reach out to sellers as well as buyers with their new spring program that enters sellers listing their home with C21 into an $8,000 sweepstakes.
“It’s a stimulus for home sellers,” Davidson said. “And we’re going to give multiple prizes away.”