2013 was the first year that the firm closed over 100 transactions. That was my most ambitious pipe dream back in the first quarter, and we finished so strongly that we actually blew past 100 all the way to 116 deals. This very nearly doubled last year’s production. While the market improved overall, it didn’t double, so we beat the trend soundly. I am very proud of my team for doing so.
Transaction total was not the only piece of good news. Overall dollar volume was also nearly double that of 2012, as the combined volume exceeded $30 million for the year. In 2012 we closed just under $16 million.
Another wonderful breakthrough was the number of agents who sold more than $1 million grew to seven (7) outside of myself. The best we ever did in the past was four (4) Million Dollar plus producers. This was consistent with my stated goal the past 2 years to have my own share of company production shrink while the company grew. That did happen. I did close 30 deals for $10 million, but I was less than 25% of the brokerage’s transactions. My goal last year was to be less than one third. I therefore wish to extend hearty congratulations to the following associates:
- Jenn Maher
- Tom Ricapito
- Cristina Gameiro
- Barbara Bartell
- Melanie Bell-Kirk
- Linda Polay
- Ellise DiRoma
Overall, in an MLS of about 900 companies, our firm ranked 42nd in closed deals, putting the company in the top 5% of our market.
2013 had more to smile about than just closings. In July I was nominated as a finalist by Inman News, the industry news source, for Innovator of the Year. I completed my fourth term as Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service Vice President. I was the New York State Association of Realtors Vice Chair for Technology. The firm benefited from its continued membership in Westchester Real Estate, Inc. I also served in my second year as a member of Zillow.com’s Agent Advisory Board.
There is more good news as we go into 2014. We have a healthy pipeline of pending transactions under contract. Our membership has swollen to over 40 licensees with another dozen primed to join us in the first quarter of 2014. After 4 years as MLS VP, I will be the Hudson Gateway MLS President starting in January. I will also be the Chair of the NY State Association of Realtors Tech Forum. A property management division is in the plans, and our rental division will be official in another week or two when 914rentals.com goes live. NYMetroRentals.com is not far behind. Overall, our web presence, especially our mobile capability, is flourishing. More tech tools for our agents to make them even better equipped to help clients are on the way as well.
The company is continuing to grow and diversify. Jenn Maher and I have formed J. Philip Commercial Group, a separate brokerage company devoted solely to Jenn’s expertise in commercial real estate. The firm will open its doors in Mahopac, New York in the first quarter of 2014 with Jenn as the Managing Partner. The location will also serve as a branch office for our residential division, dedicated to serving the needs of Putnam County home buyers and sellers. We are also in discussions on a southern Westchester branch in 2014.
Jenn has been a rock star. She’s been integral in the expansion of the firm’s YouTube channel collaborating with me on a number of industry related videos, she has done yeoman work on bringing more licensees aboard our company, orchestrated team meetings and training, and was my conciliere of sorts on many occasions. If the firm gave out an MVP award, Jenn would be the recipient.
In short, we are no longer a mom and pop firm. We are a strong, growing concern that worked lean and mean through the housing crash and has come into the recovery primed to make a strong mark. I am incredibly gratified to work with this team of professionals, and as crazy as it sounds, I am confident that at the end of 2014 we could well have 100 agents and 4 branch offices with production more than doubled again. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that I am forever grateful to Ann Faranda for her hard work, her patience, and her support.