(Written by Olivier Monod, President/CEO of “WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Anchor” on June 26, 2007)
It is a surprise for no one to hear that the real estate market has known better times. In the last two years, our coastal Realtors’ Association has registered a decrease in membership of 22% from a peak of 495 members to 387 as of 6/25/07.
On another, yet related register, anyone who has done business in Indian Pass and Cape San Blas in the1990s and through 2005 knows Margaret Fletcher. Her knowledge of the area, her insights into the local real estate market, her unquestionable honesty, and her dedication to her clients have rightfully placed her for many years at the top of her peers on Cape San Blas.
Like George Washington at the peak of his might, like Lance Armstrong at the apex of his career, Margaret left our industry when the market was at its best. She moved to Vernon, Florida, but has kept her license active with our company uninterruptedly. When she moved, Margaret, very kindly, told me, “I’ll be happy to help if you ever need me.”
A lot of people may have said that, but, with months and years passing by, would have found excuses and reasons not to actually do it. Well, in Margaret’s case, I called her on Friday, June 15th at dinner time. Her immediate reply was: “When do you need me?” On Thursday, June 21st, she was in Gulf County, ready to help clients the next day at the Cape San Blas office.
For a while, you will see Margaret at the “WEICHERT, REALTORS® – Anchor” Cape San Blas office on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here is where Margaret will bring immense value to the table to clients and company alike:
- She has been in real estate at the Cape through good and bad times. Her experience and professionalism will succeed in helping clients, where most others could not.
- She brings with her, in addition to experience, a fresh look at a market which has not yet recovered. She may, single-handedly, accelerate the recovery in advising her clients to take the right move at the right time, both buyers and sellers.
I will close by quoting a conversation I had last summer with Jim Weichert, founder and CEO of Weichert Realtors, the largest privately owned real estate brokerage company in the U.S. (Jim and his wife own 100% of the stock in this debt-free company which sold over $70 billion worth of real estate last year). In context, I was speaking with Jim about franchising with his company (i.e., “he was selling me something”). I told him about our lousy market and asked him for his advice. His answer came clear and succinct: “There are no bad markets, just bad Realtors.”
Abrupt when first received, this answer is a monument of wisdom: real estate must be purchased and sold – it happens every day and everywhere in the free world. What is not normal is for the market to stop. It stops when buyers and sellers are maintained in expectations so remote from one another’s, that no compromise, no meeting of the minds occurs. With little to no activity, we know where the market is not: buyers now expect all prices to be close-out prices, and sellers believe that yesterday’s prices are still today’s prices. What good Realtors must achieve, is to soundly counsel buyers and sellers on how to approach this new market, then transactions will naturally resume.
Among many other reasons, it is because I believe in this “buck-stops-here” practical ways of Weichert that I signed up as a franchisee for ten years. And today, it is because I have known and worked with Margaret Fletcher for well over fifteen years that I am convinced that her presence back at the Cape will make a difference.
Margaret Fletcher, GRI
WEICHERT, REALTORS®– Anchor
4693 Cape San Blas Road
Cape San Blas, FL 32456