Best Year Ever? Depends on How You Keep Score...

In analyzing our performance during the first portion of 2010 there is much reason to celebrate until you look beneath the surface.  On first glance, my 49 closed or pending sales since January 1st, 2010 puts me on a pace to successfully complete around 120 Gatlinburg area real estate unit sales in 2010.  This puts a large smile on my face because that level of success would be my highest total ever.  With the majority of these sales being foreclosures however, the picture gets a little less clear when you look closer.  Because foreclosure transactions require much more paperwork, effort, and time to complete, we have had to significantly increase the size of our staff.  We now have 3 full time staff people, 2 part time employees, and 3 full time sales people on the team so labor costs are up.  With 36 closed transactions and 13 more pending, you might think that our Smoky Mountain real estate inventory would be diminished but that isn't the case, at least not yet.  We currently manage 93 active or future listing properties even after the 36 closed sales are taken out.  This is a huge challenge for our staff as we are serving as the property manager for the majority of these homes.  When you are managing that many properties something on some home is requiring attention nearly every day.

Four years ago I made more money selling fewer homes but at much higher prices and with less expense.  While some of my competitors are starving, we aren't and for that I'm very grateful.  Still, less work and more income doesn't sound like such a bad concept.  I'm concerned that we may not be back to a more normal real estate environment for several years so we are braced to continue in this mode for quite a while.  Wouldn't really mind a return to the go-go days of 2005 however...

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