Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors celebrated a strong 2014 and kicked off what is projected to be an even better 2015. Caroline Ruhl, President of Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors, reviewed with the nearly 300 agents, staff, and affiliated business partners in attendance a recap of 2014 and a forecast for 2015. “I love watching each of you get smarter and better, and delighting your clients with wonderful service!” Ruhl told her team.
2014 – Where We’ve Been
While business surged in 2012 and was up about 3% in 2013, 2014 was relatively flat. In fact if we combine our 14 regional markets, the total number of units sold in the MLS’s was down 1%, average sales prices were up 1% and sales volume was flat. As always, there is considerable difference from market to market – for example: Sales volume for total MLS’s in Burlington and Cedar Rapids was down 5%, Clinton was up 16%, <a href="http://www viagra chine.ruhlhomes.com/for_sale/(Dubuque_ci;)(East%20Dubuque_ci;)(Asbury_ci;)(Peosta_ci;)/DBQ_board/Single%20Family_ty/price_dsort/">Dubuque was up 9% and the Quad Cities and Iowa City were flat.
Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors belongs to 14 MLS’s throughout the region.
Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors 2014 Results
Ruhl shared with her team the company’s results in 2014:
- Number of Properties Sold – Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors sold 5,194 properties in 2014, as either listing agent or selling agent. This was 3% fewer transactions than 2013.
- Residential Sales Volume – Ruhl’s sales volume in 2014 was $801,613,979, up 0.1% from 2013’s sales volume of $800,466,584.
- Revenue – Revenue in a real estate company is primarily gross commission income (GCI). Ruhl’s 2014 GCI was $23,830,441, or 1.4% down from 2013 revenue.
- Nationally Ranked Per Agent Productivity – On average our agents closed 18.6 transactions in 2014. This is more than double the national average of 7 transactions per agent per year.
- Great Agents and Staff – We ended 2014 with 279 residential agents. In addition 59 employees work for the company, equating to 54 full-time staff.
- Ruhl Mortgage – Ruhl Mortgage closed $99,627,039 in loan volume, which was generated by 743 loans. 93% were purchase loans and 7% were refinances.
- New Construction Sales Volume – Ruhl&Ruhl agents sold 303 new construction homes or condos in 2014. The average sales price was $343,597, up from $321,326, resulting in sales volume of $104,109,939.
- Insurance Referrals Sold – Ruhl agents referred clients resulting in 505 policies being sold by the Nelson Brothers Agency, Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors’ affiliated insurance company.
- Commercial Sales Volume – NAI Ruhl Commercial Company, a joint venture with Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors, sold $98,586,177 in commercial real estate in 2014 and had a 40% market share.
Forecast for 2015
Ruhl told her team she expects 2015 to be a better year than 2014.
“We have budgeted for gci (revenue) to be up 3% overall,” she said.
Both Fannie Mae and NAR are predicting an increase in units and prices in 2015. Home prices will continue to appreciate in our region. As the economy improves and more households add jobs, more people are able to enter the market. We expect first time buyers will return to the market due to interest rates being almost a full percentage point lower than the beginning of 2014 and to the 50 basis point drop in FHA mortgage premiums effective January 26th.
We also expect move-up buyers to be better able to make a move as home prices improve and fewer of them are underwater. Plus, many homeowners were reluctant to move in the past because they didn’t want to give up their low interest rate mortgage payments. Now they can get low interest rates once again. We just need to educate them.
Top Performing Agents
Ruhl congratulated her agents on closing an average of 18.6 transactions per agent. This is more than double the National Association of Realtors’ reported average of 7 sales per agent nationally. She also thanked her people for their world class customer service.
“Our agents are dedicated to providing extraordinary service and educating their clients so they can make the best real estate decisions,’ Ruhl said. “I am thankful that I have been blessed with truly amazing people in our company that work hard to serve their clients and their communities.”
The company celebrated at an awards event at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf on January 30th. They honored 194 award winners for their achievements.