Archive for April, 2009

RHBH 2009 1st Quarter Building Permits

Monday, April 27th, 2009

New home building permits in the Rochester area were down in the 1st QTR of 2009 by 98 permits. In 2008, 239 permits were applied for in Monroe, Wayne and Ontario counties and in 2009, 141 permits were applied for. Part of the decline was due to an unusually snowy and cold winter that did no allow builders to get early starts for the spring selling season. Although this is not unusual, the past few winters have not been as harsh and building continued almost without interruption even in those winter months. “Although building starts are down, the builder confidence level is up”, said Dawn Aprile, Chairman of the Rochester Home Builders’ Association. “Builders are reporting that traffic at their model homes has been very good the last few weeks as the weather has improved and the drop in interest rates is certainly a positive factor as well. Contracts are being written and we should see part of the decline made up in the 2nd QTR.” Aprile said.

Figures for new homes dropped by 77 permits in Monroe County from 158 in 2008 to 81 in 2009. Wayne County permits decreased by 19 from 29 in 2008 to10 in 2009. Ontario County remained consistent with 50 new home permits in the 1st QTR of this year versus 52 in 2008.

Chief Executive Officer of the Rochester Home Builders’ Association Rick Herman indicated that overall the builders are pleased with business comparing it to other parts of the country. “Comparable markets in the south, mid-west and west coast are experiencing much different and not so favorable conditions. Our area is very stable economically in large part due to the stability of our housing market. Our area builders recognized that a slow down in building was likely to occur and planned accordingly. When final 2009 figures are tabulated, we do expect 2009 to be similar to 2008 and we further expect that 2010 will be back to normal. That’s good news for the builders, but also the hundreds of other local businesses and thousands of jobs that depend on new home construction in our communities.”


In 2009 the Rochester Home Builders’ Association (RHBA) and its nearly 400 business members are celebrating the association’s 75th anniversary. Incorporated in 1934 the Rochester Home Builders’ Association is one of the original eight associations that helped to form the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington, D.C. Seventy five years later NAHB has more than 800 chapters across the country, and the Rochester Home Builders’ Association is one of the strongest and most active of the 16 chapters in New York State. The RHBA is a trade association of home builders, remodelers, general contractors, trades, suppliers, lending institutions and many other businesses that support the building and remodeling industries. Find out more at

GRAR 2009 1st Quarter Home Stats

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Uncertainty Kept Potential Homebuyers Guessing

REALTORS® Remain Optimistic About Housing Market’s Future

In spite of a sluggish 2009 First Quarter, local area REALTORS® continue to be optimistic about the future of the local real estate market. Statistics released by the Genesee Region Real Estate Information Services (GENRIS), the information subsidiary of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR), show that Greater Rochester REALTORS® sold 1,648 existing single-family homes in First Quarter 2009, a 33.4 percent decrease, compared to the Fourth Quarter 2008 and a 22 percent decrease, in contrast to First Quarter 2008. Although a reported decline in sales can be attributed to potential buyers’ concerns about the economy, initial expectations by the local real estate industry for the upcoming spring/summer season are pointing toward a more active market. GRAR also reported a pending sales surge of 23.5 percent in First Quarter 2009, as compared to Fourth Quarter 2008, which they attribute to an increase in first-time home buyers, in response to the recent federal tax credit stimulus and record low interest rates.

“We continue to be optimistic about the Rochester market,” said Ryan Tucholski, GRAR Chief Executive Officer. “Although our local real estate industry has been a little slow compared to last year at this time, the Rochester area has not experienced the dramatic downturn that many other cities across the country have encountered.”

Tucholski emphasized that the resilience of the Rochester area market can be attributed to stability in home values. “People believe that owning a home is still one of the best investment options they can make.”

“The soft housing marketing this past quarter was not unexpected, as many would-be buyers were stranded on the sidelines by the economic news of the day and held there by the uncertainty of the federal government’s response,” said Chuck Hilbert, GRAR Board of Directors president. “We are hearing from our members throughout the region that potential homebuyers are showing more interest and buying homes.”

The median sale price for the region dropped only slightly to 3.4 percent to $105,000 in First Quarter 2009, compared to the same time frame in 2008.

Nothnagle Realtors Ranked 34th Most Productive Firm in Nation

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Nothnagle Realtors proudly announces that the company has been ranked the 34th most productive company in the country on two national surveys. The surveys were released by REAL Trends 500 and RIS Media.

Both reports rank the largest residential real estate firms in the nation based on varying sales criteria. Nothnagle is ranked 34th most productive company based on transaction sides for 2008. The surveys are considered the most trusted standard of measuring the performance of national real estate firms.

Last year, Nothnagle was ranked 36th on the surveys. While some companies moved up on the list due to acquisitions and growth outside of their primary market area, the move up for Nothnagle was based solely on growth within Rochester.

While 2008 was a difficult year for real estate, Nothnagle’s market participation hit an all-time high. In the 61-year history of the company, the greatest growth spurts have occurred in challenging markets.

“It is a testament to the expertise of our local agents, combined with Nothnagle’s history of innovation and our comprehensive advertising programs, that our company could achieve this level of success at the national level,” stated Armand D’Alfonso, President and CEO. “Nothnagle is unique among some of the survey participants in that our business is based in the Greater Rochester region and we have fewer agents doing more transactions.”

Eliminate Fear And Confusion

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

by Rich Levin

In a CNN interview Warren Buffet was talking about coping with the current economy. He said, “If you are fearful and confused, you don’t get over being fearful until you get over being confused.”

This speaks directly to the role of Real Estate Agents, Brokers, and all of us in the profession who are actively working with the public or Agents. Our role is to reduce and eliminate the confusion in our Clients, our spheres of influence, and everyone that we encounter. Reduce and eliminate the confusion so that our public is able to reduce and eliminate the fears they have in this economy. 

Accurate information eliminates confusion. When a person is driving at night in an unknown area and finds themselves lost and confused, a GPS, a map, or a person giving directions provides accurate information and eliminates the confusion. Immediately, as the confusion dissipates, the information begins to reduce the fear. 

Accurate information about the values in your community, the availability of mortgage money, the inventory, number of sales along with a few words of honest interpretation reduces the confusion to your public in two ways. First, the information by its nature reduces confusion. Remember, you may still be in a strange place but when you know where you are, you are less fearful than if you are lost. Second, when your public knows that they can depend on you for accurate, honest information they are less confused and less fearful because they have you as a source of accurate information on which they can depend. This liberates them from their fear to once again make plans about their Real Estate needs and look to you to fulfill their plans. 

You become the honest expert to your public. When you are the source of reducing confusion and fear you accomplish the ultimate goal of personal marketing. You are top of mind in the category of Real Estate.  When they think Real Estate they think of you (with confidence and comfort). When they think of you they think of Real Estate with more confidence and comfort. 

Many markets around the country are experiencing a strong early spring market. Buyers are active. In some areas the inventory of salable homes is low and it is looking and feeling a lot like the early stages of a Seller’s market. In these areas in addition to being the “Honest Expert” I have been teaching Real Estate Agents to be the “Optimistic Expert.” 

In healthier markets, and there are many of them this spring, convey the message that despite the negative economic conditions in many sectors, residential Real Estate is very healthy. Convey that Real Estate has led the economy into and out of its past two recessions. It led the economy into this one and is very likely to lead the economy back to health. In fact, as I write this (3/09) it looks very much like that is happening in many markets

Convey that there has not been a better time for first time Buyers to buy, in decades. The same is true for homeowners moving up from healthier, modest price ranges to softer higher priced homes in the same metropolitan areas.  Investors, who have financing, are finding incredible opportunities that are not often seen.

When an Agent gets one of the inevitable questions, “How’s Real Estate?”  “How’s the Real Estate market? Or, “How’s business?” Answer honestly and optimistically, “Some segments are soft but there is tremendous opportunity for first time home Buyers, a lot of people wanting to move up and investors are finding fabulous opportunities. Are you thinking about doing something, or know someone who is?”  Be the honest and/or optimistic expert. 

In every conversation, presentation, communication, and marketing material, in print and online, talk about and write about the honest scenarios, with intelligent insight, that is likely to help people be more confident, less confused, less fearful; that is likely to help people decide that it could be a good time to buy or sell.

There is no greater way for you and us in Real Estate to contribute to the health and recovery of this economy. There is no better way for us to contribute to the speed of recovery out of this recession than to reduce confusion and fear; by actively being the optimistic and/or honest expert to our public. 

There is also no better way for an Agent to be more successful in this market; no better way for an Agent to achieve his or her own optimism. As Marianne Williamson wrote in her poem that Nelson Mandela read in his inaugural speech “As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Let your light shine. 

To do our part I am conducting free live webinars every weekday morning at 8:45 am EST to motivate Agents across North America, lead them to eliminate confusion and reduce fear in their work and their lives; so they can be motivated and reminded every day that they have tremendous influence on the thinking and behavior in their marketplace. And that collective influence can have a direct and significant effect that ripples through the entire economy. (

Rich Levin is a National Real Estate Authority with over 30 years experience; the last 15 dedicated to coaching and speaking. His specialty is in raising Agent Production while improving quality of life.  He has spoken in 38 States at events from small offices to the NAR convention.

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