Tag Archives: matt widdows

homes

Experts see a stronger year in Phoenix housing market

The spring weather isn’t the only thing that’s favorable in Arizona.

“The biggest overall trend we see in residential real estate is the market trending upward from relief to optimism,” says Matt Widdows, founder of HomeSmart International. “We are continuing to see an uptake in the market across the board. Housing prices are on the rise and so is the rental market.  We are seeing very early signs of multiple offers, which could possibly be an indication of the return of a seller’s market.”

According to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, all signs point to the Phoenix area housing market having having better results in 2015, compared with 2014. Here are the highlights of that report on Maricopa and Pinal counties for January:

The median single-family-home sales price went up 5.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015 — $197,000 to $208,000.

• The average price per square foot gained 5.1 percent from January 2014 to January 2015.

• Condos and townhomes continue to gain a larger share of the market. Their median price up 11.6 percent – from $121,000 to $135,000

February figures show demand about to boom, with the number of homes under contract dramatically rising.

“January is always a quiet month, but we believe this was a lull before the storm,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School. “We have already seen early signs of much stronger activity from buyers in February and March. Looking at the number of homes going under contract, there was significantly increased demand in the lower and middle price ranges.”

According to the Fannie Mae February 2015 Housing Survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they believe the economy is headed in the right direction. Likewise, the share of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage today rose to 54 percent, another record survey high.

“Population growth is on the rise and home values, after a few years of steady growth, are now providing homeowners with more flexible equity positions,” according to Doug Reynolds, vice president, loan officer and division manager at Washington Federal Bank. “These improvements, along with long-term rates staying low and financing remaining readily available, should continue to be positive drivers of new construction and increased values.”

Orr notes that listings for non-distressed homes under contract in the Phoenix area were up 26 percent from last year on a typical day in February. Listings from $150,000 to $600,000 were up more than 30 percent. He attributes this largely to lenders starting to relax their tight loan-underwriting guidelines and “boomerang buyers” who went through foreclosure or short sale being able to come back into the market.

“I’m noticing a lot more showings at all of my listings, which is a sign of activity in the market,” says Mike D’Elena, a Realtor with HomeSmart and co-owner of Northgate Group. “Most of the buyers out looking right now are new buyers just beginning their search. I’m also working with a lot of move-up buyers — these are people who have recognized that rates are trending upwards and want to take advantage of current low rates and get a bigger home.”

Experts says supply is an issue when it comes to all types of homes, including affordably priced rentals, which Orr says are at the lowest level he has seen in 14 years. But Tom Davis, vice president at Pioneer Title Agency, says in some areas, pending listings are up as much as 33 percent and this appears to be the trend throughout the Valley. Davis is quick to add that we are still in somewhat of a sellers’ market, with only about a six week inventory of homes on the MLS.

“Supply remains relatively low except at the high end of the market,” Orr says. “At the moment, we are seeing early signs that demand is likely to recover quite a bit faster than supply. It would only take a modest increase in first-time home buyer demand to overwhelm the current weak level of supply, making it tougher to find affordable homes for sale.”

Orr says home builders aren’t enjoying 2015 much yet. In January, newly built single-family homes hit their lowest monthly sales total in three years. However, most experts expect that trend to reverse, too.

“Traffic is running about the same as it has been, but sales are substantially up,” says Dennis Webb, vice president of operations for Fulton Homes. “We are seeing more buyers that have experienced a short sale or foreclosure and now want to move into a new home again. We are also seeing people who have a home to sell being able to move up because the value of their existing home has increased.”

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HomeSmart International Expands Network in Arizona

This month, real estate firm HomeSmart International opened its newest franchise in Fountain Hills, Arizona, operating as HomeSmart Premier. The nationwide company based in Phoenix began franchising two and a half years ago, offering one of the most attractive business models in the real estate industry, with a focus on increasing their level of realtor knowledge and attentiveness to customer service.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has had tremendous success by growing to over 7,500 agents nationwide. Recently ranked as the number one real estate company in Arizona and throughout the Southwest, HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States.

Fountain Hills franchise owner Christine Schroedel brings nearly ten years of real estate experience to HomeSmart. In addition to a wealth of real estate knowledge, Schroedel brings significant experience in marketing, advertising and PR. Coming from a family steeped in real estate, Schroedel sees the industry as a natural transition and perfect way to blend her marketing skills with a passion for real estate. She is thrilled to be joining the HomeSmart family.

“My agent acquaintances that work for HomeSmart just raved about the company and had encouraged me to check it out myself for several years,” said Schroedel. “After meeting the HomeSmart team, I realized that we share a similar passion for excellence and honesty.” She is amazed by the agent-technology and calls it “best-in-class” from what she has seen.

HomeSmart emphasizes the importance of being aware of client needs and exceeding their expectations, which in turn builds strong relationships with the buyers and sellers in every market. Created by Founder and Chairman Matt Widdows and his development team, HomeSmart’s proprietary software and operational support positions its franchise partners ahead of the curve—saving business owners huge costs attributed to web hosting, lead generation and back office systems.

“We are proud to announce the new growth of HomeSmart in Arizona,” said HomeSmart International CEO and President Chuck Lemire. “Christine and her team will be providing the best home services to customers and clients throughout the Phoenix area, as well as focusing on growing relationships outside our state boundaries.”

HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States, with offices throughout thirteen states and international operations in Shanghai, China. HomeSmart most recently opened two franchises in Chicago, IL. The company added approximately 3,500 new jobs in 2012, and their goal is to continue to grow nationally and internationally in 2014 and for years to come.

For more information on HomeSmart and its franchise opportunities, visit www.homesmartinternational.com.

housing.prices

HomeSmart Adds Three New Executives

To keep up with HomeSmart International’s incredible growth across the United States, the real estate brokerage firm has recently hired three new executives—Vice President of Franchising, Vice President of Technology and Head of Accounting and Human Resources. With HomeSmart’s newest executive hires, the business is blazing a trail of success not only in Arizona, but nationwide.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has grown tremendously with more than 7,000 agents in 52 offices nationwide. John Wuycheck has joined the team as Vice President of Franchising, focusing on the strategic growth of the franchise company including the accomplishments of each of the HomeSmart partners. John’s personal and work history have been exemplified by leading small organizations and grooming them into powerful contenders. His deep experiences in franchising include similar roles with Cold Stone Creamery, Seattle’s Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks Corp) and Edible Arrangements. HomeSmart has seen the most significant company growth through franchise openings and Wuycheck plans to continue their expansion throughout the United States for years to come.

Technology and innovation are what differentiate HomeSmart from any other brokerage firm in the country, as core elements of the HomeSmart brand. As Vice President of Technology, David Allen will lead the team that supports the costumer facing internal tool sets. With his strong technology background, including significant experience at Avnet Inc. and Wells Fargo Bank, Allen brings to HomeSmart his focus on building value-driven, high-performing teams who exceed the expectations of the business and customers who they serve. His team is focused on building revolutionary solutions that increase operational efficiencies across the entire HomeSmart organization.

As the leader of the Accounting, Finance, and HR departments, Nathan Johnson is committed to customer service and providing information for decision making and planning within HomeSmart. With several years of experience as both a Senior Financial Analyst and Finance and Accounting Manager, Johnson has developed significant skills in implementing process improvements in fast-paced, high-growth environments. His excellent analytical and qualitative capabilities make him an exceptional addition to the HomeSmart executive team.

The exciting new positions round out the thriving executive leaders at HomeSmart. The team includes Matt Widdows, Founder and Chairman, Chuck Lemire, CEO and President, Carol Perry, Chief Business Development Officer, and Jacqueline Moore, newly named Vice President of Operations. Together, the executive leaders make for a team of all-stars, dedicated to keeping HomeSmart the #1 ranked brokerage in Phoenix and building the brand across the United States.

“Our people are our biggest asset.  If we can empower our employees to create innovation on a constant basis, we are moving much faster as an organization,” said Widdows. The powerhouse exec team that we have created at HomeSmart is the key piece to furthering our success.”

HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States, with offices throughout eleven states and international operations in Shanghai, China. They added approximately 3,500 new jobs in 2012, and their goal is to continue to grow nationally and internationally in 2013.

Matt.Widdows

HomeSmart International Expands Network into Texas

Real estate firm HomeSmart International continues its nationwide growth with the opening of its newest franchise in Cedar Hill, Texas. Based in Phoenix, HomeSmart began franchising two years ago, offering one of the most attractive business models in the real estate industry.

HomeSmart CEO and President Chuck Lemire believes this new partnership will continue the international growth of HomeSmart and provide great brokerage services through the franchise owners leadership and experience in the Dallas Forth Worth region. Dallas Fort Worth is one of the top five economic markets in the United States and HomeSmart is the number one independent brokerage firm in the Southwest.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has had tremendous success by growing to over 7,500 agents nationwide. HomeSmart provides their Franchise Partners with specific systems and technology that create efficiency in operations and keep costs down while allowing exponential growth.

Cedar Hill franchise owners Jonathan Cochran and John Gerhardt bring a unique mix of experience to HomeSmart. Cochran served in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer before entering the civilian work force as a real estate agent, while Gerhardt worked as a real estate agent for seven years before partnering with Cochran.

“After learning about HomeSmart and gathering an understanding of what the franchise offers for our clients and for our agents, my business partner [Gerhardt] and I chose to purchase a HomeSmart franchise and begin our new direction in real estate as HomeSmart franchise owners. It was an excellent choice,” said Cochran.

Gerhardt adds, “I have always had a passion to help others and real estate offers that opportunity in unique ways. My family and I are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we embark on this new endeavor with HomeSmart.”

HomeSmart emphasizes the importance of being aware of client needs and exceeding their expectations, which in turn builds strong relationships with the buyers and sellers in every market. HomeSmart’s proprietary software also positions its franchise partners ahead of the curve. Created by Founder and Chairman Matt Widdows and his development team, the reputable systems are proven to save business owners huge costs attributed to web hosting, lead generation and back office systems. This allows the franchise owners to provide the technology to their agents for free while allowing the agents to keep 100 percent of their commissions. Other advantages to HomeSmart’s franchise program include a virtual receptionist, generous fee structure, and a full suite of branding and marketing products.

HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States, with offices throughout ten states and international operations in Shanghai, China. They added approximately 3,500 new jobs in 2012, and their goal is to continue to grow nationally and internationally in 2013.

For more information on HomeSmart and its franchise opportunities, visit www.homesmartinternational.com. Follow HomeSmart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homesmart.

Matt.Widdows

HomeSmart International Continues Market Share Growth

Real estate firm HomeSmart International recently opened its newest franchise in Seattle, Washington. The nationwide company based in Phoenix, Arizona began franchising in 2011, offering one of the most attractive business models in the real estate industry. HomeSmart provides their Franchise Partners with specific systems and technology that create efficiency in operations and keep costs down while allowing exponential growth.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has had tremendous success by growing to over 7,500 agents nationwide. Recently ranked as the number one real estate company in the Southwest, HomeSmart continues to open new offices and add jobs across the United States.

Seattle franchise owner Teri Jones has more than 22 years of experience in the real estate business. Jones felt that affiliating with HomeSmart International was the best way to take her business to the next level. The franchise operates as HomeSmart Real Estate Associates.

“I am excited to be a part of HomeSmart and very encouraged with the company’s tools and commitment to their agents and clients,” said Jones. “I feel confident with the company’s reputation for advanced technologies and that we will continue to grow and assist brokers with the tools needed to grow the business in a more efficient and professional way.”

HomeSmart emphasizes the importance of being aware of client needs and exceeding their expectations, which in turn builds strong relationships with the buyers and sellers in every market. HomeSmart’s proprietary software also puts its franchise partners ahead of the curve. Created by Founder and Chairman Matt Widdows and his development team, the reputable systems are proven to save business owners huge costs attributed to web hosting, lead generation and back office systems. This allows the franchise owners to provide the technology to their agents for free while allowing them to keep 100 percent of their commissions. Other advantages to HomeSmart’s franchise program include a virtual receptionist, generous fee structure, and a full suite of branding and marketing products.

“Some of the world’s best companies are based in Seattle; Amazon.com, Nordstrom’s and Starbucks to name three. Each is known for their innovation, operational excellence and customer service,” said HomeSmart International CEO and President Chuck Lemire. “We are proud to now be among those successful businesses. Teri brings decades of experience along with a youthful, innovative team. Armed with the technology and systems HomeSmart provides, she will bring a tremendous environment to all agents in Seattle and the surrounding communities.”

HomeSmart currently has offices throughout eight states and international operations in Shanghai, China. They added approximately 3,500 new jobs in 2012, and their goal is to continue to grow nationally and internationally in 2013.

For more information on HomeSmart and its franchise opportunities, visit www.homesmartinternational.com. Follow HomeSmart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homesmart.

real estate - expanding to california

Valley Real Estate Company Branches Out Of Arizona

Local real estate brokerage firm HomeSmart is continuing to grow by opening franchises in California. The nationwide company based in Phoenix recently began making its way to other cities across the United States offering one of the most attractive business models in the real estate industry.

Since opening in January 2000, HomeSmart has had tremendous success by growing to over 4,300 agents in Arizona. Such unparalleled growth has catapulted HomeSmart to rank as the largest real estate brokerage in the southwestern United States and among the top ten brokerages in the country.

This month, HomeSmart has launched franchises in California including Santa Rosa, Modesto, and Palm Springs, as well as local offices in Ahwatukee and Green Valley. The real estate brokerage also has international operations in Beijing, China. Their goal is to open franchises in the top metropolitan cities in the U.S.

“We are excited to grow nationwide and for the future of HomeSmart,” said Founder Matt Widdows, who ranks in the Top Five National Independent Companies. “Our strong growth has driven us to begin franchising a year ago and we have seen our model and technology work in both small and large markets. We have built our reputation on exceptional customer service with our unique franchise package that gives our real estate brokers and agents a competitive advantage in this industry.”

HomeSmart’s proprietary software puts its franchise partners ahead of the curve. Developed by Widdows and his development team, the reputable systems are proven to save business owners huge costs attributed to web hosting, lead generation and back office systems. This allows the franchise owners to provide the technology to their agents for free while allowing them to keep 100 percent of their commissions. Other advantages to HomeSmart’s franchise program include a virtual receptionist, generous fee structure, and a full suite of branding and marketing products.

HomeSmart prides itself on successfully blending technology with a personal touch, something that is often lost in the industry. They continue to implement new technologies that empower its agents to provide outstanding service to their clients. This summer, HomeSmart will launch a new mobile application allowing residents to access market information at their fingertips. Users can take notes, rank properties, and share properties they like on social networking sites with friends.

The local brokerage donates time and money to many local charities, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Back to School 4 Kids, American Diabetes, Make a Wish Foundation and more.

For more information on HomeSmart, its franchise opportunities, and community outreach, please visit www.homesmartinternational.com. Follow HomeSmart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homesmart.