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Broker Strategies: Missing the Bust

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By Lesley Geary

RISMEDIA, Jan. 5, 2008-One of the most common sayings in real estate today is that “real estate is local.” This holds true for upstate New York, where Broker John Farrell has not experienced either the boom or bust. Here, learn how Farrell uses his EXIT resources and market opportunities to grow in any kind of market.

  • farrell_john.jpgJohn Farrell
  • Regional Owner/Broker Upstate New York
  • EXIT Realty Homeward Bound Upstate New York

Years in real estate: 23
Career path: “Nobody says, ‘I want to sell real estate when I grow up.’ And that was certainly the case for me. Like most Realtors, I came into this as a second career. I went to Ithaca College for music composition and ran a commercial bandstand for 35 years. Then in 1984 with the DJ industry coming to the forefront, I decided I needed to switch careers. So I got into the real estate business.”
Number of offices: 18 in the region Average sales price: $95,000 Number of agents: 435 in the region Average listing time: 90 days Personal stats: Farrell has closed 1,150 sides in five years totaling $100 million in gross sales In my spare time: “I play in the worship band in church and enjoy my wife, children and grandchildren.”

Describe your current market conditions.

We have only gone up 30% in the last seven years. So we haven’t had the extreme balloons and we didn’t have the bust. All the new product sells below retail so you don’t see much new construction either. We have no subdivisions. Basically, I would describe our market as level and holding. Only in Broom County are we beginning to see small signs of decline.

In your opinion, what differentiates your brokerage from the others in the marketplace?

The interdependent nature of the EXIT system makes us unique. We have a culture of people helping and loving one another rather than competing.

What are the biggest benefits to being part of the EXIT Realty family?

It is a unique company where the operational formula of the company is to treat agents as the assets of the company to the benefit of the agent and their families. I bought the region because I liked the philosophy of the company. So I basically bought the region so I could be part of EXIT.

How big a presence is EXIT in your market?

EXIT is present in most of the upstate New York market and growing.

What’s one great thing about your region?

Upstate New York offers great educational opportunities. The SUNY college system is excellent.

What’s one of the most creative things you’ve ever done to sell a home?

This is true for all of my sales: With everyone I say I will meet anyone, anywhere, at anytime to show them a house.

What is your philosophy for a successful life in real estate?

It’s a verse from the Bible: “What does the Lord require of you to do justly, love mercy, be forgiving and to walk humbly?” Then my mantra is the slogan that I use: “Your success is my success.” And then I always try to give instant service.

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