We had an "all hands" meeting yesterday to congratulate the amazing team that continues to help families at the highest level. We went over the market and the economy:
The residential real estate market has less inventory available to purchase than they started tracking the statistics 28 years ago. The unemployment rate is lower than it has been in that same time frame. Our area is a little different than most in that a 6.6% unemployment rate is considered "fully employed." We have many contract workers that work major construction jobs that go from job to job. That accounts for roughly 2% of that number. Our regional economic developers are tracking over $55 billion in projects that are potentially coming to this area (with half that number already committed). Interest rates are rising, but when you look back a few years, this is nothing that is scaring anyone from attempting to get a loan. For instance, we are a long way from 2010 levels.
Southeast Texas: We consider ourselves anything East of Baytown to the Louisiana border, South to the Gulf of Mexico and North to the Lakes area. We are a petrochemical area. Our claim to fame in 1901 being the discovery of the Spindletop oil field, it gave the United States confidence there was enough oil in the ground to forge ahead with use of the internal combustion engine and voila, industrial expansion. We are home to the largest refinery in North America in Motiva and ExxonMobil's 5th largest refinery soon to be expanded to surpass Motiva. Now that oil is $69 a barrel and our Federal government has embraced exporting our oil, things are hopping. With natural gas the world's cheapest fossil fuel, we have 2, $10 billion LNG facilities on their way and we are busy exporting that primarily to Asia.
All this means demand for jobs. Jobs mean families. Families mean demand for housing. Demand for housing means demand for services. Increased demand for services means demand for more jobs. The most beautiful cycle I can imagine.
All this must mean everyone is living an abundant life with as much time and money as they need right? Um, no. It means you need to get back to basics. Become more intentional and proactive. It means we know multi-tasking is impossible, focus is the new key. It means abundance is the mind set, not a zero-sum game. It's time to get uncomfortable and learn something new, or at least master what you already know. Improve your routines. Pursue excellence, exceed expectations, and put in the hard work. Get a handle on what is important. What are you willing to do to achieve it and what are you not willing to do?
I am proud to be a part of such an amazing group of inter-dependent (mutually independent, better together) people who continue to push each other beyond anything we would consider comfortable. The vortex of goodness they have created continues to draw in the best talent that is dedicated to helping their customers with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. I watch in awe daily how they move between a $500,000 home to a $65,000 trailer on an acre with the same passion and enthusiasm. I see how they support each other in victory and call anyone out when they are acting out of alignment with our values. They fall down, they learn and get better. They keep pushing forward, sometimes running and at others crawling, but they don't stop.
So what is experience? Time in the business, I don't think so. It's a commitment to the customer, it's doing deal after deal continuing to sharpen the sword and getting better. Creating efficiencies in the process while stopping to advise someone buying a house may not be in their best interest when the commission would cover a much needed vacation. It is these professionals who have ranked #10 in the United States of America among all qualifying companies for number of transactions per agent. They've been there, it's likely they have seen the situation, and they have handled it. If not, there are multiple people very close who can help.
Congratulations to the real estate agents who are working from their homes, in other people's homes, in coffee shops, and in their cars all around the town of Beaumont, TX. Sitting down on the right bottom corner of Texas, we are here when you need us.