RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JAN 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE January 2018 41 by Keith Loria {Power Broker Perspectives} John De Souza: Keeping Up With Today's Consumer Born in Caracas, Venezue- la, John De Souza — pres- ident of Cressy & Ev- erett Real Estate —has lived in the South Bend area for more than 24 years, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with both a BA in manage- ment and MBA in technol- ogy management. He used his education to work as a managing consultant for the better part of 14 years, even returning to his alma mater to teach a business course. But the real estate world came calling. "This is my 11 th year in real estate, and our com- pany's 72 nd anniversary," says De Souza, who enjoys contributing to his agents' success by helping them achieve the goals they could not reach on their own. De Souza notes that the Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan mar- kets in which he deals are like many throughout the country in that they're cur- rently experiencing a lack of inventory, particularly in the desirable $150,000 - $250,000 range. "Homeowners have seen a 6 percent or higher appre- ciation, while still enjoying short market periods and multiple offers," he says. De Souza goes on to ex- plain that the firm is expe- riencing continued growth, as evidenced by a recent merger with a competitor in Southwest Michigan. In 2016, the firm launched a property man- agement division, which has grown 400 percent in its first year. The focus for 2018 will be on improving agent productivity by im- proving its current average of 17 sides per real estate agent—one of the region's best. "Although we're home to many top-producing agents, historically, our growth has come from introducing new real estate professionals to the profession," says De Souza. "We operate two licensing schools, have a new agent training program and a mentoring program to assure newcomers have the best odds of success when joining." With positive movement taking place in the area, De Souza admits that the lack of new construction in the local marketplace is a seri- ous, long-term problem. "The 2008 crash deci- mated our local new-con- struction infrastructure by eliminating many builders and dispersing our labor force to warmer climates," says De Souza. "Most of this year's new construc- tion is focused on profit- able higher-priced, custom builds." Keeping up with today's consumer is another criti- cal piece of the puzzle. In fact, Cressy & Everett Real Estate is committed to bringing in national ex- perts to educate agents re- garding the ever-changing consumer. De Souza notes VITALS: Cressy & Evere Real Estate Years in business: 72 Size: 11 offices, 201 agents Regions served: Northern Indiana, Southwest Michigan 2017 sales volume (as of Oct. 1): $435 million 2017 transactions (as of Oct. 1): 2,500 sides www.cressyevere.com Left: De Souza with the firm's top REALTOR® Jan Lazzara. Above: 200 participants attended Cressy & Everett's 2017 kick-off event.

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