An Uneven Economic Recovery in the Real Estate Market

April 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Brad Namdar

Many Americans are homeowners, and their home is their biggest asset. That being said, the current real estate climate reflects directly on how the country is doing financially altogether.

Texas residents are concerned about the current real estate market. Though, the national sales of existing-homes rose this passed March and demonstrate an uneven economic recovery from July 2010.

According to the National Association of Realtors, “existing-home sales rose 8.2 percent to an annual level of 1.99 million in March but are one percent below March 2010.”

In Dallas-Ft. Worth, existing-home sales dropped 2.1 percent and sales went down 12.3 percent compared to a year ago, bringing the average home sale value to $141,600.

When comparing the national home median price to Texas, the national price is $18,900 more than the average Texas home. Also, the national home sales average dropped 6.9 percent compared to last year, as opposed to Texas, that dropped12.3 percent.

“The current real estate business in Dallas could be better,” said Hossein Sharyar, North Texas real estate agent. “The problem is with the manufactures, the banks, the new laws that have been passed. Its harder for people to get loans, pay loans, its harder for people to pay their employees, and with new government regulations, its harder for people to get money.”

When consumers can’t get loans from the banks, and with stricter government regulations on the economy, prices may drop, but demand does not go up. “There is too much supply and not enough demand,” said Sharyar.

“Living in North Dallas is great. Even though we experienced a decrease in home prices, it’s still difficult to sell houses here because people don’t have money to spend or can’t get loans. My mothers home has been on the market the passed 3 years, and were not going to sell it 30 percent below market value,” said Julie Biegel a resident in North Dallas.

When looking to the future, you have to look at the past. National home sales declined in February 9.6 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Now, in March compared to February, according to the National Association of Realtors, “National Single-family home sales rose 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.45 million in March from 4.28 million in February.”

This demonstrates some promise, though there are other factors to consider as well, such as, the unemployment rate.

Texas shows signs of heading in the right direction and economic recovery, particularly in the unemployment rate. In March, the Texas unemployment rate was at 8.1 percent as opposed to February 8.2 percent. This is an all time low for 50 consecutive months.

While, there are changes in the economy and real estate, it’s very hard to predict the future. “Its hard to tell at this time, if there is someone who can predict the future correctly they would be a very wealthy person. Though, I think that hopefully as our unemployment rate drops, more people will have money to spend, the economy will get better, and so will real estate,” said Sharyar.

Words of Wisdom from Kip Tindell and Walter Robb, CEOs of The Container Store and Whole Foods

April 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Brad Namdar

Saturday, the SABEW (Society of American Business Editors and Writers) 48th Annual Conference, was held at SMU.

Two of the many distinguished speakers were, The Container Store CEO, Kip Tindell and Whole Foods co-CEO, Walter Robb. During their lecture they explained how ‘conscious capitalism’ is more than just a phrase. It’s how they do business, and how they treat people/employees altogether, to create a strong and successful company.

Robb began the lecture stating,” We all understand how powerful business is. It’s the most powerful agent of change in the world. Creative capitalism isn’t just about making money, but it exists for a deeper purpose, for a mission.”

Tindell said, “Our first priority is to our employees. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the costumers. Rather than, focusing on just the shareholders.”

As the two speakers spoke of the importance of unity, Robb made an analogy for the audience, to get a better understanding of the way he demonstrates to his employees, that they are “in it together.”

Robb, said, “I fly Southwest, in coach, like everyone else. You have to let your employees, know that we are all in it together, and all working for the same goal.”

Tindell and Robb also went on to speak about how they handled their company during the recession, and the “true” meaning, of a company that looks out for its employees.

Tindell said, “In 2008, during the recession, when many company’s were making cuts we didn’t lay-off a single employee, instead we cut our expenses and made deals with manufactures.”

Robb said, “In 2008 we were at a 1,500 basis point swing. A lot of company’s showed their true colors and the decisions a company makes at a time like that, shows you their true values. Many took ‘wacks’ at their employees. We only eliminated 100 people at the office level and froze our wages for two years.”

The lecture went on with the speakers explaining how in today’s society we have to change the way we do business, and that the world is changing all-together. The day-to-day business that has no regard for employees/costumers, and only care for their shareholders income, is over.

At the end of the lecture, Robb finished by saying, “The young men and women that are going into business are the future, and were asking businesses everywhere to step it up at a larger potential.”

After the lecture we were fortunate enough to get an exclusive ‘question and answer’ session with Tindell and Robb. Here is what they had to say:

1.) What 3 words, best describe how you conduct business with-in your company?

Tindell- Compassion, understanding, and consistent.

Robb- Together, common goal, and different.

2.) What advice do you have for young social entrepreneurs’ who struggle to inspire their employees?

Tindell – Don’t forget why you created the company and work hard. Your employees reflect your business; make sure they are happy to be there.

Robb- Never forget what you want your company to be, and remember that not everyone is a good fit for every company. It’s not my job to inspire people. They have to want to be there and not take away space from someone else.

3.) What are some of the biggest adversity/challenges your company has faced?

Tindell- In 2008, the recession, we had to cut our spending, and make arrangements with manufactures so we could keep our employees. Our manufactures had to know at what prices we were selling their products, and what we needed from them.

Robb- The recession was a tough time for everyone. Though, with different shareholders, and motivations making sure you are all together in the same goal is a tough one. We cut our salaries for two years, and had to lay-off only 100 people.

4.) What do you think is the best way for young people to get in the job considering the market today?

Tindell- Work hard, network, and make sure you do something you like.

Robb- It’s the young people today that have new ideas and want opportunity. Work hard and have confidence.