Over 400 real estate sales associates and leadership joined together at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota for Michael Saunders & Company’s Annual Sales Meeting on May 11. “Engage, Inspire, Energize” was the rallying theme as the company celebrated its 47th year as the leading luxury brokerage on the Suncoast. Founder and CEO Michael Saunders and President Drayton Saunders took center stage to welcome and celebrate their team pointing to the company’s strong core values as the foundation of their strength, stability, and success.
During opening remarks, Michael Saunders congratulated the stellar agents on another great year and revealed 2022 was the second-best year for the company with $3.85 billion in sales volume. Addressing the shift the real estate market took during the last two quarters of 2022, Saunders congratulated her team for doubling down on their skills and educating buyers and sellers as to the new expectations of the market which led to last year’s success. She affirmed, “We are stronger together – never wavering nor compromising on our core values. Together we have created the most trusted real estate brand in the region.” She also shared the value of a full-service independent company that provides layers of services to support agents and customers through a brand that reaches across borders and continents. The company’s powerful affiliations with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International and Mayfair International, provide expansive connections with other elite independent firms – exposing listings to potential buyers from over 550 companies in over 70 countries around the world.
Drayton Saunders spoke about the importance of the company’s core values and how alignment with these guiding principles leads to success. He discussed that although technological advances have helped the industry, it’s the value of the trusted relationship between agent and customer that drives real estate, not technology. “There’s no substitute for the agent’s role and the trust and reputation the Michael Saunders brand has built,” he added. He further stressed the company’s strong sense of connectivity through its commitment to the community. He thanked the agents for their care and compassion across the region. Not only for their financial contributions through the company’s MSC Foundation but also for the countless hours of volunteer time to organizations across the region including the recent relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Ian.
Guest speaker Marci Rossell, former CNBC Chief Economist and current Chief Economist for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, discussed the current economy and explained why we are not in a recession. Rossell stated, “there would have to be widespread declines in activity spread across several sectors lasting more than a few months.” She further stated that the slowdowns seen in certain sectors of the economy do not equate to a recession. When it comes to inflation, Rossell anticipates that by Q4 inflation will be running at 2%-3%, triggering a Fed-easing campaign by the end of the year. Specific to the housing market, Rossell reminded attendees that the current shift in the market is a residual effect of the overheated pandemic housing boom which she said equated to three years of housing activity condensed into an 18-month period. Rossell mentioned that many buyers have taken a pause realizing that inventory continues to rise providing more choices – which is also a good sign for sellers who will also be in the market to find their next home.
The final keynote speaker of the morning was Dr. Ivan Joseph, a world-renowned leadership expert, best-selling author and award-winning coach. Joseph shared an impactful talk on confidence, grit, resilience, and the importance of having a clear sense of purpose. His simple yet important message of “what we think, we become” was demonstrated through his personal stories of positive affirmations and their effect on high performance. It was the perfect ending to an uplifting and motivational event, as attendees walked away feeling “Engaged, Inspired and Energized.”