Michael Saunders and Company Celebrates 48 Years

Business

Local independent brokerage Michael Saunders & Company held its annual sales meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on May 16th. The theme of the event was “Culture, Commitment, and Collaboration.” Celebrating its 48th year as the leading luxury brokerage on the Suncoast, Founder and CEO Michael Saunders emphasized the company’s supportive culture, unique collaborative spirit, and strong community ties that have made Michael Saunders & Company a leader in the local real estate market. Addressing the recent chatter in the real estate industry about the proposed changes from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement, Saunders reassured the 420+ agents in attendance. She reflected on the numerous challenges they have overcome in over 48 years, including “technological advancements, globalization, the internet revolution, shifts in demographics and consumer preferences, a major recession, and a global pandemic. As a company, we met each challenge head-on, adapted to the changes, and, as a result, Michael Saunders & Company became stronger.” She continued, “Nothing has happened that will change the essence of who we are as a company or the value we provide. We are a full-service company that provides exceptional services. This has been who we are, and that will not change as we go forward.” Members of the leadership team, Chantè Blough, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chip Murphy, Vice President of Business Development, then took the stage to discuss the game-changing applications of artificial intelligence (AI). They demonstrated several ways AI can assist real estate agents by enhancing efficiency and accuracy while emphasizing the irreplaceable human element fundamental in real estate. "Our industry thrives on personal connections, a deep understanding of client needs, and the nuanced art of negotiation—qualities that are inherently human," Chantè stated. President Drayton Saunders commented on the substantial growth in the market, highlighting expanding communities in Parrish, Ellenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Wellen Park. He also announced the exciting news that a new branch office will open in Wellen Park next year. Keynote speaker Matthew Ferrara, writer, philosopher, photographer, and renowned speaker in the real estate industry, delivered an inspiring talk on setting clear goals, unleashing the power of your mindset, and utilizing your skill set and sphere of influence to grow your business and achieve success. He also pointed out that consumers are using realtors more than ever, citing 93% of consumers used a realtor in 2023 compared to 77% in 1997. Final guest speaker Marci Rossell, former CNBC Chief Economist and current Chief Economist for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, provided keen insights into the year’s economic outlook. She posited that the Federal Reserve will likely lower rates this year, but probably not until September. Rossell also clarified that, based on history, elections do not significantly affect the economy. She concluded her talk by stating that the future is optimistic and that “the implementation of artificial intelligence is lifting productivity, which will ultimately lift the standard of living.”

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