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Prominent Naples real estate agency eyes competition, staff in red hot market

Posted at 8:43 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 00:58:10-05

NAPLES, Fla — When Corey McCloskey talks about what's going on right now in the Southwest Florida housing market, one word keeps coming up, exciting.

"Sellers are getting top dollar, so it's exciting for them," she says. "So if they want to cash out and move somewhere else or maybe upgrade...it's just an exciting time."

McCloskey is the Vice-President of Operations at John R Wood Properties, a family-owned real estate agency based in Naples.

We wanted her insight for a series of Fox 4 reports about what Southwest Florida small business owners are doing to keep their businesses going and their employees on the job through the supply chain and staff shortages. The series leads into the Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference at Florida Gulf Coast University on March 4. Keynote speaker, Steve Forbes, and business owners will give advice to people like McCloskey, about how family-owned businesses can thrive in a changing world.

McCloskey says construction supply shortages are creating delays for people who are building new homes. And in her industry, the staff shortage is more of a staff saturation. Everyone wants to be part of the housing market.

"Statewide there are 5,000 people a month taking their real estate license. And even in this area, I think in Collier and Lee Counties there's something like 15,000, 16,000 realtors."

That creates competition. Not just for clients, but for companies who want to lure away top performers.

"We're always reviewing our salaries that we offer, from our tech staff to our front desk staff," McCloskey says. "We want to make sure we're competitive in the market."

But McCloskey says she's also aware that this market will not last forever. And that may be the most important way she is protecting her business and the 650 people who work at the agency.

"You make sure your expenses aren't being overreached," she says. "We're not adding a bunch of new personnel. Obviously, where we need to we will. We're not being frivolous with our dollars. We have plenty of money in the bank for when it does turn."

"Real estate is cyclical in nature, so we know it's going to turn, we just don't know when, so we're saving our pennies for then."