MUSCATINE, Iowa–Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors celebrated 2020 at their virtual annual awards event on Jan. 29. Chris
Beason, president, and Caroline Ruhl, CEO, honored 215 award winners for their 2020 achievements. Over 300 agents, staff, and affiliated business partners cheered on their co-workers during the virtual celebration.
“Though we had more than our fair share of bleak moments, I had no doubt that you and our company would prevail. In times of struggle, we have served and stood by our clients, our communities and each other, and in the end, we come out stronger. We heard countless stories about how you went above and beyond for your clients and overcame some incredible challenges. You accommodated their unique needs throughout the year with virtual open houses, additional cleaning measures, and quickly learned and embraced new technology necessary to help ensure the health and safety of your clients, and above all, they were grateful for the genuine care and empathy you showed for them. These stories embody what it means to be a part of this team.,” Beason told his team.
Top Office Awards in the Muscatine Office were presented to:
- Laura Custis was honored with the Top Excellence in Service Award for receiving the highest client service rating in the Company. Laura was also honored as the Excellence in Service Award winner in the Muscatine Office for receiving the highest client service rating in the Muscatine Office.
- Austin Maas was honored with the Top Associate of the Year – Farm and Land Division for closing the most Farm and Land volume in the company.
- Deb Painter, MLS Administrator in the Muscatine Office, was honored as one of the Top Employees of the Year for the company.
- Sara Carlson received the Top Lister Award, Top Sales Award, Top Ruhl Mortgage Award, and Top Nelson Brothers Award.
- Eric Schlutz was honored as the Top Referral Associate.
- Wendi Ingram was honored with the AHS Home Warranty Award.
- Melissa Chavarria was honored as the New Associate of the Year.
- Morse Burington was honored with the Community Service Award.
There is a complete list of all award winners on Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors’ website at www.RuhlHomes.com/News.
Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors 2020 Results
Ruhl shared with her team the company’s results in 2020:
- Residential Sales Volume: Ruhl’s sales volume in 2020 was $951,461,219, up 4.4% from 2019.
- Number of Properties Sold: Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors sold 5,203 in 2020, as either listing agent or selling agent. This was 3.2% more transactions than in 2019.
- Revenue: Revenue in a real estate company is primarily gross commission income (GCI). Ruhl’s 2020 GCI was $27,774,499.
- New Listings Taken: Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors listed 2,560 properties for sale in 2020.
- Nationally Ranked Per Agent Productivity: On average our agents closed 16.7 transactions in 2020. This is more than double the national average for per agent productivity.
- Great Agents and Staff: Ruhl&Ruhl ended 2020 with 311 residential agents. In addition, 65 employees work for the company.
- Ruhl Mortgage: Ruhl Mortgage closed $359,929,158 in loan volume, which was -generated by 1,572 loans. 51% were purchase loans and 49% were refinances.
Ruhl Mortgage employs 29 staff members, including 6 loan officers and in-house underwriting and processing.
- Insurance Referrals Sold: Ruhl&Ruhl agents referred clients resulting in 566 policies being sold by the Nelson Brothers Agency, Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors’ affiliated insurance company has 20 sales agents and 16 staff members.
- Commercial Sales Volume: NAI Ruhl Commercial Company, a joint venture with Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors, sold $77.7 million in commercial real estate in 2020. They have 17 commercial agents and 15 staff members. NAI Ruhl Property Management manages 1.725 million square feet of space.
Regional Real Estate Forecast for 2021
1. Mortgage Rates Will Stay Near Historic Lows of 3% on Average
Low mortgage rates have been the key reason for the housing market’s strong performance in the midst of the pandemic and high unemployment. Rates are forecast to rise slightly, perhaps up to 3.2%, so they are still attractive.
As of January 13, rates with no points were about 1% lower than this time last year:
- 15 year Conventional Fixed 2%
- 30 year Conventional Fixed 2.5%
- FHA/VA 30 year Fixed 2.375%
It’s still a great time to refinance to lock in the lowest rates in history!
2. Appreciation and Price Increases Will Continue.
In our region, homes appreciated from 1.53% to 4.1% last year, depending on the market and price range of the homes. Less expensive homes will continue to appreciate more due to strong demand and lower inventory.
3. Best Time Ever to Sell a Home.
The number of properties for sale is at an all time low.
For sellers, that means:
- Less competition from other properties for sale
- More buyers + fewer properties for sale = higher prices for sellers
- Realtors can list and show properties safely- either virtually or online
- The good news for buyers: more homes are likely to become available during the last 6 months of 2021.
4. “2021 Housing Sales Are Predicted to Be Up 5% to 7% by Unit Count, With Prices Continuing to Rise.” – Steve Murray REAL Trends Consulting
While low mortgage rates are a highly influential factor, many other drivers are fueling the real estate market: the COVID-19 vaccine, buyer confidence as the economy and jobs are improving, and life-cycle events such as marriage, changes to family size, and retirement.
During the pandemic we also learned that most people who worked in offices could be just as productive at home. This new work-from-home reality has fueled home sales from owners who want home offices or are considering moving further from town for more room and lower prices.