Luckily for us, I never had any money, was in debt up to my eyeballs, and was sure, even after 20 homes, that I would sell another one. I think never losing that fear of what lay ahead and the lessons of how quickly things could get expensively screwed-up was a critical factor in our positioning as a company that is strengthening and gaining market share in an economy that is schooling even the most well-financed and experienced. Us, - we're just the little red engine that can.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this lately, but Catskill Farms does not use realtors for the most part to sell our properties. We tried, at the beginning, and discovered that between a miniscule marketing budgets (what, you want us to spend money?), 8% commission rates (that's what we need to keep the lights on!), and feeling the need to exagerate and over-promise our prospective customers, it was a lose-lose-lose-lose proposition. So we took matters into our own hands, market our own properties, show our own properties, sell our own properities and do any of the hand holding that needs to be done during the sales process. And the killer being now that we have mastered this process, we can set prices on our cottages and mini-houses at prices that no one can touch, - even if they could figure out how to meet the very demanding and exact design criterias expected by our customers. I mean, the only realtor who has come close to communicating our design philosophy to his clients is David Knudsen, a buyer's representative who has sold 3 of our homes for close to $1.5m. I think our sales tally exceeds $7m over 4 years - which is a heck of a lot considering how we are IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - which is actually the beauty of it.
Some of my friends - yes, I do have a few - ask me why I'm always dissin' someone on my blog, and I thought, "hey, that's a great question. I think it imust be a flaw developed by a lack of parental love and being bullied in Jr. High School."
Here's Norah, really shaking me down -