Naples real estate agency targets hot market competition

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

“Sellers win 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 Vice President of Operations at Wood Properties John Ra family real estate agency based in Naples.

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

McCloskey says building supply shortages are causing delays for people building new homes. And in his industry, the shortage of personnel is rather a saturation of the workforce. Everyone wants to be part of the housing market.

“Statewide, 5,000 people take their real estate license a month. And even in that area, I think in Collier and Lee counties, there’s something like 15,000, 16,000 real estate agents.”

This creates competition. Not just for customers, but for companies that want to attract the best.

“We are always reviewing our salaries that we offer, from our technical staff to our reception staff,” McCloskey said. “We want to make sure we are competitive in the market.”

But McCloskey says she’s also aware that this market won’t last forever. And it’s perhaps the most important way she protects her business and the 650 people who work at the agency.

“You make sure your expenses aren’t overspent,” she says. “We’re not adding a bunch of new employees. Obviously, where we need to, we will. We’re not being frivolous with our dollars. We’ve got plenty of money in the bank for when things turn around.”

“Real estate is cyclical in nature, so we know it’s going to turn, we just don’t know when, so we save our pennies for next.”

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