Bill Kilbride is co-owner of Critelli & Kilbride Realtors, a dynamic, customer-focused, residential real estate company serving Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties. . .
William Kilbride, Owner
Critelli & Kilbride Realtors
963 Holmdel Road
Holmdel, NJ 07733
...dedicated to helping their clients achieve their real estate dreams. Bill’s (and his firm’s) goal is to put customer service back into the real estate experience. Since 2005 they have grown quickly in a challenging market – by 300% in 2007 and by another 100% in 2008. Critelli & Kilbride’s core principles are customer service, a job well done, and the complete satisfaction of the clients.
As real estate professionals, what are you doing differently in the current real estate climate, and why?
There is no question that the current climate is challenging. You have two choices – give up or get going. We try to take a positive approach to the market and set realistic expectations with our clients on pricing, timeframes, and realities of the market. The key to selling your home now is to price it right, know your competition, and have your home show its best. We help our sellers make their homes look their best and the most attractive to potential buyers. As far as marketing…we do all of the traditional marketing. Where the real advantage is today is being on the cutting edge – in the online world – having our customers’ homes where they will be seen by the most potential buyers. When we built our office we had this in mind in every facet of our space and systems. Probably the most important thing we can offer is our agents. We are very selective about who we hire to represent the company. If you have great agents, you will have a great business. What things are you doing the same, and why? There are some things in every industry that are tried and true and will result in success. I would say that being hard-working, reliable, customer-focused, and delivering a good service or product is the basis of any great business, no matter what the industry. I will work tirelessly for my clients and go the extra steps to exceed their expectations. Unfortunately, in the business world today the expectations of most consumers are very low. We want to change that and raise the bar for what people expect from realtors and what is delivered. It is most important to be professional, courteous, and put forth our best effort to make sure the home is sold at the best price in the shortest amount of time, while making it a great experience for all parties involved. Life is all about experiences – you remember the good ones.
In Holmdel and the rest of Monmouth County do you see the market as being as severe as the rest of the state or the rest of the country?
All real estate is localized. One town can be very different from the next. I can’t speak much
to the state of our industry in other areas, except for some that I’ve heard have gotten hit extraordinarily hard, such as Florida, California, and Las Vegas. Most of this is a result of wide speculation, overbuilding, and getting away from the core customers/buyers that make up their local populations. For our area, I think prices and sales have held pretty well. Due to our proximity to several large cities, a well-educated workforce, and generally higher paying jobs, I think our area will always be okay. There’s still a lot of demand for housing in Monmouth County, and it’s a great place to live. As everywhere, home prices are down from the highs of 2005, but look at it in context. From 2000 to 2007, the average sold price of a single family home in Holmdel went from $484,750 to $1,010,273. That’s up 208%. From 2007 to the present, the average sold home price went from $1,010,273 to $866,352 (year-to-date)…down approximately 15%. Everything goes through cycles, and we are in a bit of a correction phase caused by many factors, such as unsustainable appreciation, speculation, irresponsible lending, and low interest rates.
What would you say if you were to advise future sellers and buyers on what to expect in the next year or so?
I would advise sellers to be a bit patient with the market and not to get frustrated. If you have a good product, and it’s priced accordingly, you’ll find a buyer. Buyers should know that this is a great time to buy. Interest rates are low, prices are favorable, and there is no way to perfectly time the market. If you need or want a home, now is the time. In general, most reports [I’ve read] call for the bottom of the market (nationally) to be at the end of 2008. As I said, all real estate is extremely local, so don’t rely too much on what they say in the news about the national outlook. I do think – for the local market – we will see the bottom this year, followed by a slow growth or flat phase over the next couple of years; the financial system will work out its issues and salaries to catch up to real estate prices.