A Week In Business – May 19, 2017

Biz-A-Remax-150x150.jpgRe/Max Advantage Realty celebrated its newest office at the Gold Coast Mall on 115th Street last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony coordinated by the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. The new office represents the sixth location for the company in Ocean City with more sites opening soon across the shore. Photo by Jeanette Deskiewicz

April Market Update

BERLIN – A recent spike in contracts or pending sales points to a busy summer season, according to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).


Several key statistics for April are listed according to CAR. Submitted Image

April saw an 11 percent overall increase in single family home and condominium contracts compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, single family home contracts increased by 7.2 percent in Worcester and by 8.5 percent in Wicomico. They decreased by 6.2 percent in Somerset. Condominium contracts increased by 16.9 percent in Worcester and by 33.3 percent in Wicomico, and remained the same in Somerset.

Settlements were also up in April, with the tri-county area seeing a 9.8 percent boost. Individually, single family home settlements were up by 13.5 percent in Worcester and by 21.6 percent in Wicomico. They were down by 33.3 percent in Somerset. Condominium settlements were up by 10.4 percent in Worcester and were down by 37.5 percent in Wicomico. There were no condominium settlements last month in Somerset.

Listings stayed down in April, with the exception of a 12.3 percent increase in Worcester single family home listings and a 50 percent increase in Wicomico condominium listings. Listings were down overall by 7.5 percent

Days on market were up overall by 18.2 percent. Listing prices were down 1 percent and sale prices were down 0.5 percent.

“Our members are very busy, which is a great sign of things to come,” said CAR President Don Bailey. “Those increased contracts will translate into increased settlements, as more and more people continue to recognize the value of investing in the beautiful Lower Eastern Shore.”

Marketing Partnership

OCEAN CITY – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices announced a marketing agreement with Juwai.com to syndicate all of its franchisees’ residential listings to the China-based international property portal that attracts roughly two million visitors monthly.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices also launched a banner advertising campaign on Juwai.com to promote its brand, home page and listings to Juwai.com’s audience. The alliance makes Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices a dominant brand on one of the world’s most popular real estate search sites.

“The Chinese have overtaken all nationalities besides Americans as the leading buyers of property in the U.S.,” said Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Our efforts through Juwai.com, and through existing marketing agreements with The Wall Street Journal/Asia and Mansion Global Wechat Channel, make it much easier for Chinese real estate buyers to find and shop our property listings.”

Juwai.com and Juwai.com/luxe attract high-net-worth consumers who are ready to buy homes in the U.S. Site traffic comes from more than 400 cities in China and from 165 countries around the world. Juwai.com hosts its sites and services on both sides of China’s “great firewall,” enabling Chinese consumers access no matter where they live and buy.

“Our listings and banner ads are on display inside and outside of China,” said Kerry Donovan, vice president of Marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “This is a huge differentiator for us.”


Ross Bergey

Promotions Announced

BERLIN – Raymond M. Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company, the bank subsidiary of Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares, Inc., has announced the following recent promotions.

Ross Bergey has been promoted to Loan and Business Development Officer for the Ocean City market. Bergey will be located at the bank’s 20th Street location. Bergey began his employment with Taylor Bank in June 2014. In January 2015, he entered the bank’s Management Trainee program where he was exposed to the various operations of the bank. Having joined Taylor Bank with a background in accounting and finance, Bergey was promoted to Credit Analyst in January 2016.


Scott Williams

Scott Williams has been promoted to Credit Administrator at the bank’s Main Office in Berlin. Williams will support the bank’s loan operations in the credit underwriting area, including expanded duties and responsibilities related to post-closing file review, loan file compliance review and asset quality monitoring of the bank’s loan portfolio. Williams graduated from Salisbury University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems. In 2006, Williams joined Taylor Bank as a Customer Service Associate and was subsequently promoted to Management Trainee in June 2008.  In 2009, Williams became the Assistant Manager of the bank’s Main Office. In 2014, Williams transferred to the loan department where he previously served as a Credit Analyst and most recently Loan Operations Supervisor.


Kathy Warren

Kathy Warren has been promoted to Loan Operations Supervisor at the bank’s Main Office in Berlin.  In that capacity, Warren’s duties will include oversight of loan document support staff, loan document production and review, and management of the bank’s loan document systems. Warren joined Taylor Bank in April 2014 as a Loan Processor. She came to Taylor Bank with 28 years of banking experience in branch management, loan operations and loan production.

“At Taylor Bank we are always seeking ways to create advancement opportunities for our staff. We are delighted to promote these qualified individuals as we enhance our bench strength,” said Thompson.

Designated Granted


Braxton Dees

SALISBURY — W.R. McCain & Associates, a real estate consulting and valuation firm, announced Braxton Dees has earned the prestigious MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute.

Dees started at W.R. McCain & Associates in 2012 and is a licensed certified general real estate appraiser in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Dees earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in Corporate Finance in 1997 and has been in the real estate valuation industry for 11 years.

The MAI designation has long been recognized by courts of law, government agencies, financial institutions and investors as a mark of excellence in the field of real estate valuation and analysis. It is backed by a strictly enforced code of professional ethics and standards.

Caregiver Honored

BERLINHome Instead Senior Care, the country’s largest provider of in-home senior care services, announced that Ocean Pines resident Gerri Palmer was recently named the Mid-Atlantic Caregiver of the Year.

A caregiver in the Lower Eastern Shore area for over three years, Palmer rose to the top among hundreds of candidates for this prestigious award, and was among a select number of caregivers who were considered for the national award this spring.

Numerous families across the region have described the enormous impact Palmer has had on them.

“Gerri has an unbelievable gift of calming and soothing people during life’s most difficult times,” said Corrie Boger, co-owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office where Palmer has worked since 2014. “Her endless compassion enables her to truly lead with her heart, connecting with the most challenging dementia patients and helping them to live peacefully in their own homes. Simply put, she is a true inspiration.”

Palmer views caregiving as her calling, and her colleagues hope her story will inspire others to serve the elderly and the needy.

“We’re so proud of Gerri for this well-deserved and prestigious honor,” said Don Boger, fellow co-owner of the local Home Instead office. “We’re always looking for caring individuals like her to expand our team of professional caregivers, and it’s such a rewarding opportunity that brings happiness and joy to our community of seniors.”