Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009 Everyone!



2009 will be a better year for people in the Woodworking Trades.
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We saw our first annual decrease in traffic (less than 10% decrease year over year). By our analysis it looks like most of our competitors were down nearly 50% for the year.
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Prices of homes have dropped nearly 40% in the US, 10% in Canada, many homes are in dire need of repair--(banks make terrible property management companies), and values are now near the bottom. Stimulous will be coming through mid spring and infrastructure projects will be putting millions back to work.
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People will soon realize that the stock market is not likely to recover for many years to come. Double digit returns will not come from the equity markets. Even Kramer is counting down the hundred or so days that he expects the housing market to recover.
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House flipping will once again be possible and profitable. Adding inspired details like our pergolas, fences, decks or trelliswork will add value to the investment and increase the flippers profit and the speed at which the houses sell.
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Repairs put off on forclosed homes will have to be done by the new owners which means less competition for our more decorative type of woodwork.
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The glut of decorative woodwork and projects planned but never initiated will start to come back into focus.
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Here's an exerpt of an email from yesterday to our Tampa Location.
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"I don't know if you remember us or not but you came out to our house a year ago and we talked to you about building a pergola. We put our project on hold because we ended up going to China and adopting a little girl. We are ready to get it going again and wondered if you would be interested in coming back out and seeing if it would be something you would be interested in doing."
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I personally designed about 1.5 million in the Toronto area last summer that just didn't happen because of jitters due to the stock market.
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Fund Manager connections imparted that they are still sitting on cash--they estimate TRILLIONS of dollars on the sidelines waiting for something to invest in.
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Nobody knows exactly what will happen precisely in the new year, but what we do know is that the event has happened. The North American Economy is in the depths of recession.
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A new President taking power in a couple of weeks time with fresh ideas and optomism, and New Leadership on the horizon here in Canada, it looks to be positive from here.
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Empires have been built in tumultuous times like these.
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You can react in two different ways. Curl up in a ball and weap--or Pick Yourself Up and Start Looking for Opportunities.
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Personally, I am in an upbeat mood. For the first time in about 4 years we will be participating in the Spring National Home Show (Normally We Don't have Time), and we have been able to arrange joint marketing with much larger companies that will put our builders in a much stronger position starting this spring.
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Watch for many other changes, new products and new builder profiles in the coming weeks.
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We Wish You and your Families All The Best for 2009.
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L
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