Notorious POD, Ep 37: Construction Costs, Labor Problems and Housing Market with Tom Woiwode

I really enjoyed this conversation with Tom Woiwode who is not only the broker-owner of a large regional real estate brokerage, Coldwell Banker Access Realty with 13 offices throughout Georgia and South Carolina, but also owns Seabrook Classics, a high-end custom furniture maker, and Savannah Millworks, a custom wood products manufacturer. He’s also on the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission so understands some of the issues that builders and residents and government regulators face.

With his wide experience in various aspects of building and selling homes, Tom left a fantastic comment on my recent post about construction costs. I thought it would be great to get into the weeds a bit with Tom, and he was generous with his time and knowledge.

We start the discussion with why construction costs haven’t come down despite advances in technology. That led directly into a wide range of topics, from materials costs skyrocketing to why skilled labor is so hard to find, why so few young people seem to want to enter the trades, the impact of labor shortage on furniture, woodworking, carpentry, and any of the skilled trades, the pros and cons of pre-fab housing, and we talk about the housing market.

Notorious POD, Ep. 37: Construction Costs, Labor Problems and Housing Market with Tom Woiwode

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Bio (from website):

There are few professions where your personal characteristics and motivations can define your value. In every position you’ve had, there are mechanics you must master – the “nuts and bolts” of the job. Whether it’s nursing, engineering, or any other traditional position, once you master the nuts and bolts, you learn your performance is measured on conformity to the needs of the position. Creativity is encouraged, so long as it is “within the lines”.

After 20 years as a Registered Nurse working at the bedside, in critical care, the ER, and management, I landed in the real estate profession. No longer was I paid for being “on the clock”. In fact, my creativity was encouraged. “Break the rules”, “be different”, “work smarter – not harder”, and “get paid on your results – not the time you spend” were the new rules. It was liberating.

We all choose our own paths. Real Estate is that rare profession where your own path is encouraged. Some Realtors are machines, some are “glad-hander’s”, some run their business like an engineer builds a bridge, and some like a chef makes a meal. No matter how THEY choose to do it – it is their own path to choose.

This is the core of what real estate offers. My passions are teaching, writing, technology, and helping others achieve something they never thought possible. I took my passions and created a position that is just mine – molded to fit my passions, hobbies, and past times. I am a real estate instructor, and business owner, broker, IT Guy, a web project manager, and an agent trainer. I have created a position that is not just a job, it is who I am.  No one has to tell me to come to work  or write a blog, or teach a class. These are my passions, and I have a career that I want – not a job that I need.

If you think it is time to finally choose your own path – pick up the phone and give me a call. The world has been waiting for you! 912.695.1581 is my cell phone, and I am at your service.

  • Member – Savannah, Georgia, and National Association of Realtors
  • Member – Georgia Real Estate Educators Association (
  • Georgia Licensed Real Estate Instructor (License #265583)
  • Director, The Academy for Real Estate (
  • IT Director, Web Project Manager
  • Broker (License #220618)
  • Registered Nurse (retired!)
  • Board Member – Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission


I am blessed to be married to Christy, my wife of 25 years. I met Christy when I needed a place to live and bought a house. She was the Admin at the brokerage firm I bought the house from. We have 4 children together – Christopher -23, Leslie – 22, Ryan – 20, and Hailey – 16. I am from Peoria, IL. I came to Savannah after my mother passed away and fell in love with its beauty, pace, weather, and lifestyle. I have been a Registered Nurse since graduating from college in 1987. I left Savannah and traveled as a nurse for 2.5 years. I have lived in California, Florida, Texas, New York, North Dakota, and Georgia. After traveling and seeing this grand country of ours, I chose to come back to Savannah because it was the best place in the country I could find to grow roots.

My dad and I own a furniture manufacturing company and have 13 employees. We manufacture a brand of furniture called Seabrook Classics ( The shop is located in Sheldon, SC. My sister Tracey, my dad, and nephews run the operation day to day.