Aaron Wirth remembers how strong the real estate market was before the recession.
“We were literally hanging the sign at [Fayetteville subdivision] Salem Heights when we had people asking to buy the lot,” Wirth said.
In 2005, the Harrison native became treasurer and co-owner at Cobblestone Homes after earning an MBA from Wichita State University. Wirth, who always wanted to own his own business, became vice president after buying out another partner in the business.
The company focuses on residential projects but also has more than 50 rental properties and some multi-family developments. It’s built six residential developments, with the largest ones in Fayetteville. In May, work started on the first phase of Brooklands, an 85-lot neighborhood with room for additional phases. It’s adjacent to Mountain Ranch, a 117-lot project built by Cobblestone Homes.
As a real estate broker, Wirth sells a majority of homes he’s built, which in Northwest Arkansas, is “several hundred.” The biggest deal he’s closed on was the $2.4 million purchase of 101 acres for the Brooklands development.
In the recession, Wirth was instrumental in “tightening the belt” and implementing a new software system. “When the recession hit, we saw it fairly early on.” The “war chest” the company had built up for growth was used to remain in business. No jobs were cut, but sales were impacted. Before the recession, Cobblestone Homes was selling the same number of houses in a month that it sold in six months after the recession.
“I was pretty proud we survived and made it,” he said.
Wirth is a deacon at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Greenwood, finance chair for the Northwest Arkansas Home Builders Association and a youth sports coach. He spends his free time remodeling his house and property, formerly a dairy farm.