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in this issue…

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• WCAoR Installation Banquet • CRS Installation • WCR Installation Reception • Holiday parties • WCAoR Christmas Tree Gala • and much, much more!

Associates in Progress

5% Commission Inventory Homes

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JANUARY 2012 • VOLUME 16 • ISSUE 9

Business budgets: how to get your financial house in order Start with a business plan

By Stacy Hale

I

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P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708

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f just the mention of the word budget makes you cringe, you’re not alone. It’s a four-letter word for many in our fast paced industry—especially at the start of the year, when you want to hit the ground running. But budgeting and planning to be profitable needn’t be stressful; with a few simple ground rules, you’ll establish a process that you can rinse and repeat, and even stick to. Here are a few tips.

The first fatal mistake so many real estate professionals make is failing to make a business plan. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Setting a workable yet flexible business plan is job number one. If you haven’t already, create (and keep handy) a living document that clearly states your overall business goals and what you plan to accomplish in the long-term as an organization. Put it in writing and put it where you and your team can see it every day, then follow it and adjust it accordingly as things change. If you don’t know where you are going, you aren’t going to know it when you get there.

Set workable workablegoals goals and work and work backwards backward For most organizations, setting an annual budget is a team effort. First, decide what kind of milestones your business needs to hit in order to be profitable. Then work together with each team member. Ask everyone what they want to earn, then picture your pipeline and work backward from dollars and number of deals closed to the number of referrals you need, leads you need to work, phone calls you need to make, etc.—down to the most granular level. How many new clients will

you need to bring on in the new year? Break your production and income goals for the year down into quarterly, monthly—and if you can do it—even daily goals. Before you know it, you’ll have your day mapped out for you.

Know yourself Caveat No. 1, of course, is that for an individual plan to work, it must be suited to the personality and abilities of the individual. Some mortgage professionals prefer to work mostly with REALTORS, while others are more builder-centric. Others prefer marketing to and harvesting their own prospects rather than going through builders or REALTORS. That’s why each plan must be tailored accordingly. If you put something in someone’s budget or business plan that he or she is not comfortable with, that person mostly likely won’t do it. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you’re going through the process: How am I going to brand myself? What corner of the market will I carve out and how will I go about doing it, down to my day-to-day activities? Which activities will ultimately be most profitable for me, and how can I minimize the things I spend my time on that have the least yield? These are critical considerations to work out before you set your plan.

Front Page: Continued on page 18

Upcoming Events Wednesday, January 18 AYREP 2012 Kick Off Event Kung Foo Saloon - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 20 Champions School of Real Estate Career Fair - Round Rock Location 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 31 Annual CCIM Central Texas Symposium Sheraton Austin Hotel - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday, February 2 WCAoR Super Bowl of Builders WCAoR Office - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, February 7 HBA Lakeway/Bee Cave Chapter Fore @ 900 RR 620 S - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 9 NAPMW Valentine Wine Social Shoal Crossing Event Center 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 15 CRS Luncheon - Westwood Country Club 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 16 ABoR 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off Mueller Browning Hangar 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 21 HBA Georgetown Chapter Bob's Catfish 'N More - 12 to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 23 WCR Business Resource Meeting Cool River Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. More at www.myRealtyLine.com

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Austin Board of REALTORS®

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Chairman’s Column By Leonard Guerrero • 2012 Chairman

Enter your recipe in annual TREPAC Chili Cook-off

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BoR’s fifth annual TREPAC Chili Cook-off promises to warm up a frigid February with spicy chili recipes. The cook-off will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Mueller Browning Hangar. Awards will be given for People’s Choice and Celebrity Judge for best chili and TREPACdecorated booth. Give returning two-time Celebrity Judge Award winner Jason Huval of Central Metro Realty some competition by entering your favorite chili recipe into the competition by Feb. 10. Individual tickets cost $15 and team registration is $110. Gather your team members and start preparing your best chili recipe. Your participation in the chili cook-off— either as an attendee or competitor—will count toward your 2012 investment in TREPAC. Purchase your tickets today by visiting www. abor.com/chilicookoff. For more information and to enter the competition, contact ABoR’s TREPAC Coordinator Anna Kong by e-mail at akong@ abor.com or 454-7636, ext. 1502.

Members encouraged to participate in MLS vendor review: test, assess and share input The ACTRIS Advisory Committee is considering three MLS systems for our membership, including connectMLS, provided by dynaConnections, Fusion and Matrix, both provided by CoreLogic MarketLinx. The committee’s goal is to determine which platform will best meet members’ needs, and to do that, we need your help. ACTRIS subscribers have access to connectMLS, Fusion and Matrix. Visit www. abor.com/MLSVendorReview to familiarize yourself with the look and feel of the systems. Don’t miss your chance to view the full functionality of each system and meet with the vendors. There are a number of demonstrations scheduled from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 and Feb. 27 to March 2 at ABoR’s office, the south Austin training center and Williamson County Association of REALTORS. Sign up for a demonstration today at www.abor.com/ mlsvendorreview/events.cfm.

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Let us know which MLS system works best for your business by completing a survey online or at a product demonstration. Visit the MLS Vendor Review web page for details. Your feedback during this review process is critical. If you haven’t participated in the vendor review process, yet, the time is now. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the three systems being considered, and play an active role by voicing your opinion.

Complimentary early registration is encouraged, especially if hotel accommodations are needed, as spaces fill up quickly. Register, reserve a hotel room and download the event’s schedule by visiting www.texasrealtors.com/TopLevel/Events/ WinterMeetingMoreInfo.cfm.

Register today for February TAR winter meeting

Your local association leadership is gearing up to attend the COVE Conference, scheduled for Feb. 23-24 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The Austin Board of REALTORS will host the conference, which will focus on MLS issues, patent issues and includes a consumer panel. While attendance is limited, attendees include 23 of the largest MLS systems from across the country and their coordinating leadership. ABoR leadership will monitor the results of the conference so that they can stay abreast of the latest industry technology topics to ensure member interests are protected. ABoR looks forward to sharing the results of this highlevel event.

Boost your profession and gain critical industry knowledge at the Texas Association of REALTORS’ (TAR) 2012 Winter Meeting Feb. 24 through 28, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located at 208 Barton Springs. The opening session will feature Ph.D. chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M Mark Dotzour and the managing director of quantitative research at the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Jed Smith who will discuss state, regional, national and even international trends, in addition to explaining how the Texas economy is currently faring. Throughout the event, various forums and seminars will be offered, including housing initiatives, how to reach and work with global buyers and a 2012 professional standards training seminar. The meeting will also host the Xplode conference—a one-day event focusing on the latest real estate technology.

ABoR leadership monitors latest technology topics to protect member interests

Here’s to a great new year I appreciate the opportunity to serve as ABoR’s 2012 chairman of the board, and thank you for your generous support. I look forward to meeting you at the upcoming events that we have scheduled for 2012. Wishing you all the best for the coming year. RL

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WIshIng you All And

Success

In

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2011!

Please contact your First American team to learn more about resources available to help you grow your business in the coming year!

Winter Edwards

Erin Harrell

Fran Pullin

Michelle Vannostran

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512.745.2410 wedwards@firstam.com

512.497.8350 eharrell@firstam.com

512.695.8634 fpullin@firstam.com

c e l l 512.534.6563 mvannostran@firstam.com

Heidi Schoonover

Kelley Murphy

Cindy Mokry

512.944.8310 hschoonover@firstam.com

512.658.0068 kemurphy@firstam.com

c e l l 512.658.7087 cmokry@firstam.com

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Jacquelyn Farley, Pamela Allen and Amberly Klam, all of Avalar Austin, wish each other a very merry Christmas at the company Christmas party at the UT Golf Club at Steiner Ranch.

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Jacquelyn Foreman of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS and Donna Mahlum of Moreland Properties wait to hear what’s new in Rough Hollow Lakeway at the community’s latest REALTOR event.

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1/4/12

1:35 PM

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David Matthys of RE/MAX 1 and his wife, Kathy, join their colleagues at the WCAoR Installation and Awards dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

Sharon Kennedy, CESA E s c r o w

O f f i c e r

Independence Title To w e r o f t h e H i l l s O f f i c e 13809 N. Hwy. 183, Suite 125 Austin,

TX

78750

skennedy@independencetitle.com

Phone: 512/249-9320

Independence Title E x p l o r e w w w. I n d e p e n d e n c e T i t l e . c o m

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The KB Kronicle JANUARY 3, 2012

KBHOME.COM

KB Home Appreciates YOU!

512-651-8059

(Above) Amanda Arguello, Chelsea Brown and Danielle Archambault of (Above) Bob Hachtel of Realty Austin and Ron Tata of Keller WilKB Home attended the Women’s Council of Realtors Awards and Instal- liams enjoy a BBQ lunch at the La Conterra Agent Grand Opening lation Banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Georgetown

LA CONTERRA IN GEORGETOWN FROM THE $150S • 2 model homes • 13 oor plans • 1,675 to 3,728 square feet • 1- and 2-story homes • 3-6 bedrooms • 2-4 bathrooms • 2-car garage • Beautiful historic town square is only minutes from the community • Commuter friendly and close to IH-35 and SH-130 • Short drive to Dell, Scott & White University Medical Hospital and Seton Medical Center • Located in the highly desirable Georgetown ISD with TEA rated “Exemplary” Carver and Pickett elementary schools Take IH-35 N, exit SE Inner Loop. Turn right on SE Inner Loop. Turn right on FM 1460 and turn left on La Conterra Blvd. (512) 948-7517

Bring this ad to La Conterra in Georgetown by Sunday, February 5 and receive a $15 iTunes gift card. *Limit one per licensed Texas real estate agent, while supplies last. Need a sponsor for an upcoming meeting or event? Need a space to hold your next meeting, class, or event? KB Home is always looking for opportunities to work together with our local Realtor partners. Please contact Chelsea Brown, KB Home Broker/Realtor Liaison at cbrown@kbhome.com, 512-651-8059, for more information!

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The 2012 WCR Officers swear in at the Installation and Awards program. Pictured are VP of Membership Amy Kobza of Capital Title, Secretary Dena Hinds of RE/MAX Capital City III, President Anita Farrell of Keller Williams Realty, Treasurer John Schutze of Supreme Lending and PresidentElect Chris Rodriguez of Austin Real Pros. Buy photo: RL_010712_X.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Krystal Loyd of Independence Title gets a taste of the yummy treats provided by Alfred Engstrand of Alfred’s Catering at the retirement party celebration for Tommy Holmes.

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Philip Jalufka and Judd Brook, both of Rough Hollow Lakeway, and Haythem Dawlett, second from right, of Legend Communities, thank Travis County Commissioner Karen Huber and Marco Alvarado, right, of Lake Travis ISD for giving an update to a crowd of REALTORS on road improvements and district expansions that effect residents.

Buy photo: RL_121411_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_011212_I.jpg at www.myRealtyLine.com

25 Years of Service Arboretum Branch 4807 Spicewood Springs Rd., Bldg. 1, Ste 1100

(512) 450-1222 Steve Builta Martin Ochs Branch Manager Mortgage Planner Kat Carter Mortgage Banker

Rick Baron Mortgage Banker

Lisa Forte Loan Officer

Lynn Edgar Mortgage Consultant

Kimberly Altier Rosemary Jennings Sr. Loan Officer Loan Officer Westlake Branch 950 Westbank Drive, Suite 104

(512) 615-6499 Bradley Rife Cindy Fenley Branch Manager Senior Loan Originator

Hometrust Mortgage Company

Ruby Johnson of Austin Real Pros does a little holiday shopping at Capital Title’s Holiday Party where Carolyn Hart of Silver Selections showcases her products.

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Williamson County Assoc. of REALTORS®

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President’s Column By Christy Gessler • 2012 President

2011 was a great year; 2012 will be even better

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s we reflect back on 2011, there is plenty to celebrate at the Williamson County Association of REALTORS. We enjoyed our second year in our new building, seeing more people come in the doors to purchase store items and lease our space, including UniPro Training, Inc. We also hosted all of our luncheons in our building this year, again bringing value and comfortable accommodations to our members. The theme for this past year was “Sold Out” and we hope to continue that trend through 2012. To those of you, both members and future members, who attended our Installation and Awards Gala at the Oasis Starlight Terrace on Dec. 15, thank you. I hope you had as much fun as I did. I want to extend another round of thanks to Thomas Soliz, Dorothy Featherling and the WCAoR installation committee for throwing a great party. I was so excited to present you with The News of the WC that featured all of the great things happening in the WC and to roll out our new brand. We all hope that you see that the new outlook, a

forward outlook, is strong, positive and ready for future market changes. Statistics show that Williamson County, is one of the strongest real estate markets in the nation. WCAoR plans to continue to support our members to grow personally and professionally through 2012 and beyond. In my comments that night, I told our team of directors and committee chairs to “hang on for the ride ahead”… well, here we go. Do you want to get on the ride with us? There are so many opportunities to join. The life of the WC is in our members and our affiliates. Mansion memberships and event sponsorships are affordable and allow you to network and grow your business. Our website, www.wcaor.org, offers so much information on classes, events, industry information, government affairs updates, and more that you’ll want to check it routinely. The content will be changing all the time, so be sure to stay on top of the events and news. Looking ahead, I am very encouraged by the new collaborations being fostered with the Austin Board of REALTORS, the

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January 2012

Women’s Council of REALTORS Austin Chapter, the Fort Hood Area Association of REALTORS and other Region 8 associations in 2012. Each association offers unique value to its members, and I see many areas in which to grow together. I am so proud of what is happening in the WC and think that we are ready for creatively meeting the wants and needs of our members. You’ll see more classes to grow your business in a changing market, great events such as Tech Tune-Up (now a technology education classic), our annual golf

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tournament, bus tours of our great county, plus more. In addition, we are looking for new ideas... anyone up for a competitive grape stomp at the Vineyard at Florence? I think it is imperative that you remember that the leaders of the WCAoR are here for you. We openly welcome your creative ideas and suggestions for ways we can continue to grow this great association. We are in it together and the news of the WC is that the future is bright. My best to you and your family in 2012. RL

Upcoming Events Jan. 5: DocuSign class Jan. 9 to Jan. 15: Principles I Pre Licensing Class Jan. 12: TREPAC Bowling Jan. 19: 10 TAX Mistakes that Cost REALTORS Thousands Each Year Jan. 12 to Jan. 13 / Jan. 19 to Jan. 20: GRI 1 Finance Jan. 27: TREC Ethics & Legal Feb. 2: Super Bowl of Builders

Details at www.wcaor.org

Submitted Photo

Looks like these elves are playing some reindeer games. Kim McCormick and Liz Busch get a little silly with Lana Laird (as Rudolph), all of Keller Williams Lake Travis, at their company's Christmas party.

January

Moody Gardens

27, 28

Galveston,TX

Join 1,000 of Texas' top real estate professionals,

Event details: MCE: Credit Repair ★ ★ MCE: Financial Management ★ ★ Getting your Business on Google+ ★ ★ How to Build a Profitable Team ★ ★ Top Producer Panel ★ ★ 5 Ways Google can Drive your RE Biz ★ ★ Cloud Computing for Realtors ★ ★ M obi le Agent Essentials ★ ★ Getting a Finger on the iPhone ★ ★ Short Sales & the Equator System ★

the industry’s greatest speakers, cutting-edge technology sessions, and educational curriculum from today’s top trainers.

Brian Buffini industry leading trainer

Dave Liniger

re/max founder and co-chairman

richarD fiLip re/max of texas ceo

www.remaxtexas.com / convention

Each office independently owned and operated.

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I pledge allegiance to the flag…just kidding. Mary Miner, right, of Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty officially installs WCAoR’s incoming president Christy Gessler of RE/MAX Capital City at the association’s Installation and Awards dinner.

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Is this high enough? Should it be higher? Robert Patterson of Grand Haven Homes sees how high Judd Brook of Legacy Inte r n a t i o n a l / R o u g h Hollow Lakeway can go to point out new projects on the Rough Hollow Lakeway development map at the community’s latest REALTOR event. Buy photo: RL_010912_H.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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At Starkey Mortgage

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Production Partner to Eddie Rinehart and Julie Black NMLSR # 190073 Office: 512-329-9040 chambrook@starkeymortgage.com

Starkey Mortgage WR Starkey Mortgage LLP NMLSR# 2146 807 Las Cimas Parkway Suite 150 Austin, Texas 78746

WR Starkey Mortgage, LLP NMLSR #2146. This is not a guarantee of financing. All borrowers must meet certain underwriting guidelines and credit criteria Rules and Regulations may apply.

Oh it’s on like Donkey Kong! Chris Rodriguez of Austin Real Pros shows off his stuff as John Schutze of Supreme Lending watches in awe. The two attended the ABoR TREPAC Bowling Appreciation Party at Highball in South Austin.

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A New Era In Mortgage Banking

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January 2012

www.AmeriproFunding.com

8300 N. MOPAC • Suite 225 • Austin, TX • 78759 • 512.335.5300 • NMLS #131699

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Lindsay Kelley of Keller Williams Realty, Diana Thomas of Capital City Sotheby’s International Realty thank Melinda Carroll of Independence Title for inviting them to the company’s holiday festivities in Lakeway.

Buy photo: RL_010412_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

With all those smiles, you’d never know they accidentally locked up all the food in the kitchen with the keys … oops. The Gracy Title North 183 team wished everyone Happy Holidays at its Holiday Open House.

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National CRS President Mark Minchew installs the 2012 Austin CRS Officers at the group’s annual Installation Luncheon.

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Avis Wukasch of Keller Williams Realty and her husband, Harry Gibbs of HG Commercial Properties, attend the WCAoR Installation and Awards dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

Buy photo: RL_010212_L.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Austin Area Market Update City of Austin Multifamily Units Quarterly for Site Plan Approval

6000

5000

Partnerships Built on Trust

4000

3000

2000

1000

0 1Q92

1Q93

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1Q95

1Q96

1Q97

1Q98

1Q99

1Q00

1Q01

1Q02

1Q03

1Q04

1Q05

1Q06

For more information, please contact one of our sales executives. www.gracytitle.com

1Q07

1Q08

1Q09

1Q10

1Q11

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Gracy Title

Top Workplaces Austin American Statesman, December

A Toast, to Gracy Family Members, New and Old

A special thank you goes out to each and every important member of the Gracy Title family for recognizing us as a Top Workplace. Our employees are what make Gracy a great and exciting company so we could not be happier that they have voted Gracy a great place to work. Gracy Title is honored to have been selected at 19th out of 35 midsize employers. Out of 600 companies nominated in Austin by their employees, only 85 companies qualified as a Top Workplace. This makes the second year in a row for Gracy to be voted a Top Workplace and the only title company to be voted the best both years.

We are delighted to announce the staff of professionals that joined our Gracy family in 2011

Kim McCarthy Escrow Officer

183 North (512) 795.8434

Sarah Scholwinski Escrow Officer

6th & Lamar (512) 472.8421

Melissa McGuire Cason Sales Executive

183 North (512) 750.4052

Kathy Morford

Whitney Hauser

North Mopac (512) 423.2326

Buda / Kyle & Wimberley (512) 618.5257

Sales Executive

Sales Executive

Shelley Broadhurst

Commercial Escrow Officer

100 Congress (512) 322.8708

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Fred Norton of Prudential Texas Realty presents Debbie Kelsey of RE/MAX Capital City with the CRS member of the Year award at the group’s Annual Installation Luncheon.

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Soon to be REALTOR Elizabeth Gerber gets a taste of “the good life” with Marty Kelly of Keller Williams Realty at the Gracy Title Holiday Open House at its Cedar Park location.

Buy photo: RL_121311_L.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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Buying a home is an important decision so make sure your financial decision is with an Industry Leader! Experienced In

usda, fHa and va loans

Around and around it goes, where it stops nobody knows. Emma Polk of Coldwell Banker SG Billings REALTORS watches anxiously to see where the roulette ball will drop. She attended the Austin Chapter CRS Charity Casino Night to help the group raise money.

LAND...LAND...LAND • Ranch Management • Oil and Gas Management Services • Farm and Ranch Brokerage • Land and Livestock Consultation • Live and Timed Land Auctions

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Listen to the radio show “The Real Estate Zone” every Saturday from 3-4 p.m. on News Radio 590 KLBJ and 99.7 FM

Call Today! John Mcclellan Branch Manager Supreme Lending - Austin NMLS #207768 3420 Executive Center Dr. #300 Austin, TX 78731 512-279-1150 Office

Monty Meusch • Area Sales Manager, Auctioneer Phone: (817) 600-9485 11933 Palisades Parkway Austin, Texas 78732 MMeusch@FarmersNational.com Serving America’s Landowners Since 1929

www.FarmersNational.com Loan product availability is subject to loan amount and qualification of borrower. Not every applicant qualifies or is eligible for every loan program. Some loan products may not be available in all states. Loan approval, note rate and annual percentage rate are dependent on factors including, but not limited to, credit, collateral, income, assets and overall financial history. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan. All loan programs, terms and annual interest rates are subject to change without notice. For all other licenses, visit http://www. nmlsconsumeraccess.org/. © 2011 Everett Financial, Inc. dba Supreme Lending (NMLS ID #2129) at 14801 Quorum Dr., #300, Dallas, TX 75254. All rights reserved.

Real Estate Sales • Auctions • Farm and Ranch Management Appraisal • Insurance • Consultation • Oil and Gas Management Lake Management • National Hunting Leases

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While Cheryl Jenkins, right, of Realty Executives enjoyed her time as 2011 WCR president, she happily presents the gavel to incoming President Anita Farrell of Keller Williams Realty at the WCR Installation and Awards program at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. Buy photo: RL_010712_W.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Sheri Watts of First American Title, Gerald Thibodeaux, Anita Dismuke and Darryl Dismuke, all of Avalar Austin, jingle all the way to the dessert table at the Avalar Austin Christmas party at the UT Golf Club at Steiner Ranch.

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Austin Real Pros and guests celebrate the season at the company’s Annual Christmas Luncheon at Green Pastures.

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ABoR 2012 Chairman Leonard Guerrero of JB Goodwin REALTORS bowls for PAC dollars at the TREPAC Bowling Appreciation Party hosted by the Austin Board of REALTORS at Highball in South Austin.

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What an honor! Elaine Byrne of Elaine Byrne Realty accepts her award for REALTOR of the Year from WCAoR 2011 President Victoria Reviel at the WCAoR Installation and Awards dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

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Dewayne Naumann and Stacy Mock, both of Capital Title, celebrate the holidays with Tom Campbell at the Capital Title Holiday Party.

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Women’s Council of REALTORS President Cheryl Jenkins of Realty Executives, Kim Minks of DHI Title and Mary Miner of Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty all aspire to be 21 again, well, in Blackjack anyway. These ladies try their luck at the Austin Chapter CRS Charity Casino Night.

Hey!

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The DHI Mortgage Austin team is growing! Welcome our newest Mortage Loan Originator, Summer Present. She is excited to be a part of our team and looks forward to providing new opportunities for clients. With the support of DHI, Summer can provide:

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Happy New Year!

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Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #399033 Phone: 512-257-5629 • Efax: 866-385-6765 Email: slpresent@dhimortgage.com 12554 Riata Vista Circle, First Floor Austin, TX 78727

Provided for informational purposes only. This is not a commitment to lend. Not all borrowers will qualify. DHI Mortgage Company, Ltd. NMLS #38686. 12554 Riata Vista Circle, First Floor Austin, TX 78727. Company NMLS #14622. For information on DHIM licensing, please visit www.dhimortgage.com/other-pages/licensing.

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January 2012

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

‘Tis the season to get together for good food and spirited drinks! Diana Proud, Kay DaSilva, Nancy Stobaugh and Betty England, all of Avalar Austin, enjoy the scenery at the company Christmas party at the UT Golf Club at Steiner Ranch. Buy photo: RL_011512_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Is this what they mean by “consolidation of power?” AMBA past presidents gather at the annual Installation/Holiday Party. Seated: Kristin Carroll of Sente Mortgage and Pat Flannery join Mike Cannatti, Mike Carroll, Steve Builta of Hometrust Mortgage, Scott Norman, Bob Ward and Kenton Brown of Sente Mortgage.

Buy photo: RL_010612_I.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Independence Title’s Tommy Holmes says goodbye to his colleagues at his retirement party where he received a plaque recognizing his many years of service. Buy photo: RL_010112_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_121111_I.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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One dollar bid, now two, now two, will you give me two? Summer Pavliska, right, of Texas American Title shows Betsy and Jay Pearce, both of Jay Pearce Real Estate, which tree she’s aiming for at the WCAoR Scholarship Foundation “Deck the Halls” Christmas Tree Gala where Jay played the part of auctioneer.

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austin

HBA of Greater Austin

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President’s Column By Marshall Durrett • 2012 President

T

How government regulations can affect the price of a new home

he Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin works to protect every family’s right to homeownership. We believe that all of our communities should ensure that those who protect us, teach our children and provide essential services can afford to live here. That includes your hard working neighbors like police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses, public employees and small business owners. The vast majority of new homes are purchased by middle-class families—the very people at risk of being priced out of our communities by rising taxes and government fees. More than 65 percent of American families cannot qualify for a mortgage to buy a home that costs more than $175,000. While our local, five-county market has fared much better economically than other places in the nation, one hurdle that continues to raise home prices is government regulations. These additional costs often are the deciding factor on where a person can buy a new home. Recent National Association of Home Builders research estimates that on average

regulations imposed by government on all levels account for 25 percent of the final price of a new single-family home built for sale. Nearly two-thirds of this amount (16.4 percent of the final house price) is due to a higher price for a finished lot resulting from regulations imposed during the lot’s development. A little over onethird (8.6 percent of the house price) is the result of costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot. Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by governments at different levels. At the local level, jurisdictions (such as cities, counties, utilities, etc.) may charge permit, utility hook-up and impact fees. They may also establish development and construction standards that either directly increase builder/ developer costs or cause delays that translate to higher costs. Some examples include cities adopting regulations requiring brick or stone exteriors, setting the hours a builder can work; and mandating what house plans can look like and their visual relationship to neighbors, the amount and type of windows, the roof slope,

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January 2012

whether a cul-de-sac or curved street can exist, street length, and landscaping specs. The cost of government regulations vary from city to city and from county to county. For example, one builder can build the same plan for a new home in Buda for $40,000 less than that same plan in South Austin. While land prices can play a factor, extensive government regulations do, too. For many families, it is an easy choice to drive south on Interstate 35 seven more miles to save $40,000. Research has shown that for every $1,000 the price of a $220,000 home increases, more than 1,400 families in our five-county area are priced out of the market. Extensive regulation costs do add up. State governments are also involved in this process. Texas has adopted statewide building codes. The federal government can also impact the price of a home. One example is by requiring permits for stormwater discharge on construction sites, which may lead to delays in addition to the hard cost of filing for a permit. Builders may also face a “layering” effect of similar regulations. A builder in the City of Austin

is subject to storm water drainage oversight by three different City of Austin departments, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The relatively high share of regulatory costs affecting a home during development is particularly significant in the current environment. There is a low level of developed land in the pipeline; many builders have stopped acquiring single-family lots and developers have stopped developing them due to financial constraints. The full range of regulatory costs (for development and construction) must be overcome if housing production and employment are to get back on track. Keep in mind, some builders are already reporting that many new homes are appraising at less than the cost required to produce them. While we wait for the home building, credit and appraisal markets to improve, we still need to overcome regulations that already account for 25 percent of the price of a new home. Ask your elected officials—on the city, county, state and federal levels—how they can help. RL

Buy photo: RL_120411_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Jeff Patterson of KB Home asks Pam Flitton of RE/MAX Capital City II if she has any questions after she finished touring several of the builder’s model homes at the Lakes of Northtown community.

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January 2012 Front Page: Continued

Be flexible Being serious about setting a plan and sticking to it is absolutely essential, but so is building in some flexibility for when conditions change or something isn’t working. Your plan needs to be specific, but also pliable enough for you to change it over the course of the year. Review the plan each month and ask yourself: what do I need to take it to the next level next month? Then do a three-month review, and a mid-year review. Incorporate new information as you acquire it. “Our budget reflects cautious optimism,” says Kara McGregor, senior vice president of business development at Independence Title Company. “As is the case for any business in the country, we would welcome more information about our future tax burden, health care costs and other factors that affect planning.” That said, Independence Title is judiciously investing in new locations, infrastructure, and tools for their customers in order to make the most of 2012.

Stay current on what’s going on in the industry A workable plan depends on your having access to the most relevant and upto-date information possible, so you know

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what you’re working with and what you’re up against in the market. Conduct a regular market analysis, take free classes and webinars whenever possible, and stay connected to your peers. It’s key for anyone in the real estate industry in general to be a source of expert information, not only because it benefits your business, but also because people should feel like they can come to you as a source of well-founded information.

Surround yourself with successful partners Along those lines, success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Surround yourself with successful people in the business. Title and mortgage professionals, REALTORS, brokers, inspectors, survey companies, property managers, insurance agents, financial advisors, contractors, builders, developers, cleaning companies, security companies, stagers—you name it. Form a symbiotic team made up of the sources you find are most dependable and work them into your plan. You’ll build a network of information, referrals, and trust—and add another element of predictability.

Budget your time Of course, a successful plan involves budgeting your time as well. Technology can either help or hinder that. If you spend

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

a lot of time answering e-mails, tweeting or working Facebook and it’s disproportionate to more direct business-generating activities, it might be time to adjust your strategy. On the other hand, there are some useful tools to help you cut down the time it takes to complete necessary tasks like expense reports, budgeting, and entering leads. QuickBooks and Quicken have great budgeting modules, and many banks offer free budgeting tools through their websites. Check your app store for must-haves like business card readers that use your smart phone or iPad camera to capture business cards and add them to your contacts. Or apps that let you scan and store electronic receipts—handy since the IRS began accepting electronic expense documentation in 2007—and even automatically generate expense reports. With all the business activity you engage in (such as taking clients to lunch, networking, etc.), you’ll save a lot of time by keeping your tax documentation in a file instead of a pile.

Offset variable income (and plan for more than sales) The home industry is cyclical by nature, so inconsistency is an inevitability you’ll need to work around. The most obvious culprit is variable income. If you’re working on commission or salary with bonus, you might be hesitant to put down a plan because it’s difficult to predict what you’ll be making each month. That also makes it challenging to think longterm about important personal goals such as retirement and estate planning. Shane Moore and David Rust of Quartz Financial encourage setting aside at least 10 percent of your earnings each year for your retirement plan (which could be as simple as an IRA or as complex as a defined benefit plan). That may not seem feasible when you consider the slower months, but according to Moore and Rust, there are ways to outsmart a variable income. For one, during your big months, save more than 10 percent; and in your leaner months, save less. Ten percent may seem like a big number, so work through a budget worksheet (such as the one Quicken offers online) and see where you can cut back and increase those contributions. Look at your budget—how much are you spending on interest on credit card and other consumer debt? If you’re spending more than 10 percent of your income, your first goal should be to work on a debt reduction plan. Estate planning and insurance should also be on your radar. You don’t have to be elderly or wealthy to create this kind of financial roadmap. In fact, it’s just an all around good “CYA” policy. Work with your attorney to create at least a simple will. And make sure you aren’t under-insured. Consider errors and omissions insurance, disability, homeowner’s insurance, and life insurance if you have a family. The latter part of the year is when you’ll want to think about charitable donations as tax deductions. If you don’t have cash, you can even donate stock or mutual fund shares. Claim a deduction for the fair market value of the investment.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

In your team of trusted allies, it’s helpful to include a financial professional. Depending

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

on your needs, there are a multitude of categories of financial professionals. But again, watch your time. Before you devote too much time and resources to tweaking your budget, remember that it is likely to change. The key is to balance planning with doing. And with the whole year ahead of you, there’s plenty of opportunity to look forward to. RL

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P. O. Box 81366 • Austin, Texas 78708-1366 (512) 821-1900 www.myRealtyLine.com E-mail: info@myRealtyLine.com Publisher: Doren L. Carver doren@myRealtyLine.com Associate Publisher: Tawanna K. Carver tawanna@myRealtyLine.com Managing Editor: Naomi Bludworth naomi@myRealtyLine.com Contributing Editor: Linda McNabb Contributing Writers: Stacy Hale, Marilyn McCray, Linda McNabb, Naomi Bludworth Contributing Photographers: Doren L. Carver, Linda McNabb, Naomi Bludworth Columnists: Leondard Guerrero, Marshall Durrett, Christy Gessler, David Tandy, Terry Godbold, Risé Johns Submission Guidelines: Submit photos, press releases and calendar items to naomi@myrealtyline.com. All photos must be at least 300 dpi and include a caption with first/last name and company affiliation. Press releases must be fewer than 300 words. Non-advertisers submitting calendar items will be charged $25 per submission. All submissions must be received at least seven calendar days prior to ad copy deadlines published at www. myrealtyline.com/advertise.html. Submission items will be included as space allows. Realty Line Austin is published monthly by Caxton Publications, Inc.© as a non-subscription publication for the more than 8,000 members of the Austin Board of REALTORS®(ABoR), the more than 1,100 members of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (WCAoR) and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin. Realty Line Austin is printed on recycled paper. Realty Line Austin is a proud member of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, the Williamson County Association of REALTORS® and is a honorary member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS. Realty Line Austin is not responsible for opinions or facts expressed by non-staff writers or for errors and any by-products in advertising or editorial copy. REALTOR® is a registered trademark. The word REALTOR® sometimes appears in this publication without the registered trademark symbol (®) for the purpose of saving space. Wherever the word REALTOR® appears in this publication, the registered trademark should be assumed.

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January 2012

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Colleen Sellars, right, of RE/MAX 1 gets the latest information on the Lakes at Northtown community from Chelsea Brown of KB Home.

Buy photo: RL_120411_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Gay Puckett of JB Goodwin REALTORS, Linda Holmbeck and Dephanie Cates, both of Horizon Realty, fill out their CRS membership applications and pay their dues at the group’s Annual Installation Luncheon at the Westwood Country Club. Buy photo: RL_010212_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Diane Gomez of RE/ MAX Austin Associates and Paula Bacon of Reliant Title bid on silent auction items at the Austin Chapter CRS Charity Casino Night. Buy photo: RL_010412_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_121311_M.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Maggie Calbert and Rebecca Shahan, both of Keller Williams Realty, join M.E. Cook of Bee Cave Realty in Lakeway at Independence Title's Holiday Open House.

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Starkey Mortgage A S S O C I AT E S I N P R O G R E S S - A d v e r t i s e r P r o f i l e b y M a r i l y n M c C r a y

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ounded in January 2000, Starkey Mortgage is a different kind of mortgage company. With the slogan “Where People Come First,” the Plano, Texas-based company has now grown to include 35 locations in eight states with over 150 loan officers combined. Even with this impressive growth, the goal to maintain a small company mentality continues to be a central focus. “We never want to lose sight of what matters most, our values and the importance of the individual,” says Austin native Eddie Rinehart, a 20-year veteran of the mortgage industry and South Texas Area Manager. “We focus on being the lender of choice for generations,” says Rinehart. “We want to earn respect one loan at a time.” At Starkey Mortgage, there is a culture of creating loyalty, not just for the customers, but also for fostering a sense of family among the people who work there. Many of the employees have been with the company since the beginning, a major accomplishment in an industry known for high turnover. It is not uncommon that employees who leave to pursue other interests often return to Starkey Mortgage. Colorado Biz Magazine recognized Starkey Mortgage as a great place to work in 12006, and the 1:00 Dallas ITCrlBuda.pdf 12/21/11 PM Morning News agreed, naming the company

one of the Top 100 Places to Work (of all midsize companies) in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for 2011. Giving back is another essential value for the company. The Community and Corporate Connection programs add value to the communities it serves by engaging many employees in actively supporting charitable causes. Most recently, employees of the Austin branch joined other Starkey Mortgage offices in “The Reindeer Games,” Starkey Mortgage’s annual holiday toy drive. The Austin branch opened in 2000 and currently has 13 employees. The licensed

www.myRealtyLine.com South Texas branches, including San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi. The team makes it possible to qualify buyers correctly and quickly, preventing problems before closing, a rare and convenient advantage in the recent economic downturn. Since its inception, Starkey Mortgage has fostered a history of promoting efficiency using technology to improve its procedures, resulting in faster processing, underwriting and closing times. By utilizing point-of-sale origination and an automated underwriting system, Starkey Mortgage’s licensed professionals can focus on providing the most exceptional service to their customers. Mortgage Technology Magazine recognized the company’s commitment to using sound technology and consistent innovation by naming Starkey Mortgage to the 2011 list of Top Tech-Savvy Lenders. The company has also charted a course toward using technology to promote sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices. With a paperless lending process, data centralization and document imaging system, Starkey is able to move a loan file through the entire process with a 46 percent reduction in power consumption compared to standard paperbased procedures. In September 2011, Starkey Mortgage received Mortgage Technology’s Green

"

We never want to lose sight of what matters most, our values and the importance of the individual.

"

mortgage professionals have decades of cumulative experience in the industry. The branch has a full operations and support staff, as well as in-branch underwriting for other

January 2012

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Eddie Rinehart South Texas Area Manager

Lender Award for its technology initiatives. Built on compassionate and caring service, Starkey Mortgage continues to be dedicated to giving people what they want—a hasslefree loan process at competitive rates with the confidence to expect that their loan is processing as quickly as possible. And best yet, to know that they are in the hands of people who really care. For more information on the hassle-free loan process tailored to your clients’ needs with help every step of the way, contact the professionals at Starkey Mortgage by calling 329-9040 or visiting www.starkeymtg.com, “Where People Come First.” (WR Starkey Mortgage, LLP NMLSR No. 2146). RL

Independence Title Buda Office 251 North FM 1626, Suite 1A Buda, Texas 78610 FM 967 512/523-3204

FM 1626

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Marilyn Van Uum

Hays County Business Development Manager mvanuum@independencetitle.com

Independence Title E x p l o r e w w w. I n d e p e n d e n c e T i t l e . c o m

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HigHland Homes

Realtor Rewards

Buy photo: RL_121411_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Crystal Keiser and Tim Dockery, both of Willow Bend Mortgage, enjoy the holiday festivities with Helen Thomas of RE/MAX Austin Skyline at the Capital Title Holiday Party.

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Receive 3% commission on your first closing

Receive a 1% bonus on your Highland Homes Visa Reward Card in addition to your 3% commission!*

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New Program members will be mailed a Visa card, while existing members will have bonuses credited on their current card 10 to 14 business days after their second closing. Your Highland Homes Visa Reward Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

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Belterra The Views From the $230s 512-432-0200

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From the low $200s 512-260-8333 LAKE GEORGETOWN

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Independence Title’s Bonnie Barrera, holding scissors, officially cuts the ribbon at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Independence Title recently joined the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

arbor Place

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From the $210s 512-260-2222 6

Buy photo: RL_010312_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

From the $250s 512-255-4454

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*All qualified sales must be original contracts written between January 1, 2011 and35December 31, 2011. For any Realtor incentive or bonus program offered by Highland Homes it is a condition of eligibility to receive payment that the Realtors not offer to rebate or contribute any portion of a bonus or a commission to a home buyer or any other person who is not a licensed Texas Realtor. The company has sole discretion in determining whether this eligibility requirement is met for each sale. We only recognize one Realtor name per sale. CREEDMOOR 45SE TO LL

RELIABLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. Terry Godbold, MPM® RMP® ARM® GRI® TRLP® www.LandLordAustin.com • www.ReliableTeamHome.com

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We build lasting relationships with our real estate partners. We focus on delivering results with every transaction. It’s our goal to meet time sensitive deadlines, exceed expectations and earn your business.

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January 2012

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Women’s Council of REALTORS®

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

President’s Column By Anita Farrell • 2012 President

Summer Pavliska of Texas American Title takes home a special President Award from Christy Gessler, WCAoR 2012 president at the WCAoR Installation and Awards dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

Join us for an exciting new year with WCR

Buy photo: RL_011312_V.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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he Women’s Council of REALTORS (WCR) is planning an exciting year for 2012. Our programs are fun, informative, inspiring, and educational. WCR had an exciting close to 2011 with the installation of officers held at the Renaissance Austin Hotel with a record attendance. The 2012 officers are myself as president, Chris Rodriguez as president-elect, Amy Kobza as vice president of membership, Dena Hinds as secretary and John Schutze as treasurer. The 2011 award winners were also announced. Congratulations to Susan Brown, REALTOR of the Year; Kathy de la Cruz, Rookie of the Year; Darleen Gilmore, Affiliate of the Year; Susan Horton, Entrepreneur of the Year; and Mary Mealy who received a Lifetime Achievement Award. 2012 will mark 55 years of success for the Austin Chapter of the WCR. It has grown from the original nine members to a mega chapter. The history of developing leaders is impressive; many members have gone on to hold positions on local, state and national boards. The Performance

Melinda Carroll and Marjorie Tinnell, both of Independence Title, say goodbye to a title legend. Both attend Independence Title’s Tommy Holmes’ Retirement Party.

Buy photo: RL_121111_K.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

We have a newbie … making his first appearance in Realty Line is Jeffrey Gobel of Executive Homes of Austin. Kristy Smallwood of Gracy Title welcomes him to her company’s Holiday Open House held at the Hwy 183/Oak Knoll location. Buy photo: RL_010812_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Quality Service...Like Clockwork®.

Management Network designation is achieved by many members and provides them with an educational opportunity. The programs for the business resource meetings, held monthly at Cool River Café, are chosen from the five performance management areas: negotiation strategies and practice; networking; business planning and systems; personal performance management; and cultural awareness. WCR is a strong supporter of TREPAC and keeps members current on government affairs. Join us at the Texas Association of REALTORS’ meetings in February to see how the WCR core values of the power of relationships, professional credibility, diversity, participation, success and influence are shared by members and inspire each one to the highest and best that they can be. The following quote by Christopher Robins expresses the WCR core values and is my wish for you for 2012: “Promise me you will always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” RL

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Mortgage bankers unite. Jan Hill of United Lending, Steve Builta of Hometrust Mortgage and Julie Black of Starkey Mortgage run into each other at the AMBA Annual Installation and Holiday Party at Maggiano’s Little Italy at the Domain. Buy photo: RL_010612_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Realty Executives Broker/Owner Michael Neuman, center in blue, agents and friends wish everyone happy holidays at the company’s Christmas celebration.

Buy photo: RL_011412_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Judy Moss of Moss Real Estate Partners and Edie Finch of Edie Finch Properties catch up at the Austin Chapter CRS Annual Installation Luncheon at the Westwood Country Club.

Buy photo: RL_011212_E.jpg at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_010212_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Everyone who visits Rough Hollow Lakeway crosses paths with these two. Judd Brook of Legacy International/Rough Hollow and Julie Krumholz of Rough Hollow keep things rolling at the community REALTOR event where they announced upcoming projects and organized a model home poker run.

We work hard to take care of our loan originators, our clients, and our industry partners. The hard work continues into 2012. Come see what makes United Lending a leader in the Austin Mortgage Market. For more information contact: Kevin A. Gingsburg 512-632-7971

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January 2012

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January 2012

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Austin CRS Chapter

ABoR’s 2012 Chairman Leonard Guerrero of JB Goodwin REALTORS and ABoR staff members Beth Gatlin, Vicki Harris and Kate Mack welcome Sandy Bednar, second from left, of Distinct Austin Properties and Mary Black, far right, of Hilltop Realty to the Meet and Greet event held for new ABoR President and CEO Matt Maire.

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Director ‘s Column By Risé Johns • 2012 Director

Analyzing your expenses is the first step to getting your business' financial house in order

Buy photo: RL_010512_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

A

Everyone could use a little help in the time management department. Frank Perdichizzi of Private Label Realty gives members of the Austin Young Real Estate Professionals some tips at its Real Estate Sales Clinic and Networking Happy Hour at Cool River Café. Buy photo: RL_121211_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Cindy Reeder, right, of RE/MAX Capital City and James Castillo of DR Horton congratulate Cindy’s daughter Colleen on winning a check card at the Austin Chapter CRS Charity Casino Night.

Buy photo: RL_121311_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Texas American Title Company Texas American Title is one of the WCAoR 2011 Nominated Companies of the Year

t the end of the year and start of a new year, many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are supposed to make us better, improve our business and otherwise help us in some manner. Of course, we have all heard that most resolutions are forgotten after 30 to 45 days. In many cases, we soon return to our old ways. One reason that people make New Year’s resolutions that are soon forgotten is they are wishfully thinking rather than thinking through what they really want. People actually make New Year’s resolutions that subconsciously they never intend to keep. Recently, my business coach had me go through an exercise that focused on my business expenses. The purpose of the exercise was to know exactly where my business stood financially in 2011. That knowledge allows me to improve and get my business financial house in order for 2012. This was not an easy process. I went back through my checkbook, credit cards and the proverbial shoebox with

the weird receipts to track every expense for the entire year. Next, every expense was categorized and examined. I quickly found that even those “little” expenses add up substantially over the course of a year. I put my expenses into three categories: fixed costs, costs that could be lowered and expendable costs. While fixed costs—MLS dues and license renewal fees are examples— cannot be negotiated and are just part of doing business, there are expenses, though needed, that can be either lowered or negotiated. Set those expenses aside. Eliminate the expenses that jump out as ridiculous and expendable right away. To “get your business financial house in order” is to know where every penny goes. When you are aware of where you spend your hard-earned dollars, you can make wise decisions about which expenses to keep, which expenses to toss and which expenses to negotiate or change. The trick is to know your numbers. Good luck! RL

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Experienced. Reliable. Excellence.

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and Summer Pavliska is the recipient of the 2011 President’s Award for dedication and service to the WCAoR!

A seasoned mortgage veteran with 30 years of experience and committed to excellence.

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NARPM 2011 President Marc Witmer of Austin Landmark Property Services presents the NARPM Austin Chapter Affiliate of the Year award to Ken Jennings.

Submitted Photo

With loads of holiday spirit, Stacy Mock of Capital Title welcomes Ernie Hatton of RE/ MAX Austin Associates and Kristin Carroll of Sente Mortgage to her company’s Holiday Party.

Buy photo: RL_121411_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Tommy Holmes, center, of Independence Title looks forward to more tee times in his retirement. The company held a retirement party for him to celebrate his career. Buy photo: RL_011512_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Cindi Leech of Avalar Austin and her husband, Bill, attend the company’s Christmas party at the UT Golf Club at Steiner Ranch where they met up with friends and fellow agents to celebrate the season.

Buy photo: RL_121111_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

ROCKY CREEK

ROCKY CREEK, one of the best selling communities in the

Austin area, now has many new inventory homes ready to show your clients. Among the spectacular features Rocky Creek has to offer: Community amenities: • 300 acres of open and green space • Hill Country Views • 5,000 Linear feet of Rocky Creek frontage • Primitive hike and bike trails • Neighborhood swimming pool Now Open! • Playground and park • Exemplary Elementary & Middle Schools • Top-rated Lake Travis ISD • Nearby Hill Country

NEW INVENTORY NOW AVAILABLE Homes from the $300s

Galleria shopping

CaLL TODay,

(512) 264-2444 Mike Tvinnereim

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January 2012

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Experts Speak Out

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Commentary By David Tandy • Gracy Title

Financial planning is essential to success

A

s we start a new year, there are many reasons to be positive about the Austin real estate economy. Now is a good time to also take a hard look at your financial plan and budget for 2012. I asked David Brodsky of David Brodsky Properties and a former CFO with over 20 years financial executive experience for his thoughts on financial planning for agents. David is not only a top producing agent but also provides financial consulting for other agents. His first comment was an attention grabber, “Working without a budget and a financial plan is like driving your car at night without headlights.” He went on to say that “cash is king.” Before putting together your budget, you must truly understand your balance sheet. For example, you need to know your current net worth (assets minus liabilities) and how much cash you have for your business. An agent cannot survive without cash and cannot fund business initiatives without cash. A strong balance sheet is what helps you survive turbulent times. Going into debt to fund your operation

should be done with extreme caution and only sparingly. He further recommended that agents should go through the financial planning process annually. Agents should start by setting a date and then going through the full process, similar to getting an annual physical checkup. You should be methodical and prepare in advance, just like how you prepare when meeting with a client. David advises to begin with your revenue expectations. First, you should know where your business is currently. Be aware of your key metrics such as your closed volume, GCI and key buyer/seller conversion rates. Secondly, you should know what your trends have been for the last few years. Real Estate is a momentum business and success breeds more success. Two closings in a row is not a trend. Finally, you should be excited about the future. Review where you are today and where you have been, then set stretch goals for the current year that are realistic. As to expenses, David advises agents to

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

examine all proposed expenses carefully. He says, “variable costs are preferable to fixed costs because they increase or decrease with revenue and are easier to adjust. The greater your fixed costs, the more revenue you must generate to cover them, and those costs may not necessarily be in proportion to where your business is performing.” Additionally, while a good agent would not try to save their way to profitability by always cutting expenses, in the long run successful agents are able to adjust spending as needs and trends arise in their business. Finally, David recommends, “You should determine where you will invest in your business and you should have a consistent expectation as to what expenses you are willing to incur that will provide the return you want. For every dollar you spend, you should have the expectation that you will generate some multiple of revenue in return for that investment.” It is also critical to put your business plan in writing and review it quarterly against your actual results. Then, if you find yourself on track for the first quarter of the year,

or even ahead, you can decide if it’s time to increase spending for those objectives that are providing you the best return. If, however, after reviewing and comparing your first quarter actual results to your financial plan and goals, you discover you are significantly below your plan, it is time to consider taking action to minimize your losses and conserve cash for the rest of the year. David says the final step is to evaluate as each year comes to an end. “You should measure your plan against actual results,” he says. “Learn from your previous successes and failures and consider ways to improve your plan for the next year.” Also, he notes, “You should put some cash back on your balance sheet. Developing a savings strategy allows you to have dry powder available for an emergency or an unexpected investment opportunity.” If you are uncertain how to put a business plan together, you may want to develop a relationship with an agent that is already experienced and successful at doing so. A better financial planning process can help achieve a very successful 2012. RL

Submitted Photo

Linda Malesky and Jason Martinez, both of RE/MAX Capital City, collect food with other agents in their Round Rock office to donate to a military family for the holidays.

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January 2012

REALTY EXECUTIVES AUSTIN Austin North

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Wow, with all these people, I hope we can find a place to sit. Karen McCarty of Keller Williams Realty and Bill Flood of Stanberry and Associates arrive at the Austin Chapter CRS Annual Installation Luncheon.

Buy photo: RL_010212_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Melinda Carroll and Jay Southworth, both of Independence Title, welcome Gene Arant and Kim Henry, both of Keller Williams Realty, to the title company’s holiday party in Lakeway.

Buy photo: RL_010412_N.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Outgoing WCR President Cheryl Jenkins, right, of Realty Executives presents Kathy De La Cruz of RE/MAX Austin Associates with the award for Rookie of the Year at the WCR Installation and Awards program at the Renaissance Austin Hotel.

Buy photo: RL_010512_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Van Davison of Davison Real Estate gives new ABoR President and CEO Matt Maire a bit of history on the ABoR board at the ABoR Meet and Greet with Matt Maire event held at the ABoR auditorium. Buy photo: RL_010712_L.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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Commentary By Terry Godbold • Reliable Prop. Mgmt.

Never allow an owner to micromanage the management of their property

P

roperty Management, as I am sure many have heard, is one of the most litigious areas of real estate. Having been in real estate for almost 30 years, one of the first lessons learned, after the importance of location, is to never allow an owner to be a bully or micromanage. Allowing this scenario is a recipe for disaster. As an example, a prospective owner requests information about services. After about 20 minutes explaining your services, you hear crying. The essence of the prospective owner’s conversation was that a REALTOR who was not a professional property manager had treated her almost criminally. She says that property management is easy; just collect the rent. Ms. Prospect says that she did not know that there were professionals in the property management field and immediately wants to make an appointment. Ms. Prospect states that she wants to be a hands-on owner. She wants to give permission for each maintenance issue and

suggest the vendor personally interview each lease applicant, meet with you at least twice a month—in your office—to be “brought up to date on the tenant and the property.” She wants you to accompany her on monthly inspections and she wants you to, of all things, reduce your fee and give her any late charges you collect from the renter. Sounds crazy right? If you run into such a situation, here’s an approach that works (most of the time). See if you can illustrate, in terms they understand, how their request is unreasonable. Here’s how. First, ask her what field she works in. For the sake of discussion, let’s say she says she’s a stockbroker. You say, “Well Ms. Prospect, would it be appropriate if I oversaw each one of the transactions you made for me making sure that where you invested my money was to my satisfaction? Could I audit your accounts on a twice a month basis? Would you accompany me on an inspection of each of the companies in which you invested my money? Would you reduce your fee for this extra service?” RL

Drees Custom Homes hosts a REALTOR Appreciation party at Soleil at Lake Travis where Sherri Teepen and Liz Ott, both of Keller Williams Realty meet up.

Submitted Photo

Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la la la. Michelle Busby of Keller Williams Realty, Lisa Altamirano of Gracy Title and Teresa Stamper of Keller Williams Realty get into the holiday spirit at the Gracy Title Holiday Open House at its Cedar Park location. Buy photo: RL_011012_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Karen Williams of North American Title shells out some cash for this tree at the WCAoR “Deck the Halls” Christmas Tree Gala benefiting the WCAoR Scholarship Foundation. She shows it off to Anne Cano of Realty World, Neal Barnes & Associates. Buy photo: RL_010112_I.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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810 HESTER’S CROSSING, STE 150 | ROUND ROCK, TEXAS 78681

Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, HomePath & Jumbo just to name a few loan products! © 2012 PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. Trade/service marks are the property of PlainsCapital Corporation, PlainsCapital Bank, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Some products may not be available in all states. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (NMLS #: 13649) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in TX. Texas Regulated Loan License-license #7293. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. NMLS #: Buzan 179412, Leaman 151263, Nielsen 180307, Oehler 225339, Smith 176530, Savage 180854, Kennedy 179666, Driskell 180066, Clark 268025, Hoffman 171464, Stewart 292478, Lynch 280093, Stern 177299, Eckert 357516, Widmer 232054 .

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34

January 2012

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Real Estate News & Notes Champions School of Real Estate names Piper as Central Texas marketing director Champions School of Real Estate is proud to announce that Kelea Piper, its current San Antonio area marketing representative and career counselor, has been promoted to Central Texas marketing director. Kelea’s determination, positive personality, and marketing abilities have proven results at Champions School of Real Estate. Kelea has over nine years of experience in the

real estate industry, manages personal investment properties and is a keynote speaker for many organizations across the state. She will now serve Austin, San Antonio, and all surrounding areas.  RL

National Association of the Remodeling Industry recognizes Leath with 2011 Star Award The National Association of the Remodeling Industry presented Kayvon Leath with the 2011 Star Award. The award, voted on by current NARI members, is used to recognize a member who demonstrates a strong commitment to NARI and the professional remodeling industry.      Kayvon, a current board member, directs news blasts, advertising and press releases. She is the

says David Davison, 2012 NARI president.

social event planner for NARI and organized and

Kayvon does what she says she's going to do, and

executed the NARI 2011 Tour of Homes.

she does it with a great sense of humor. She is

"This award is going to Kayvon, in my opinion,

consistent and dependable showing up year after

because she goes above and beyond for NARI,

year for NARI." RL

Gary Hoffarth of Austin Advantage Real Estate wins Apple iPhone 4s from Grand Haven Homes Gary Hoffarth of Austin Advantage Real Estate won the Grand Haven Homes Apple iPhone 4s contest. The contest required REALTORS to visit Grand Haven Homes’

models and available inventory and “like” them on Facebook. After 30 days, all of the REALTORS who participated were entered into a drawing. RL

RL austin

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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RE/MAX Austin Associates brings on three new agents to its Bee Cave office: Kight, Rose and Williams RE/MAX Austin Associates welcomes three new REALTORS to its office at 3101 Bee Caves Rd, Ste, 301. Heather Kight and Cerretha Rose are partners in Austin 55 Realty Team that specializes in clients 55 and over. Paul Williams specializes in investment properties and residential sales. RL

Williams

Rose

Kight

MileStone Community Builders to break ground in Cedar Park with The Reserve at Brushy Creek MileStone Community Builders, LLC, secured land to offer luxury Cedar Park homes for sale with its newest development, The Reserve at Brushy Creek. MileStone will offer its Pinnacle Collection in the community located near the intersection of Parmer Lane and Brushy Creek Road. The homes at The Reserve will be architecturally distinct and similar in design to the beautiful homes offered in West Cypress Hills. The ground breaking will take place in early January. The development will include a stateof-the-art amenity center nestled among mature oak trees, playground and a grand entry to the community, which includes a large pond

Submission Guidelines:

and fountain. The Reserve at Brushy Creek will offer

convenient

access to all the best of Cedar Park living, including great shopping, exceptional dining options, top rated schools, new entertainment venues and more, all just 20 minutes from downtown Austin. The community is also across the street and within walking distance to the Brushy Creek Park and Cedar Park Sport Fields. Home owners will have quick access to major highways, including 45, 130 and 183. RL

Submit photos, press releases and calendar items to naomi@myrealtyline.com. All photos must be at least 300 dpi and include a caption with first/last name, company affiliation and a short description. Press releases must be fewer than 300 words. Calendar items are free to advertisers and $25 per submission for others. All submissions must be received at least seven calendar days prior to ad copy deadlines published at www.myrealtyline.com/advertise.html. Submission items will be included as space allows.

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January 2012

35

Buy photo: RL_010612_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mike Carroll, right, hands the gavel to newly installed AMBA President Kenton Brown of Sente Mortgage at the AMBA Annual Installation and Holiday Party at Maggiano’s Little Italy at the Domain.

Buy photo: RL_010912_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Incoming TREPAC Chairman Bill Evans of Austin Real Pros tells John Rosshirt of Stanberry and Associates to “put up and he’ll shut up” (money for TREPAC that is). The two attended a bowling appreciation party to support TREPAC.

Buy photo: RL_010712_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Shanna Schneider of RE/MAX Capital City, Richard Ethridge of Capital Title and Nancy Baier of Willow Bend Mortgage admire the Christmas tree at the Renaissance Austin Hotel just before the Installation and Awards program for the Women’s Council of REALTORS.

Buy photo: RL_120411_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Bob Hachtel of Austin City Living gets an updated headshot at the KB Home Photo Opportunity event held at the Lakes at Northtown community.

Buy photo: RL_121211_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_011312_M.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCAoR 2012 officers and directors take the oath of office at the association’s Installation and Awards dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

It takes skill to network effectively. Chad Goldwasser and David Schneider, both of Goldwasser Real Estate, share some of the skills that have worked for them with members of AYREP at its Real Estate Sales Clinic and Networking Happy Hour at Cool River Café.

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January 2012

36

“You can look, but don’t touch my calendar.” Fran Drakeford of Keller Wiliams Realty shows off her Lake Travis firefighter calendar to Julie Mattoon of Central Metro Realty at the Rough Hollow Lakeway REALTOR event.

Buy photo: RL_011212_A.jpg at www.myRealtyLine.com

Risé Johns of Keller Williams Realty takes the oath of office as National CRS President Mark Minchew installs her as president of the Austin Chapter of CRS at the Annual Installation Luncheon at the Westwood Country Club.

Buy photo: RL_010112_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_010212_O.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCAoR 2012 President Christy Gessler, WCAoR Executive Officer Marge Phillips and WCAoR Past President Victoria Reviel ask Santa for a great market in 2012 at the WCAoR Scholarship Foundation “Deck the Halls” Christmas Tree Gala.


Realty Line January 2012 Issue