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in this issue…

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JANUARY 2019 • VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 9

• WCR Austin Installation & Awards • AYREP Happy Hour • Model Home Grand Opening at La Cima • M/I Homes Food Drive • SouthStar Bank Gift Wrapping Party for Blue Santa • Trinity Title of Texas Ugly Christmas Sweater Party • Marge Phillips Retirement Party • WCREALTORS Installation & Awards Banquet • Classic Realty Christmas Party & much, much more!

Industry leaders focus on the Texas legislative session By Riki Markowitz

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Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Paid Permit #715

very two years we talk about the importance of keeping an eye on the current legislative session. This year, however, will be an interesting one to watch following the recent midterm elections. Senators in the 86th legislative session, according to those who follow Texas politics, are shifting their focus back to “bread and butter issues.” With a new speaker in the House and gains in progressive representatives in both chambers,

lawmakers are eager to get back to working on property tax reform, school finance reform, and emergency management planning and relief. Notably, these are all issues that the Texas Association of REALTORS (TAR), the Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR), and the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) say are some of their most pressing legislative priorities as well. TAR, the state-level advocacy group for real estate professionals, announced that 89 percent of REALTOR-supported candidates won their races this past Election Day. Then, on the first day of pre-filing in Texas, more than 400 bills had been submitted to the calendar clerk by lunchtime. So keeping tabs on every legislator or every bill that affects real estate consumers is not the best use of anyone’s time. Instead, sign up for notifications from your local REALTOR advocacy association so you can keep up with the lawmakers who are working to make Texas a great place for doing business, especially for real estate professionals. In the meantime, here are some of the issues that your advocacy organizations are watching:

Property Tax Reform In 2017, at the end of the 85th legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session for the purpose of passing property tax reform. But the session abruptly closed out even though there were still 27 hours available for arguments and negotiations. According to The Texas Tribune, it was a disappointing end for Abbott’s No. 1 issue. Property tax reform is on the agenda again this year and chances of passing a bill that favors real estate consumers are better. The issue received heightened visibility when Senate committees were charged with studying property tax reform during the interim. Texas REALTORS want to see discussions continue from where they left off in 2017 – “enhanced taxpayer notifications and the elimination of a petition requirement on the rollback tax rate, which will improve public education about appraisals and the process to set tax rates,” says Jaime Lee, TAR’s governmental affairs communications manager. One reason a property tax reform bill keeps dying on the floor is because no one can agree on how to make up for reducing taxes.

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Front Page: Continued on page 26

FEATURED EVENT

Features of the Month

Wednesday, Feb. 20 WCR: Winter White Party

Column: ABoR — Big Goals for 86th Legislative Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 4 Column: WCREALTORS — Welcome 2019! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 7 Column: HBA — Eyes Set on Texas' Legislative Session. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 14 Column: RRC — 2019 is Our Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 18 Expert Commentary: New Technology in Mortgage Transactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 20 Column: Women's Council of REALTORS — It's 2019, Let it Go! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 22 Associates in Progress: Legacy Mutual Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 25 News & Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 28 Upcoming Events & Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 30


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Reach out to us today for all your closing needs. From left to right: Lynna Lichtenberger, Michelle Sankey, Gaye Pierce, Cathy Bade, Karen Cook, Shaunna Terry

Stewart Title of Austin, LLC stewart.com/austin/lt-620

Š 2019 Stewart. All rights reserved.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! As we move forward into a new year filled with endless possibilities, we anticipate continuing our tradition of serving the Lake Travis community with utmost pride and unwavering commitment. We look forward to our journey into a year of changes fostering existing partnerships while creating new ones alike. You can trust that our team is here to deliver the level of service that you and your business deserves to prosper into the future. Sincerely, your Lake Travis area team!


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Concordia University

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Shops at the Galleria

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290 45 DRIPPING SPRINGS

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The Colony in Bastrop

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SOUTHEAST AUSTIN

CRESCENT BLUFF 1213 Horizon View Drive, Georgetown, TX 78628

HUTTO HIGHLANDS 610 Carol Drive, Hutto, TX 78634

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CEDAR CREEK

Whisper in San Marcos

Homes from the $100s-700s Lennar.com/Austin I 512-596-7703 All maps are not to scale, and are for relative location purposes only. Price subject to change without notice. Visit Lennar.com or see a Lennar New Home Consultant for further details and disclaimers. This is not an offer in states where prior registration is required. Void where prohibited by law. Copyright © 2018 Lennar Corporation. Lennar, the Lennar logo, the Village Builders logo are U.S. registered service marks or service marks of Lennar Corporation and/or its subsidiaries. Date 12/18 LNAUS242

12 ORCHARD RIDGE 105 Wind Flower Ln, Liberty Hill, TX 78628 13 PARK EAST 1709 Lawrence Street, Austin, TX 78741 14 RANCHO SIENNA 317 Rancho Sienna Loop, Georgetown, TX 78628 15 SANTA RITA 113 Civita Road, Leander, TX 78641 16 SONTERRA 101 Circle Way, Jarrell, TX 76537 17 STONEFIELD 466 Red Morganite Trail, Buda, TX 78610 SUN CHASE 18 15512 Cottage Orchid, Del Valle, TX 78617

20 AVAÑA 50’s & 6325 Antigo Lane, Austin, TX 78739

30 PARTEN 396 Cistern Way, Austin, TX 78738

21 AMBER OAKS 9109 Moonstone, Austin, TX 78729

31 ROUGH HOLLOW THE VINEYARDS 105 Beneteau Drive, Lakeway, TX 78738

CARMEL The Colony 22 in Bastrop

CREEK 206 Simmental Loop, Hutto,TX 78634

24 EAST VILLAGE 4306 Flameleaf Sumac, Bee Cave, TX 78738 25

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11 MADSEN RANCH 1205 Chad Lane, Round Rock, TX 78665

29 PALMERA RIDGE 2517 Carretera Drive, Leander, TX 78641

23 CRESCENT BLUFF 1209 Horizon View Dr., Georgetown, TX 78628

circuit of the americas

10 LAKELINE CENTER TOWNHOMES 13800 Lyndhurst Blvd, Building 12, Austin,TX 78739

19 AVAÑA 70’s 12508 Padua Drive, Austin, TX 78739

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KYLE

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COOL SPRINGS 113 Juniper Springs Road, Kyle, TX 78640

Village Builder

1 37 DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

SOCO 26

MANOR

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Capital

Lady

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COMMONS AT ROWE LN 20812 Windmill Ranch Ave, Pflugerville, TX 78660

8 ENCLAVE AT ESTANCIA 12400 Morelia Way, Austin, TX 78748 9

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BRYSON 2108 Abelia Lane, Leander, TX 78641

4 CARNEROS RANCH 204 Tinto Street, Leander, TX 78641 5

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BRADSHAW CROSSING 10416 Premier Park, Austin, TX 78747

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La frontera village

Lakeline Mall

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BELLINGHAM MEADOWS 7509 Antrim Trail, Austin, TX 78754

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GREYROCK RIDGE 5409 Allamanda Drive, Austin, TX 78739

32 TERAVISTA 205 Blue Agave Lane, Georgetown, TX 78626 33 THE RANCH AT BRUSHY CREEK 60’S & 65’S 211 N. Frontier Lane, Cedar Park, TX 78613 34 THE RANCH AT BRUSHY CREEK 75’S 4103 Brady Ridge Drive, Cedar Park, TX 78613

26 LEGACY TRAILS 35 THE RESERVE AT 550 Goodnight Trail, CABALLO RANCH Dripping Springs, TX 78620 103 CR 180, Unit 84, Cedar Park, TX 78684 27 LOS SENDEROS AT SERENE HILLS 36 THE VILLAGE AT WELLS BRANCH 602 Sweet Grass Lane, 1800 Crimson Rosella, Lakeway, TX 78738 Austin, TX 78728 28 OAKS AT SAN GABRIEL 1221 Terrace View Drive, Georgetown, TX 78628

CalAtlantic Homes 37 MUELLER 1900 Tom Miller Street, Austin, TX 78723

Coming Soon 38 Colorado Crossing

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43 The Colony

40 Siena

44 The Retreat at Steiner

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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com Austin Board of REALTORS®

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President’s Column By Kevin Scanlan • 2019 President

ABoR has big goals for the 86th Texas legislative session

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he year has just begun and already ABoR is flexing its legislative muscle and testing its endurance on those issues that matter most to Austinites. This year ABoR will be focusing on key issues in public school financing, mobility and transportation, as well as the ongoing issue of flooding in Central Texas – three topics that could not be more critical to the success of our local housing market. School finance reform. Most everyone knows that public schools depend on taxpayers. But did you know, under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code, some districts are required to pay a portion of their revenue into a fund for redistribution around the state? This “recapture” requirement falls particularly hard on Austin ISD, which accounts for approximately 25 percent of the state’s recapture funds. Projections show that AISD will send $669.6 million of its revenue to the state for fiscal year 2019. These funds will be redistributed to propertypoor districts based on taxable property value, while AISD will be forced to make hard decisions about how to address the resulting budget

shortfall. Not only does recapture impact the overall prosperity of Austin ISD, but it subsequently influences homebuyers who are first and foremost concerned with Austin’s cost of living and public-school system. AISD recently announced that 12 schools may need to be merged or closed to address the projected shortfall. At the same time, roughly half of the district’s student population is considered economically disadvantaged. Mobility solutions. In addition to advocating for a more equitable school finance system, ABoR will continue to support creative solutions to address Austin’s ever-expanding need for improved transportation infrastructure. Central Texans commonly cite traffic as the number one challenge facing the region, and we recognize that the tools to address this growing challenge must come from all levels of government. We look forward to working with our Central Texas delegation, including REALTOR and State Representative Celia Israel, who has proven to be a strong proponent in furthering legislation that

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would create more tools to address issues in mobility and transportation in Central Texas. Being transparent about flood risks. Finally, ABoR intends to remain attentive to impending changes to the city’s 100-year floodplain. Following the completion of the National Weather Service’s rainfall study, Atlas 14, ABoR is supporting the city’s approach to updating local flood maps to ensure that an interim 100-year floodplain be in place until a revised floodplain map can be redrawn. As it stands, the latest rainfall data collected through Atlas 14 reflect a nearly 3 percent increase in rainfall over a 24-hour period in Austin; indicating an even greater risk of flooding in communities across Central Texas. Getting engaged in key issues via ABoR. ABoR’s continued commitment to modernizing city codes and exploring the means of obtaining state funding is a considerable undertaking,

which is why we encourage members to be engaged in the decision-making process. Those interested in becoming more involved can learn more about important issues like school finance, infrastructure, and floodplain revisions when they attend our Legislative Preview Event on Jan. 25. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the two newly elected state representatives in Austin: Vikki Goodwin and Sheryl Cole, at which point there will be a panel discussion and the official release of Texas REALTORS’ 2019 legislative agenda. ABoR members can also attend our REALTOR Day at the Texas Capitol on March 26 to advocate for REALTORS and homeowners in Central Texas. For more information on how to get involved, follow us on social media or visit ABoR.com/Engage. Together we can advocate for a better Austin. RL

EVENTS & EDUCATION: MORE AT ABOR.COM

Events & Education Jan. 25: Introduction to Matrix — ABoR HQ (TREC #32691) Jan. 28: 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange - Beyond Basics — ABoR North (TREC #34127) Jan. 28: Social Media: Branding and Lead Generation — ABoR HQ (TREC #32003) Jan. 29: RPR Introduction — ABoR South (TREC # 31996) Jan. 29: RPR Advanced — ABoR South (TREC# 33233) Jan. 29: Matrix Client Portal — ABoR South (TREC# 35951|) Jan. 30: High Power Negotiating — ABoR HQ (TREC# 32661) Jan. 30: Texas Vet: Housing and Land Loan Programs — ABoR South (TREC# 32182)

Excellence in Escrow

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Shonté Battle Escrow Assistant

Miguel Benavides Business Development

MEET YOUR NEW CEDAR PARK TEAM 1335 E. Whitestone Blvd. | Suite Z-100 | Cedar Park, TX 78613 (512) 690-9490 chicagotitleaustin.com


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Eric Willis of Natural Development and Tisha Endsley of Scott Felder Homes celebrate the grand opening of model homes in La Cima — one of the newest masterplanned communities in San Marcos where homes start in the $200s. They showed REALTORS a map of the community and highlighted current and planned amenities.

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RL Advertising Partners: La Cima & Scott Felder Homes

AYREP Happy Hours are a great way to connect with folks who can be a valuable resource to your business! Meet mortgage guru Mark Hairston of The Hairston Group, Rebecca Riederer of Tribe Real Estate, Jim Smith and Heidi Shavor. RL Advertising Partner: The Hairston Group Download Photo: RL_120218_B.JPG for FREE at myrealtyline.com

We are certainly sad to see her go, but wish her the best in retirement. WCREALTORS staff and members gathered to bid farewell to Marge Phillips (hiding in the back row, fourth from left)

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There's nothing like a celebrity appearance to put some excitement into an evening. WCREALTORS staff member Debby Moran and her husband, Steve, got a photo op with Mr. Cruise himself at the Association's "Mission Possible" themed Installation and Awards Banquet.

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INFORM, ENTERTAIN & CONNECT. We Do All This and More! Our “Build Your Brand” is a proven advertising program your industry has come to rely on for over 23 years. ~ Four-levels of advertising packages ~ Social Media included: Facebook & Instagram ~ Readership: over 14,800 REALTORS every month for as little as .22¢ per REALTOR ~ Direct-mail; never bulk dropped ~ e-Blast included. Our current reach is over 12,000 subscribed

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Williamson County Assoc. of REALTORS®

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President’s Column By Cyndi Bell • 2019 President

www.myRealtyLine.com

January 2019

to miss! These events are a great way to network and build your business. If you have not already done so, I invite you to come by the association, have a cup of coffee and visit with the staff, explore our REALTOR store, take a class from our industry-leading

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instructors or attend an event and find why almost 2,000 real estate professionals are proud to call WCREALTORS their home. I am honored to be your 2019 president,and I hope to see you at our upcoming events, classes and networking opportunities. RL

Event & Education Schedule Welcome 2019!

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he 46th Annual Installation and Awards Banquet, hosted last year on Dec. 6, was an action-packed night filled with celebrating 2018 with fellow real estate professionals and recognizing those who helped make 2018 a success. Our 2018 Board of Directors, led by 2018 President Victoria Reviel, did an exceptional job leading and promoting Williamson County Association of REALTORS. During the event, we recognized our fellow members that contributed to the success of WCREALTORS in 2018. This year’s industry award winners are: • REALTOR of the Year – C.J. Pfau, Pfau & Company • Rookie of the Year – Laura Staves, Keller Williams, Georgetown • Affiliate Company of the Year – RIS Austin • Affiliate Member of the Year – Darian Rausch, Stewart Title • President's Choice Award – Cheryl Stephens, 98th Meridian • Distinguished Service – Gary Cocanougher, ERA Colonial Real Estate

Looking ahead to 2019, WCREALTORS is experiencing a change in leadership. As you know, we will be saying “goodbye” to Marge Philips, our association executive. Marge has guided the association over the past 12 years and is moving to a well-deserved retirement. A new association executive will be taking the helm in February. Part of the mission of WCREALTORS is to enhance and promote REALTOR members’ professionalism to encourage member involvement in Williamson County. The association works diligently through monthly news articles, press releases and fireside chats with the local media. Furthermore, our community service committee will be working hard putting together activities where our members give back to the community. Check out the online calendar for upcoming events and register! We have our popular events planned such as Super Bowl of Builders, Eastside Bus Tour, Westside Bus Tour, Luxury Bus Tour, annual golf tournament, annual food drive and TREPAC events, plus some more new events you will not want

January 2019

19 Instagram for REALTORS

25 So You Want To Be A Property Manager

20 zipForm Plus

29 Advanced Matrix CTXMLS

22 Legal Update 2

30 NAR Code of Ethics

27 RPR- Realtors Property Resource

31 Intro to 1031 Exchange

March 2019

February 2019

6 Legal Update 1

5 Broker Responsibility

13 Seller Representative Specialist 2-day class

5

Matrix Listing Input

6 Real Estate Negotiation Expert 2-day class

21 Creating Comprehensive CMA

28 Legal Update 2

7 Business Planning for REALTORS 8

Building Your Brand for REALTORS

11 Instructor Training Institute 2-day class 12 Facebook for Business Pages 13 GRI Marketing - 4 day course 15 Legal Update 1

Register for classes at

www.wcaor.org


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RL Advertising Partner: The Real Estate Business School Lynn Morgan of The

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Mick Donohoe and Alexis Michael, both of SouthStar Bank, welcome the Leander Police Department's Blue Santa to its Leander branch where bank employees and industry partners wrapped their own gifts to their friends and family.

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Real Estate Business School and Austin Board of REALTORS 2019 President Kevin Scanlan of All City Real Estate show some love for the Women's Council of REALTORS while attending the networking group's installation and awards banquet held at the Twin Creeks Country Club.

Retired REALTOR O’Barr Rost is honored with the title of REALTOR Emeritus by the 2018 WCREALTORS President Victoria Reviel of 98th Meridian Real Estate at the Association's Installation and Awards Banquet. The event was held at the Sheraton Austin Hotel in Georgetown.

At this UNCOMMON development, we’re known best for what we’ve left

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January 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM AUSTIN TITLE!!

We look forward to working with you in 2019! WWW.AUSTINTITLE.COM

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National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) President Lise Lucci of JP & Associates REALTORS and NAHREP member Aaron Page get ready to kick off the group's Real Estate Winners Panel event at ABoR's headquarters. Aaron moderated at the event.

Texas Association of REALTORS' Leslie Cantu installs the 2019 Women's Council of REALTORS' board of directors at its installation and awards banquet. The 2019 officers include Jennifer Lish, president; Aaron Lee, president-elect; Heidi Shavor, membership director; Tim O’Brien, treasurer; Lauren Bach, secretary; and Kerri Parker, program/ event director. The Classic Realty crew thanks Chicago Title for hosting the company's Christmas party at its brand new office in Cedar Park! Pictured left to right are Susanna Boyer of Classic Realty, Reagan Sansom, Andrea Simpson, Shonte Battle, and Joy Stokes, all of Chicago Title, Lorrie Westberry, Stephanie Nold, and Chelsey Guilfu, all of Classic Realty.

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Receive a 3% commission on your first closing.

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Former WCREALTORS President Jack Stapleton of Realty Texas installs 2019 WCREALTORS President Cyndi Bell. Cyndi is with Realty Texas where Jack is a Broker/Owner.

Get that Felder Feeling when you sell a new Scott Felder Home! With the Scott Felder Homes 2019 Realtor Loyalty Program, your buyers will quickly embrace our “Choose It. Love It. Live It.” promotion that allows them to enjoy the best we have to offer. CHOOSE from a variety of excellent new home locations and prices. LOVE all our award-winning home designs and interior options. And they LIVE in a home built just for them that will provide value for years to come.

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*All qualified sales must be original Scott Felder Homes (“SFH”) contracts written between January 1, 2019 and November 30, 2019. Sell ONE home and you’re enrolled in SFH’s Co-Broker Loyalty Program! Sell TWO homes between 1/1/19 and 11/30/19 and qualify for a 1% bonus on your 2nd SFH closing. Sell THREE homes between 1/1/19 and 11/30/19 and qualify for a 2% bonus, entitling you to a 5% total commission on your third, and all subsequent closings for the remainder of 2019! Bonus Percentage will be dictated by order of closing: 3% upon first closing, 4% upon 2nd closing, and 5% upon third closing and thereafter between 1/1/2019 and 12/31/2019. All bonuses will be noted on the Closing Disclosure (“CD”) and will be paid at closing. Payments of commissions and bonuses will only be made to actively licensed Texas Brokers. Broker’s commission cannot be used to reduce the price of the home and is only valid if Broker accompanies and registers its client on the first visit to any SFH Austin Division Community during the bonus promotion period AND Broker’s client enters into a new sales agreement for an eligible available home during the bonus promotion period. Bonus paid to Broker upon client’s successful closing and funding and is based on the ORIGINAL contract price as stated in the Sales Agreement, excluding any Seller incentives, subsequent change orders, re-writes, or upgrades. While commission bonuses cannot be used to reduce sales price, Broker may elect to waive participation in the 3%-4%-5% bonus program and apply its Broker bonus, in all or part, towards purchaser’s closing costs. May not be combined with any other Broker bonuses or offers. No team sales: only individual selling agent may qualify. Broker is responsible for all applicable taxes. Please see a SFH Sales Associate for complete details.


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January 2019

C lose on a custom Acreage Home in ClearWater Ranch and receive a $1,000 VISA Gift Card. It’s pure “Mad Money” and our way of saying THANKS for making ClearWater Ranch the #1 Acreage Estate Community in Liberty Hill. ›

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512 Freedom Real Estate Owner/Broker Christy Gessler congratulates her own Jennifer Lish on being elected the 2019 Women's Council of REALTORS president.

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bonus for Veterans/Active Duty and

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RL Advertising Partners: Trinity Title of Texas He's got an uglier sweater than mine! Brian Davis of Trinity Title of Texas and Jeff Sehon of Realty Texas are looking for votes at the Trinity Title of Texas Ugly Christmas Sweater party.

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Chelsea Brown of KB Home, ABoR President-Elect Romero Manzanilla of Realty Austin and ABoR's Business Development Supervisor Danielle Archambault enjoy the beautiful sunset at the AYREP Networking Happy Hour event held at ABoR's headquarters off Spicewood Springs Road.


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Have You Heard What Clients are Saying About Mark Hairston? “Just wanted to send you a big THANK YOU for making my home buying as pleasant and convenient as possible. I certainly would not have predicted to have “fun” while looking for a home loan, but you found the moral support I needed. Thanks again and I’ll always be happy to recommend you to potential clients.” -Dierdre E.

“My husband and I feel lucky to be referred to Mark by a Realtor we had contacted. Mark proved to be our “knight in shining armor”. He dove into the unending mounds of paperwork created by our creditors. With calm and good cheer. He took a personal interest in our family and went above and beyond to assist us. I believe that without him, we may still be searching insisted of enjoying our new home.” -Kate and David A.

“Dan & I wanted to thank you so much for all of your help and support in helping us purchase our 1st home. We were truly blessed to have you as our loan officer and home loan expert! We appreciate you and all that you did, and will be sure to pass on your information to others!” -Dan and Carrie W.

“Thank you so much for walking me though the entire home buying process, especially since my agent had to leave town during the most nervous time. I really appreciate your kindness, hard work and consideration. I love my new home and couldn’t have done it without you!” -Debbie S.

“I wanted to thank you for your perseverance and patience in helping me to purchase my home. I was sure you had bigger fish to fry than worrying about some guy who wants to buy a house in Pflugerville, TX but t you treated me like I was your only client. Your process seemed to run “streamlined” compared to my experives in the past and I will definitely refer you to anyone I know looking to buy a home!” -Mark K.

“Allison and I would like to say “thanks” for helping us make our home purchase such a pleasurable experience. When we started , we called several people and chose you because our were most helpful and courteous. Our 1st impression paid off because working with you was painless and fun! Your courtesy, enthusiasm and timely and accurate processing helped to close in a few weeks and we are so grateful. Our friends and co-workers Will get to hear our version of the home buying experience and hopefully get you some more clients!” -Mark and Allison P.

When You Want It Done Right the First Time! Mark Hairston

Senior Loan Officer (NMLS#221417)

512-789-6967 MarkHairston.com

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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com

Home Builders Assoc. of Greater Austin

President’s Column By Becky Collins • 2019 President

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create an inconsistent patchwork of regulations making it challenging for businesses to operate. Additionally, these ordinances unfairly impact local businesses who cannot afford to comply with the complexity or cost of these regulations.

Tax reform / school finance

HBA has eyes set on Texas' legislative session

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s we begin a new year, all eyes are on the Capitol Building in downtown Austin as we enter the 86th Texas Legislative session. With a new speaker of the house and numerous new members of both the House and Senate, the HBA of Greater Austin looks forward to working with our counterparts at the Texas Association of Builders to ensure the voice of Texas home builders is at the top of legislators' minds as they consider critical pieces of legislation impacting our industry.

Bills related to Hurricane Harvey Unethical contractor practices Unfortunately, we have seen many “fly-bynight” contractors take advantage of homeowners who are stricken with grief after the damage to, or outright loss of, their home after Hurricane Harvey. In a homeowner’s effort to put their life back together as quickly as possible, they may not take the time or due diligence to fully vet a contractor prior to putting down a deposit for services. These bad actor contractors will then take the deposit and disappear, leaving the homeowner without any substantial

recourse. We will look to work with elected officials to strengthen the laws, including increasing penalties, to prevent this type of unethical business behavior. County floodplain regulations Although a county does not have the same type of authority as a municipality, there are still many tools available for a county to regulate its floodplain. We will work to educate counties on those existing tools and provide information into what other counties are doing to help mitigate flood risk in an effort to avoid new and possibly conflicting legislation.

Local government employment regulations We have joined a coalition of other likeminded business organizations to push back on overreaching local governments’ employment regulations. Cities have been increasingly pressured to expand their regulatory scope and pass local ordinances regarding private employment practices, matters that are the jurisdiction of the state and federal levels. These ordinances

All polls indicate tax reform is still a hot topic for Texans. Last session, the Legislature failed to pass meaningful property tax relief legislation, so this year they plan to take another look at it. We expect the Legislature will take a more holistic look at a citizen’s entire tax bill, including city, county and school district taxes, as opposed to just city taxes like they did in the 85th Legislative session. The House has indicated that school finance reform is a top priority and acknowledges that meaningful tax relief cannot be accomplished without taking school finance into consideration.

MUDs and other special purpose districts Over the past few sessions, the Governor has taken a harder look at special purpose districts across the state. These districts are independent jurisdictions with the ability to assess fees or taxes on the people living inside of them. Because Texas is so diverse, it is difficult to create a “template” to establish these types of districts through legislation, but we will continue to work with the Governor and our senators and congressmen in the Legislature to help refine these tools so that builders can continue to utilize them to put important infrastructure on the

ground for their communities.

Workforce and career and technical training The increasing average age of critical tradespeople, like plumbers and electricians, requires us to look toward the youth of our communities to fill this increasing void. It is imperative the legislature find ways to incentivize school districts to continue to expand and support these critical workforce trades as well as to increase student interest in these types of well-paying careers as an option. Important discussions around this issue will center around liability concerns for trades coming into schools to teach, opportunities to provide more specializations and apprenticeships in the trades, funding for these educational opportunities and educating students about their earning potential in the trades. The 2019 legislative session will be an exciting one with many challenges and plenty of opportunity for input. I encourage each of you to make sure you know how to reach your local representative to support issues that make housing possible, and affordable, for everyone. RL


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NOW PRE-SELLING!

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RL Advertising Partner: Classic Realty

RL Advertising Partner: Stewart Title

Santa, all I want for Christmas is to grow my Classic Realty family! Lorrie Westberry and Glyn Kennedy, both of Classic Realty, invite you to come see what this fun group has to offer its agents. Happy New Year!

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2018 was a great year for Kerri Parker of Star State Realty! She was presented with the Women's Council of REALTORS' Rookie of the Year Award from WCR's 2018 President Carol Hardy of Century 21 Hellmann Stribling at the group's installation and awards banquet.

Darian Rausch of Stewart Title works hard for REALTORS all over the Austin area!

WCREALTORS recognized him for all of his hard work and commitment to the association with an Affiliate of the Year award at the Installation & Awards Banquet.

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2019 AGENT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

CAROLINA ACEITUNO

CHRIS LEFFORGE

DAPHNE ARENDER

ELZIE FELTON

FRANCES CROSSLEY

JASON MORRIS

KASEY JORGENSON

KIM WHITLOCK

KYLE WALKER

MELISSA KELLEY

NEVADA TITWORTH

REGGIE MITCHELL

VERONICA MAYEN

ANGELA PADILLA (APPRENTICE)

KAPIL CHIMMULA (APPRENTICE)

MISTY HOSTOTTLE (APPRENTICE)

EXPERIENCE THE KELLER WILLIAMS DIFFERENCE TEAM LEADER MICHELE SHERWOOD 512-255-5050

SOUTHWEST Diane Johnson Melanie Kennemann 512-448-4111

NORTHWEST Paul Campanaro Michelle Busby 512-346-3550

LAKE TRAVIS M.E. Cook 512-263-9090

ROUND ROCK Michele Sherwood 512-255-5050


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January 2019

Happy New Year!

NEW HOMES FROM THE MID-$200’S | MODELS NOW OPEN

CECI BURKLOW | 737-241-9654

TODD HAYS | 512-834-9294

LaCimaTX.com

TISHA ENDSLEY | 210-729-1444

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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com

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austin

Director's Column

Central Texas Residential Real Estate Council

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Residential Real Estate Council Events

By Susanna Boyer • 2019 Director

Please like us on Facebook:

Texas Central RRC - Residential Real Estate Council is our page that highlights our upcoming events.

2019 RRC Bi Monthly Meetings 11:30 AM to 1 PM, Austin Country Club

2019 is our year!

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February

April

June

CRS

thing that all property owners, including REALTORS would like to see. Texas Real Estate Commission Sunset Review This Legislative Session the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is being reviewed. Part of the review has been completed, but the completion will come when Legislators make the decision that TREC is still a viable and much needed department within Texas State Government. Mark your calendars for March 26 for REALTOR Day at the Capitol. Contact your peers and join us to meet with our Legislators and overwhelm them with our sheer numbers to let them know that we, as REALTORS, have a voice! RL

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If you are interested in obtaining your CRS designation contact Mary Lynne Gibbs for more information: austinluxurybroker@gmail.com or 512-431-2403.

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O

ne of the biggest issues the 2017 Texas Legislature faced was property tax reform. The topic was agreed on by both the House and Senate but legislators could not come to agreement on how to approach it. As such, they ended in a stalemate, with no major bills making their way to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature. There were numerous bills filed amending the property tax code, but only 33 (1/10th) of those bills passed. The most important ones did not make it. For the 2019 Texas Legislative Session, there are currently over 60 stakeholders working to prepare a viable property tax reform bill that will make it through to Governor Abbott. They want to make the system better for all concerned, making it more transparent and accountable. All this work will be for nothing if the House and Senate cannot come to a compromise on this issue. 2019 will see a new Speaker of the House and that person will set the direction for the chamber. Industry leaders would like to see tax appraisal districts adopt a more user friendly and customer focused website. This is some-

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AYREP's Board of Directors invites you to join the group at its monthly networking events. Check the event calendar at MyRealtyLine.com for details. Mallory Mundy, Jonathan Richards, Katie Jackson, Brendan Sanford and Emily Bibby.

CHAMPIONS SCHOOL OF REAL ESTATE

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Brokers who sponsor sales agents, broker of an entity or those authorized to supervise other licensees are required to take a 6-hour course on broker responsibility. In addition to the Broker Responsibility course, this program includes TREC Legal Update I & II, Tech Update, and the very informative elective How to Write and Understand a Policies and Procedures Manual.

FEBRUARY 6 - 7 Wednesday 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM Legal Update I 1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Legal Update II

5:30 PM - 6:45 PM

Tech Update

Thursday 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Broker Responsibility

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Policies & Procedures

Strategies for Career Excellence 119 | 18-HOUR CE PROGRAM

$

Designed to meet TREC Continuing Education requirements, this program covers a myriad of topics, including TREC legal updates, current and emerging technologies and their effect on business, and tips on how to make your business more successful in a changing world.

FEBRUARY 7 - 8 Thursday 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM Legal Update I 1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Legal Update II

5:30 PM - 6:45 PM

Tech Update

Friday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Strategies

Online course options availabe at www.ChampionsSchool.com/real-estate/online

Broker Responsibility #06-06-128-31450; Policies & Procedures #02-00-078-31025; Strategies #08-00-129-33534; Tech Update #02-00-129-33533; Legal I #04-04-129-33197; Legal II #04-04-129-33198; Gen Selling #02-00-088-31156; TIL #02-00-129-33532; ABR: #15-00-059-32481; NHC: #08-00-119-33502; Insiders: #10-00-129-33555; Open to the Public TREC #0005 183


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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com

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Expert Speaks Out

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Commentary By Harold Copher, Jr. Mortgage Lending Professional

New technology in mortgage transactions

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ne of the most significant changes in mortgage lending over the last couple years has been technology advancements in the origination of residential mortgage loans—particularly with the initial application, required disclosures and supporting documentation submission. The cutting-edge lenders view development of better technology as a way to give them a competitive advantage by improving the customer experience and lowering costs. Other lenders were content letting others lead the way and are now playing catch up. Truth be told, the need for the mortgage origination process to become easier and more transparent for the consumer has been out there for years. As recently as the late 1990’s, loan originators were required to submit handwritten loan applications and obtain documents with original signatures. Today, our buyers can complete the loan application on their phone, upload any required supporting documentation directly into our system and electronically sign the application and disclosures. If they fit the profile, a click in the right place and their income and

employment verification, asset validation and tax transcript documentation is uploaded on their behalf. In some cases, the lender will receive an automated loan approval that doesn’t even require an appraisal report. Technological advances are occurring on both the consumer front and in the back room of mortgage origination. Streamlining the process for the consumer is probably the most visible improvement, but cloud-based loan origination systems and advances in automation designed to replace tasks previously done manually are improving the overall cost structure and timeliness required to complete the transaction. Most think the millennials deserve at least partial credit for driving this change and they are probably right. Being able to interface with your mortgage team from your phone as easily as you track an order on Amazon is not only convenient, but can reduce errors, as well as processing and underwriting timeliness. According to a 2016 Federal Housing Finance Authority report, 18 percent of home loan applicants were forced to redo their paperwork, with

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slightly over 23 percent experiencing a delay in their scheduled closing- Although the same report indicates overall borrower satisfaction levels remained acceptable, the numbers reflect satisfaction levels among younger applicants trending downward. Is it important to address satisfaction levels among younger buyers? According to FNMA, the millennial generation is the largest sector of home buyers in 2018 and will continue to drive the housing market moving forward. And because millennials are also the most technically advanced sector, mortgage lenders (and REALTORS) who provide instantaneous, digital access to data will be the long-term winners. So, the advances in technology are mostly market driven and not a response to regulatory change? I think so. I believe the industry is advancing and striving to meet the expectations of our customers. Being better equipped to document compliance is definitely a benefit, as is lower overall costs per loan. As costs per loan have increased and margins per transaction have decreased, the ability to more efficiently process and analyze data are allowing us to provide a better experience for the consumer, while helping keep costs in check. Loan eligibility determined by automated

underwriting continues to improve with better technology. We’ve seen agencies modify their automated underwriting guidelines to accommodate new data, which frees up experienced underwriters to apply their expertise in evaluating those applications that are “just outside the lines.” Niche loan products are the fastest growing area of the mortgage marketplace. The challenge of property valuation and the role of the appraiser are changing. Like most industries, our business model is evolving due to advances in technology. What does all that mean to you and me? The need for a seasoned professional loan originator will continue to be critical to the process. With the trend towards direct borrower – lender interaction, the benefit of education and counseling remains. The value of the technology manifests itself in the execution of the plan and the process, not the development of the plan. Good loan originators are becoming better at leveraging the new technology. We are now able to invest more time coaching people through the complex transaction that is a mortgage; leaving the tedious, repetitive tasks to technology. Technology will enhance our service, not replace it. RL


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January 2019

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CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH OUR

MOVE-IN-READY HOMES A NEW YEAR MEANS FRESH BEGINNINGS, AND THERE’S NO BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE THAN YOUR CLIENT FINDING A DREAM HOME AT DEERBROOKE.

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Materials are protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. All rights in these materials are reserved. All products and company names marked as trademarked (™) or registered (®) are trademarks of their respective holders. Copying, reproduction and distribution of materials without prior written consent of Deerbrooke is strictly prohibited. All information, plans, and pricing are subject to change without notice. This information does not represent a specific offer of sale or solicitation to purchase property within Deerbrooke. Models do not reflect racial preference. * Closing timeline may vary due to buyer or seller factors. A Randolph Todd Development & Crown Community Development.

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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com Women's Council of REALTORS

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President’s Column By Jennifer Lish • 2019 President

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s we usher in 2019 we reflect on all of the good and bad of 2018. We must focus on the good, learn from the bad and do what Elsa said, "Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go!" Let's move forward to a new beginning and be the best we can be! The goal for Women's Council of REALTORS for 2019 is to continue to grow, not only in our membership, but in our professional and personal development, leadership, referral opportunities and how we serve in our communities. It is time to sign up or renew your Women's Council of REALTORS Austin membership. You can go to www.wcr.org to join today! A bit of information regarding Women's Council: • 70 percent of members agree that "As a result of my involvement in Women's Council, I have become a stronger leader and developed advanced leadership skills for my business, community and personal life." • Members who report being leaders in their local community: 62 percent

• Women's Council participation rate in RPAC is the highest in the REALTOR family at 74 percent (versus 33 percent for all REALTORS) • Total annual investment of Women's Council members: $2,959,621 (7 percent of all RPAC dollars) • Major investors who are Women's Council members: 1,315 (15 percent of all major investors) We have a great schedule for 2019. Mark your calendars for our annual Winter White Party on Feb. 20 and be on the look out for more information. Be sure to sign up for Texas REALTORS 2019 Winter Meeting in Austin and Women's Council Texas has some great events as well. As members of Women’s Council of REALTORS, we belong to an elite group of business leaders, a network of successful REALTORS, advancing women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and the communities we serve. RL

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It's 2019, let it go! RL Advertising Partner: Trinity Title of Texas

Wearing 'em loud and proud, the Trinity Title of Texas team hosts a fun Ugly Christmas Sweater party where guests donned their ugliest sweaters. Pictured left to right are Bobbie Lockett and Marley Ketchum, both of Trinity Title of Texas, Laura Tumulty of Reilly REALTORS, Cecilia Hoyle of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate HomeCity and Dan McDorman.

TIME OF YOUR LIFE BLACKBURN BUILDS HOMES FOR EVERY SEASON OF LIFE DIAMOND OAKS A gated luxury new home community in the heart of Round Rock 512-341-9212 THE GARDENS AT MAYFIELD A secluded and gated luxury home community in Round Rock 512-733-2222 THE CROSSING AT WELLS BRANCH A new North Austin community just 15 minutes from Downtown 512-989-9977 TRAILS AT BLACKHAWKS Gated boutique community coming spring 2019! VISIT BLACKBURNCOMMUNITIES.COM


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RL Advertising Partner: Scott Felder Homes

Have you met Corinne Wall of Scott Felder Homes? She's ready to meet you at the builder's new model home in La Cima — a stunning new community in San Marcos where homes start in the $200s. Come by for a visit and bring your clients!

t e e w e s hom t s u r t e hom Home is where you gather with family and friends and make memories that last a lifetime. mortgage products and your loan is processed and underwritten locally.

Contact Hometrust Mortgage today for a free consultation or

Call (512) 450-1222 Richie Rodriguez

NMLS# 222698 rrodriguez@hometrust.com

Lynn Edgar

NMLS# 221412 ledgar@hometrust.com

Bradley Rife

NMLS# 221487 brife@hometrust.com

Catherine Darwin NMLS# 1606718 cdarwin@hometrust.com

Tyler Browne

NMLS# 1531348 tbrowne@hometrust.com

Bryson Reid

NMLS# 1411621 breid@hometrust.com

Hometrust Mortgage Company, NMLS# 149932 4301 Westbank Dr. Escalade B Suite 150 Austin, TX 78746

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January 2019

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Way to go C.J. Pfau! C.J. was presented with the WCREALTORS "REALTOR of the Year" award and is congratulated by past winner Mary Miner of Nextage Lone Star Realty and WCREALTORS 2018 President Victoria Reviel of 98th Meridian Real Estate.

Rockin' the ugliest of ugly sweaters at the Trinity Title of Texas Ugly Christmas Sweater Party are (drumroll please) Harold McGee and Esmeralda McGee, both of eXp Realty! RL Advertising Partners: Trinity Title of Texas Download Photo: RL_113018_3A.JPG for FREE at www.myrealtyline.com

Linda Stewart of Highland Homes shows off the beautiful new model home at La Cima — one of Highland Homes' newest communities in San Marcos.

RL Advertising Partners: Highland Homes Download Photo: RL_120318_G.JPG for FREE at myrealtyline.com

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Congratulations to Laurie Nunnallee and Jessica Price of RE/MAX 1 for their awards as WCR Austin's 2018 Affiliate of the Year and REALTOR of the Year. Both ladies are gunning for the title in 2019 if anyone dares to give them some competition!

SYNERGY ONE LENDING

SAYS WELCOME TO CRAIG TRINIDAD NMLS ID 1025894

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512.426.9641 or ctrinidad@s1lending.com Synergy One Lending Synergy One Lending Inc. NMLS 1025894. 3131 Camino Del Rio N 190, San Diego, CA 92108. Texas Mortgage Banker Registration 1025894.


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Legacy Mutual 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 K a t i e A g n e s s

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roviding home lending services for homebuyers, builders and real estate professionals, Legacy Mutual Mortgage serves a variety of markets throughout Texas, Tennessee and Colorado. Since its founding in 2003, Legacy Mutual has been creating a culture focused on quality customer service, respect and integrity. “At Legacy Mutual, we work with all types of clients, including first-time homebuyers, FHA, VA, USDA and Jumbo borrowers,” says Pam Jenkins, national operations manager for Legacy Mutual Mortgage. “We work closely with our borrower’s and referral partners to provide a variety of residential mortgage loans.” Today, Legacy Mutual’s footprint extends across 20 locations and with more than 65 loan officers. To serve the Austin area, Legacy Mutual has two locations — one in North Austin at Braker Lane and MoPac and another in South Austin off Southwest Parkway. In addition to its two physical locations, Legacy Mutual loan officers serve the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Georgetown, Buda, Hutto, Kyle, Pflugerville, Lakeway and beyond. For homebuyers seeking a home loan, Legacy Mutual strives to make the process as efficient and seamless as possible. One way it accomplishes this is through its team structure. Each team member is responsible for a stage in the loan process and provides unparalleled cus-

tomer services and highly skilled loan services. “A homebuyer can count on honest and transparent communication throughout the entire process,” Jenkins says. “Our technology makes it easy for borrowers to submit the required documentation and see instant status updates while our loan officers are readily available by phone, email and text to assist clients with all of their questions. Homebuyers can

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January 2019

longstanding relationships with its REALTOR and builder partners. “REALTORS and industry professionals can expect our loan officers to be their business partner and not just a loan officer that is receiving referrals,” Jenkins says. “We believe that relationships and partnership are the key to long-term success. We are very invested in helping our referral partners succeed. In that, we communicate frequently and our process is built to close loans on time for them.” When working with builders, Legacy Mutual creates a unique service level agreement for each unique builder and offers a variety of value-added services. To ensure continued referral business, Legacy Mutual has established itself as an ethical, trusted lender through consistent communication, a commitment to clos-

Our technology makes it easy for borrowers to submit the required documentation and see instant status updates while our loan officers are readily available. also expect a variety of products available to meet their needs, and Legacy loan officers have the experience and expertise to ensure borrowers are placed in the best loan for them.” In addition to working with homebuyers, Legacy Mutual has a history of building reliable,

ing dates, timely responses and availability to speak directly to a loan officer. “Legacy values the role we play in the industry, and we are proud to offer monthly “Lunch and Learns” covering a variety of topics, as well as trainings for our referral partners on subjects

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Pam Jenkins, National Operations Manager

such as business planning, appraisal, tax planning, technology and social media,” Jenkins says. Over the years, Legacy Mutual has received numerous “Best Place to Work” and “Top Workplace” honors from a variety of publications and organizations. From its philanthropic commitments to the communities it serves to a career-centric mindset to positive employee morale, Legacy Mutual has built a company culture that is sought after by top loan officers. “The loan officers at Legacy Mutual Mortgage are top of class,” Jenkins says. “A pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from Legacy Mutual can be relied on. Our system ensures that we have reviewed all of the information needed to give accurate and quick pre-qualifications to our referral partners. Once pre-qualified, our process closes loans on time and provides concierge level service to our clients. “ RL

Have fun, play games, learn business, and get rich! No Lectures. Go Here: BuildMyReBusiness.com/POB Courses provided by The Real Estate Business School (Provider #701045/ #10071)

THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS SCHOOL Get Your License Learn to Use it!

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Front Page: Continued When you lower taxes in one area, those funds need to be collected from somewhere else. That could mean implementing a new tax, raising taxes or diverting money from another area. No one wants to take responsibility for any of these options. A positive way to look at the Senate’s inability to pass a property tax bill in the past is that it’s not uncommon for an issue to circulate through two or more legislative sessions before a bill hits the governor’s desk. Of course, it’s preferable to get property tax reform done now and not in the 2020s.

three dozen interim charges related to Hurricane Harvey ahead of the 86th legislative session. Past House Speaker Joe Straus asked the public education committee, house appropriations and natural resources committees to look at the costs and suggest ways to react to future storms. These solutions will impact school district operations, allocation of federal funds and development and maintenance of flood prevention infrastructure. “We expect a lot of legislation and protections,” says Lee. “The mechanisms needed to protect Texans are moving forward.”

School Finance Reform

There are a few things that agents and brokers can do to help advance the industry’s legislative agenda. First, join your local real estate associations and sign up for email notifications from ABoR, TAR and Williamson Country Association of REALTORS. Getting email updates will keep you in the loop on important legislative issues. Another way to help is by getting to know local and state legislators. Fortunately, there’s a really easy way to do this. Just show up to REALTOR rally days, organized by real estate advocacy organizations. March 20 is Rally Day at the Texas State Capitol, a free, biannual event organized by Texas Association of Builders. Starting at 10 a.m., you have the chance to meet legislators and top policy staff members. There will be a keynote speaker, legislator meet-and-greets and a reception. The same day is the 2019 HBA Lunch at Scholz Garten. Go to HBAAustin.com/event/tab-rally-day/ for more information. REALTOR Day at the Texas Capitol, organized by the Texas Association of REALTORS, is on March 26. There will be an open house and lunch at the Texas REALTORS building on San Jacinto Boulevard. Go to https://www.texasrealestate.com/members/events for more information. By showing up to meet legislators, you can become a better advocate for your industry and clients and help to advance important agenda items. RL

School finance goes hand-in-hand with property tax laws and will be affected by any new property tax bills. But it’s also an issue that real estate consumers have a specific interest in. One of the first conversations that homebuyers have with their real estate agent is school district funding. Texas has the sixth highest property taxes in the country and the state clearly relies on those funds. Property owners, however, loathe this tax. Especially in counties like Travis and Williamson where property values have been on an upward trajectory with no end in sight. So regardless of whether homeowners are seeing their incomes increasing, their cost of living continues to rise. For some it’s a financial burden; for others it’s downright devastating. Added to that, the state is sending fewer and fewer dollars to public schools even though student enrollment goes up every year. Local taxpayers are billed the difference, but that money can also be diverted to other districts – or to something entirely different.

Disaster Relief Hurricane Harvey – and emergency management, in general – is one issue that everyone agrees will take up a lot of time on the House floor this session. In 2017, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released to Senate committees a list of nearly

How you can help

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P. O. Box 81366 • Austin, Texas 78708-1366 • (512) 514-3141 www.myRealtyLine.com Publisher: Associate Publisher: Doren L. Carver Tawanna K. Verock doren@myRealtyLine.com tawanna@myRealtyLine.com Managing Editor: Contributing Editor: Naomi Bludworth Linda McNabb naomi@myRealtyLine.com Contributing Writers: Photographers Riki Markowitz, Katie Agness, Melanie Mitchell Naomi Bludworth melanie@myRealtyLine.com

Advertising Sales: Columnists: Doren L. Carver - (512) 514-3141 Kevin Scanlan, Cyndi Bell, Becky doren@myRealtyLine.com Collins, Susanna Boyer, Jennifer Lish, Harold Copher, Jr. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: ubmit photos, press releases and calendar items to naomi@myrealtyline.com. All images S 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 before ad copy deadlines. Submission items will be included as space allows. RealtyLine is published monthly by Caxton Publications, Inc.© as a non-subscription publication for the more than 12,000 members of the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), the more than 1,800 members of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (WCREALTORS) and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin. RealtyLine is a proud member of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin and is an honorary member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS. RealtyLine 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 (®) to save space. Wherever the word REALTOR® appears in this publication, the registered trademark should be assumed.

Local VA Loan Experts at Your Service Veterans United Home Loans in Austin offers: Specializing in VA and VLB Loans Complimentary credit consulting No lender fees (except with VLB Loans) VA Loan classes at ABoR (2-hour CE)

Get more info and reach your local VA Loan expert at (512) 646-0800 or AustinVALoans.com!

3415 Greystone Dr, Ste 301, Austin, TX 78731. Licensed by the Texas Dept. of Savings and Mortgage Lending, Mortgage Company License #1907; 77193 Servicer License - Corporate (Missouri) Office: Texas-SML Residential Mortgage Loan Servicer Registration #1907. VA approved lender; Not a gov’t agency. NMLS #1907 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org).

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A D V E R T I S E I N R E A LT Y L I N E [ V I S I T M Y R E A LT Y L I N E . C O M F O R D E TA I L S ]

from N O R T H A M E R I C A N T I T L E North American Title can ease your clients’ transition to a new home in 2019 with excellent service, professional expertise and smooth closings. NORTH AUSTIN 5608 Parkcrest Drive | Suite 150 Austin, TX 78731 t: 512.302.3892

ROUND ROCK 1 Chisholm Trail | Suite 3100 Round Rock, TX 78681 t: 512.255.6550

www.nat.com/Texas www.facebook.com/Austin.NAT

©2018 North American Title Group, LLC and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. North American Title Group, LLC and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. North American Title Company and related design and Like Clockwork are registered Service Marks of North American Title Group, LLC or its corporate parent. | TX18-14150 R 12.18.18


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January 2019 www.myRealtyLine.com

Real Estate News & Notes Realty Austin updates its look; reveals new branding

Realty Austin upgraded its look with the release of a modern logo, polished signs, upscale brochures, a refresh of its home search website, realtyaustin.com and a new iOS and Android mobile home search app. The company unveiled its new designs at a private celebration exclusively for its agents at the Austin Board of Realtors. Realty Austin was formed in 2004 with a strong belief that a brokerage must be something more than a place for agents to hang their license. The company cultivates a smart and collaborative work environment and is laser-focused on raising the bar in real estate by hiring only experienced, full-time and productive agents who are dedicated to providing outstanding representation to every single client. Motivated to incorporate those principles into a new brand for the future, co-owners Jonathan and Yvette Boatwright worked with the top real estate brand agency, 1000watt, to

craft the perfect new identity to represent the next generation of the brokerage. “After nearly 15 years, it was time to remodel and refine our brand to reflect who we are today," says Yvette Boatwright. "Our team of premium agents, who already offer premium service, deserve to have a premium brand behind them." Jonathan Boatwright continued, “The evolution of our brand symbolizes the strong trajectory we’ve been on since our humble beginnings 14 years ago. Although simple, the new look has not only modernized but also reenergized the spirit of our brokerage and conveys our driving force to innovate, give back and deliver a superior customer experience to all of our clients.” Going forward, the next phase of the company’s rebrand involves remodeled interiors and exterior signage at their current and upcoming Agent Success Centers, strategically located in central hubs across Austin: north at Lakeline, central at the Triangle, south at Lantana Place, east at Mueller and west at Davenport Village and Lakeway. RL

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, company affiliation and a short description. Press releases must be fewer than 300 words. Submission items will be included as space allows. Would you like us to cover your event? Email us at naomi@myrealtyline.com to check availability.

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Classic Realty addresses issues facing agents Classic Realty partnered with Barton Hills Mortgage to hold a surveillance discussion with Latra Szal, an attorney with Texas National Title. In the discussion, we learned what constitutes a an unauthorized video recording that can lead to

a felony charge and what needs to be put in the MLS to protect our sellers from being charged! These are important issues facing our clients every day that we need to be prepared to discuss. Be sure to join us for our next discussion! RL

More than 250 homes sold in Santa Rita Ranch in 2018 To meet the demand seen in 2017 and expected for 2018, the number of homesites in the Liberty Hill development increased nearly 50 percent last year, new builders were introduced, new model homes constructed and new amenities opened. “We were the top-selling community in 2017 in the flourishing Ronald Reagan Corridor with more than 200 homes sold,” says developer Ed Horne. “We fully expected that trajectory to continue, and it did.” Santa Rita Ranch released 518 homesites to builders in 2018. “It was a big push to make sure our builders have enough homesites so they can offer the wide variety of floor plans that have been carefully chosen for Santa Rita Ranch,” Horne said. An additional 450 lots will be released in 2019, Horne said. “Santa Rita Ranch is the top performer in the Northwest Austin submarket, generating 244 annual new home starts in the trailing 12 months ending Sept. 30,” said Vaike T. O’Grady, Austin regional director for housing research firm Metrostudy. “That’s 40 percent more activity than its next largest competitor.” Several builders opened new models in 2018, including Sitterle Homes, Perry Homes and Empire Communities — all new. In all, eight models opened in Santa Rita Ranch during 2018. Also opened in 2018 was The Green, a $1.8 million complex that offers six zones for a variety of activities.

The new complex in part helped Santa Rita Ranch amenities to be named “Best of the Best” by area voters at Austin’s 2018 Best of the Best Official Choice Awards, a contest that garnered more than 260,000 votes. Santa Rita Ranch residents currently enjoy more than $8 million in on-site amenities. A dozen builders in Santa Rita Ranch offer 15 product lines in the community, which was twice named Master-Planned Community of the Year in 2018, by the Austin Business Journal in February and by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin during its MAX Awards in April. Horne and his wife Elizabeth work closely with builders to ensure floor plans suit the community’s vision. “Development of Santa Rita Ranch is partly focused on getting to know your neighbors, which is our Ranch Code No. 3,” Horne says. “We have a very fun and active lifestyle here with generous amenities and plenty of resident activities, but the various home designs offered on The Ranch also encourage camaraderie among neighbors. That’s why we encourage builders to offer entertainment kitchens and places where people can easily gather.” Residents also will have a chance to interact at two new schools coming to the community in 2020. A new Liberty Hill Independent School District elementary school will break ground in February and the Divine Savior Academy private school is slated to break ground in May. Both are expected to open in the 2020 school year. RL


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congratulations 2018 Award Winners

Company Sales & Listing Agent of the Year

Company Sales & Listing Volume Team of the Year

Gay Puckett

Everett Team Dylan Everett

Company Listing & Williamson County Sales Team of the Year

Company Leasing & Lease Listing Team and Westlake Sales & Listing Team

Westlake Office Sales & Listing Agent of the Year

Mantz Team

The A Team

Steve Robertson

Norma Mantz

Adrian Grabe

Northwest Office Sales & Listing Team of the Year

Northwest Office Sales & Listing Agent of the Year

Lake Travis Office Sales & Listing Agent of the Year

Williamson County Office Sales & Listing Agent of the Year

Williamson County Listing Agent of the Year (Tie)

Darey Team

Peggy Little

Josh Payer

Karen McGrath

Molly Avila

Jeff & Tish Darey

Westlake - (512) 502-7600 Lake Travis - (512) 298-3592 Williamson County - (512) 502-7705 Northwest - (512) 502-7800 Relocation - (800) 531-5207

Williamson County Office Williamson County Office Listing Volume Agent of Sales Listing Team the Year of the Year (Tie)

Martha StClair

Constancio Team Andrew Constancio

Williamson County Office Sales Listing Team of the Year (Tie)

Team North Debbie Stevenson & Cody Stevenson

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Networking & Other Events Tuesday, Jan. 22 HBA: Million Dollar Club Networking Happy Hour North by Northwest, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 AREAA: Winter Lantern Gala Westin at the Domain, 6-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 WCR Austin: Winter White Party Hanovers 2.0, 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 TAB & HBA: 2019 Rally Day Texas Capitol, Time TBA Tuesday, March 26 TAR: REALTOR Day at The Capitol Texas Capitol, Time TBA

Monthly Association Meetings Tuesday, Feb. 5 HBA: Goes Local - Kyle/Buda Kyle City Hall, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 AMBA: Monthly Meeting Austin Country Club, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 24 Southwestern Consulting: Grow Your Sales Immediately Southwestern Title Agency, 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24-25 HBA: Build Your Voice: Developing Your Delivery Style HBA Office, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 R.E. Business School: Real Estate Finance RE Business School Austin Campus, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 Austin Title: Agent One Austin Title Cedar Park Office, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 - 7 Champions School of R.E.: Broker Responsibility Round Rock Campus, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

See details and much more at myRealtyLine.com

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

WCREALTORS Executive Director Marge Phillips goes out with a bang. She received a retirement award from the associations' top leadership: Suzanne Gantner, Victoria Reviel and Cyndi Bell.

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) membership committee members Lily Hernandez and Monica Clarence encourage you to make a resolution to join the networking group in 2019.

Wednesday, Feb. 20 RRC: Bi-Monthly Meeting Austin Country Club, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Continuing Education Classes

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Events & Education

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GROW YOUR SALES IMMEDIATELY

January 24th

We are bringing in an outside speaker to conduct an advanced sales training workshop for our partners.

10 :00 am @ Southwestern Title Agency

JIM SANDER

Professional Speaker Certified Sales and Leadership Coach

IN THIS HIGH-ENERGY SESSION YOU WILL LEARN: Ø Tips for developing a top producer mindset to help keep yourself motivated every day Ø A strategy for uncovering your prospect’s needs to prevent objections from ever happening Ø A process of asking the right questions to differentiate yourself from the competition and win consistently Ø Ideas for overcoming call reluctance and taking action Ø How to properly qualify prospects to shorten your sales cycle Ø Using social media to drive more referrals for your business ü Plus, you will walk away with practical ideas to more effectively manage your time and have better work-life balance. RSVP with Shelia at sbalagia@swtatx.com Southwestern Title Agency 1111 N. IH-35, SUITE 102, ROUND ROCK, TX 78664


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January 2019

The Sky is the Limit

Who will you trust to close your big

commercial Real Estate transactions

Your TNT Commercial Division

Michelle LeMay-Fleming

Debra Holloway

Branch Manager/Escrow Officer

Branch Manager/Escrow Officer

(512) 337-0940 Michelle.Fleming@TexasNationalTitle.com

(512) 337-0800 Debra.Holloway@TexasNationalTitle.com

To find out more about TNT and how we can help you manage a winning closing transaction, visit

www.TexasNationalTitle.com

Marie Farber

Latra Szal

Branch Manager/Escrow Officer

Chief Operations Officer/Legal Counsel

(512) 337-0931 Marie.Farber@TexasNationalTitle.com

(512) 317-3646 Latra.Szal@TexasNationalTitle.com

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Profile for Realty Line of Austin

Realty Line January 2019 Issue  

Putting a face on real estate since 1995. The focus of the January 2019 issue of Realty Line is the industry's focus on the 86th Texas Legis...

Realty Line January 2019 Issue  

Putting a face on real estate since 1995. The focus of the January 2019 issue of Realty Line is the industry's focus on the 86th Texas Legis...