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in this issue…

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995™

• HBA Crawfish Boil • WCAoR Quarterly Luncheon • Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty Grand Opening and much, much more!

Associates in Progress page 25

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APRIL 2011 • VOLUME 15 • ISSUE 12

Offer Good Through 4/24. Details on Pg. 5

Communication Styles Vary Among Generations If a REALTOR can connect with their customer on their level, they will encounter less miscommunication and find greater success in getting deals to the closing table, Tinnell says. Connecting with boomers (those born from 1946 to 1964) means giving

by Linda McNabb

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ommunicating with clients, on the surface, may seem like a simple and natural skill. Call and stay in touch, right? But what method should a REALTOR use to contact clients — phone, text, e-mail, social sites, in person or direct mail — there are so many methods to choose from. Depending on the situation or the client, one method might be preferred, so how does a REALTOR know which is best? Oftentimes, the age of the client determines the selection, says Marjorie Tinnell of Independence Title, who offers a workshop called Generational Selling that teaches REALTORS to communicate with clients who might range from age 20 to 80. “In today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial to know how to speak to different generations,” she says. “Because computers have been present their entire life, a Gen Y buyer may want to do a lot of their own research online before

Front Page: Continued on page 8

Upcoming Events Thursday, April 21 Capital Title Open House Austin Research Office - 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. HBA Networking Social BMC Select Showroom - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

ever seeking professional advice, while a Baby Boomer may need to know you personally

before they feel comfortable conducting business with you.”

Educating Buyers on the State of the Local Real Estate Market Helps Industry Professionals to Set Realistic Expectations explaining why their clients’ pie-in-the-sky

by Naomi Bludworth

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uyers in the current housing market often mistakenly expect to make out like bandits, thanks to information pouring out of national news outlets. This leaves REALTORS with the daunting task of

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dreams for their looming home purchase might not be practical.

So how can REALTORS and other industry

professionals get the message across that there is no such thing as a national housing market,

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P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708

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all markets are local and local factors are what determine housing prices? Facts, facts, facts. Facts are indisputable. Furthermore, if buyers’ experiences reflect the facts REALTORS have been providing them, the deeper the message sinks in and REALTORS will find themselves in a better position to be viewed as the real expert. And like all other marketing principles, consistence is key to driving home the point. First, REALTORS should be diligent in collecting facts and be sure they are as current as possible. For example, the Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) recently reported that home prices for existing inventory in the region have actually increased two percent since February 2010. The median sales price now sits at $193,000 in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical

Expectations: Continued on page 16

WCR $2,000 Drop Dinner and Dance Reverse Sweepstakes Elks Lodge - 6 p.m. Monday, April 25 NAHREP Austin Buyers/Sellers Fair The Business Location - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 CCIM 11th Annual Power Luncheon Four Seasons Hotel - 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. WCR/NAHREP Austin Networking Mixer The Upper Decks - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 WCR Business Resource Luncheon Cool River Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 10 NAPMW Monthly Luncheon - Norris Conference Center - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14 HBA MAX Awards Gala Renaissance Austin Hotel - 6 to 10 p.m. More at www.myRealtyLine.com


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Austin Board of REALTORS®

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Chairman’s Column By Judith Bundschuh • 2011 Chairman

Support the ABoR Foundation, Enter for a Chance to Win a Mercedes-Benz

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he ABoR Foundation kicked off its 2011 Mercedes-Benz Raffle earlier this year and there is no better time than the present to purchase your ticket. Proceeds from the raffle will support the ABoR Foundation’s Scholarship Program, which provides deserving high school seniors with scholarships to attend Texas colleges, universities and trade schools. Your $100 raffle ticket will enter you in the running to win a brand new Mercedes-Benz, while allowing you to support a worthy cause. Only 1,500 raffle tickets will be sold. The grand prize package includes the following: • A trip to Germany with five nights in luxury hotels in Germany and Austria; • Mercedes-Benz factory tour; and • The opportunity to participate in a self guided auto-rally that takes you from the Mercedes factory through the Black Forest into the Austrian Alps and into Munich, Germany. Enter for a chance to win this exclusive package by purchasing your ticket online at

www.myRealtyLine.com Academy Cards are available to both ABoR members and non-members. To purchase your card, visit www.abor.com/acard. For more information, contact ABoR’s Education Department by e-mail at education@abor.com or call 454-7636. Vote in the Austin City Council Elections This May

www.abor.com/mercedes. The winner of the raffle will be announced at the Mercedes and Martini Raffle event held from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 10 at the Domain II in Austin. For more information on the ABoR Foundation or the 2011 Mercedes Raffle, contact Rita Barousse in ABoR’s Education Department by e-mail at rbarousse@abor.com or by phone at 454-7636, ext. 1602. Gain Access to Unlimited MCE Courses at the ABoR Academy The ABoR Academy has announced the return of the Academy Card in 2011. This amazing offer allows cardholders to attend unlimited mandatory continuing education (MCE) courses between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 for only $99. This budgetfriendly, bundled deal is a great way to earn MCE credits and further your real estate education. Only 500 Academy Cards will be sold, so I encourage you to purchase your card today. You won’t want to miss out on this offer.

As REALTORS, it is important to be involved in the political process. That involvement includes voting in local elections. Plan to head to the ballot box on May 14 for the Austin City Council Elections. What better way is there to help guarantee real estate industry success than actively participating in the political process? ABoR has announced their endorsements for the three open positions on the Austin City Council. For Place 3, ABoR is endorsing incumbent Randi Shade for re-election. Additionally, ABoR is endorsing incumbents Chris Riley (Place 1) and Laura Morrison (Place 4) for re-election. Each candidate has demonstrated their support for REALTORfriendly issues. Don’t forget to make your way to the ballot box on May 14 to cast your vote.

April 2011

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ABoR Brings MLS Subscribers a Convenient, Informative Array of MLS Training Courses As REALTORS, we use the MLS every day to conduct our business. Have you ever wanted to learn more about the MLS system and how to best utilize its features for your business? ABoR offers free training for MLS subscribers to help you do just that. Last year, ABoR added a second, south Austin location — the Wyndham Garden Hotel, located at 3401 South IH-35 — to provide MLS subscribers with an alternate place to take courses. I encourage you to further your MLS knowledge by signing up for courses. Here are some upcoming MLS courses: • MLX CMA April 21 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. • MLX Schedule/Plans Management April 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. • MLX Listing Maintenance April 27 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. • MLXchange Advanced Features and CMA (3 hours MCE credit) May 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. View courses and register at www.abor. com/education and log in to view courses. RL

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Mixing it up at WCR’s Wine Mixer are Stephanie Loth of iMortgage, Mark Griffiths of Best Agents in Texas, Angela Martin, guest, and Aisha Dull of Capital Title.

Buy photo: RL_0410_11_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Ross DeLomel of Supreme Lending is pleased to see a crowd at their iPad giveaway and happy hour at Baby A’s, including Bobbie Aderno of Keller Williams Realty, Mary Stephens of Supreme Lending, Marnie Colehour and Bob Schreiber, both of Austin Homescapes Realty, and Vicki Garritano of Gracy Title.

Buy photo: RL_0416_11_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Melanie Kennemann and Gene Frederick, both of Keller Williams Realty, show off their disco dancing skills at the company’s 70’s Party Family Reunion in Anaheim, California. Buy photo: RL_0415_11_L.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Submitted Photo

Weeee doggies, them thar are some tasty critters! Lee Easter of Lee Easter, Inc. shows off his crawdad eating skills at the HBA Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer.

SWBC welcomes back... Kathleen Condry A seasoned mortgage veteran with 13 years of experience and a commitment to excellent service.

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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April 2011

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©2011 KB Home (KBH). Payment of Broker Co-op and $5,000 bonus requires Broker to accompany and register buyer on first visit to community and comply with Broker Co-op Agreement. Bonus offer is valid on each eligible sale of quick-move-in homes from February 19, 2011- April 24, 2011 and on contracts for full list price only. For Broker to receive bonus, buyer must sign purchase agreement by 4/24/11. Bonus not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be combined with other offers. Once client has closed escrow, Broker will receive bonus. Bonus awarded only on non-contingent contracts. Cancelled sales are not eligible. Sales of model homes excluded. Broker must be legal U.S. resident and 18 or older, and an active, licensed real estate agent in Texas. Other exclusions, qualifications, restrictions and limitations may apply. 2011 Realtor Bonus Program: To participate or qualify for this off er you must be a Texas Licensed Real Estate Agent and agree to the following terms of the program. Homes that close escrow from 1/1/09 through 12/31/09 are eligible for this program. Bonus Program applicable in communities with 3% base commission on Built to Order homes. 3% Realtor commission is paid in full within 2 weeks of slab pour on Built to Order homes only, excluding Fairway Estates in Circle C Ranch and will be processed after the foundation is poured. To be eligible for any prepayment of commission the purchase of the property can not be contingent upon Purchaser’s sale or lease of an existing home. In addition, Purchaser(s) shall have obtained unconditional loan approval acceptable to the Seller from a qualified lender prior to the slab being poured and purchase the home as owner occupied primary residence. Any “bonus” commission will be paid at close of escrow only. Commission is paid on base price and lot premium only. Studio options are not factored into the calculation of any commissions paid on Built to Order homes. Commission on inventory homes is calculated on total price less discounts. Contingency removal programs do not qualify for graduated commission program. If any commission is pre-paid and the buyer does not close escrow on the that property, the real estate agent will no longer be eligible for any future pre-payment of commission. Realtor must be procuring cause of sale and accompany buyer to or register the buyer at the community on or before sale date. Plans, pricing, financing, terms, availability and specifications subject to change/prior sale without notice and may vary by neighborhood, lot location and home series. Additional charges apply for lot premiums, options/upgrades. Buyer responsible for all taxes, insurance and other fees. Quick-move-in homes may take up to approximately 90 days before available for closing. See sales representative for details.

Broker Co-op Welcome.

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Suzanne Jacobs and Phyllis Blackwell, both of Gracy Title, and Linda Farish, center, of RE/MAX 1 scare the heebie jeebies out of their competition at the Second Amendment Shoot in Spicewood.

Submitted Photo

Deanne Henry, Larry Carter, Lisa Sherwood and Stacy Sheffield, all of Milestone Community Builders, are excited to see the large turnout at the HBA annual Crawfish Boil Builder/ REALTOR Mixer. The company hosted the event this year which sold almost 600 tickets.

Buy photo: RL_0402_11_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_0415_11_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Grinning ear to ear, Bill Stanberry of Stanberry and Associates is overwhelmed with greetings and wellwishes from friends, family and associates as they celebrate his 80th birthday.


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Williamson County Assoc. of REALTORS®

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

President’s Column By Victoria Reviel • 2011 President

Adhering to the TAR Code of Ethics Builds Strong, Professional Relationships

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uilding and maintaining relationships is work. In the words of Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, “Our greatest joy and our greatest pain come in our relationships with others.” The real estate business is no exception. We all know the joy that comes from working with other peers who bring professionalism, trust and honesty to the table. Then there are those times when we work with peers who fail to bring these qualities to the table. This often causes pain for ourselves, our clients and others associated with facilitating the home purchase. Put yourself in your peers’ shoes for a moment. Sometimes just having a bad day not only affects our clients, but also unfortunately affects our lives as REALTORS. Each one of us holds the key to a door of hope for someone — perhaps in ways we’ve never before considered. As members of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS (WCAoR), more than 1,000 people strong, your role as a WCAoR REALTOR leader is making choices

every day that contribute to raising the professionalism in the real estate industry. As REALTORS we have raised our right hand and pledged to subscribe to the NAR Code of Ethics which states in its preamble: Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain. The term REALTOR has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2011

In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ How do we live our Code of Ethics? TAR has created a few ideas to guide us in building professionalism within our industry: 1. Identify your REALTOR and professional status in all contacts with other REALTORS. 2. Respond to other agents’ calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously. 3. Be aware that large electronic files with attachments or lengthy faxes may be a burden on recipients. 4. Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing. 5. Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets, security systems, and whether sellers will be present during the showing. 6. Show courtesy, trust and respect to other real estate professionals. 7. Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language. 8. Do not prospect at other REALTORS’ open houses or similar events. 9. Return keys promptly. 10. Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings. 11. To be successful in the business, mutual respect is essential. 12. Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation, and business, for years to come. However, should an ethical or painful

situation arise that needs to be addressed, TAR has initiated a “Texas Citation System for Code of Ethics Violations.” What is the citation program? • Provides an option for faster resolution of ethics complaints • Makes anonymous complaints an option • Effective Jan. 1, 2011 • Only complaints related to certain articles qualify for this program • A grievance tribunal determines whether a complaint is subject to citation • A respondent can request an ethics hearing rather than agree to the citation • Sanctions for an agreed-to citation include fines and education This policy accomplishes: 1. It gives REALTORS a faster resolution to the complaint process for those complaints of lesser severity, as normally complaints take four to six months to go through NAR’s procedure. 2. Provides TAR staff an opportunity to expedite those complaints of lesser severity, thereby giving more time and allowing them to efficiently process those complaints not in the Citation Program. 3. Allows for anonymous complaints. If you want to know more about this program or other valuable REALTOR information, please visit the TAR website at www.texasrealtors.com. RL

WCAoR Golf Tournament: Cowen Creek Golf Club Thursday, May 19 11 a.m. registration; 1 p.m. Tee-off time

Details at www.wcaor.org

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Front Page: Continued WCR officers and committee chairpersons Chris Rodriguez, Anita Ferrell, Ruby Johnson, Amy Kobza, Susan Brown and Cheryl Jenkins accept gently used work attire for WCR’s “Dress for Success” clothing drive for disadvantaged women. Buy photo: RL_0414_11_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Sue Meuth and Dawn Schweter, both of North American Title, check out the new digs of Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty to see what the hubbub is all about.

Buy photo: RL_0407_11_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Texans love their BBQ and live music and REALTORS are no exception. Several hundred REALTORS turned out to the backyard barbeque model homes grand opening in Rocky Creek by Drees Custom Homes and Highland Homes. Buy photo: RL_0403_11_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Supreme Lending has all the tools that you will need to be successful in today’s changing market place! On-site Underwriting and Processing

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If you want to join a winning team and find out more information about this opportunity call 512-279-1150 or e-mail John.McClellan@SupremeLending.com Listen to the radio show “The Real Estate Zone” every Sunday 11 to Noon on News Radio 590 KLBJ and 99.7 FM John Mcclellan Branch Manager Supreme Lending - Austin NMLS #207768 3420 Executive Center Dr. #300 Austin, TX 78731 512-279-1150 Office

Supreme Lending is an equal opportunity employer and does not practice discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, national origin, as well as any other rights afforded to applicants under state and federal law.

detailed information, documented expert advice and a plan. Don’t try to hard sell Gen X clients (those born from 1965 to 1981) as they feel it insults their intelligence. Provide them with information to do their own, technologydriven research. Place an emphasis on the value of their home purchase. Stop traditional marketing efforts if trying to engage with Gen Y clients (those born from 1982 to 1998) and instead focus on high quality, fast service (short attention spans) and create a brand that people recognize. Build communities online and in neighborhoods. What this means is that REALTORS may need to revamp their marketing methods but not necessarily abandon those that are tried and true. Gary Hoffarth of Austin Advantage Real Estate, for instance, says he recently got a sale from the old-school method of distributing magnetic calendars with his name on them. “A client I had 25 years ago called me because she had my calendar on her refrigerator and wanted to sell her house,” Hoffarth says. “It ended up being a $300,000 plus property.” Todd Smith of Fine Austin Living agrees that old-school ways still have a place in building a successful business. “I have been in this business for 30 years and I really strongly believe in getting back to basics,” he says. “Our clients love the handwritten notes that we send. We are so saturated with technology that we have forgotten how to be people.” Effective communication isn’t just about being courteous. It’s also about protecting commissions. Gena Hammonds of Highland Lakes Real Estate says it is important for REALTORS to inform their clients about the process of new home sales so that if they choose to look on their own that the REALTOR relationship is protected. “I remember getting a call from a client who was so excited because they had found the house of their dreams. I was excited too and said, “Great! Did you put my name down?” And they hadn’t. If you don’t explain the buyer’s agent relationship properly then it does not give them any reason to be loyal.” Women’s Council of REALTORS president Cheryl Jenkins of Realty Executives AustinNorth says another common mistake in communicating with clients is assuming that they know more than they do. “If this is their second, third or fourth purchase, it is easy to think they know the home buying process,” she says. “But things change so rapidly — forms change, policies change, etc. and chances are it was several years ago since their last purchase so they are not going to remember every step.” REALTORS also have found it is important to stay in touch no matter the time of day, because in this economy every client counts. Michael Speciale of City View Realty says he remembers getting a text from a client after midnight who wanted to respond to an offer. “The days when you went home at night and called into the office to get your messages are over,” he says. “The plus side is that now I can

Photos + Events + Archives

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

be on a boat in Panama City and still conduct transactions.” Buyer Cheryl Rakowski, who will close on a property early next month, agrees that she found it important to be able to reach her REALTOR, Marian Derks of RE/MAX Capital City, easily. “She was always available and I like that,” she says. “At the inspection she was even fixing things and she told me about some grants that I was eligible for that will save me money.” So as times change, good communication remains at the core of a successful business. Just know that today, REALTORS need to be prepared for it to be conducted in many forms and at all hours. 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 Stroud, Linda McNabb, Naomi Bludworth Contributing Photographers: Doren L. Carver, Linda McNabb, Naomi Bludworth Columnists: Judith Bundschuh, Hank Smith, Kay DaSilva, Victoria Reviel, Cheryl Jenkins, Carrie York, David Tandy, Vaike O’Grady 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 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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Bob Wolk, Jennifer Littlefield and Peter Dennison, all of Keller Williams Realty, along with Silvia Ward of United Lending, walk into a time warp at the Keller Williams Realty 70’s Party at the Family Reunion in Southern California.

Submitted Photo

Members of CRS present a $10,000 check to Any Baby Can. Pictured are CRS members Sherri Teepen, Kay DaSilva, Cindy Reeder and Debbie Kelsey with Any Baby Can Executive Director Ellen Balthazar (second from left).

Submitted photo

Dow Wright, Buffington Homes’ director of public relations, presents Jaymes Willoughby of Keller Williams Realty with two bottles of champagne for selling two Buffington Homes in February. Buy photo: RL_0406_11_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

The Austin Young Real Estate Professional’s happy hour at Sherlock’s Pub brings Paula Bacon of Reliant Title and Becky Hopkins of Austin Title together for some camaraderie.

Submitted Photo

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We’re Proud to Introduce, Melissa McGuire Cason, Sales Executive Gracy Title 183 North • 12515-8 Research Blvd, Suite # 120 • Austin, Texas 78759 Cell: 512.750.4052 Office: 512.795.8434 Fax: 512.795.9062 melissa.cason@gracytitle.com Get to know our sales team at: www.gracytitle.com/staff/sales-team

The New Voice of 183 North Get acquainted with the newest member of our Gracy Title Sales Team & take the next step to growing your business. Stop by our 183 North office and visit Melissa today!

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Jazz Lough of Champions School of Real Estate poses with one of her superstar instructors, Barb Cooper of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS. Barb was one of the guest speakers at the school’s SuperStar Marketing Class.

Buy photo: RL_0404_11_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Kay DaSilva (center) with Avalar Realty and Todd Smith of Fine Austin Living do a little boot scootin’ through model homes with Shanna Schneider of Highland Homes. The builder hosted a couple hundred REALTORS at their backyard barbeque themed model homes grand opening with Drees Custom Homes in the Rocky Creek neighborhood. Buy photo: RL_0417_11_S.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_0403_11_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Returning Newland Communities General Manager Bill Meyer gets back in the groove of networking in the Austin real estate scene at the HBA Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer at West Cypress Hills.


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President’s Column

HBA of Greater Austin

By Hank Smith • 2011 President

Buy Your Tickets Today for Sales and Marketing Excellence (MAX) Awards, Check Out the Finalists

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he judges for this year’s Sales and Marketing Excellence (MAX) Awards faced a tough job. The MAX awards honor builder, developer, remodeler and associate members of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin for achievements during 2010. The field of this year’s submitters was crowded and competitive — the cream of the crop. HBA members submitted nearly 250 entries in dozens of categories. Independent judges from outside of Austin who are leaders in the homebuilding industry traveled here last month and selected the winners. You can check out a list of the esteemed finalists at www.AustinHomeBuilders.com (click on “calendar and registration,” then navigate to the May 14 event). You’ll find a bevy of professionals who will be honored in many categories including: • Ad Campaigns • Billboard • Direct Mail • Electronic Media • Interior Merchandising

• Internet Media • Poolscapes • Print Ads • Product for Custom and Production Builders • Remodeled Projects • Sales Brochures • Sales Office/Design Center/Showroom • Sales Promotions • Special Promotion and Overall Ad Campaign Individuals will also be recognized for achievement in sales, marketing, construction, title and mortgage; including REALTOR of the Year. In addition, HBA members will be honored in several categories for Best Overall Community. And of course, we will award the big “granddaddy of them all,” the Grand Builder of the Year awards for a deserving custom and production builder. Last year’s Grand Builder of the Year winners Zbranek Holt Custom Homes and Streetman Homes will tell you it’s a real honor to receive this recognition.

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The HBA will recognize winners at the 2011 MAX Awards gala from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. The event — hosted by the HBA Sales and Marketing Council (SMC) — is one of the most exciting industry events in Austin. Tickets are now on sale; the cost is $75 per person or $650 for a table of 10. You can buy your tickets online at www. AustinHomeBuilders.com. The event is black tie optional and features a cash bar and seated dinner during the awards

program. For questions about tickets, contact Sharon Rudloff by phone at 454-5588, ext. 102 or by e-mail at Sharon@hbaaustin.com. The HBA is also looking for promotional partners who would like to promote their business at the MAX Awards. You will find a partnership level that will fill your company’s marketing needs at www. AustinHomeBuilders.com. For questions on promotional partnerships, contact Natalie Bowers, SMC chair at 733-9797, ext. 225 or by e-mail at nbowers@merhomes.com. RL

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Associates from the Texas Association of REALTORS arrive in force to chat with AYREP members at a recent happy hour, where they set up a booth to share information and goodies.

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Aisha Dull and Stacy Mock, both of Capital Title, assist Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw and Mark Sprague with everything they need to kick off a presentation on “Opportunities and Obstacles” in the industry at the WCAoR office.

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Lee Ann Renfrow of Sellstate Classic Realty and Linda Holmbeck of Horizon Realty catch up on their latest listings at Sherlock’s Pub, where the Austin Young Real Estate Professionals held a happy hour.

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KB Home’s Bobby Baylor shows Julio Avila of Keller Williams Realty and Jim Herndon of Green House Properties how the company takes steps to ensure its homes make the home inspection grade after KB Home’s Home Inspection Lunch and Learn at Legends Village.

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Kickin it up Texas-style are Lyn Blankholm and Mary Pace, both of Highland Homes, with Jack Carter of Capital City Sothebys International Realty. Highland Homes hosted a super fun Boots, Bar-B-Que and Backyards Model Homes Grand Opening with Drees Custom Homes at Rocky Creek, complete with live music.


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Expectations: Continued

Getting a leg up on upcoming development projects in Northern Hays County, Terese Peabody and Sharon Rosshirt, both of Stanberry and Associates, talk with Ray Whisenant, Hays County Precinct 4 Commissioner and lifelong resident at the Northern Hays County Development Outlook Forum and Luncheon. Buy photo: RL_0408_11_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Check out these floor plans! Bobby Baylor of KB Home escorts Virginia Mayne of Keller Williams Realty through three of their models at Legends Village.

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Alan Topfer of Castletop Capital, Garrett Martin of Milestone Community Builders and Richard Topfer of Castletop Capital show off the amenities at their West Cypress Hills community where the HBA annual Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer was held.

Area (MSA). ABoR went on to say that sellers have put fewer homes on the market so far this year, indicating that buyers may find more competition for their dream homes and thus higher prices than otherwise expected. Adding to the upward mobility of home prices is positive job growth in the region, which traditionally has equated to more homebuyers in the market. According to Ali Anari and Mark G. Dotzour at The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, The AustinRound Rock-San Marcos metro area’s annual employment growth rate from February 2010 to February 2011 was 1.5 percent. If you compare that figure to the reported national job growth rate of just .06 percent it’s easy to understand why the Austin region is different and cannot be compared to market figures being reported by the national news media. Once recent facts similar to those above have been collected, now comes the hard part – communicating those facts to homebuyers in a meaningful and consistent way. The truth is, it’s not really hard, it just takes a tad bit of effort coupled with an efficient way of disseminating information, but it can be done. Start the information-gathering process by determining which news sources can be utilized to retrieve reliable, objective information. Visit their websites and bookmark

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

them or better yet, see if they have an e-mail list that be can be subscribed to and have those golden nuggets of information sent directly to an e-mail inbox. Next, develop a super easy e-mail template to post the news information to (be sure to link to stories from third party sources). There are dozens of e-mail services out there that offer easy-to-use templates that even the most novice of users can navigate – and many are very low cost or even free. Use an already developed customer e-mail database to upload to the e-mail distribution service and be on the way to steering buyers’ expectations in the right direction. Consider sending this type of communication to buyers on a weekly basis. To further expand on the distribution of information, post links to social media pages, websites and even in the signature line of e-mails. Many other outlets than can be used to expand on this idea. Even the most sophisticated of buyers will appreciate the real-world market information sent to them. It not only makes them feel more informed, they’ll be more likely to trust in the advice given to them by their REALTOR regarding home prices and expectations. Overall, they’ll have a more realistic buying experience and REALTORS have the advantage of being less stressed as they work with their client. Best of luck! RL

Buy Photos + Find Events + View Archives

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Shave and a haircut, 20 bits. Kent Zarbock contributes his $20 to whack a section off Rob Hutton’s head in the name of charity. DR Horton, where they both work, came up with the idea for employees to contribute $20 per shave of Rob’s head to help raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


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Can you hear me now? WCAoR’s office administrator Kent Prickett sets up WCAoR President Victoria Reviel, of 98th Meridian with a microphone before the quarterly luncheon.

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Chad Goldwasser (center) of Goldwasser Real Estate teaches a full house at his SuperStar Marketing Class with a guest panel of speakers at Champions School of Real Estate. Buy photo: RL_0409_11_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Drees Custom Homes and Highland Homes offer relief for those “little doggies” at their Rocky Creek model homes grand opening and backyard BBQ. Gina Pemberton of Pohl Partners Real Estate, MaryLynn Stricklen of Keller Williams Realty hitch a ride to and from their cars with Margaret Jaxis of Hillwood Development.

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HBA president Hank Smith, HBA membership director Debbie Horridge and Ryan Rogers of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS get ready to chomp some bugs at the organization’s annual Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer.

Buy photo: RL_0403_11_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

ABoR ACADEMY CARD BACk fOR A SECOnD YEAR Academy Card Brings You Unlimited MCE Courses The Academy Card is back for its second year and once again offers cardholders the opportunity to attend unlimited MCE courses for an entire year. 2011 Academy Card holders can attend mandatory continuing education (MCE) courses between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 using their card. Academy Cards cost $99 and allow REALTORS® to stay on a budget while furthering their professional education and satisfying MCE requirements.

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Leslie Bradshaw of Belterra explains that the community has the amenities new homeowners are looking for at the Northern Hays County Development Outlook Forum and Luncheon.

Purchase your Academy Card at www.abor.com/acard.

A C A D E MY

Learn more about the ABoR Academy and register for a classes online at www.abor.com/education or call the Education Department at 512-454-7636.

Buy photo: RL_0416_11_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Welcoming guests to Supreme Lending’s iPad giveaway and happy hour at Baby A’s are Debbie Perez, John Schutze, Wendy Debrusin, Philip Moreno and Kristen Farhat. Academy_Apr2011.indd 1

4/6/2011 11:18:31 AM


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April 2011

Horizon Realty kicks back with friends at a Wednesday Happy Hour as they truck it through another productive week.

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Agents chip in to give Bill Stanberry of Stanberry and Associates a gift to give to the ABoR Foundation in his name. ABoR Foundation’s chairperson Cathy Coneway, also of Stanberry and Associates, presents and then accepts the gift.

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Special guest Wanda Terrell (right) tells Women’s Council of REALTORS members how the group was founded in Austin at the WCR monthly luncheon at Cool River Café. Pictured with WCR 2011 President Cheryl Jenkins, Wanda was WCR’s president in 1974 and one of the founding members.

5%

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On all milestone inventory homes a nd a h ands- o n e xperience

f or y ou and y our c lients. Now more than ever, MileStone Communities offer a personal touch sure to impress you and your clients. Every time you bring a new client to see a MileStone Community, you’ll each receive a gift card for a free massage.

Townhomes from the $120’s 512-215-5220 Stacy Sheffield 972-670-2419 • DeAnne Henry 512-744-8376 1900 Little Elm Trail, Cedar Park

Treat your clients to a preview of the best new homes on the market, and MileStone will treat you both to a relaxing massage at Massage Envy. Now that’s guaranteed to rub you the right way! Helping your clients find the perfect home in the perfect community never felt better. So what are you waiting for? Visit a MileStone Community TODAY!

Garden Homes from the $160’s 512-215-3424 Lisa Sherwood 512-630-5755 • Larry Carter 512-633-1007 11400 West Parmer Lane, Cedar Park

The Pinnacle Collection

Greenbelt Homes from the $200’s 512-264-0900 Mark Lee 512-567-3669 • Kyle Duran 512-658-0266 5200 Cypress Ranch Blvd, Spicewood

Garden Homes from the $180’s 512-804-2605 • Susan Brubaker 512-577-0465 7233 Manchaca Rd., Austin

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5% available only on inventory homes; must close within 30 days. One massage offer per qualified customer, please. Other restrictions apply. See sales consultant for details.

Free Massage at Massage Envy

®


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

“JB’s Angels” won the Best Dressed Team award for the team logo at the TREPAC Bowling Tournament. Pictured are Natalie Anders, Linda Nicol, Chris Sachs, Leisa Ormsbee and Tammy Gardner, all of JB Goodwin REALTORS.

Submitted Photo

The lucky winner of the CRS Lone Star Austin Region fundraising raffle is Jimmy Blacklock. He received this UT football autographed by Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and Mack Brown from Debbie Kelsey of RE/ MAX Capital City II. Proceeds from the sale of the ball benefited Any Baby Can.

Buy photo: RL_0417_11_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Submitted Photo

HBA Crawfish Boil veteran Mike Tvinnereim of Drees Custom Homes gets ready to serve up the spicy mudbugs at the 9th Annual Crawfish Boil and Builder/REALTOR Mixer.


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2011 Mercedes Raffle

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Crawfish enthusiast Moses Kim of Buffington Homes keeps his cool as he anxiously awaits for the grub to be served at the annual HBA Crawfish Boil and Builder/REALTOR mixer.

Purchase your ticket today at www.abor.com or from a Friend of the Foundation listed below

SAVE THE DATE

Finale’ Event | Friday, June 10th 6:00pm - 9:00pm | Domain II

Friends of the Foundation Laura Pagnozzi Independence Title

Katie Osborne Full Moon Design Group

David Schneider Goldwasser Real Estate

Alisa LeBlanc Patten Law Firm

Leslie Brvenik Austin Title

David McMillan United Lending

Laurie Nunnallee First American Title

Kylie Lynch Austin Inspector Exchange

Samantha Conkey First American Title

Melissa Mandry Mary Ellen Schmidt American Home Shield Warranty Austin American Statesman

Penny Green of Willow Bend Mortgage thanks Jason Huval of Central Metro Realty for being one of the sponsors for AYREP’s happy hour at Sherlock’s Pub.

We build highly energy efficient custom homes that minimize utility costs.

Sharon Seligman Keller Williams Lake Travis

Paula Moore Trinity Title

Erin Harrell First American Title

Kenzie Stucki Maker Capital Group

Beth Coffee Hay Compere

Chad Goldwasser Goldwasser Real Estate

Denise Vincent Trinity Title

Becky Hopkins Austin Title

Jeannette Spinelli Avenue One Properties

Kristen Farhat Supreme Lending

Tiffany Stillwell Patton Law Firm

Shelly Roark Mortgage Lending Services

Cissy Stasio Patten Law Firm

Kindra Zapeda Independence Title

Tanmy Templin Coldwell Banker Lakeway

Mindy Bakker Mortgage Pros

Greg Cooper Ashley Howard First American Home Warranty Goldwasser Real Estate

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Shelby Shepherd Kuznieski Insurance

Standard Features in Each Home • Semi custom Five Star Plus Energy Efficient design to minimize utility expenses. • 3 kw Solar Panel System. • Solar Thermal system for water heating assistance. • Passive solar design, including proper orientation, deep roof overhangs, awnings and porches. • Vertical Ventilation Tower feature with operable windows to move air and ventilate home. • 2,000 gallon Rainwater harvesting system for toilets and water-wise irrigation. • High-SEER multi-zone HVAC system with sealed air ducts. • Check MLS # 3901021, 7041415, 7753101 for example listings.

Las Casas Verdes Austin’s Premiere Solar-Home Community

2011-2012 ABoR Foundation Directors

Cathy Coneway, Chairman Carol Parker, Laura Pagnozzi, Dee Shultz, Susan Horton, Leonard Guerrero, & Carol Dochen

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit the abor foundation – a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization that distributes scholarships to Central Texas area graduating High School Seniors.

See our model home at 8306 Longview Road or www.lascasasverdes.com Lorin Martin, Agent 512-289-6119 Jeffrey Dochen, Broker 512-328-2500


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Discovery Park with Five New Model Homes in Teravista Now Open

Discovery Park Explore amenities in the community as well as in Round Rock and Georgetown.

Five New Model Homes Tour the five new model homes in Teravista by Centerra Homes, D.R. Horton, Ryland Homes and Village Builders now open in Discovery Park* and experience everything there is to know about Teravista including the Teravista Golf Club, residents clubs, miles of trails and highly-rated schools. Visit Teravista.com to get your clients moving.

New homes from the $150s to the $400s with 1,400 to 4,000 sq. ft. CastleRock Communities • Centerra Homes • D.R. Horton • Lennar • Meritage Homes Ryland Homes • Spicewood Communities • Village Builders • Wilshire Homes

Newland Communities is the largest private developer of planned residential and urban mixed-use communities in the United States. We believe it is our responsibility to create enduring, healthier communities for people to live life in ways that matter most to them. www.newlandcommunities.com

*Discovery Park is a temporary sales area and not intended for permanent use by residents. Prices, specifications and details are subject to change without notice. All square footage is approximate. Homes in the Teravista community are constructed and sold by builders (“Builders”) not affiliated with the developer of such community or the developer’s affiliated companies (collectively, “Developer”). Developer does not guarantee or warrant the obligations of, or construction by, such Builders, or the availability or pricing of homes. Home buyers contract directly with Builders and must rely solely on their own investigation and judgment of the Builder’s construction and financial capabilities. © 2011 Newland Real Estate Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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Agents with RE/MAX Capital City take a tour of Dell Children’s Hospital where the company donated almost $10,000 last year.

Submitted Photo

Several dozen REALTORS attend the Austin Board of REALTORS’ professional standards training to improve their knowledge on the subject and to benefit their buyers.

Submitted Photo

After filling their bellies with yummy crawfish, Judy Torbett of Private Label Realty, Joey Pochron of Ameripro Funding, Jenny Dichard of Private Label Realty, Cindy Blow of Reliant Title and her husband Jim get caught up on everyone’s upcoming business ventures at the HBA’s Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer.

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We’ve Got You Covered...

Dan Steakley of DEN Commercial and Brian Pitman of Independence Title get the impression more homes are coming to Hays County. According to the LCRA, developers are asking for more water right-ofways in the county.

Texas American Title Company Part of the TRG Family of Companies

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Janet Thomas DHI Mortgage 12554 Riata Vista Circle, 1st Floor Austin, TX 78727 Phone: 512-533-1326 Fax 866-533-2697 Email: jthomas@dhimortgage.com NMLS #209218

Jim Goldrick Account Executive

Summer Pavliska Account Executive

Round Rock Office 1001 South Mays Round Rock, TX 78664 Office: 512-255-1550 Cell: 512-699-5750

Cedar Park Office 715 Discovery Blvd. Suite 205 Cedar Park, TX 78613 Office: 512-259-5950 Cell: 512-577-5166

www.dhimortgage.com Provided for informational purposes only. This is not a commitment to lend; not all borrowers and/or properties will qualify. DHI Mortgage Company, LTD, 12554 Riata Vista Circle, First Floor, Austin, TX 78727. NMLS #38686.

www.txamtitle.com


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Sente 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 S t a c y S t r o u d

S

ente (pronounced sen-tay) is a term from an ancient strategy game, and refers to the move you make that puts you in the position to win. That’s exactly what the Sente Mortgage team aims to do for each of its customers. Sente Mortgage became a mortgage bank in Austin when a select group of individuals from the former Milestone Mortgage office decided to create a company that would reflect their own values: integrity, learning, and dedicated customer service. The core team at Sente Mortgage has been working together since 1997, and the processing and underwriting team has a collective 220 plus years of experience in the mortgage business. At the core of every loan transaction at Sente is a culture that holds clear communication and the best interest of the individual customer as top priorities. With many “big box” banks, processing and underwriting happens outside the scope of the lender’s control — in other words, once the application is out the door, REALTORS and their customers could be left out of the loop until the loan is either rejected or approved. As a mortgage bank, Sente’s focus is making the entire loan process more predictable: underwriting and processing happens in-house, and Sente maintains control of the entire lending process all the

way through funding, keeping the agent and the customer informed at every turn. Determined never to miss a beat where service is concerned, Sente operates on a paperless, automated system and a policy of overstaffing operations, so that there is never a service gap in any customer relationship. Sente has amassed an abundance of resources to make the loan process timely, predictable, and even educational. The company has established relationships with carefully selected appraisers, credit repair agencies, and title companies, so that potential challenges can be anticipated and dealt with up front. New appraisal rules in the past year have caused many mortgage companies to turn to appraisal management companies. This has resulted in slow and sometimes inaccurate appraisals since the companies don’t always know the skills of the appraisers they use. Sente has chosen to manage an appraisal panel through a roundrobin selection, so that they can continue to use appraisers who are local and competent. Throughout its five locations across the state, Sente employs over 100 mortgage professionals with extensive knowledge of the local markets. More than 10 mortgage bankers call Austin home, and all are committed to going above and beyond the scope of a single transaction to take the entire

www.myRealtyLine.com financial picture of each client into account in order to help every client improve their financial lives. That personal level of care found in every relationship at Sente extends to REALTORS as well. Each month, the company offers free, one-hour power lunches for real estate agents with classes on fundamental business building: how to generate more leads, get more referrals, track your business, and more. For more information and to register, go to www.sentelearning.com and select Austin Real Estate Power Lunches or call 637-9900. Mary Weaver, Sente’s Minister of Culture, draws from her background in real estate with Keller Williams Realty’s international office and over 30 years experience in sales training to lead the power lunches. “Everything we do at Sente, from marketing to real estate lunches, to internal training, is about how to improve your financial life and plan for your future,” Weaver says. “That underlying mission has produced a series of practices that work consistently for us and for our clients.” In fact, Sente has experienced a consistent 50 percent growth company-wide, year over year.

April 2011

Tom Rhodes, president and CEO

Sente Mortgage offers a wide variety of loan programs including Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, and Jumbo. For more loan choices, more funding sources, and unmatched market knowledge, contact a Sente Mortgage professional at 637-9900, or visit www.SenteMortgage.com. RL

Submited Photo

Sente Mortgage professionals Paula Lowe, Joe Brown, Kristin Carroll, Josh Penland, Chris Holland and Dave Busche (back row) attend one of Sente’s many educational courses.

ROCKY CREEK

in Hill NOW OPEN Drees Drees’newesst newest community communityis isthe theultimate ultimate in Hill Country living…quiet, quiet,secluded, secluded, views miles heavilyCountry living... views forfor miles andand heavilytreed homesitesininone oneofofwest WestAustin’s Austin’most s most sought treed homesites sought afterafter locations. RockyCreek Creekisissure suretotobe be“The” “The” place placetotolive. live. locations. Rocky Reserve you homesite today! Reserve your homesite today! CallToday Today(512) (512) 264-2444 Call 264-2444

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www.DreesHomes.com

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Nat’l Assoc. of Residential Prop. Mgrs.

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Director ‘s Column By Carrie York • 2011 Director

Yee-haw, Craig Momenamy and Nancy Kearns, both of Drees Custom Homes, welcome over 200 REALTORS to the Boots, BarB-Que and Backyards Model Homes Grand Opening hosted by Drees Custom Homes and Highland Homes at Rocky Creek.

Buy photo: RL_0403_11_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Lisa Hadley of Belterra and Gary Malady take a look at the community’s development map where Treaty Oak Homes’ new model has opened. The two visited at the Northern Hays County Development Outlook Forum and Luncheon sponsored by Belterra.

Buy photo: RL_0408_11_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

T

NARPM to Raise Funds for Habitat for Humanity Through Bowl-A-Thon Event May 17

he National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) is raising money for Habitat for Humanity and having a blast while doing it. Instead of our normal lunch meeting on May 17, NARPM members and affiliates will be meeting for a Bowl-A-Thon at 11:45 a.m. at the Dart Bowling Alley located at 5700 Grover Avenue. Our members will be in teams of five and asking our property owners and clients for pennies per point that we will contribute to Habitat for Humanity. We don’t want to strike out. Come and cheer us on while enjoying a plate of Austin’s favorite homemade enchiladas and bread. Dart Bowl is an Austin classic. Then on June 11, NARPM members and affiliates will be building a home with Habitat for Humanity. We’re putting our muscle where our mouths are to help this worthy cause. It’s not all about making money; it’s about paying it forward and helping where you can, when you can. Remember we are an association of real estate professionals who know the unique problems and challenges of managing singlefamily and small residential properties. If you are

a real estate professional who actively engages in the management of single-family homes and other residential properties, joining NARPM is an absolute benefit. If you are interested in learning more about the Austin Chapter of NARPM, contact Carrie York of Austin Real Pros, REALTORS at 4583730, by e-mail at carrie@austinrealpros.com or visit www.narpmaustin.org. You can also find us on Facebook by searching NARPM Austin. RL

Bowl-A-Thon Benefiting Habitat For Humanity: Tuesday, May 17 11:45 a.m. Dart Bowl in Austin

Building a Home for Habitat for Humanity: Saturday, June 11 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact marc@alpsmgmt.com

Building Your Inner Circle Register today for Sente’s

April Power Lunch Thursday, April 28th 12 Noon – 1PM

Building Your Inner Circle Those in your database who know you well and won’t do business with anyone else are your Inner Circle. Discover how to qualify people for your Inner Circle, how to move them towards your Inner Circle, and how to keep them there.

Register at www.SenteLearning.com Click on Austin Real Estate Power Lunches For more information on any of our Power Sessions visit:

www.SenteLearning.com

or call 512-637-9900

Buy photo: RL_0417_11_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mmmm, tasty! Doug Scott of Viewpoint Mortgage faces a workout tackling this tray of treats at the annual HBA Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer at Milestone Community Builders’ West Cypress Hills community.


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austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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April 2011

27

REALTY EXECUTIVES AUSTIN Serving Central Texas, McAllen & South Padre Island

New On-Site Builder Management Team

Our Newest Executives

Marie Dang-Schwartz 512.431.5365

Joy Herring 512.659.2386

Cheryl Jenkins 512.699.6530

Ruby Johnson 512.215.1737

Sherri Forbes, Broker 512.775.6167

Peter Simonsen 512.636.7993

Jacob Iloka 512.731.4664

Marketing Services Associate

Gilbert Alires 512.636.1019

Randy Maley 512.569.1978

Linda Todd 512.785.8303

Michael Prillaman 512.636.5033

Larry Sauls 512.585.3830

Susan Brown 512.844.5553

Jon Offord 512.659.7318

Sue Barnes 512.300.5527

Carolyn Abbott 512.633.7080

Robert Abbott 512.627.3711

Scott Cunningham 512.497.6116

Claus Markussen 512.422.7513

Joyce Shorter 512.255.8940

Matt Wright 512.577.3676

Rob Hernandez 512.784.3385

Donna Dobbs 512.689.1732

Ali Valentine

Business Development

512.378.3500

Michael Neuman

Roman C. Esparza

CCIM, CRS, CRI, RPA Regional Broker/Owner

Broker, ABR, GRI, RSPS Austin Metro, McAllen, South Padre Island

Developer

512.745.7777

Kaema Roberson 512.716.0300

Keith Stewart

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512.965.6160

www.AustinREX.com 512.716.0300

Residential, Commercial Farm & Ranch, Property Management • 700 Offices in 23 Countries • Original 100% Commission Company • Promote Yourself from Agent to Executive • Franchises Available in Protected Territories • Broker/Owner/Top Producer/Team Concepts Available • Call 512.740.7615 for a Confidential Conversation or

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EXPERIENCE THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING AN EXECUTIVE


28

April 2011

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RL austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

John Burnam of United Lending escorts Diane Johnson and Melanie Kennemann, both of Keller Williams Realty, to the Keller Williams Southwest Market Center Awards Ceremony.

Submitted photo

Shelia Balagia and Philip Pense, both of Reliant Title, patiently wait in line at the sold out luncheon at the Williamson County Association of REALTORS’ quarterly meeting.

Buy photo: RL_0417_11_T.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

There’s something about crawfish that puts a smile on everyone’s face! Cindy Tower-Eckart of Keller Williams Realty hits up the cooks for a pile of mudbugs, sausage, corn and potatoes. Milestone Community Builders hosted the HBA’s annual Crawfish Boil event this year.

Buy photo: RL_0409_11_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

You Are Invited Monthly Inspirational Breakfast First Thursday at 9 a.m. Join us for some encouragement, friendship and fellowship with fellow agents.

Contact Us for Details

This meeting is open to everyone as a show of unity for the real estate industry. (Not just for Keller Williams agents)

Lake Travis Mary Lynne Gibbs 512-263-9090

Round Rock Avis Wukasch 512-255-5050

Testimonies and discussion will center around the priorities of “God, Family and Business.”

Northwest Gene Frederick 512-346-3550

Southwest Dianne Johnson 512-448-4111

1921 Lohman’s Crossing, Suite 100 • Austin, TX 78734 Austin (512) 263-9090 • Marble Falls (830) 693-6999 • Horseshoe Bay (830) 596-0300


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Experts Speak Out

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Commentary By Tom Berry • Gracy Title

Contract to Close, and Beyond: A Game Plan for Smooth Transactions

A

s any real estate professional knows, the difference between a happy client and an unhappy client is as simple as clear, constant communication. The good news is that survey after survey from the likes of National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and the Government Accountability Office, concerning real estate consumer satisfaction, routinely show that 75 to 80 percent of consumers surveyed express a high level of satisfaction with their real estate experience when it involves real estate professionals. As an industry, overall, we receive high marks for articulating and demonstrating value to the consumer, but nearly every real estate professional has had a client experience run off the tracks, and when you do, it makes a lasting impression. When surveyed about what they don’t like about their real estate experience, even consumers who express overall approval point to one key factor: they don’t understand and cannot predict the process. In an age of unprecedented availability of information

about the real estate process, it’s easy to ignore the fact that more information doesn’t necessarily mean better understanding. In fact, it often means just the opposite. As consumers are inundated, and inundate themselves, with information from their REALTOR, lender and title company, they often struggle to determine which key items are important. Additionally, as we all become more reliant on technology to deliver information, we forget that is still takes a knowledgeable professional to decipher that information for the consumer. Case in point: A January 2011 survey by Opinion Research Corporation of 1,000 recent homebuyers indicated over 50 percent did not know their credit score, or how to find it, in spite of the literally thousands of online resources available to assist them. A further 35 percent did not understand the financial cost of a poor score when applying for a mortgage loan, yet these were all consumers who had just recently completed purchases of homes. As real estate professionals, we invest huge amounts of energy to create a predictable

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2011

outcome for our clients. Often, we succeed, but when we don’t it is always as a result of one of two factors: 1. An unrealistic expectation was set. 2. The importance of a key item was missed or not communicated. There are some simple steps to simplifying the process for yourself and your client: 1. Educate yourself on the closing process. Work with your lending and title partners to understand their process-flow, and what they do, before you send them a referral or contract. 2. Work with your partners to assemble a checklist of the basic things each will require from your client, and gather those items at the beginning of the process. 3. Create a communication game plan with your partners including how you best like to be communicated with, and how you want your clients communicated with. 4. Set expectations with your clients, early and often, about what you can answer and what should be answered by others. 5. Utilize the explanatory pieces provided by your lending and title partner. They can and will save you a lot of work. 6. Be realistic about time frames, and communicate those time frames prior to

29

contract. Most transactions no longer close on a 30-day cycle. Consistently we now see transactions taking around 45 days from start to finish in our market. Obviously, short-sale and/or distressed property sales usually take even longer. 7. Prepare your client for the unexpected. If nothing unexpected happens, they will be pleasantly surprised, if something does, you already accounted for it. 8. Never underestimate the power of “I don’t know.” Clients don’t expect you to have the answer to every question at the tip of your tongue, but they do expect you to be correct when you do answer the question. Sometimes a simple, “I don’t know, let me find out and get back to you,” does the trick. 9. Remember, there are occasionally issues that come up post-closing that require your client’s attention. These matters are rarely serious, but can cause panic if you haven’t established a clear protocol with your closing team about how you want these issues addressed. 10. Pick a team, foster accountability, and stick with them. A lack of predictability is the single biggest complaint amongst real estate consumers. RL

Buy Photos + Find Events + View Archives

www.myRealtyLine.com

OUR KNOWLEDGE IS WORTH A FORTUNE! With all the changes in the mortgage industry, it’s important to work with a company that keeps up and cares. Call United Lending 512.592.5400 or find us online www.ulmtg.com


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April 2011

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austin

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

HigHland Homes

Realtor Rewards

Submitted Photo

Having a blast at Keller Williams Realty’s Family Reunion are agents Sherri Williams, left, and Mary Ann Nations.

2 or More Sales = Big Bonus!

sell one Home

sell TWo Homes

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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. Buy photo: RL_0413_11_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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Jon and CJ Pfau, both of Pfau and Company, Inc., and Stacy Mock of Capital Title learn of new job growth opportunities and road capacity obstacles at a presentation by Mark Sprague. Capital Title hosted the event.

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If you decided the only home worthy of your welcome mat is one you build yourself, ViewPoint Mortgage is ready to assist you in financing your dream home!

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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

Charlie Spriggs Vice President, Loan Officer

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512-971-2233


RL

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

austin

Experts Speak Out

TM

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2011

Commentary

stay connected. family home. 7. Commercial Development. Acreage 4. Golf courses. One of the most visible By Vaike O’Grady • Newland Communities amenities, a golf course is a sure sign earmarked for well-planned commercial development can greatly enhance you’re in a MPC. Even if they don’t play, buyers like golf courses for their prestige the lifestyle of a MPC. Positive signs: commercial sites are well identified on and scenic views. the master plan from the beginning, 5. Amenities. While a subdivision might and located so as to be convenient but offer a single park or playground, MPCs not disruptive for homeowners. place substantial amenities throughout One final tip: a community information the land plan and these amenities are center, whether it’s a traditional brick-and often connected by greenbelt trails. mortar facility or something very innovative, 6. Activities Directors and Intranets. is another sign of a MPC and a great resource. Another surefire way to tell a MPC from a subdivision is to ask the question, Builder models in MPCs often contain community exhibits and collateral materials, “Is this community striving to create and builder sales consultants are trained to a distinct lifestyle for residents?” Telltale these local amenities are not part of the overall original plan for the subdivision. signs are onsite Activities Directors, who absolutely understand the importance of Builders will build and hope/assume that plan events year-round, and community embracing REALTOR participation and commercial development will follow. In Intranet websites that enable residents to protecting commissions. Happy selling! RL the MPC, these amenities are planned and included in the initial stages by the city and developers before shovel one is turned over in the development. Putting this definition into everyday use, how do you tell an MPC from a non-MPC or subdivision? Here are seven sure signs: 1. Size matters, because you need a certain amount of acreage to include the amenities and commercial space that make a real MPC. A generally accepted size for creating a true MPC lifestyle seems to be 500 acres or more. 2. Variety of price ranges. A MPC strives to offer new homes appealing to a wide spectrum of homebuyers. 3. Variety of builders and product. In Submitted Photo addition to assembling a team of carefully Shirley Renfro, center, of Gracy Title surrounds herself with winners at the Austin Business Journal’s Top Producer chosen builders, MPCs also strive to offer Awards. Teresa Gouldie, left, and Diane Kennedy, both of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, win individual choices beyond the traditional singleproducer awards at the event.

Identifying Differences Between Master-Planned Communities and Standard Subdivisions

T

he best way to sell a new home in a master-planned community (MPC) is to understand what makes an MPC different from a smaller subdivision. With this knowledge in hand, REALTORS can easily answer buyer questions about why the same builder plan may cost more in an MPC compared to its non-MPC competitor, and why HOA fees in MPCs may be higher. With a solid understanding of the many benefits and the bottom-line value offered by a true MPC, REALTORS can turn buyers into loyal repeat customers and enthusiastic referrers for years to come. First off, what is a MPC? Here is an excellent definition from Phoenix REATLOR Tim Rogers: MPCs are distinguished by a tremendous number of amenities and conveniences. They incorporate extensive recreational amenities like lakes, golf courses, and expansive parks with bike paths and jogging trails. Subdivisions, by contrast, will be surrounded with strip and/or commercial centers, but

ound Rock Austin Title R 100 lers Blvd. Ste. 101 E. Old Sett TX 78664 Round Rock, 22 fx ph 512.238.86 512.238.8999

L A CK LU S T E M O R F S T N C L IE GE N T S A ND A K C O R D N OU R E S C U IN G R

! R C L O S IN G S

Laura Rosales Rosa Salazar Ashley Smith Joy Stokes

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Sales Exectutive

Escrow Assistant

Escrow Officer

Escrow Officer

Where Austin (and Round Rock) closes.


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April 2011

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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Real Estate News & Notes

MileStone Community Builders Breaks Ground for Home Builders Association’s Benefit Home

Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS Named to Platinum Club at Cartus Broker Network International Conference

MileStone Community Builders broke ground on the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin Benefit Home on Thursday, March 24. Proceeds from the sale of the home will benefit the Dell Children’s Medical Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas. The Benefit Home is located in MileStone’s West Cypress Hills community, at 5133 Texas Bluebell in Spicewood. The San Saba floorplan will feature 2,283 square feet, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and will be listed at $300,000. “We are so excited for the opportunity to help these two deserving charities,” says Garrett Martin, MileStone’s president and CEO. “The Home Builders Association will work with our local Ronald McDonald House Charity of Austin and Central Texas to install a Ronald McDonald House Family Room inside Dell Children’s Hospital, just outside of the neonatal intensive care unit,” said Harry Savio, executive vice president of the HBA of Greater Austin. That room will be created through a combination of donations from suppliers and funds from the proceeds of the HBA Benefit Home. Any remaining funds will be donated to Dell Children’s Hospital as a cash donation when the project is completed. West Cypress Hills’ location combines the best of both worlds, with urban amenities nestled amid the natural beauty of the hill country. Less than 30 minutes to downtown Austin, the community is located

Real Estate News & Notes

seven miles west of the Hill Country Galleria on Highway 71, and is in the acclaimed Lake Travis ISD. Homeowners will find a host of shopping, dining and entertainment options nearby, with the Village of Bee Cave, Shops at The Galleria and HEB just minutes away. MileStone is building six single-family one and two-story plans from the Pinnacle Collection at West Cypress Hills. These greenbelt homes range from 2,000 square feet to over 3,000 square feet, and are priced from the $200s. With beautiful native stone and stucco exteriors, these architecturally distinctive homes offer attached two and three-car garages as well as casitas, courtyards and outdoor kitchens. Homes also include media or game rooms, granite countertops, tile floors, garden tubs and other luxury finishes. MileStone Community Builders has built its company the way it build its homes: with honesty, integrity, an eye for detail, and a dedication to outstanding value. When MileStone hands each homeowner the keys to their new home, they’re handing over years of hard work, dedication, and an unmatched commitment to quality. For more information on the groundbreaking ceremony at the HBA of Greater Austin Benefit Home, contact Garrett Martin at 587-1014 or Garrett@ MyMileStone.com. To learn more about MileStone Community Builders and West Cypress Hills, visit www.MyMileStone.com or call 264-0800. RL

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Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS was honored for its outstanding achievements during the last year at the 2011 Cartus Broker Network International Conference held Feb. 27 through March 1 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS was named to the 2011 Platinum Club. The Platinum Club honor is one of three Excellence Awards presented to principal brokers. Only 13 percent of the Network’s 425 principal brokers received Excellence Awards for 2010. Recognition is based on 2010 performance results related to a wide variety of key goals, including support of the Cartus Broker Network, management of departure and destination relocation business, service excellence for Affinity clients, support of Cartus sales efforts, and overall Top Block service results. “Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS exerted maximum effort to achieve this distinction,” said Gerald Pearce, Cartus, executive vice president of Broker and Affinity Services. “Platinum Club membership is the ultimate accolade, and I congratulate

Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS for their commitment to quality and thank them for their role in making the Cartus Broker Network a best-in-class organization.” In addition to the awards ceremony, the three-day event included interactive workshops, roundtable and panel discussions, and executive presentations. Cartus Broker Network participants networked with other industry professionals and exchanged information regarding team-building, revenue generation, retention, new business strategies, and increasing customer service — all essential elements for continued success. Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS was founded by Richard A. Smith in College Station, Texas, in 1970. The company has grown to 69 sales offices in five states, with over 2,200 sales associates and over 350 employees. Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS is the #1 Company in the Coldwell Banker network of independently owned affiliates as measured in Gross Commission Income and Transaction Sides. For more information, log on to www. cbunited.com. 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. 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.

Downtown Austin Condo Expert Brings RE/MAX to the Rainey Street District One of the most respected international real estate brands has a new owner in downtown Austin, arguably one of America’s hottest real estate markets. RE/MAX of Texas is pleased to announce that Jude Galligan, a local REALTOR, community leader and publisher of the popular Downtown Austin Blog will lead the RE/MAX Downtown Austin franchise, calling it an opportunity he couldn’t pass.   “We’re convinced that over the next 10 years, downtown Austin will emerge as one of the strongest real estate markets in the country,” says Frank Gray, Regional Development Manager of RE/MAX of Texas. “Galligan’s experience and relationships were critical factors in our recruiting him.” RE/MAX Downtown Austin will specialize in marketing and consulting for large projects.   “If a developer is spending millions of dollars on a project, our marketing reach will have a significant international advantage over boutique firms,” says Galligan. Assessed property values downtown surged from about $750 million in 1993, to $1.5 billion in 2005, to almost $4.5 billion in 2010, according to local media reports, with hundreds of thousands of additional square feet still in the development pipeline.

Galligan, an authority on downtown Austin real estate, says that RE/MAX and his office will offer an infrastructure and support system in place for agents from day one, and that agents will benefit from the national referral network and the advertising and branding that RE/MAX does on a national scale. Galligan is Jude Galligan recruiting a team of experienced agents to join the firm, attracting top talent by offering aggressive commission splits to top producing agents, and leveraging a wealth of technology, and methods for marketing properties online. Galligan is also a board member of the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, a board member at the Downtown Austin Alliance, and a 2011 Austin Under 40 Award finalist. In 2007, he launched the Downtown Austin Blog, which achieves 35,000 page views each month. Contact Jude Galligan at 226-3414 or judegalligan@remax.net. RL


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austin

Real Estate News & Notes

HBA Sales and Marketing Council chairperson Natalie Bowers, right, Chris Dodd, next to Natalie, of Buffington Homes and HBA board member Mitch Schwartz congratulate Crawfish Boil chairperson Erin Cook, far left, on the wonderful job she did in planning the big event.

Keller Williams Realty’s Amber Hart Makes Austin Under 40 Awards’ Finalist List Keller Williams Lake Travis congratulates Amber Hart for being a finalist in the Austin Under 40 Awards in the real estate category. Keller Williams Lake Travis is honored to have Amber as part of its family. Amber’s sense of commitment goes far beyond the everyday job of running her business. Her

Buy photo: RL_0417_11_P.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

contributions to the community and to Keller Williams Realty’s agents is truly exceptional. She is a member of the Agent Leadership Council at Keller Williams Lake Travis and has distinguished herself personally and professionally through her intelligence, hard work, commitment and integrity. RL

Jennifer Kucera Joins Keller Williams Realty Lake Travis’ MCA Ranks Keller Williams Lake Travis welcomes Jennifer Kucera to the position of Market Center Angel (MCA). She has been with Keller Williams since 2004 and has aided in the launch of three Market Centers. She is a certified trainer

Bill Stanberry makes his 80th birthday wish at his surprise birthday celebration held at his Westlake office.

for the Top Producer program and has been an Angel four plus years. As an Angel, she helped to coach other Angels  and assists 700 plus MCA’s  nationwide.  Recently she was  inducted into the MCA Hall of Fame. RL 

Keller Williams Realty Gives Back to Community on “Red Day” to be Held May 12 Keller Williams Realty wants to introduce the company’s “Red Day,” a giving back to the community event. It is a company-wide event that will be held on Thursday, May 12. Keller Williams has over 72,000 agents and each market center is closed on “Red Day” annually to give back to their community. The focus is to participate in a wide range of projects chosen by each market center based on the need they see within their community. This year the Keller Williams Lake Travis agents are joining in with the Marble Falls/ Horseshoe Bay agents to recognize active duty military that are on overseas duty. Care packages will be sent to troops. As a community project, all are invited to participate in making

Buy photo: RL_0402_11_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Greg Saunders, center, of Realty Austin is certainly happy he showed up to Supreme Lending’s happy hour at Baby’s A’s. John McClellan, right, of Supreme Lending drew Greg’s name as the winner of the iPad that Philip Moreno, left, donated. Buy photo: RL_0416_11_M.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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this huge endeavor possible for the troops. Donations will be accepted anytime at the Lake Travis office at 1921 Lohmans Crossing, Lakeway in the front lobby or on Fridays at the Marble Falls office, 101 Hwy 281, Suite 100, The Landing. On May 12 the boxes will be assembled and shipped overseas. Also on May 12 the Keller Williams Lake Travis office will be donating time to help the Austin Sunshine Camp for much needed projects with their cabins and grounds for the children who come to the camp. To participate or volunteer, contact Linda Moss at 263-9090. There is also a sign-up sheet in front of Amber Hart’s office door at the Keller Williams Lake Travis office. RL

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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RR-12

www.GrandHavenHomes.net 290

290

183obligation. All square footages are approximate. All renderings are artist’s concept. Consult sales professional for further details. We reserve the right to modify specifications, prices and/or plans without 35 notice or prior 71 To Dripping 1826 Springs

Sl a u

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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April 2011

35

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• Behrens Ranch • Mayfield Ranch

• Cap Rock at Crystal Falls • Ranch at Brushy Creek

* Must hold an active license with TREC in order to qualify for Grand Rewards. Bonuses and commissions considered earned when homes close and fund. Program members will receive bonuses on the Grand Rewards Visa gift card after closing. Your Grand Rewards card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. See Sales Professional for details. We reserve the right to modify specifications, prices and/or plans without notice or prior obligation. All square footages are approximate. All renderings are artist’s concept. Consult sales professional for further details.


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

RL austin

TM

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2011

36

Jaymes Willoughby, Mary Lynne Gibbs and Knolly Williams, all of Keller Williams Realty, get “jiggy with it” at the company’s 70’s themed Family Reunion event.

Submitted Photo

Um, you might want to keep those creepy crawler hands to yourself. Grant Whittenberger of Outlaw Real Estate Group and his wife Ashley get creative with their crawdads at the HBA annual Crawfish Boil Builder/ REALTOR Mixer at Milestone Community Builder’s West Cypress Hills community. Submitted Photo Buy photo: RL_0417_11_L1.jpg at www.myRealtyLine.com

Jeff Osborn, left, of RE/MAX Capital City takes home the prize for Broker of the Year at the RE/MAX State Convention. RE/MAX of Texas owner Richard Filip presented him with the prestigious award.

Monica Middleton President of Austin Region

Stacy Mock Area Vice President of Business Development

Trust your transactions to a title company that’s on the rise.

Choose Capital Title for all of your commercial and residential transactions and you’ll work with a company that’s continuously grown over the years. You’ll also be treated like a friend of the family, instead of just another customer. See, we are a relationship-based business. We go out of our way to help the people we work with grow their business, because we believe that’s the best way to grow ours. Visit our website at www.ctot.com to find Capital Title offices across the state of Texas.

Austin Corporate (512) 222-0222 Austin 183 (512) 814-1127 Round Rock (512) 330-4180 Georgetown (512) 948-7606

Nationally respected. Texas friendly. © 2011 Capital Title of Texas.

Realty Line April 2011  

Putting a face on real estate since 1995.

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