Page 1

in this issue…

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995™

• HBA Networking Social • KB Home Networking Event • WCR Monthly Meeting • Gracy Title Economic Forecast • AMBA Monthly Meeting • and much, much more!

Spring Fling

Associates in Progress

Market Day & Bazaar

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APRIL 2012 • VOLUME 16 • ISSUE 12

Marketing and branding: creating experiences for your audience by Stacy Hale

Don’t forget the basics – or your people

They understand the differences and nuances

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Philip Jalufka is the president of Legacy

of outreach to relocation specialists, to

International Resort Properties, with two major

REALTORS, and to the database.” They take

engagements in the Austin area (Rough Hollow

a business plan-based approach to marketing

and Tuscan Villas). According to Jalufka the

with a structured pipeline and process, and

key resource in real estate marketing is a great

so many new marketing tools today, what are

they work with the marketing team to find

sales person or sales team.

the keys to balancing your resources and efforts

out what percentage of business is coming

from which sources. Sourcing your audience,

for making the most authentic connections to

to get out of the box,” Jalufka says. “They

the people you want to reach?

have connectors in their spheres of influence.

n some ways, what’s true of marketing today has always been true. People are your greatest assets. Face-to-face

Printed on recycled paper.

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

communications cannot be replaced. But with

“The best sales people understand how

Front Page: Continued on page 20

Builders can now receive courtesy e-mail from City of Austin for expiring permits

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eginning April 5, the Planning and Development Review Department will e-mail expiration reminder notices for all residential/commercial building plan review and building-related permits that are due to expire 30 days from the date of the notice. The courtesy reminder will be e-mailed to building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing,

sign/banner permit holders, and residential/ commercial building plan applicants. Applicants who do not submit an e-mail address with their application will not receive a reminder. For additional information about the status of a permit, contact the Permit Center at 974-2380 or visit www.ci.austin.tx.us/ devreview/index.jsp. RL

Visit us online 24/7 at www.myRealtyLine.com

P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Upcoming Events Wednesday, April 18 Thursday, April 19 CRS Luncheon NARI General Membership Meeting Westwood Country Club - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dave & Busters - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. NAHREP Monthly Luncheon Cool River Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ABoR PAC and AYREP Sip and Stroll J Black's - 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19 WCAoR West Side Story Bus Tour Caballo Ranch Blvd. - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More at www.myRealtyLine.com

Tuesday, April 24 ABoR 2012 Water Forum-Solving Central Texas' Water Problem Capitol Extension Auditorium 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday, April 26 NARI 2012 Golf Event Avery Ranch Golf Club - 1:30 p.m.

Friday, May 4 HBA Annual Chili Cook-Off, Horseshoe Tournament & Silent Auction Travis County Expo Center - 2 to 10 p.m. Monday, May 7 AMBA Spring Golf Tournament Great Hills Country Club - 10 a.m. Friday May 11 - Sunday, May 13 HBA 2012 Tour of Homes Various locations - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), 12 to 6 p.m. (Sun.)


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

spring fling market day i i bazaar 3

and you thought we only sold houses... Belterra would like to invite you to attend our Spring Fling Market Day & Bazaar! Saturday, May 12th from 10 am - 4 pm Belterra Welcome Center at151 Trinity Hills Drive Live music, food, local vendors, family-friendly activities and much more! et g r o f Don't ’s Day er h t o M 3th 1 Y MA 151 Trinity Hills Drive • Austin, TX 78737 • 512.301.5000 • BelterraTexas.com


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Austin Board of REALTORS®

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Chairman’s Column By Leonard Guerrero • 2012 Chairman

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April 2012

more about the courses at www.abor.com/pdf/ crsflyer.pdf and register online at www.abor. com/Desig. Don’t delay, as the courses begin this month.

The clock is ticking to purchase a Mercedes-Benz raffle ticket and partnership

Task force seeking new home for ABoR

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change of scenery might be coming in the not too distant future for the Austin Board of REALTORS. As the office facility lease located at Quarry Oaks Atrium in Northwest Austin is set to expire in 2014, a task force has begun the search for a potential ABoR headquarters that will serve the long-term needs of the 7,800 REALTORS that ABoR proudly represents. I believe that we will find a location that supports the services we provide members, encourages member involvement, and meets the needs of REALTORS in the Greater Austin area. Learn more about the headquarters search online at www.abor.com/Relocation.

Senator Kirk Watson to moderate ABoR’s April 24 water forum Local REALTORS are noticing the ripple effect of Texas water issues that are now affecting real estate. Realizing that our community wants and needs information on these important issues, ABoR will host a free public water forum, Water for Central Texas—

Solving the Problem, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 24 at the Texas Capitol Extension Auditorium, located at 1400 North Congress in Room E1-004. Moderated by Texas Senator Kirk Watson, the forum will include a panel of experts who will discuss what to expect with our current drought conditions, the future of water resources, water policies and technologies. I encourage you to be a part of the solution—register today at www.abor. com/WaterForum2012.

Time is running out to participate in the ABoR Foundation Mercedes-Benz Raffle. Tickets and partnerships are still available for purchase. Buy your $100 ticket for a chance at luxury, and secure your partnership by April 30 to market your business at this REALTORfilled event. Ticket and partnership opportunities are available online at www. abor.com/Foundation. The winner will be announced at the Mercedes and Martinis Finale Raffle event from 5 to 9 p.m. on June 7. For more information, contact Education Coordinator Rita Barousse at rbarousse@abor. com or 454-7636, ext. 1602.

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2012 Wild West Realty Round Up ropes in new details Ready your saddles and bust out your spurs because the 2012 Wild West Realty Round Up opportunities are rolling in. The largest real estate-oriented trade show in Central Texas now has a confirmed hitching post at the Austin Convention Center on Oct. 9. About 1,500 real estate professionals are expected to attend the annual tradeshow as they seek a showcase of ace-high real estate products and services. Market your company at this popular event for the chance to interact with the real estate community and receive promotion in communications that reach ABoR’s members. Act soon as the exhibitor early bird registration special ends on May 31. For more information about becoming an official Realty Round Up exhibitor, contact Trade Show Coordinator Gina Willemsen at roundup@abor.com or 512-454-7636 ext. 1601. RL

Fast track to success—register for CRS designation courses today The Council of Residential Specialists (CRS), together with ABoR, is providing you the opportunity to acquire your CRS designation in just five days. Offered April 30 – May 4, these three classes—Creating Wealth Through Residential Real Estate; Maximize Your Potential, Personally and Professionally; and Listing Strategies for the Residential Specialist—will put you in touch with key real estate strategies and industry experts. Learn

Buy photo: RL_030612_Q.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Gene Arant, center, holds one of many awards he and his associates earned at the Keller Williams Realty awards banquet in Lakeway. The Gene Arant Group won first place for Top Closed Volume for a Group and Top Listing Units Taken.

Last year, sales from international buyers reached $82 billion The average price paid by international buyers was $315K, compared to the overall U.S. average of $218K International buyers came from a total of 70 countries; the top five (Canada, Mexico, China, U.K., and India) accounted for 53% of transactions Source: NAR 2011 Profile of International Homebuying Activity

Don’t miss this great educational opportunity! First American Title will be holding strategic markets classes on May 17th! How Generational Differences Affect the Real Estate Transaction 2 MCE Hours (course #24139)

How Much Does Culture Really Affect the Real Estate Transaction 2 MCE Hours (course #24128)

You do not want to miss this opportunity! Please contact your rep for more information! First American Title Insurance Company makes no express or implied warranty respecting the information presented and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. First American, the eagle logo, First American Title, and firstam.com are registered trademarks or trademarks of First American Financial Corporation and/or its affiliates.

©2012 First American Financial Corporation and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | NYSE: FAF


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Angela Brutsché of ABoR thanks Jay Gohil of Jay Gohil Realty and Bill Evans of Austin Real Pros for attending the AYREP SXMLS program to give feedback on the proposed MLS systems ABoR will choose from.

Buy photo: RL_040612_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mary Boatright and Amanda BoatrightCarrejo, both of RE/ MAX 1, prefer the back of the room at the Gracy Title Economic Forecast.

Buy photo: RL_040212_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Excited to see so many members turn out at the AMBA monthly meeting, Gabriele Brown of Sente Mortgage and Jan Hill of United Lending say hello to folks as they arrive.

Buy photo: RL_040112_M.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Experience the SWBC Difference Our commitment to you: •

On-time closings

In-house underwriting, processing, and funding for smooth, seamless transactions

Control of the servicing for most conventional loans we close

We’re a best company to work for and with!

Find out why much of our business for the past two decades is from repeat customers or referrals from agents, builders, and clients who appreciate exceptional service. Linda Komm, vP nmls# 219050 512.422.7958

Rhona Bogie nmls# 222089 512.917.1954

Conventional

va

© 2012 sWbC. all rights reserved.

Kathleen Condry nmls# 214903 512.658.7436

FHa

tX vet

Emily Franke nmls# 223977 512.797.5480 •

Jumbo

Ann Jones nmls# 221084 512.422.9036

investments

the avallon building, building 1 | 10415 morado Circle, ste. 100 | austin, tX 78759


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Agent commissions? From the ground up!

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We value you at KB Home. That’s why you’ll receive 100% of your Built to Order™ commission as soon as the slab is poured.

Discover the value of selling Built to Order. Spring Trails in Pflugerville • From the $160s • 1,582–3,742 sq. ft., 3–6 bedrooms, 2–4 baths • easy access to Hwys. 45 and 130, and I-35 • private community park with lap pool, children’s pool, pool house, covered picnic area and playscape From I-35 in Round Rock, take Exit 250/Hwy. 45 heading east. Exit Heatherwilde Blvd. and turn right, then right on New Meister and left on Springbrook to community. (512) 990-5304

AGENT HAPPY HOUR • THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 5-7PM Come enjoy refreshments and giveaways at The Park at The Domain, on the ground floor of the Aloft™ Hotel. Compliments of KB Home. 11601 Domain Drive • RSVPs appreciated but not required to cbrown@kbhome.com

Broker Cooperation Welcome. ©2012 KB Home (KBH). Refreshments and giveaways available while supplies last. For giveaways (ARV $10): no rain checks, not exchangeable for cash, limit one per Broker. No affiliation or sponsorship is intended or implied with The Park at The Domain or Aloft™ Hotels, and all trademarks are owned by the trademark owners. Advance Commission offer valid only on non-contingent sales of new Built to Order™ KB homes at Spring Trails. Not available on inventory homes, model homes or homes under construction. For Broker to receive Advance Commission, buyer must sign purchase agreement between 3/23/12 and 12/31/12 and obtain unconditional loan approval from a qualified lender prior to time slab is completed. KBH reserves the right to extend, modify or discontinue this program at any time without prior notice. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. In order for Broker to be paid a Broker Co-op, Broker or agent must accompany and register client on client’s first visit to community and sign the Broker Co-op Agreement and Addendum to Broker Co-op Agreement. See Built to Order options and upgrades offered at KB Home Studio. All options/upgrades require additional charges, may require ordering at predetermined stages of construction and are subject to change/discontinuation anytime by KB Home. KB Home is not a custom homebuilder and Built to Order only applies to appliances/options available at KB Home Studio. 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. Sq. footage is approximate. HOA applies. Photo shows upgraded landscaping/options and may not represent community’s lowest-priced homes. Photo does not depict racial preference. See sales representative for details. AUS-101935


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

James Blamey, far right, of KB Home tells REALTORS about the energy saving advantages offered in a KB home.

Buy photo: RL_040812_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Dozens of REALTORS turned out to invest in TREPAC at the WCAoR February Luncheon. Contributing $250 each were Jack Stapleton of Austin Suburban Properties, Victoria Reviel of 98th Meridian, Stacy Rider of Keller Williams Realty and Lori Higgins. Buy photo: RL_031512_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Good news sounds great! AMBA Vice President Michael Scott welcomes the good news for the Austin market from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Senior Economist and Policy Advisor Keith R. Philips. Buy photo: RL_040112_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_040212_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Texas American Title Company

Sit back and relax. We’ve got you covered!

Michelle Piperi and Lisa Altamirano, both of Gracy Title, host more than 200 REALTORS at the Shoal Crossing Events Center for the company’s Economic Forecast event.

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

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

Rick Baron Mortgage Banker

Introducing our newest team member to the Round Rock office:

Lynn Edgar Mortgage Consultant

Kimberly Altier Rosemary Jennings Sr. Loan Officer Loan Officer

Rachelle Gwynn Escrow Assistant rgwynn@texasamerican.com

Westlake Branch 950 Westbank Drive, Suite 104

Grow your business with us this season! Cedar Park Office 715 Discovery Blvd. Suite 205 Cedar Park, TX 78613 Office: 512-259-5950

Lisa Forte Loan Officer

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

Round Rock Office 1001 S. Mays Suite 103 Round Rock, TX 78664 Office: 512-255-1550

w ww.txa mti tl e.com

Hometrust Mortgage Company


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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 Christy Gessler • 2012 President

WCAoR needs your help with charitable activities

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ne of the best things about the Williamson County Association of REALTORS (WCAoR) is our commitment to the community and the great work that our members do on their own to make a difference. This year, WCAoR is proud to be working with The Caring Place in 2012 to help them help others in many caring ways. When selecting the 2012 committee chairs and making a plan for each one, I met with Rina Peiffer. She told me the story of The Caring Place and immediately I knew that this organization was the one we were going to partner with in 2012. We put the plans in motion to “adopt” this organization as our 2012 charity of choice. Let me give you a little background on this wonderful organization. The mission of The Caring Place is to serve human needs in Georgetown and northern Williamson County. The organization’s main service area includes Walburg, Weir, Bartlett, Jarrell, Florence, Granger, Jonah, Andice, Hutto (within Georgetown ISD) and Georgetown.

We had the honor of meeting its executive director, John Stock, and its board president, Josh Schroeder. We learned about the organization and it was a transformative day. The Caring Place has over 270 volunteers that provide a wide array of services. They assist their clients with financial needs including rent, utilities, medical expenses, temporary shelter, and transportation. They also provide non-financial services, which are truly amazing, including a fresh foods program, a well stocked “store” where clients can get fresh bread and pastries, canned goods, shelf stable food products, toiletries, household items, and more. They open their doors every day to hundreds of people who come to get the items they need. They also run an incredible store that is open to the general public to come and shop for furniture, books, sporting goods, clothing, shoes, antiques, collectibles—you name it, they have it. They have a highly organized operation both behind the scenes and in the operation of the store. It is on the

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top of my list to shop for unique items that support such a wonderful cause. The need is so great, but they always focus on helping people get a hand up, not a hand out. What was most impressive to me was the commitment of the staff and volunteers and their servant hearts, the impeccable conditions of their facility including a massive expansion project that was just completed, and the way in which they manage the finances of the organization. It is truly a remarkable place. After our meeting, our wonderful Community Services committee set forth a plan to coordinate volunteers to serve at the center as well as organize food product drives that will take place at all upcoming WCAoR events and luncheons. We strongly believe that with a collective effort from our membership, we will be able to make 2012 a banner year for The Caring Place. Any and all donations we receive, whether they are in the form of goods, volunteer hours, and/or financial contributions, will go directly to The Caring Place. Its website, www.caringplacetx. org, maintains an up-to-the-minute needs list. I encourage you to visit their site and get involved. We have an amazing group at WCAoR serving on this committee this year, and they have set forth the following opportunities to volunteer. The Caring Place Postal Food Drive: (May) On May 12, we need about eight people to help get the food from the Georgetown Post Office to The Caring Place. Then on May 14 we will need 15-20 people to help sort the food. This is a publicized event and pictures

will be taken so make sure to look snazzy. Contact Jacque Smith for information. Habitat for Humanity: (July) We are hoping to be part of the Rehab that is being done in Georgetown in July. The needs for this are: sponsors for T-Shirts, water, breakfast food and lunch food. More details are to come, but I still would like to know who would like to help head this event. Contact Julie Ainsworth for information. The Caring Place Coats for Kids: (September and October) We are needing new and gently used coats (must have zipper), help sorting the jackets in September at The Caring Place and help giving the jackets out in October. They might have a festival this year, if so, they will need help with that. They do not have a lot of information thus far, but will get it to us as soon as they do. Contact Renee Massey for more information. Ongoing Events Volunteers are needed to pass out and sort fresh foods on the first, third and fifth Monday of the month, from 7:45 to 10 a.m. Food donation barrels are also needed at company offices that will be picked up by The Caring Place. Contact Rita Snyder to help. Please take a moment to review these plans and contact the coordinator, call the association at 255-6211, or visit www.wcaor. org to get involved. We are so excited for these events to be successful for The Caring Place. The need is great, but together we can do so much. RL

See upcoming WCAoR events at www.wcaor.org

What is your company doing to generate leads? in 2011 alone RE/MAX had

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57

%

of all nationally televised real estate advertising1

49

2

visitors to remax.com2

referral-feefree leads for RE/MAX agents

million

million

“Highest Overall Satisfaction For Home Sellers and Home Buyers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms” RE/MAX received the highest numerical score among full service real estate firms for home sellers and home buyers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM. Study based on 3,861 total evaluations measuring 8 firms and measures opinions of individuals who bought a home between March 2010 and April 2011. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed March-May 2011. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com. 1 Nielsen Monitor-Plus /A25-54 GRPs Unequivalized; 2 Comscore, Compete.com and Hitwise (6-month period through August, 2011

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Learn why

7

joinremax.com

Each office independently owned and operated.


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Karen McGrath and Irina Alexander, both of JB Goodwin REALTORS, drum up some contacts at the KB Home agent appreciation networking event at The Park at the Domain.

Buy photo: RL_041012_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

It's no Walmart, but that's not stopping Steven Smith of Neuhaus Realty Group from greeting folks at the AYREP SXMLS presentation at Ben Hur's Shriner. It's where he ran into Pam Drawbaugh of Austin City Living.

Buy photo: RL_040412_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_040612_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Glad to see a new Independence Title office in Pflugerville, Alex Marek and Sandy Rios, both of Gaston & Sheehan Realty, check it out at the company's grand opening celebration.

NOW OPEN, SARITA VALLEY SARITA VALLEY, newest community in the Leander Cedar Park area. This long awaited community touts homes from the mid $200’s. Among the spectacular features Sarita Valley has to offer: Community amenities:

• 50, 60, 70 ft. Lots • Future pool and playground • Green space • Creeks • Cul de sac homesites • Leander ISD Call Today,

(512)789-5586 Bill CozarT www.DreesHomes.com


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In this business, it's all about "who you know," and these girls know that all too well. HBA associate members Linden Alexander, Jennifer Balderrama and Danielle Fuhrman make it their business to get to know the builders at the HBA's networking social. Buy photo: RL_041312_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

David Schneider, second from left, of Goldwasser Real Estate, and Michelle Moore, right, find out more about Easter Seals from Carly Murrell and Stacy Ehrlich at the AYREP SXMLS—an Event to Inform, Connect and Network at Ben Hur's Shriner. Buy photo: RL_040612_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

As real estate agents, John Kessner and Carol Delgado, both of Stanberry and Associates, know that information from economic forecasts is invaluable for business planning. The two attended Gracy Title’s Economic Forecast program at Shoal Crossing Events Center.

Buy photo: RL_030612_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Tom Siddons shows off his hard-earned Rookie of the Year award at the Keller Williams Realty awards ceremony at the Lakeway Country Club.

Buy photo: RL_040112_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Austin Area Market Update Single Family Home Sales 2007 - 2012 2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Partnerships Built on Trust

3,000

2,750

2,500

2,250

2,000

1,750

1,500

1,250

1,000

750 Source: Texas A&M Real Estate Center

500 Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

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

Oct

Nov

Dec


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Lake Travis - Lohmans Crossing 1921 Lohmans Crossing Road, Suite 200 (512) 261-7819

April 2012

Lake Travis - 620

1313 Ranch Road 620 South, Suite 101 (512) 263-5651

Lillian Gentry Lisa Altamirano Sales Executive

Debra Holloway

Escrow Officer, Lohmans Crossing Branch Manager

Gaye Pierce

Sr. Vice President, Chief Operations Officer

Cathy Bade

Escrow Officer 620

Escrow Officer 620

Making Waves in Lake Travis for Over 27 Years! We’ve been your real estate partner in the Lago Vista, Spicewood and Lakeway areas for over 27 years. We’re proud to have contributed in shaping our community to what it is today by providing the most completed contract to close title services backed by the most advanced tools available in the industry. With over 45 years of combined experience, our closing teams are ready for any type of transaction. We thank you for partnering with us and look forward to seeing you at one of our convenient Lakeway area locations for your next closing!

w w w.gra c ytitle.co m

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Kindra Zepeda and Brandi Fleming, both of Independence Title, meet some builders at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin's monthly networking event.

Buy photo: RL_041312_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Ready to fill their brains with useful knowledge, Peg Braxton of Keller Williams Realty and Corrine Costabile of RE/MAX Capital City attend the Gracy Title Economic Forecast at the Shoal Crossing Events Center.

Buy photo: RL_030612_N.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Winning… Ken Renner accepts first place for The Renner Team for Top Closed Volume for a Team at the Lakeway Country Club, where Keller Williams Realty held its annual banquet.

Buy photo: RL_040112_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

At Starkey Mortgage

ABoR AcAdemy cARd

~We are Commited to You~

BAck foR A thiRd yeAR Academy Card Brings You Unlimited MCE Courses

Starkey Mortgage (WR Starkey Mortgage, LLP) is an independently owned correspondent mortgage bank. Specializing in conventional and government home loans. In-house processing, underwriting and funding allow us to simplify and expedite the approval process.

The Academy Card is back for its third year and offers cardholders the opportunity to attend unlimited MCE courses for the rest of the year. 2012 Academy Card holders can attend regular mandatory continuing education (MCE) courses between April 1 and December 31, 2012 using their card. Academy Cards are offered at $77 and allow REALTORS® to stay on a budget while furthering their professional education and satisfying MCE requirements. Purchase your Academy Card at www.abor.com/acard.

A C A D E MY

ACard_Apr2012.indd 1

Clive Hambrook

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

4/2/12 3:22 PM

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

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

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


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Rest easy

We’ve got you covered Locally Owned I Locally Committed Austin Business Journal’s #1 Title Company

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


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Welcoming guests to the Gracy Title Economic Forecast are Kristy Smallwood, David Tandy and Kim McCarthy, all of Gracy Title.

Buy photo: RL_040112_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCR members Anna Marie Sandlin of Reta Kays, REALTOR and Patti Stevens take home some time management strategies they picked up at the WCR monthly meeting at Cool River Café.

Buy photo: RL_040312_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

NAHREP PresidentElect Jason Garza moderates the group’s speaker panel at its monthly meeting. Members listened to industry professionals discuss proven business strategies.

Buy photo: RL_030612_BC.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mary Lynne Gibbs, right, is pleased to present Cheryl Fowlkes with the night’s highest honor, The Eagle Award, which recognizes associates for their outstanding dedication and service. She made the presentation at Keller Williams Realty’s annual awards dinner in Lakeway.

Buy photo: RL_040712_I.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Candy Buzan

Max Leaman

Kim Nielsen

Amy Oehler

Janet Widmer

Branch Manager Sr. Loan Officer

Branch Manager Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Trudy Savage

Mary Kennedy

Missy Driskell

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

GREAT RATES LOW FEES

Diane M. Clark

Eiric Smith                 Mark Hoffman

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

CLOSE ON TIME CALL (512) 238- 7888 Amanda Stewart

Misty Lynch

Jori Stern

Sherri Eckert

Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Sr. Loan Officer

Loan Officer

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

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

Sr. Loan Officer


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www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

15

4 new neighborhoods 9 model homes

1 incredible community The greatest luxury of all. A choice. Choosing Teravista is easy. The rest is up to you. With the opening of 4 new neighborhoods, your clients can enjoy an even greater luxury of choice. From the elegant custom homes of Fairway Estates to homes for those just starting out, we’ve never offered a wider selection. Come discover the home that’s just right for your client.

Discover more at teravista.com/choice New homes from the upper $100,000s to over $600,000 CastleRock Communities • Centerra Homes • D.R. Horton • Lennar • Partners in Building 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 NNP-Teravista, LP (‘Fee Owner’) is the creator of the Teravista Community (‘Community’). Certain home builders unaffiliated with the Fee Owner or its related entities (collectively ‘Newland’) are building homes in the Community (‘Builder(s)’). Newland is not co-developing, co-building or otherwise responsible for any of the obligations or representations of any of the Builders, and Newland shall have no obligations to any buyer regarding a home purchase from a Builder. Purchasers of homes from any of the Builders waive any claims against Newland arising out of their purchase transaction. No guarantee can be made that completion of the Teravista community will proceed as described. Prices, specifications, details, and availability of a builder’s new homes are subject to change without notice. All square footage is approximate. © 2012 Newland Real Estate Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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April 2012

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What a beautiful day in the neighborhood … for a property tour. Bill Dodd of Coldwell Banker United Realty and Kelly Covington-Hall of Turnquist Partners take a look at some of the properties for sale downtown Austin during the monthly Downtown Property Tour.

Buy photo: RL_040912_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

David Burton of Horizon Realty wraps up a two-day course called “Super Star Marketing” at the Champions School of Real Estate Round Rock campus.

Buy photo: RL_040312_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_040512_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Clients always come first with John Schutze of Supreme Lending. He steps away from the WCR monthly meeting to respond to a client in need.


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President’s Column

HBA of Greater Austin

By Marshall Durrett • 2012 President

Builders, remodelers honored for industry excellence

O

• $250,001-$300,000: Taylor Morrison • $300,001-$350,000: Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes • $350,001-$400,000: Taylor Morrison • $400,001-$475,000: Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes • Over $475,000: Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes • Best Product Design – Specialty Product: Spicewood Communities • Best Green Home, Volume Builder: David Weekley Homes Best Product Design, Custom Home • Under $1,000,000: Hobbs’ Ink • Over $1,000,000: Silverton Custom Homes • Best Product Design, Custom Speculative: Brohn Homes LLC • Best Custom One-of-a-Kind Home: Brohn Homes LLC • Best Kitchen, Custom Home: Brad Marshall Homes • Best Master Bath, Custom Home: Brohn Homes LLC • Best Outdoor Living Space, Custom Home: Brad Marshall Homes

n April 14, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin honored dozens of members with its coveted Sales and Marketing Excellence (MAX) Awards, which was held at The Oasis. The honors recognize achievements in new home building, marketing, remodeling and personal accomplishments during 2011. The big “granddaddy of them all—the “Grand MAX Builder of the Year” award— went to Scott Felder Homes (volume builder), RisherMartin Fine Homes (custom builder) and David Wilkes Builder (remodeler). The Best Overall Community for a Developer was awarded to • Brohn Homes LLC, The Skyways (under 100 units) • Crystal Falls (over 300 units) Several HBA custom and production builders were honored for “Product Achievement.” Best Product Design, Volume Builder • $100,001-$150,000: Pacesetter Homes • $150,001-$200,000: Pacesetter Homes • $200,001-$250,000: David Weekley Homes

112

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www.myRealtyLine.com • Best Green Home: Cornerstone Architects Several HBA members received kudos for their remodeling projects as well. Best Remodeled Project: • Under $200,000: RisherMartin Fine Homes • Over $200,000: RisherMartin Fine Homes Best Kitchen Remodel: • Under $75,000: RisherMartin Fine Homes • Over $75,000: David Wilkes Builders Best Master Bath Remodel: David Wilkes Builders Best Outdoor Living Remodel: RisherMartin Fine Homes Best Green Home Remodel: Legacy DCS, LLC Best Poolscape: Cody Pools REALTOR of the Year: Karen Matuszewski Members were also honored in many categories including: • Ad campaigns, billboards, direct mail and

April 2012

17

print ads • Electronic and Internet media • Interior merchandising • Sales brochures and promotions • Sales office/design center/showroom Individuals were also recognized for achievement in sales, marketing, construction, title and mortgage. You can view the complete list at www.AustinHomeBuilders.com under “Latest News” on our website home page. Contact any of these award-winning HBA members for your next home building or remodeling project at www. AustinHomeBuilders.com (click on “Find a Member”). For more information about the HBA, visit www.AustinHomeBuilders.com, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin on Facebook and LinkedIn. RL

Buy photo: RL_030612_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mary Ann Nations, standing, greets Rick and Gale Doak at the Keller Williams Realty awards banquet in Lakeway. Rick was recognized soon afterward for several of his annual accomplishments.


18

April 2012

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Ann Carson, Susan Patterson, Janet Lucas and Connie Wooster, all of Independence Title, welcome everyone to their new Plugerville office at the company's grand opening there.

Buy photo: RL_040412_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Senior Economist and Policy Advisor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Keith Phillips tells members of the Austin Mortgage Bankers Association that they should be glad to be in Austin, Texas where the market is good.

Buy photo: RL_040212_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Carol Strickland and Kay Andrews, both of Amelia Bullock REALTORS, find some of the last seats available at the Gracy Title Economic Forecast where over 200 REALTORS attended. Buy photo: RL_040612_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Benee Arnat of Goldwasser Real Estate, Crystal De La Rosa of Keller Williams Realty, Mark Wilkerson and Seth Thompson of ZIP Realty sign members in at the AYREP SXMLS event at Ben Hur's Shiner.

Buy photo: RL_040112_J.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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

M

ortgages without obstacles. This is the slogan and promise from the professionals at PrimeLending Capital City Branch who serve Round Rock and Austin. The branch is a cornerstone of the Round Rock real estate community. The dedicated staff understands how important every transaction is for each client and REALTOR and will go the extra mile to ensure on-time closings without any delays or surprises. They are intimately acquainted with both Round Rock and Austin, having served the area for decades. From down payment assistance programs to HOAs, they understand the loan products and qualifying requirements for each locale. Candy Buzan has been a mortgage lender in the greater Austin-Round Rock area since 1984. Max Leaman's Capital City branch has been with PrimeLending since 2004. In 2007, Buzan's branch became a branch of PrimeLending. In 2008, Buzan and Leaman combined their mortgage branches and currently co-manage PrimeLending Capital City. “We have the know-how and experience to come up with creative solutions to solve problems,” says Buzan who is the No. 1 USDA lender in the Austin area and the

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No. 2 USDA lender in Texas according to Scotsman Guide. Experts in all types of loans, Buzan and Leaman are in the top one percent of loan originators in America according to Mortgage Executive Magazine. Experience means that this team can provide expert advice and guide applicants through the mortgage process

April 2012

projects. The branch closed more than $173 million in 2011. The majority of this hardworking team has been together for more than 20 years. The Round Rock team has 15 loan officers, eight processors, one underwriter, one closer, one funder and two marketing specialists. Loans are completely fulfilled in-house, including processing, underwriting, closing and funding. Files are never shipped out to national processing centers where the loan officer loses control of the loan process. Most lenders require 45 to 60 days to close a loan, but PrimeLending can typically close in 30 days or less. This team takes pride in closing on time and keeping everyone updated on the transaction every step of the way. While the majority of the loan officers assist clients in the Round Rock area, there is a satellite office in Austin. Other loan officers work with clients as far away as Freestone, Leon, Robertson and the surrounding counties as well as clients that find PrimeLending online. PrimeLending is a leader in the online mortgage industry. The Internet has enabled clients to do more preliminary research to demystify the loan process before they even speak with a loan officer. It is now common for a significant number of clients making initial contact online. PrimeLending has taken online access a step further providing loan officers with custom websites to personalize the process from the beginning. Offering online loan applications also provides clients with the opportunity to start the loan process from the comfort of their own homes and allows them to prequalify quicker.

"

While the majority of lenders are limited to four residential loans per borrower, PrimeLending can offer up to 10 home loans per borrower ...

"

whether it is a conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, jumbo, HomePath, DPA/Bond or condo loan. PrimeLending also offers FHA loans for applicants with credit scores 600 and above. Most lenders are limited to 640 credit scores. They have even been able to assist with loans in emergency situations. While the majority of lenders are limited to four residential loans per borrower, PrimeLending can offer up to 10 home loans per borrower, which is popular with investors and condo

Candy Buzan Branch Manager

PrimeLending has also used its website to provide a mortgage resource center with a variety of tools that include an FAQ section, a mortgage calculator and a list of documents needed to close a loan to help clients understand the process. Although technology has enhanced the mortgage process, the team at PrimeLending is always available to meet with clients in person or over the phone to complete the application. They take pride in providing exceptional customer service and tailoring the lending experience to work best for each client’s unique needs and situation. For more information on competitive rates and fees with incomparable service, contact the professionals at PrimeLending Capital City at 238-7888 or www. primelending.com/capitalcity. RL

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ABR #15-00-053-22956; SFR #09-00-012-23890; SRES #15-00-122-17703; CHMS #09-00-082-9562; ALHS #15-00-032-9111; Insider’s Guide #09-00-062-9414 Ethics #03-03-123-23556; Legal #03-03-123-23555; Farm & Ranch #09-00-063-23070; BPOR #07-00-014-23969; Game Changers #09-00-123-23783


20

April 2012 Front Page: Continued

knowing where they come from and what their interests are—and how you, uniquely, can help them find what they’re looking for—is the No. 1 objective of any marketing program.

“Online marketing is obviously important

because it gets you out in front of people you wouldn’t normally be in front of,” says Nicole Torres-Cooke of Schmooze Networking. “But I can’t stress enough the importance of face-toface networking.” You never know what may come from that five-minute chat you had at the charity luncheon, for example.

If you’re really savvy, it isn’t just clients you’re

looking for, but opportunities for sponsorships, co-marketing, and referrals. The Austin Real Estate Experts (Keller Williams Realty) have created a Sunday morning television show with an average of 60,000 viewers per episode. The show is educational to home buyers and homeowners and is the team’s primary branding tool. A local builder underwrites the show, which is filmed from his model home. “Co-marketing and co-branding are the way of the future,” says Matt Menard of The Austin Real Estate Experts. “It’s a great way to leverage and extend your reach, and if you and your strategic partners have overlapping clientele and messages, it just makes sense.”

Build, maintain, evolve a “living” brand Your brand is the collective perception of your company, product, or service by your audiences. You build it, but it truly lives in the marketplace and in the minds of everyone that interacts with your business. That said, while you can never have complete control over your brand, there are things you can do to make it resonate. First, consider where your audience is coming from at any given moment. The increase in access to news and information, where 24/7 updates are now the norm, has resulted in an overwhelming amount of information being delivered to prospective clients.

“Standing apart from the pack is critical,

and to do that your brand identity must reflect your product in the best manner possible,” says Al Sommers, president of Sommers Marketing and Public Relations.

One of the keys to a successful brand is

balancing consistency with variety. Just like a

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to tell your customer what you alone can do

Maybe that same e-mail includes a related poll

for them and what makes you better. Some

or a quiz. Those who answered correctly get an

companies use their USP as their tagline.

e-mail invitation to an exclusive happy hour

When developing your USP, think about

you’ll be hosting. Send them to a form on your

the biggest benefits your business or service

website where they can enter their information

brings to your customers. Among others who

in order to submit their answer, and you’ll have

provide the same or similar services, what

them in your list. You can follow up by mailing

makes you the most logical choice? What gap

them a paper invitation.

are you filling in the industry? What customer

pain do you solve? How is your service different

number of elements like these, all strategically

from the rest— do you serve a niche, or can you

timed to keep the audience interested and offer

make a specific claim as to why you’re better

them relevant content.

or why you stand out? (Are you an expert in

a certain neighborhood? Do you specialize in

consistent across every communication and

buying and selling sustainable homes?). Offer

to mix it up, knowing and adapting to your

proof whenever possible. Ideally, your USP

audience when you choose your channels. This

will incorporate all of these elements into one

is where developing a content strategy will help

clear and concise sentence that you repeat

you, especially in the social arena. Where is your

throughout all of your marketing materials—

expertise? What activities are you involved in?

and most importantly—deliver on.

Your content should be relevant both to your

“Branding starts with our core purpose,”

audience and to your industry. Give them useful

says Janine Giustana, marketing manager at

information, but make it entertaining, Nicole

Sente Mortgage. “And that is to help make

Torres-Cooke advises. Could you post pictures,

building wealth easier for our clients and

how-to videos, interviews? Is there a new dog

business partners. We all have a part in

park in one of the neighborhoods you farm?

spreading our brand.”

Sente Mortgage’s multi-channel outreach

like 80/20 on Facebook (on your business page,

strategy includes monthly power lunches, where

80 percent of your content must be related to

they share business development strategies with

your business; 20 percent can be personal).

partners, mortgage education initiatives, and

Time your posts so you aren’t spamming. There

an ongoing marketing campaign consisting of

are tools like HootSuite and Tweet Deck that

a monthly direct mail postcard and a monthly

can time your posts to go out automatically.

e-mail to everyone in the Sente database,

According to Al Sommers, integrated

focused on helping people build wealth.

marketing programs can be thought of like

Integrated marketing campaigns and the importance of a content strategy

An integrated campaign can include any

The key, again, is to keep your message

Etiquette is important. Keep in mind rules

a light switch. A successful campaign should operate as a dimmer switch brightening a room, where a company's ongoing marketing outreach

Companies are adapting their game plans

broadens awareness over a period of time.

to identify the mediums of greatest interest to

Companies that start a campaign then go dark

their audience, and how best to reach them.

for a few months, then ramp back up later, are

Today, we’re seeing more attention paid to

going to be working uphill to keep the interest

social media, search engine optimization

of their target audience.

and marketing, e-mail marketing and other Armed with a good understanding of your

Don’t add to the noise; create experiences

brand, your USP, a consistent message and the

In our digital world people have more

listening and follow-up skills to turn a campaign

information than they could ever consume

into a conversation, not only will you stand out

right at their fingertips. We are living in an

from the pack, but there is CRM software that

environment where we are always “on” and

can help you track the relationship over the

easily accessible, with the lines between our

course of every conversation you have with your

professional and personal lives blurring like

prospects and customers, and on a daily basis—

never before. One implication of technology’s

interactive strategies.

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

P. O. Box 81366 • Austin, Texas 78708-1366 (512) 821-1900 www.myRealtyLine.com E-mail: info@myRealtyLine.com Publisher: Doren L. Carver doren@myRealtyLine.com Associate Publisher: Tawanna K. Carver tawanna@myRealtyLine.com Managing Editor: Naomi Bludworth naomi@myRealtyLine.com Contributing Editor: Linda McNabb Contributing Writers: Stacy Hale, Marilyn McCray, Naomi Bludworth, Linda McNabb Contributing Photographers: Doren L. Carver, Linda McNabb Columnists: Leonard Guerrero, Marshall Durrett, Christy Gessler, Bill Bradshaw, Kara McGregor Risé Johns, 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 printed on recycled paper. Realty Line Austin is a proud member of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, the Williamson County Association of REALTORS® and is a honorary member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS. Realty Line Austin is not responsible for opinions or facts expressed by non-staff writers or for errors and any by-products in advertising or editorial copy. REALTOR® is a registered trademark. The word REALTOR® sometimes appears in this publication without the registered trademark symbol (®) for the purpose of saving space. Wherever the word REALTOR® appears in this publication, the registered trademark should be assumed.

so you know where you’re hitting or missing

exponential integration into every aspect of

great song that sticks in your head, the secret

and where you could afford to reallocate

our lives is that we actually have less time due

lies in consistency in variation, and variation

some resources.

to all our timesaving devices; consequently,

within repetition of a theme. You want to

To keep things simple, an integrated

we have a deep desire to escape from all the

repeat that theme across whatever you do—the

marketing campaign is designed to include

noise and connect with what’s authentic and

copy on your marketing materials, your visual

touch points across multiple mediums. So let’s

immediately relevant.

identity, your social media messages—and

say you send out an e-mail or post on Facebook

when all of those elements of your brand repeat

with a quick tip on real estate deadlines. At the

to what you have to say, if it will save them the

the same message with a few surprises to keep

end, the post prompts your reader to click on

time of sifting through everyone else’s junk to

your content relevant and coherent, that’s when

a link to the full blog post on your website. If

get to the answer they’re looking for. Your job

your audience will be humming your tune. This

they like what they’ve read, they can subscribe

as a savvy marketer is to anticipate the question

consistent message becomes your USP.

to your Facebook page to receive similar

and turn it into a conversation worth having,

practices, you’ll reap the rewards. It’s not just a

Your USP (unique selling proposition) is the

content. (The message throughout all of these

where your audience wants to have it.

deal well done that gets you referrals; it’s good

thing that sets you apart from the competition.

communications is that you’re an expert on your

content and delivering on your promises at

You use it across all communication channels

topic and can help them with what they need).

clients absorb media may change from

In short, your audience is willing to listen

While the manner in which prospective

day-to-day, one critical component never changes — the power of the referral. “From the first conversation with a prospect, you are establishing a reputation that can help or hurt your company moving forward,” says Sommers. Always keep referral in mind as an end goal. Social media and blogs are the most common means of sharing an experience, and if your company is performing by top standards and

every opportunity. RL


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

RL austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

21

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April 2012

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

With the help of Tommy Nelms and David McMillan, both of United Lending, Chelsea Brown of KB Home hosts a special agent networking event at The Park at the Domain to show the company’s appreciation to REALTORS.

Buy photo: RL_041012_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Williamson County Association of REALTORS President Christy Gessler of Keller Williams Realty thanks TREC Administrator Douglas Oldmixon for speaking to the WCAoR membership at its February luncheon.

Buy photo: RL_040612_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_031512_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Eager to give their two cents, Sandy Duncan of Stanberry & Associates and Les Sherman of Austin Reps, LLC listen closely to the various aspects of each proposed MLS system at the AYREP SXMLS event at Ben Hur's Shriner.

Dreaming of a home in the country?

Buy photo: RL_040112_K.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Rural Land Loans Country Home Loans

Ted C. Jones, senior VP and chief economist for Stewart Title Company, goes over positive numbers for Austin at the Gracy Title Economic Forecast.

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Buy photo: RL_040312_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCR Austin Chapter President Anita Farrell of Keller Williams Realty congratulates Carolyn Wyckoff of Wyckoff Real Estate for being named the Texas Association of REALTORS REALTOR of the Year at the WCR monthly meeting.


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

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All this good food has got to be illegal! Attorney Farren Smith assures Crystal Reininger and Michelle Sheehan, both of Gaston & Sheehan Realty, that it is not. The three spend time networking at the grand opening event for Independence Title's Pflugerville office. Buy photo: RL_040412_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

As the classic song goes, "things will be great when you’re downtown.” Gretchen Woellner of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, Steven Steakley of iMortgage, Edie Finch of Edie Finch Properties, Helen Thomas of RE/MAX Austin Skyline and Mike Smith of Keller Williams Realty take a property tour to see how great properties

Buy photo: RL_040912_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Tina Lim of Honeybee Realty and Susie Lee of Realty Austin attend the Austin Asian Real Estate Professionals’ program on Feng Shui for the home where they learn harmony in a home helps put buyers at ease when visiting a listing.

Buy photo: RL_040512_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

National Association of Professional Mortgage Women Austin Chapter President Michelle Goldberg and NAPMW Correspondence Secretary Gretchen Rossington get ready to kick off the group’s monthly meeting at the Norris Conference Center.

Buy photo: RL_041112_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

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April 2012 Experts Speak Out

Commentary By Vaike O’Grady • Newland Communities

The importance of USP in today’s rapidly evolving marketing mix

W

hat’s a USP? No, it’s not that barcode on every product you buy (that’s the UPC). USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition, a concept that was first introduced a generation earlier than the “Mad Men” era of the 1960s. Ad man Rosser Reeves, who invented the term USP, defined it in his 1961 book, "Reality in Advertising:" 1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit." 2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique—either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising. 3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product. We’re not necessarily interested in selling

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to the “mass millions” in the Austin real estate market, though some “mass hundreds” every year would be nice. Still, it’s nothing short of amazing that a concept created over 70 years ago—when there were barely three TV networks—has never been more relevant at a time when we have hundreds of networks and millions of websites, blogs and social media profiles. In a marketplace that has never been more crowded, fragmented and distracted, it has never been more important to communicate your product’s USP through campaigns that have consistency, longevity and integration across all media platforms. Just like getting to know your inner self, creating a USP involves a lot of thought and reflection, along with some more practical components like market research and testing. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, a successful USP can effectively differentiate a product that at first glance might seem to be very similar to the competition.

austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

For a couple of quick examples, I’ll share the USPs we developed for our two Austin area communities, Falcon Pointe in Pflugerville and Teravista in Round Rock. For Falcon Pointe, we discovered that beyond the traditional (and still very important) offerings like the right mix of new homes, amenities and schools, what really set it apart was the neighborhood spirit of its residents. With that in mind, we came up with the umbrella USP of “Never ending stories.” On the home page of our website, the copy begins: “When you live in Falcon Pointe, you belong to something special – a real community of people with unique stories that weave together…” And it quickly comes to the closing proposition: “So why not come see how your story blends into the Falcon Pointe family?” At Teravista, our USP is “It’s time to settle for everything.” This is a message to the community’s target market that they

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

don’t have to “settle” even if they are in the under $200,000 price range. Instead, they can have “everything” in a community with a golf course, a community center, a great location, etc. Once you’ve developed a USP, it’s important to use it consistently across the many media platforms available to real estate marketers today. This includes everything from more traditional media like signage, collateral material and billboards, to new media like Internet banner ads, social media sites and e-mail blasts. You can even promote the USP with temporary “vanity” URLs designed to promote special events like grand openings. We’re truly living in a golden age of marketing—a time when we can take timetested concepts like the USP, which was originally intended for mass audiences, and target it to very specialized audiences, sometimes for pennies per impression. The “Mad Men” would be so jealous! RL

Buy photo: RL_040112_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Edie Finch of Edie Finch Properties has a cup of Joe with Joe Bryson (no relation to the cup of Joe) of Real Estate Alliance at Gracy Title’s Economic Forecast at Shoal Crossing Events Center.

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A New Era In Mortgage Banking

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

www.AmeriproFunding.com

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

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April 2012

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Justin Hobson and Krystle Copulos, both of Platinum Realty, find a quick seat at the AYREP SXMLS program to hear about the proposed systems.

Buy photo: RL_040612_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

NAHREP President Nicole Torres-Cooke, second from right, thanks Vanessa Nunez of Vox Real Estate, Chad Goldwasser of Goldwasser Real Estate, Mary Miner of Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty, Kristin Carroll of Sente Mortgage and David McMillan of United Lending for participating in the "proven strategies" panel.

Buy photo: RL_040712_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Alfred Engstrand, back, of Alfred's Catering makes any event worth attending. Fred Ormand of Fred Ormand Realty, Susan Patterson of Independence Title and James Ware of Dash Realty celebrate the grand opening of Independence Title's Pflugerville office with yummy bits from Alfred's kitchen.

Buy photo: RL_030612_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Mary Hickey takes first place for Top Closed Volume for an individual, one of many awards she earned at the Keller Williams Realty’s annual banquet in Lakeway.

Buy photo: RL_040412_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

With competitive rates, incomparable services and a process that guides you easily from application all the way through closing, we are confident that you’ll agree that imortgage has made financing your home...

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Consumer is subject to specific program qualifications. This is not an advertisement to extend consumer credit as defined by section 226.2 of Regulation Z. Rates, terms and availability of programs are subject to change without notice. Licensed by the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending. All rights reserved 2012.


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www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

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April 2012 Experts Speak Out

Commentary By Bill Bradshaw • Gracy Title

Short sale problems

C

urrent estimates of homes that are underwater (worth less than the debt) range from 22.8 percent (investmentwatchblog.com) to a high of 28 percent (mortgagenewsdaily.com). While across the country we have struggled with solutions to this problem it is recognized that foreclosures have a more injurious effect on the market than short sales. Therefore, it appears that we are going to see more short sales across the country. The problem is that many in the real estate community have figured out how to game the short sale process to the further detriment of the lenders accepting the short payoff. Recent schemes involving short sales include: 1. Falsifying a short sale listing to indicate there is an offer so as to discourage legitimate offers. 2. Manipulating the short sale price by making the property look worse than it really is. 3. Flipping the property for a higher price (there are several complicated schemes here).

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4. Skimming equity by manipulating the closing numbers or by “phantom repairs.” 5. Engaging in a short sale for a relative and returning the property to the relative with reduced debt. As a direct result of these schemes and scams, the FHLMC (Freddie Mac) has required all parties, including the REALTORS and title company, to execute an affidavit affirming that the transaction is arm's length and further, providing for indemnification of the lender if the arm's length attestation is not true. The problem was that indemnification was required by all. This was problematic for REALTORS and title companies because even if one of the parties was not aware of, or had not participated in any fraud they still provided indemnification to the lender. So the result was that we were indemnifying for things we knew nothing about and could not control. The National Association of REALTORS, the American Land Title Association and

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

other trade organizations prevailed upon the FHLMC to modify the indemnity document to provide that each party would provide indemnity only for irregularities known to that party. In the latter part of last year, FHLMC acquiesced and now the short sale affidavit and indemnity provides that it is executed only to the best knowledge and belief of each party to the transaction. Problem solved, right? Not so fast, at least not so fast for Texans. Title insurance in Texas is governed, and oversight is provided, by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). TDI maintains a basic manual that sets out the rules and regulations by which Texas title companies and underwriters are required to operate. The basic manual includes Procedural Rule 35, which is a “Prohibition against Guarantees, Affirmations, Indemnifications,

and Certifications.” So now the question is: Does Procedural Rule 35 prohibit all Texas title companies from executing the FHLMC affidavit and indemnification? Even though the industry’s position on the execution of the affidavit was mixed (some would execute the affidavit and some would not because of P-35), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance has removed all doubt. In March, the commissioner, Eleanor Kitzman, has provided unequivocally that execution of “the short sale affidavits seek assurances beyond the scope of the title agents knowledge.” Accordingly, execution of these affidavits and indemnities by title companies is not allowed in Texas because they are violations of P-35. Lastly, in this regard, please note that a title company that violates this order is subject to fine and/or suspension. RL

Buy photo: RL_040212_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

AMBA members John McClellan and John Schutze, both of Supreme Lending, join Mike Carroll at the group’s monthly meeting to get a peek into the Federal Reserve Bank’s crystal ball for the Austin market.

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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April 2012

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April 2012 Experts Speak Out

www.myRealtyLine.com

Commentary By Kara McGregor • Independence Title

Wired Up: moving money in real estate transactions

T

he big moment in a real estate transaction is at the finish line, when all parties receive the benefits outlined in the contract. For the seller, the benefit may be proceeds from the sale, allowing them to buy another home, fund their retirement, or just close a chapter and move on. The benefit to the buyer is keys to the property, pride of homeownership, an investment for the future. From there, REALTORS receive commissions, contractors are paid for their work on the property, etc. Because this is the moment that matters most, it’s worth taking a close look at the rules that govern the way title companies receive and distribute funds in a transaction. With the onset of new banking regulations, and the proliferation of electronic methods for moving money around, there’s plenty of room for confusion. To begin, you may have received notices from your title company mentioning “collected funds” (e.g. cashier’s checks) or “live funds” (e.g. wire transfers, or cashier’s

checks that have cleared the bank). With the proliferation of homemade (i.e. counterfeit) cashier’s checks, title insurance underwriters assuming the risk for transactions now require the following: • All checks must be “collected” or “cleared” by the bank before funds may be released. (This process typically takes one to two business days.) • The title company may not wire “live funds” until an equal or greater amount of “live funds” are in the escrow account, via wire transfer or cleared check. In the day-to-day, this requirement often creates collisions between the needs and expectations of buyers and sellers. A common scenario involves a buyer or lender who brings a cashier’s check to closing, and a seller who wants the ease and immediacy of receiving their proceeds via wire transfer. Title companies’ underwriting requirements dictate that if funds for the transaction are received in the form of a check, they can only be paid out in the form of a check, if

RL austin

TM

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

parties want to receive funds on the same day. Once the checks have cleared the bank (again, typically in one to two business days), the title company can wire funds to the seller. For some, this becomes a significant issue touching on perceptions of good faith, where the buyer feels they have done their part by bringing their money, yet the seller is not comfortable handing over the keys until the proceeds are in their bank account. There are clear remedies, depending on where you are in the transaction. The most effective strategy is to ensure that both the buyer and their lender deliver all funds via wire transfer. This starts with good communication between REALTORS and their clients from contract negotiations to closing. Finding out about the seller’s expectations about receiving proceeds, and working out those details in advance will save a lot of last-minute confusion at closing. When selecting a lender, make sure they have procedures in place to send funds via wire transfer. Some buyers and sellers may not have any experience sending funds via wire, and may believe this to be a complicated process. A good title company will provide

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

wiring instructions to all parties early on, and should be available to answer any questions. One important thing to note in working with your bank is that “ACH” transfers (typically created via online banking, when you send payments from your account over the internet) is not the same thing as a wire transfer. Please contact your bank for instructions on their wire process. Sending any funds via ACH/online payment will result in a delay in funding. In a scenario where funds are received via cashier’s check, the seller can receive their proceeds the same day in the form of a check from the title company. Most of us who have been in the business a while remember that this was standard procedure in the good old days prior to electronic transfers. Some sellers may actually prefer to receive a check in their hands, as something tangible. Effective communication is key and is the single most important ingredient in a smooth closing. Make sure you’re working with a title company and closing team that is responsive and experienced, and keep in mind that we all have the same goal: closed transactions and happy clients. RL

Buy Photos + Find Events + View Archives

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5-5-25: A Communication Strategy

TREC MCE Elective Course #: 01-00-083-23284 Register today for Sente’s

June

MCE Power Lunch

Thursday, June 7th 12 Noon – 1PM

Cost: $10 for One MCE Elective Credit Hour (Cash or Check only, payable at the door)

5-5-25: A Communication Strategy Using the 5-5-25 as the primary communication strategy for a year, one of our loan originators increased business by 65%! It works for Realtors as well. The 5-5-25 is a personal communication practice which translates into daily actions that WILL increase your business.

For more information on any of our MCE Classes and to register visit:

www.SenteMortgage.com

Click on Real Estate Power Lunches at the bottom of our homepage or call 512-637-9900 • Sente Mortgage, Inc. MCE Provider #9841


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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

Longtime NAHREP member Ron Urias, center, of Farmers Insurance introduces new members Dan Campos and Rogelio Ramirez to the rest of the group at the NAHREP monthly meeting at Cool River Café.

Buy photo: RL_040712_E.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

After a busy day selling homes, Charlotte Hair of Keller Williams Realty kicks back with Wraijean Crane of KB Home at The Park at the Domain. KB Home hosted an agent appreciation networking event there.

Buy photo: RL_030612_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com Buy photo: RL_041012_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Rose Land and Jackie Saliba toast to a great year as the annual awards banquet for the Keller Williams Realty Lakeway office begins.

START SOMETHING NEW THIS SPRING Break out of the mundane, the every day, and the stagnant cycle. Join a dynamic team of professionals who are dedicated to your success. As Austin’s #3 Mortgage Company, we work to stay fresh. We offer top notch technology, administrative support, and more than 20 years of experience you can trust. Find out how being a part of our team can help you build a better future. For more information contact: Kevin A. Gingsburg (NMLS # 218826) 512-632-7971

United Lending, a division of Network Funding LP #2297


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Walk. Sprint.

April 2012

33

Trot.

Run. Stay.

Jog.

Come to Falcon Pointe. With new neighborhoods to choose from, acres of recreation, and the area’s first bark park, there’s something for every member of your client’s family. (Two legs and four legs alike.)

3 new neighborhoods • 4 new model homes 11 miles of trails • 1st dog park in Pflugerville

FalconPointeTX.com/home New homes in Pflugerville from the high $100,000s to the mid $300,000s Centerra Homes • Lennar • Ryland 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

This is not intended to be an offer to sell or a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in the Falcon Pointe community to residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. All square footage is approximate. Prices, specifications, details and availability of builder’s homes are subject to change without notice. Terrabrook Falcon Pointe, LP (‘Fee Owner’) is the creator of the Falcon Pointe Community (‘Community’). Certain home builders unaffiliated with the Fee Owner or its related entities (collectively ‘Newland’) are building homes in the Community (‘Builder(s)’). Newland is not co-developing, co-building or otherwise responsible for any of the obligations or representations of any of the Builders, and Newland shall have no obligations to any buyer regarding a home purchase from a Builder. Purchasers of homes from any of the Builders waive any claims against Newland arising out of their purchase transaction. © 2012 Newland Real Estate Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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Austin CRS Chapter

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

President ‘s Column By Risé Johns • 2012 President

Between running marathons in Austin, Gwen Johansen of North American Title joins her co-worker Susan Spence for the NAPMW monthly luncheon.

Buy photo: RL_040512_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Eager to hear what kind of changes TREC has implemented, Gail McClanahan of JB Goodwin REALTORS and Jim Goldrick of Texas American Title attend the WCAoR February Luncheon to hear from TREC Administrator Douglas Oldmixon.

Buy photo: RL_031512_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

The Keller Williams Lake Travis Market Center has

“Got It All Under One Roof!” ~ Farm & Ranch • KW Commercial • Luxury Homes • Residential ~ Whatever your niche, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Allow us to say “Welcome to the family.”

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M

Keeping in touch is a big part of good marketing

any times when talking to new agents, several questions always come up— “Where do you get your business; where does it come from? How do you have so many listings? What should I do to get business?” Communication, integrity and attention to detail are key to keeping customers and getting referrals. In addition, people need to know who you are and how to get in touch. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has statistics that show most buyers and sellers cannot remember their agent’s name after four years. They might remember the company, but not the agent. This is because the agent did not keep in touch! As agents, we think we do such an excellent job that nobody would forget who we are. Statistics prove that is not the case. The next question is “so how do I stay in touch?” My chosen method is a monthly newsletter. The first of every month, I e-mail or mail a newsletter that is full color, 8 1/2 by 11 inches, double sided and tri-folded. The front side of the brochure discuses a current real estate topic; the back side has a thought for the month, some “fun” facts or photos and pictures of the properties we sold in the past 30 days (if you are a new agent, use some of your company’s sold

statistics or statistics about your area). If writing a newsletter is not your idea of fun, there are many pre-formatted letters you can use for a small fee. The key is to get something in front of your database consistently. Another key area is your website. Be sure it is current. Some agents have incredibly great sites and some have not updated their sites for months. Picking up the phone and calling your past clients is another great way of keeping in touch. You will need a database and scheduled time to call. You can discuss market statistics, wish them a happy birthday or just ask them if there is anything you can help them with. You will be amazed at the answers. And while keeping in touch is what has helped make me successful, I also stay informed with education. The Austin CRS Chapter is sponsoring a tri-fecta of classes next month: CRS 204-Wealth Building on April 30 and May 1; CRS 103-Maximize Your Potential on May 2; and CRS 201-Listings Strategies on May 3 and 4. CRS instructors are leading professionals who bring practical experience to each course. Contact Rita Barousse at ABoR at 454-7636 to sign up. RL


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

Would like to congratulate

CANDY BUZAN and

MAX LEAMAN for excellence in loan origination.

Among Top 1% of Loan Officers in America, 2011 - MORTGAGE EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE

Candy Buzan

Max Leaman

Branch Manager, Sr. Loan Officer Phone: (512) 797-5580 CBuzan@PrimeLending.com www.CandyBuzan.com

Branch Manager, Sr. Loan Officer Phone: (512) 293-1239 MaxL@PrimeLending.com www.MaxLeaman.com

NMLS #:179412

NMLS #: 151263

© 2012 PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. Trade/service marks are the property of PlainsCapital Corporation, PlainsCapital Bank, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Some products may not be available in all states. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company (NMLS no: 13649) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in TX. TX OCCC Reg. Loan License- lic no. 7293.

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April 2012

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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.™

Geez, look at this crowd! Diane Bennett, center, of Prudential Texas Realty looks for a good seat with Brad Schaible and Lori Elam, both of Schaible Realty, at the Gracy Title Economic Forecast.

Buy photo: RL_040112_F.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Tatchi Lay of Goldwasser Real Estate introduces Feng Shui Master Judy Morris at the Asian Real Estate Professionals program on the topic at the ABoR auditorium.

Buy photo: RL_041112_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Hosting a HBA networking social is a great way to get potential new customers to see your product. Jeff Ross of Austin Countertops thanks HBA member Susan Davis for attending the event at his company's showroom.

Buy photo: RL_040712_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_041312_B.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Kristin Carroll, right, of Sente Mortgage speaks to NAHREP members as part of a speaker panel on proven strategies at its monthly meeting where she catches up with Ann Marie Sandlin of Reta Kays, REALTOR. Keeping in touch with past and present friends makes her a success.

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Provided for informational purposes only. This is not a commitment to lend. Not all borrowers will qualify. *The DHI Mortgage Home Buyers Club does not guarantee to raise the credit score or guarantee loan approval. Credit Counseling offered by the DHI Mortgage Home Buyers Club does not assure participants that they will qualify for, or successfully obtain, a home mortgage loan. Participants are not required to finance their home purchase through DHI Mortgage or to purchase a home from DHI Mortgage’s affiliated builder, D.R. Horton, to enroll in the DHI Mortgage Home Buyers Club. DHI Mortgage Company, Ltd. NMLS #38686. Company NMLS #14622. 12554 Riata Vista Circle, First Floor Austin, TX 78727. For information on DHIM licensing please visit www.dhimortgage.com/other-pages/licensing. REV: 03/19/12 / EXP: 03/19/13


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

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April 2012

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Susanna Boyer, right, of 1st Source Texas Realty puts a big smile on Christy Gessler’s face as she gives a $500 investment to TREPAC at the WCAoR February Luncheon. Christy is the WCAoR President.

Buy photo: RL_031512_G.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Michael Clawson and Tatchi Lay, both of Goldwasser Real Estate get ready to spring into the condos at The Spring with James Davis, center, of Keller Williams Realty. All three take part in the Downtown Property Tour that kicks off at the Ranch 616 each month. Buy photo: RL_040912_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Jon Kasner of Kasner and Associates, REALTORS asks Judy Morris, right, of Life Schway Feng Shui about Feng Shui balance in a home. She spoke about the concept to members of the Austin Asian Real Estate Professionals group where Jon and Susie Kang, center, of JOA Realty attended.

Buy photo: RL_040812_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Gary Hoffarth of Austin Advantage Realty and Diane Christy of Diane Christy REALTORS get a firsthand look at KB Home’s construction of a new home.

Buy photo: RL_041112_A.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com


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Real Estate News & Notes Austin Board of REALTORS Foundation welcomes new leadership and thanks its board of directors The Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of the following individuals to the board of directors and recognize the current Friends of the Foundation. It is through the continued dedication of these volunteers who share the Foundation’s vision that we are able to do charitable work. The ABoR Foundation, created in 1978, has a mission to support the community through the establishment of scholarship programs in Central Texas, create endowments for the betterment of the popular scholarship program and be a conduit for relief funds in times of disaster. Chad Cardani of Keller Williams Realty and Kathy De La Cruz of RE/MAX Austin Associates became members of the ABoR Foundation’s board of directors in 2012. They joined the following current members of the board: • Cathy Coneway, chair, Stanberry & Associates; • Susan Horton, vice chair, John Horton Realty/ PLR; • Carol Dochen, secretary/treasurer, Carol Dochen REALTORS, Inc.; • Laura Pagnozzi, Independence Title Company; and • Dee Shultz, Keller Williams Realty. The Foundation’s current advisory members are: • Alisa LeBlanc, Patten Law Firm; • Warren Marshall, John Horton Realty / PLR; and

• Carol Medley Parker, past foundation chair, Coldwell Banker United REALTORS. The Foundation’s work would not be possible without the support of these Friends of the Foundation: • Alisa LeBlanc, chair, Friends of the Foundation, Patten Law Firm; • Melissa Alcocer, Capital Title; • Samantha Conkey, Capital Title; • Winter Edwards, First American Title; • Tara Goldwasser, Goldwasser Real Estate; • Erin Harrell, First American Title; • Christie Lott, Home Warranty of America (HWA); • Kylie Lynch, McBryde Firm, PLLC; • Laurie Nunnallee, Capital Title; • Laura Pagnozzi, Independence Title Company; • Mary Ellen Schmidt, American Home Shield; • Nicole Schoening-Von Thies, First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation; • Shelby Shepherd, Farmers Insurance – Kuznieski; • Cissy Stasio, Patten Law Firm; and • Tammy Templin, Coldwell Banker United REALTORS. For more information about the ABoR Foundation or how to donate, contact Rita Barousse in ABoR’s Education Department at rbarousse@abor.com or 454-7636, ext. 1602. RL

Tenura Holdings, Inc. opens "home center" to local real estate community Real estate services company Tenura Holdings, Inc. recently launched the company’s new Tenura Home Center in Austin, offering a new approach to residential real estate transactions for Central Texas home buyers and sellers. Located at 8300 North Mopac in Austin, the Tenura Home Center delivers a new level of convenience to the real estate process by providing access to the key players of a real estate deal all under one roof in a classy and relaxing environment. Professionals with real estate, mortgage, title and insurance companies are available at the home center to provide guidance and insight on the main components involved with a real estate transaction. Tenura’s high-end real estate center is designed to seamlessly blend the elements of comfort and elegance with the convenience of technology and personalized service. Visitors have access to an Internet bar, complimentary refreshments, web-enabled televisions for interactive home searches, a concierge station, meeting areas, and family-friendly accommodations including a private nursing

RL austin

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

RE/MAX Capital City recognized for involvement with CMN RE/MAX of Texas and Dell Children’s Medical Center recognized the three RE/MAX Capital City offices for their exemplary support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at a meeting at the children’s hospital on March 13. Each year, RE/MAX Capital City visits Dell Children’s Medical Center to give their associates the RE/MAX Capital City agents/employees at Dell Children’s Medical Center opportunity to make a personal Capital City,” says Richard Filip, CEO of RE/ connection with the hospital and see where MAX of Texas, when referring to the company's their Miracle Office contributions go. broker/owner. “We deeply appreciate their All three offices are “Miracle Offices,” making passionate support of CMN.” regular contributions to CMNH through per- Over the past five years, the offices have transaction donations, general donations, raised a combined total of more than $66,000 the Miracle Home program, and the Honor for CMNH. All the money goes to Dell Card program. Children’s Medical Center, helping local Austin   RE/MAX Capital City is also a repeat children get the healthcare they need. winner of the Miracle Makers award, presented During the RE/MAX R4 Convention in to an exemplary Miracle Office from each Las Vegas on March 7, RE/MAX of Texas council at the annual RE/MAX of Texas was named the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals “Region of the Year” for the fifth Statewide Convention. “Jeff Osborne has a contagious enthusiasm consecutive year, thanks to the generous for Children’s Miracle Network, and it has support of RE/MAX offices and associates inspired the generous associates of RE/MAX throughout the Lone Star State. RL

Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS named platinum level firm by Cartus Broker Network Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS has been named a platinum level firm by the Cartus Broker Network in the Austin market. Platinum is the highest of the Excellence Award recognition levels presented to qualifying principal brokers. Only 17 percent of the network’s principal brokers received Excellence Award recognition for 2012. Platinum level recognition is based on performance results related to a wide variety of goals including customer service, cost management, and accuracy on the broker market analysis. “Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS has delivered excellent results to both its customers and the Cartus Broker Network,” said Gerald

Pearce, Cartus executive vice president, broker services and affinity services. “The Platinum level has long represented extraordinary accomplishment. To earn this distinction, Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS has successfully executed a business plan that involves attention to customer needs, understanding of local conditions, and incorporation of best business practices.” “Achieving platinum level is something that we really wanted and worked for throughout 2011,” said Richard Smith, chairman and CEO, Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS. “This speaks to the work that our entire staff has put into making us a successful brokerage. I thank them for their efforts.” RL

Independence Title Co. buys new corporate headquarters

room and a children’s playroom connected to one of the meeting rooms. “Tenura believes that the customer should always be the focus of any real estate transaction, and that delivering an exceptional customer experience should be the norm, not the exception, when it comes to buying or selling a home,” said Kevin Klein, president, Tenura Holdings. “We’ve gone to great lengths to create a comfortable and relaxing environment at the home center, so customers can experience a real estate process that is more convenient, easy and stress-free. We believe we’ve created something truly unique in the world of residential real estate.” For more details, visit www. tenurahomecenter.com. RL

Independence Title Co., which launched in 2005, has purchased 5900-2 Shepherd Mountain Cove. The 45,000-square-foot office building in Northwest Austin will serve as the company’s corporate headquarters, starting in 2013. The decision comes at the same time the company is expanding into the Houston market. Independence Title today has 32 offices and more than 250 employees. “The company just turned seven years old. We’ve grown to a point where we know who we are and where we’re going to be for the long term so it was time to find a permanent home

Submission Guidelines:

for our main office and statewide headquarters. This opportunity is a great fit for that,” says Jay Southworth, CEO of Independence Title Co. Independence Title intends to move its current Arboretum-area headquarters into approximately half the building in 2013. Over time, Southworth hopes his firm continues to grow and ultimately needs the entire building. “This represented a good long-term strategy for us in terms of our real estate needs,” Southworth says. “Hopefully 10 years from now we’ve grown to the point where we need it all. I’d like to think that could happen.” RL

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


Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

RL austin

TM

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

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Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995.™

RL austin

TM

Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995

www.myRealtyLine.com

April 2012

40

KB Home Superintendent James Blamey, second from right, gives REALTORS a tour of a home under construction at the company’s Hard Hat Tour at Spring Trails.

Buy photo: RL_040812_D.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCAoR President Christy Gessler of Keller Williams Realty and Mary Miner of Nextage Lincoln Ray Realty pull out the big check to make a big impression as they try to encourage more people to invest in TREPAC. Both led by example by forking over $1,000 each. Buy photo: RL_040312_C.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

Buy photo: RL_031512_H.JPG at www.myRealtyLine.com

WCR guest speaker Melanie Kennemann, standing, of Keller Williams Realty promises Ruby Johnson of Austin Real Pros that she’ll buy the length of her leg in tickets to help with the group’s scholarship program. Boy, that’s a lot of tickets!

Realty Line April 2012 Issue  

Putting a face on real estate since 1995. Realty Line April 2012 issue focuses on Marketing Yourself and/or Your Company (the importanceof a...

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