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Get Your Tickets Now for 2010 Housing Forecast on January 13 Mark your calendars for the 2010 Housing Forecast, presented by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin on Jan. 13, 2010. at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at 1900 University Avenue. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and the first presentation at 9 a.m. Event attendees will hear an in-depth analysis of the 2009 local economy and expectations for the coming year, which will set industry standards for markets including land development, construction supplies and home sales. This is a “must see” event for those wishing to create an effective 2010 business strategy. Eldon Rude, director of the Austin Market for MetroStudy, will moderate the program and provide the Austin Housing Market Forecast. Rude has earned a reputation in the real estate industry for thorough analysis and candid insight into factors impacting

Upcoming Events:

housing supply and demand. Economic development will be discussed by Pike Powers of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Powers has played an integral role in the economic development of Central Texas for 30 years and earned the first Austin Business Journal Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions. Economist John Hockenyos will deliver the National Economy Forecast. President of Texas Perspectives, an economic analysis and public policy consulting firm, Hockenyos has served as a resource witness on a variety of issues for city councils, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Tickets are limited and cost $60. Purchase yours by phone at 4547636; online at or; or in person at the ABoR offices or at the HBA office. All tickets must be purchased in advance using cash, check or credit card.

NOVEMBER 23-27 Realty Line will be closed

DECEMBER 1 CRS’ First Annual Holiday Gala benefitting Any Baby Can - 5 to 8 p.m. DR Horton’s Glenfield Model, Avery Ranch DECEMBER 2 WCR Installation & Awards Luncheon Austin Country Club - 11 to 2 p.m.

DECEMBER 3 WCAoR Installation & Awards Banquet Reunion Ranch - 5:30 p.m. DECEMBER 10 AMBA Annual Holiday Party UT Club - 2108 Robert Dedman - 6 p.m. DECEMBER 11 ABoR Installation & Awards Gala Renaissance Austin Hotel - 6 p.m.

—Associates In— PROGRESS NOVEMBER 2009 • VOL. 14 • ISSUE 7

Enjoyable. Entertaining. It’s all About You.

Local REALTORS Stand Out as Leaders at State Chapters Chapter Business Plan as set forth by National. The Governor visits each chapter at one of their Governing CONTRIBUTING WRITER Board Meetings and helps with establishing and maintainAustin area real estate professionals have long been ing new chapters in the state. As a Governor I will attend all actively involved in their industry, but this coming year two national and state meetings, attend District meetings for my will stand out as leaders on the state level. David Burton of assigned area and for my local chapter. The position of Austin Suburban Properties is serving as Governor for the Governor also holds a position as a voting member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS Texas Chapter and Carrie National and State Governing Board as well as a responsiWeikert of Keller Williams Realty is serving as President of bility to actively participate as an officer of the region and as the Lone Star Certified Residential Specialists Chapter. a member of the Regional Committee. Our Region consists Realty Line visited with both of them about how they hope of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. CARRIE: My goals are twofold. The first being to to be productive in these high-level positions. increase the membership base across the state & the second RL: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? DAVID: To better understand what I hope to accomplish is to increase the public awareness of the importance of in my role as a Governor for WCR Texas Chapter let me using a REALTOR with the CRS designation because it is share what the position of Governor entails. There are four the highest credential awarded to sales agents & brokers in Governors for the Texas State Chapter and the boundaries the residential real estate and recognizes the accomplishare established each calendar year by the WCR State ments in both experience & education. We are just now Executive Committee. I was assigned to Area D which is the working on our strategic plan for next year. One step will be largest area with eight of the 22 local chapters in Texas and to bring about more regions across the state so that memincludes Houston, Houston 1960 (the first chapter in Texas), bers-at-large will want to join because there is local particiFort Bend, Bay Area, Lake Houston, Montgomery County, pation through the region’s effort. We currently have six Golden Triangle and Greater West Houston Chapter. It is the regions: Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, East Texas & Governor’s responsibility to help local chapters improve Southeast Texas. We have interest in establishing a couple their performance and understand and complete the more within the next year. RL: What does the position entail and how did you earn it? Presorted Standard DAVID: The position certainly was U.S. Postage not entered into lightly, as you can see PAID Austin, Texas there is much responsibility. Being Paid Permit #715 elected to serve our industry in this position was a great honor and my perP.O. Box 81366 sonal goal is to ensure that the chapters Austin, Texas 78708-1366 in my area are successful and stay focused on being a true business resource to their members and to remind, through encouragement, that as leaders we can make a difference in our industry one REALTOR at a time. CARRIE: I act as the Chief Executive Officer of the chapter, repreDon’t forget: You can visit us online 24/7 at

By Linda McNabb

senting them on the state level as well as on the national level at TAR and NAR meetings. Lone Star CRS meets three times a year. February in Austin at the Midyear Meetings, September at the TAR Annual Convention and we have a transition meeting in October. In addition, I am responsible for attending the NAR Mid Year meetings in Washington, D.C. David Burton, governor in May and the WCR Texas Chapter NAR Annual Convention in November. This year it is being held in San Diego. I was first asked to join the Austin Region of Lone Star CRS as a committee chair. From there I went on to become the Regional Director for Austin. I then proceeded to go onto the Lone Star Board of Directors, Carrie Weikert, president serving as Lone Star CRS Chapter Treasurer. The rest is history. RL: What was the induction ceremony like? DAVID: It was great! It took place in Dallas during the

State Leadership: continues on page 6


Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

A few of ABoR’s officers and directors greet Mayor Lee Leffingwell, fourth from left, at Realty Round Up. Bill Evans of Austin Real Pros, Aaron Farmer of Austin Discount Realty, Judith Bundschuh of Catalyst Realty, Jay Gohil of Jay Gohil Realty, John Horton of John Horton Realty and wife Susan Horton and ABoR president David Foster.


Realty Line of 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. © Caxton Publications, Inc. dba Realty Line of Austin is an active 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. Caxton Publications, Inc. dba Realty Line of 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.

Gracy Title associates Michelle Piperi, Allison Craig, Holly Schuler, Emily Morris and Amy Turcotte welcome guests Kary Sutter of Keller Williams Realty and Celina Johnson of Wells Fargo to the grand opening of the company’s office in 1890 Ranch in Cedar Park.

Our next two Power Lunches: November 11 - Ongoing 24 December 9 - Goal Training

Doren L. Carver PUBLISHER Tawanna K. Carver MANAGING EDITOR


COLUMNISTS Jay Gohil - ABoR Chairman Wes Peoples - HBA President Barbara Wigginton - WCAoR President Larry Molinare - Gracy Title

All photos, press releases or article submissions can be sent to

P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708 Office: (512) 821-1900

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin


WTP4 Receives Go Ahead from City Council By Jay Gohil • Jay Gohil Realty

2009 Chairman • Austin Board of REALTORS

In last month’s column, I stressed the importance of the construction of Water Treatment Plant 4 (WTP4) to help sustain our quality of life and address the city of Austin’s growing water needs. On Thursday, Oct. 22, the Austin City Council took the first steps to proceed with the construction of WTP4. The vote was close with 4-3 in favor of the project. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez were among those that voted yes to giving the project the green light. Construction is expected to begin with the clearing of land and the excavation of tunnels that would draw water from Lake Travis. In addition to helping meet the increasing water needs, WTP4 is expected to create thousands of jobs in the Austin area.

Don’t Delay, Renew Your Membership Today Membership with ABoR provides individuals with a host of benefits, including outstanding education opportunities, valuable business resources and industry insights, networking opportunities, free tools and more. To continue receiving all of the advantageous benefits, ABoR members submit their annual dues payment on or before Dec. 15. Dues payments must be received by the Dec. 15 deadline to maintain continuous service and avoid a $50 late fee. Members can submit their annual dues online, in person or by mail. To submit your payment online, visit and login to your account by selecting “My Account” from the upper left-hand corner of the page. ABoR recommends submitting payments online, as they are immediately applied to your account. However, members who wish to mail payments or deliver them in person can visit ABoR’s office at 10900 Stonelake Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78759. Invest in TREPAC and Preserve Your Profession ABoR is asking every REALTOR® to invest in the Texas Real Estate Political


Action Committee (TREPAC). TREPAC fights hard for the issues most important to the real estate industry. Providing a proactive voice in national, state and local politics, TREPAC helps to safeguard private property rights and maintain a fair balance in public policy. ABoR is asking members to make a minimum donation of $35 to help reach the 2010 fundraising goal. A contribution to TREPAC is a contribution to your protect your business. The voluntary investment can easily be made along with your ABoR dues payment or, make a difference today, invest online at For more information, contact ABoR’s Government Affairs Department at 4547636 or

Green Real Estate Course Offered ABoR offers an extensive variety of mandatory continuing education (MCE) courses for both members and the general public. Topics range from foreclosures to safety to property management. Coming up on Dec. 10 is the Green Real Estate for Austin Agents course. This class teaches REALTORS® how to better serve clients in regards to green built homes, including learning about the resources, rebates and incentives available. Third-party green building professionals will also be on hand to instruct attendees in a variety of fields, including appraisals, home inspection and lending. This course costs $100 for members and $125 for non-members. Individuals will earn eight hours of MCE credit upon completion. To register and learn more about what courses are available, visit or contact ABoR’s Education Department at 454-7636 or Promoting the Value of REALTORS® Did you know that is helping prospective homebuyers connect with REALTORS® every day? provides consumers with resources to help them find REALTORS®, learn more about the housing market and get tips for buying and selling homes. The site also contains a localized news feed, monthly market updates and community information on schools, entertainment, jobs and demographics. is educating consumers every day about the value of REALTORS® and homeownership in the Austin area.

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Austin Title’s “Lucky Longhorns” wins that “Spirit” award at the NAHREP REALTOR Olympics. Cheering was Austin Title’s Becky Hopkins, Chris Rodriguez of Realty Executives and Rudi Rosengarten of Pacesetter Homes.

Kicking their chili up a notch at the 5th annual Chili cookoff and REALTOR Challenge were Anne Cobern, Mike Kight, Landy Kight, Debbie Kelsey, Robin Gulledge and Pam Buske, all of RE/MAX Capital City.

After blogging about a new Asian cuisine restaurant in Lakeway, Sam Chapman, center, of Keller Williams Realty, got a dish named after him. He is pictured with restaurant owner Jeanne Nguyen, far left, and members of the staff.

It was a groovy time at the Rewind ‘09 — Violet Crown Realty’s 4th annual 70’s Party. Enjoying the bash were Violet Crown Realty’s William Arnecke and JoAnne McKinney and clients Alexis Salas and Sarah Luna.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

State Leadership: continued from front page

Glen Sanford of Land Mortgage finds himself surrounded by friendly associates after winning $600 at the end of Realty Round Up.

Steve Zbranek of Zbranek Custom Homes takes the oath of office as the 2009-2010 president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. He was sworn in at the Installation and Awards banquet held at the Renaissance Austin Hotel.

TAR Conference and it was nice to have several representatives from Austin in attendance and to have Becky Hill the National WCR President preside over the ceremony. CARRIE: Very, very nice. It was held in Dallas at the TAR Convention during the TAR Education Luncheon that Lone Star sponsors each year. I had the honor of having Avis Wukasch do my installation for me. There were nearly 300 people from all over the state in attendance. RL: How do you find time for a leadership role? DAVID: Having gotten to real estate by way of mortgage and title, the last 10 years have been amazing and I could not imagine doing anything other than being a REALTORŽ. The volunteering takes time, but I learned early on to make it part of my business plan. The experience and knowledge I gain from volunteering and serving in leadership roles is truly priceless‌that and the fact that the involvement provides me with many referral opportunities. It truly is a win-win! CARRIE: By being organized! I use Top Producer as my contact data manager. RL: How did you get started in real estate? CARRIE: I started in real estate in 1993 when I wanted to get out of the corporate world where I worked in sales for a Fortune 500 company. I had always had a wonderful experience with the agents that my husband & I had used, so I thought that this might be something that I would enjoy & allow me to still have to time to be involved with my young children at the time. RL: What keeps you in the profession? DAVID: The satisfaction I receive from helping an individual or family achieve their real estate goals is what makes all the hard work worthwhile! CARRIE: I enjoy working with clients and helping them with all their real estate needs. It is very satisfying to see the results! RL: If you could have any other job, what would it be? DAVID: Along with giving back to our industry I make time to volunteer in the community. If money was not a concern, I would do charity work full time. CARRIE: Charitable work. RL: Can you share an interesting tidbit about yourself that people might not know? DAVID: Reading murder mysteries on my back deck is my way of getting lost for a few hours. CARRIE: People pretty well know me. Maybe that I can actually be quiet at times!

November 2009


Outgoing HBA President Urges Community to Work Together to Maintain Region’s Quality of Life By Wes Peoples • WP Investments

2008-2009 President • Home Builders Association of Greater Austin

Well, it’s finally here. This is my last President’s column after two separate terms as President of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin. This last year has been both rewarding and tough. Through all of the trials and tribulations of these economic times over the past 12 months, one thing resonated time and time again: we are extremely fortunate to be in Austin, Texas. According to the October 2009 issue of Trends magazine, the Lone Star State created 70 percent of all new jobs in the United States (and we still have a budget surplus). Considering that statistic, I am not surprised to see so many people moving here from California where they are currently in a $26 billion fiscal budget shortfall and recently paid their bills with IOU’s. According to Trends, over 100,000 people a year are fleeing California. Trends states that migration from California will be followed by venture capital leaving the state and heading to Texas. To make the business climate even friendlier, the magazine states that Texas should “invest heavily in secondary education and work hard to attract the best talent to its research universities.” Through our recent election on constitutional amendments, we have accomplished this. The fact is we are lucky to be where we are but there are issues we must address to maintain our quality of life. First, as pointed out by State Senator Kirk Watson at a recent Capitol luncheon, transportation continues to loom as one of our biggest challenges. After the legislative special session and the federal stimulus funding, the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) biennial budget for general transportation needs is about $17.7 billion. Sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? Well, once you cut out the money that goes to maintaining highways, debt service, administration, planning, reimbursing local jurisdictions for projects that have been built, and the money set aside for projects already identified, you have about $1.7 billion left for new projects for the next two years. According to projections, the rising cost of debt service and maintenance may cut this to zero. To make things more difficult, the legislature will likely focus on the budget and redistricting next session rather than transportation issues. If we

Realty Line of Austin

don’t start now, we won’t have an opportunity to affect any positive changes to our transportation woes. I would urge the business community to engage in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) 2035 Planning process with the understanding that the money isn’t there to continue doing things the way we always have. We must focus our limited resources in a way to get the most “bang for the buck.” Efficiency, not pet projects, will be the key. Additionally, everyone needs to let their state leadership know that we are in dire need of transportation funding. Tell them they must provide us with more tools to develop local funding because we are drowning in congestion. Also, it is important that we all work together to improve our environmental policies and quality of life through conservation and the promotion of sustainability. As our Mayor, Senator Watson acquired water rights for Austin for the next century. It is our job to ensure that we don’t waste it. I applaud the Austin City Council’s recent vote to build Water Treatment Plant #4, but that only addresses one issue. We must ensure that our region protects that resource through conservation programs similar to what San Antonio has enacted recently. Next we must continue to address our energy needs. Conservation gives us the biggest and most immediate value for our collective dollars. In a recent issue of Environment and Climate News it was noted that Austin Energy’s Green Choice program in which buyers pay more for energy from renewable sources is “99 percent unsold after seven months on the market.” Does this mean we stop this program? Absolutely not! We do however need to ensure that our policies bring forth results that the general public can not only embrace, but can afford. How can we cut our energy consumption through conservation methods? New homes are held to much higher energy standards today than they were just a decade ago. They are very energy efficient and the law of diminishing returns is kicking in on adding new requirements. The issue is what to do with the existing housing stock. Former Mayor Will Wynn tried to address this issue but was met with severe opposition for various good reasons. I would challenge our current leaders to come up with a fair and equitable way to bring the current housing stock up to a higher energy standard without making it completely the burden of the homeowner. We need to ensure, like transportation, that our environmental policies give us the best return on our investment and are not reflective of unproven technologies or pet projects. The bottom line is that while we are extremely lucky to be in Texas and in particular, Central Texas, let’s ensure we work together so that we remain that way for generations to come. To learn more about how to choose a builder or buy a new home, visit the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Austin’s website at; then click on consumer resources.

“Just “J ust Closed a $1.15 Million Dollar Deal.”


rristina istina Weaver Weaver m moved oved h her er business b usiness to to an an Austin Austin RE/MAX R E/MAX office office in in January, January,

and and b began egan utilizing utilizing the the LeadStreet LeadStreet capture capture and and incubation incubation technology technolog y tied tied into into One One o off her her fi first rst referral-free refer ral-free lleads eads w was as from from an an out-of-towner out-of-towner w who ho ccommunicated ommunicated ffor or a ffew ew months months then then ggrew rew qu quiet. iet. SSince ince L LeadStreet eadStreet tells tells the the agent agent when when and and what what properties properties their their prospective prospective buyer buyer is is searching, searching, Kristina Kr istina knew knew exactly exactly when when

“Leads from are in addition to m my y own business, they’re referral-free, and fresh off the Internet from customers looking right now! In minutes, I ccan an assign all leads to a drip-marketdrip-marketing newsletter that keeps me in front of them for months, until they’re finally ready to speak with aR Realtor. ealtor. This is generating generating several extra deals per year to ag agents ents who work work the system, and is a considerable boost to the business I already had.”

To T o gget et yo your ur share of referral-free Internet leads, visit:

--Kristina Kristina W Weavereaver ea ver- RE/MAX Ca Capital pital City- opTen opT en

Each E ach office independently owned and operated.


the the lead lead became became active active aagain gain six six months months later. later. SShe he re-initiated re-initiated contact, contact, aand nd jjust ust cclosed losed a d deal eal ffor or $$1.15 1.15 million million dollars! dollars!



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Stephanie Powell of Champions School of Real Estate hands out information about classes to ABoR’s Aaron Farmer and Johan Borge of Texas Capital Real Estate at Realty Round Up.

Eiric Smith of Prime Lending and Aletha Smith of Progressive Real Estate Group enjoy some time away from their children at the fall fashion show and dinner that the Williamson County Association of REALTORS organized.

Randy Streetman of Streetman Homes leads a class on new home construction to members of Private Label Realty at a model home in Highland Horizon. Cody Kasper of RE/MAX Round Rock tries his hand at washers during the 5th annual chili cook off Independence Title organized.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Bill Bradshaw, attorney for Gracy Title, explains the changes to the new HUD-1 to Keller Williams Realty agents at a recent MCE class held on Oct. 26.

Glenn King of RE/MAX Round Rock and the rest of the M*A*S*H crew accept an award recognizing their chili making skills at the cook off organized by Independence Title.

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Mikel Joseph Honovich of Texas Flatworks and guest Sissy White share in the fun with Betsy Pearce and Jay Pearce, both of Jay Pearce Real Estate, at the WCAoR fashion show and dinner.

The Buffington Signature Homes team shows they are ready to knock down some pins at Strike Against Hunger, a fundraising event that the HBA’s sales and marketing council hosted at Showplace Lanes.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Presidio Group REALTORS Troy Hanna, Ron Redder, Debbie Barrera and Sam Richardson unwind at the Cedar Door after checking out all the vendors at Realty Round Up. The after party was hosted by AYREP.

Tom Teepen of Keller Williams Realty, Tawanna Carver of Realty Line and Bill Flood of Stanberry & Associates prepare to enjoy an afternoon of good food, cheerful colleagues and useful information at the CRS meeting at Westwood Country Club. Richard Smith of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS makes his way around the room at the Norris Conference Center to greet members of the Million Dollar Club such as Sheri Brummett.

Realty Line of Austin

November 2009


WCAoR 2009 Installation and Awards Banquet on December 3 By Barbara Wigginton

2009 President • Williamson County Association of REALTORS

The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® annual Installation and Awards Banquet is coming Thursday, Dec. 3. Themed “Everyone’s a Star: Denim, Diamonds and Dreams,” the event is being held at the star-studded Reunion Ranch in Georgetown, Texas. Emceed by Jay Pearce, the gala “kicks off” with country and western flair at 5:30 p.m. Bennie Wheels will pay tribute to Johnny Cash as the event’s live music entertainer. During the celebration, WCAoR’s newest governing body will assume their officer and director roles as the 2010 representative voice of our organization. In addition, industry awards recognizing the contribution of WCAoR members will be presented to our “REALTOR® of the Year,” “Rookie of the Year,” and “Affiliate of the Year.” Applaud your peers for their achievements throughout 2009. The Dec. 3 banquet also features an online auction including an amazing 5 day, 4 night vacation to the Mexican Caribbean in Cancun. Don’t like the beach? Submit your bid for a Mountain View vacation to Ecuador. Details for auction items can be found online at the WCAoR Web site. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 255-6211 or online at 2009 Christmas Tree Gala On Thursday, Dec. 10, Williamson County Association of REALTORS® and Buffington Signature Homes will host the 2009 Annual Christmas Tree Gala, benefitting the WCAoR Scholarship Foundation. The gala will be held at Buffington Signature Homes “Ranch at Brushy Creek” model home, located at 4104 Remington Road, in Cedar Park. The event begins at 6 p.m. The mission of the WCAoR Scholarship Foundation is to honor our Central Texas community by awarding educational scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Williamson County. Since 2002, the Scholarship Foundation has annually gifted awards to four to six high school seniors with financial needs in order to help further their formal educational and academic excellence. To get involved with this event or to donate a decorated tree, wreath or garland, go to for all the details.


Decorated trees, wreaths and garland donated to WCAoR for the gala will be auctioned at the event and must be artificial—NO LIVE GREENERY! Starting Dec. 1, donations may be delivered to the WCAoR Board office, located at 123 E. Old Settlers Blvd., in Round Rock. Trees should be no taller than five feet and no open flame decorations are allowed. In order to be eligible for awards, submissions must be delivered to WCAoR no later than 12 p.m. on Dec. 8. Late deliveries will be received for the auction and contribute to the Scholarship Foundation, though will not be considered for awards. Come enjoy food, spirits and camaraderie, while giving back to your community. More information about the 2009 Christmas Tree Gala can be found at Admission is free. New Memberships Join WCAoR today! If you are interested in becoming a REALTOR® member or an Affiliate member of Williamson County Association of REALTORS® give us a call at 2556211. Enjoy the benefits of membership including opportunities to network with your peers, futher your education and receive real estate focused newsletters and statistics. Check us out on the web!

At a recent open house, Kathy Meyer of Steiner Ranch gets ready to show Venessa Kimball of Avalar Properties the special touches at the welcome center.


Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Penny Goodspeed and Tiesa Hollaway, both of North American Title, head out to provide some support to the golfers participating in the 20th annual golf tournament WCAoR hosted at Twin Creeks Golf Club.

Harry Savio, executive director of HBA, discusses long-term plans with Georgia Smith and Hank Smith, the organization’s incoming president-elect. They were at the installation banquet where the 20092010 officers and directors were installed.

Faith Kosarek, Carly Shorde, Lourdus Norton and Bridget Ramey, all of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, arrive at the Norris Center to support the agents who made the Million Dollar a Month Club at Coldwell Banker United REALTORS’ business meeting.

Joe Thweatt of Land Mortgage puts on his rented shoes so he can participate in the HBA’s annual Strike Against Hunger Charity Bowling tournament to raise funds for Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

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November 2009

Sheri Davis, Frank Harren and Michele Blood, all of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, arrive early to congratulate members of the Million Dollar Club.

Jacci Anders and Winnifred Harrison, both of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, ponder which chili is the best at the cook off Independence Title organized in Round Rock.

Stephanie Knoebel joins Andrea Johnson and Andrew Knoebel, both of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, for some Saltgrass steak at the WCAoR fashion show and dinner.

Gracy Title associates go the extra mile by promoting Race for the Cure at Realty Round Up. Sitting: Suzanne Jacobs and Amy Turcotte. Standing: Denise Moody, Michelle Piperi, Lisa Altamirano, Tracy Blair, Allison Craig, Audrey Gavin and Donna Simmons.

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Private Label Realty was spreading the word about its unique approach to real estate at Realty Round Up. From left: Kevin Klein, Frank Perdichizzi, John Horton and Jay Tucker.

HBA president Wes Peoples honors Roger Arriaga of KB Home for his dedicated service at the organization’s installation and awards banquet.

Jodi Blyan, right, of Steiner Ranch gives Kelly Zahasky of Keller Williams Realty directions from the welcome center to featured areas in the community during a recent open house.

Chili and football are a great mix according to this bunch from Independence Title. From left: Martin Sardena, Colin Parker, Traci Bannert, Eric Phillips and Todd Sellars.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin


By Linda McNabb


Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently launched the REALTOR Partner Program, which real estate agents will want to know about because it helps them infuse an additional revenue stream into their business. Realty Line recently visited with Central Texas Account Executive Danette Tidwell to find out how this new and valuable program works. Why did TWC start the REALTOR Partner Program? TWC wants to help real estate agents pave the way for their clients to have an easy and smooth transition to their new home. TWC wants to help REALTORS add an edge to their businesses and help their clients, all at the same time. When did it start? The REALTOR Partner Program was started in July of this year primarily as a way for Time Warner Cable to partner with local Real Estate Agents and help them during the economic downturn. Since local new build has slowed down, Real Estate Agents are even more important to home buyers who are looking to make smart purchases. Has it been successful? More than 900 REALTORS have signed up for the program in the first 120 days with over $5,000 in commissions paid out to date. How do the financial rewards work? REALTORS and Brokers who sign up with Time Warner Cable’s REALTOR Partner Program will earn commissions and their clients will receive special package rates on their Digital Cable, Road Runner High Speed Online and Digital Phone services. Homebuyers will also enjoy the concierge level service they will receive from Time Warner Cable and their Realtor will enjoy having a Time Warner Cable Account Executive they can count on to take care of their clients. Buying a home and moving is a stressful time. What are some tips you can offer to help real estate professionals convince their clients to make their cable decisions when so much is on their plate? Through the TWC REALTOR Partner program, the REALTOR’S client will be serviced by our Five Star Sales Support Team. This team is reserved solely for VIPs and only Real


Estate agents who have signed up for the REALTOR Partner Program can receive this level of specialty service for their clients. Do real estate professionals need to know the differences between cable, satellite and other services? No, our REALTOR partners will benefit from the experience of our sales specialists and their clients will receive the best advice on their television, Internet and home phone services at the best prices to achieve their Total Digital Home.” What if clients are an existing customer? Are there any rewards for getting them to transfer service to their new address? Our Five Star Sales Support Team work to Danette Tidwell help current subscribers retain their current Central Texas Account Executive Price-Lock Guarantees or find new campaigns to better fit their new home. What if the customer has already initiated a change in service to their new address? Is there a way to participate in the partner program? The REALTOR’S clients are only able to receive Partner Program benefits through our Partner Program sales avenue. Using other Time Warner Cable sales avenues to set up service is great, but those do not have the same level of service that we can offer our VIP referrals. In addition, our REALTOR partners will not receive commission payments for their referrals if their clients do not use the Time Warner Cable Realtor Partner Program sales avenue. Does the client have to purchase a bundle? No, our Five Star Sales Support Team will work to tailor each Total Digital Home to each new subscriber. Does the client have to sign a contract, and if so, how long is it for? The best offers are on bundle packages that are Two-Year Price Lock Guarantees. These keep prices at a lower cost and can transfer from home to home. We also never charge full price if, for some reason, the homeowner has to terminate their contract. We prorate out the term for them. What else would you like to share about the program or Time Warner Cable? Any additional questions may be directed to Central Texas Account Executive Danette Tidwell at (512) 486-0357 or

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Listening to Skyrocket the Band were Shirley Ortega and JoAnne McKinney, both of Violet Crown Realty, at the Rewind ’09 Violet Crown Realty’s 4th Annual 70’s party at Cedar Street Courtyard.

Stacey Rider of Keller Williams Realty, Mark Griffiths of Best Agents in Texas and Angela Martin of Chisholm Trail Financial Group are treated first class at the Welcome Center at Steiner Ranch during a recent open house.

Ian Boyd of Newland Communities is glad to help raise funds for Mobile Loaves and Fishes. He and others were participating in the HBA’s Strike Against Hunger at Showplace Lanes.


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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Amy Kobza of Austin Title bids on an extra ball to increase her odds of winning the $2,500 cash prize at the Williamson County Association of REALTORS’s fall fashion show and dinner.

Gracy Title CEO David Tandy and president Wanda Frederick are eager to hear what Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has to say at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin’s installation and awards banquet.

HBA members Lee Easter, REALTOR and wife Sharon Easter and Bob Ross and wife Margaret Gilbreth of Amelia Bullock REALTORS enjoy the recent happy hour the organization hosted at Kiva Kitchen & Bath.

Linda Komm of SWBC Mortgage and Edie Finch of Edie Finch Properties get caught up on the latest industry news at the Certified Residential Specialists meeting at Westwood Country Club.

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Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Penny Fairchild and Susan Conti, both of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, get ready to be recognized as members of the Million Dollar Club at a company business meeting.

Doug Smithe, seated, of United Lending, checks out one of the closing tables at Gracy Title’s new Cedar Park office during a grand opening with Keller Williams Realty associates Laura Foran, Donna Guest, Angela Guest, Amanda Bowden and Angela Bowden.

Lucy Sheffield of Private Label Realty keeps up during the new home construction class provided by Streetman Homes at Highland Horizon.

Shanna Schneider of Wilshire Homes shares information about available properties with Nell Hanson of JB Goodwin REALTORS and Noble Davis of Lakelike Realty.

Realty Line of Austin

November 2009


A Friday night and a fashion show is definitely a great way to spend the evening! Enjoying themselves at the WCAoR Fall Fashion Show & Dinner were Terri Butt of Keller Williams Realty and Freddy Duarte of Maker Capital Group.

Becky Hopkins and Jenny Newman, both of Austin Title, with Todd Lessig of SWBC Mortgage man the Women’s Council of REALTORS booth at Realty Round Up.

Mike Summerlin, Chuck Strasburg and Phillip Leung, all of RE/MAX, share industry information with Janet Asher of Legacy Electric at Realty Round Up.

Debbie Horridge accepts an award for her valuable work with the HBA. President Wes Peoples presented it to her at the organization’s installation and awards banquet.

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Lisa Altamirano of Gracy Title and Warren Chirhart of Keller Williams Realty both attend the Certified Distressed Property Expert course.

ABoR chairman Jay Gohil of Jay Gohil Realty stands ready with scissors to cut the ribbon at Realty Round Up while Mayor Lee Leffingwell makes some welcoming remarks.

Derrick Jones of Austin City Living keeps it in his own lane to nail a spare at Strike Against Hunger, the Sales and Marketing Council’s annual charity bowling tournament that the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin hosted at Showplace Lanes.

Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Sandy Bednar of Distinct Austin Properties and Bette Cook of North American Title share industry insights at the CRS meeting at Westwood Country Club.

Diane Kennedy of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS promotes some properties she has in Steiner Ranch at the open house. Mark Bennett of Keller Williams Realty picked up some of the information.

Carrie York and Bill Evans, both of Austin Real Pros, are proud to be one of the education sponsors at this year’s Realty Round Up. Tiffany Stillwell of Patten Law Firm shares tips about booth giveaways with Karen McCarty of Avalar Real Estate.

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Realty Line of Austin






Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Chris Tinnell and Wayne Richardson, both of Buffington Signature Homes, get ready to head down the course at Twin Creeks Golf Club during the WCAoR’s 20th annual golf tournament.

David McMillan of United Lending draws a numbered ball at the reverse bingo contest at the Williamson County Association of REALTORS’ fall fashion show and dinner.

Pat Martin, Nicole Scott, Candi Smith, Linda Sachs and Michelle Lloyd get ready to start the corporate meeting for Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, where Million Dollar Club members were honored.

Paula Adkins of Paula Adkins Real Estate, Warren Marshall of John Horton Realty and Lynda Conway of JB Goodwin REALTORS fill each other in on their latest successes at the CRS meeting at Westwood Country Club.

November 2009


By Linda McNabb


Wilshire Homes has spent the last 15 years helping thousands of REALTORS guide their clients to a home that is perfect for them. The Austin-based company is Central Texas' largest private homebuilder and operates in 30 communities in the Austin, San Antonio, and Houston areas. Among the company’s hallmarks are its structural flexibility, its extensive interior and exterior options and the fact that 100 percent of its homes are inspected and certified by the ENERGY STAR program. “We can customize our homes more than any other production builder in the area at a production builder price,” says Shanna Schneider, Marketing Manager. “Many builders offer “prepackaged” options such has a covered patio, media room, or additional bedroom, but we literally moves walls, add windows and raise ceiling heights. We have even flipped a floor plan upside down. It’s all about our buyer and what they want and need in their new home.” Many homebuilders create homes with their own needs in mind. Wilshire’s unique homebuilding approach, called Your HomeLife, ensures that your client’s experience will result in a home that fits their life, their family, and their budget. “We pride ourselves on understanding customers better than any other homebuilder,” Schneider says. “From customizing their new home's design to selecting the thousands of finishing touches we have to offer, everything we do is built around our customers. It's the philosophy our company was founded on—and why Wilshire is the best choice you can help your client make for their new home.” Wilshire tries to make its approach to the homebuilding experience exciting and memorable, and appears to be successful at it as the company continually receives outstanding ratings in its customer satisfaction surveys. “Every step of the way we'll be there for your client, making it easy — even fun — for them to build a home that's perfect for their lifestyle,” she says. “We will allow our buyers to customize their home as far as the lot perimeters will let us. There are not too many customization features that we won’t try to accommodate.” As a part of the Wilshire experience, your client will have alongside them a team of profession-

Realty Line of Austin


als throughout the homebuilding process. This team is dedicated to addressing their needs before, during, and after their home is built. “Their connection with Wilshire Homes doesn't end once they move in,” Schneider says. “Our goal is to make REALTORS and their clients lifetime customers by extending the relationship for the life of their home.” San Simeon II One way the company does that is being dedicated to helping homebuyers save money in utility costs while protecting the fragile environment. Wilshire Homes are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built in previous years and are 20 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes. Efforts like these helped Wilshire Homes earn the 2009 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award. Wilshire Homes also focuses on creating healthy indoor living environments for the people living in these homes. These goals are accomplished by adopting a variety of new construction and development techniques and philosophies, all of which emphasize preservation of the environment, water conservation, energy efficiency, and healthy, non-toxic interior living spaces. “We think about the environment,” Schneider says. “We think about the processes and elements of building an energy efficient home. But, bottom-line, we think about the homeowner.” The company takes care of REALTORS too, as Schneider says they account for 75 percent of the company’s business. “We offer a stair step commission of 3 percent, 4 percent and 5 percent and are dedicated to keeping them and their client informed of the home’s construction every step of the way,” she says. “We love REALTORS.” So where can you find them? Wilshire Homes builds in most areas in Greater Austin Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Hutto, South Austin and the Drippings Springs area with homes priced from the $160s to the $600s. Plus the company has a Build On Your Lot program which enables it to build in the entire Austin and surrounding areas. “In addition, we will be going back into Belterra and have begun construction of the model home,” Schneider says. “Wilshire Homes has built our reputation on delivering an exceptional homebuying experience to homeowners in Texas and is committed to continuing that tradition.”



Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Land Mortgage associates Lucinda Bachman, Linda Knowles-Katz, Randy Richardson and Barbara Frierson get ready to hand out their handy oversized bags at Realty Round Up.

Karen Chester, Dan Miller and Sondra Chambers, all of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS, are cheerful despite making their way through the rain to attend the company’s business meeting at the Norris Conference Center. Ty Burcham of Austin City Living teams up with his mother at Strike Against Hunger, the annual charity bowling tournament that the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin hosts. Ty was chair of this year’s event, which raised funds for Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin


JD Summers of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS gets a schedule of upcoming MCE classes from Mark Hairston of Mortgage IQ at Realty Round Up.


The WCAoR golf tournament brings real estate professionals together for some outdoor fun. Kay Milligan of Austin Title and husband Terry Milligan, Jay Pearce and Betsy Pearce of Jay Pearce Real Estate and Nancy Cocanougher and Gary Cocanougher of ERA Colonial Real Estate.

Introducing the Wilshire Homes Contingency Partnership Plan ... Because We’re In This Together At Wilshire Homes, Built Around You also means that when you have a home to sell, we have a home to sell. When you enter into a contingency contract with Wilshire Homes, we’ll soon give you and your realtor a call and our team of experienced real estate professionals will come to your home, provide a “quick sale� analysis, and help you WOW shoppers from the moment they lay eyes on your home. Let us free you up to concentrate on your new home. Here’s just a few of the ways we can help you out:

Kelli Teas of Anchor Concrete mingles with Keith Barker of Barker Roofing and HBA officer Mitch Schwartz at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin mixer at Kiva Kitchen & Bath.








Colette Fitzgerald, right, tells Jill Marsh and Marvelia Juarez, both of Keller Williams Realty, about available properties while greeting them at Realty Round Up.


Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Jacob Youngblood of Champions School of Real Estate escorts Susan Spence down the runway at the WCAoR fashion show.

The spiceadelic chili by Best Agents in Texas got the judges attention at the 5th annual chili cook off. Monica DiSchiano, J. Rene Ward and John DiSchiano.

Tolar Hamblen, left, and Alan Dove, second from right, both of Kiva Kitchen & Bath, welcome HBA incoming president Steve Zbranek, his wife Sue Zbranek and Sandy Weatherford to the recent happy hour.

Dorie Dillard and Ann Buck of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS have a great laugh at the start of the Coldwell Banker United REALTORS business meeting at the Norris Conference Center.

Holiday Staging Tips: * Exterior holiday lighting is accepted between Thanksgiving and New Year. * Christmas trees will be placed, don’t try to fight it. When a tree is placed, remove one upholstered chair from the room. * Holiday flowering plants look great in planters near the front door for curb appeal color.

Home staging has nothing to do with an owner's taste or style. It has everything to do with setting the stage to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the home. Do your seller’s need professional staging? Call me today for a “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” consultation. Ellen Boettcher, president 512.751.1756

Realty Line of Austin

November 2009


Bednar Receives distinguished Service Award

By Larry Molinare Chairman of the Board Gracy Title Company Most Texas underwriters will insure through the use of a Power of Attorney to close a sale, a purchase or a refinance of real property. Texas has a statutory form that, when appropriately filled out and notarized, will suffice for most insurance purposes. This form can be seen online at While the Texas Statutory form is widely accepted, you may find that your party has executed a different form. If that is the case, the insuring company should be given that form as soon as it is known and available. This will bring other concerns into play: specificity as to legal, specificity as to the power(s) granted and durability, to name some. That is why the Texas Statutory form is always preferred and safest to use. These same underwriters will not allow this power to be given to any party that might have a financial interest in the transaction other than the spouse. For example, they will not approve any real estate agent involved in that particular transaction to act in that capacity, nor any employee or representative of the lender or of the Title agency involved in that closing. As with most facets of a real estate transaction, there are exceptions to the above rules. Here are two of those exceptions you may regularly encounter. 1) Some lenders may not accept use of a Power of Attorney for their borrower and others may require that the Power of Attorney be property-specific. When specificity is required, the legal description and possibly the street address will need to be incorporated. Always ask the lender, as early in their process as possible, what their specific requirements are and obtain their approval to use the Power of Attorney. 2) When use of a Power of Attorney is desired on any form of a Home Equity Loan, the Power of Attorney must be very specific as to the type of loan, amount of loan, interest rate and name of the lender. Underwriters will only allow Powers of Attorney to be given from one spouse to the other on these types of loans because of the very specific Texas Home equity law requirements. Once these hurdles have been cleared, the person signing the Power of Attorney must be available at closing to verify that they are alive. Some underwriters will accept an affidavit from the attorney in fact that the grantor of the Power of Attorney is alive to their knowledge. Make sure one of these two options is addressed prior to closing. Lastly, the original Power of Attorney should be recorded in the Real Property records.

Sandy Bednar, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, e-Pro and broker/owner of Distinct Austin Properties was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Award by The Texas Association of REALTORS® at their Board of Directors meeting in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 12, 2009. The Distinguished Service Award is in recognition of a REALTOR® member’s career service to the real estate industry and the community. Candidates must have made significant industry contriBednar butions throughout their career as well as participation in local activities in their community and have a minimum of 25 years of service within the real estate industry.

RE/MAX Capital City II Named Robin Gulledge “Agent of the Quarter”

RE/MAX of Texas has announced that Robin Gulledge of RE/MAX Capital City II has been named “Agent of the Quarter” for the third quarter of 2009. Robin entered the Austin real estate market in 1999 when the business was booming. The next year, she switched her business to RE/MAX and found things were different at the world’s largest real estate company. “I really had to put myself out there to get business,” she remembers. “Now I’ve been in business for 10 years and Gulledge the office environment I have is so great that I can’t help but succeed. The leaders of our office are right there with you, taking courses and improving the business. It’s progressive and proactive. No one rests on their laurels here!”

Keller Williams Realty Lake Travis Welcomes Four New Agents

Keller Williams Realty Lake Travis is please to announce four new agents have joined its office. We welcome the following: Kristi Morris, Anthony Sherrow, Ronald Reed and Hollie Bowen.


Champions School of Real Estate – Austin/Round Rock Campus! Over 26 years providing award-winning education across Texas and now conveniently located in the Austin/Round Rock Area! Providing Classroom, Correspondence and Online Courses for Brokers License, SAE, MCE and Designations.

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Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Chris Rodriguez, right, of Realty Executives tells Jacob Youngblood and Stephanie Powell, both of Champions School of Real Estate, that the judges were wild about their booth at Realty Round Up and presented them with one of the top three prizes.

Kim Whitlock of Keller Williams Realty shares the glory with Josh Gole at Independence Title’s 5th annual chili cook off, where her team took honors for best showmanship.

Annie Barkowsky, center, of Gracy Title, shows Linda Bartlett, left, and Michelle Busby, both of Keller Williams Realty, her new office in Cedar Park at a recent grand opening.

Sherri Teepen, CRS Lonestar Chapter president, asks Van Davison of Davison Properties about his latest business developments while they visit at the CRS monthly meeting.

November 2009

Realty Line of Austin


New HBA president Steve Zbranek pins an emblem on outgoing president Wes Peoples while jokingly saying “You’re fired,” while Wes pins Steve’s on saying, “Good luck, sucker.” The jests were exchanged at the organization’s installation and awards banquet.

Incoming ABoR president John Horton tries to stay green by tossing his trash in the right receptacles at Independence Title’s booth at Realty Round Up.

Danette Tidwell of Time Warner Cable models a zebra print purse that puts the finishing touch on the outfit she modeled at the WCAoR fashion show and dinner.

David Thompson, center, and Helen Edwards, right, both of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS share a cup of coffee with Mary Ellen Schmidt of AHS at the Norris Conference Center.


Realty Line of Austin

November 2009

Presented by the Austin Board of Realtors

Realty Round Up 2009


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