August 25, 2015

Do You have Survey-a-phobia?

Anyone working in this industry for a few years has a scary survey story or two to tell. I heard one recently from a local REALTOR; she had what you might call a “challenging client,” who needed a good deal.  They finally found a house and although the contract negotiations were very tough, the buyer’s agent prevailed! […]

Read More >>
August 18, 2015

Have you Utilized YouTube?

1.8 Million Words That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research. Have you incorporated video in your marketing efforts yet? If you haven’t, what stands in your way? Of course, YouTube is likely the first website that comes to mind when we hear “viral videos.” Many people […]

Read More >>
August 14, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part III

This week, our series on the major Texas metro real estate markets shifts its focus to San Antonio. San Antonio continues to see growth near or above prerecession numbers, unlike the majority of the country. After a slow start to 2015, economic activity in San Antonio picked up in May. Jobs grew at an annualized […]

Read More >>
August 7, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part II

We are continuing our review of the major metro real estate markets in Texas. This week we will spotlight Dallas / Fort Worth. Five Texas cities were among the top 10 U.S. cities in population growth between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014 — Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, with each […]

Read More >>
July 31, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part I

Of the 3218 counties in the US, only 65 have fully recovered from the recession. By “recovered”, we mean that employment is back to prerecession numbers, GDP is same or better, and real estate values are at or better than prerecession. It’s important to understand this context when talking about the market in Texas, where […]

Read More >>
July 13, 2015

An Interview About Mineral Rights in Texas

Mineral rights are a hot issue in real estate transactions. Since mineral rights can also be a confusing topic, I sat down with our legal counsel Jay Fitzgerald to try and clarify what mineral rights are and whose  role it is to determine those rights.  Q: Let’s say a buyer is interested in the mineral rights on a potential property. How would a […]

Read More >>
July 10, 2015

Mid-year condo report doesn’t tell the whole story

The Texas Association of Realtors released a report about condo sales in the Austin, DFW, San Antonio, and Houston metro areas. Values are strong in all, and sales are strong and improving except for Austin. According to the report, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio experienced an aggregate 1% decrease in condo sales between January […]

Read More >>
June 19, 2015

Markets find their own values

Texas and its metros continue to be singled out as overvalued by different sources. The map below from real estate analysts KCM, using CoreLogic numbers, shows when the states saw peak prices and how far they are from that pinnacle. As you can see Texas is just now hitting the highest values they have seen […]

Read More >>
May 29, 2015

2015 points to slower growth ahead

Last year, the U.S. job market had its best year of gains since 1999.  Economic activity hit a whopping 5% in the third quarter, the best quarter since 2003. On the other hand, employment is still relatively weak with only 2% of the nation’s counties recovered to prerecession unemployment, GDP, and real estate values. Unemployment […]

Read More >>
April 24, 2015

Texas housing markets (still) aren’t overvalued

The Austin Board of Realtors reported that the March 2015 median price for single family homes was $255,000, a 10% year-over-year increase. This is a record high for Austin homes, so it isn’t surprising that some are saying our market is overvalued or in a bubble. Still, you can’t just look at appreciation and say […]

Read More >>
April 10, 2015

Expect low inventory to persist

One of the most common concerns for those moving to Texas is the lack of inventory in all real estate channels. Strong demand is the main reason there has been little to no increase in inventory in the last few years. There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the consistently low housing inventory […]

Read More >>
March 27, 2015

Texas continues to outpace the national economy

Officially, the Great Recession reached its lowest point in June of 2009, and the national economy began its path to recovery. Almost six years later, some states like North Dakota and Texas with strong energy industries are home to the most fully recovered economies in the aftermath of the Great Recession. However, if we look […]

Read More >>
March 14, 2015

Gyft The Giftcard App

The thing you learn very quickly at SXSW is just how much swag you can carry. Every time I thought there was no way I could cram another thing into my backpack someone forced me to take a free t-shirt. If by “forced,” I mean they held it out and asked if I wanted it. […]

Read More >>

Evergreen: Cultivating Enduring Customer Loyalty

Today I attended a South by Southwest session on creating Evergreen Clients by Noah Fleming of Fleming Consulting & Co. Noah’s book Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving covers, what he calls, the three c’s as the keys to building lifelong relationships with clients; character, community and content. Twitter user @Salmonilla […]

Read More >>
March 13, 2015

Economic outlook positive for 2015

The strength of the Lone Star State’s economy has led our national economy through the general gloom of the slowest national economic recovery in modern history. Now, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil hovering around $45/barrel, and unleaded gasoline selling for as little as $1.89 a gallon, some worry that the […]

Read More >>
February 20, 2015

The shape of residential real estate to come

Demographic trends are among the strongest forces that shape real estate markets. Different generations have different housing needs. The largest and wealthiest generation, the Baby Boomers, is reaching retirement age, which will have a profound effect on the national economy and the supply of available housing. Let’s take a look at the major generational cohorts, […]

Read More >>
February 19, 2015

Check Legal and Ethics off Your 2015 To-Do List!

Don’t let your mandatory continuing education credit sneak up on you this year! Sign up today for a Legal and Ethics class in your area. When you register online you’ll have the option to pay for class, receive email updates as details are confirmed, and receive reminders as your class date approaches. Remember to mark your calendar! […]

Read More >>
February 17, 2015

CFPB brings changes to mortgage lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in 2010 in direct response to the financial crisis of 2008. As many remember, the crisis was set off by a number of problems in the subprime mortgage market, and the downstream selling of those mortgages in security markets. This reform process has been compared to the […]

Read More >>
January 23, 2015

Low oil prices and the national economy

In our last edition of the Voice, we discussed the potential effects of the decline in oil prices on the Texas region. The fall in energy prices has the potential to cost the Texas economy 125,000 to 150,000 jobs. This week, we’ll look how declining oil prices could affect the national economy. Most of us […]

Read More >>
January 9, 2015

Low oil prices and the Texas economy

For the last few weeks there has been great interest in the decline in oil prices. I wanted to address the many questions I have received about how this will impact the Texas economy. I am not an expert on oil futures, but living in Texas for the last half century has given me a […]

Read More >>