Facebook for Real Estate

The world is changing – and with it also Real Estate Marketing.  According to NAR, the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of homebuyers begin their home search on the web.

In addition over 90% of Realtors use social media in one form or another.

Did you know that the average Facebook user checks the site 14 times per day.  FOURTEEN!  And each time they spend a little over 2 minutes scanning their feed of friends.  The most popular posts are of course the ones with photos, and then links, and then just plain old text status updates.  And more and more users are accessing the elephant of all social media sites using their smartphones.  That means they have access whenever, and where ever they are.  From the bathroom to the gym.  From the office to the Dr.’s waiting room.

[alert heading=Like Us!” width=”100%” close=”true”]Skip all this stuff and visit my Facebook Real Estate page[/alert]

When I began in real estate, the basics where pounded into me.  All the traditional old school real estate marketing techniques.  Stuff like pounding the pavement, cold calling, farming, and community involvement.  However I began my career in Real Estate because I saw  unique opportunity.   I got into buying and selling houses specifically because I didn’t see agents  utilizing the web as effectively as they could.  So I took those standard tried and true techniques, and gave them my own little twist.  and like any job, start at the beginning, master it, and then incorporate your own twist and change the world.

Shoebox  sized Cell Phone
This is not me!

Like I mentioned most Realtors start with the usual stuff:

  • Get involved in local causes
  • Send out postcards and farm local areas
  • Become a neighborhood expert
  • Contact local businesses
  • Get your face out there

For years and years, these traditional marketing techniques were the only way to become known as a Realtor.  This worked great, but had its limitations.  How did you reach people who wanted to move into your city?  If you were so busy showing properties, you didn’t have time to network or market.  What if you didn’t have the budget to send out cards, or advertise?  Now, however things are different.  We aren’t using shoebox cell phones anymore.  The world is on-line, and that means buyers from all over the country and even the world are on-line.

And as I mentioned earlier, most of them are on Facebook.

For me, Facebook has been a great source of leads, and clients.  But very few agents use Facebook for their business.  Sadly most are using it to play Farmville or Candy Crush Saga, or share photos of cats, or even to promote political or religious views.  (My Dad taught me to never talk about politics or religion in a business setting, and I do my best to keep it that way.)

I think of Facebook as a giant cocktail party.  One that is happening 24 hours a day  – 7 days a week.  And just like at any party there are all kinds of people.  I’m always looking for the people interested in talking about Real Estate, which there always are.

It seems like everyone is somewhere in the buying or selling or renting game.  They are either actively doing one of the three, or know someone who is interested.  And that’s the cool thing – every day I get to connect with someone on-line who needs a bit of help, or eduction about the market, or just wants to chat.

Sure I have a great webpage that I use it to share and promote listings.  I also share my my day to day activities as a Realtor on line to show my involvement in the industry.  And I even use the Instant Messenger chat feature to directly communicate with clients.  Since I am always posting, sharing and liking other people’s statuses (to remain fresh in their minds), people know that I won’t be wasting their time.

Having a great on-line presence on Facebook  builds trust.  Based on the way the site works, friends, and friends of friends can see what I’m up to.  And a friend of a friend is a future referral.

If you want to see how I do it, just like my page – https://www.facebook.com/EricEstate

 

Best Trulia Profile

Did you know that over 90% of Real Estate Searches now start on the web?  That’s why it is so important to have a great profile on all the major Real Estate websites.  As soon as I got my license one of the first things I did was sign up with Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com.

But it goes beyond just creating a profile.  You have to “be out there”.  Answering questions.  Touring properties.  Being active on the web, in addition to regular real estate marketing techniques is so important to be successful.

Today I got a little notice that I’m one of the best on Trulia.  At least my profile views are within the top 1%.

I track very carefully where my clients hear about me.  A lot come from referrals, and a lot also come from the web.  My marketing philosophy is really quite simple.  Where ever people go when they are looking for a new home, I want my name to be there.

Thanks everyone for making me part of the 1% on Trulia.

TAR 1902

I hate it when buyers get cold feet.  Today I got, via email, a copy of the TAR 1902 form, the Notice of Termination of contract.  Exactly 9 hours before the option period for the contract was to expire, I got an email from the buyer’s agent with a link to a Docusign form signed by the buyers.

Here’s how it went down.  About a week ago I had some buyers for one of my listings.  This particular house had been on the market for only 4 days, and I’d already received one low-all offer for the home from a flipper (71% of the asking price) that I presented to my sellers, and they of course rejected it.  I was informed that the couple who put in the offer were first time homebuyers, and I even got a letter from the agent saying how excited they were to be able to buy this house.

Cool.  This is exactly the kind of people I like to be able to work with.  A family who wants to move into the area, and fix up the house.  This is the best kind of client as they become proud home owners, and make upgrades that are in line with what is in style, and eventually increase the value of both the home, and the neighborhood

My sellers accepted the offer, and they buyer exercised their right to an option period.  An option period is basically buying a way out of the contract if they need it.  I like to do this for most buyers, as it gives them the ability to make an offer on a home, but get a little more time to do some inspections and research to see if it is priced correctly, or if there is a lot of work.  Option checks range from $250 – $1000+ (depending on the price of the house), and generally last for a week.

When you get an option check as a seller, you should immediately give it to your client, and tell them to cash it as it is their money,  The buyer is buying a way out of their contract.  They paid you money to do it.  It’s your money.

The seller immediately scheduled an inspection for the house, and it came up with the usual items that needed fixing. Most old homes have some issues, and in this section of Austin, there were the usual problems.  Nothing I didn’t see when I priced the house, and nothing unusual for the age and style of the home.  No surprises here.

But the inspection took a little longer than they wanted and they needed to get some repair estimates from some contractors.  So they asked for an additional 2 days for the option period.  I talked it over with my clients, and although I was reluctant to offer it in this market , we decided that it was OK, and granted them the extra time.

Well, they came back with a reasonable list of repairs, and wanted a credit to the overall price of the house.  I didn’t see anything unusual about this, and this is a normal part of negotiations.   No worries.  Again I went back to my clients and they asked me about the requested repair credits, and we came up with a number as a counter offer.  I had them sign the amendment, and as I was on my way back to the office to present it to the sellers, I got an email with an attached TAR 1902 form.  This is the paperwork needed to exercise their ability to back out of the contract during the option period, and get back their earnest money, but they loose their option fee.

I was shocked!  I didn’t even get the chance to negotiate!  They never got to see the reply to their counter offer.  They just got cold feet, and wanted out.  And they had spent a pretty penny, too.

So now the seller was out $250 for the option period, and probably another $300 or more for an inspection, plus all the time and effort of making an offer.

There really is nothing that I as a realtor selling your house can do when a buyer decides to use this procedure during the option period.  It’s the way the system is set up, and if the buyer is willing to pay (which they were), they have the right to get out of the contract.   If they were to wait until the end of the option period and wanted to back out, they would forfeit their earnest money, which is a more significant sum.

Again I’m not worried.  The Austin market is a seller’s market, and I expect to get another qualified offer on the home in the next day or so.

Stay tuned! and be sure to subscribe to my blog to learn what happens next.

100 Blogs about Austin

100 Blogs about Austin

There are a TON of great blogs in and about Austin.  For several weeks now I’ve been compiling a list of as many as I could find about all sorts of topics here in Austin and Central Texas.  Here are a bunch of blogs about Austin

Click to Tweet 100 blogs about Austin

Today I heard one of the oddest lines I’ve ever heard while helping someone move to Austin.  “I’m moving to Austin without a Job”.  This guy was going to start a blog, and make a go here.

It caused me to stop and think for a few minutes.

Anyone can start a blog.  For free.  But to make a truly great blog takes some work.

Work like these people have done.

Here is my list of the 100 greatest Austin Blogs.  Ordered alphabetically because I don’t know of any other way.  Most are updated daily or at least several times per week, and all are worth checking out. Now, just because your blog or your favorite blog isn’t on this list, it’s not because I don’t like you.  I just don’t know about you!  So be sure to provide suggestions in the comments below and I’ll add it!

Big World Small Girl – An Austin blogger with a focus on the craft beer scene in this community.

#When in Austin – Humor about Austin news

365 Things to Do – Austin events

A Taste Of Koko – Inspiring the inner chef in you through daily recipes, cooking/baking tips, how-tos, restaurant spotlights, product reviews, and giveaways.

Adored Austin – Family Life and Style in the Heart of Texas

Amber Demure – Cartoons and sketches with a humorous slant.

Amy in Austin – Lifestyle blog

An Avenue – An Avenue is an ongoing ‘craft culture’ discussion from the perspective of one Beer-a-Day in Austin, TX.

Aneelee – Vegetarian meal plans, recipes and stories about food in the day-to-day life of our family of three in Austin, TX

ATX Gossip – Austin celebrity gossip

ATX Street Style – Austin street style photography

ATXGlutenFree – Gluten-free news and recipes

Austin Bloggy Limits – Austin Music Blog

Austin Contrarian – Chris Bradford on economics, zoning and Austin, Texas.

Austin Culture Map – CultureMap will keep you plugged in, enlightened and entertained about culturally relevant news and information in Austin.

Austin Eavesdropper – I write about the creative culture of Austin and tell stories about my life.

Austin Gastronomist – Includes original recipes, restaurant reviews, and stories that explore Austin’s culinary culture.

Austin is Burning – Austin fashion news

Austin ModHouse – Living in MCM-Inspired Home We Built in West Lake Hills (Austin), Texas

Austin Moms Blog – Passionate about our community and the moms who live here.

Austin Slave to Fashion – Austin style and fashion blog

Austin Startup – News, Jobs, Events, Resources

Austin Technology Law Blog – Texas Technology Lawyers

Austin Town Hall – Promoting local musicians and more

Austinot – Austin news and interviews

Bonnie Berry – This is a place where I share both my professional and personal photographs as well as my thoughts and words.

Brady Bunch Remodel – For going on the past three years we’ve been remodeling a cool 1970′s house we purchased together in South Austin. We have a lot going on! But, we’re really, really happy.

Camile Styles – My passion is to bring creativity, inspiration and stress-free style to our readers around the globe.

Casa Weenie – Austin Cartoons

CoolinAustin – Austin events

Covert Curiosity – Austin Music scene

The Custom Home Blog – Luxury Home News & Information

Digging – I garden in Sunny Austin TX, Zone 8b

Downtown Austin Blog – Downtown Austin and Neighborhood Blog

Eastside Vibe – Austin, Texas: The Live Music Capital of the World.

Eater Austin – Eater is the source for people who care about dining and drinking

Edible Aria – This a journal describing my efforts to eat a healthy, interesting diet on a reasonable budget. The focus here is primarily on sustainable, fresh whole foods.

Epicuriosities – Building Friendships and Community through Culinary Adventures

Fete & Feast – Food Blogger’s Guide to Austin

Film School Rejects – All the latest movie news, movie trailers, reviews and commentary.

Fly Fish Chick – Women’s lifestyle and fly fishing blog!

Food Good Laundry Bad – I’m a stay-at-home Mom of three, shacked up in the country in Central Texas staying sane through this blog.

Foodie is the New Forty – Seeking out the delicious side of life

Free Fun in Austin – Local Adventures for Families

Geek Austin – One of the oldest tech blogs in Austin

Genie in a Blog – Writer, artist, wife, mother, cook, maid, bookkeeper…all around genie in a bottle, except you only get one wish, and it has to be reasonable.

Girl Eats World – Follow Linda’s journey in her efforts to eat the world. Restaurant reviews, recipes, food thoughts, food memories. A food way of life.

Greening Austin Daily – Greening Austin Daily is an environmental blog with everyday tips and info on being green in Austin.

Hilah Cooking – I create short-form, educational, and occasionally hilarious cooking videos geared towards beginner and intermediate cooks, as well as people who are just looking for simple, low-cost recipes. Everything is made from scratch, people!

I Love Beer – Drinking beer in a great city, Austin, TX.

In Her Stilettos – Austin and NYC Style Blog

In the Pink – Political Blog

Japanese Trash – Masculine Design

Josh Dilworth – Personal Austin Tech blog

Keep Austin Stylish – Fashion news from Austin

Keep it Complicated – I’m a writer, author, blogger and I parent four kids under 11 in my spare time. We are madly in love with our new city…Austin, Texas.

Live Mom – We are a local bunch of mamas who have come together, mostly sane, to bring you many resources that will build a better village.

Lonely Gourmet – Lonely Gourmet was created as a result of Laurie’s being sick and tired of eating out, eating fast food and frozen food.

LoveScience – Research based Relationship advice

Mad Betty – Austin life and pop culture blog

Mad for Mid Century – Mid century living in Austin

Man Up Texas BBQ – Texas BBQ.

Micro Famous – Ink slinger, red pen wielder, TV watcher, shower singer, fist fighter, habitual smirker. Ruminative. Loves words that end in -ola. Lives in Austin, TX.

Modern Austin – Modern houses and design in Austin Tx

Oh Hey, What’s Up? – Austin Lifestyle blog

Ovrld – Whether you’re an Austinite looking for a cool concert this weekend, or you’ve never been to the music capital of the world but want to get the latest on what’s happening here, we are here for you.

Party Ends – Austin Music scene

Pink Kisses – We’re like a mechanic for a broken heart. We’re a smart and thoughtful community built to let you know you’re not alone

Reel Snarky – Film, TV, and music news for the masses!

Return on Now – Return On Now, based in Austin, TX, provides online marketing services and reputation management for businesses and individuals.

Side One Track One – Side One Track One is a music/film blog based in Austin, Texas.

Slackerwood – Slackerwood is devoted to reporting and reviewing all aspects of Austin film.

Soccer Apologist – Soccer commentary, delivered with American snark

Some Assembly Required – Networking, Marketing, PR, Sales, Advertising, Business Development, Presentation Skills, and Social Media

Sonic Itch Music – Our goal here is to share our thoughts, ideas, and experiences as they apply to the music that we feel to be interesting and worthy of your attention.

Spike Speaks – Personal blog of writer Spike Gillespie

Sweat Ever Day – I work out and I talk about it.

Taco Journalism – In search of tacos y más in Austin, Texas.

Tasty Touring – Since July 2008, Tasty Touring has been a creative outlet for writing and photography and also to share food and drink-related recommendations and experiences in Austin and beyond.

Texas Type A Mom – Follow along on my journey through parenthood from pregnancy to toddler, product reviews (let me try before you buy), my family’s gastronomic whims, and life here in Austin, Texas.

The Austin Listening Post – News about news in Austin

The Fabulous Geezer Sisters – Austin feminism, politics and family blog)

The Simplifiers – Wedding and Event planning

The Vegan Explosion – Vegan food in Austin

Tipsy Texan – Drinking and booze and bars in central texas

Tribeza – TRIBEZA is Austin’s leading locally-owned arts and culture magazine

U Love I – Austin nightlife photos

Ultra 8201 – Music and more

What Jew Wanna Eat – Jewish recipes with a twist

Wheelchair Mommy – I am  a 30-something paralyzed, stay-at-home Mommy to 3 boys, & an amazing husband.

When in Austin – We explore Austin with our audio recorders in hand seeking out compelling stories.

You Stay Hoppy Austin – Austin Beer Blog

If you want me to check out your blog, and add it to this ever growing list, please let me know in the comments below.

Click to Tweet 100 blogs about Austin

September 2012 Austin Real Estate

What a market we are in. For the last 18 months we have experienced increases in the number of homes sold.

Usually, the winter months show a decline in houses being sold, but not in Austin.  We sold 23% more homes in November of 2012 than we did last year.  Houses get listed, and quickly sold.

What does this mean?  Depending on your situation, you will experience different things.  Tere are no if’s and’s or but’s about it, we are in a very strong Seller’s market, and I don’t see signs of this changing any time soon.  Interest rates are extremely low, and will remain that way through at the very least the spring of 2013, and probably longer.  Lenders are beginning to loosen requirements a little bit, although appraisers are reluctant to overvalue homes in Austin based on what the rest of the country is experiencing.  Inventory of places to live in Austin are extremely low.  New home builders can’t pour slabs fast enough, and apartments are 98% rented.

Why?  Because everyone is Moving to Austin.  It’s all over the news.  There are so many TV shows about us.  And we are on all of the top 10 lists, too.  Austin is one of the best the best city for vegetarians.  Austin is one of the healthiest cities in the nation.  Austin is a great city to meet singles.  The lists go on and on.

For home sellers:

Now is the time to sell.  Whatever your price range you are bound to get some activity.  If you are at the lower end of the market be prepared to receive multiple offers, and if you are at the upper end of the luxury market, I wouldn’t be surprised if you experienced more activity, and a shorter time on the market overall.

For home buyers:

Don’t delay!  Work closely with your realtor and trust them.  I’ve always said that if you see a house that you like, don’t dilly-dally.  Make an offer.  If you don’t, it is very likely that someone else will.  Among my buyers half believe me, and they get the home of their dreams, but the other half think they know better, and see a house, wait a week, and then go back to look at it and it’s sold.

Remember, I do this day in, and day out, every day of the year.  I know the Austin Real estate market.

August 2012 Austin Real Estate Statistics

15!

Fifteen straight months that Austin has seen an increase in sales volume.  Central Texas is Growing, and looks to continue to grow as more than 100 people move to our area every day.

29%

Houses are selling 29% faster this month than they did at this same time last year.

Leonard Guerro (A JB Goodwin Agent, and president of the Austin Board of Realtors) said:

Strong demand for homes continued in August while the inventory of available homes continued to shrink. That contributed to the increase in price. In fact, this was the highest median price we’ve seen in the month of August in the last decade in Austin

Here’s the monthly real estate stats, in an easy to read infographic form.  What do you think of the Austin Market? Leave us a comment.



July 2012 Austin Real Estate Statistics

Every month the Austin Board of Realtors puts out some statistics for the Real Estate market in Austin. I’ll be honest. Sometimes they are hard to understand. And I used to be a biochemist who worked in a bioanalytical lab.

What does that mean, exactly? It means I would look at pages and pages of data. Time points from experiments. Drug levels, and kinetics. Rates of absorption and chemical formulas. My job was to look at all those numbers and pull out something of significance. To use all my training and find a result in pages and pages of numbers.

This is exactly like what I do now. I take the data presented by ABoR, and find the neighborhoods that are appreciating the fastest. I look for areas where homes sell the fastest, and for the most money. I find great values in properties that are undervalued for first time home buyers.

So I present my infographic of the Austin Area Real Estate Statistics. Over the last few days I’ve been paying with these infographics, and I think they are a great way to present real estate data.

Some of the charts are interactive, so use your mouse to roll over slices in the pie chart, or click on the different series of data to get more detailed info.

Of course, if you want an even more detailed analysis of a specific neighborhood, or even your home, give me a call, or send me an email, and let’s chat.

 

“July Austin Real Estate Stats” Click to Tweet

10 most common Realtor MLS Mistakes

The photo to the left is what Real Estate Agents call the Agent Full Residential Listing Sheet.  This is the first thing Realtors see when they search for a property for a buyer.  This is your house’s resume, or rap sheet, depending on how it is filled out.
Every day I look at any number of these sheets  sometimes is is 10-12 other days it is close to 1000.
I follow a pattern when I look at them – I know from my search results that all the properties I’m about to review are in a specific geographic area, are in the budget range of my client, and have the required number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Then I begin to look at the details.  The first thing I scan are the photos., and then I read the description.  If the pictures look good, and the description is interesting, I read more, including some more of the pertinent details.
Unfortunately not all agents take the time to learn enough about a property to completely and accurately fill out an MLS sheet.  The only person this hurts is you, the home seller.

Here are Ten of the most common MLS mistakes I see:

  1. No Photos.  The Austin area MLS can have up to 25.  A decent photographer can take at least 25 shots of even the smallest 1 bedroom apartment.
  2. Bad Photos – In a previous career I was a professional photographer.  I know a good from bad photo, but I also know when they have been doctored.  It’s not supposed to happen, but it does.  Also, if the property is a Luxury home, the agent should spring for some pro pics.
  3. No Agent Remarks – You have hired an agent to SELL your property.  So many just type in the bare minimum.  Make it fun to read, and people will come see the house
  4. Wrong General Information – this is where things like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other property descriptors get entered.  Oftentimes they are left blank, and that doesn’t help me very much because I skip to the next one.
  5. inaccurate link to a virtual tour, slideshow or custom website.  When a Realtor has taken the time and spent the money for additional marketing, make sure the link works.
  6. Bad grammar or Type-Os.  If you call yourself a professional, spell like one.
  7. Not advertising popular features today’s homebuyers want – is it a modern or green house? is there a shop in the garage?  Was one of the bedrooms converted to a super closet?  Buyers want to know these things.
  8. No seller’s disclosure attached.  This is actually huge.  The seller’s disclosure is required shortly after listing a home for sale, and I’ve never had a buyer who didn’t want to see it.
  9. Using cliche’s – motivated seller – gorgeous (check your spelling), shows well.  Boooorrriiiinnnnggggg.  Let’s be creatively descriptive and accurate.
  10. No HOA information.  HOA fees can be significant, and some buyers turn away from that.

 

Advertising

Successfully selling your home is more than just sticking a sign in the front yard, and entering some data into the MLS. I’ve learned that getting the best price means attracting as many possible people to view your home as possible, and I use every possible method to accomplish that goal.

Once your home has been properly prepared, I’ll schedule a professional photographer who has experience in photographing homes to take incredible photos which will be used in all the print and web marketing materials. When required, I’ll also pay for a professional film crew to come in and prepare a video of the property to supplement the full color photography.

Once the photos have been edited, a graphic designer will prepare high-end, full color flyers, postcards, and print advertisements showcasing your home, and describing all the best features to buyers.

Studies have shown that approximately 90% (source) of all people searching for a new home begin their search on the internet. Lots of realtors provide a custom website, however without the proper traffic, that never gets seen. I have the most popular Real Estate Blog in Austin, and will feature your property on the front page until it sells.  I’ll use social media and share the listing with my Facebook friends, and Twitter followers.  All this is included in addition to the regular MLS and syndication that gets your listing to appear on all the popular real estate websites, and searches.

In addition to all the web based marketing, I also use traditional print advertisements like newspapers and high-end magazines to showcase your property, to reach the other 10%.  Even though print advertising is dying a slow death, your property will still be featured in a full page ad in the Austin American Statesman, as well as other publications like Tribeza & Austin Monthly, as needed because I want to reach 100% of the people.

Real Estate PostcardsPlus, I  mail out custom postcards to my network of other Realtors, Investors, previous clients, and even neighbors informing them of a new listing, and encouraging them to tell their friends that a new house is coming up for sale in the neighborhood.

Finally, I hold your house open as much as possible using highly visible directional signs to guide drivers to see the house.  Since we have prepared the house to look fantastic from the street, more people will stop in, and take the next steps, ultimately ending in an acceptable offer.

The goal isn’t just to reach people who are actively looking for a home to buy, but also their friends and family, to help spread the word.

A real Real Estate business card

I’ve seen a lot of real estate business cards (Note to self: make a blog post about bad real estate business cards).

It’s a widely accepted practice for realtors to leave their card whenever they visit a property.  That way the listing agent can contact them and chat. I like to do that so all the agents who come to the property can know that I’ve been there before them, and have already checked it out.

For me, a business card has 3 roles:

  1. To show clients I’m legit
  2. To easily convey contact information
  3. As a form of identification

As you can see I have my photo taking up almost half of the card.  My Name is the biggest, and my phone number (only one) is right at the top.  I hate it when someone gives me a card with their cell, home, work, and office phones.  Just use a service to forward them  so clients don’t have to keep trying different numbers.  I’ve also got my email, website, mailing address, and broker on it.

You will also see three little icons for Facebook, Twitter, and RSS.  If you know what those are, you know how to use them.  Otherwise it’s a great topic for conversation in person.

Finally the back is blank, so I can write a note on it when I leave it somewhere.

Clean, simple, and professional.  That’s how I like my business cards.

When I order cards I usually get about 1000 at a time so I have enough for at least 6 months.  I pass them out everywhere, and never want to be without one.

Update:

Recently I changed my business cards – you can see examples of my new cards, and learn the reasons I changed in this new post.

The next Silicon Valley

I lived in the real Silicon Valley during the dot com boom.  I remember driving past the original Pets.com building, the internet startup with infamous sock dog puppet commercial.

mclaren-f1One time, while driving my old Honda down Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, some 20’s something dot-com-er millionaire pulled up next to me in a shiny new McLaren F1.  We were both first at the red light, and when it turned green, I drove away, and he stalled out.  To me, that was the epitome of the Silicon Valley of the 90’s

It will never exist again the same way.  But, Austin is making a run for it.

Dell, the personal computer maker has their headquarters here for years, and last spring Apple computer announced they are expanding their established Austin campus and bringing a $304 million operation center.  This comes with an additional 3,600 jobs.

Google has an office at Mopac and 183, and Facebook opened their first remote office outside California in Austin, a few years back.  Also, both National Instruments and IBM have had a presence her for years.

Austin keeps making national news, and ending up at the top of all kinds of lists – Top 10 cities People are moving to, Austin surpasses San Francisco as 12th largest US city, Forbes ranks Austin in the top 10 nationally for business, and the lists go on and on.

The way the housing market is going here is similar to what happened in the Silicon valley of the early 90’s, too.  Housing prices are rising, inventory is decreasing, and people are moving here from all over.

Now’s the time to get into the Real Estate market.  All the signs are point to it.  Don’t let me say I told you so in 5 years.

First SupraKey use

Today, I used my SupraKey for the very first time.

Honestly, it was pretty easy, and a little bit exciting!

As you can imagine, I’ve visited a TON of houses.

It all started when I was a little kid, and my mom used to take me with her.  You see, she loved to see open houses.  Especially the kitchens.  My mom is a kitchen expert.  She can walk into any house, and immediately re-design the kitchen in her head to maximize efficiency, all while creating a space that is perfect for entertaining and chatting.  But that’s another blog post to be written in the future. (more…)