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The Vitality of a Detailed Home Inventory List

A home is more than just a dwelling place; it is a sanctuary where we store our memories, treasured possessions, and valuable assets. Consider the devastating consequences that would arise if our belongings were suddenly stolen, destroyed by fire or ravaged by natural disasters. It is during these trying times that the true importance of maintaining a comprehensive home inventory list becomes glaringly evident.

A home inventory list is a meticulous catalog of every item within our residence, encompassing both significant possessions like furniture, appliances, and electronics, as well as smaller items such as jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. This comprehensive record serves as concrete proof of ownership and aids in evaluating the value of goods in the event of loss or damage. Furthermore, it streamlines the insurance claims process and maximizes the likelihood of receiving fair compensation.

Reflecting on my own experience, I came to understand the significance of keeping a thorough home inventory list following a tragic incident that occurred in my neighborhood. A devastating fire engulfed a neighboring house, leaving its occupants in a state of shock and despair. Witnessing the anguish and despair of my neighbors as they lost their worldly possessions compelled me to contemplate the vulnerability of our own home. It served as a powerful wake-up call, urging me to take proactive measures to safeguard our belongings.

Although creating a home inventory list may initially seem like a daunting task, technological advancements have made it more convenient than ever before. With the aid of smartphone applications, one can effortlessly capture photographs or videos of each item and supplement them with accompanying details such as brand, model number, purchase date, and price. These digital records serve as tangible evidence in the event that an insurance claim is necessary. Additionally, retaining copies of receipts, warranties, and appraisals further bolsters the credibility of the inventory list.

To embark on my own journey of creating a home inventory list, I dedicated a specific day to methodically go through each room in my house. Starting in the living room, I meticulously documented each item, paying close attention to intricate details such as condition and estimated value. As I progressed, I began to grasp the magnitude of my possessions and the profound sentimental value associated with each item. It became a reflective exercise, evoking cherished memories and affirming the significance of these belongings in shaping my life.

Ensuring that the home inventory list remains up-to-date is equally crucial. As we acquire new items or part ways with existing ones through donations, sales, or disposals, it is imperative to reflect these changes in our inventory. By revisiting the list on an annual basis or following significant life events such as renovations, major purchases, or inheritances, we can guarantee that our inventory remains accurate and current. Furthermore, securely storing a copy of the inventory list in an off-site location or through a reliable cloud-based service ensures its accessibility, even in the event of physical loss or damage.

An often overlooked aspect of maintaining a comprehensive home inventory list is the opportunity it presents to identify gaps in our insurance coverage. By evaluating the value of our possessions, we can ascertain whether the coverage provided by our insurance policy is sufficient or if adjustments are necessary. In an era where the cost of living continues to rise and personal belongings hold increasing value, it is crucial to avoid the risks associated with being underinsured and potentially facing severe financial hardships following a loss.

A comprehensive home inventory list transcends a mere catalog of our belongings; it serves as a reflection of our lives, memories, and aspirations. It acts as a protective shield against unforeseen events that could disrupt our lives and threaten our sense of security. By dedicating the time and effort required to create and maintain a detailed inventory, we proactively take control of our financial well-being and protect what is most precious to us. So, let us not delay this essential task any longer and embark on the journey to secure our homes and find lasting peace of mind. After all, as homeowners or renters, our homes provide us with not only comfort and security but also the space to cultivate cherished memories and house our most treasured possessions, all of which contribute to an environment in which we can thrive and grow.

David Weekley Homes

At David Weekley Homes, “Building Dreams, Enhancing Lives” isn’t just a catchphrase — it’s a daily ethos, particularly for our team, customers, and the community. As Dave Mire, the division president in Austin, emphasizes, “We prioritize the well-being and contentment of our team members, firmly believing that their happiness and loyalty directly translate into satisfied and devoted customers.”

David Weekley founded the company in 1976 while working for another builder. Discontent with a bonus-to-car substitution offer from his supervisor, he left to create a home-building company with a distinct culture, prioritizing principles and people above just constructing houses. This people-first ethos remains at the core of David Weekley Homes today.

A major private home builder, specializing in suburban and central living single-family homes. Operating in 19 U.S. markets, including Houston and San Antonio, they have become a significant player in the industry. Dave Mire, boasting over 25 years at the company, highlights what distinguishes David Weekley Homes — closing over 115,000 homes and employing a workforce exceeding 1,500 team members.

Their reputation is grounded in fulfilling the Brand Promise: delivering the best in design, choice, and service for homebuyers. Catering to diverse preferences, they offer a wide array of homes and product lines at varying price points. The emphasis is on personalized service, guiding homebuyers through the building process with consistent communication and providing post-move-in support through industry-leading warranties.

David Weekley Homes goes beyond mere construction, employing energy-efficient techniques and their unique LifeDesign® concept. This innovative approach optimizes the utilization of space, making homes feel more expansive and adaptable to evolving homebuyer needs and lifestyles.

A supportive culture, built on trust and respect, defines the David Weekley experience for customers. New team members undergo a comprehensive training, including online classes and workshops, focusing on the company’s values and beliefs. The path to leadership is nurtured through internal promotions and dedicated management training, instilling essential strategies and skills.

Recognition is a cornerstone of their culture, with team members frequently rewarded and celebrated at various company events. The company’s commitment extends to the community through their CARE program. This initiative encompasses volunteer efforts and philanthropic projects in collaboration with Homeowners, Homebuyers, and community partners.

As Mire explains, “David Weekley Homes is committed to its purpose and demonstrates this through our volunteer and philanthropic projects as part of our CARE program in partnership with our extended family of Homeowners, Homebuyers, and community partners.” 

CARE stands for: Committed to community, fostering a culture of caring and contribution for team members, customers, and community; Actively engaged in our community, with team members involved in numerous projects and substantial donations through the Dovetail Impact Foundation; Responsible to our community, fulfilling our duty to build dreams and enhance the lives of team members, customers, and the community; and Enhancing our community by living a purposeful life of service, providing true meaning and purpose.

Team members receive paid time off to volunteer, and the company matches their fundraising for local charities. Over the past 30 years, more than $275 million has been contributed to charities, with $385,800 donated in 2022 alone. In the previous year, team members collectively volunteered 8,275 hours across 113 outreach projects.

This year, the Austin Team: Built 20 bunk beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace, aiding children in need during the annual build month; Hosted the 9th annual School Supplies Drive for Helping Hand Home for Children, collecting essential supplies; Supported Hays County Food Bank, assisting 250 families through volunteering; Rode in the MS 150, raising funds and awareness for the National MS Society to combat Multiple Sclerosis; Donated 279 teddy bears to Partnerships for Children, aiding children and families linked with Child Protective Services; and is organizing the 9th annual Giving Thanks, Giving Back Thanksgiving Drive, collecting food for families in need. 

David Weekley Homes boasts 1,470+ awards, including 850+ for product design, recognized as the first U.S. builder to achieve the Triple Crown of American Home Building — encompassing “America’s Best Builder,” “National Housing Quality Award,” and “National Builder of the Year.” Fortune magazine has acknowledged them 17 times among the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, securing the #1 spot on Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Texas in 2023.

In Austin, they’ve earned the MAX Awards Builder of the Year title five times from the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin, including 2022. The Austin Business Journal named them the “2023 Production Builder of the Year.” Additionally, they were voted the “Best of the Best” Homebuilder in Austin for 2022 by the Austin American Statesman, marking the fourth consecutive year.

David Weekley Homes is dedicated to Building Dreams and Enhancing Lives for team members, customers, and the community. Choosing a David Weekley home guarantees the David Weekley Difference, featuring unmatched Customer Service and high-quality designs from an award-winning builder.

The Value of REALTORS: A Guide for Home Buyers and Sellers, WCR Perks

As the President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS, I am passionate about promoting the essential role of REALTORS in the home buying and selling process. In an era of easily accessible online listings and information, some may question the necessity of a real estate agent. However, there are several compelling reasons why home buyers and sellers can greatly benefit from working with a professional REALTOR. Additionally, membership in the Women’s Council offers unique advantages, including access to a network-driven referral system that sets us apart. Let’s delve into these reasons and perks in detail.

Expertise and Guidance:

One of the primary reasons to engage a REALTOR is the invaluable expertise they bring to the table. REALTORS possess a deep understanding of the local market, trends, and pricing dynamics. Their knowledge allows them to provide accurate and up-to-date information, empowering buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. REALTORS guide clients through every step of the process, from pricing, staging, and marketing a property to negotiating contracts, managing inspections, and ensuring a smooth closing. Their guidance helps clients navigate the complexities of the real estate transaction with confidence and ease.

Access to Exclusive Listings and Market Insights:

REALTORS have access to a wealth of resources, including exclusive listings that may not be available to the general public. By working with a REALTOR, home buyers gain access to a broader range of properties that align with their specific criteria and preferences. Similarly, sellers benefit from their real estate agent’s ability to effectively market their property to a wider audience, increasing the chances of a quick and profitable sale. REALTORS also have access to comprehensive market data and insights, enabling them to advise clients on pricing strategies and market conditions.

Negotiation Skills and Advocacy:

Negotiating a real estate transaction can be complex and emotionally charged. REALTORS are skilled negotiators who advocate for their clients’ best interests. They leverage their knowledge of the market, contract terms, and local regulations to secure favorable terms and pricing. Whether representing buyers or sellers, REALTORS act as their clients’ trusted advisors, ensuring that their goals and objectives are met throughout the negotiation process.

Women’s Council Membership:

Network-Driven Referrals: One of the unique perks of joining the Women’s Council of REALTORS is the opportunity to participate in a network-driven referral system. As members, we have access to a vast network of professionals in the real estate industry, including REALTORS from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. This network becomes an invaluable resource for referrals, connecting buyers and sellers with reputable agents across different markets. By leveraging Women’s Council membership, clients can tap into a trusted network of REALTORS, ensuring a high level of service and professionalism throughout their real estate journey.

Professional Development and Collaboration:

Membership in the Women’s Council provides ongoing opportunities for professional development and collaboration. Through educational programs, workshops, and networking events, members can enhance their skills, expand their knowledge, and stay updated on industry best practices. The Council fosters a supportive environment that encourages collaboration, idea-sharing, and mentorship, enabling REALTORS to continually improve their service offerings and better serve their clients.


The decision to work with a REALTOR when buying or selling a home is a wise investment that brings numerous benefits. From their expertise and guidance to their exclusive access to listings and negotiation skills, real estate agents play a critical role in ensuring a smooth and successful real estate transaction. Additionally, membership in the Women’s Council of REALTORS offers an extra advantage through network-driven referrals and opportunities for professional growth. Embrace the value of REALTORS and consider the benefits of Women’s Council membership as you embark on your real estate journey.

Midpoint of 2023: Exciting Events and Opportunities Await

As we enter the second half of 2023, our Association remains committed to providing our members with valuable opportunities to learn, network, and make a difference. From engaging events to educational courses, there is no shortage of activities to keep you connected and informed.


• August 2 – Blingo Bingo!

Prepare for a night of glitz, glamour, and thrilling bingo fun! BlingovBingo merges networking with an interactive experience that isvsure to delight. Join us at 6 pm at WCREALTORS for this dynamic vevent.

• August 9 – Selling the Suburbs: The WCSPECIALIST Series begins live at WCREALTORS!

Back by popular demand, this award-winning course launched in 2015 and was written by REALTORS® who wanted our members to serve the community. Covering topics such as taxing entities, water issues, local governmental jurisdictions, new homes, and septic systems and much more. This course is broken down into eight sessions spanning over four full days of class.

• August 15 – Board of Directors Applications Open

• August 15 – City Update Series:

Dive into an in-depth exploration of the City of Hutto. Join us live at WCREALTORS at 10 a.m. as four different city officials provide updates on what’s new in their respective areas.

• August 30 – Board of Directors Applications Close


• September 13 – TREPAC Bowling: Video Game Edition:

Don’t miss our annual TREPAC Bowling Tournament at Mel’s Lonestar in Georgetown! Dress up as your favorite video game character and enjoy a fun-filled evening.

• September 19 – City Update Series:

Taylor, Granger, and Bartlett: Stay informed about the eastern parts of our county at 10 a.m. at the Board office for an update on these areas.

• September 26 – 2023 Annual WCREALTORS Golf Tournament:

Drive yourself to the Crystal Falls Golf Club in Leander for a day of networking and an above par golfing excellence. This annual tournament is an opportunity to connect with the best professionals in the business while enjoying the beautiful city of Leander.


• October 2 – Annual Election Commences

• October 10 – Annual Election Ends

• October 12 – Luxury Bus Tour:

Embark on an adventurous day with WCREALTORS Bus Tours, offering an exclusive look at newly built homes in luxurious master-planned communities across Central Texas. Expand your knowledge and experience the finest developments in the area.

• October 26th – Annual Business Meeting:

Stay updated on the year’s successes and meet the 2024 Board of Directors. There’s plenty of news to tune into.


• November 9 – D.I.Y. Pop-by Event:

Back by popular demand, this interactive workshop allows you to assemble personalized, thoughtful gifts for your clients, featuring a monthly theme. Imagine the impact of personalized, thoughtful gifts that keep you at top of the mind with your valued clients.

• November 30 – Deck the Halls LIVE auction!

This year we are switching up Deck the Halls and making it a live event for your community and clients! Featuring Santa, cookies and so much more, get ready for a tree-mendously good time! All proceeds will go to the Austin Angels Society.


• December 7 – The Biggest Event of the Year:

Prepare for an electrifying and enchanting experience at this year’s Installation event! With a theme inspired by fire and ice, get ready for a captivating evening that combines the thrill of contrasting elements. It’s a powerful reminder of the incredible growth and untapped potential found within the realm of opposites. Brace yourself for an event that promises to be as hot as fire and as cool as ice, where magic and wonder converge to create an unforgettable evening.

Stay tuned for more details and updates on these exciting events throughout the next few months. At WCREALTORS, we are committed to providing our members with exceptional opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed.

Save the Dates: Exciting Events to Mark on Your Calendars!

ABoR’s 2023 Central Texas Housing Summit is just days away, and attendees can expect an impressive lineup of industry experts ready to share their knowledge. If you haven’t secured your ticket yet, it’s time to take action! You’ll come away with a vast amount of market analysis, new research, and economic updates to immediately share with your clients.

Apart from the highly anticipated Central Texas Housing Summit, there are many more ABoR and MLS programs coming up that will elevate your expertise and boost your production. The second half of 2023 is going to be a busy and rewarding period for industry professionals.

Farm & Ranch Day – Tuesday, August 8

Location: ABoR Headquarters

This full-day event offers a variety of classes focusing on farm, land, and ranch topics. Notable speakers include Texas broker and instructor Avis Wukasch and Dr. Blake Bennett, an associate professor and extension economist from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service. Attendees will also enjoy a complimentary lunch as part of their registration.

MLS Power Hour – Thursday, 10

Location: Virtual

 join the MLS Power Hour virtually to explore the lead-generation and client management tools integrated into your MLS subscription. This session aims to help you harness the power of technology to enhance your business and increase successful deal closures.

REACH Labs Innovation Showcase – Wednesday, August 16

Location: ABoR Headquarters

Did you know that AI can help with business planning? For those interested in the intersection of real estate and innovative technology, the REACH Labs Innovation Showcase on August 16th at the ABoR Headquarters is a must-attend event. Digital expert Marki Lemons-Ryhal will present “Six Figures in Twelve Months: Real Estate Planning on Steroids with AI,” offering valuable insights into AI-powered business planning. The event also features an in-person REACH Labs pitch battle with proptech startups, allowing you to witness cutting-edge ideas firsthand.

Strategic Partner & Member Happy Hour – Thursday, August 31

Location: The Haute Spot

Join fellow industry professionals from 4 to 7:00 p.m. to enjoy complimentary bites and beverages while strengthening your network and connecting with ABoR’s strategic partner organizations.

Central Texas International Homebuyers Report Release – Wednesday, September 6

Mark your calendars for Sept. 6, as ABoR will release the highly anticipated 2023 Central Texas International Homebuyers Report. This year’s report will include research conducted by Dr. Clare Losey, ABoR housing economist, providing valuable insights into the international real estate market in Central Texas.

NAR’s Sustainability Summit – September 12-13

Location: Hyatt Regency Austin

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Sustainability Summit is taking place in Austin this year at the Hyatt Regency Austin. This annual conference explores the progress and market transformation in sustainability affecting real estate associations and professionals. The event aligns with NAR’s Sustainability and Resilience Plan and Strategic Plan, providing valuable programming and discussions for attendees.

Diversity Summit – Wednesday, September 20

Location: ABoR Headquarters

ABoR’s inaugural Diversity Summit will take place at the ABoR Headquarters. This half-day event aims to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging in both the Association and the communities. Keep an eye out for the program agenda and registration details, which will be available soon.

ABoR City Hall Visits – October 26

Location: Austin City Hall

This is an opportunity to meet with Austin City Council Members and Mayor Kirk Watson to share firsthand experiences from the market and advocate for prioritizing housing. Meetings with Council Members will take place from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by a reception on the Mayor’s Balcony from 4 to 6 p.m.

Priority Settlement Group of Texas

The Priority Settlement Group of Texas is an independently owned title company in Texas, sister to Priority Title and Escrow in Virginia Beach, a national company with licenses in 48 states. Marcus Overheu and Michael Schwartz established Priority Settlement Group of Texas in November 2016 with three employees in a 400 square foot office. Together they brought many years of title and mortgage experience to the company, which they grew to a little over a hundred employees during the height of the refi boom. The Austin-based company has offices in San Antonio, Houston, and Harker Heights, with plans to open an office in Dallas later this year.

At Priority we share a common goal with everyone that we serve — to simplify the closing process and meet our client’s needs on time and within budget.

When Marcus first approached Michael about starting the company, Michael was skeptical, thinking there were already enough title companies vying for customers. What could this company possibly offer to make itself stand out from the rest? Since the state regulates the title insurance premium, the endorsements and title insurance are exactly the same. Other fees are set by the agency, such as escrow, courier, and other charges. Providing they are the same for all consumers, these “junk fees” can be set at the agency’s discretion. When clients use Priority Settlement Group of Texas, they can save up to $900 on purchase transactions.

The Priority Settlement Group of Texas also believes in taking a unique approach to the title industry. According to Michael Schwartz, president of Texas Sales, “we have a very large network of highly trained mobile closers, so we can handle transactions anywhere in the state.” You will never need to visit our office in order to complete the transaction. Our team comes to you. We welcome customers to come to our offices, but traffic is terrible. In the middle of the day, why would you want to drive across town to a title company, wait for 20 or 30 minutes, sign your documents, and then drive back home? After we bring you the documents, we’ll be done in 30 to 40 minutes. You can then go about your business while we deal with everything. We use technology to simplify the process for the Texas consumer and make it more convenient for the real estate agency, too.

It is very important to Priority Settlement Group of Texas to maintain a supportive corporate culture. “We believe strongly in education and finding answers,” says Schwartz. If someone does not know something, we either find someone within the organization to teach them or bring in outside help to educate them. Moreover, we provide external support to both consumer real estate agents and loan officers. “We don’t give standard answers.” Instead of providing consumers with the standard unsatisfactory answer, “It cannot be done,” Priority Settlement Group of Texas strives to provide the answers that will lead to lasting relationships and loyal customers. In order to do things right, we dig deeply, go farther, and do everything we can to find a way to do it. Our underwriters understand that we’re not questioning their judgment when we come to them. It’s more of an understanding; how can we do this? Then we see if we can structure it to work. After five o’clock, we are the guys who answer the phone. “We take phone calls and answer emails on weekends.”

While industry knowledge and experience are helpful for escrow officers and title examiners, Priority Settlement Group of Texas loves to work with people of all levels of experience. Schwartz says that even though his company sometimes hires fresh out of college and provides training, he also supports hiring veterans. A veteran himself, he says, “While they may not know the industry, they know accountability and discipline.” We train those who show up with an attitude of “I’m going to learn” rather than “I know everything.” Our philosophy is to hire you for a specific position, and then, if you want to move forward or be promoted, or even create your own opportunity, we will work with you to find the path.

As he continues, “It’s not about resumes anymore.” Nowadays, people want to feel empowered rather than just working. Everybody wants an opportunity. If you do the job I hire you for, I am more than willing to listen to your ideas. Then, if they make sense and can be implemented, together we will make it happen.”

Unbelievable Momentum for Women’s Council of REALTORS Austin in May

I can’t believe what an incredible month of May it was for the Women’s Council of Realtors Austin!

We had an extremely successful designer handbag bingo night with almost 90 people in attendance and a number of sponsors who generously donated some very nice bags from some well-known and highly regarded designers.

A number of sponsors participated in the event, including Green Scene Home Inspections, David Weekley Homes, Boston National Title, US Health Advisors, CLM Mortgage, Chesmar Homes, Beacon Blinds, Josh Brown Home Loans, Chicago Title, First American Home Warranty, APEX Roofing, Integrity Land Title, and ACHOSA Home Warranty.    

We also held our elections for the year 2024 at the Kendra Scott Flagship store.

Immediately following the vote, Delaine McMurry was elected President, Tanya Chappell was elected President-Elect, and Scarlett Hao was elected Treasurer. I am pleased to announce that Delaine has appointed Jen Sparks to First Vice President. She has also appointed Laura Finkenbinder to Membership Director and Leanna Swingler as Events Director. The year 2024 is looking to be an equally exciting year, and we are looking forward to it.

June Monthly Lucheon: 3 Unspoken Truths

It is time for you to sign up for our June luncheon. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at the Peached Social House. The address is 6500 N Lamar Blvd. Map Link

Our speaker will be Kim Barrett, President/Broker/Owner, who will teach us how to grow your business 150% in 90 days or less.  To make this happen, we are collaborating with seven other networks. Networks we are working with include Brazos Valley, Cameron County, Central Texas, San Antonio, McAllen, Hill Country, and East Texas.  This is a very exciting event for us as we will also have our state leadership team in attendance as well. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, and I’m hoping we’ll see you all there!

Operation I Can: Williamson County Food Drive

It’s time for the Williamson County Association of Realtors’ (WCREALTORS) Community Service Committee to hold its annual Operation I Can Food Drive as part of its annual community service initiative.

The food drive is set to begin on Monday, July 10, and end on Thursday, July 27, with the goal of surpassing the record-breaking success of raising almost 23,000 pounds of food last year. Weigh in and food collection for the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 28. It will be held at the WCREALTORS office.

It is planned to distribute the donations evenly among eight local charities this year: the Round Rock Serving Center, Hill Country Ministries in Leander, Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry in Taylor, The Caring Place in Georgetown, Jarrell Community Food Pantry, Hutto Community Food Pantry, Operation Liberty Hill, and Saint Vincent de Paul in Round Rock.

As REALTORS® members, there is a huge opportunity to engage their local communities by leaving paper bags with a flyer and business card on residents’ porches. Make sure that you provide a date on which the donated items are to be collected. Not only can you expand your network through this, but it will also show potential clients that you are active in giving back to your community, which is an important aspect of building your business.

If you are interested in participating in this food drive, you can donate canned and non-perishable foods to any participating real estate office in Williamson County. Items needed are canned meats, canned veggies, canned fruit, pasta sauce, rice, beans, cereals, juice, peanut butter, cooking oil, meal helpers, hygiene products, and any other non-perishable items.

This year we are also able to receive monetary donations. Visit wcrealtors.org/ican to donate online or drop off cash envelopes at the Association office. All monetary donations will be evenly distributed among the charities alongside non-perishable items.

For more information, call the Association at 512-255-6211.

Staying Informed with Professional Analysis of the Housing Market

With the constant buzz surrounding the housing market and the multitude of conflicting opinions, it has become increasingly crucial for the Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) to be the trusted source of accurate real estate information. As a result, I am delighted to announce that ABoR has reached a significant milestone in hiring its first-ever in-house economist: Dr. Clare Losey.

We are in an era where real estate decisions are constantly influenced by ever-evolving economic factors, and having an economist on our team enables us to cut through the noise and provide you and your clients with a reliable, insightful perspective on the Austin housing market and economy. With Dr. Losey’s expertise and guidance, ABoR empowers you to stay on top of the market.

For better market awareness, ABoR recently launched a new member benefit – Driving It Home, a weekly interview with Dr. Losey. Every Tuesday, members receive an email with the interview explaining the week’s need-to-know trends so that you can be caught up on the market before finishing your morning drive.

Our new Economic Report, Driving It Home, is just the first of several new economic reports and market resources you’ll receive as part of your ABoR membership! Also, ABoR released its flagship Central Texas Housing Market Report earlier this month. They are currently working on additional research and reports, including a Rent vs. Buy Index slated for release next month.

These annual research reports are invaluable tools that unlock the opportunity to stay ahead in the ever-evolving real estate landscape. The insights and analysis that can be found in these reports can help you enhance your decision-making abilities, offer informed guidance to your clients, and make the most of the unique opportunities that the Central Texas market presents to you. ABoR is committed to ensuring that you have every opportunity to succeed as a real estate professional and that you have access to the knowledge you need in order to achieve your goals. In case you haven’t already seen them, I would encourage you to read and share ABoR’s previous reports, such as the Central Texas Housing Fees Analysis Report that was released last July and the 2022 International Home Buyers Report.

Lastly, but certainly not least, do not forget all the MLS tools and benefits available to you to keep you as the source of real estate information for your clients. Apart from the MLS, Remine Pro and RPR® are the two most critical tools available to you. With its remarkable farming capabilities and analysis of on- and off-market data, there is no tool as powerful as Remine at this time. The RPR® mobile app, which was recently updated, has greatly improved access to MLS on the go. In addition to a top-of-the-line CMA tool, RPR® Mobile also provides access to powerful data, tools and reports wherever you are. When these tools are used together, they can serve as a lifeline for staying on top of the market at all times. You can register for a FREE training at ABoR.com/Take-A-Class and then have access to both Remine and RPR® directly through the Clareity dashboard.

Join Us for Central Texas Housing Summit in July

We encourage you to save the date for ABoR’s Central Texas Housing Summit, set to take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. The Housing Summit will offer participants the chance to hear presentations and discussions regarding the regional housing market, to gain valuable insights, and to network with other industry leaders. Come and explore with us the current housing landscape, economic trends, and potential solutions we can implement to make our housing market in Central Texas more vibrant and sustainable. Visit ABoR.com/HousingSummit for more information and to register for the event.

Make Sure Your First Impression Is A Good One

In today’s competitive real estate market, first impressions are crucial to attracting potential clients and securing successful business transactions. REALTORS must present themselves as knowledgeable and reliable experts to gain prospective clients’ trust.

Vivian Zayas, a professor of psychology at Cornell University says, “As social beings, we use everything available to make sense of a person we’re meeting for the first time. We make decisions about others almost instantly and once an opinion is formed it becomes difficult to adjust.” Fortunately, there are ways to leave a strong lasting impression. Here’s how to ensure others view you in a positive light.

Your virtual identity

It is imperative to have a professional and visually appealing website with clear and concise messaging. Ensure that your social media profiles and email communications are consistently branded and reflect your company’s values and tone of voice. Use proper grammar and punctuation in all online communication, including emails, messages and comments.

Follow the dress code

While your online presence is crucial, ensure you make a lasting impression during in-person client meetings, as well. Dressing professionally according to the specific niche market you cater to is vital. Of course, being in Austin does dictate some choices. Men can opt for a casual suit, or well-pressed pants and a crisp button-down shirt and tie, while women should choose a knee-length dress or trousers with a silky, free-flowing blouse. Combine the outfit with seasonably appropriate high heels, dressy sandals, or flats.

Connect with your clients

Maintaining a professional demeanor is crucial. Nonetheless, creating an authentic rapport with your clients is key to leaving a positive impact. To accomplish this, engage with them and discover shared interests. Common topics of conversation include family, hobbies, pets, and so on. Identify mutual interests or simply lend an ear to their experiences and display empathy and understanding. As the saying goes, people won’t value your knowledge until they see the depth of your care.

Surprisingly, these interactions can lead you in the direction of their ideal home. For instance, if they mention having pets, you can use that information to find a home with pet-friendly features or a spacious backyard. They will be touched by this subtle sign of consideration. So, be present for them as both their real estate agent and as a fellow human being.

Value of honesty

Navigating the complex world of real estate can be demanding, but the secret to long-term success is maintaining transparency with your clientele. The age-old adage, “honesty is the best policy,” holds true for a reason.

It’s not uncommon for clients to have unrealistic expectations. For instance, many anticipate a quick sale at their initial asking price, but are unwilling to invest in curb appeal or other essential factors that aid the selling process. Conversely, potential buyers often have lofty criteria while operating on a limited budget.

In scenarios like these, it’s crucial for REALTORS to be forthright and clear about every facet of their role. Overpromising and underdelivering can be detrimental to your reputation. Keep in mind that compromises are frequently needed on both sides. Conveying this understanding from the start is another crucial component in an agent’s guide to making an impactful first impression.

Exude self confidence

What happens if a REALTOR does everything correctly, but lacks confidence in himself or herself? Studies show that one’s level of confidence significantly impacts career success. Even something as simple as a handshake can alter the direction of a professional relationship. Communications experts claim they can judge someone’s arrogance, fear, anxiety, weakness, or strength solely from their handshake. So, avoid appearing weak or domineering.

In closing, real estate professionals must understand the significance of first impressions. Remember that investing in your image and professional demeanor will go a long way to creating impactful and lasting connections.