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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.

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.”

Scott Felder Homes

Family First: The Scott Felder Homes Way!

s a residential homebuilder in and around Austin and San Antonio, Scott Felder Homes (SFH) has made its mark in the homebuilding industry. Recognized as an 18-time Builder of the Year, this market innovator has been set apart from others for one unique and long-lasting quality: putting families first!

A private company established in 1994 with a senior management team of more than 150 years of combined experience, SFH proves to be very nimble and able to adjust quickly, offering the latest design trends and features to meet the unique need of each individual buyer. Offering affordable quality products ranging from the three hundred thousands to luxury homes valued at well over a million, Scott Felder Homes has earned a reputation for integrity and diversity second to none. While building in more than 26 communities, SFH also controls an impressive number of home sites, more than 2500, in and around the area.

John Jones, division president, has been with the organization since 1999, joining Scott Felder Homes right out of college. He is proud to have started his career as a superintendent, moving to a project manager, then an area manager, and then transitioning to VP of Construction and Vice President of Operations. He currently also serves as the President of the HBA of Greater Austin, along with prior roles as President-elect, Home PAC Chair, First Vice President, Volume Builders Council Chair, and Membership Committee Chair. He is also a Board Member for HomeAid Austin.

The dynamic family-first culture ingrained in its value system of understanding that its employees are paramount to its success has allowed employees like John to grow professionally while giving back to the organization. With 143 employees in the Austin and San Antonio offices, a strong sense of culture, family, and integrity runs through like an unbreakable thread, binding employees together, “mirroring the quality products we deliver,” says Jones.

On top of its Builder of the Year Awards, SFH was also recognized by the HBA of Greater Austin as Philanthropic of the Year, HomeAid Community Partner of the Year and the Top Workplace winner for the 10th year. Proudly Jones also shares the Best Customer Experience Award by the Homeowner Mark of Excellence or H.O.M.E.

The team at SFH enjoys giving back to the community where its employees and customers live and work. Many of its contributions involve the housing industry to best utilize its collective strengths. Other philanthropic endeavors include Builders for Babies and a toy drive to sponsor a local family for Christmas.

Scott Felder Homes was recently honored to be selected to build a home in Blackhawk, Pflugerville, for Operation Finally Home. The organization provides mortgage-free homes to wounded, ill, and injured military veterans, first responders, and widows of the fallen and their families in honor of their service and sacrifice to the country and community. The company is currently building a home for U.S. Marine Cpl. William Makaafi, along with his wife and four children. The groundbreaking and placing of notes of love throughout their new home occurred in 2022, with the home dedication scheduled for April 2023. The SFH team and vendors joined together to support this special family, bringing love and joy to the Makaafi family and everyone involved. 

Scott Felder Homes is also proud to support and collaborate with HomeAid Austin to identify long-term homeless care providers who need additional capacity and donate time, materials, and labor to rehabilitate and build housing for Austin’s homeless. In partnership with Community First Village, the company built its third micro house in 2022.

Jones shares that with a family-first attitude and culture, Scott Felder Homes always seeks opportunities to participate in local giving and community involvement programs. Always looking to grow and expand, Jones invites readers to visit Scott Felder Homes to learn more about what makes the company and culture unmatched in the residential construction industry.

Austin Real Pros

Austin Real Pros is a small boutique real estate company formed on April Fools Day in the year 2000, ironically, by two experienced real estate professionals, Bill Evans and Carrie York. Offering services in sales, leasing, and property management, Austin Real Pros is “large enough to offer great service to our clients, but small enough to know all of our clients’ names too—that’s one thing our clients find attractive about us,” says Bill Evans. He continues, saying, “Much of our business comes from referrals. We have high-tech capabilities, but we also offer a personal touch that our clients appreciate.”

In his 28 years in the industry, Bill has only been associated with three brokerages. Teaming up with Carrie, who has more than 35 years in real estate, was the beginning of what is now one of Austin’s well-known real estate companies, relying heavily on their reputation for doing the right thing—even when no one is looking! 

Austin Real Pros and their team of agents strive to create a positive real estate experience with each client, delivering quality service and value they have learned to expect. Bill and Carrie did not intend to do property management when this little company started, although they both had experience in this area. Because of their expertise and willingness to share their knowledge, clients continually asked them to help with their leasing and property management needs. 

Being in the industry for a combined 50+ years, Carrie and Bill have developed connections and nurtured relationships within the community that have helped them navigate the many peaks and valleys of the market. Property management, seemingly recession and inflation-proof, keeps the business going, even as the bangs and busts of the real estate market take a toll on others. As the pandemic threatened the lives and livelihoods of so many, there was always a need for leasing and property management. 

As Bill explains, there are two pieces to the leasing and property management puzzle. First, there is finding the most qualified applicant to lease a property. Then, to manage a property, it is essential to ensure the tenants conform to the terms and conditions of the lease while maintaining the value of the landlord’s asset. “It is our commitment to those standards that has helped keep our clients out of eviction court,” Bill says.

Believing in the value of nurturing relationships, Carrie and Bill see every conversation as an opportunity for education and development. In fact, Bill believes that every negative reaction from a client or partner is nothing more than a request for more information. That being said, Austin Real Pros unselfishly shares with its real estate agents, clients, and associates, anything it has to offer. From educational classes to office space and wifi to information, Bill and Carrie believe strongly in the preamble of the code of ethics, which says that we will cooperate and help our colleagues become better REALTORS.

Bill Evans, defining himself as “a pretty good real estate broker,” believes it is his job to let his clients tell other people he is pretty good and let them be the judge. Collaboration, building relationships with the community, and giving back are cornerstones of the Austin Real Pros culture, positioning this team’s values well with the clients they serve.

Austin Real Pros—Real professionals making an impact on the real estate market, one relationship at a time.

AmeriFirst Financial of Texas

Helping Families Pursue Their Dreams of Homeownership

Founded on more than thirty years of industry experience, AmeriFirst Financial helps families realize their dreams and goals of homeownership. David McMillan, a loan officer with AmeriFirst in Austin, takes his role and AmeriFirst’s responsibility very seriously, saying, “It is a great company, doing good production, especially in the challenging market we are in right now.” Although he has been in the mortgage industry for more than 32 years himself and has seen many challenging markets, and while they always turn around, he believes “this one is right up there at the top of the most challenging.” Yet, he believes in the products that founder Eric Bowlby has developed for him and the rest of the team. 

As McMillan shares, “the products offered by AmeriFirst Financial are homegrown, providing loan officers with products to sell and the ability to partner with real estate agents, especially in a challenging market.” Modeled after Keller Williams and ExP’s profit and revenue sharing model, Eric Bowlby developed a product that assists real estate agents in obtaining their mortgage license and pays them to originate a loan. They are then incentivized to recruit other agents and loan officers, creating a downline of residual income. This product, RELO Funding, is appealing because it creates partnerships with influencers in various areas, including individual real estate agents, title companies, etc., connecting people across the industry. 

It is this out-of-the-box thinking that continues to bring value to clients, agents, and loan officers. As the regional manager for the Austin Branch, McMillan understands how rising interest rates impact the housing market, especially in an area like Austin, which has long been one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. With large corporations building and thriving in the area, the onslaught of new jobs sparked the need for housing and, more importantly, the means to pay for that housing. AmeriFirst’s unique approach to mortgage lending ensures affordability, especially when homebuyers are focused on their monthly payments as interest rates continue to rise. 

But, AmeriFirst is not just focused on clients; their team of loan officers plays a critical role in their business, and taking that same approach of thinking outside the box, management ensures their employees can attain the financial freedom and success they desire. As McMillan explains, “historically in this industry, loan officers have gotten almost all their business from real estate agents. They get into partnerships with real estate agents, they market to real estate agents, and when a realtor has a buyer, they refer them to the loan officer. That’s how we (loan officers) get our business. Well, if they can lead generate, so can we. We’ve partnered up with some of the country’s top lead generators to find borrowers for our loan officers and buyers and sellers for our real estate agent partners and give them leads as well.” Because AmeriFirst takes care of its employees, there is a sense of family and a tight-knit group, many of whom have been together for a long time. McMillan’s group alone has been together for 15 to 20 to even 30 years. 

Another value add for AmeriFirst’s agents is the Austin Real Estate Podcast Network. David has partnered with Sandy McIlree (the old JB & Sandy Show, and now The Sandy Show on 25 stations through iHeart Media) to do video and audio podcasts talking to agents about their listings and the market at large. Useful tools for an agent’s marketing and social media. 

Although the mortgage industry in Austin has typically remained and worked locally, the Austin branch is casting a wider net, generating leads and serving clients across the state and the country. To do this, the company sponsors a personal development program, Educate 2 Earn, encouraging employees and real estate professionals to continue learning, developing their skills, and trying new things, all while providing continuing education credits to REALTORS. 

Lastly, while expanding its reach outside of Austin in the lending arena, AmeriFirst leadership has not forgotten the importance of nurturing the local community. The family-like culture of the organization encourages giving back as part of its foundation, with individuals participating in a variety of local activities and charitable events.

Relationship-building is paramount to growth and success in this highly competitive industry, especially in a booming real estate market. AmeriFirst prides itself on creating those opportunities for real estate agents, loan officers and processors, and others in the industry to engage, learn, grow, and develop. If you are interested in learning more and creating more lead-generating relationships, reach out to David and the AmeriFirst team at https://dmc.amerifirstloan.com/ or to learn more about RELO, visit www.relodmc.com.