Politics & the Busy REALTOR®
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Written By: Suzanne Gantner

Just the thought of politics can make some folks sick to their stomachs, especially since we just ended the most media-heavy and overwhelming presidential campaigns of all time. With social media, it seems that politics are always in your face, even if you try to avoid them.  It all makes me reminisce of the days when it was impolite to discuss money, religion, and politics.

No matter what side of the political arena you place yourself, it’s important to remember that as a REALTOR®, you have many voices advocating for YOU! At the federal level, NAR has lobbyists working in the best interest of homeowners and REALTORS®. If you attended the TAR Winter Meeting, hopefully you heard from Jamie Gregory, the Deputy Chief Lobbyist from NAR who explained the issues NAR is watching in D.C., including tax reform. NAR is working diligently to make sure that 1031 Exchanges and the mortgage interest deduction stay for a long time.

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Giving Back to the Community - February 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Written By: Suzanne Gantner

We have all heard that saying “New Year, New You.”  And as hopeful business people, we begin setting plans and goals on how to be the best version of ourselves.  Do we want more new business, bigger budgets, more money in our savings accounts, do we want more referrals, more travel time, etc. Just the idea that we can start with a clean slate for the new year is refreshing.

Along with meeting personal goals and getting our business plan in effect, try to add helping your community.  Find what is needed, find your niche, find your voice and jump in with vigor.  Why not consider helping a local organization, charity, join the Chamber, show up to help serve pancakes for the Sertoma or Rotary clubs, and get involved with the City Councils planning and zoning departments?  Have you considered helping Habitat for Humanity build affordable housing?  Have you considered volunteering at the Food Pantries?

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Ring in the Sparkle
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Written By: Suzanne Gantner

As a very optimistic person, I plan on accomplishing many positive things in the coming year. I want to shine; but, if you know me, then you know that I always want to sparkle and shine. I want each of you to make 2017 the year you sparkle and shine with me!

“How do you sparkle?” you might ask. There are many different terms for the phrase “sparkle and shine.” Some examples are “pay it forward,” “be kind to one another,” “do the right thing,” “do unto others,” “embrace life and people,” “involve yourself with the community,” etc. I am sure by now you are getting the jest of my statement & mission.

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The Power of Thank You
Friday, October 28, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

“Thank You” is such a simple phrase, but it goes such a long way because we do not hear it as often as we should.  Thank you is good for your clients, your business partners, your fellow REALTORS® and your business partners. As licensed agents, we are busy, running from one appointment to other, working with multiple buyers and sellers; hosting open houses; family life; writing offers, sometimes even late into the night; etc.

The phrase comes in many different forms. Some say “thank you” with gift cards, over meals, or even a box of freshly baked cookies. Some say it aloud to show their appreciation; others prefer the old-fashioned form of a thank you note. I always keep a stack of thank you notes in my desk for when someone wows me! I have found that a hand-written thank you note goes much further than any other way of saying “thanks”.

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Is blogging a worthy promotion tool?
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

We all dream of having that one blog that goes viral. And let’s be honest that is probably what motivates us to start a blog or keep a blog going.

The question though, is blogging really a worthy promotional tool? Are consumers really reading our blogs? Do blogs help us get business?

As a REALTOR®, there are three key aspects of blogging that help us and our business. The first key is that blogging allows us to become the expert. By writing and sharing your thoughts, ideas, tips, experience, you can position yourself and your company as the leader of your business.

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WCREALTORS is Now Offering a New Service to Members
Monday, August 29, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® is PROUD TO ANNOUNCE its partnership with Four Rivers Association of REALTORS® and Temple-Belton Board of REALTORS® in the creation of Central Texas’s first Regional Shareholder Multiple Listing Service covering Bell, Caldwell, Comal, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, and Williamson Counties.  After many Town Hall Meetings and surveys of the membership the Williamson County Association is now a shareholder in the…

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Growing Pains - August 2016
Monday, August 08, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

A few weeks ago, WCREALTORS held a mid-year economic update. One of the guest speakers was Dr. Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M who talked at length during the presentation about the growing pains associated with the unparalleled growth Williamson County has been experiencing and will continue to experience over the next 40 years.

The biggest “housing issue” facing Williamson County is affordability. According to Dr. Gaines, households making between 80 – 120% of the median household income ($71,200 – $106,800) are being priced out of home ownership. The median home price in Williamson County is $265,000.  That is far from obtainable for the average resident of the Austin-Round Rock MSA who is only making $63,600 annually. The Association’s Affordable Housing Task Force is currently researching various affordable housing opportunities. Visit www.wcrealtors.org for more information about the affordable housing push in Williamson County.

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Williamson County is the Place to Be
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

The weather is not the only thing hot in Williamson County right now. We’ve seen such explosive growth in both the real estate and commercial industries, we’re living in a hot bed of growth, and I am so excited that my job is to help folks move here and see why I love calling Williamson County my home!

Over the past eighteen months, we have seen the population surpass half-a-million residents, and the county is making the necessary changes to help all the new residents move across the county!

The city of Round Rock is making a huge change to their business residents. In case you missed the memo, Kalahari Resorts has chosen Round Rock as the location of its fourth family resort and convention center. This new resort is scheduled to open in 2020, and will offer over 1,000 guest rooms, a convention center, and an indoor/outdoor water park! Keep your eyes open for the construction to begin in the next nine to twelve months, across from the Dell Diamond! In addition to Kalahari, the Downtown area is currently undergoing some major changes; take a stroll down the New Main Street and experience the numerous restaurants, bars, and even a candy shop; not to mention an exciting and upbeat nightlife.

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The Birth of the New Williamson County
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

20 Years. 7,307 days (do not forget the leap days). Things have changed so much in Williamson County over the past 20 years. How many of you have lived in Williamson County since 1996? That is one of the first indications of changes within the WC.  According to the US Census Bureau’s population estimates, if you get a group of 10 friends (or clients) together, less than four have lived in Williamson County twenty years or longer. Of those six that have not, approximately two of them have been here less than 5 years. 

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Negotiating Tips for Agents
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

“Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus”- Gary Keller

Since 2014 Williamson County REALTORS’ have been experiencing a multiple offer market. One of the main factors in securing an executed contract is the ability to effectively negotiate on behalf of their client. It is important to have clear expectations on what each parties want before negotiation begins.

For example; when a listing agent calls to get feedback after a showing appointment, they may ask if the buyer has a home to sell. A buyer’s agent may call prior to showing a home to find out if the seller needs a lease back. Knowing these pertinent facts upfront could be a strong point of negotiation if handled correctly. In some cases, a seller may consider an acceptable sales price if they need a lease back option over a higher offer with no option to lease back. Always listen to understand, ask more questions to determine everyone’s BIG WHY.

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