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Texas Real Estate Agents Are Just as Overwhelmed — and Astonished — as You Are – Texas Monthly



When Michelle Reyna Wymes lay in the postpartum unit at Woman’s Hospital of Texas one morning this spring with her newborn son dozing next to her, she felt that she needed more rest. But when she emerged from her daze, the 37-year-old realtor remembered that she still had a baby to look after. Hours before going into labor, she had received several offers for a $ 1.1 million four-bedroom home for sale in Houston’s coveted Memorial neighborhood.

With an urgent order, she turned to her husband: “Give me my cell phone!” A few moments later she was back at work. “My recovery was no longer relevant,” said Reyna Wymes, who ended up writing multiple offers to buy from her hospital bed. “You might get twenty offers in an hour, but if you don’t respond to the best ones within hours, everything can change.” With so many buyers flirting with lots of properties, “it’s like the Wild West out there.”

Any other year, Reyna Wymes might have felt able to delay negotiating with the buyers until she was released from the hospital. But in the Texas real estate frenzy of 2021, the demands of the market are relentless. Just over a year ago, the pandemic nearly brought the country’s property market to a standstill as home stay orders and economic uncertainty led to a slump in home sales. The Texas market was so lifeless in early summer that Reyna Wymes called a service scheduling home screenings to make sure her account was still up and running. Today, however, the major cities of Texas, which added more than 370,000 new residents in the past year alone, are among the most active real estate markets in the country. Austin, where real estate has recovered earlier than most of the country’s cities, is expected to be the country’s “hottest” market for the second straight year, according to Zillow.

In cities across the state, agents describe a buying frenzy that defies models, unleashed record-breaking bidding wars, and pulverized middle-class homebuyers unable to compete. In order to stay up to date on real estate trends, brokers carried out a market analysis once a week. Now the life cycle of market data is measured in days, as rising house prices can fluctuate by up to 20 percent in a week. “I’ve sold several homes to buyers outside of the state through Facetime, unseen,” said a Houston agent, who asked to remain anonymous to protect the privacy of her customers. “Nothing is normal at the moment. Every day brings a new highlight. ”

Texas Monthly surveyed industry experts and surveyed real estate agents in cities across the state about what they are seeing on the front lines of bidding wars. The resulting anecdotes range from astonishing to absurd. Some of the state’s most successful agents admit that despite immense resources and experience, the chaos of the housing market has robbed them of predictive power and turned their own lives upside down.

Wade Giles, one of Austin’s leading real estate agents in the luxury market, said his life has been “a whirlwind” since at least Thanksgiving, when the demands of the job became so incessant that the 36-year-old was forced to retire to his mother’s house so as not to annoy relatives with his constant use of the phone. In the past few months he has lost touch with friends. His sixteen-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week schedule – which starts at 8 a.m. and lasts late into the night thanks to phone calls from his West Coast clientele – has seen him lose twenty pounds, he says (he stops eating when he’s stressed). The round-the-clock hours are shared by brokers across the state. While on a recent vacation at a Disney resort in Hawaii, Janine Bayer, a 38-year-old Dallasite, found herself in the kitchen of her villa at 5 a.m. whispering advice to her clients. “I didn’t tell my clients I was going on vacation because I knew I would work just as hard regardless of whether or not I was officially on the clock,” she said.

Brokers say many potential buyers are not prepared for the battlefield that awaits them. When the wealthy Californians’ losses add up, Jessica Mejia, a 28-year-old real estate agent from San Antonio, advises pulling out. “I try to motivate our buyers, but sometimes that means saying, ‘You might have to rent another six months because of the intensity of this market,'” she said. Others suggest a different approach. In order not to shock their customers in a hypercompetitive market, Bayer is asking them to see even more apartments than usual. So far, her own record is ten performances in a single day, but a colleague recently managed to complete a marathon with fourteen performances. “Of course, agents out there are pretty beaten,” Bayer said in a Patton warlike pose, “but that’s what it takes to be successful in a market as tough as this.” For some buyers, the fight can turn out like a Sisyphus feel.

The realities of the infernal process often begin to work on these open houses. Ian Grossman, an Austin real estate agent whose TikTok videos have gone viral, solemnly prepares clients for demonstrations like a father preparing his kids for a weekend hike through rough terrain. He reminds them to show up as early as possible, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water, snacks, and an umbrella for long queues. Alex Wright, an Austin agent who plays in a rock band, compares recent appearances on shows with those on South by Southwest. She says potential buyers often arrive looking “pain” and “horror” when they come across 150 versions of themselves, many with bigger budgets and nicer vehicles. “They look at the house online and start imagining their lives there and – although everyone knows there is a lot of competition – the reality really is if you see this insane line in the street before you even step in the house sets. “

Even with the best preparation, success is far from guaranteed. After an open house on Saturday, Grossman said homes are selling so quickly that offers would have to be made by Sunday afternoon. “The sellers have all the power right now and the buyers have no choice but to play their game,” he said. Due to the competition, many prospective buyers forego a viewing and forego regulations that allow them to withdraw from the contract if the rating is low. In a seller’s market, a realtor’s goal is to regain some power from homeowners, but keen bargaining has become the real estate equivalent of a holdover: “I’ve had experiences where I’ve offered five hundred to six hundred thousand more than the asking price and still not the priority” said Giles. (His team has already sold nearly $ 50 million in real estate this year, almost topping the 2020 total.)

The market in Austin is so hot, Giles said, that some of his upscale customers in Los Angeles and San Francisco have decided to stay there and piss off the Texas city because they no longer think it’s affordable. The scene across the country is not much different. In January, real estate agents in the Dallas area said customers could buy a modest single-family home for $ 5,000 above list price. But in the past few weeks, a West Plano home has sold for $ 120,000 above a list price of $ 500,000 and a property in Southlake has sold for $ 300,000 above the million dollar price tag. Average home prices have skyrocketed in Houston and San Antonio, with both cities seeing double-digit year-over-year growth and limited inventory for several months in a row. Although house prices in Alamo City are still significantly lower than their trendy neighbor, 80 miles north, the market has seen one of the largest inventory declines of any city in the country.

However, the inflated prices are no longer limited to the coveted large cities of Texas. Grossman noted that a customer in Buda – a commuter town fifteen miles south of Austin best known for its passionate embrace of the Viennese dog race – was recently slapped at a $ 400,000 house after it offered $ 70,000 above the asking price would have. “A year ago the same house would have been sold for as little as three hundred,” said Grossman. Three hours east, in Galveston, real estate agent Brian Kuhn said the boom is beginning on the historic island as well. Although most buyers remain Texans looking for a second home, more and more foreigners are being drawn from California, Colorado, and New York, attracted by low prices and mild winters. Kuhn estimated that a few years ago, buyers could secure a two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow for around $ 165,000. That year he said, “Anything less than three hundred thousand dollars would be considered market value.”

During the boom, agents in all Texan markets agree that there is nothing more convincing than a sizeable cash offer no less than 25 percent above the asking price. For customers with more modest budgets, agents have been forced to devise new strategies – some silly, others humiliating – to keep their offerings afloat. Typical gamemanship involves a persuasive letter, but even bolder agents have resorted to shooting videos of family members standing in front of a desired house asking for their offer, each announcing their favorite elements of the residence until the owner’s ego suffices is petted. To stand out from the flood of attractive offers, one of Giles’ customers wrote a handwritten letter from the perspective of his dog. It explained what the home and especially the lush green lawn would mean for the animal. Finally, the customer bought an ink pad and used it to stamp the letter with a real paw print. He got the house. “People are desperate,” Giles said with a chuckle. “And desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Perhaps no one was more desperate than that of a 36-year-old Austin social worker named Claire who asked Texas Monthly to withhold her last name on privacy concerns. When she and her husband found they were undercutting hundreds of thousands of dollars after losing homes in the North Austin neighborhood of Allandale, their agent suggested they get creative. They posted their story on the neighborhood’s Facebook page and asked locals for tips on homeowners who might be interested in selling. The agent worked on information from friends on Facebook – much of it speculation based on neighbors’ landscaping habits – and a list of thousands of potential sellers in the area, and identified two hundred property owners. Claire sent letters to everyone explaining how desperate her family was to find a home in the area. She added a family photo to each one, which made her a little queasy. The laborious effort resulted in a single bite, a homeowner who turned out to be in the same college and church as Claire. Months later, they closed the house. The process made her sure of one thing: “I never want to move again; We have to live here forever. “

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Diana Ulis Settlement Processor Fosters Success » RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News



Diana Ulis Miami is a settlement processor working at Millennium Title Abstract Company. She started with the company in 2000 and her extensive skills and experience have resulted in Millennium Title and Abstract Company thriving in Maryland. Additionally, Ulis has been instrumental in the company’s success due to her strong commitment to customer service.

Diana Ulis has strong communication skills that she uses to ensure clients understand the execution process for real estate investments. She notifies her clients via email and guides them through the entire process such as receiving title orders, submitting title orders, completing schedules, and paying out loans. She has also helped investors buy distressed properties and convert them for profit.

It is no wonder Diana Ulis Miami closes many successful deals in the mid-Atlantic real estate market operating under the Millennium Title and Abstract Company. With success in the Maryland market, Diana Ulis and the Millennium Title and Abstract Company have laid solid foundations to expand their services to the Miami market. It is not unreasonable to expect that the new office in Miami will be as successful as in the Central Atlantic.

Diana Ulis plans to expand her services in Miami

The demand for homes in Miami has always been high and prices low. That’s because Miami is a rural area and job opportunities are fewer. But due to the pandemic, most companies are advocating that their employees work remotely whenever possible. Thus, in the Miami real estate market, it has sparked a boom in sales of small single family homes, condominiums, and even the Miami luxury market.

Before buying a home in Miami, however, it is important to find a reliable settlement processor like Diana Ulis who is expanding her business to Miami to serve those interested in Miami real estate. She knows the real estate market better thanks to her more than 20 years of experience as a processing clerk. She will provide you with useful and unbiased information on the properties to buy in Miami. In addition, she will work with you to ensure that you have a smooth process when purchasing your property and that you receive a valid deed at the end.

Why Diana Ulis Diana Ulis Services?

If you are planning to buy a home in Miami, now is the time when prices are still low. However, due to the high demand for Miami homes, prices are likely to rise for the foreseeable future. So buying a home now can save you money.

The challenge you are likely to face when investing in the property is how to handle the transaction. This can make it difficult for you to get into the real estate market. In this case, it is best to turn to the services of Diana Ulis and Millennium Title Abstract Company. When you use the service, you will be given information such as the bills you need to cover and who will be responsible for them.

Ulis and her team are happy to answer all of your questions about investing in Miami. They will also help you get the best prices and the process to use that will help you get the most out of the transaction. Working with Ulis will help you increase your ROI as they take the time to review market conditions and ensure you are getting the best possible prices. If you’re overwhelmed by the whole process, Ulis and her team have created an online calculator to help you better understand closing costs.

Ulis also does the detailed work for you so that you receive all documents, patents and certificates within a short period of time. The challenge for most people is getting their deeds once they have bought the home. Some investors have to spend a significant amount of money to get movable property. But that’s not the case when you hire Ulis. She will work to make sure you get the document you need without spending too much money.

Another challenge when buying a property in Miami is filling out the numerous forms. When buying real estate, you can find many types of foam to fill. A small mistake can drag out the purchase of the house longer than necessary. But you can avoid this by engaging Diana Ulis Miami and Millennium Title Abstract Company to assist you with the process by correctly filling out the multiple files.

The other reason it could be difficult to invest in Miami Real Estate is because of the lack of adequate communication. Knowing how to communicate with the various parties involved can be challenging, which could eventually drag the process out more than necessary. But when you hire Ulis and her team, they ensure timely and appropriate communication so that the transaction can go smoothly.

Diana Ulis Miami is more than ready to help you

If you are considering buying a new property in the Miami area, you should get the best settlement processor to assist you. Get someone who has been tried and tested and has a reputation for providing the best service to customers. Diana Ulis and Millennium Title Abstract Company will soon be making it easier to purchase a real estate investment in Miami. With this in mind, you can be sure that you will get the most out of the investment and that investing in your Miami home will be an easy time.

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The secret few brokers discuss » RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News



There’s a dirty little secret in the world of real estate agents that few talk about. It’s a worrying trend that we’re seeing more and more in small and medium-sized businesses: a lot of brokerage firms just aren’t very profitable today.

In more than 35 years I have looked at thousands of annual accounts. What’s interesting lately is that even in record industry-wide years where brokers have made big bucks, if you look at their income statements, which often show a nice profitable bottom line, we find that the bottom line in many of today’s brokerage firms is indeed from the broker’s own production.

Since the beginning of the industry, the top agents have generally made more money than the broker; it is like it is. Except … today’s conditions have changed so much for the broker / owner of all company sizes that there is a real discrepancy between the broker’s and broker’s incomes. Look how things have changed in the past few years:

  • The company’s dollar has fallen nearly 30% in the past five years alone
  • Competitive broker models force higher agent splits
  • Increasing spending has drastically reduced profits
  • The downward pressure on commissions continues to rise
  • New technologies and models are designed to undermine brokers

I have written many times about the steps brokers can take to build company dollars and profits, which generally requires a change in broker strategy and direction. It also involves an investment in resources that require capital from the broker / owner. Changing direction and putting time and financial commitment into their business is the path few choose.

Instead, many small and medium-sized business brokers today choose to remain producers because it worked well for them. They work with buyers and sellers because they enjoy it, and often they don’t really make a lot of money mediating – their profit comes from acting as a broker.

The problem arises when the owner is ready for a personal change. Maybe they want to slow down; maybe even cash out by selling or merging their firms, and then it becomes important to determine the market value of their brokerage business. The income statement and the real profits determine the market value of the company. When reviewing financial data, we often find that when the brokerage commissions are included but shown as profit, the company’s profits decrease once they are adjusted to reality or, as is often the case, actually lose money.

When determining the true profitability of the owner’s production, several questions are raised:

  • How are the owner’s commissions reported in the financial data?
  • Does the owner pay the same split as a comparable broker?
  • What Are The Company’s Real Dollar And Profits After The Owner’s Compensation Is Adjusted?
  • What would the replacement costs be for management?

A case study:

We were keen to acquire a seemingly profitable Southeastern brokerage company run by a dynamic and active broker / owner. The financial metrics came as quite a surprise, however. The company had the highest dollar and profit share in real estate brokerage history. But … closer inspection revealed that the reason for the massive profits was because the owner, who was the top producer by a significant amount, hadn’t paid himself any commissions – none, nada, zero. The result was an artificially high corporate dollar and a profit margin that exceeded anything I have ever seen. Of course, the owner’s asking price was also based on this very high net profit.

After considering a real commission structure and adjusting the income for the unpaid commissions, it became clear that the owner was subsidizing the company with his commissions. In fact, the agents did not even cover overhead costs, and without the owner’s personal financial contribution, the company lost significant revenues. Unfortunately, we couldn’t justify the purchase.

Does this mean the market is grim for those thinking of selling small to medium sized brokers? Not at all, but very actively, because top companies often pay a premium in order to establish themselves in a market or to increase their existing market share. There are also ways to structure the transaction that make sense for everyone. One of the most important steps a broker / owner must take when considering a sale in the near future is to invest in good accounting records that clearly document income, expenses, and real profitability.

I’ve found over the years that documentation is one of the top deal killers for brokers looking to cash out.

If you want to learn more and find out what a review looks like for your business, click here to contact Rick Ellis today.

Documentation is one of the top deal killers for brokers looking to cash out

Rick has an MBA in Digital Technology and is a licensed real estate agent. He is a business growth advisor and a regular speaker at real estate events. Rick and his wife live on the Georgia coast on St. Simons Island. He is available to advise with brokers looking for options.

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LarrainVial, DaGrosa Capital Invest in Miami Real Estate Firms



(LR) Joseph DaGrosa and Craig Studnicky with Jorge Escobar and Camilo Lopez (iStock, DaGrosa Capital, ISG World, TSG / Black Salmon)

Two financial firms acquired stakes in real estate companies in South Florida as the region continues to attract significant investment.

LarrainVial, a Chile-based asset manager, has each acquired a 33 percent stake in Black Salmon and TSG, a Coral Gables-based investment company and commercial property developer, both led by managing partners Camilo Lopez and Jorge Escobar. The transaction marks the first US expansion for LarrainVial, which has more than $ 28 billion in total assets under management.

In an independent deal, DaGrosa Capital Partners invested in the Aventura-based ISG World of broker Craig Studnicky. Studnicky said he will retain the majority of his ownership in the real estate company and will remain its CEO. Both companies declined to announce the terms of the deal.

DaGrosa, a Miami-based private equity firm, is led by founder and chairman Joseph DaGrosa Jr. ISG will use the new capital to strengthen its infrastructure and expand in South Florida, Latin America and elsewhere, Studnicky said.

South Florida has increasingly attracted investment from private equity firms. Madrid-based Azora Capital recently partnered with Miami-based Exan Capital to create Azora Exan, a US office, residential, hospitality, and senior residential investment joint venture

LarrainVial investment

Through Black Salmon and TSG, LarrainVial will own one-third of the companies’s combined assets and $ 1.8 billion under management projects in South Florida and the United States, including the Miami Wynwood House apartment project under construction and more than 1,500 additional residential units in South Florida, according to a press release.

“The strategic decision for Camilo [Lopez] and I was staying where we are or moving up to the big leagues and for that we definitely had to work with a big group, ”said Escobar, who is also co-CEO. TSG and Black Salmon will develop LarrainVial’s network of investors and high net worth individuals in Latin America and Europe.

The cash inflow will allow both companies to grow faster and on a larger scale, especially in multi-family and industrial real estate, he added.

Escobar said he will launch a value-added multi-family mutual fund and an industrial real estate investment fund by the end of the year, with the goal of raising nearly $ 250 million for both. The multi-family fund will focus on the Sunbelt states, while the industrial fund will target properties across the country.

DaGrosa infusion

Studnicky said DaGrosa’s investment in ISG World, a real estate brokerage firm and company that produces the Miami report, will enable ISG to expand its sales business, as well as offer home finance for developers and mortgages for home buyers.

“We can deliver the capital that Craig [Studnicky] To be more competitive, ”said DaGrosa.

ISG operates in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, as well as real estate sales in South Florida, Latin America.

Contact Katherine Kallergis

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