Economist’s Predictions for 2009

Economist Dr. Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University gives a comprehensive look at where the economy, construction, employment, population, and housing is headed in this video 2009 and Beyond. The data is stagering and certainly leaves Texan’s feeling a bit lucky. Dr. Gaines covers a mountain of research in this 52-minute video in a manner that is clear and concise. Definitely a must-see for all Texas real estate agents. Here are a few tidbits:

Texas Outlook 2009
*Texas job growth is predicted to be 1.5-2%.
*Housing market expected to be relatively strong but “spotty”.
*Reduction in overall residential demanded related to tighter credit, less investment buying, and less second home purchases.

Research includes insight into what lead to this housing crisis and why Texas is fairing much better than most of the nation. It feels good to finally put the numbers and graphs to what we as Austin real estate agents have been experiencing, and the extrapolation of this data is invaluable to future business planning.

Dr. Jim Gaines, Real Estate Center, 2009 and Beyond

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41 Largest Landowners Reside in Texas

Forty-One of the country’s 100 largest landowners, in terms of number of acres, live in Texas according to The Land Report. Of the top 20, 9 are in Texas including the heirs of the King Ranch who rank sixth with 851,642 acres. View the Land Report’s 100

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Agents: Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification for $10

Members of the Austin Board of Realtors can receive their Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification and 12 hours of MCE for only $10. The class is Tuesday, June 23 from 8:30 am to 4 pm and Wednesday, June 24 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Read More

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Texas Top in Job Growth

A recent study by bizjournal.com ranked job growth of US cities for 2008. Texas took five of the top ten spots.

1. Houston – added 57,300 jobs
2. Dallas-Fort Worth – added 43,300 jobs
3. San Antonio – added 14,900 jobs
5. Austin – added 9,600 jobs
9. El Paso – added 5,300 jobs

Bizjournal Article

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Austin Market Status Feb 09

According to Austin Metro Study 4th Quarter Briefing, Austin’s market is flat though still ahead of the national real estate market. In regards to month-of-supply of new homes, Austin is healthy at 5.3 months versus the national average of 11.5 months. In addition, though job creation is expected to decline in 2009, Texas remains #1 in job growth.

Are You Teaching Your Contacts To Refer You?

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Referrals are what real estate businesses are built upon. Don’t leave it to chance that your sphere knows the best ways to refer you. Instead create a list of ideas on how people can spread the word. We print ours on the back of our menu of services and preface it by saying “Sometimes people who believe in our services ask us how they can help us grow our business. If you are one of those people, then thank you! The following information is for you.”

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One-Stop-Shop Printing

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If you’re looking for company who will design, print, address, stuff, stamp, and mail, look no further than Ranch Road Design and Printing. We love working with them not only for the convenience factor (all those hours saved licking envelopes!) but also because our priorities are their priorities. Our designer, Carolina Monterroso, listens to what is important to us (whether it be quality, price, or a certain feel) and instead of telling us what we can and cannot do, she finds creative solutions to achieve our marketing goals.

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Services Menu – As Essential As Your Business Card

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Every client, prospect, friend, and acquaintance should be 100% clear on what you can help them with and how to refer you. Hence, the services menu. The idea is simple: commit your services to writing, keep the design fresh, and distribute like crazy. Our services menu includes not only buyer and seller services but also relocation, investment property, homestead exemption, and protesting property taxes. Costs can be kept low by printing them at home on nice cardstock.

So who gets one? Everyone! Enclose your menu with your personal notes, your next mailing, or hand them out with your business cards. We kept our menu small enough to fit in an envelope with our thank-you notes, included our contact information, and dedicated to back to the best ways to refer us business (entitled “Spreading the Word”).

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Emailing Large Files For Free

Often times when you are sending marketing material with high resolution photographs to your printer, your files can be too large to email. The solution is www.yousendit.com. The service is free as long as you send a file under 100 MB. Yousendit.com uploads your files to its server and then sends a link for downloading (good for 7 days) to the person you’re emailing. It has saved us so much time and hassle! Of course, it doesn’t have to be used just for sending marketing designs. Yousendit.com is great for emailing contracts, hoa docs, etc.

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