One of the advantages of being an investor with a real estate license is the ability to list our own properties. This give us the opportunity for significant savings on the listing side but what about when a buyer is unrepresented… the savings can get even more substantial! But, in these cases, even more diligence is required due to the increased risks. It’s important in these cases that we follow certain procedures to protect yourself!

First, as a reminder, even when there is a buyer’s agent you must do the following to ensure that the transaction will be covered under your Errors & Omissions insurance when you are listing a property you own:

1.  Seller/Agent must disclose, in writing, their status as a licensed real estate agent. You should put this disclosure on the MLS listing in agent remarks AND in Section 4 of the TREC 1-4 Resale Contract. Continue reading “Technical Talk: Listing Agent & Unrepresented Buyers”

I want to thank all of our agents who participated in our agent survey in August.  This was extremely helpful as we look at various programs and avenues for expansion that will best serve you!  We have worked hard to instill a culture of honesty and integrity with all of our agents.  I believe that includes being transparent as a company.  Therefore, this month we want to share with all of you the results of the survey.

However, I also recognize that a full report of the survey results may be a little boring and tedious.  Therefore, I’ve uploaded into MojoDocs a full report that you can read here: Full Survey Report

I definitely encourage everyone to read it as it will give you some insight into where we are and where we can go.  But for this blog, I want to hit the highlights.

What we are most proud of Continue reading “Survey Results – Key Findings”

Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs. Oprah Winfrey had Maya Angelou. Woodie Guthrie had Bob Dylan. Luke Skywalker had Yoda. In all walks of life and all industries from high tech to the arts, the value of mentorship relationships have long been recognized as a key component to success. Real estate is no different.

Last night we had dinner with some old friends and business partners to celebrate the recent closing on a project we collaborated on. We had a good time recalling all the projects and properties over the years, the horror stories and the home runs. The reminiscing reminded Dan of where we started and he told them how, when we met them early in our investing career, we were literally buying stuff at garage sales and selling it on Ebay to make ends meet.  Our friends, people who spent time mentoring us, raised their glasses and toasted our success. It was a nice moment for us all. Continue reading “StepStone Mentoring”

I grew up a Girl Scout.  From my first patch as a Brownie to my awkward teen years (made even more awkward when I had to wear the whole Senior scout uniform), I was a Girl Scout through and through. I’m pretty sure my mom was still signing me up as a Girl Scout even well into my 20’s.

And while some of the photos of me are cringe worthy and I probably earned a healthy nerd reputation (I was also a formidable high school debater!). I look back now and know that my time as a Girl Scout shaped my future and played a huge part in my success today.

I grew up thinking I would be a doctor. However, the fact that year after year I achieved top cookie sales in my council should have been my first clue that I was actually destined to be a salesperson! And while I learned some great sales skills (although I don’t know that pigtails and a beanie would work for me as well now) and knowledge about finances, supply, and customer service, the one lesson that I learned in Girl Scouts that stuck with me was this golden rule: Always leave a place better than you found it. Continue reading “The Black Sheep Open: Turning Kids into Entrepreneurs”

I realize it was just a short time ago, Angie wrote a blog about the Black Sheep as we introduced our new mascot.

Since then, we’ve gotten a lot of comments on the drawing that we call our own (Thanks again, Liz!).

“He looks angry”, we’ve heard.  “Why is he so smug?”

The look of the black sheep was important as we went through many iterations of the drawing.  From the way the hair flips up, the lifted foot over the stepping stone and yes, the smirk upon his face.

So why did we choose this look?

As you know, Angie and I recently returned from vacation and have been working on improving our systems to get ready for more agents.  We’ve spent some time away reflecting and some time in the office analyzing our brokerage.  Its through this retrospective time that I’ve realized why, subconsciously, we were drawn to this version of the mascot. Continue reading “What the Black Sheep Means to Me”

The success of StepStone Agent/Investors is our #1 goal.  Everything we add, build, offer and talk about is with sincere hopes that it will give more of our agents more opportunities to find more success in this business.

When recruiting agent/investors onto the team, we are careful to let them all know, we are not coaches.  The Facebook page and the masterminds are great opportunities to throw out general questions about investing, but Angie and I have to protect our time by not becoming coaches.

It used to be, when someone would call and start seeking advice about an investment deal, our response was to ask, “So are we partners on this deal?”  I hope that never offends anyone, we just have to be careful to not get bogged down in coaching, but instead make sure our time is free to continue to build opportunities and the brokerage and to make sure Angie is always available to answer licensing questions.  In other words, we have to keep up with our broker-duties! Continue reading “Introducing Deal “Coaching””

Back in 2007 when StepStone Realty was first incorporated we were one agent strong. Me. Over the years we have had one or two other agents come and go that were friends or partners but it was more out of convenience than anything else. We continued like that until the end of 2014 and that’s when StepStone Realty made a major shift and became the brokerage we are today.

So what happened in 2014?

After many years of practicing real estate together, Dan and I began to perfect our methods and strategies for working with distressed sellers.  We decided we wanted to branch out from the Austin market. We started to build relationships and partners with other investors… in San Antonio, in Houston, in D/FW… even a few in California. When we partnered with someone we always made sure they had an agent on their team.  Not just to call for comps or submit an offer but an agent ON THEIR TEAM. We recognized that by having a licensee on your team the opportunity to monetize leads was higher and we wanted to monetize all our leads! Continue reading “The Story of the Black Sheep”

So, you’ve decided to add a real estate license to your investor tool belt! Good for you! But now, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility! And the foremost responsibility is Disclosure of your status as a real estate agent!

There is a lot of confusion about what kind of disclosures are required, when and in what circumstances so let’s clear some of that murky water.

First and foremost, who makes the disclosure requirements?  The Texas Real Estate Commission addresses it in the Texas Real Estate Act and it is further addressed in the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  I’ve included the full transcript of both rules at the end of this blog should you want to read further. Continue reading “Rule #1: DISCLOSE”

FREE LUNCHEON

San Antonio:  The Impending Millennial Squeeze: How to Survive the Changing Real Estate Landscape

REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS,

Join us for a Free luncheon  – Friday, February 12 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Holiday Inn & Suites

5535 University Heights Blvd.

San Antonio, TX  78249

The Millennial Generation is already having an impact on the way agents work with buyers.

Currently the largest group of buyers, Millennials — the do-it-yourself generation — are already squeezing agents with demands for fee-for-services. Continue reading “The Millennials Are Coming!”

Beginning January 1st, some important changes were made to the contracts we use every day.  It’s important to stay abreast of these changes so I will go over a few of the major ones here.

If you have written a 1-4 Family Resale lately you have noticed a big change on the first page.  A new paragraph in Section 4 lays out the disclosure laws so that sales agents now have a promulgated spot to put their notice of agency. There are no excuses for forgetting to disclosure your agency status on your contracts! There is much talk of what prompted this change and the decision to put the disclosure on Page 1 of the contract.  I’d love to hear what you all think spurred the change! Continue reading “Ch Ch Ch Changes.. to the TREC Forms!”