What was your first job in the realty industry?
I began back in 2005 as an assistant/buyer rep for a top producer at Coldwell Banker United Heights, which was Coldwell Banker Swilley-Hudson back then. That’s how I learned the ropes.
Where did you grow up?
My father grew up in the Heights and graduated from Reagan in the mid 1960s. When he and mom got married, they lived on Rutland Street and later moved to Lazybrook, which is in the general Heights area. They still live in the same home to this day. It was a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in and several of my old friends have since moved back to start establish their own families there.
What is your favorite free-time activity?
My wife and I met while she was in residency down at UTMB in Galveston. We spent our first year and a half of marriage down there. So, we are naturally fond of the Island. We love to find time, usually two-three times a year, to spend long weekends down there. One of our favorite places to stay is the Harbour House at Pier 21. We like its laid back atmosphere on the channel and it’s proximity to the Strand. We always make time for breakfast at Mosquito Cafe, lunch at The Spot and dinner at Luigi’s on the Strand. If you like Sushi, head to Yamato on 61st Street and try a Hurricane Roll!
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
If I have 30 minutes to an hour during a day to unwind, I will take a quick nap. I love naps…I guess that makes me like an old man! But whatever, I hear naps add years to your life : ).
Growing up, what did you want to be?
A jI grew up as the youngest of three boys. Sports were a huge part of our lives; they still are. Myself and both of my older brothers played football through college. I was pretty sure I was going to play in the NFL. Yeah, well…that didn’t happen. I like to think it was the four knee operations that did me in. Though, I doubt it. Go Coogs!
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be?
I’d have to say Ronald Reagan. To this day I find myself fascinated with him. He seemed like a gentle soul, yet he was such a big man (figuratively). He lead with grace and dignity. He was always reassuring when he addressed the American people, but at the same time he spoke with great conviction. He wasn’t the “Great Communicator” for nothing. I’d love to spend an hour or two over lunch with that distinguished figure in American History.
Where is your favorite place to hang out?
If it isn’t being at home or hanging out watching the Rockets on the tube, I love being at my beloved University of Houston Cougar football games or on the water. I know those are two very different things, but they are what I like. Fortunately for me, my wife likes those things, too.
What do you love most about the industry?
I could never have a 9 to 5 desk job. I would be bored out of my mind. My wife swears I have ADD, though I have never been diagnosed. But the real estate industry allows me to be on the go. So long as I have my phone and iPad, I don’t have to be sitting around in an office to do business. I can literally work from anywhere on the map. I also love the people aspect of the business. It’s always interesting; people make it that way.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I’d say I am a blend of new school and old school. It is always about the client; the first thing I learned years ago was that to be effective in this business, whether representing Buyers or Sellers, your ears always have to be wide open. In all facets of the real estate industry, details are important. Also, the biggest thing – I am not a consultant. My main job is to be sure my clients are educated on the market so that they are equipped to make sound decisions.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
It can be very difficult to keep clients on an even keel, but it’s so important. When you are talking about a couple moving from the home they had their first child in or something of that matter, emotions can run high. There are so many variations of situations which can make my job tough. But that’s what we are here for, to get clients through these various processes as easily as possible.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
A referral pipeline is always the best source. But aside from this, I’ve met clients at church and through my wife’s network of colleagues. I’ve even got clients through social media. One of my favorite stories was picking up an NBA player via Twitter after he was traded to the Houston Rockets in mid-season. So yes, it can happen! You can meet clients anywhere, people just have to know what you do.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
I’m pretty blessed that I am able to call Hailey Lynn Hall my wife. She is one heck of a cheerleader! I can’t really top this right now.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
“Decision Points” by President George W. Bush. I love presidential history and found the book extremely fascinating. We can never truly understand the great responsibility that comes with being our nation’s president and commander-in-chief. One of the great tragedies and moments in American History was the 9/11 terror attack. To hear how those initial moments unfolded for President Bush when he found out about the attack while sitting in a classroom full of children was nothing short of extraordinary. The calmness he prtrayed in front of those teachers and children in my opinion was very telling in regard to his leadership skills. Again, fascinating.
What is your favorite restaurant?
I am a food lover in general, but for me, I love a good steak, and I have yet to find a place that beats the flavor and ambiance of Brenner’s on the Bayou.
What is your favorite building in Houston?
I’ve always loved the Bank of America Center in Downtown Houston. You can’t miss it. Headed downtown on Allen Parkway gives you the best view of it. The three gables that clad the buildings front are exceptional, and the likeness I have not seen in any other downtown in America.
What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a Chevrolet Avalanche. I used to drive Tahoes, but being in real estate, I always need a place to carry signage and such. The Avalanche gives me the luxury of having a bed like trunk, which is covered and lockable, if thats even a word. I don’t have to worry about messing up my truck interior. For that reason, especially, it works perfectly for me.
Smartphone, or paper?
While the smartphone is definitely a huge plus these days, I actually love sending handwritten notes to clients to say “thank you” or just “hello.” I find that clients and friends enjoy getting a nice piece of snail mail these days that doesn’t happen to be a bill.
What is your favorite city after Houston?
I love my Houston – just ask my wife and her family that hail from Kansas. I honestly can’t say there is a city I have been to that I just can’t wait to go back to. Las Vegas was certainly a unique place, but about three days is all I can handle before I’m ready to get home. I’d love to visit Chicago, but not during the fall or winter. I’m a warm weather guy.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Be an assistant for one year; soak up the knowledge!
What is your favorite iPhone/Android app?
I recently discovered PDF Expert. It is a fantastic app for your iPad that will allow you to open any PDF document, write notes on them, highlight items and even sign documents. It is a great tool for any business. I sent it out to my friends and family as a “Must Have App.”
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
I follow hundreds of people to get the latest on news, politics and sports. But without a doubt, my all-time favorite tweeter has been @NotKennyRogers!
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