Agent Snapshot: Vickey Wachtel, Broker/Owner, Imagine Realty International, Katy


Vickey Wachtel is the broker/owner of Imagine Realty International in Katy.

What was your first job in the realty industry?
Before I decided to become a Realtor, I owned and operated a retail decorating accessories business in Old Town Katy and assisted Realtors in staging homes. I also worked with sellers to upgrade their homes before putting them on the market.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Woodward, Oklahoma and we moved to Edmond, Oklahoma when I was 12. I married and continued to live there until we were transferred to Houston in 1985. In 1989, we were transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia, until 1994, when we were transferred again this time to Karachi, Pakistan. In 1997 we were transferred Islamabad, Pakistan, after a crisis situation where five of our employees were murdered while driving to work. We were evacuated three times over the next three years, once for six months to Dubai. Finally in 2000, we came home to Houston.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
Reading antique books, prefer books written in the 1800s.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I watch Bravo, specifically the housewives! Makes my life seems so much closer to perfect.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
A movie star or a restaurant manager. I did get to manage a restaurant and bar while in Karachi, Pakistan at the American Club. I held that position for about five weeks before we were evacuated. I loved it.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
There are so many, but Thomas Paine would be at ther top of the list. Have you read or listened to “The Age of Reason”? It was written over 200 years ago and still relevant today.

Where is your favorite place to hang out?
My backyard in our pavilion.

What do you love most about the industry?
I love that everyday is different there are no two days alike. That, and I get a chance to help people through the process.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
My life experiences, my positive attitude and my ability to listen.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Being a mentor to my agents and not stepping in and taking over. I am very protective of my agents and our clients, it’s hard to stay in the shadows when I see things happening that I know I could put back in place but the agents need to learn and you really only learn by doing.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Online and in line. I picked up a tenant last week while checking out at a clothing store. I give my card to everyone. A few years ago, I had to have my car towed, and I got a listing and a buyer by giving the driver my card.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Becoming a broker and working with new agents.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
I don’t take the time to read as much as I would like to but I listen to books on tape, and the last one I read was “The Age of Reason,” by Thomas Paine.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Thai Spice, but I only like two things on the menu: Thai fried rice and the fish.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston?
I don’t know the name of the building, it was abandoned for years, I think it was a hospital at one time. It is now an artist loft and I am so pleased it was restored and not destroyed.

What kind of car do you drive?
A white Lexus RX350, the offical Realtor car but this summer I’m getting a Mercedes E350 convertible…maybe a red one!

Smartphone or paper?
iPhone and paper when I need to.

What is your favorite city after Houston?
New York City, I have not had the pleasure of going there yet but I will and very soon.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Ask questions, find a mentor, don’t give up

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app?
Facebook and YouTube both can be used effectively for real estate.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
MC Hammer, Tony Robbins and Upworthy.

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