Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Shannon Register, the broker/owner of Register Real Estate Advisors in Spring. She has been in the real estate business since 2008, and does both residential and commercial sales and leases, in addition to helping people relocate and invest in real estate. Register holds over 10 real estate designations and certifications. She is well-known in Houston for being the host of “Houston Real Estate Radio” on am950 that airs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Houston Agent (HA): How do real estate apps/software help your business, in terms of organization and efficiency?
Shannon Register (SR): The apps make it easy when you’re out with buyers to look up things quickly. A lot of apps and software are being used by the buyers themselves, in addition to the Realtors, so they have a lot of the same information as we do. There are a lot of things that we don’t use that consumers use, such as Walk Score, that are great for consumers to find out more about the home and what’s around it, as far as grocery stores and that sort of thing.
As far as my business, it’s easy to have everything on-the-go. I use so many different pieces of software, and what I use is probably a little different from a lot of Realtors, because I’m a broker and have my own business. But I would say that there are so many websites out there (between Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and our local HAR.com) that you can find everything you need online.
HA: Houston has one of the busiest housing markets in the nation. Why do you think that is?
SR: One reason is because we didn’t have a housing bubble here like a lot of other places have. In addition to that, we have so many industries growing and moving here because of the flexibility in our tax laws. They’re so much friendlier than some of the other states, with so many companies and corporations moving here.
The entire state of Texas, not just the Houston area, is growing like crazy because of all these businesses moving in from other states. I think also our housing prices tend to remain stable and our housing medium is a lot lower than the other states, so people can sell their houses in other states, move here and have some equity. I definitely see the market staying this way for a while.
HA: Are you seeing many foreclosures in your area of Houston? Why do you think that is?
SR: No, we’re not. Most of the foreclosures are behind us, the foreclosure crisis is definitely in the past. It’s actually hard for investors right now to find a foreclosure deal. There just aren’t that many out there. I think the market has finally absorbed the big foreclosure losses that we had and the shadow inventory that was predicted, although it’s nationwide, it’s not here in the Houston market.
Part of that is because we have the ability to foreclose on people easier than in other states and part of that is because we didn’t have some of the problems other states had, such as shadow inventory. Because of that, most of our foreclosure inventory was absorbed and now everybody seems to be getting themselves back together again. The economy is off to a good start this year, and I think it will continue into the fall and through 2014.