What was your first job in the realty industry? I created a development, Colonia Serendipity, located in Spicewood, in the hills, just west of Austin. That involvement in real estate inspired me to start selling real estate. I spent my first seven years in the Austin real estate market.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Read a great book, which transports me from the stresses. Enjoying the many art galleries is another stress reliever. When the weather is pleasant, I love to kayak.
Where did you grow up? Fort Worth. I relocated to Houston when I was in my early 20s.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be an artist.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would love to have lunch with Warren Buffett. Also, Maya Angelou.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I don’t have a favorite. Houston is so diverse, with excellent art museums and galleries, great bars and restaurants and neighborhoods. It depends on the day. I do love to haunt areas with my camera. There is always a wonderful surprise!
What do you love most about the industry? Real estate is such an integral part of the economy. I am challenged to remain astute to the market, in general, in order to best represent my clients. I enjoy the process of learning the goals of my clients and helping achieve those goals.
Additionally, it is exciting to witness the growth and progression of the Houston real estate market, to see the architectural shifts and the evolution of the city.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Negotiation is the key, in my opinion, to a successful agent. I love knowing I have advocated successfully for my client.
Market research and listening skills are two components that are of utmost importance to a successful negotiation.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Time management. This position consists of many moving parts, and all are important. Also, a real estate agent can be busy 24/7 and I realize it is important to avoid getting into that place when taking care of myself gets pushed aside. Time to regenerate is important so I can be fully present when I am working.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I find that following my own interests is the best way to meet people who may become clients or the source of new clients. Networking, per se, has never been my way to do business. If I am there just to make contacts, I do not feel genuine. Most of my clients have come in a more organic way. Also, I rely on referrals from those who have experienced a positive result when working with me.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I have been a risk taker. I think my greatest accomplishment is the combination of my efforts, all of which make up who I am. I have successfully founded, operated and sold a Houston company; I have successfully developed a real estate community; I spent several years living in Mexico and learning another culture; and I have had a rewarding experience as a fine art photographer. I was thrilled when my photographs were in Windows on Houston, at IAH and when some of my images were acquired by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Also, I am a breast cancer survivor, which has given me a certain insight that I value.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I just read “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” by Carson McCullers, a fine Southern author. I recently saw Boyhood, which was an interesting film, especially the concept of filming over a decade.
What is your favorite restaurant? Tough call. One of my favorite go-to restaurants is Vincent’s, on West Dallas. I have to also mention Ouisie’s and Underbelly.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston? There is a wonderful photograph, showing three eras of Houston architecture: the JPMorgan Chase Bldg, 1920’s; Pennzoil Place, 1970’s; and Bank of America Center, 1980’s.
It is hard to choose, when Houston is a representative of such good architecture. I am a big fan of City Hall and I love Williams Tower. I lived in the shadow of it, and watched as it was being built, so I have affection for that experience.
What kind of car do you drive? 2006 Lexus IS350.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone is now the way. Loved paper more.
What is your favorite city after Houston? Paris.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Have savings. Persevere. Continue to educate. Find a mentor.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Words With Friends.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Warren Buffett, Houston Biz Journal, Culture Map, Swamplot, Allison Cook, Houston Tomorrow.
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