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.
Houston Agent: Houston’s market is recovering and staying positive. Can you tell us about some of the positive developments you’ve seen in Houston real estate the last six months or so?
Shannon Register: There have been many positive developments in the Houston Real Estate Market in the last six months. First, Texas unemployment dropped to 6.9 percent in April, down from 7 percent in March and 8 percent one year ago (Texas Assoc. of Realtors.) Second, Texas is showing more new home starts than other states according to the National Association of Home Builders. Housing starts are a leading indicator that the economy is headed into recovery.
Many reports have indicated Texas leads the nation for job creation in the oil and gas sector and the numbers continue to rise. The robust energy sector coupled with the general business friendly Texas atmosphere has helped Texas rebound faster than other parts of the country. On a micro level, our real estate brokerage has seen a significant increase in production over the last six months. The Houston MLS data is also indicating an uptick in sales and upward growth in resale values.
HA: Client satisfaction is hugely important for agents. How do you ensure that you are satisfying every one of your clients’ needs?
SR: At my brokerage, Register Real Estate Advisors, we are in constant communication with our clients. We use an industry leading marketing package that ensures clients are being offered the most up to date marketing trends; HD videos, professional photos, web 2.0 technology, etc. After each transaction, clients are emailed a survey to rate the agent and provide feedback. On a Realtor level, as a broker, I periodically follow up with co-op agents, lenders, and title companies to get feedback on the communication they received from my agents.
HA: What are your thoughts on Internet syndication? Do you use Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com? And if not, why not?
SR: Regardless of how I feel about syndication, our industry can no longer harness real estate information. It is here to stay and my company had to change how we do things to continue to get business from the internet. I think in general it has negatively impacted individual agents, but in the age of information as a commodity I think it’s inevitable that we have to participate. While I get about 80 percent of my business from my website and blog, the proliferation of syndication sites mean I cannot solely rely on my IDX to feed and drive traffic to my website. For this reason, Register Real Estate Advisors (RREA) is a real estate company, but it is also a content creation company. We built RREA Media inside of our real estate company for the sole purpose of creating relevant and high value content to dive traffic to our site and then we use the IDX on our site to convert them to leads. We have to rely on content to draw consumers into our site, no longer the IDX. We participate in the major syndication sites and will continue to and find them to be a decent second- and third-tier lead source for our company.