In this issue, some practices in self-improvement, an update on the market, some cool middle-eastern places in Austin, and listings!
Watch the video version below instead.
As I joked in my video, for some reason that remains a mystery to me, people who read my newsletter report being interested in what’s going on in my life. I’ll take it as a compliment and continue to indulge you in this curiosity. If you don’t care about me, just skip this section.
Last month, I wrote about an awesome trip that Chris and I took through Europe that lasted about three weeks. It was amazing and fun and much-needed, but it did mean that for about three weeks I stopped generating new business and ate whatever I wanted. “Whatever I wanted” turned out to be excessive amounts of prosecco, red wine, pasta, proscuitto, ravioli, mozzarella di buffala and espresso. Thank goodness we walked everywhere.
As awesome as that was, it’s not a lifestyle I’d like to continue forever. So when we returned home and immediately launched into an intensive sales-training program with JB Goodwin, it was a very welcome change of pace.
The JB Goodwin Real Estate Mastery Program is a really world-class training program run by our performance coach, Jason Edwards. He was a successful agent in Austin for years, before becoming a professionally trained speaker and trainer, learning from the likes of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar and Floyd Wickman. Now we’re lucky enough to have him on board at JB Goodwin, helping all of us improve our sales and negotiation skills, so we can better help all of you!
This is the second year in a row I’ve taken this training, and I learned just as much, if not more, this time around than last year. With a weekly assignment to complete 100 conversations and set three new appointments, it was exactly the nudge I needed to get my productivity back up after many weeks away.
And then we celebrated the end by going to Culinary Dropout in the Domain and stealing some guy’s puppy for a few hours. To clarify for the animal rights activists reading this, the below is a joke. We did not actually give away bulldog puppies.
I also decided, since my body now felt as soft and fatty as a stuffed ravioli caprese, to get my diet back in order. With the help of my friend, Heather McConochie, a nutrition coach I highly recommend, I went back on a healthy diet and am feeling pretty amazing. There are several things I really love about Heather’s approach. First, she’s big on quality of food. Not only does she have me eating really high-quality nutritious foods, like vegetables and whole grains, but she also cares about food being enjoyable. I think what I’m working on now with Heather is habits that will be easy to maintain forever. I’m not suffering through gross, tasteless meals with a few binge meals now and then to keep me going. Instead, I’m eating things I enjoy. Like this morning I made myself an avocado toast on Ezekial bread with egg whites and everything bagel seasoning and hot sauce. Delicious, by the way.
I am fully aware of what a stereotypical millennial this makes me: paying someone to tell me to eat avocado toast. But guess what, Tim Gurner? I’m also a homeowner, so HA!
Since I neither have photos of my avocado toast, nor any photos of my post-Italy flabby body I’d like to share, here’s a photo of Rosie-dog being cute instead.
What I’m reading-How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
I picked up a book on the plane back from Italy called How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams. Scott Adams is the man behind Dilbert, the hilariously depressing comic about corporate office life.
I highly recommend this book if you’d like a non-cheesy book about success that will make you laugh. It’s an awesome book to pick up if you’re feeling down about yourself, recovering from an embarrassing failure, or just looking to crack up while learning something useful. At any given point in my life, at least one of these applies to me. Sometimes all three at once.
My favorite take-away from this book was the idea of focusing on systems instead of goals. Adams claims that all of the highly successful people he knows have systems they follow daily, and goals are secondary. He points out that if you’re focused on a goal, then each day you wake up and you haven’t met it, then you’ve woken up a failure. That’s demoralizing.
But let’s say your goal is to be a great, I don’t know, amateur salsa dancer. If you establish a system, like “practice salsa for 2 hours 4 days a week” then every time you do that, you have won. If you do it for long enough, you will get to your goal. The same goes to fitness, money, really anything you want to achieve.
This really resonated with me. Celebrate the small successes along the way. I’ve found that establishing goals can be motivating, but is ultimately pointless if you don’t then break that goal into small, daily, actionable steps.
The Market-A pretty normal September, but let’s talk about the holidays!
This September looked pretty normal by Austin standards. By anyone else’s standards it would be extraordinary, but for Austin, because we’re all spoiled, it was normal.
Inventory is down a bit from the summer, which is normal for September. There are also fewer buyers buying, so total number of sales is down just a bit. All things we expect to see heading into the fall. Simply because we’ve all decided as a society for one reason or another that the spring and summer are when real estate should be transacted.
Which brings me to a point about selling during the holidays. As I’m talking to homeowners in November, what I’m hearing a lot is “We want to sell our house, but we’re going to wait until the Spring time.” When asked why, the answer is usually some version of, because that’s a better time to sell. That’s when you’re supposed to sell.
There are some unsung benefits of selling during the holidays, though. Here’s one. You’re waiting until the spring, because you think you’re supposed to. Well, how many other sellers are waiting until the spring, because they think they’re supposed to? What if three of them are on your block, and become direct competition for you in, say, April? Can you see how that might make your home less competitive than if it were the only one on the market on your street?
Serious buyers are still buying during the holidays, and with inventory low, serious buyers don’t have much to choose from. That could be a nice edge as a seller, huh?
That’s just one of probably ten benefits of selling during the holidays we could talk about. If you’re thinking about selling and want to talk more about possibly doing it before spring, let’s talk!
One of my most fun, most favorite, most successful transactions of all time was last year with a really delightful couple in Village at Western Oaks. Due to a job transfer, they had to list their home in mid-December. We went on the market on December 15th, and had multiple offers, accepting one on December 18th. And because it was cash, we closed quickly, closing on December 30th, which meant the buyer could declare Homestead for their property taxes the next year.
Who says the holidays are a bad time to buy and sell?
Now let’s say you’re adamant that you don’t want to sell until after the holidays. Maybe you want to list in, say, February or March and get a little jump on the spring market. Then take your real estate exterior photos NOW.
I’m so adamant about this point that I shot a video about it. For more information, contact me at 973.432.7026 or email@example.com
Middle Eastern Food and Stuff
This month I decided to write about a place that is really and truly keeping Austin weird.
Phara’s. Technically “Phara’s Mediterranean Cuisine and Christopher’s Casbah.” This BYOB restaurant, hookah lounge, and bellydancing showcase stage (this is really the best way I can describe it) is a place Chris and I keep going back to, mostly for the atmosphere and delightfully weird vibe.
The first time we went, our waitress brought out our hummus, and forgot to give us any pita. She came back a few minutes later, and said “I forgot your pita bread in my marsupial pouch” and fished it out of her black waitress apron, plopping it unceremoniously down on the table and walking away.
Somehow, at that bizarre moment, we knew we would come back to this strange hookah haven.
Phara’s seems to produce people who either love it or hate it. Feelings about Phara’s are passionate, and one things it seems the place is not is forgettable. Phara’s yelp page backs me up on this one.
On to another Middle-Eastern gem in Austin. The Magic Caravan on Burnet. The Magic Caravan is a store selling authentic Turkish rugs, hand-painted bowls, Turkish towels, and an assortment of other cool stuff. The owner, Hussein, is one of my favorite people I’ve been introduced to recently. My friend, Mary, lives nearby and spends a lot of time over there. One day, she brought me with her, and three hours later, after turkish coffee, and some food, and talking to Hussein, and petting his dogs, and browsing the store, I walked out with a new Turkish friend and a free bowl. I highly recommend it for high-quality Turkish goods, but come prepared to spend some time and maybe some money. The products aren’t cheap, but the prices match the quality. And if you’re cool, Hussein might make you a good deal, possibly even a deal you can’t refuse.
Back on Market-804 W Oltorf, A and B
New construction in 78704! These 4 units at Oltorf and Oak Crest (between South 1st and South Lamar) are all new construction. We had one buyer who took both under contract, but changed their mind during the option period. These will be coming back on the market in the next few days at new and improved (lower) prices. We’re still discussing where to relist these, so I’ll keep the prices a bit broad.
804 W. Oltorf, Unit A
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, 1429 SF
Asking mid $400s
804 W. Oltorf Unit B
2 bedrooms, 2 bath, 849 SF
Asking mid $300s
Do you know anyone who wants to be in 78704 at an affordable price? These brand new homes offers a great location in 78704, separate driveways, low-maintenance landscaping and private yards.
Attention buyer’s agents: This property is offering a commission bonus to buyer’s agents. Just ask me!
For more information, you can contact me at 973.432.7026 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Construction Coming Soon-2313 Oak Crest A
Neighbors to Oltorf are 2313 Oak Crest, Units A and B. These two brand new units will each have private yards and will be hitting the MLS in the next week or two.
2313 Oak Crest Unit A
3 bedroom, 2.5 bath
Asking price: $550,000
Sorry, no photos yet. They’re coming soon, but similar finishes to Oltorf.
As Is for Investors-1204 W 29th Street and 4702 Bull Creek
We have two as-is opportunities for investors, not yet on MLS. They will be hitting MLS soon, like next week, so if you’re a builder, flipper or contractor with experience in renovations in Austin, these projects may be for you! The seller took them on but has chosen to sell them as-is rather than completing them. Here are the details.
1204 W 29th Street, Austin, TX, 78703
3 bedroom, 3.5 bath
Lot size .31
After renovation value: $1.3M range
4702 Bull Creek, Austin, TX, 78731
3 bedroom, 3 bath
Lot size: .25
After renovation value: $750,000 range.
For more information, email me at email@example.com or call me at 973.432.7026.