Bad theatre meets good real estate advice. Or "why real estate instead of show business?"
This month I hyped up an image I took in Volente on a lot I just listed.
There are actually a lot of places where waterfalls form just below hairpin turns all around Central Texas. I know of a few on Lime Creek Road, as well as along Cow Creek and several others. When driving, look at the low side of sharp curves with valleys leading down the other side. Often, there will be a wet weather creek. When building roads, they tend to choose the level spots which can be right above minor waterfalls.
When I see a spot like this, I usually try to remember it (if accessible and not private land) for a future rainy day photo. In this case, I was asked to come sell the land and saw the drop-offs, then waited for rain.
The image is a few long exposures combined into one photo. I popped things up a bit in this version. The image I am using to market the property is intended to be truer to real life - except for the blurred water. For a calendar, a slight exaggeration fits.
What do you think?
This month's image was taken near Moab, Utah at Fisher Towers. On the right is the Titan - 6,290 feet elevation with a prominence of 700 feet, making it the largest free-standing tower in the USA. Kimberly and I definitely got a 'WOW that's big!' impression during our hike. You may have seen this rock featured in an Austin Powers movie, among others.
The hike is fairly easy, about 4 1/2 miles with options to go further and explore more including some windows and a couple of short slot canyons that you might see in future calendars. The distant views from the trail are also fantastic. Most are so vast they are too much for a single photograph yet inspiring in person.
Feel free to download the image for a wallpaper or background on your phone, tablet, or computer.
If you are planning a trip to the Moab area this summer, give me a call for some ideas about what to see. I even know a little about the real estate market there. (I look everywhere we visit!)
Know someone getting married, having a child, or with one getting ready to leave the nest? They may have some real estate questions and need my help. I appreciate your referrals.
Have a blessed and wonderful May!
I am slowly building an educational library of real estate questions answered at AustinRealEstateHelp.com including videos like this:
For April, a view of Austin's Pennybacker Bridge just after sunset. Many people climb the west side and photograph the bridge including a very interesting tree on the cliff with downtown Austin in the background (including me). This time I thought about the sunset glow and moving lights of traffic. So I chose to climb the cliff on the east side of 360.
When I got to the top I saw how many people were on the other side. It would have been hard to get a shot without getting many of them in it. 'I chose the path less traveled..."
As it turned out the traffic was moving much too slowly except for a brief while after the light at Courtyard Drive had been green for quite a while. I stacked a couple of neutral density filters to decrease light by 5 stops to be able to use a long enough exposure to get the blurred headlights.
You may notice the boat's headlight. I like that it appears about where the sun might be at that hour - as if it were shining through the lake.
The long exposure also softened the lake's surface - especially the reflected tree shadows on the far shore.
I hope you enjoy the image. Feel free to download a copy for your personal screensaver or wallpaper on your phone, desktop, or tablet. ©2017 John Scott Stapleton / Focus Realty™
When someone you care about is considering a move, please introduce us. I Help People Make Good Decisions About Real Estate™ and appreciate your referrals.
Have a fantastic April!
I just had a closing in Twin Creeks - and then an inquiry about a possible listing. So it seems like a good time for a quick post about the current market conditions in this Cedar Park country club community on the edge of Austin.
For Sale - 8 homes with an average sqft of 4,139 and average price of $784K
Under Contract - 5 homes with an average sqft of 2,890 and average price of $394K
Sold in past 90 Days - 10 homes with an average sqft of 3,541 and average price of $482K
For Sale - 2 units with an average sqft of 2,607 and average price of $337K
Sold - 4 units with an average sqft of 1,951 and average price of $278K
Both of these stats are skewed somewhat by the new builder inventory which is generally more expensive and stands on the market longer due to build time.
Also remember that whenever we discuss sqft we are using an estimate - usually the county tax office's best guess used for taxing purposes.
If you have questions about the value of a home in Twin Creeks, or elsewhere, please contact John for a thorough evaluation.
Yeah yeah, so I hid our jeep in the bluebonnet photo...
It just goes so well with the flowers!
This photo was taken at one of th LCRA parks on the north side of Lake Travis, off 1431 past Lago Vista. I don't recall which one because we visited a few of them searching for wildflowers and perhaps some jeep trails without flowers. Kimberly's jeep was still brand new (thank you Nyle Maxwell Jeep at 620/183!) and way too clean on the underside. We found a short but rutted and rock trail, then had to stop because of the bluebonnets in our way. It was a nice little walk down to the water. Turning to walk back, the view seemed worthy of a photo.
I have had several people tell me they like the digital version. How about you?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
Have a great March!
In Feb 1997 I attended a training on working exclusively by referral. "Imagine a world without marketing. Where the only way any business might ever get another customer would be based on what their current customer had to say about them..."
Being treated the way you would like to be treated, in other words.
So just two hours into a 3-day training, I changed my voicemail to announce I was referral-only.
When I went back in, the trainer was saying, "Now first, understand this is a process. It will take years to build your referrals to where you can rely upon them 100%. Don't switch all of the sudden! You wouldn't try to learn to swim by cliff-diving into the sea in Mexico."
Then again, cliff-diving would be an excellent motivation to learn to swim, right?
With more resolve than sense perhaps, I stayed the course of referral-only. Time that used to be used to find new clients, I invested in taking better care of the ones I already had. I trusted my clients, and they took care of me. And still do.
At one point I surveyed a group of clients and asked why they refer me. I had some nifty things I had started doing and wanted to see which ones were most appreciated. The answer? They could see that I cared more about them than the commission.
That was it. None of the things I was doing. Not how skilled or knowledgeable I was, experience, professionalism... None of those. It was simply that I care.
Perhaps the things made it clear that I cared. But the caring was the key.
Treating others with love as Jesus says in Matthew 22:39 turns out to be excellent business advice!
Slow down. Listen. Understand what your clients and customers want and how they want to be served. Allow yourself room to care and do your very best. They will tell their friends.
The process works when you trust it. You could trust it by diving in and leaving yourself no other option. Or take the wiser route and gradually build referrals by taking better and better care of your clients. How that works in your business is a question for you. Or perhaps for your clients. What serves them best? Do more of that.
Real estate artist