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Aug. 12, 2019

Garland, TX - Relocating/Moving to Dallas/Fort Worth #14 [Transcriptions]

Today we're talking about Garland, Texas. Garland is a really cool city that there's a lot of information that kind of surprises people. Despite Garland being the second-largest city in Dallas County, a lot of people think of it as a smaller town. There are about 240,000 residents in Garland. It's actually the 12th the largest city in Texas as of the last census.

Off to the northeast of Dallas, Garland has been thought of in the past as an industrial type of city. There's some manufacturing in Garland, but there's a lot more. Actually, it's one of the best employment markets in the country.

Residential property wise, there's a wide array of property. It's one of the areas where that entry-level first-time home buyer property can still be had under $200,000. There's not much of that left in Garland, but there's a little bit of that left and parts of Garland. There are also some high-end parts of Garland, especially around the Firewheel area, which features Firewall Town Center, a great huge retail development, as well as the Firewheel neighborhood near Firewheel Golf Park. This public access golf area features multiple highly-regarded courses.

Garland Independent School District, has really come onto the scene lately as a technology-focused school district. There's been some change in the district staffing, and there's a lot of positive momentum moving forward. Garland is an interesting school district because it allows you to apply to send your student to any campus in the whole district. So if you have a high school student, you can choose which high school your student goes to. Typically you will be accepted to go to the school of your choice. Students can be bussed to the school that's nearest to their home, but as long as parents are willing to take care of transportation, they can go to other campuses. There are a number of magnet campuses and some advanced study options throughout the different campuses.

Location-wise in the far northeast, Garland is a great entry point to the extended eastern part of the DFW Metroplex where it is still easy to get back into Dallas. Highway 78 is a straight shot in, and then 190 George Bush Tollway allows you to get back and around the metro flux to just about wherever you want to go.

Garland's has an older feel near the downtown area that's being revitalized. There are some older feed stores and some history there, but as well as some new development and quite a few different areas. It offers some great food and entertainment options in Garland and some new things popping up.

There's a new residential development in the south and western parts of Garland where some land has been there for a long time and is now being developed on a large scale.

My last thought on Garland is that, for a long time, Garland has been overlooked by some of the booming development around it. Really Garland has caught up a lot in the last several years. So for a 2019 viewpoint on Garland, there a lot of positives, and the opportunity to get into Garland at the current prices probably are not going to last long. The opportunity in Garland comes from that fact that you can get the same house in other communities for a higher price. It's more affordable in Garland. Again, I don't think that's going to last very long. It’s a highly desirable place to live because it's so close in and the affordability is still there. So get it while you can, cause I don't think that it will last.

Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 12, 2019

Rowlett, TX - Relocating / Moving to Dallas Fort Worth #16 [Transcriptions]

Rowlett, Texas is partially located in Dallas County and partially in Rockwall County. Don't get it confused with Rockwall, a neighboring town But Rowlett, Texas is a great community known as a down-to-earth family-oriented area with just about everything that you could hope find in the world of residential real estate.

There are some homes on land and larger acreage properties as well as lakefront properties on Lake Ray Hubbard. The town gets its name is Rowlett Creek, which is kind of a fork of the Trinity River that pours into Lake Ray Hubbard. Rowlett used to sit on the edge of the Metroplex and felt a little bit more country than it currently does.

Rowlett feeds into Garland schools, which we address in greater detail in other blogs and videos. The big thing to know about Garlard ISD is that families can choose which campuses that their children attend.

The city as a whole is generally thought of as well-run city. It plays host to a some great city events and has a number of quality parks. This gives it a neat community feel.

The location makes it pretty easy to get around the metroplex as it sits fairly close to 190 and the George Bush Tollway. This can cut into Dallas, or you can go the other way to 75 Central. It is on the far northeast side of the Metroplex, but because of the location to major roadways, it’s a pretty nice spot to be in and still, be able to commute to most parts of the Dallas side of things.

Lake Ray Hubbard is a big draw for the community. The marinas make the lake accessible to boats. It’s also a highly-regarded area for fishing. It draws all sorts of ranges of individuals and families.

Homes are priced from a reasonable entry point just under $200,000. Other properties stretch well into the millions with some of the larger acreage properties and development communities. So you've got kind of a nice range from open land to lakefront and just about everything in between.

There are some neat things happening in downtown areas where urban development is bringing new dining and entertainment options.

In the past, you may have not thought much about Rowlett because it was thought of as a pretty small town on the edge, but now it's getting up to around 70,000 residents. It's a decent-sized community with a lot of really great city services and events to offer the community.


Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 12, 2019

Rowlett announces new deal to restart stalled development with Crystal Lagoon along Lake Ray Hubbard

After resolving some of the development issues with a previous contractor, the city of Rowlett is ready to restart some of the development of their new Lagoon!

Aug. 9, 2019

State of the Market 2019

What is the State of the Real Estate Market in DFW in 2019 so far? Todd breaks down what you can expect for the rest of the year for agents, home buyers, and home sellers. 

Posted in Market Reports
Aug. 7, 2019

Is it too late to buy a house before school starts? Is that a bad thing?

Is it right to worry about missing your chance to get into a home before school starts? Todd is joined by his son Carter to answer these questions.

Posted in Question & Answer
Aug. 6, 2019

Does the Weather Affect the Real Estate Market? [Transcripts]

Did the seasonal changes and the weather patterns in our North Texas market actually impact the real estate market? This question is one that we get a few times a year. And the answer, of course, is yes. I say of course because it's so obvious to me even though I see all sorts of real estate agents making really bad mistakes on behalf of their clients around this topic, just ignoring the weather and how it can impact your house, your home and the offers you receive.


During the heart of spring, and the weather warms up enough that some of those grasses and flowers are fully coming into bloom. Things just look better, especially with some of the storms we get. The yard starts to fill in, looking rich and green.

Whether you like to believe it or not, photos with nicer yards look better. Buyers are more optimistic as they walk from the curb to the house. Many of these homes they simply think of more highly. They're more interested in buying them, and they're willing to pay more for them. So yes, the weather does impact the housing market.

When we have a hailstorm or a windstorm or even just the forecast of one of those things, the activity in our market really does taper off. Fewer buyers get out, and fewer sellers put their home on the market. Obviously, weather can change day-to-day, and as we get into seasonal shifts we need to prepare accordingly. Seasonality allows us to leverage, the plants, flowers , and trees to really impact our marketing in a positive way.

Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 6, 2019

Houses Are Sitting On The Market Longer Than They've Been in 5 Years

We are still in a seller's market in the Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate market, and Todd breaks down the data for what that means for agents, home buyers, and home sellers. 

Posted in Market Reports
Aug. 5, 2019

Will New Appliances Increase Your Home Value? By How Much? [Transcripts]

Do your appliances impact your property value? Now obviously the answer is yes, but the bigger question is how much do they impact it. To what degree?

I'll tell you a quick story to get this over for you. Oftentimes when we're helping someone sell a house, they ask us what we do to increase their property value. We always do that presale assessment. What will help, what will hurt and what will drive value? They really wanted to drive value up. The interesting thing is that they had clean, well-maintained appliances.

They had a really nice house and they had redone the kitchen, but they had not updated the appliances. Our only suggestion was to finish the job and update the appliances. We told them we felt like if they went to higher-end appliances, it would communicate a much higher value home and kitchen.

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home. This is where HGTV gets it right: that kitchen, the master bedroom, and bathroom are the primary drivers of how a residential property is valued probably nine times out of 10. So this kitchen looked great, and the appliances were fine, but they didn't look as great as everything else. So we actually had them take out adequate appliances and call our buddy Eddie over at Elite Appliance right here in Dallas who does amazing work.

Eddie helped them to design the right appliances to fit the space they had in their kitchen. They were able to get a double oven and where they previously had a single. They were able to do a drawer microwave, which is one of my favorite things. In a space where they had a useless cabinet, they were able to recapture some counter space and then put in a beautiful range that was definitely not the cheapest one they could find.

They communicated a totally different lifestyle in this home and they were blown away by the increased from what we had previously valued the home at and how we were able to sell it even above that. And it wasn't entirely because of the appliances. We utilized a number of effective marketing strategies, but we are certain that the change in the appliance has added well over $10,000 to the sale price of this home.

So they obviously spent some money on those appliances They spent a couple thousand dollars and came out ahead four or five times what they had spent on it in equity gains and profit from the sale of their home. They weren't investors. They were just homeowners getting ready to sell a home that they had enjoyed and lived in for a long time. So hopefully that illustrates the point. Appliances do impact your property value.

Now don't do the opposite. Don't go get super nice appliances to put in a cruddy house. If you've got a nice house, nicer appliances can really dress up the kitchen. Think about these things. Think about the nuances that may feel like small items for you but could put huge check in your pocket when it comes to selling a home.

If you have questions about this or anything else, give us a call. Give us a call anytime we can help you buy, sell, invest or improve your property value.

Aug. 5, 2019

Richardson Ready to Redo Its Historic Downtown District, calling it "the Core District"

One of Dallas' first northern suburbs is launching a rebirth of its historic downtown district.


While old downtown areas in Plano, McKinney, Frisco, and other Collin County cities north of Dallas have already gotten a redo, the original business district in Richardson has lagged.


That's about to change with a major redevelopment in the works.

July 31, 2019

How to get a listing a week: Follow up with persistence.

The great philosopher Babe Ruth said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Ruth knew baseball was a game of failure. The best in the game get three hits for every ten at-bats, but they keep swinging, knowing that the hits will fall.

Likewise, prospecting is a game of failure. We will swing and miss. A lot. But we have to keep swinging because over time the hits will start to fall.

Unfortunately, we want it to be easy. One and done. Convert on the first call. Knock it out of the park on your first swing. Yet those sort of highly-motivated and highly-qualified prospects are hard to come by. The reality is only 48 percent of prospects even pick up the phone on the first call, much less convert into an appointment.

Follow up is the name of the game. You will swing and miss often, even at the same prospect. Stay the course. You’re one swing closer. Will you keep swinging though? Most won’t.

According to various studies (Link: https://blog.zoominfo.com/sales-follow-up-statistics/), the average salesperson only makes two attempts to reach a prospect, and 44 percent will give up after just one follow up if they’re able to get a hold of them in the first place. By the time they make the fourth call, 92 percent will throw in the towel before the fifth call. Yet 60 percent of customers say “no” four times before saying yes. 50 percent of sales happen after that fifth call. How much money is left on the table because that 92 percent won’t take one more swing?

One study (Link: http://pages.velocify.com/rs/leads360/images/Ultimate-Contact-Strategy.pdf) showed that the magic number of calls is six. Their surveys showed that 93 percent of converted leads are reached by the sixth call. Keep. Swinging.

Ready for another baseball analogy? Good. Modern-day baseball looks a little bit different than it has historically. Many of these differences are data-driven. Managers, players and front offices have more information at their disposal than ever before, and they’re learning to get as big of an advantage as possible out of this information.

One of the most obvious ways this data is affecting the game is with defensive shifts. Infielders are no longer lining up in their traditional position; they’re positioned instead where they are most likely to prevent a base hit. Because of the batted ball data teams have, they know how likely each player is to hit a ground ball in a given location on the field. Consequently, hits that used to find holes are now finding gloves and turning into outs.

Here is the problem: prospects are slipping through the cracks because our priorities and strategies are not set up to make a play. Perhaps you need to make a shift in your business because I bet the data says you are out of position when it comes to following up.

Previously we discussed the need to execute a plan that works. Same rules apply here. You need a plan. You need to use all the tools at your disposal to ensure that you are in a position to snatch up and convert as many of your leads as possible.

How quickly will you and your team reply to new leads? When will you make the next calls after they don’t pick up the first time? When will you follow up after they don’t convert on the first contact? How will you keep up with it all? The good news is we have already built out our “Leads to Listings” system, and you can get more information on it right now at https://www.alistingaweek.com/follow-up-system.

Planning and persistence pay off. Get yourself in position and grind. For every lead that you fail to follow up with effectively, you’re flushing money down the drain. You paid for that lead! Make the most of it! You don’t need more leads. You need to more effectively convert the ones you have. Then you will begin to generate a listing a week.