Monthly Archives: May 2012

Getting to Know Our Agents- Part II

Last week, we met the fearless leader of the Mallett Integrity Team of Keller Williams, Steve Mallett. Today we are focusing on one of our Buyer’s Agents, Lori Howe. I sat down and emailed her a series of questions, ( lets be honest, unless you’re on TV, no one actually has time for a face-to-face interview unless its via Skype.) Here is a little bit of information that might help you understand Lori a little better…

When did you get into Real Estate?

2  1/2 years ago

What did you do before Real Estate?

Office Manager for a Christian Counseling Center


What made you interested in being a Realtor?

My husband built homes for years and through that time I really enjoyed learning about buying/selling real estate.

What is your favorite part about the business?

Dealing with Buyers.   It is so cool helping people find their dream home and creating relationships with them.  It makes me so happy when the process is complete and they are grinning from ear to ear.

What makes you qualified to sell/Buy people’s homes?

I spend a lot of time listening to what they want.  Whether they are selling or buying, you have to listen.  They need to know that someone really cares about one of the most important decisions in their life.

Who is your biggest motivator or Role Model in the business?

There are too many to name.

Where did you get your first sale/buy as an agent?

Kyle, Texas

Why do you think it is important for people to use Agents?

There are so many processes that you have to go through to get to closing.   It’s not just as easy as agreeing to a price and signing on the dotted line.   If you miss one step, you could dig a hole that is really hard to get out of.  Agents can take you step by step to insure you get to the closing table and get those keys!

So you can see why we would want her on our team so much. She is experienced, smart and willing to help. The good qualities don’t stop there though, she is also creative. Included below is an anology she came up with between pregnancy and real estate:


You finally decide you’re ready to take on the career of being a Real Estate Agent.

You work everyday with many disappointments to get that first contract.

Then suddenly when you’re not expecting it, it happens.

The excitement of knowing that your career has begun gives you such a rush of true bliss.

Then it begins…..bouts of nausea, sleepless nights, emotional roller coasters trying to get your client the

best deal possible. Will this ever end?

Everyday you pray that the closing date will come earlier, but inevitably it goes past the “expected”

scheduled date.

But finally, the exciting day has arrived. Although you’re hoping for a smooth and painless closing,

difficulty arises. You push through the hurdles with every ounces of strength you have. Committed to

delivering a beautiful home to your clients.

You take charge and do everything in your power to make it as painless as possible.

The documents are signed and delivered!

Exhausted and elated, you say…..

I’m ready to do it again!


I hope you got a kick out of this epiphany I had recently. There is a lot of

dedication and hard work that goes into being an agent and I LOVE my job

.Written by: Lori Howe, Real Estate Agent

Next week we will take a look at Ronnie Klein, the newest member of the team. He might be fresh on the Mallett Integrity Team wagon, but there are years of Real Estate under his belt.

Get to know our Agents on The Mallett Integrity Team!

The Mallett Integrity Team is a group of highly skilled professional Realtors in the Austin, TX area, and one incredible Executive Assistant that runs the show. (and types the blogs…) But who are these people and why should you even want to know about them anyway? For the next few weeks, we will be diving in to the personal details of all of these agents to get an idea of what makes their expertise the best.

The first Agent to volunteer such valuable information is the fearless leader, Steve Mallett. In an exclusive interview with Steve, we get a closer look at the man behind the Real Estate License…

When did you get into Real Estate?

I got my license in February of 2004.


What made you interested in being a Realtor?

When I sold my house in CA I watched what my agent did and thought to myself “I can do this much better than that!”.  I was surprised how tough this job is but I have loved it (almost) every step of the way.


What is your favorite part about the business?

The people I have met and work with.


What makes you qualified to sell people’s homes?

I have been in the seller’s shoes and know how hard it is to have your house on the market.  I also know that it’s my job to make sure they know what is happening every step of the way.  My experience helps me to know what is important and what to not get too upset about.


Who is your biggest motivator or Role Model in the business?

I am motivated by the people around me that make tough decisions every day and just keep plugging away.  I really like Tom Ferry, the real estate coach as a motivator.


Where did you get your first sale/buy as an agent?

2004 in Wimberley in Woodcreek.  It was a new spec house and I sold it at the first open house I ever did.


Why do you think it is important for people to use Agents?

So they get the most money out of their home with the least amount of liability and headache.  You get more $ and you have a smoother transaction.  Why would you NOT use an agent?


So there you have it. Steve may not give the most elaborate answers, but that is kind of what we like about him. He gets straight to the point, and knows exactly what he is talking about.

Stay tuned for when we find out more about Lori Howe, the once popular vocal stylist who turned in her microphone for two kids and an eKey.

Second Home Stats and Tips

Great article from Dr. Ted Jones on the increasing demand for second homes. Although we are not a “bargain price” market, this is a trend that will still impact Austin as our rents continue to rise and more people hear about Austin’s strong job market and interesting culture. This trend also continues to support the downtown condo market with its declining number of units left to sell (or rent!).

Despite increased energy costs, the second home market—like the primary dwelling market—continues to heal albeit in a new mode not seen in the days of cheaper gasoline.

A recent series of articles on second homes shows a new approach to second homes coupled with rising demand. Here are latest statistics on the second home market sourced primarily from a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors®:

• Second home sales rose 7 percent in 2011 compared to 2010
• 42 percent of second home buyers paid cash in 2011 per the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) compared with 36 percent in 2010
• Median second home sales prices were 19 percent less in 2011 at $121,300 compared to 2010 due in part to excess inventory
• Median income of home buyers (NAR Study) was $88,600 in 2011, down 10.9 percent from 2010
• Loans remained difficult to obtain as down payments on standalone properties ran in the 20 to 25 percent range (versus 10 percent for primary dwellings) and 30 percent for attached second homes (condos, row houses or townhouses). In the purchases of primary dwellings in 2011, 34 percent of buyers paid down 20 or more percent
• Lenders prefer making second home property loans that are located near resorts (ski areas, beaches or lakes) and at least 50 miles from the owners primary dwelling. If the second home fails to meet these, the lender may perceive the purchase to be more of an investment property than a true second home (mortgage loan rates on second homes typically are the same as primary dwelling loans while investment properties require a greater interest rate from lenders)
• Median distance between the second home and primary dwelling was 305 miles in 2011, down 19 percent from the 2010 level according to NAR – obviously impacted by rising gasoline and diesel costs
• 33 percent of second home buyers purchased in 2011 as a result of extremely low and affordable prices
• 91 percent of second home buyers intend to rent their properties within the first 12 months when not personally using them
• 71 percent said the rental income potential influenced their purchase decision
• Median second home buyer age was 50 years old contrasted to mid- to late 40s in prior study

The bottom line is that, just as in primary dwellings, the number of sales is rising given attractive home prices and extremely low opportunity costs. Down payments are up and energy is skewing buyers to search a little closer to home. I would speculate also that Web sites such as Vacation Rentals By Owner VBRO® and HomeAway®, which may reduce rental marketing costs, are encouraging greater numbers of second home buyers given that more than 90 percent are planning on at least part time rentals of their dwellings.

Second homes remain on sale—a great time to stock up.


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