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Realty Austin: A Look Back at 10 Years in the Making

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Realty Austin Celebrates 10 Years of Doing What We Love!

2014 marked an important milestone for the Realty Austin team as we celebrated our 10th anniversary of doing what we love. Work hard. Play hard. Give back. From the early days of a simple living room operation, to present day with 5 successful market centers with 270 of the most talented and knowledgeable real estate agents in the industry, we look forward to what the future holds.

In honor of our 10 year anniversary, we take a look back to the beginning in 2004, and where we are today in 2014.

Work hard.

In the Beginning 2004-2009
Working from their home, Jonathan and Yvette Boatwright started Realty Austin as West Austin Realty in 2004. The husband-wife team never imagined 10 years later it would be the second highest producing residential real estate company in Austin.

Yvette began her career in real estate in 2000, while Jonathan was a technology specialist at Microsoft. In 2004 Jonathan recognized there were no good websites to search for homes in the Austin area, and wanted to build one for Yvette.

While Yvette just wanted it to be ‘pretty’, they hired some developers from Florida and reluctantly gave them $6,000 to build it– never expecting a $6,000 investment to turn into today’s powerhouse.

The first 5 years for the Boatwrights were slow and steady, while the Boatwrights were still juggling real estate clients and trying to building the company.

One year into business the company was sued over its name. Rather than fight, they broadened their horizons and changed the name to Realty Austin, opened a tiny office on Bee Caves Road, and kept overhead low.

The Growing Years 2009-2014
The recession in 2009 was a pivotal time for the company. As other brokers were struggling to pay the bills, the Boatwrights stopped competing with their agents; doubled down their investment on marketing, technology, a new website; and opened a highly visible downtown office. As a result, top agents were attracted to the fresh, vibrant brand, innovative technology and, of course, leads. Everyone wanted leads in 2010.

The opening of Realty Austin’s downtown office put the company on the map. Almost overnight, amazing agents filled the office, and with more than 4 years left on the lease, they knew it was optimal time for satellite offices.

The best decision the couple made in the early years was hiring Courtney Lepore, who became Vice President of Operations to oversee the company’s growth.

Lakeway was the first test satellite office where Realty Austin already had an established market share. The company realized quickly that they had a winning formula: build beautiful offices, in highly visible and convenient locations, staffed with smart and friendly managers, and great agents will come.

Over the past three years, Realty Austin implemented its model in the form of 5 incredible offices, each a serious player in their respective markets led by a dedicated market manager and office manager.

Gaining significant market share from the competition, Realty Austin has flourished in each market they have entered.

Present Day Company Highlights 2014

  • Increased sales 23% from $1.3 Billion in 2013 to $1.6 Billion
  • Increased market share from 4.9% to almost 7.2%
  • One in every 14 homes sold in Austin has a Realty Austin agent at the closing table!
  • Increased per agent average to $6.5M
  • Increased average homes sold per agent to 18
  • 40% of the realtors in Austin don’t sell a single home in a year. Of those that do sell homes, the average is only 6 homes per year. Realty Austin agents are 3x better than the average.
  • Increased team of amazing agents from 220 to 270, while maintaining a high bar.
  • Launched a completely redesigned, mobile friendly website positioning the company for future.
  • Selected as a Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® joining an elite group of 500 firms worldwide.
  • Opened new Market Center and HQ in Westlake

Play hard.

Industry Awards
ABJ Residential Real Estate Awards
In 2014 Realty Austin was honored with 18 finalists, and 4 winners at the ABJ Residential Real Estate awards: Lisa Munoz, Barbara and Matt Ditlow, and Todd Grossman.

NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals)
Realty Austin congratulated 3 winners of the NAHREP Top 25 Elite Latino awards: Lisa Munoz, Israel Gutierrez and Christina Valdes.

PT50 (Platinum Top 50)
Realty Austin celebrated 30 finalists and 10 Winners at 2013’s Platinum Top 50 awards. The PT50 is special to us since they take into account more than just sales, but community involvement as well.

Company Awards
#1 Best Places to Work
In 2014 Realty Austin was voted as an Austin Business Journal Best Place to Work for the 3rd year in a row. In 2012 we claimed third in Small business category; while in 2013, the company moved up to the medium category and maintained third place. But in 2014, we burst into to the most competitive Large business category and was voted #1 Best Places to Work in Austin.

#1 Top Workplace
Voted #1 Top Workplace by the Austin American Statesman in 2012 and again in 2013. The company was awarded 4th place in the medium business category in 2014.

Power Broker List
RISMedia named Realty Austin to its Power Broker List. The company was ranked no.119 sales volume and no.153 transaction volume with 3,956 closed deals, moving up from 2013’s list ranked no.152 sales volume and no.212 transaction volume.

Young Business of the Year
Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce voted Realty Austin as Young Business of the Year for 2013, with the credit largely due to Jolene Weinstein, Lake Travis Manager, for her involvement in the Lakeway community.

Manager of the Year
Jolene Weinstein, Lake Travis Manager won the prestigious Platinum Top 50 Manager of the Year award in 2013.

Give Back.

Austin Habitat for Humanity
For the third year, Realty Austin partnered with its agents to raise $75,000 to sponsor and build a Habitat home. Over the past three years, the company’s cumulative habitat fundraising is over $205,000.

In 2014 the company took its dedication to the mission one step further by implementing personal fundraising pages and invited clients, friends, family and business partners to participate. Cristina Valdes was the Top Fundraiser for the 2014 campaign; and, Aaron Nann was the Top Contributor from his commissions.

In 2014 the Realty Austin team volunteered over 1,820 hours to make this year’s home build a reality for a deserving family. On January 31, 2015 the home will be dedicated to the Beriji family. To date, the Habitat for Humanity honored Realty Austin with their Volunteer Coordination award.

Foundation Communities
For the past 3 years we have partnered with Foundation Communities. They provide safe and affordable housing and assistance to over 2,600 families in 10 Austin communities. Each of the last 3 years, the Realty Austin team raised $50,000, together donating over $150,000 that has been used for a match fund at their annual fundraiser.

The Realty Austin team also serves dinner to over 400 Foundation Communities residents at a quarterly Supper Club and holds a back to school drive to support the families with children.

This year’s $50,000 match fund inspired fundraiser attendees to pledge over $1M in multi-year donations. This program’s success has enabled Foundation Communities to fund and expand the services they offer to over 30,000 Austin families who qualify for affordable housing, but lack access.

Austin Gives
Austin Gives, an organization that recognizes companies city-wide for the philanthropic efforts, honored Realty Austin as a finalist for GeneroCity award.

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