Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

Oct. 21, 2007

Roger Martin Trains Youngest Associate

Roger Martin Trains Youngest AssociateAs a real estate professional, training is always ongoing.  Most of the time, I train a staff of agents.  But recently, I found myself training a young neighborhood boy, as described in the following article from the Houston Chronicle....

October 21, 2007

"Having had a successful career in the Houston real estate industry, Roger Martin, broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, feels that it is good training to start working in the industry at an early age, and recently guided a young boy in that direction.

"Such a situation occurred when Martin listed a vacant home for lease in a Houston suburb far from his office in West University.

"He installed a lock box so other Realtors could show the property, but because of traveling time it was difficult for him to keep the flier box filed with information about the home.

"So Martin decided to hire a neighborhood kid to keep the box filled with fliers.

"At his first open house Martin met Noah, age 5, and his mom, who lived next door to the listing.

"The three of them held a long discussion of what was require (Noah was to practice his counting skills and put five fliers in the box when it was empty) and a serious discussion of what was forbidden, which was not talking to other Realtors – they were officially “strangers” and besides, that was Martin’s job.

"They settled on $5 a week in wages.  Martin provided Noah with a stack of fliers.  The big thrill was a bundle of official Roger Martin Properties business cards that listed Noah’s job title as 'Marketing Assistant.'

"Happily, Noah performed his job to perfection.  The house was leased, the real estate signs came down, and the new neighbors moved in.  This was a time of transition for Noah.  He lost his first job, but the 'termination' occurred on his first day of kindergarten, so he has been busy furthering his educational goals ever since.'"

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle

Thank you, Noah!  Math skills and a good work ethic will take you far!

Roger Martin

 

Posted in Roger Martin
Oct. 8, 2007

Roger Martin - Realtor of the Week

Roger Martin, of Roger Martin PropertiesMany thanks to the Houston Chronicle, who named me REALTOR OF THE WEEK.  The article is quoted below...

Building firm in West U good move for Martin

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

Two years after settling into the city of West University Place with his wife and their young son, Roger Martin knew that it definitely was the “small town in Texas” he wanted to live in and develop a full-service boutique real estate company.

He proceeded to establish Roger Martin Properties in 1989 and has kept the company located in West University. His company has become a well-known real estate firm in the community and in surrounding areas of Houston.

Martin’s affinity for West University began with the decision to move there from the suburbs of Houston because he and his wife considered it “one of the most kid-friendly neighborhoods” to raise their son, who was 18 months in 1987.

He already was familiar with the home-buying process, having been a Realtor since 1974 and successfully worked in an Austin and Houston real estate practice helping people buy and sell residential properties. Also, he was licensed as a Texas real estate broker in 1976.

“I was destined to work in real estate. My first real job when I was a teenager was working for a Realtor, mowing yards in Midland… and while attending college I was very involved in the housing co-op movement,” said Martin, who began his real estate career in Austin after graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelors of arts degree. Martin moved to Houston in 1982 and married Anne Ayers, a geologist.

Several years ago, she joined Roger Martin Properties and serves as office manager for the company, which now includes eight agents and four staff members.

“We have a high ratio of staff members in relation to the number of agents associated with the firm so we can offer our clients excellent service. Our staff includes an in-house technical adviser and photographer. We do our own virtual tours and photographs for each listing,” Martin said.

“Also, we maintain a high-speed print shop so we can produce our brochures and mail-out information. If pertinent facts in the listing of a property changes, we immediately alter our printed material, which is much quicker than going to a print to have it done.”

In addition to working in West University, the agents at Roger Martin Properties specialize in many Houston neighborhoods, including Southside Place, Bellaire, the Rice University area, the Texas Medical Center, Southhampton, River Oaks, Southgate, Tanglewood and the Memorial Villages. Martin said his company will help people sell and buy homes in all areas of greater Houston.

“We will do whatever it takes to assist people with their residential needs,” said Martin, who has physically helped people move their belongings and given them rides to and from the airport.

“Over the years we have grown with our customers and become good friends with them. Many have repeated business and referred new clients because they know we are dependable in our service and an excellent source of information.”

I appreciate the excellent article.  Thanks!

Roger Martin

Sept. 30, 2007

Roger Martin - HAR Top Producer 3rd Quarter 2007

Roger Martin, of Roger Martin PropertiesThanks to the Houston Association of Realtors, who has named me one of their 2007 3rd Quarter Top Producers  for my work with real estate buyers.

Roger Martin

Sept. 2, 2007

Realtor Uses Meals on Wheels to Benefit Animals

Meals on Wheels - Pet Food for SeniorsOne of our Realtors at Roger Martin Properties actively supports senior and their pets through the Meals on Wheels program, as was reported in this recent Houston Chronicle article...

Upon learning that many elderly people in need of assistance from Meals on Wheels had to share food with their pets, the Houston Jewish Community Center started a donations drive to feed the pets... and Realtor Christie Rogers joined in to help.

'I can imagine the burden that elderly people face with the cost of buying food and the task of carrying heavy bags of pet food home from grocery stores.  It is very sad to think that these caring people are not getting the full benefit of their meals if they are having to share them,' said Rogers, a sales associate with Roger Martin Properties.

She began volunteering in the drive by posting information about the need for donations on the Southgate Homeowners Association web site bulletin board, asking for donation of pet food from her neighbors.  Rogers also collected donations from Realtors and staff members at Roger Martin Properties.

Within 10 days, Rogers collected 300 pounds of pet food.  She said Meals on Wheels will deliver pet food along with the meals for people and pets who are in need of this assistance.  Rogers sid she will continue to collect for this worthy cause and Roger Martin Properties will be joining her in the endeavor.

Rogers also has worked for a number of years in the search for missing pets and finding foster homes for animals.  When someone has a lost pet, she immediately passes information about the animal to her network of real estate professionals in the neighborhoods where the pet is missing, and post it on the neighborhood web sites.

'We're out in our cars all day, like a cab driver and we can keep an eye out for the missing pet, note the neighborhood it is in and inform the owner,' said Rogers, who recently helped one of her clients find their dog that had been missing for two weeks.

Jude Patronella, Houston Chronicle, September 2, 2007

Well done, Christi, for your work with Meals on Wheels!

Roger Martin

 

Posted in Helping Others
Sept. 1, 2007

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has just issues this update on the Houston economy and its real estate market...

"... Houston’s existing-home market is holding up better than many other markets across the U.S., its health underpinned by fewer past excesses than others and solid continued job growth. July sales were up 1 percent over July of last year, although inventories were up 12 percent. The weakest part of the market is homes priced under $150,000, suggesting that tighter lending standards primarily are slowing entry-level purchases. Postings and foreclosures are significantly higher for Harris County, and the rate at which postings are being foreclosed is also rising.

The value of new residential permits issued by the city of Houston is up 8 percent year to date but down 14 percent in July when compared with a year earlier..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, September 2007

To read the full article, click here.  And yes, these tighter lending standards are affecting the Houston economy.  We real estate professionals are dealing with those restrictions in all price ranges, not just the entry-level homes.

Roger Martin

 

Aug. 8, 2007

America's Most Expensive Commutes

Commuting in HoustonForbes.com has just ranked Houston as having one of America's Most Expensive Commutes...

"It's often said that the trip to work can kill you.  But if you live in Houston, what really takes a beating is your wallet.

"There, the average commuter spends 20.9% of his annual household costs on getting to work...

"... Robert Puentes, a metroplitan policy fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., says, 'In Houston, the cost of transportation is the No.1 household expense, above shelter.'

"But that's in part because Houstonians spend a lower than average proportion of their take-home pay on housing.

"And that's the trade-off.

"The percent of household income Houstonians spend on transportation may be the highest in the country, but when combined with the amount residents spend on housing expenses, Houston's aggregate cost ranks them 14th, with the composite cost equaling 52% of household income.

"Transit costs are high because Houston has few policies hindering sprawl, which in turn allows for cheaper housing..."

Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, August 8, 2007

To read the full article, click here.  Houstonians will all agree that we spend waaaaay too much time in our cars.  As import as the expense of that commuting is, the time it takes is also costly.  When I moved my family from the suburbs into West University Place, I was delighted to discover just how much time (and money) I saved without the expensive commutes.  And with nearby community resources like great parks and museums, we were able to put that saved time and money to really good use.  Try it!  You'll like it!

Roger Martin

 

Aug. 6, 2007

Top Urban Enclaves - West University Place

Houston named Top Urban Enclave by Forbes.comWest University Place has been named one of the "Top Urban Enclaves" according to Forbes.com...

"... Call it an urban suburb – a big-city next-door neighbor that has rejected high-rise development and highways and maintained a small-town feel without the nightmarish commute of the average bedroom community…

"Contained within the Houston city limits and near Rice University, West University Place originally attracted upscale residents for its favorable tax policies.  Today, the tax exceptions are no longer, but the tree-filled, affluent bedroom community is one of the most prized addresses in the Houston area.  Prices start at around $500,000 and top off in the $3 million to $4 million range ..."

Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, August 6, 2007

To view the full article, click here.

Yes, that's us here in West University Place - an oasis of green lawns and mature oak trees surrounded by an increasingly-urban metropolis.  And we love our small-town atomosphere!

June 1, 2007

Houston Housing Market - An Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Housing Update by the Federal Reserve BankThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issued the following update on the Houston housing market ...

June 2007

"A slower U.S. economy and a pause in domestic drilling have taken the pressure off the Houston economic expansion, with growth ebbing across the board in the first half of 2007. Despite slower growth, however, labor markets remain extremely tight for workers at every skill level, from scientists and engineers to entry-level salespeople. The local unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2000. Some real estate markets, such as office and industrial, are still trying to catch up with past growth...

"Houston-area home sales hit a plateau in the first half of 2007. Existing-home sales through May are basically flat compared with the first five months of 2006. New-home sales were down early in the year, but sales had been unsustainably high 12 months earlier. Both new and used markets show particular weakness in sales of lower-priced homes, suggesting that the subprime issue may be taking a toll locally..."

To read the full article, click here.

May 6, 2007

Roger Martin Properties - Fondue Feast!

Roger Martin Properties - a Fondue FeastMay 6, 2007

“Roger and Ann Martin of Roger Martin Properties held a cheesy gathering at the Melting Pot on Westheimer with a fondue feast in celebration of their outstanding sucess in residential sales during the first quarter 2007.  Joining in the festivities in addition to the Martins were Christie Rogers, Julie Deering, Nadia Mackey, Jane Jurgens, Blaine Hull, Alexa Burrow, Jo Anna Ide, Barry McCarty, Rachel Solbach, and SheRanda Samuel.”

Jude Patronella

Houston Chronicle

Feb. 1, 2007

Houston Housing Market - an Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Economic Update from the Federal ReserveHere is the lastest Houston housing update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ...

February 2007

"The Houston housing market has cooled in recent months from the torrid pace of early 2006, but existing home sales were still solid in January, at 8.1 percent above the year earlier. New home sales have flattened out, as some national builders struggle with balance sheet problems in markets outside Houston. Single-family permits peaked earlier than usual last year—in May—and are down 10.9 percent from January 2006..."

To read the full article, click here.