Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

May 25, 2008

Roger Martin Makes Office Bike-Friendly

Roger Martin MS 150

Local Broker Making His Life, Office Bike-Friendly

May 25, 2008

"Instead of putting the pedal to the metal in his Lincoln Navigator on the way to work, real estate broker Roger Martin is pedaling his bike to Roger Martin Properties to improve his health and promote better stamina in his daily routine.

"While attending The University of Texas in Austin, Martin used to bicycle all around the campus and the city.

"Through the years he continued to ride bicycles during varoius intervals in his life and participated in two MS 150 bike rides from Houston to Austin.

"His incentive to get into better shape was inspired by his son who started taking tennis lesson at the City Club in Greenway Plaza, which resulted in Martin beginning a workout regimen in the club's gym. Aware of the campaign 'Ride Your Bike to Work' spurred Martin into dusting off his bicycle a couple of months ago.

"His home and office are in West University and there is not a long commute, which is good when it comes to bicycling back to his home to get the Navigator so he can drive his clients to preview properties in West University and areas thoroughout greater Houston.

"'I had one client a couple of years ago who wanted to ride a bicycle to preview houses and we rode our bikes through West University looking at different homes on the market. I found out that besides the health benefit you can see a neighborhood a lot better while riding a bike,' said Martin, who established Roger Martin Properties in West University in 1989.

"'Recently, I started riding my bike to the City Club and the West University Rotary meetings,' he said.

"'Now I'm planning to make my office bicycle friendly by installing bike racks in an area to park in front of the sidewalk and I am going to install an air pump so people can inflate their tires.'"

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle

I did indeed install the bike rack outside my office, where it sees frequent use by visitors to the Edloe Deli.  And of course, it is still there whenever I ride to work!

Roger Martin

April 20, 2008

Storytellers Spin Yarns for Fun-Filled Evening Out

Storyteller Entertains Roger Martin PropertiesThe Storytellers Guild?  Liars Contest?  Not our usual venue, certainly.  But at Roger Martin Properties, we stop from time-to-time and get away from the daily grind.  We try to gather together socially once a quarter with our agents, staff and their families.  The Houston Chronicle published this story about one such get-together...

"Always on the lookout for good entertainment for their real estate company's quarterly meetings, Roger and Ann Martin of Roger Martin Properties celebrated the first quarter of 2008 at a fun-filled evening with the Houston Storytellers Guild.

"They began the evening with dinner at Pappas Seafod House and then traveled to the Houston Baptist College campus, where the Houston Storytellers Guild's 20th annual Liars Contest was held.

"Ann said the guild's gatherings are for sharing stories, promoting storytelling and having fun. She said one lady told an elaborate fib about how she helped the author of "Gone With the Wind" name the characters in the novel. Another person, wearing leather gloves and a hardhat, spun a yarn about how to bathe a cat..."

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle, April 20,2008

And hey -- don't think that we were at the Storytellers Guild picking up helpful hints!  We real estate professionals are trained to disclose, disclose and disclose truthfully once again!

Roger Martin

March 4, 2008

Houston Technology Center makes Houston a Top 10 Tech City

Houston Top Ten Technology CityHouston has been named one of the Top Ten Up-and Coming Tech Cities by Forbes.com, based on the work of the Houston Technology Center.  Here is an excerpt from the recent article...

... Houston hasn't exactly earned a reputation as a city teeming with techies.  But that's changing. 'Fifteen years ago, we had all the assets, but we weren't really developing them,' says Walter Ulrich, chief executive of the Houston Technology Center, the state's largest technology incubator. 'So all the leaders of Houston got together and recognized that the city needed to diversify its economy. There's been this tremendous transition.'

Houston's strategy: Smash different discoveries together. To wit: Houston's itRobotics, founded in 2002, has developed new cost-cutting robots that inspect a variety of boilers and energy pipelines for structural flaws.

Other Houston start-ups are commercializing technologies originally developed at local research institutions. Nanospectra Biosciences, a local drug delivery company, is working on a nano-scale particle (pioneered at Rice Univerisyt) that destroys cancerous tumors. The particles are injected in the bloodstream and accumulate inside cancerous tumors. When the tumor is exposed to a laser, the particles absorb the near-infrared light and convert it into thermal energy, destroying the tumor...

William Pentland, Forbes.com, March 10, 2008

The Houston Technology Center is based in the Woodlands, and (according to their website) "provides education, insight, and access to capital that entrepreneurs need to move towards the path to commercialization."

To read the entire Forbes article, click here.  To learn more about the Houston Technology Center, click here.

Roger Martin

Feb. 26, 2008

Housing Market Deemed Strong in Inner City

 Inner City Real Estate MarketI was recently interviewed by the ExaminerNews.com, who compared our local housing market to the national real estate conditions.  Here is an excerpt...

Houston’s inner city housing market continues to be robust despite recent reports of a decline in overall sales and an increase in the number of days on the market, experts said….

'The sharp downturns in the housing market detailed in the media are national,' said Roger Martin of Roger Martin Properties, which deals with property in West University Place. He agreed that the growth in the housing market is based on a good economy, and that the market is ‘not growing insanely.’

By Leslie Contreras, www.ExaminerNews.com, February 26, 2008

Thanks for the vote of confidence in our local housing market!

Roger Martin

Feb. 13, 2008

West University Named Blue-Chip Neighborhood

West U is Blue Chip Neighborhood West University has just been named a Blue-Chip Neighborhood by Forbes.com.  The Examiner.com published and article in response, citing the Forbes article and quoting me.  Here is an excerpt...

Forbes magazine has named West University Place one of the premier blue-chip real estate investment areas in the nation.

The magazine defined blue-chip markets by examining home appreciation values and median house values since 1990 and choosing properties that have held on to and increased in value over the last 17 years.

Based on data from NeighborhoodScout.com, a real estate firm that tracks home appreciation information, West University Place posted a price [increase] of 194 percent since 1990, with the median home value at $663,740.

The city placed among Forbes’ list of 'well-established spots' with Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, University Park in Dallas and communities in Chicago and New York.

The pegging of the neighborhood among the elite was no surprise to longtime real estate agent Roger Martin, of Roger Martin Properties.

'The steady growth is based on a 'good, solid economy in Houston,' he said, including strong industries in the Medical Center, the port of Houston, and the oil sector.  Also, he said, the limited amount of property available – roughly about 6,200 homes total – is a fundamental factor in making the market strong.

But most of all, he said, it is the city itself that draws buyers.  'We have a good city, we have good schools within our area,' Martin said.  'It’s a pleasant place to live.  All these things go to make a solid investment...'"

Leslie Contreras,  West University Examiner, www.examiner.com, February 13, 2008

Thank you Leslie, for expanding on the Forbes article.  We really are a Blue-Chip Neighborhood -- and a great place to live!

Feb. 7, 2008

Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters

Forbes.com names Houston Best City for Bargain House HuntersHouston has just been named one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by Forbes.com.  Here's a quote from the recent article...

"... Compared to housing prices in other cities, Houston real estate has always been a bargain, which is part of why the population has expanded so much since 2000.  Jobs are being added to the books at the sixth fastest rate of cities measured, and while the city has had more than a few foreclosures, especially in Harris County, it hasn’t taken a huge overall hit.  Based on inventory levels and construction projects in the works, buyers still have good standing to negotiate price..."

From "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, February 7, 2008

While we Houstonians sometime bemoan our lack of scenery, our flat topography has allowed the city to expand and grow without barriers.  That factor, together with a strong economy, has kept housing prices reasonable.  So thank you, Forbes, for naming us one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters"!

Roger Martin

Feb. 1, 2008

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports that the Houston economy is beginning to feel the effects of the national housing crisis.  New construction is down and foreclosures are up...

"Is Houston feeling the strain of the U.S. slowdown? It is not apparent yet in the employment data, but the clearest effect is spillover from the U.S. housing downturn. Both the number of single-family permits and existing home sales are down sharply, and foreclosures are rising...

"The bottom rungs of the Houston housing market continue to lag, with overall permits for new single-family construction down 27 percent from January 2007, and existing homes sales down 14 percent. The bust in the subprime market and loss of those potential customers triggered the local slowdown last summer, and year-to-date foreclosures were up 16 percent in the first two month of 2008 compared with last year..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, February 2008

The Houston economy has been lucky to avoid these real estate woes so far, but our housing market has definitely slowed recently, particularly for entry-level homes on the edges of the city.

Roger Martin

Jan. 19, 2008

Radio Interview with Roger Martin

Roger's Radio InterviewJanuary 19, 2008

Here I am, discussing Houston real estate live on the radio with Steve Levine of Houston Real Estate Today on CNN 650. The other guest was my friend Tom Laurenzo, VP of urbanFINANCIAL. Tom is my go-to guy when I need a Spanish-speaking loan officer.

To see a video of the interview, click here.

Roger Martin

 

Jan. 7, 2008

Jo Anna Ide - Realtor of the Week

JoAnna Ide, Broker Associate with Roger Martin Properties

Congratulations to Jo Anna Ide, who has been named REALTOR OF THE WEEK by the Houston Chronicle.  The article is included below...

Education foundation of Realtor’s career     

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

Having made her mark as an educator who became principal of West University Elementary School, Jo Anna Ide went on to immerse herself in another career as a real estate broker in association with Roger Martin Properties.

“I have loved houses since I was a little girl. I can remember getting my mother to take me out to look at homes for sale,” said Ide, a native Texan from Texarkana who moved to the Bayou City to attend the University of Houston – where she was a cheerleader, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, and a doctorate in business administration.

While she was principal, Ide would go out into the community to talk with people about activities and plans for the school, generating a lot of interest from business owners in support of the school. Through the effort she got to know Roger Martin, the broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, who worked as a community partner for West University Elementary and often donated computers and other necessities for students.

After working on numerous projects with Ide for a number of years, Martin witnessed the manner in which she interacted with people, and recognized her potential for becoming a successful Realtor. He suggested that someday she should consider a real estate career.

Eventually, Ide followed through with his advice and became licensed as a Texas real estate agent eight years ago. She went on to become a leading Realtor with Roger Martin Properties and attained a real estate broker’s license and the Graduate Realtor Institute and Accredited Buyer Representative designations.

“It was very hard leaving my job as a principal, but I had done it a long time. However, the transition was easy because my experience of working with parents and teachers proved to be beneficial in my new career,” Ide said, who quickly built a large real estate practice with referrals from people she previously worked with and has known through various associations.

Ide also developed a successful practice by offering the best of service she could provide. Realizing that whatever she does, Ide wanted to be knowledgeable as possible and for that reason, she pursued an advanced continuing education in real estate . . . “for a better understanding of my profession, especially the legal aspects for both buyer and seller clients.”

Being an educator, Ide feels it is very important to stay up to date with everything going on in real estate. In line with that motivation, Ide’s business has flourished, earning her recognition as a top producing Realtor in residential sales from Roger Martin Properties, the Houston Chronicle’s Sold On Your Realtor contest and the Houston Association of Realtors.

In addition to staying abreast of the real estate industry, Ide keeps a close watch on trends and values in the great Houston housing market. She promotes listings in the city’s close-in residential communities, including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southampton and the Rice/Medical Center area.

Ide also works with buyers in any area they choose to live, having sold homes in Kemah, Pearland, Clear Lake and other outlying areas.

Ide markets her listings through the advertising programs available at Roger Martin Properties, which covers publications, brochures, mail-outs and Internet Web sites. She also conducts Realtor and public open houses, and has met and sold numerous homes to people who have stopped by to view a property she has listed and held open for the public.

“I go through every single aspect in real estate transactions with my clients, from the beginning to the end. I have helped them with attaining or cancelling service from utility companies, insurance and repair referrals, and anything else they need. I’ve also watered my clients’ lawns, and taken care of their children, dogs and cats because I enjoy helping in any way possible,” Ide said.

Well done, Jo Anna Ide!

Roger Martin

Dec. 7, 2007

Best Blue Chip Real Estate - West University Place

West U is Blue Chip Real EstateForbes.com has just named West University Place one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments"!

West University Place

Median Home Sale Price:  $663,740

Price Growth Since 1990:  194%

… West University Place, a smaller city within Houston, originally chose to remain separate from the big city for tax purposes, and has its own city council, postal system and school system.  West U is effectively an urban suburb, and has the feel of a place outside the city limits.  In other words, a very desirable place to live.  Texas is home to some of the nation’s most affordable markets, yet West U has experienced extremely potent price growth since 1990.

Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, December 7, 2007

To read the full article, click here.

Thank you Forbes, for confirming what we Realtors have known all along!  West University Place is a great neighborhood with strong appreciation in real estate values... making us one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments" in the country!