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West Houston Market on the Road to Recovery

Energy Realty just hosted the first annual Energy Corridor International Festival last weekend to help remind residents and local businesses why the Energy Corridor is a great place to live, work, and play. Overall, the festival was a great success as many local businesses came out and shared their food, culture, services and product on a beautiful sunny day, and the live performances and DJ created a lively atmosphere.

                This was a grass roots effort pulled together by myself and other volunteers, Amy Dukes of Energy Corridor Living Magazine and Barbara Denson, author of the Gary the Go-Cart series. As residents of the Energy Corridor, we have seen businesses and neighborhoods hit hard by first the downturn of the oil industry and second by Hurricane Harvey, and we want to revive this community again. Our hope is that this annual event will continue to grow every year and become as popular as White Linen Nights in the Heights.

                While driving through the neighborhoods that were hit hard by the release of the reservoir in 2017, I am happy to see that the neighborhoods have come back to life and are beautiful and pristine again for the most part.  As a result, the home sales in these neighborhoods and the Energy Corridor have picked up again, although the market still remains saturated with a 9 month supply of inventory.

                We are finding that in order to compete in a market full of remodeled flood homes that are often priced below pre-flood value, homeowners have to update and freshen their homes to sell, even if they did not flood. In 77077, there are 294 single family homes on the market;  205 in 77079; and 1147 homes for sale in Katy! That’s a lot of homes to choose from, so buyers can be picky right now.

                As the memory of Harvey slowly fades away and the neighborhoods look better than ever, the desire to live in the Energy Corridor will far outweigh the risks of flooding and this area will come back stronger than ever! At the same time, as oil prices continue to stabilize in the $60’s and are predicted to go up to $70/barrel in a year, the empty office spaces will start filling up again, and home values should follow this trend.

                There are great things happening in West Houston and I am excited to be in the middle of it!

This month I have to get on my soap box and ask, what has happened to customer service in this country? What happened to the days of calling a company and someone actually answers the phone? Why do we spend 15 minutes pressing buttons and sometimes waiting on hold for over an hour to speak to a live person?

Unless all our lines are in use, when you call Energy Realty, you speak to a live person. Although I am not a large corporation, I think it is important to speak to someone that can either answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. Personally, I am tired of calling a service company and reaching a person in another country that is following a script rather than truly listening to my issues and finding a resolution. Why do I have to spend 20 minutes going through a script of questions every time I call?

Real Estate is a service industry as well, yet so many Realtors do not want to pick up their phone and actually speak to someone.  Communications take place by text and e-mail, and we have lost the art of more direct communication. As a professional in the industry, I have learned that it is important to review Contracts in person so that our clients understand what they are signing and what their obligations and rights are prior to signing. I love the ease of e-signature as much as anyone, but how many people never read what they are signing?

Words can be misconstrued over text or e-mail, so when resolving conflict or negotiating, it is better to actually speak to the other party, either over the phone, or face to face.  Technology has brought us so many wonderful tools and made our lives easier in so many ways, but it is also distancing us from effective communication.

As more information becomes available on the internet, I still believe that nothing replaces the interaction with a live, knowledgeable person. We can find a “how to video” for almost anything we want to do, and some people may choose to follow that route, but many people will choose to hire an expert to assist them. In the end, a true professional will not only save you time, but often save you money as well.

There are so many details involved in a real estate transaction, so it is important to work with a professional that can guide you through the process and provide a full service experience. I am a big online shopper, but sometimes I require a local business that is available to answer my questions in person.  I want the Ace Hardware experience, where I can feel like a person and not a number.

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