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One of the most common question asked by our clients is “How is Austin’s job market?” Well, first let me say that Austin was ranked #1 in Forbes’ Best Cities for Jobs in 2011 and The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Austin’s unemployment rate for August 2012 as 5.6%.

But what is fueling our city’s job market?

According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, it’s because of the various employment opportunities that help us through economic downfalls. Some of the major sectors include:

  • technology
  • health care
  • business sectors
  • education
  • government
  • entertainment.

Texas constantly ranks as one of the nation’s most favorable places for businesses because of its low tax burden and competitive administrative environment. Texas’ accumulated costs for real estate, energy, wages and taxes are below most states in the country. It also features no personal or corporate income tax. Resulting in one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the nation, placing Texas at 47th among the 50 states in taxes paid per $1000 of personal income. For more information visit The Austin Chamber of Commerce website.

Austin is well known for offering affordable living. In fact, The National Association of Realtors reports that the median home price in Austin was $187,400 in 2009 while the national median was $173,200.

Besides the amazing tax breaks and affordable housing, did I mention all of the high tech companies that have set up shop in town?

  • Dell
  • IBM and Freescale Semiconductor
  • 3M Company
  • Apple Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • AMD
  • Applied Materials
  • Cirrus Logic
  • Cisco
  • eBay/PayPal
  • Google
  • Hoover’s, Inc.
  • Intel
  • National Instruments
  • Samsung
  • Silicon Laboratories
  • Sun Microsystems
  • United Devices

Other major employers in town include the State of Texas, The University of Texas, the Seton Healthcare Network.

How do they affect our job market?

Well, all of these businesses are powered by highly educated employees that are drawn to the Austin lifestyle from all over the world. Let’s face it! People want to move to Austin. Think about it; what better balance can a city offer than being voted both the “Best Place for Business and Careers” and the “Live Music Capital of the World?” Businesses love young, happy, and educated employees making Austin the best place for them to open up shop. Which is good for us because the more businesses that move here, the more job opportunities that are created, and the better our job market is.

 

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First, let us start by saying that we’re always looking for world class agents to join our team!

That said, we are currently looking for buyers agents who:

  • are not afraid to work hard
  • are sales focused
  • have great people skills
  • a strong work ethic

Why should you work at Austin Properties Group instead of for some other company? Because we’re changing the way Real Estate is done, revolutionizing the industry, and you’d get to be part of it! That’s pretty amazing. But a quick word of advice- we don’t just hire anyone with a real estate license. We only want the best agents, that will fit in with our team and our beliefs in client service. Everything we do, from the hiring of agents and staff, to the implementation of procedures and processes- is ultimately done for the purpose of providing all of our clients, and our agents, with exemplary service. (See our About APG page for more on our values and beliefs.)

Who are we? Well, the word on the street is that we’re pretty amazing but besides that, we are an Austin based real estate company. We’re part of the Keller Williams Luxury Homes division and are one of the top producing real estate teams in the largest market center in the nation. We are an extremely innovative and fast growing Real Estate team and are looking to continue our growth as we add motivated professionals who want to grow with us!

Why are we hiring? Our business continues to grow year after year and we have more potential customers than we can serve. We are seeking full-time buyers agents that have a Texas real estate license and are ready to dedicate themselves to fulfilling all of our clients’ needs while delivering superior customer service!  Our main focus is going above and beyond for our clients- they are our passion, they are our priority, they are why we are here.

There is so much more we could say about our team but rather than bore you with a lengthy post, go ahead and fire up the email, send us your resume, and set up an appointmentI!

Email us at contact@austinpg.com and tell us why you feel you would be great for this position.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Categories: Austin Properties Group

Last weekend I went out with a friend and discovered a place in Austin that I didn’t even know existed! So then I started thinking in the 5 years that I have lived here, although I think I have been to the best places, there must be others that I’m missing out on. So I started researching like crazy and here are the top five that I found to be extremely interesting.

1. Enchanted Forest

Located on Oltorf St. right off of South Lamar, this place is like stepping through a portal. Time slows, the air seems cleaner, and wonder awaits around every corner. The forest is hidden away with trees, rocky stages and is one of the most unique spaces/venue/forest in Austin. The folks at Enchanted Forest love all things art and their goal is to be an art mecca for everyone!

 

 

2. St. Edwards Park

For all you explorers out there, if you haven’t been here you’re missing out. This hidden gem in Northwest Austin runs along the northern bank of Bull Creek and Spicewood Springs Road. However, make sure to keep an eye out when driving there since its presence is missed by some because of their small parking areas. It’s perfect for all trail runners, hikers, and dog owners. If you decide to go keep an eye out for the open spaces so you can enjoy the hill country views! The park also features bull creek, waterfalls, and a stream running through the middle of it.

 

3. Carousel Lounge

Okay, this place is super weird, funky, unique and different as can be. Which, honestly, is a huge compliment especially if you’re from Austin. It has a super cool vibe and appeals to people of all ages. It’s super inexpensive and is BYOL!  The bar occupies, what seems to have been an abandoned Knights of Columbus Hall. The interior and exterior are covered in circus and carousel themed murals, with a huge pink elephant in the back. It also features individual juke boxes in the front booths, a pinball machine, and walk-in telephone booths.

 

 

4. Cathedral of Junk

This place proves that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure! It’s a must see for everyone! Especially for all you collectors and memorabilia fans out there! Vince Hanneman has turned his weekend hobby into an amazing maze/fort of random stuff that is a must see for anyone visiting Austin. He began building the cathedral in 1988, has added steadily to if over the years and now contains over 60 tons of junk! What was once an ordinary South Austin back yard has now been transformed into an amazing place filled with secret rooms, towers, and stairs made from concrete and wire. It’s filled with colored glass and plastic, bowling balls, old nintendo controllers, license plates, dvd’s, and toys for as far as the eye can see. The cathedral seems small from the outside but once you step in it magically expands. Maybe it’s because of the stairways, multiple levels, the vaulted ceilings, or the observation platforms. There is no charge for viewing the Cathedral of Junk, however donations are accepted. So make sure to get yourself out there, you won’t regret it!

 

5. Casa de Luz

Have you ever eaten in a Yoga studio? Well, eating here is exactly what I would imagine it would feel like. This place is super hip and the ambiance is so zen! It’s extremely unique, the interior is simple and dim, filled with wooden tables. The menu changes daily and for $12 you get one meal that consists of one salad, a soup, and a plate of vegetarian items. The food is delicious, fresh and macrobiotic! For those of you not familiar with the macrobiotic diet, it’s a low-fat, high fiber diet that is mainly a vegetarian diet, that focuses on whole grains and vegetables. People interested in this are usually looking for a healthy way of eating that also ties in physical, spiritual, and planetary health. So whether your a vegetarian or not you’ve got to check this place out! The food is very flavorful and who doesn’t love feeling completely nourished and healthy after dining out?

 

Well, there you go guys, Austin’s five best kept secrets. I’m sure there are many more so if you have any that you think would be a great addition, leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure about your real estate agent? Not getting good vibes? Wondering if it’s time to bag it? Here are a few scenarios where we would encourage you to fire your agent — stat!

1. Your listing agent doesn’t baulk when you suggest leaving your circa 1992 glamor shot hanging above the mantle. It provides charm and matches the pleather sofa after all!

No agent – no good agent – is going to let you leave your favorite treasures out for the world to see. It is in your best interest to create a space in which Buyers can see themselves living. Unfortunately, that can sometimes mean stashing some of your creepy favorite family photos away for awhile. The good news is, the sooner you are on board with your agents suggestions, the sooner you can break out the bow in your new pad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Your agent offers to drive you around to see houses…with all of her besties.

Let’s face it – finding a sweet Betty is great…to have cookies and milk with. As for an agent, you need to feel confident that they will go to bat for you and keep your goals in mind when negotiating contracts. Make sure your agent knows the market and is a strong player when it’s time to negotiate the best deal for you!

 

 

 

 

 

3. It never occurred to your agent that a pen name might not be a bad idea.

If simple things like branding and image aren’t important to your agent – your needs are probably not at the top of his list either. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Picture this: you still have to live there until your house sells!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Your agent agrees that a $500,000 price range would be swell place to start!

We all want to make a buck – a lot of bucks – when selling a house, but if your agent isn’t doing her homework and being up front with you and your crazy expectations – chances are she is just trying to bulk up her listing inventory. Be leery of agents making pricing promises if they haven’t thoroughly researched the market and can back their numbers up with comps and hard core facts.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Of the eight photos in MLS, one of them resembles a war zone!

Pictures can TRULY make or break a listing. With over 90% of people looking at homes online, it’s IMPERATIVE that your listing not only have quality photos but a LOT of quality photos. Buyers want to see as much as possible – even if that means 10 angles of your kitchen! Given a professional photo shoot usually runs an agent under $100 – we think it’s well worth it. If your agent doesn’t agree – then your listing probably isn’t worth it to them.

 

 

 

 

 

In all seriousness – there are hundreds of reasons why someone may want to fire their agent. The bottom line is, if you aren’t comfortable with the person you have entrusted to manage one of the biggest financial transactions of your life – find someone else! Luckily in real estate – breaking up is not hard to do!

If your home is currently listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation.  It is, however, intended to raise the standards in an industry that is easy to enter – yet difficult to sustain. Best of luck to you in all of your future real estate transactions!

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Categories: Home Tips

Violet CrownLocally owned with four screens showing international, documentary, and independent films, the Violet Crown is the jewel of downtown movie watching! Violet Crown has reserved seating and tickets can be purchased at the theater or online.

Violet Crown boasts a full bar, including extensive beer and wine lists. You can enjoy food from their varied menu in one of the lounges or take your meal into the theater! Traditional movie snacks are also available!

Worried about downtown parking? Not at Violet Crown! Parking is validated with purchase of a movie ticket. The parking garage is attached to the theater and is entered from San Antonio Street between 2nd and 3rd Street. Free valet parking is also available to movie watchers located in front of Malaga.

On a side note and for anyone who doesn’t know…”The City of the Violet Crown” is one of Austin’s oldest nicknames. Enjoy a good movie, a cold drink, and tasty food at Violet Crown!

<3

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Categories: Food and Entertainment

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce recently released its annual K12 Metro Austin Education Progress Reports. The report acts as a tool for the local Austin community to track and evaluate school district performance.

The results were provided by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) which evaluates the degree to which a student is proficient in reading and mathematics at each tested grade level.  The following schools have all received a TAK overall rating in the 99th percentile for both subjects and are considered the best elementary schools in Austin.

Kiker Elementary

The Kiker Comets soar above the rest as the highest rated elementary school in the study. Kiker Elementary, which was founded in 1992, is located within the Circle C Ranch area and had a 2010-2011 enrollment of 932 students.

The TAKS revealed scores in the 99th percentile for every grade and subject evaluated, excluding fifth grade reading which was shown to be among the 98th percentile. The school was granted a well-deserved accountability rating of “Exemplary.”

Hill Elementary

Hill Elementary, founded in 1970, is among the top-rated elementary schools in Austin earning it an “Exemplary” rating.  In the 2010-2011 academic year Hill Elementary had 735 enrolled students.

The study placed Hill Elementary among the 99th percentile for nearly every grade and subject evaluated.  Fourth and fifth grade mathematics were among the 98th percentile.

Highland Park Elementary

Highland Park Elementary, whose school mascot is a Scottie dog, is a self-proclaimed ‘top-dog’ school in Austin, Texas—and for good reason!  Highland ranked among the 99th percentile for every grade and subject evaluated with the exception of third and fourth grade mathematics, which reached a close second ranking among the 98th percentile.

The school, which was founded in 1952, had a 2010-2011 student enrollment of 660.  Highland Park merited an “Exemplary” accountability rating for its excellence in academics.

Casis Elementary

Casis Elementary, home of the cougars, has pawed its way to the top and earned a spot among the highest ranked elementary schools in Austin. Casis has earned an “Exemplary” rating for the academic achievements of its students. The school placed among the 99th percentile for every subject and grade, excluding third and fifth grade mathematics which placed among the 98th percentile.

Casis, located within the Tarrytown area, was founded in 1951 and had 821 students enrolled in the 2010-2011 school year.

Clayton Elementary:

Last, but certainly not least, are the Clayton Cardinals who fly in to earn their spot among the top-ranked elementary schools in Austin. Clayton Elementary, which was founded in 2006, had a 2010-2011 enrollment of 871 students.

The students at Clayton Elementary perform well above the state average as shown by the TAKS scores. The school ranked among the 99th percentile for all grades and within each subject, with the exception of third grade which ranked among the 98th and 97th percentiles for reading and mathematics, respectively.

 

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Garrido's

In Austin, you’re never too far away from a delicious plate of Mexican cuisine or Tex-Mex!  If you’re looking for the comfort of great Mexican food but are tired of the same ‘ol thing…try Garrido’s!

Located Downtown in the Warehouse District, on 360 Nueces, Garrido’s covered patio is a great place to spend some time enjoying Austin’s beautiful fall weather!  Tucked away, and overlooking palm trees and Shoal Creek, enjoy pared down Mexican food with a modern spin.

Happy hour boasts half price appetizers and drink specials, and like many restaurants in Austin, Garrido’s has live music every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evenings, and Sunday Brunch!

Garrido’s is the perfect place to enjoy a celebratory drink after closing on a new home with Austin Properties Group!

 

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Categories: Food and Entertainment

Stand Out From The Crowd

Why, you may ask? Well, besides the fact that were the nicest realtors on the block, we stage our OWN listings, and we know what buyers are looking for and market your home accordingly. Plus, it’s all part of what you get when you team up with APG. You list with us, we stage for you – it’s simple. Client care has always been numero uno on our list and it really all started from the beginning, when APG was just a twinkle in our eyes.

Our mission, declaration, manifesto, call it what you will, but our main purpose for this company was, and always will be, to provide our clients with top-notch customer service. By treating them like people and listening to them, we have unconsciously added warmth to the word realtor. Our main focus is you, of course! And yes, it sounds super cliché because a lot of other companies claim this but this is the real, raw, genuine truth. Unfortunately, all other claims have deflated what it truly means to provide great customer service thus giving realtors a bad rep. So, we’ve taken the responsibility upon ourselves to give the word “realtor” a new meaning and raise our industry standards.

Before we rush out of here to seize the day, we need to do something. Which may seem really weird and super corny but it has to be done! You know how people put two words together to make one? A marriage of words if you will – Brangelina, TomKat, Khlomar and the like. Well, the more we think about it, it seems like there is a unhappy marriage between “realtor” and “cold”, and it’s turned ”real-cold”. Which, admittedly there are realtors out there deserving of this, but why should we all suffer because of a few rotten apples?

So let’s take this moment to divorce “real-cold” and formally announce the new marriage between “realtor” and “friend” to give us “real-friend”, because this is what every realtor should strive for. To be your trusted friend at your side throughout the whole process and even after. Thankfully, we’ve mastered the art of client care and have realized that this is what sets us apart. This is why Austin Properties Group is the preferred real estate company for many, but most importantly, it’s why we’re able to say that we’ve successfully grown to be something exceptional in a market of mediocrity.

So the next time you’re looking for a place to call home, sell the one you have now, or just want to chat - think of Austin Properties Group and don’t hesitate to call us, we’d love to hear from you!

Before we sign off, we’d like to remind you – being different is one of the most beautiful things on earth, always embrace your “you-ness”!

Now go out there and be YOU!

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Categories: Austin Properties Group

We hate to pat ourselves on the back…but…

<<< Look what we won!

 

 

 

Keller Williams was recently awarded “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Home Buyer/Seller Study!

Boasting the win in both Buyer and Seller satisfaction – “Keller Williams achieves the highest scores in all factors across both segments, including agent/salesperson, which is the most important aspect of the customer experience for home buyers and sellers.”

So to all of the loyal Keller Williams and APG clients – THANK YOU – we are obviously nothing without you!

 

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Categories: Keller Williams

Austin City Limits FestivalOctober is coming up and for all you music junkies it means a lot more than halloween festivities, it means that Austin City Limits (ACL) is just around the corner. The ACL Festival has grown to 3 days, 8 stages and over 130 bands. It takes place in the heart of Austin at the legendary Zilker Park.

Believe it or not ACL was first created to celebrate the music of texas, you know, the good  ole western swing, texas blues, tejano music and rock and roll. However, over the years it has grown immensely and the band line up has gone on to feature regional, national and international artists performing a wide range of musical styles. It goes without saying that the Austin City Limits Festival gets better and better year after year. After all, it’s why Austin’s known as the Live Music Capital of The World.

This year’s line up features the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys, Avicii, Bassnectar and many more! The tickets sell out fast so if you haven’t purchased yours yet, hurry you don’t want to miss this! ACL begins on October 12th and ends on the 14th. Also, be sure to check out the official ACL website to view the schedule and line up.

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Categories: Austin

Austin Properties Group

1801 S. Mopac, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
Office: 512.222.3015
info@austinpg.com