Vote for Jo Ann Stevens – Houston Association of Realtors – Episode #7
Mack: Good morning and welcome to Mortgage Mack Live with your Monday morning commute and I’m here with my friend, Jo Ann Stevens joining us.
Jo Ann: Good morning. Thank you.
Mack: Thank you.
Jo Ann is currently the national president of Women’s Council of Realtors and she is a candidate for?
Jo Ann: The HAR Board of Directors.
Jo Ann: In the southwest category.
Mack: Great. I’d like to say thank you to my sponsors today. MacKnight, forgive me. MacKnight Safety Solutions’ owner Travis McVay whose company specializes in providing training and safety and for staffing in all sorts of industries. Also, AMVET Inspections, everybody’s favorite inspector and my friend Darrel Creacy along with my friend Randall Chesnutt at Spoken About.
4 Decades of Leadership in the Real Estate Industry
Jo Ann: I guess my career you might say…
Jo Ann: In real estate has spanned forty years this year. And during that time I’ve been an agent – listing and selling. I have worked in the title industry for a number of years as well. I’ve been everything from Fortune 500 company in the corporate world to a sole proprietorship.
Jo Ann: So, I’ve kind of done a little bit of all of it.
Jo Ann: And today, I work for a very small company, [Boutique] in Sugar Land, Texas, but it enables me to stay active and Women’s Council and HAR. I’m also active at TAR.
Jo Ann: So, being on different committees and actually this year I’m also on the board of directors for NAR.
Mack: Okay. So, you’ll be transitioning from national president of Women’s Council of Realtors and with an endeavor to be on the board of directors specific to Houston Association of Realtors. Tell us a little bit about that position, please?
Jo Ann: Okay. Yes. This – in November ends my year as the national president although I still will be around and serving on the leadership and the executive committee for a year or so.
Jo Ann: But, I think that one gathers this knowledge and I have to tell you that as I travel around the country and people hear that I’m from Houston, immediately they have a lot of questions about, oh, you all are so big and you have such great technology and how do you raise so much money for RPAC and I mean just questions.
Jo Ann: And so, what I have found and even though I knew we had a great association, I had no idea that we were as revered in the industry as we are. And quite frankly, I think we are the standard to which most associations strive to be and to obtain. And it’s really important to me that we maintain that reputation and that we continue to be smart in our decision-making and that we stay relevant in today’s ever changing industry.
Mack: You know there’s lots of potential disruptors out there specific to…
Jo Ann: Yes.
Mack: The real estate industry the mortgage industry. What would you say your vision for this position would be if you were elected?
Jo Ann: I think it is incumbent upon us to look at these different platforms that are entering the real estate industry. And I think we have to analyze them to determine if they are truly disruptors or if there are ways we can implement their strategies and have it work in harmony with our business today.
And so, I think we have to stay informed on all of these different platforms and what they will do, what they won’t do, are they our competitor, are they friendly. So, and that in itself is a daunting task because as you know there are so many that are looking for ways to get into the industry some of which are just to make a quick buck and get out. They don’t really have the concern of the consumer at heart.
Jo Ann: I think we as realtors provide a valuable service and something that no other platform is doing at this point in time. So, I just think we have to look and see which of these platforms can become a tool for us and which ones maybe are not.
Mack: You know I know that – that Zillow I think intends to work directly with the real estate community. There’s two other platforms, there is Opendoor and Offerpad and you were at Inman news conference recently.
Jo Ann: Yes
Mack: Were those companies topics and if so, could you may be elaborate on what kind of companies they are and how they could potentially be disruptor for the industry and in which I think relates to your candidacy and the vision to maybe partner with these companies as opposed to just letting them be a disruptor?
Jo Ann: Yes. I did just come back from the Inman conference on Friday. And that was exactly the topic of several of the sessions dealt with how do we work in harmony or how do we collaborate with companies like Opendoor for instance and is there a way that we can work together rather than being competitors.
And so, certainly I think that’s what we need to investigate and to try to see if we can be harmonious in the market place.
Mack: So, specific to the position, who – who would – who would you be representing?
Jo Ann: Actually, when you’re on the board of directors even though you’re elected from the — I would be elected from the southwest area and certainly Fort Bend County in the southwest Houston area is the area from which I would represent.
Jo Ann: But, really when you vote, you’re representing the entire membership in the city of Houston.
Jo Ann: And you know that is the daunting task because they have thirty seven thousand members now. And as we grow, a lot of positives, but certainly a lot of challenges that come with growth as well.
Mack: So, if – so, when does the voting happen and maybe tell us how somebody could go vote for you?
Jo Ann: Sure. The voting actually begins today and it will continue until Monday, August the 6th at 5:00.
Jo Ann: So, sometime during that period everybody that is a member of HAR has the opportunity to vote online. And then, they will capture that vote, they will make their results public probably the evening or the next morning.
Jo Ann: And then, we will know who – who won the election. And you know I guess my feeling is certainly I would ask everyone out there to consider voting for me.
Mack: Vote for Jo Ann.
Jo Ann: My profile is actually online and so you can see what experience and – and knowledge that I do bring to the table. But, I just think it’s important for every member to vote regardless of who you’re voting for just please exercise your right and get out there and vote, so.
Mack: So, I’ll put your profile in the show notes here.
Jo Ann: Okay. Great.
Mack: Any recommendations that you might share with us specific to what you’ve learned at Inman news for maybe individual broker or individual real estate agents that they might be wanting to look forward to with regards to how business is likely to transition with these platforms?
Jo Ann: Well, I think the consensus at Inman was, again, that all of these different platforms that are coming forward, they each offer a unique proposition if you will. And that for us as realtors we have to sort of examine that and see if that will fit into our process that we currently have or maybe we need to change our processes to become more efficient.
Jo Ann: And they – and I – but I do think that the message at Inman was more collaboration.
Jo Ann: Than it was competition and so, we’ll see how that works.
Mack: You know one of the things that all three of these platforms have in common is the direct buy, right? And – and what that means is that, you know, they’ll come into your house and – and they’ll offer you a price and they’ll give you a certain number of days to close and that takes out a lot of stress.
Jo Ann: It does.
Mack: Related to…
Jo Ann: It does.
Mack: Related to the process of, you know, selling and buying and the timing associated with that and it saves a lot of time as well. Are – has the real estate community come up with any potential solutions to solve that because what I understand Zillow obviously has plenty of funding, Offerpad was – raised a $150 million worth of private equity. Are there any solutions on the horizon for the brokers to offer that same kind of option for their real estate agents?
Jo Ann: Well, I think we all feel that there would be a certain segment of the market that would be interested in that. It is appealing as you mentioned that you don’t have to go through the market time, the showing of the property, living in a fishbowl as we say because you’re keeping your house neat and tidy for everybody to walk in at any minute.
Jo Ann: So, I do think there are some people who will gravitate to that, but I do think on the other side of the coin, the price that you’re going to be offered is not going to be what we would consider fair market value, it will be somewhat less.
And, there are some people who would be willing to take less, but as you probably realize and the other realtors that are in the audience so often are sellers have the opinion of their value is increase or in their minds it’s more than actually what it should sell for. So, I think that in itself will eliminate a number of people in that category if you will.
Mack: Okay. Okay. Anything you’d like to share with the audience in closing? I know you mentioned something while we were having breakfast specific I think to the association.
Jo Ann: Yes. Actually, I want to shout out to Houston Association of Realtors as they did win an award at Inman. And so, I want to congratulate Bob Hale and all the staff there on that award. And, again, it’s just kind of an example of the leadership that HAR has around the country.
Mack: You know I got to believe that because you know in many markets and Zillow is number one, but not this one.
Jo Ann: But not in Houston. You’re right.
Mack: Not in Houston, so…
Jo Ann: You’re right.
Mack: That has a lot – that says a lot about…
Jo Ann: It does.
Mack: The efforts by Bob Hale and his team. And you know when I had a buyer from Arlington this weekend and I went to HAR, found the house. I found all the same information just in one spot.
Jo Ann: Yeah.
Mack: So, I mean technologically we – we – we – HAR is just much easier to use than most any other association of realtors like I won’t say any, but…
Jo Ann: [Laughs]
Mack: But I’ve used several in other cities.
Jo Ann: Right.
Mack: And it’s just like, golly, the information is just not readily available.
Jo Ann: Yeah. It’s great. I mean we are way ahead of most associations around the country. And then, the other member benefits that we have through the association are just so much more than most.
Mack: I got to believe that, you know, with these other platforms coming out that HAR has got to be looking at how can we collaborate with these folks.
Jo Ann: Well, we’re not going to let them take over certainly. [Laughs]
Mack: I would think not. And I would think that that the association of realtors because I know that because you – you’ve been a part of the political action committees and you – the industry has one of the biggest political action committees in the entire country.
Jo Ann: Yes, we do.
Mack: And I’ve got to think that that is a lot of power that you could wheeled in a situation where it was necessary for you to maybe not force collaboration.
Jo Ann: Right.
Mack: But, certainly use some leverage, don’t you think?
Jo Ann: [Laughs] Probably so. Yes. Yes.
Mack: I got to agree. So, well, I appreciate you being here.
Jo Ann: Thank you.
MACK Thank you everyone for being here. Thank you, Frank – Frank. Thank you, Marty. And so, Mortgage Mack out and I will post your profile?
Jo Ann: Okay.
Jo Ann: Wonderful. Thank you so much.
Mack: And I’d love if – I’m going to post this on TeamMortgageMack.com as well. And, please go vote, the voting starts today.
Jo Ann: Correct. Today on HAR.com.
Mack: And, I’ll post the link for HAR as well, so if you’re out there and you want to go vote, you can do so.
[Applause] Have a good day everyone.
Jo Ann: Bye.
[0:13:54] End of Audio