Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Energy Tsunami is Coming (part one)

The Energy Tsunami is Coming (part one)
There are three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas area, and more coming.  This fact was included in the opening remarks by Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area EDP, at The Future of The Woodlands Summit presented by Bisnow.  The event was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on April 29th, with nearly 700 in attendance.
I arrived early, for which I am well known, to network and save a great table at which it was an honor to host Mimi Fryer/Alamo Title Company, Becky Drake/RE/MAX, Cheryle’ Sanderson and CeCelia Smith/Better Homes & Gardens, Gary Greene, Trey Dean/Keller Williams, Priyanka Johri/Woodlands Eco Realtors, Michael Bowden/Bowden Appraisal Group and Shawn Rizvi/Bank of Texas Mortgage.
A presentation by Dr. Leslie Hushka, Communications Manager for ExxonMobil Houston Campus Project, touted that there will be over 20 dining areas for employees and that the campus is 40% more efficient than the average building in Houston.  A few hundred employees began moving in a few months ago with the final move being next summer, and the child care center will open in August.  Approximately 8000 employees currently working in 25 buildings throughout Houston will relocate to the campus and approximately 2000 will relocate from Fairfax, VA.  With an objective for happy, productive and innovated employees, most of the information regarding the campus has been kept privately within the company until now.  Dr. Hushka even provided an email address to submit further questions, which is 
As fast as Montgomery County, Texas is growing, with population projected to double in the next 15-20 years, builders can’t build housing fast enough.  We might not need more Mexican food restaurants, but surely we will need more housing, roadways and donut shops.  An exciting time for those of us in the real estate industry.  REALTORS®, builders, title insurance companies, banks and mortgage companies are busier than ever throughout Montgomery County and Harris County.
Stay tuned, and remember to “Accentuate the Positive!”.
Patti St. Louis, PMN
Sales Representative/Escrow Officer
Alamo Title Company – The Woodlands
Licensed Texas REALTOR® since 1983
Proud Member of
            Business Networking International - Go Getters Chapter
            National Association of Residential Property Managers
            National Association of Professional Mortgage Women
            Houston Association of REALTORS®
            Texas Association of REALTORS®
            National Association of REALTORS®  
Women’s Council of REALTORS®
patti (4)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Women's Council of REALTORS® Lake Houston

Attending the Women's Council of REALTORS® Lake Houston Chapter Business Resource Meeting last week was educational and rewarding, with effective networking and great speakers.  President Debra Camino and the leadership team created a welcoming environment for real estate professionals and affiliates, and The Mystery Guest brought back some memories!

The speakers, Tim Underwood and Michael Mengden, educated us on VA Financing (with real world examples) and Understanding the Basics of Leasing (real estate agents, be sure to brush up on the Texas security laws of rental properties...will post info to my blog soon). 

Congratulations to Michael Clapp, winner of the membership recruitment contest!  

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.  Enjoy your networking opportunities this week!

~Patti St. Louis, 2012 Texas State Secretary
"Accentuate the Positive!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Amy Smythe Harris presents “Don’t Botox Your Brokerage, Go for the Whole Facelift!”

Part One – Focus on Your Brand

Amy Smythe Harris delivers programs that always promise to be as entertaining as they are educational.  Her presentation at the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Midyear Conference last month was no exception.  Although the focus here is for REALTORS®, it applies to any business.

Branding is an integral part of your business.  What does your brand tell the consumer?  Your Brand includes your personal Brand, your office Brand and your company Brand.  Just as “Finger Lickin’ Good” tells us how delicious KFC’s chicken really is, you should have an effective Brand that tells the consumer why they should use a REALTOR®, and why they should use your company, your office and you.

Your Brand includes your company name, logo, slogan and photo.  When you create your Brand or give it a facelift, do your research, develop your marketing plan, and consult a few people before implementing, then monitor your Brand.  

Researching current trends and the viability of your target market are essential.  You will also want to utilize to make sure your desired user name and domain name are available on dozens of sites.

Developing your marketing plan should include social media.  Start your Facebook biz page, use Twitter as a cold calling tool, start your Blog and be consistent, update your Google profile, and be sure to use a Wordpress site.

Monitoring your Brand tells you what people are saying.  Some of the many tools to monitor your Brand include Google Alerts, and

As Amy says: Measure! Everything!

Patti St. Louis, “Accentuate the Positive!”
Insuring This Land is Your Land

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Share Your Testimonials for the World to See

One of the marketing strategies in my business plan for 2012 is to share ALL of the testimonials that I receive.  After all, what good do they do if I am the only one that reads it?  Sure they make us feel good, and the writer certainly feels good writing and sending it.  Testimonials reinforce what we strive to achieve for our clients, and they can be one of our most effective marketing tools.

During a recent Women's Council of REALTORS® meeting or BNI Education Moment, the speaker suggested writing a testimonial for yourself before you complete your business plan, vision or mission statement.  Where I heard it is not as important right now as what it meant to me and the importance of including it in this post.  I'm sure it is in my notes in my Blog folder waiting for a future post.
So, here it is for you to see:


Thank you so very much. Your office did a great job in taking care of my client throughout the entire transaction. Because of the constant communication from your office, my client, a first homebuyer was very comfortable with the process on the day of closing.

I received this testimonial today and immediately shared it with the staff in all three of our offices, posted it to Facebook, now to Active Rain, and will post it to HAR, Blogger and LinkedIn.  I have much to learn in the social media world and one day I will figure out how to link everything together.  For now, I will share as best I can for the world to see.

Patti St. Louis
“Accentuate the Positive!”

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Closing

'Twas an hour before closing and the agents were tense,
to close Christmas Eve just didn't make sense.

But the seller was booked on the 6 o'clock flight

The agents agreed because business was dead,
and visions of commission checks danced in their heads.

The loan was approved by the lender's good grace,
Everyone knew 'twas a borderline case.
The buyers divorced, remarried again,
Divorced once more, and now were just friends.

The loan package complete to the closer was carried,
With instructions to close before they remarried.

The title commitment arrived via UPS,
From page One through Sixteen, a terrible MESS!

An improper legal, 3 judgments, a lien,
But a few lines on page seven, looked pretty clean.

The title was cleared and the closing was set,
But to finish today was not a sure bet.

The closer dashed in waving her HUD,
It was covered with whiteout, coffee and crud.
But down in the corner you barely could see,
that the buyer still owed a buck thirty-three.

So the closer extracted a bill from her compact,
And the agents agreed to the rest on the contract.

To add some interest, the seller revealed,
to everyone's horror - the well wasn't sealed.

And, oh yes, he wanted to change the disclosure,
His mother just died of RADON EXPOSURE!

Everything else in his house was O.K.
(his cracked floors and walls were always that way)

About that time the buyer chimed in,
"we'd like to continue, but before we begin,
I noticed these papers - I'm likely to blame,
But I gave my agents the wrong legal name,
And one more thing I had hoped to avoid,
Does it really matter if I'm self-employed?"

About this time the closer exploded.
She pulled out a gun and said it was loaded.
Everyone froze and sat there amazed,
She frothed at the mouth and her eyes were both glazed.

More rapid than eagles, her curses they came;
she bristled and spouted and called them BAD names.

Author unknown

My Comments: This poem has been around for several years and I love it!  Title commitments now arrive via email and a closer should never extract a bill from her compact in a closing.  The ending is quite rough, and because closers do experience much stress, they should never be allowed to carry guns!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good closing!

Patti St. Louis
“Accentuate the Positive!”
Business Development Representative
First American Title Company/Attorney Owned Closing Office and
The Law Firm of John Roger Cox & Associates, P.C.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holidays...To List or Not To List?

Several years ago while working for a title insurance company in The Woodlands, Texas, Donna walked into my office to sell her services and asked if I network.  More on that another time…

Most of my networking opportunities today are with REALTORS® in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.  REALTORS® are a large source of my title insurance business and we are constantly sharing ideas and strategies.

Yesterday, while attending my BNI chapter meeting, a REALTOR® asked for my advice and it led to a discussion about sellers wanting to take their home off the market during the holidays.  What a joyous time to show off a home!  We have always said that buyers who want to look at properties during inclement weather are normally very serious buyers.  The same can be said of buyers that look during the holidays.  There may be fewer showings during the holidays, but the showings a seller does have will likely be worth it.  I was one of those buyers during December 2008 and there were very few homes on the market in my desired area and price range.

There is an obvious advantage to keeping a home on the market when history shows that many sellers will pull theirs off, especially with interest rates as low as they are.  Even during the holidays we see new buyers rotating into the market, and a home off the market is just that, off the market.  And for those that do not want the inconvenience of preparing for showings while getting ready for and during holiday gatherings, it is acceptable to allow specific, limited showing days and times.

A serious buyer is a blessing and there will be increased competition on the market after the holidays and unknown interest rates.  Let’s encourage current and prospective sellers to showcase their homes during the upcoming season.

This is my first blog post, so be easy on me :)

Patti St. Louis
"Insuring This Land is Your Land"