Mark Strüb has happily called Austin home for 10 whole years. While that doesn’t make him a native, he feels it gives him sufficient rights to the popular Austinite catch-phrase “I remember when…” In addition to talking about the unpaved used car lot that gave way to Whole Foods' World Headquarters, he enjoys Alamo Drafthouse, dining outdoors, shopping and traveling. But nothing brings Mark greater joy than spending quality time with his 5 year old son, Jack, at their home in Hyde Park. Mark has a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from UT and makes his living helping people buy and sell homes.


July 28, 2010

KISS :: keep it simple...

A couple of years ago, when Jack was still a toddler, I re-learned a valuable lesson about how to communicate über important ideas. Clearly. Directly. Simply.

I was feeling overwhelmed with happiness about being Jack's Papa [you know, the usual], and I said to him very emphatically, "Jack, I could NOT love you more."

He looked sad. I was surprised. "What's wrong, buddy?!"

"You said you you didn't love me..."

WHOA! I can't really be sure that my copious amount of explaining and reiterating the message in more simple, audience-appropriate verbiage ever truly reversed the initial impact of that original interpretation. An expensive lesson indeed.

You may have noticed how the design and presentation of my company's identity strives to be concise. I sorely hope you do, anyway. We put a lot of thought and concern into it. We want our flyers to present the meaty details in an aesthetically pleasing way, for example. We hope the website is easy to navigate. We like our business cards to feature the info most important to you in a way that makes you want to see it more than once. These are all very deliberate ideas.

Of course, we are a work in progress. Professionally and personally. The road to improvement is winding and long with no opportunity to simplify that I'm aware of. Drop me a line if you find a shortcut.

July 27, 2010

Austin Market Stats :: Week Ending July 24

Properties For Sale:
[compared to the same week in 2009]

Active Listings + 16.80%

New listings + 2.34%.

Pendings - 19.18%
Solds - 27.83%

Average Prices:

[compared to the same week in 2009]
Sold average sales prices + 14.09% to $272,747.
In 2009 it was $239,059.

Austin had 11,860 active listings during the same week in 2009.
Today there are 13,853 active listings!
That is + 16.80% from last year.

July 25, 2010

What you don't know...

Today was the last full day of an extended period of uninterrupted days with Jack. 10 days and 9 glorious nights, to be exact. His mom and I have a 50/50 hussle and shuffle schedule otherwise. This week was a real treat.

Anyway, while I was toiling away building a fort in Jack's bedroom today while he supervised and peeled some fruit for us to enjoy... something happened. But I wouldn't have known about it if not for the pure honesty of a 5 year old.

Handing me exactly half of a peeled Clementine orange, "Here you go, Papa."

"MMMMMmmmmm. Thanks, Jack."

"It tastes really good even though I dropped it on the floor, right?"

Laughing, "It sure does!"

It occurred to me a bit later how different my day to day work life would be if I was this totally transparent with people. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm honest and credible. Absolutely. But I'm also diplomatic and careful. You would be AMAZED at how much emotion I filter out of dialog between two negotiating parties, for example. Or how many problems I solve without ever letting my clients know there was one (or a dozen). This is part of my value. I'm a fixer. My job is to get things done.

After doing this as long as I have now, I'm pretty good at predicting how things are going to go. But my clients aren't as practiced. So as they melt down, heat up or outright blow a gasket- my diplomatic, careful side takes over. I believe that ability is a large contributor to how people feel and the great things they have to say at the end of their Real Estate Roller Coaster Ride when they've had me as their trusted carny.

July 23, 2010

Austin Market Stats :: Week Ending July 17

Properties For Sale:
[compared to the same week in 2009]

Active Listings + 15.92%

New listings - 8.63%.

Pendings - 3.85%
Solds - 9.45%

Average Prices:

[compared to the same week in 2009]
Sold average sales prices + 13.53% to $291,418.
In 2009 it was $256,690.

Austin had 11,863 active listings during the same week in 2009.
Today there are 13,752 active listings!
That is + 15.92% from last year.

July 18, 2010

First Things First

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Barack Obama

"Inspire yourself and others will be inspired. Motivate yourself and others will be motivated. Develop yourself and others will start to develop themselves. Be an example first and then the world changes around you."
Author Unknown

July 14, 2010

Austin Market Stats :: Week Ending July 10

Properties For Sale:
[compared to the same week in 2009]

Active Listings + 17.34%

New listings - 2.14%.

Pendings - 25.79%
Solds - 38.13%

Average Prices:

[compared to the same week in 2009]
Sold average sales prices + 15.59% to $285,765.
In 2009 it was $247,221.

Austin had 11,657 active listings during the same week in 2009.
Today there are 13,678 active listings!
That is + 17.34% from last year.

July 12, 2010

SAGO :: Modern Mexican

Category: Mexican

4600 W Guadalupe St
Blg B, Ste 5

Austin, TX 78751
(512) 452-0300

I like Sago. It's solid.

Aside from the location being a real convenience for me, I really love their chips and salsa. The salsa is made in-house. They also have a really unique honey-cilantro rice as a standard side with most dishes that I think is great.

I've never tried something I didn't like, and I've had quite a few different things from the robust menu of apps, soups, tacos, enchiladas, and specialty entrees. Ingredients are fresh and interestingly combined.

Last night I had a Taco Salad. That sounds lame just based on the name, but there was nothing typical or road-side Tex-Mex joint about it. This item is a great example of how they earn the "modern" designation in their name. They take the standards and re-work them into something special.

Drinks and drink specials are decent too.

July 10, 2010

EPIPHANY :: Kid Birthday Party Theme

Jack and I were at a really fun birthday party today for a friend of his from school. We were at a great spot in Tarrytown called Reed Park. Safe and harmless enough of a place, right? Well sure- unless there is a group of 5 and 6 year old boys gathered together. A lot of the morning was spent washing off scrapes, narrowly saving little guys from bone-threatening slides down hill faces and other general threats and perils. In between those adventures we talked stories of all the recent injuries that have befallen our respective party goers.

If you are the parent of girl(s), the only people who understand this explosive combination less than you are those with no children at all. We who are blessed with snips and snails and puppy dog tails for offspring should appreciate my new idea for a birthday party venue.

It would look something like this...

We would call it "THE ASYLUM" and little guests would be fitted with straight jacket party favors as they came in the door. Maybe then the parents could kick back and relax on a Saturday morning. What do you think? Million dollar idea, right?

July 9, 2010

Austin Market Stats :: JUNE 2010 + Week Ending July 3

JUNE 2010

Properties For Sale:
[compared to June 2009]

New listings - 2.86%.

Pendings - 30.61%
Solds + 6.56%

Average Prices:

[compared to June 2009]
Sold average sales prices - 3.47% to $238,460.
In 2009 it was $247,041.

Properties For Sale:
[compared to the same week in 2009]

Active Listings + 16.83%

New listings + 16.89%.

Pendings - 14.31%
Solds - 4.98%

Average Prices:

[compared to the same week in 2009]
Sold average sales prices + 13.19% to $287,371.
In 2009 it was $253,879.

Austin had 11,603 active listings during the same week in 2009.
Today there are 13,556 active listings!
That is + 16.83% from last year.