The sixth episode of the Christie’s Luxury Expert Series takes us to Houston, Texas, and one of the fastest-growing real estate brokerages in the state. Broadcast Audio Coordinator Sam Sparks is joined by Luanne Marshall, Realtor Associate at Nan and Company Properties | Christie’s International Real Estate. In this episode, they discuss the booming luxury real estate market in Texas, the Christie’s Brand, and the definition of Luxury.
Before beginning a career in real estate, Luanne was a teacher for 18 years. After leaving the education world, she continued her passion for helping people by getting her license and joining a local brokerage. Luanne found her calling and was named “Rookie of the Year”, her first year. After joining a few different offices, landed at Nan & Company Properties which offers the global exposure, and luxury aspect that only Christie’s can. Nan is one of the fastest-growing brokerages in the state of Texas and Luanne attributes this to the fantastic marketing team. “We are a marketing company that happens to sell real estate”.
Houston, and Texas in general has always had a hot real estate market. No income tax and low home prices have attracted new residents for decades. In the past, while lower-priced homes sold quickly, luxury properties tended to sit for a while. This is no longer the case. “The luxury market has not slowed down. Luxury properties used to sit, and it took a while to sell them. Our office sold a $17 million dollar property in a little over a month.”
Even lower-cost homes are increasing in value. About 18 years ago the median house price was $187,000, today it’s $365,000. This unprecedented market with no inventory has led to an explosion of new home builds, with people lining up around the block to get a house.
Luanne’s suburban pocket of Houston, called West University is one of the area’s most desirable markets. The parks, walkability, safety, and family-friendly amenities have made the area a top market for Houston real estate. While always a luxury market, the pandemic caused a boom in growth for the area.
The city of Houston has a large suburban base, and is seeing a flood of people moving to those suburbs. Like many of our other guests, two of main feeder markets for Texas are California and New York. The low interest rates and affordable homes are attracting people to move. Luanne says that younger people are able to become homeowners in this market.
While still learning the ropes of Instagram, Luanne knows how important social media is to grow your business. Nan Properties agents rely heavily on social media for client referrals. “We have some younger agents who get 85% of business from Instagram.” Even being new on social media, Luanne also gets referrals that way. “I had to learn a lot about Instagram, I was more familiar with Facebook. I do have people who follow me, and they see how busy I am, and I have definitely gotten referrals from people moving to Houston.”
An interesting aspect of Nan Properties marketing strategy is lifestyle videos that they promote on their accounts. These videos share listings, area information, the agents and their team, and the services they provide. The videos have been extremely well-received and helped propel Nan’s business.
Luanne joined Nan Properties, to be affiliated with a brand like Christie’s, and she consistently praises it. “Christie’s will do so much marketing for you. I’ve had them write letters to promote me and my company.” Backed by the power of Christie’s, Luanne has an arsenal of marketing materials for use, like the carousel, and digital platforms.
Luanne tries to network with other Christie’s affiliates to foster relationships. She and the Aspen team, got to take turns hosting each other for events in their area, and have created relationships based on this. “I’ve had several agents refer me, because we’ve met and spoke at events.”
The Christie’s circle is large, and can connect agents with others across the globe. Houston-based Luanne can help connect buyers with agents in Chicago, New York, and even New Zealand. “It’s nice to know people of good quality who you can send referrals to. It’s nice knowing that I haven’t met a person yet within our network that I would not refer them to.”
Christie’s International Real Estate uses the phrase Luxury Defined, so we’ve been asking our guests to describe what luxury means to them. Luxury can mean many things, “nice cars, nice houses, fine art, nice restaurants, galas, things that affluence brings,” Luanne told us, but it’s not just about the affluence. To Luanne, luxury is “providing luxury service at all price points. It’s not just about the affluence, but who we are as a company, as a team, as agents, and how we reflect the Christie’s brand of luxury defined. Luxury is not just about the dollar amount.” Providing luxury service at all price points is important to Luanne, her team and Nan Properties. The lower-end homes get the same treatment as the multi-million dollar homes. “I also think it has to do with luxury service, and Christie’s agents provide that.”
For more information on the Houston real estate market, or to contact Luanne Marshall, click here.