We recently had an interview with Michele and Steve Turnquist with Engel & Völkers Austin Westlake in Austin, Texas, who shared the most popular trends in their market, international relocation growth at their company and how they are prepared to ‘Bring the World to Austin.’
Engel & Völkers Austin Westlake
Region served: Central Texas
Years in real estate: Michele: 38; Steve: 32
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 75
Best advice for new agents: Be passionate about what you do. Stay focused on a market you want to be the expert in. In other words, do not farm condo rentals if your passion for your business is to represent waterfront homes. Brand yourself as that expert in your marketing plan. Do not be afraid to change that focus as you move forward in the business.
What do you like most about the region in which you work?
Michele Turnquist: I am a native Austinite, with family roots since the 1870s. Not only is Austin a beautiful city, but it provides a great quality of life to work, play and raise a family.
Can you describe some of the current market trends?
MT: Austin is a young, vibrant city, so one of the biggest trends is the movement toward downtown. Not only is this area popular among our 35- to 40-year-old clients, we’re also seeing the 60+ demographic selling their big homes and moving. While pricing trends depend on location, we’re experiencing a very robust market throughout the area when it comes to homes priced up to $700,000. Additionally, with the rapid growth, our most precious land and homes on the waterfront hills are becoming harder to find. These properties are sought after by out-of-state and out-of-country buyers because the landscape resembles northern California and the Riviera.
What is the most significant trend positively affecting your business?
MT: We are definitely seeing a large increase in international relocation and a new surge of companies moving their businesses here from across North America. I am confident that with the Engel & Völkers brand we are prepared to accommodate that growth. We plan to create special divisions within our company to better serve this growth, beginning with a relocation leasing division, which will help us assist in the transition of our clients from lease to future resident buyers.
How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate?
Steve Turnquist: The most exponential move we have made is to join the Engel & Völkers brand, which will be instrumental in helping us “Bring the World to Austin.” The move has been extremely well received by our clients and our agents have become reenergized with this new brand. It’s truly a new way of doing business for us. This brand complements our core values and what we have been doing over the past 30 years to earn our place in the market as a leader. This move takes us to the next level of continuing to be a leader as an international company with local expertise. We will continue to approach each transaction with honesty and integrity now that Engel & Völkers is by our side.
What are you most looking forward to now that you’ve affiliated with Engel & Völkers?
MT: The world is getting smaller, so having an international presence is huge. With Engel & Völkers, we’re now the largest global real estate company in Austin. I truly believe Engel & Völkers is the brand of the future, and we’re excited to be the company representing the Austin market.