Cord Shilfet is undeniably one of the most renowned figures in the Austin real estate scene. With his remarkable 15-year tenure as the top-performing agent in Austin, his active involvement in advocating for six prominent agents to join the board of directors, his contributions to the “Fools Roll” initiative, and his role as President of ABoR, Cord has consistently added an intriguing dynamic to the industry. In this interview, we delve into all these significant topics.
Getting to Know Cord Sifflet
The Early Years
Cord’s story in real estate starts with his unique upbringing, surrounded by houses and a family deeply connected to the industry. His father was an architect, and his mother obtained a real estate license when he was in the eighth grade. Cord shares that his family moved a staggering 53 times in his life, experiencing both wealth and financial challenges, which gave him a well-rounded perspective on the real estate market.
Starting Out in Real Estate
Cord obtained his real estate license in 1997 at the age of 22. Instead of starting with leasing, he jumped straight into selling homes. His entry into the industry was marked by a fortunate opportunity from a neighbor looking to sell their house, which set the stage for his successful career.
Following His Passion
Cord emphasizes the importance of pursuing what you love in real estate. He shares that his success didn’t come from targeting luxury real estate right away but rather focusing on what he was passionate about. This led him to build a strong network in his local community.
Transforming the Austin Board of Realtors
The 2017 BOD Takeover
Cord and the interviewee both reflect on the 2017 takeover of the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR). This period was marked by intense negotiations, court proceedings, and ultimately, a victory for the reformers. Cord highlights the moment when they received the verdict as one of his favorite moments, as it symbolized a significant turning point in their efforts to bring change to the organization.
Shaping the Future
After the takeover, significant changes were implemented, including a new CEO, Emily Sher, who has since become one of the most respected CEOs in the real estate industry. The interviewee and Cord both acknowledge the positive impact these changes had on ABoR and the industry as a whole.
Despite initially not having presidential aspirations, Cord found himself as the president of ABoR after a vacancy arose. He embraced the role with a strong focus on efficiency, streamlining meetings and leveraging the talented staff to manage the board’s operations.
Cord’s term as president of ABoR has come to an end, and he now serves as the past president on the board. The interview touches on the upcoming leadership transition, as Kent is set to take over next year. The conversation ends with a sense of anticipation for what the future holds in the ever-evolving real estate landscape.
In this engaging discussion, Cord Sifflet shares not only his remarkable journey in real estate but also his significant contributions to shaping the Austin Board of Realtors. His passion for the industry and commitment to positive change serve as an inspiring example for those seeking success in real estate.
The Birth of Fool’s Roll
It all began in 2010 when a group of friends exchanged ideas about heading to Las Vegas for a weekend trip. Plane tickets were expensive, but one of the friends had access to a private jet, albeit one they couldn’t use. Cord, checking his Blackberry as he pulled into his garage, saw an opportunity to suggest something outlandish – buy cheap cars and race to Vegas. That single email ignited a spark of excitement, and the first Fool’s Roll was set into motion, with around 20 participants embarking on this epic adventure.
The Cannonball Run with a Twist
Fool’s Roll, a race inspired by the iconic Cannonball Run, takes participants on a thrilling journey. The idea is simple: buy a car for under $5,000, drive it to Las Vegas, sell it, and place the proceeds on a roulette table – red or black. In between, there’s a pool party and an unforgettable ceremony. Cord’s enthusiasm is palpable as he recounts the thrill and camaraderie of the event.
A Charitable Beginning
While the initial Fool’s Roll was supposed to be a charitable event, the reality was different, with Cord and his friends losing money. Over the years, it has transitioned from a charitable cause to an exhilarating race. Many teams now participate in Fool’s Roll for charity, promising to donate their winnings, should they succeed.
The Unbeatable Excitement
Cord reminisces about the unique thrill of Fool’s Roll, where participants can track each other’s progress through an app. Passing by fellow racers in need of assistance can be heart-wrenching, but the race rules are clear – competitors can’t stop to help. The event brings together people from all walks of life, creating bonds and friendships that last a lifetime.
In the midst of all the craziness, Fool’s Roll has also been a force for good. Cord shares stories of how teams have used their Fool’s Roll journey to raise money for charities, helping various causes and bringing a sense of purpose to the adventure.
The Future of Fool’s Roll
Cord’s dedication to Fool’s Roll remains unwavering, and he is eager to ensure that the tradition lives on. He hopes to keep participating in the event and, more importantly, pass the torch to his children as they approach the age to participate themselves.
Real Estate Industry and Recent Developments
Shifting gears from Fool’s Roll, the conversation turns to Cord’s perspective on recent developments in the real estate industry. He expresses his excitement and support for the recent acquisition and merger of a local Austin company with Compass. Cord sees the move as a significant success for the local real estate scene and is proud of the Homegrown company’s growth.
Compass and Realty Austin: A Positive Outlook
Cord views the merger of Compass and Realty Austin positively. He believes that both companies will maintain their distinctive identities and continue to serve the Austin community. He’s excited about the future and the potential for a more local approach to real estate services.
Challenges in the Real Estate Landscape
The real estate landscape in Austin, like many other places, faces challenges such as fluctuating interest rates. Cord points out that while the market is down, it doesn’t necessarily mean lower home prices. Transaction volume has decreased, but home values remain strong. The challenge lies in buyers adapting to rising rates and uncertainty in the market.
Future Market Prospects
Cord remains optimistic about the future. He predicts that the market will pick up and recover, especially if interest rates stabilize. He encourages prospective buyers to make the most of the current conditions, emphasizing that it’s the ideal time to invest in property.
The Transition to Team-Based Real Estate
Throughout his career, Cord Shiflet has evolved from a solo agent to a team leader. He talks about the transition and how he manages his team, all while maintaining a unique approach to customer relationships.
Transition to Team Structure
Over the years, Cord has expanded his real estate business by building a team of professionals. Initially, he was a solo agent with a full-time assistant. He shared his motivation for transitioning to a team-based approach, driven by the desire to serve a broader range of clients. He wanted to continue providing personal care and attention, even when dealing with business outside his main focus.
Building a Unique Team
Cord’s team doesn’t conform to the traditional mold of buyer agents. Instead, he views his team as an extension of his services. They take on referrals and work with his existing clients. This approach allows him to cater to the varied needs of his clients while maintaining the quality of service that defines his brand.
CRM and Social Media
Cord’s unique approach to client relationships goes beyond CRM systems. He leans on the power of social media, primarily Facebook, to maintain his client relationships. He uses Facebook to keep his audience engaged and informed. His posts aren’t just about business but also personal stories and anecdotes from his life.
The State of the Real Estate Market
As the conversation turns to the real estate market in Austin, Cord provides a candid analysis of the current conditions and his predictions for the future.
Cord discusses how the real estate market has evolved and how it varies in the luxury sector. With rising interest rates, luxury real estate transactions have slowed down, leading to lower transaction volumes. This hasn’t necessarily impacted home prices, but the pace of business has notably decreased. He emphasizes that Austin’s market follows the same patterns seen in other major cities.
Optimism for the Future
Despite the current challenges, Cord is optimistic about the future. He believes the second half of 2023 will outperform the same period in 2022. The gradual adjustment to interest rate hikes and the stability of rates may encourage more potential buyers to enter the market. Cord maintains that this is a fantastic opportunity for homebuyers who are concerned about rising interest rates.
Cord’s Approach to Real Estate in the Digital Age
Cord Shiflet’s unique approach to real estate combines traditional and modern methods. He relies on word of mouth, referrals, and direct mail while embracing social media, primarily Facebook, to stay connected with clients. His insights into the current real estate market and predictions for the future provide valuable guidance for both real estate professionals and homebuyers.
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