Local Realtor Michelle O’Rear with J. Myane Realty received the Central Texas Region 2011 Five Star Professional Award. Texas Monthly Magazine formed a partnership with Five Star Professional to find out which Real Estate Agents have the most consistently impressed their clients. Five Star Professional surveyed by mail and phone all Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas region residents who purchased a home more than $100,000 within an 18-month period (February 2009 to August 2010) and 20,000 subscribers of Texas Monthly. An additional 250 surveys were sent to mortgage and title companies, which are often best able to judge a real estate’s agent technical skills and knowledge.
Recipients were asked to evaluate only real estate agents whom they knew through personal experience. They were asked to evaluate them based upon nine criteria: customer service, communication, finding the right home, market knowledge, integrity, negotiation, marketing the home, market knowledge, closing preparation and overall satisfaction.
Only original surveys – no copies – returned in their specially designed envelopes were accepted as valid. Five Star Professional scored and screened each qualified agent against state regulation bodies to verify that licenses were current and there were no disciplinary actions were pending.
Finally the qualifying real estate agents were reviewed by a panel of industry experts comprising realty company executives, professional and trade association officers and others directly involved in the housing related businesses.
Although panelists’ comments were incorporated into the final score, safeguards were built into the review process to reduce the ability of panel members to influence the composition of the final list on the basis of company affiliation.
The resulting list of Five Star Real Estate Agents is a select group, representing less than 3 percent of licensed agents in the Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas region.
Throughout the evaluation process, respondents told stories of lasting friendships that have emerged from what is most often a stressful business transaction. Several even wrote essays on why there particular agent excelled. Undoubtedly there are many other excellent real estate agents who, for one reason or another are not on this year’s list. Publication was in the Texas Monthly June 2011 issue. Congratulations Michelle!