If there's one thing real estate agent Jason Lee Villarreal wants people to know when listing their home, it's that "it's not the market, it's the marketing."
As someone who has helped buy and sell over $250 million in real estate and has been involved in over 300 transactions during his decade in the industry, he should know.
The Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty agent leverages his tech savvy into an aggressive marketing approach, which exposes properties locally, nationally, and internationally. Villarreal has a knack for quickly selling properties that have typically sat unsold on the market.
That's because he strategically coordinates every detail of selling a home, from physically staging the property himself to photography, videography, and eventual worldwide reach.
It's no surprise he has earned several industry accolades and neighborhood record-breaking sales, and recently landed on the prestigious Top 200 Realtors list out of more than 40,000 Houston-area Realtors, based on sales volume.
Villarreal currently resides in Uptown with his Sheltie — fittingly named Houston — and takes in as much of Houston's live music, arts, and culture as he possibly can, attending Astros games and trying out new local restaurants when his busy schedule allows.
A firm believer in giving back to the community, he is heavily involved in various humanitarian causes including the Alzheimer's Association.
We chatted with Villarreal to find out more about his work and what drives him.
CultureMap: What inspires you to do what you do?
Jason Lee Villarreal: I enjoy many different aspects of real estate, but there is no better feeling than the joy my clients experience from my services. Whether it's marketing their home to increase the amount of offers we receive or negotiating a great deal for their dream home, there is nothing like seeing your clients smile and be full of gratitude.
CM: What's one piece of advice you'd give to people looking for their dream home?
JLV: I think many people have a contact, a friend, or a family member that either is a Realtor or has one to recommend, so my advice is to interview at least two Realtors. The National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers shows that 70 percent of new homebuyers only interview one agent. Through interviewing agents, you can learn about their experience, negotiation skills, if they have relationships with service providers that you may need later (HVAC, roofing, home inspectors), and their communication skills. Then you can make an educated decision on who is the best Realtor to represent you.
CM: And advice to those who are selling?
JLV: The saying I live by is "It's not the market, it's the marketing." Through a strategic marketing plan, your house will have exposure to the right potential buyers. Your first "showing" is through the photos and videos on the online listing. Once the buyers see the home in person, it's your Realtor's responsibility to get your house sold.
CM: Sum up Houston in three words.
JLV: Diverse, vibrant, thriving.
CM: What do you consider your "special skill"?
JLV: My marketing skills have been a major contributing factor to my success. Working with a large international brokerage like Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty has helped to increase my exposure within the real estate world. However, my secret sauce is my experience in marketing strategies and my ability to have a game plan in place for each home. Selling houses through social media like Instagram is the cherry on top.
CM: What's one thing people might not know about you?
JLV: I love animals and always enjoy meeting my clients' pets.
CM: Finish the sentence: "It's a good day when..."
JLV: Any day above ground is a good day.