activerain: Breakfast with Niki - 09/10/12 06:43 AM
I'm always inspired by amazing, people who have achieved personal and professional success!
I look to them for guidance, ideas, and direction. This weekend I was was blessed by the fortunate opportunity to have breakfast with Nikish Parekh, CEO of Activerain! the day before his presentation for the Texas Realtor Convention hosted by none other than - The San Antonio Board of Realtors!
I had a fabulous time at the convention, but have to say that the highlight of the event was to have breakfast with Niki!!
There were a total of 8 guests in attendance:  Cathy Bureau (me), Scott Campbell, … (22 comments)

activerain: Please Don't Tell My Mom I Did That! ETHICS Benchmarks - 08/17/12 03:59 AM
Many people believe the Enron people were pure evil; that their actions were so obviously wrong that it was cut and dry - but it wasn't. They didn't do anything illegal in the beginning, but it snow-balled into ethics and legal actions when they tried to mask their discovery. It's no different than what happens in real estate, really, just on a bigger scale.  If you want to know what happened from a Business Law perspetive,  read the epilogue to my blog.
Its not uncommon to find yourself in an ethics quandary given we are dealing with OPM - Other People's … (11 comments)

activerain: Modern Home Tour - Austin, Texas 2012 - 02/07/12 06:27 PM
If you are looking for what's new, hot, and innovative then take a look at my video series:
  Modern Home Tours - Austin, Texas 2012
What is the Modern Home Tour?  According to the producers, "We love Modern.  Modern design, modern architecture, modern living.  More than just an aesthetic, “Modern” embodies new construction techniques and materials, and new ways of addressing old problems.  “Modern” is not just what you live in, but how you live.  From attainability to sustainability, the singular thread that connects “Modern” is an outlook that embraces new possibilities in living and new possibilities in lifestyle. … (9 comments)

activerain: Build San Antonio Green - Residential Retrofit Program - 02/01/12 07:38 PM
Hand in hand, if you read my blog on this month's featured certified green home then you may have wondered what the certification program is about. Albeit San Antonio is a low cost home community with traditional ideas, it is considered one of the country's leaders in green home living because of our initiatives by the city. I originally learned about this when I obtained my NAR GREEN designation; we were featured in one of the training segments, which I found inspirational and encouraging A collaborative effort between the city and the Greater San Antonio Builder Association,  we have Build San … (5 comments)

activerain: Build San Antonio Green - Featured Green Certified Home - 02/01/12 08:49 AM
After talking green I decided to do a post about a featured project in San Antonio, Texas. I spoke at length with one of the program directors and will also be presenting some data soon about pricing and certifications with respect to ROI. Today's buyer wants a comfortable, affordable, energy efficient home - which is what a green home is. But there seems to be a stigma about price due to media and uninformed consumers about the full scope of environmental building science. Tierra del Sol is a city run program for affordable housing in San Antonio. Our median price is … (11 comments)

activerain: Green Homes Do Have Greater Value in the Marketplace - 01/30/12 09:55 AM
Even investors are looking at the value of going green!  An inquiry came to me after emailing my January newsletter from an unknown subscriber to my newsletter, which spurred me to investigate the value of going green, other than just be Eco-chic.
I'm an investor here in San Antonio. In my day job I have experience in commercial LEED EB O& M projects.    I'm looking for data that supports that green renovated homes in SA command higher rents and resale values as well as shorter DOM. As you are well aware the vast majority of real estate agents are clueless … (23 comments)

activerain: Am I Obligated to Show a FSBO? - 01/19/12 07:18 PM
I do show them, but do so conditionally. Some Realtors don't show them according to what I have heard at the water cooler many times. Buyers sometimes get frustrated by that but there are some valid concerns, and I certainly understand. At the same time, I love what I do for a living but it's for a living, not a hobby.
As Tom Morgan, Vice President of Legal Affairs for the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), said in today's e-magazine, Texas Realtors DO have a responsibility to show ALL non-MLS listings that we are aware if by way if the … (23 comments)

activerain: Sonoma Ranch Subdivision - Helotes Texas 78023 Real Estate Market Report - January 18, 2012 - 01/19/12 01:02 AM
Sonoma Ranch Subdivision Helotes Texas 78023 Real Estate Market ReportOctober 19, 2011 Sonoma Ranch Subdivision is located in Helotes, Texas which is within the Northwest part of Greater San Antonio, Texas. Visit my Sonoma Ranch Subdivision community blog to learn more about this area.
The total current number of available homes in Sonoma Ranch Subdivision are 51. The highest list price is $949,000, the lowest list price is $120,600, and the average list price is $376,206. Average List Price to Average Sold Price ratio is: 96.3% Over the past 30 days, 4 are pending, 9 have sold, expired, canceled, or withdrawn … (7 comments)

activerain: Cedar Springs Subdivision Helotes Texas 78023 Real Estate Market Report - January 18, 2012 - 01/19/12 12:09 AM
Cedar Springs SubdivisionHelotes Texas 78023 Real Estate Market ReportJanuary 18, 2012 Cedar Springs Subdivision is located in Helotes, Texas which is a small town located within the Northwest part of Greater San Antonio, Texas, in the 78023 zip code. Visit my Cedar Springs Subdivision community blog to learn more about this area.The total current number of available homes in the Cedar Springs Subdivision are 2! Folks, this is a really small number compared to the usual 5-10 homes available in this 400 home community.  The highest list price is $184,950, the lowest list price is $157,500, and the average list price … (3 comments)

activerain: Press Release: Local REALTOR® awarded SUNAGENT® CERTIFICATION - 01/16/12 12:48 PM
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Cathy Bureau
    1844 Bandera Rd #419
    Helotes, TX  78023
    (210) 560-1891
 Local REALTOR® awarded SUN AGENT® CERTIFICATION
 January 15, 2012
           San Antonio, Texas  – Cathy Bureau with GREEN Home Realty has been awarded the SunAgent® certification from SunAgent®, a private solar certification company based in New Jersey, the first to be awarded in Texas.
           Cathy achieved this valuable certification after completing a specialized course designed specifically for REALTORS®.  The rapid expansion of solar energy sparked the development of SunAgent, an assembly of industry professionals in the solar energy, … (21 comments)

activerain: GREEN Home Realty - Newsletter - January 2012 - 01/15/12 07:36 PM
In years past I have mailed out quarterly newsletters to my friends, family, clients, and those who are considering my services, or just want to keep up with me.  This year I am trying out a few things different. I hope it inspires you.  Feel free to give ideas for my next newsletter, March.
 
I'm printing on gray granite paper with 50% recycled content instead of white. I like the feeling of "stainless steel" - a modern approach. I'm including some vendors and Realtors that I know in other markets so they can keep up with me, even if they … (11 comments)

activerain: Take a Starbucks Coffee Break! It's Fabulous Friday! - 01/13/12 01:19 PM
I couldn't resist when I found this while commenting to a friend's blog that he's like a Starbuck's Caramel Macchiato, always an interesting person to read.
 Enjoy!
 
I'm glad a few of you enjoyed this. Just thougth it would be a fun way to have some Starbucks time with you. I think they used to call it the "water cooler" break - until the java hit the corporation food court ring. Funny thing is, I don't even drink coffee, I just never really cared for it or most of the smells, only the chocolate and amaretto type smells. But this … (6 comments)

activerain: A Four Letter Word - 01/13/12 11:29 AM
I'm sure a few choice words popped into your brain but the one I'm writing about is "TRUST." Isn't it a bit misleading that I used a profanity concept to grab your attention?  We see this everyday in ActiveRain and other marketing tools which causes me to evaluate weather or not I will click-through. Personally, I'd rather have more readers because of the high quality content rather than something gimmicky.  When we choose gimmicks, what does it say about our character?   
Fool me once, shame on you,
 Fool me twice, shame on me. 
I've always told my kids, don't ever … (10 comments)

activerain: Drum Roll Please......... My Website Overhaul and Why I Made the Changes - 01/13/12 12:12 AM
I blogged "A Facelift for my Website - New features for easier information access" earlier this month to pre-launch a  major overhaul to my custom website based on things I learned from some awesome bloggers. I chose to use a layout that stands out. With the recent blogging of market reports, community information, and YouTube videos, I made some structural changes in addition to the style changes.
The style updates:  Previously the background and boxes were a few shades lighter than the blue bar in the header.

I changed the boxes from light blue to steel gray, as it is … (12 comments)

activerain: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrations in San Antonio, Texas - 01/09/12 11:53 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  
MLK Day March / 25th Anniversary January 16, 2012 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The festivities go beyond the one day expressly dedicated to the march and include speakers, award presentations, an annual chess tournament, Hip Hop Youth Summit, classic basketball tournament and an interfaith service.
Each year since 1987, San Antonio residents and visitors -- along with people in cities all over America -- get together and celebrate the life and dream of a great man, Martin Luther King Jr. San Antonio's MLK Day march is the largest in the U.S. 2012 is the 25th Anniversary celebration of the annual MLK … (11 comments)

activerain: What Shade of Green Are You? - 01/06/12 07:09 PM
The Green industry is so widespread which is one of the reasons I think some find it difficult to embrace. There are actually 3 levels of green building commitment so folks don't have to bite off too much at the beginning and enter gradually.
Low Commitment - There are some basic things you can do to save money and resources, as well as live healthier. Composting, adjusting thermostats, using low VOC paints, use weatherstripping, get an energy audit to test for air leakage, use low water usage plants and water flow. Use LED or CFL light bulbs, dimmers, energy smart appliances, … (14 comments)

activerain: "Green" is Sexy - Exploring Clark County with Debb Janes - 01/06/12 06:26 PM
Green is sexy!
It means go (you interpret that statement)
We become "green" with envy (over beauty)
"Horny Toads" are green
Sexy Gecko!

In all seriousness - everybody likes to talk about it and maybe taking small steps. But everything counts, so take whatever steps you can take. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sincerely,
Cathy Bureau
 
Smart is sexy. Having a viewpoint greater than oneself is also sexy. Therefore, living "green" is sexy. There's something unmistakably attractive about someone who makes a decision to live in a healthier manner.
Especially when that decision creates not only a more … (0 comments)

activerain: Eat Right to Make More Sales - New Year's Resolution #3 - 01/06/12 05:53 PM
Eating healthy feeds the brain helping us to be smarter, more energetic, and creative.  In our crazy Realtor  world that may seem daunting says my friend when I posted  New Thanksgiving Traditions to Live Longer and Healthier.  I recall that my dear colleague wrote:
"...I work every day, often on the road so meals are usually on the road. I find that my lunch or dinner is a rewarding break from the stresses of the day a so finding something good for you is often tough. For me It needs to taste good, so finding that right food is the trick."
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activerain: Trader Joes Coming to San Antonio, Texas - 01/04/12 09:59 PM
In the past, San Antonio  has had little in the way of healthy eating and shopping. I suppose with the heavy influence of German and Mexican cuisine it seems that there isn't much room for that - pi shah!
 
The Quarry Market is one of our luxury shopping centers and being smack dab in the middle of San Antonio makes it a great location for everyone. This is one spot that Trader Joe's is considering according to MySanAntonio.com.  Regardless of an existing HEB Food & Drug and a Whole Foods Market, it's on the radar.
 
The other areas … (16 comments)

activerain: San Antonio Luminaria - March 10, 2012 - 01/04/12 09:29 PM

Luminaria is San Antonio's annual celebration of art and artists. Held in March and overseen by San Antonio's creative leaders, it is free of charge and showcases all art forms in an outdoor setting and inside various venues downtown.
Luminaria spotlights San Antonio's cultural assets for local citizens and visitors alike and is made possible through the generosity of artists, arts organizations, volunteers, and public and private donations.
In 2011, an estimated 300,000 people attended Luminaria.
For more information go to :  Luminariasa.org
 
 
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