Episode 63, Segment 1: Why Every Agent Should Get Involved with ABOR
John Schutze & Andrew Thurston were happy to welcome local broker and President of the Austin Board of Realtors to the show this week! Listen to the podcast to find out the many benefits of being an ABOR member. Hint: They're much more than just the MLS!
What does the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) do, exactly?
"We run the Austin-Central Texas Real Estate Information System, or the MLS, that mainly covers the five major counties in the Austin area, Aaron Farmer says. "We have about 12,000 members of that MLS and close to 11,000 association members. Basically, ABOR owns the MLS."
"We have a staff of about 50 people running the MLS and we also do advocacy, education classes, and we have a foundation and we do some great work with that," Aaron says. "The advocacy part is something that I'm really big on. I think most realtors join ABOR for the MLS...but the advocacy part is great and we actually have a full-time government affairs staff helping to run that."
"We advocate for private property rights - so essentially we advocate for homeowners and realtor issues as well - which usually line up with private property issues. The Texas Association of Realtors have the second or third largest lobby organization in the state, and every year we have 'hill visits,' so there's a Realtor Day at the Capitol whenever the legislature is in session, and we do the same thing here at the city level."
Multiple Locations & Amenities
"We have two locations and we're about to open a third location in Williamson County off 1431 by the Target and 183 - we want to get closer to agents who are based out there,
Aaron says. "We have a South Austin location and that's been very popular. We also have a new facility off Spicewood Springs Road."
"At that location we teach about 20-25 classes a month, and we have a realtor store where you can buy signs and other stuff like that - and it's a great place to meet folks," John adds.
"We have conference rooms, we have closing rooms - title companies will meet here to close and we also have a member lounge where you can go just to hang out. We had one member who was always there, he told us 'I used to just go get my work done at Starbucks, and now I come here!'" Aaron says with a laugh. "We also have a lot of brokers having their monthly or weekly office meetings at ABOR now, too."
"You guys have WiFi, a coffee bar, and a beautiful environment," John says.
"It's a great setting and a great view," Aaron agrees. "We have an events center called the Canyon View Event Center that can host around 300 people. We've had weddings there, we've had events that you can livestream right from the facility - and it's great for ABOR members because they can get a discount on renting out that space!"