Investing in the Communities We Serve

Robert C. Mclaurin Principal of Walnut Hill Elementary School, Ed Murchison - Virginia Cook, Realtors & Kathy Adcock-Smith.

While helping thousands of clients successfully invest in a home and a lifestyle, Virginia Cook, Realtors has made its own investment into the North Texas communities it serves.

“Giving back to the communities where we live and work has been a core part of our culture since we opened 18 years ago," says Sheila Rice, president of the locally-owned, independent real estate firm.

With offices in North Dallas, Intown Dallas, Park Cities, Plano, Fort Worth and Sherman, Virginia Cook, Realtors’ charitable impact has been extensive with thousands of volunteer hours and dollars given to hundreds of non-profit, civic and charitable organizations since 1999.

A significant gift was made to Dallas, when Virginia Cook, Realtors funded a respite along the Northaven Trail, one of the City’s emerging commuter and recreational bike and hike trails.  

The respite at St. Michael and Lavendale has become a gathering place for community-oriented events, supported by Virginia Cook, Realtors. Along with the Friends of Northaven Trail, Virginia Cook, Realtors sponsors “Movie Nights in the Park” and recently arranged for Santa to arrive via fire engine at “Light Up the Trail”.

Education is a cornerstone for the company and support of public education is a priority. Associates Lauren Savariego and Ed Murchison have worked diligently for Kramer and Walnut Hill Schools, co-chairing Home Tours that raised over $75,000 in 2017.

In the Greater Texoma area, the sales associates serve many important organizations ranging from Meals on Wheels and Wounded Warriors to the Chambers of Sherman, Denison and Pottsboro. All while sustaining its record as the #1 real estate firm.

A highlight achievement in 2017 was led by Debbie Hudnall, who serves on the board for the Grayson Co. Women's Crisis Center.  “Virginia Cook, Realtors sponsored the 5k run that raised $35,000 for this organization, and we raised $7,000 for the center through the Purple Purse Auction. What a year we had!” said Debbie Hudnall, who also maintained her perennial status as the #1 Top Producer in Grayson County despite a full volunteer schedule.

To the west, the Fort Worth Virginia Cook, Realtors team is equally busy.  Whether it’s delivering meals to needy seniors, volunteering in local schools, helping military families make it through another deployment, or comforting little ones at Cook Children’s Hospital, the Virginia Cook, Realtors team pours its heart into Fort Worth. 

“Most of our sales associates have lived here all of their lives,” says Brenda Sims, vice president/manager of the Fort Worth office. “Our connection to the community is absolutely essential to how we do business.”

“We are positioned locally and globally to provide our clients phenomenal results,” said Rice, noting the company is a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®,  Luxury Real Estate and also has an office in London, UK. 

“Our company will continue to flourish because we work together like family, with a focus on enriching the communities we serve.”

To learn more, visit www.virginiacook.com.

 

Virginia Cook Honored as a Real Estate Legend at WCR High Tea and Fashion Show

You can bet we’ll be at the 25th Annual High Tea and Fashion Show with bells on as the Women’s Council of Realtors® honors the Legends of Real Estate, including our very own Virginia Cook.

This is yet another jewel to add to Virginia’s crown of many accolades as she joins an elite group of women to be honored at the event by the Dallas Chapter of WCR on Thursday, October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fashion Industry Gallery in Dallas.  

Tickets for this long-standing and favorite tradition, which will benefits the VogelAlcove, are still available at www.wcrdallashightea.com.

“We are so proud and excited to see Virginia’s contributions to our industry recognized by WCR,” said Sheila Rice, president of Virginia Cook, Realtors®. “It’s especially fitting that the proceeds of this event will raise awareness and funds for a charity devoted to assisting homeless children, a cause that has always been important to Virginia.”

As passionate about service as she is real estate, Virginia’s own record of charitable giving and volunteerism parallels that of WCR.  The first woman president of the MetroTex Association and Texas Association of Realtors®, Virginia has also been president or chair of so many organizations benefitting families, women and children, including the Dallas Woman’s Forum and Children’s Cancer Fund.

Virginia is one of the few Realtors® in the nation to have been presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).  Four decades of service have also resulted in her being selected as the 2015 Woman of the Year by Les Femmes Du Monde of Dallas, an honoree of the Women in Business Awards program by the Dallas Business Journal and as one of the Great Women in Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press. 

But you’ll never hear any of this from our beloved leader. She’d much rather hear about you, your kids, grandkids, even the fur babies.  And of course real estate; talk about eyes lighting up!

Congratulations, Virginia! We look forward to being there to join our colleagues in honoring your legacy in real estate.

Kelly Jordan is Virginia Cook, Realtors® 2017 Hearts at Work Honoree

 

Kelly Jordan of Virginia Cook, Realtors® was named the 2017 Hearts at Work award recipient during a company celebration luncheon September 22 at the Park Cities Club. The award was established to honor significant volunteer service to our communities by the company’s sales associates.

“Volunteer service enriches communities where we live and work and has been integral to the culture of our company since we opened 18 years ago," said President Sheila Rice as she presented the award.

“The Hearts at Work program allows us to formally recognize associates like Kelly who bring a passionate commitment to enriching the lives of individuals, families and neighborhoods,” she said.

Kelly was one of three Hearts at Work honorees who were recognized by Virginia Cook, Realtors® during the past 12 months for their volunteer service. She was then selected as the overall award winner for 2017 through a thorough and meticulous judging process.

Kelly is a life-long resident of Fort Worth, who is dedicated to being a change maker and problem solver. These qualities have built her impressive career in residential real estate and defined her significant contributions to organizations as diverse as the Presbyterian Night Shelter and Cassata Learning Center.

Especially dedicated to opening doors to health and education for young people, Kelly often has been a friend and mentor. Kelly has nurtured the athletic and academic talent of a young person who lacked conventional mentors and who she first met in a homeless shelter where she was a volunteer. She saw talent and a fiery spirit and acted.

“A child in a shelter with a single parent, who has already had a lengthy exposure to domestic violence, drug abuse and mental illness deserves the opportunity that a dedicated and loving adult can provide,” says Kelly. Kelly stepped into that void and helped change the future.

She built trust with the mother and Kelly was able to enroll the child in a pee wee football league, taking him to practices and games. He went on to play for his junior high and high school teams, and ultimately scored a college scholarship where he continues to wow professors, coaches, teammates and fans, just like he did Kelly so many years ago.

 “"Kelly is a superb Realtor®, and a blessing to many in Fort Worth,” said Mrs. Rice, noting that her company will make a $1,000 contribution to a Fort Worth charity in Kelly’s honor. “We are so proud to honor her, and her dedication to her home town!"

Also recognized at the September 22 Hearts at Work Awards Luncheon were honorees Ed Murchison of the Park Cities office and Lauren Savariego of the North Dallas office.

Learn more about Virginia Cook, Realtors at www.virginiacook.com.

 

6 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

Virginia Cook, Realtors®:
6 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

As we Texans like to say, It’s Fall, Y’all!  That means Friday night lights, chili suppers, falling leaves and amazing weather for getting outdoors for fun and recreation.

Fall is also a great time to list your home for sale! Here are six reasons why:

1. Families are back from vacation. Schedules are normalized with kids back in school. And the autumn weather just seems to make everyone a little happier with temperatures that are conducive to getting out and about to tour homes.

2. The holiday hustle is still a good 65 to 75 days away. With homes selling in an average of 39 days in North Texas, that means you could be moved into your new abode just in time to go over the hills and through the woods to grandma's for Thanksgiving.

3. Demand remains high. On average, 400 people are moving into the North Texas region per day. They are highly motivated to find a home where they can hang their stockings and trim the tree.

4. Prices keep rising. The year-to-date median sales price for North Texas this year has climbed 9% from the same time a year ago.

5. Homes show well in the autumn. It's easy and affordable to create seasonal curb appeal by raking the leaves and framing the front steps and entry with yellow, gold and orange mums, chrysanthemums, pumpkins and gourds. Carry the fall them inside with some autumn-hued accent pillows, candles or other seasonal touches like a bowl of crisp red apples and a plate of cinnamon-y treats like Snicker Doodle cookies. Ideal mood music includes George Winston's new age piano album Autumn or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

6. The home team is suited up and ready to compete for you. Whether you are buying or selling a home, that’s more critical than ever because a local professional brings the experience and market knowledge to ensure that you achieve your goals with the best possible financial terms. 

“Virginia Cook, Realtors has served thousands of local home buyers and seller during the past 18 years,” said Sheila Rice, executive president.  “We all live and work here, and we care deeply about the people we have the privilege of serving. There’s no better team to choose in any season.”

 

What's Good For The Goose...

Nick Churton of Virginia Cook, Realtors London office suggests a new way of thinking when it comes to selling property.

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, suggests that we overestimate the amount of change which will happen over two years but underestimate the amount of change over ten. This certainly seems to be the case with real estate. Our tastes move on hugely over a decade as new materials, technology, design, our experiences of staying in modern hotels and even watching reality home shows on the television increasingly influence us.

Public opinion and governmental policy also have their effect. But underlying all these developments are the changes we see in our own lives; the amount of space we need to occupy, running costs, convenience and the time that could be spent doing other things - sometimes at stages in life like parenthood or retirement when time is increasingly precious. Retirees for example have much to consider.

Do they want to continue living in large family houses when there is no large family living there any more? And the desire to head off to rural or waterside retreats, once the dream of many, is being overtaken by the desire to live in exciting urban environments where there is life, opportunity, convenience and grandchildren. Growing old gracefully is no longer an appealing prospect to many. In the new homes sector this is a big challenge. Few of us live or want to live in the same way we used to. Developers must work out how people will want to live tomorrow and then create that model today. For some this might seem courageous speculation, but that doesn’t make it wrong. In the pre-owned home sector there are different challenges.

We are beginning to see a real trend in adapting dated, multi-zone living spaces that segregate people within the home into larger more inclusive multi-functional areas. Eating, dining, entertaining and relaxing with family and friends are now desired in one large single-function area where the bi-fold door finally brings nature indoors and makes the garden an integral part of the house.

Therefore buying a home has become akin to trading in an old car for a brand new one. When most people buy a new car today they expect plenty of fresh innovative features, not the same outdated ones their old car possessed. A new car is a finely engineered and brilliantly designed machine for driving. Buyers of all ages now think that a home should be a finely engineered and brilliant machine for living. Those who seek to leave their old homes behind and look forward to enjoying all the benefits that the next one should offer might spare a thought for the people they want to sell to.

Don’t these buyers crave modern styles and fittings also? Home sellers should remember that and either make their home attractive to the modern buyer or accept that the price will have to reflect essential modernization works.

After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

 

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