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From Little House of Horror to Conceivable Contender

Anyone who has ever gone house hunting has encountered at least one of these in their search: A house of horror. If it isn’t written on their faces the moment they pull into the driveway, it will be by the time you turn the knob and invite potential buyers inside.

It is understandable if an undesirable home is being sought out by an investor skilled at transforming an ugly house into a profitable gem. The situation is also ideal for DIY enthusiasts who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves. Or, individuals who buy fixer uppers only to tear them down to acquire the land from which to build their dream house. Then, there are the rest of us—traditional buyers who prefer to walk into houses and envision how we can transform them with minor touches. We shouldn’t be tempted to strike a match, throw it, and run out.

If your seller places a buyer-repellant house on the market, we can only imagine what you, the REALTOR® in charge of selling that home, must contend with. The open houses are unfruitful, the ridiculous offers don’t even warrant a response, and yes, the excruciating wait and marketing efforts don’t yield the result you or the homeowners envision.

Hope, however, is not lost. Here are several simple solutions that the sellers can implement to sale their home faster and for a higher price tag.

Turn a once terrible reveal into a great deal.

Quick fixes like pressure washing the exterior of the house and landscaping the yard can make a property attractive to home buyers.
Quick fixes like pressure washing the exterior of the house and landscaping the yard can make a property attractive to home buyers.

It is one thing to not have enough bedrooms or bathrooms, a generous backyard, an updated kitchen, and the three-car garage that makes buying the house a deal breaker. However, it is another if the house in question meets all requirements but appears to be in a questionable state, even if nothing is structurally wrong with it.

Sometimes what a buyer can and cannot see causes red flags to emerge. Does the abundance of pet hair or pet smells have them concerned about the cleanliness and the air quality of the home? Are the dingy walls or orange carpeting drawing away from otherwise coveted features like coffered ceiling beams, crown moldings, or original hardwood floors? Does the sight of an overgrown jungle-like backyard and slanted storage shed have them envisioning weekend days spent slaving away just to access the space?

While the age of a home can explain stains and cracks a buyer sees, those details are oftentimes attributed to a lack of proper maintenance. It can be hard for the seller to see and think like the buyer. Since they are accustomed to their way of life, they might not notice the saturated scent of cigarette smoke that lingers on buyers’ clothes even after they emerged from the property hours prior. Although the seller fixed water damage, they might be oblivious to how potential buyers view visible stains and patches as out-of-pocket expenses they will accrue to remedy the situation.

When you meet with your seller to discuss placing the home on the market, be honest with them. Discuss what improvements they can make to not only get top value for their home, but also make someone walk in and fall in love with it so much they are tempted to buy it. They can avoid unnecessary scares with a few smart repairs. The wall patches, dull walls, and dated cabinetry can be livened with fresh paint. The gutters can easily be reattached. The shrubbery can be manicured for curb appeal. The low water pressure can be solved by a skilled plumber. The bathroom tiles can be caulked. If it helps, invite them to see other  comparables in their area to see how their house stacks up with one that is nicely presented.

Unclutter the clutter.

Sometimes, it isn’t the house itself that is the problem. As stable as a structure can be, buyers can get the illusion that something is amiss. They instantly chalk any imperfection with unforeseen problems that diminishes their interest in the house or results in a lowball offer. No one wants to feel as if they are standing in a construction site, a hoarder’s haven, or a childcare center gone awry.

Crowded kitchen counters and bathroom vanities tend to signal lack of storage space. This is also true for messy, overpacked closets and cluttered children’s room. Simply put, when a house is listed on the market, it shouldn’t look like it would have belonged in an episode of Clean House.

Time is a commodity, so it is understandable if your sellers are busy people. However, if they are motivated to sell the house, they should also be open to your suggestions. Suggest hiring a home staging professional who can help par down excess items or an experienced organizer who will transform their chaos into an organized system. If space is still an issue, the seller can pack up items not used on a daily basis and relocate any excess furniture into a storage unit while the home is on the market.

While bringing in professionals may be required in some situations, most homeowners would prefer to not spend an arm and a leg each time they turn around. More than likely, your seller will balk at the thought of spending any more money on a property they hope to relinquish themselves from soon. Motivate them with this obvious fact: They can sell faster and for a larger amount if the buyers don’t walk in immediately adding up what they must spend out-of-pocket to bring that property to their livable standards.

profile

Perfecting Your Online Profile

With thousands of newcomers relocating to the DFW area each year, the traditional standby of selecting a REALTOR® through recommendations by relatives, friends, and co-workers is null and void. In most cases, these individuals relay on a stranger—you—to help them plant roots in their new surroundings. This is why having an impressive online profile is critical. Establishing an initial impression that exudes professionalism and competence goes a long way in starting to build trust with that potential client. Here are six steps to creating a well-crafted, succinct profile that will help you put your best foot forward and market yourself.

1. LEAVE YOUR PHOTOS TO THE PROFESSIONALS. Yes, your Maltese puppies are cute, the images from your last vacation look inviting, and that Parent of the Year Award your child gave you is adorable. However, the first and most prominent image your potential client should see is you, so make it count. Your profile photo should reflect the person with whom your clients are hoping to do business with—you. A professional headshot is worth the investment. The photographer will know the best angle to make you look your best, the aperture setting to ensure you are the focus of the image and not your surroundings, and the ideal light to even out your skintone. While a session usually costs $100-$250, some photographers offer styling and make-up for an additional fee.

headshots

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Avoid a full-length image. Instead, opt for a traditional bust shot (from the chest area and up) or a three-quarter length shot.
  • Don’t allow accessories to overpower your image. Keep it simple, and par it down. Remember, you are the focus.
  • When your clients meet you for the first time, they shouldn’t question whether or not they are meeting the same REALTOR® whom they originally contacted. As important as it is to have a professional headshot, it is just as important to update it every couple of years.

2. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE. The thought of writing your profile might leave you feeling a little anxious. You’re not a writer; you’re a REALTOR®. Take a deep breath. It’s not as difficult as it appears. Like everything else, it takes preparation and practice. On a sheet of paper, begin to list all of your designations and certifications, accomplishments, awards, and organization affiliations. Do you specialize in historic houses or commercial real estate? New to the real estate industry or is real estate a second or third career move? Then find ways to highlight your previous background. Were you in sales or customer service? Were you responsible for negotiating financial matters? How many hours of educational classes have you taken? Use the knowledge and experience gained to your advantage by highlighting them.

3. SHARE, BUT BE WARY OF OVERSHARING. Take your hint from the saying: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and apply it to your profile. What happens in your personal life should remain in your personal life…kind of. The main goal of your profile is to make connections. Whether you are a new REALTOR® starting out or an experienced one, one way to connect with potential customers is to find things you might have in common with them. Give them a glimpse of who you are because those details might be how they relate to you. Are you a volunteer for community organizations? Are you involved in a sports league? Are you an avid golfer, gardener, or beekeeper? Have you lived in other states? What traits do you have that can be an asset to them if they pick you to represent them in the buying or selling process? By nature, people are drawn to those whom they feel they share similarities with. Use this to your advantage and make a personal connection with them.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Did you graduate from the local high school? Have you lived in the community for most, if not all, of your life? Can you give them an inside scoop into the area because you are a resident yourself? Use this opportunity to emphasize your connection to the area and establish that you are an expert.
  • Know where to divide your personal life from your professional life; it is ideal to have social media accounts set up solely for your career so you do not unknowingly bleed the line between the two worlds. Use caution with what you choose to divulge about yourself. Your information is easily accessible since it is on the internet.

4. KEEP IT SHORT AND CONCISE. As you view your list and start to write your profile, continually edit it. Your potential client isn’t looking to read pages from your autobiography. Value their time by creating a concise profile that doesn’t surpass 400 words. Ideally, profiles should be between 200-300 words. Make every word, phrase, and sentence count.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Stay clear of industry-related jargon. You are not writing your profile for other REALTORS®; you are writing it to win over new clients. You want to avoid talking over their heads.
  • Check your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any glaring error will detract from the professionalism you hope to exude.
  • Enlist the help of co-workers and friends to read your profile and offer your input.
  • One of the common questions asked, is whether you should write in a first-person or a third-person point-of-view. While there is technically no right or wrong answer, most REALTORS® write their profiles in the third-person to maintain an air of professionalism and formality.

5. PROVIDE POINTS OF CONTACT. It should go without saying, but other than your image and an insight into who you are, potential clients should know how to contact you. List your telephone numbers, business address, and email. Also, note which method is your preferred method of contact and note what times it is best to reach you. The person shouldn’t feel as if they are participating on a scavenger hunt to reach you. Make it easy for them. If your number or email changes, update it immediately.

6. STAND OUT WITH MINOR TOUCHES. Think of ways you can enhance your profile that makes it even more attention-grabbing. In addition to your profile, consider including a “Get to Know Me” or “Why Choose Me” short video clip. You can also include honest reviews from prior buyers and sellers you worked with and allow their testimonials to help solidify your credibility.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Update your profile to keep it current and relevant.
  • Add active, professional social media accounts as they are marketing tools you can use to promote and also showcase your accomplishments. If you are not consistently updating your social media accounts, forgo adding it.

If, at the end of the day, you are still struggling with your profile, seek a copywriter or skilled writer to compose one for you. The ultimate goal to creating an effective profile is to get you results by adding value to your business. There is an abundance of real estate professionals who potential clients can procure on their behalf. With your profile, you can tell them exactly why they should choose you.

Collin County CCAR Pulse Stats

Collin County’s Real Estate Market Hits Several New Milestones in May

Collin County real estate continued to build momentum in May, setting records for new listings, listings under contract, and median sales price. Data from the Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) is indicative of the busy housing market that has witnessed a significant boost in the past few years.

“DFW, in general, is in a strong seller’s market right now,” says Jonna Fernandez, CCAR Chief Operating Officer. “The boom in the Collin County real estate market can be attributed to many things, including the companies and corporations that have chosen to relocate here, the great school districts, employment opportunities, and much more.”

A record-breaking 6,919 homes were listed during the month of May. This was a 17.6 percent increase from May of last year, making it the highest number of new listings ever recorded in a single month. Year-to-date, new listings are up 8.1 percent.

Median home prices also experienced a surge, rising to $319,678—11.1 percent higher than in May 2016. This is the highest median sales price ever recorded in CCAR history. The intense interest in Collin County can be credited to the area’s growth.

The number of listings under contract also increased 6.4 percent last month, as compared to May 2016. This is the highest number of listings under contract ever recorded in a single month.

Year-to-date, projected closed sales are up 12.6 percent, with no signs of slowing down as an influx of new residents and a spike in new home construction are expected. Fernandez said this offers an optimistic outlook for Realtors and their clients.

“There are no guarantees in real estate; however, we see the rest of the year definitely continuing with the seller’s market we have now,” she says. “May through August are always strong months for real estate, as most people plan their moves to occur during this time of year. While the end of the year may not necessarily be record-breaking as compared to the summer months, it will still remain stronger than what we’ve seen in years past.”

loans

Approving Buyers Just Got Easier

By Jake Perry, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and Member, CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

Fannie Mae just made it easier to qualify borrowers by making it less challenging to exclude debts they are not paying. As many of you know, one of the most common problems lenders face is overcoming high debt to income ratios (DTI).

Along with credit, capacity as it relates to DTI very commonly causes a loan to not be approved. Capacity is defined by Freddie Mac as “Lenders look at your income, employment history, savings, and monthly debt payments, such as credit card charges and other financial obligations, to make sure that you have the means to take on a mortgage comfortably.”

Often, the cause of the high DTI is not even the borrower’s debt. It’s simply debt for which they cosigned for someone else.

How many of us have had clients that we could not approve because they co-signed for a car, a credit card, or a student loan? In a lot of cases, the buyers didn’t even co-sign; they were borrowers for their adult child or relatives, but they don’t make the payments. Good lenders ask detailed questions up front about these debt obligations. If a debt is reliably paid by somebody else, it seems only fair that a lender would ignore that debt. Until now, Fannie Mae required that the debt be counted unless it was co-signed, not when the debt did not include the third party on the debt.

Fannie Mae recently made changes to enable lenders to exclude debts that the borrower does not pay. This includes non-mortgage debts like installment loans, student loans, and some other monthly debt,- as defined by Fannie Mae.

Documentation must be provided that the debt has been paid by another party for the previous 12 months. The other party does not have to be obligated on the debt as it was in the past.

This change to DTI is a tremendous shift. It means that some of your buyers will have more opportunities to buy the house that they want. They no longer have to settle for a less expensive house that they really didn’t want or, in some cases, be a buyer instead of a renter.

instagram

How to Use Instagram as Part of Your Real Estate Business

By Jennifer Lehmberg, Member of CCAR’s Technology Committee
Instagram is a free social media app that allows you to share photos with friends and clients through your smartphone. Start by downloading the app to your device. Next, sign up at the bottom of the screen and create an “About” section with personal/business information and website information. After you have created an account, you’ll have the option to find friends from your contact list, Facebook account, Twitter account, or just by searching.
 
You can choose to follow users by hitting the “Follow” button. Some users suggest a follow-for-follow rule. This means if you follow them, they will follow you. The more people you comment on photos and follow, the more they will do the same for you.
 
To share a photo, select from your phone’s library, take a photo, or create a short video. Tap on the “+ “at the bottom center of the page. Play with filters and have fun! Add a short caption to each photo and add hashtags. Hashtags are like a file system within the app. This means you can search #RealEstate and see any current posts that people hashtag real estate. The more hashtags, the more searches your post will show up in on Instagram.
 
As with all social media platforms, have a mix of personal and business posts. Make sure you add a link to your website with proper notices and name of broker/state. Instagram can be an additional social media platform to what you are already doing.
TREPAC Logo

Collin County TREPAC-Supported Runoff Candidates

Each year, the Collin County Association of REALTORS®, in accord with the Texas Association of REALTORS®, interviews local candidates seeking election to public office across Collin County. This year, REALTORS® interviewed over 45 candidates seeking office.  The questions asked by our REALTOR® volunteers during the interviews ranged from taxes to immediate real estate issues and heavily emphasized private property rights and home ownership. The Texas Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee (TREPAC) supports the following candidates for the June 10 Municipal Runoff Elections as recommended by your local REALTOR® volunteers:

ALLEN

Carl Clemencich, Seat 2

A resident of Allen since 1994, Clemencich is a Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years experience in Accounting and Corporate Finance. He has a long history of volunteering for both Allen ISD and the Allen community as a whole and has served on several city boards like the Economic Development Corporation, Park & Rec, and the Allen Community Development Board.

“I will continue to focus on keeping our community safe for those that live, work, shop and play in Allen.  As such, we must ensure our first responders have the best training and equipment in order to perform their responsibilities effectively and safely.  In addition, I will continue to involve the community in education and volunteer opportunities including the Citizens Police & Fire Academies, Citizens on Patrol, CERT and other types of educational programs.”

Community Involvement:

  • Allen ISD School Board Trustee, Place 2
  • Member: Allen Citizens Emergency Response Team
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • “Citizens on Patrol” Volunteer for the Allen Police Department

FRISCO

Brian Livingston

Brian Livingston, Seat 6

Named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Livingston and his wife have been credited with providing approximately 125 jobs through their businesses. They operate the 6 unit Celebrity Café & Bakery brand, Texadelphia Frisco and Texadelphia Plano restaurants, and Strivant Health.

Livingston is an advocate and fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research. He is also a community leader who supports various local charities including Frisco Family Services, Frisco Fast Pacs, and Junior League of Collin County.

“The future of Frisco depends on the strength of our infrastructure; our roads, water, power as well as our police and fire departments. We have seen tremendous growth in our population over the last decade. It is imperative that we prepare the core of our city for the future.  The city needs to ensure that our citizens continue to receive the quality services from the city that they are used to receiving.”

Community Involvement:

  • Vice Chairman, Frisco Board of Adjustment/Construction Board of Appeals
  • Carroll Elementary PTA
  • Watch D.O.G.S.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Collin County
  • Americas Defenders
  • Frisco Education Foundation

PLANO

David DownsDavid Downs, Plano City Council Place 8

Downs has lived in Plano at various times since 1972 and for a total of 24 years. He has personally fundraised for various agencies and organizations over the years during his terms of service on boards or as part of programs to benefit those less fortunate or suffering from illness. In 2004 he was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant form of Melanoma and caught it early enough to eliminate it.  The experience led him to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raise tens of thousands of dollars through various endurance events.  Eventually this led to the completion of an Ironman Triathlon, which helped solidify his belief in preparation and perseverance.

“It’s been truly an honor to serve the City of Plano residents these past 3 1/2 years.  We’ve accomplished so much to improve our City in areas of need and re-establish Plano as the place to live, work and play.  Each year the accolades continue to roll in, reaffirming the vision as well as the decisions being made to implement that vision.”

Community Involvement:

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Plano Youth Leadership
  • Leadership Plano
  • CASA of Collin County
  • Art Centre of Plano
  • Parks & Recreation Board
  • Planning & Zoning Comission
  • Collin College Education Foundation
  • Collin County Healthcare Foundation
  • District Chair for Northern Lights District BSA
  • Children’s Advocacy Centre

McKinney

Scott Elliott, Seat 3

Scott has served as a former Chairman for the McKinney Community Development Corporation and Campaign Chairman for United Way, as well as former board members of
Center for Children & Families and Society of Information Management. A graduate of Leadership McKinney, he is an Investor and Account Executive of Financial Gravity and the COO of Alagar Inc.

“McKinney has provided everything important to us as a family: a place to exercise our faith, deep friendships, a safe city, recreation, and opportunities to serve. Our citizens deserve a strong leader who is transparent and accessible, will listen to the people in the district, and has a demonstrated ability to work with others.”

Community Involvement:

  • Board Member of Global Sports Partners

Dusttin PearsonDusttin Pearson, Seat 1

Pearson is a native Texan who credits his parents, who were small business owners, for instilling the importance of personal responsibility. His career as a Healthcare IT Project Manager requires him to adapt critical thinking and an analytical mindset to finding solutions.

“I believe I should not simply be a member of the community but utilize my skill set to assist in influencing the community which I live, in a positive manner. My campaign is built upon a foundation of conservative principles to address complex issues currently facing McKinney.”

Derek Baker, At Large

An 8th generation Texas, Baker is a licensed realtor with Keller Williams. Prior to that, he was a conservative political activist for 25 years, worked in Congress for members of the U.S. Senate and House including Mike Pence (R-IN), Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and the U.S. House Republican Study Committee. He also served as the Director of Federal Affairs for Americans for Limited Government. Among his community service, he was appointed to serve on the Collin County Child Protective Services Board in 2012 and was reappointed in 2016. He currently serves as a board member for Foster Friends, a local charity that assists those affected by the foster care system. A sports fanatic and amateur athlete, Baker has competed in over 100 5k and 10k races, as well as marathons and triathlons.

McKinney has a well established reputation across Collin County as a city that’s difficult to do business with, whether we like it or not or agree with that assessment. While I believe this reputation is starting to change and improvements have already been made by the current council and new city manager, I do not want to be complacent and assume all our issues are resolved. I will advocate for a complete top to bottom review of our policies, procedures, and ordinances as they relate to McKinney’s ability to quickly respond to current and future development opportunities. It is ultimately the responsibility of the city council to attract and retain new business.

Community Involvement:

  • Assistant Treasurer of Collin County Child Protective Services
  • Board member of Foster Friends
  • Assistant Treasurer of Collin County Conservative Republicans Club
  • Member of Collin County Association of REALTORS Government Affairs Committee
  • Republican Precinct Chair, Precinct 131 in McKinney
  • Chairman & Founding Board Member of Texans for Freedom & Liberty
paperwork

New Credit Reporting Changes To Impact Real Estate Closings Positively and Negatively

By Alexandra Swann, GenEquity Mortgage and Member, CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

On July 1, the three major credit reporting agencies—Transunion, Experian, and Equifax—are going to implement some major changes to the way they report judgments and tax liens on individual credit reports. As with many new rules, this one has both positive and negative ramifications for your borrowers.

So what are these changes? In accordance with the National Consumer Assistance Plan, the three major bureaus will no longer be able to report public records—specifically civil judgments and tax liens—without verifying three pieces of consumer Personal Identifying Information (PII). These three items are:

  1. Name of consumer
  2. Address of consumer
  3. Social Security number and/or date of birth

Civil judgments and tax liens not containing all three elements must be deleted from consumer credit reports.

Additionally, the new standards require that the three agencies must update their records every 90 days with the courthouse. This means that changes to public records—such as a paid judgment—will show up sooner than they have in the past.

What does this mean for you and your clients?

The Good:

In the short term, it should mean that virtually all civil judgments (the official statement from the Consumer Data Industry Association says “a vast majority”) and about 50% of tax liens will be removed from credit files on July 1. Since public records have a negative impact on credit scores, the immediate result should be improved credit scores for borrowers who are plagued with public records.

Since the rule requires that public record reporting be updated every 90 days, we should also see paid judgments updating more quickly on credit reports. This can help scores to improve dramatically, and it can also allow more borrowers to get approved.

Going forward, John and Mary Smith should not have public records and tax liens from 10 other John and Mary Smiths reporting erroneously on their credit reports. The new requirements should eliminate some of the errors today that occur among people with common names and should help to protect the innocent from having their credit ruined just because they share a name with someone with credit problems.

The Bad:

The new law will also shield the guilty—at least for a while, and that may be very problematic. Although tax liens and civil judgments may be initially removed for a time, the attorneys and government entities can refile with proper information. That may result in a time lag between initial pre-qualification and final loan approval, where a judgment or tax lien that was initially removed has now reappeared on the credit report complete with all identifying information. Since lenders have to recheck credit as late as 48 hours before closing, this could cause serious issues for underwriting.

Also, even though the reporting requirements have changed with regard to tax liens and civil judgments, underwriting standards have not. No government agency or government-sponsored enterprise will make a loan to a consumer with an open tax lien or judgment. As part of the mortgage application process, the consumer is asked whether he or she has either tax liens or judgments against him or her. If a consumer is less than truthful, the loan originator may not know that there is a problem, since in the past, lenders have relied heavily on credit reporting information to fill in gaps in consumers’ memories, so the judgment or tax lien may not be discovered until well into the underwriting process. This could potentially kill some transactions that looked great at the point of pre-qualification.

How to Protect Yourself:

Whether you are a buyer’s agent or a listing agent, talk to the loan originator. Make sure he or she is asking the right questions. If the loan is a government loan—VA, FHA or USDA, ask if the loan originator has run the borrower information through CAIVRS—HUD’s Credit Alert System—prior to issuing a pre-qualification letter. This system catches many hidden issues that torpedo files.

Finally, recognize that the title company is going to be an increasingly important partner in the loan transaction. The title company can search for public records, liens and judgments and can help identify hidden issues.

For more information on this or any lending issues, please contact your REALTOR®/Lender Committee at realtorlender@ccar.net.

mckinneyhome

McKinney Residents Now Eligible for SETH 5 Star Texas Advantage Program

Courtesy of the City of McKinney

The City of McKinney Housing & Community Development Department has announced the city has been added to the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH) 5 Star Texas Advantage Program.

The SETH 5 Star Program makes homeownership possible for families and individuals wanting to purchase a home in McKinney by providing support for down payment and closing costs. The program provides qualified buyers a grant for up to 6 percent of the total loan amount. The grant can be used toward a buyer’s down payment and closing costs. Mortgage options include 30-year fixed rate FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional financing. The program is intended to assist a broad range of families that include middle- and low-income households.

With this program, there is no first time homebuyer requirement. All borrowers on the mortgage loan must complete the SETH on-line Homebuyer Education Course. The program can be used for the purchase of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and owner-occupied properties containing up to four units. Interested homebuyers can find more information about the program here.

Bill Cox

Bill Cox, CCAR Director, Recognized as City’s Citizen of the Year

“I am blessed every day to work in Collin County and call McKinney, Texas home.” —Bill Cox, McKinney Citizen of the Year

When his name was called, Bill Cox was surprised. However, it came as little astonishment to those who witnessed his decades of leadership and service when he was presented with the 2017 Carey Cox Citizen of the Year award. To them, it was logical that Cox’s contributions were recognized with the distinction at the McKinney Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards Celebration held in February.

“I was the most shocked person at the event,” Cox recalled. “I am very honored and humbled by the recognition.”

A former Mayor Pro Tem and Chairman of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, Cox is active on various committees. He is the Chairman of McKinney Planning and Zoning, the Collin County Planning Board, and the Collin College Foundation Board. He is also Co-Chair of the Collin College Bond Committee, and Board Member of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. In addition to being on CCAR’s Board of Directors, he is also a member of CCAR’s Budget and Finance, Government Affairs, and Expansion Committees.

“They all have important roles in the life of McKinney, and the continuation of the legacy of service,” he said. “Being able to serve in so many elected positions, in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, is truly heartwarming.”

For Cox, history has a way of repeating itself—at least it does when community service is involved. “I am a third-generation McKinney Rotarian, and, interestingly, a third-generation President of the McKinney Rotary Club,” he said.

Proud of his McKinney roots, Cox credits his father as his inspiration. “He taught me how to work and how important it is to build relationships with people,” he said.

The Vice President of Carey Cox Company, the real estate firm he operates with his brother, Cox says the people he encounters make working in the industry worthwhile. “Deals come and go, but the relationships you create last a lifetime. I am blessed every day to work in Collin County and call McKinney, Texas home.”

Cox’s approach to life can be summed up with these words: “Find what gets you out of bed every day, and go do it with all your heart.”