Founded Companies in Houston's Museum District
and in Galveston's East End Historic District
and Strand Historic Business District.
It is only the result of chance that after beginning as an English teacher, I found myself in the business department of three universities -- University of North Texas, Washington University and Rice University.
And simply because I was too lazy to drive back to my apartment between my last morning class that ended at 11, and the resumption of my next class at 3 in the afternoon, I decided to fill in the down time with a course in real estate. I wouldn't have to drive twice across campus to my apartment, I reasoned.
My rational for taking the real estate course was that the information would probably come in handy someday when I decided to buy a home.
After four credit hours that semester, the professor talked me into signing up for the next four hour class that would be in appraisal techniques.
Ok, after that, in my own mind I had finished.
But, no! He told me that with eight college hours of real estate plus my other completed business courses, I could meet the requirements for sitting for a Texas Real Estate Broker license, bypassing the salesman's licensing, and that I ought to do it.
So I sat for the three hour exam at the University of Texas Arlington campus, and I passed. Still I had no particular interest in brokering real estate.
But shortly thereafter, I received my Ph.D., and went to work in the real world, first for a mutual fund management company, and then as the CEO of a residential development company that a mutual fund association was forming.
That was when I got hooked into the mysteries of real estate! A few years later, I opened two residential firms -- The Old House Company and The House Company -- with offices in Galveston and in Houston's Museum and Montrose Districts. They were enormously successful businesses.
There were no quick schools in those days that taught applicants how to pass the tests -- ones that did it within what had been watered down into a minuscule number of classroom hour total required by the Texas Real Estate Commission. They were not approved methods of instruction and licensing.
In recent years, I have noticed that the number of ethics violations and outright misunderstandings of the real estate laws by newer agents and brokers have dramatically increased. Several times in the past couple of years, I have co-oped with high energy, high income agents who blatantly slaughtered the laws and the ethics.
The Texas Realtor, Texas' monthly member magazine, has, this month, taken that bull by the horns. Everything a Realtor and licensed Texas real estate member needs to know is not there, but a whole lot of it is. It'll be interesting if this issue brings in enough readership to get a significant number of agents to mend their ways. I hope so.
Bill Cherry, Realtor