By Fabian Sandler
The Academy Awards are scheduled for March, and the Emmys in September. What the Oscars and Emmys are to actors, the RE/MAX Convention of Texas is to RE/MAX agents.
“This is the first year in real estate for some of my agents, and the second year for a few others who were top producers for RE/MAX,” Real Estate Broker Christine Shepherd says proudly. “The Annual RE/MAX Convention of Texas is an awards ceremony that is to be held later this month at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The awards are based on sales.
“It usually starts out on Thursday and goes through Saturday. Saturday is the big night,” the broker says, stating that it is also an educational enrichment program, featuring classes that roll out RE/MAX products for their agents to learn about.
“We work very hard to get there,” Christine continues. With the average list price of homes being around $180,000 in their market, the agents have to sell more homes in order to equal the same sales figures other agents produce in areas where homes typically sell at much higher price points, like River Oaks, The Woodlands or even Kingwood.
Christine has several real estate agents on staff: Sisters Ginger Mashburn, a teacher, and GayLynn Milliorn; Betty Dyson, Edd Gilbert, Michelle Lenderman, Rick Littell and Linda Lopez. They specialize in residential properties, land and leases.
New agents include a married couple working as a team, Andy and Kim Muldrow. “Kim works in Technology Education at Barbers Hill ISD and sells real estate. Kim believes that communication is key, no matter what you do. Andy works for Barbers Hill ISD also and has been in sales most of his life,” Christine states.
The third new agent is Tami Shipley, who is a longtime resident of the Baytown area. She has worked in both the title and real estate industries for many years.
Five of her agents are receiving awards. Edd Gilbert will receive the Executive Club 2017 award. “He is a lifelong resident of the Baytown area. Edd has a background in refining and motorcycle industries. He volunteers for Texas Equu Search and is a varsity football official,” Christine relates.
GayLynn Milliorn is receiving the Executive Club 2017. As an educator for over twenty years, GayLynn has deep roots in the community and knowledge of the East Houston area region and its school systems.
Another Executive Club 2017 winner is Ginger Mashburn. She is a REALTOR and educator in the Goose Creek ISD. She has lived in Baytown for all of her life.
Michelle Lenderman is receiving the 100% Club 2017 award. Born and raised in Texas, Michelle is also a longtime resident of Baytown and is actively involved in the Baytown community and schools. “Michelle is my Top Producer,” Christine beams.
Christine has been awarded the 100% Club for 2017, her fourth straight year receiving this honor.
Christine has been in real estate for about eleven years, jumping from her first passion to this one. “I retired from teaching. I was getting wealthy from doing that,” she deadpans. “After school, I worked at a small real estate office in Hardin, Texas. It was more about selling land in Liberty County.”
Christine’s life has been a series of changes since first retirement. Married now for the past fourteen years to Mike Shepherd, a local small businessman, Mike coached her on how to run a company as she began her real estate business. Mike owns Baytown C&M Equipment Company, on Cedar Bayou. He has been in business for over twenty years.
Christine is a member of both the Baytown Chamber of Commerce and the West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce. She and Mike attend the Middleton Memorial United Methodist Church in Wallisville.
Her office has had listings from all around Southeast Texas, from Liberty County to Galveston. Very much a hands-on manager, Christine reviews most of her agents’ contracts. She, in effect, checks their homework. “I take care of my clients and I see to it that my agents do as well.”
The broker states that her office works with a lot of veterans who are buying homes, especially for service personnel who come home from a deployment.
Christine points out that people are still dealing with the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. “We’re trying to help people who are living in motels find places to live. Of course, it’s not just here. It’s all over the Houston area. It’s really sad when you see everything you have worked for your whole life sitting out on the curb. We’ve heard so many stories, but that’s what we’re here to do, to listen and try to help people. It just so happened that I experienced some flooding, so that enabled me to understand what they are experiencing. People are still out there, trying to figure out what to do. Do I sell it? Do I walk away?”
Christine strongly suggests that Baytown area residents who are faced with flood- and hurricane-related damage use local contractors, people they know who will be around to supervise the work. “I understand their house is messed up, but if you have to be put out for a while, it’s better to get somebody who will do a decent job than somebody who will do shoddy work.”
The office at 4515 Ferry Road was built in 1925. Some people still know it as the Massey Mansion. The original Massey property ran all the way back, Christine believes, to the current Steven F. Austin Elementary School. “I’ve had many, many people come in and say they stayed here.” Christine, a member of the Texas State Historical Society, would like to research her office’s history. “I believe this property does deserve a historical marker,” she asserts.
The property contains a barn, a garage apartment and a second house. It stands empty, but on occasion, Christine has made arrangements for a family that is in transition between selling their home and closing on or building a new one to temporarily stay in it. What other real estate firm can possibly provide that type of service?
The RE/MAX Eastside address is 4515 Ferry Road in Baytown. Look for the new electronic sign on the south side of the property. The phone number is 281-839-7889. Office hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. The website is www.remaxbaytown.com.
For Christmas, Christine and her staff gathered up or bought things that about eighty-five residents of a local retirement home would enjoy, such as scarves, socks, blankets, handkerchiefs, books and puzzles. “We were told that a lot of people there don’t have any family. Nobody comes to see them, and it’s sad.”
The awards that the RE/MAX agents are getting are well deserved. There should be awards for being good, caring citizens, as well.