Tandy On Real Estate



Two Top 10 lists in one: Top 10 New Year’s resolutions and the Top 10 cities for job seekers

A new year is full of potential – the promise of what is to come. People make resolutions and promises to themselves on what they want to accomplish or how they will improve in the year to come. Curiosity has gotten me when it comes to the resolutions people make, especially as we enter into the post-New Year’s Day weeks where these promises to ourselves begin to become less of a priority.

According to Inc.com the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions are:

  1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)
  2. Exercise more (65%)
  3. Lose weight (54%)
  4. Save more and spend less (32%)
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
  6. Quit smoking (21%)
  7. Read more (17%)
  8. Find another job (16%)
  9. Drink less alcohol (15%)
  10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

Not too far off from what I was thinking: be healthier, kick an old habit, save money, advance your career… I don’t think there are any huge surprises on the list. Today I want to focus on one in particular – finding another job. If your resolution happens to be in line with #8, one of advancing your career or finding a new job then, this will come as good news to you. According to NerdWallet, Austin is the best city for job seekers.

Here are the Top 10 lists of cities for job seekers:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Denver, CO
  3. Nashville, TN
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Durham, NC
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Lincoln, NE
  9. Irving, TX
  10. Raleigh, NC

The report analyzed federal data for the 100 largest cities to see where there is the most potential coupled with affordability. Data included the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase in the working-age population from 2010-2015 with U.S. Census Bureau data, as well as census data for median earning and monthly rent in each city to factor in the cost of living.

Laura McMullen & Sreekar Jasthi at Nerd Wallet summarize the Top 10 list by saying job seekers should follow the young people, find fast growing hubs (like technology or healthcare), and head to the state capitals. And wherever you are, volunteer to grow your professional and friend network. They say to surround yourself by people who know and like you and want to help you. I could not agree with this more.

Two Texas cities made the list. Austin at #1 and Irving at #9.  Austinites understand this, but for those looking to change up your career or job here is a breakdown for you on why Austin and the Dallas area could help you fulfill your new year’s resolution.

Low unemployment

Unemployment in Austin was 3.2% in October 2016 and 3.6% in Irving. Texas unemployment held steady in December at 4.6% overall. And, according to Sterling’s Best Places, “the unemployment rate in Irving, Texas, is 3.60%, with job growth of 3.09%. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 42.59%.”

High quality jobs in technology

Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-2024 employment projection says that technology is one of the fastest growing in terms of output. Austin is no stranger to technology, being the home of two major technology companies, Dell and IBM, with many other companies following suit, like Apple. Forbes argues that Austin is the most attractive tech hub attributing the draw to the “young, educated population, large VC presence and burgeoning restaurant and music scene”. Companies see the potential of Austin’s labor pool and are taking advantage of this to grow their tech advantages.

According to Christopher Calnan at the Austin Business Journal, “Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for number of tech jobs, 585,614, second only to California. And, tech companies accounted for 6 percent of the Lone Star State’s private sector jobs, the report by Computing Technology Industry Association found.”

Attractive salaries

So, the jobs are here, and per CIO.com Austin salaries are 106% of the national average. Not too bad. For a detailed look at wages, here is snapshot of tech salaries by industry from the Austin American Statesman. In addition, the Salary Increase Forecast for U.S. Jobs projects a 3.3% increase in tech salaries from the 87K median salary as reported by the Economic Research Institute.

This is exciting news for our city.

Job growth in healthcare

On the healthcare side Will Anderson with the Austin Business Journal says that, “in the health care sector, the opening over the summer of the Dell Medical School is expected to accelerate the development of a business ecosystem that combines the city’s existing care centers with entrepreneurial startups and innovators in medicine.”

Irving attributes much of its growth to technology. According to the Irving Chamber of Commerce, “Irving was recently ranked number three for tech startups per capita in the United States by American Express through research conducted by SizeUp.com. In addition, the City of Irving is the first city in Texas and the second in the nation to earn the Malcom Baldrige Quality Award.”

The Irving Chamber of Commerce also notes that “five of Irving’s approximately 50 Fortune 500 companies have chosen Irving for their global headquarters: Celanese, Commercial Metals, ExxonMobil, Fluor and Kimberly-Clark. Irving is home to more of the DFW Metroplex’s largest private and public companies than any other city except Dallas, including Citi, Microsoft, Verizon, NEC Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, Time Warner Cable, RIM (BlackBerry), Aviall, Michaels Stores, Pioneer Natural Resources, CEC Entertainment and TXU Energy.” These companies choosing Irving, TX as their home base no doubt makes it a hot bed for career opportunities for job seekers.

So, how about it, are you ready to make the move to one of our great Texas cities? The opportunity is definitely here.

And, of course, I would love to help you with Resolution #7. If you are trying to read more, please subscribe to my updates.



2017: A new year for real estate

A look back at 2016
2016 had its ups and downs that is for sure.

2017 predictions


“The ultimate guide to what 2017 has in store for real estate”, “Notorious ROB’s 7 predictions for 2017: The boy bands edition”, Year in review: 10 major real estate tech trends that shaped 2016″, “Why more MLSs and associations will merge in 2017”,  “Broker vs. bot and the winner is..”, and “Human satisfaction: can a bot fake it enough to get there” @ http://www.inman.com
















Austin’s 2017 Outlook

According to the Austin American Statesman, Austin’s economy in 2017 will still be strong, but will face some challenges. Here are a few highlights:

  • The annual rate of job creation in November dropped to a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Oil and gas prices are increasing, and the private sector continues its growth.
  • Consolidations and potential acquisitions will hit the semiconductor industry.
  • Venture Capitalists have slowed down. They still have the money; they are just waiting on the right valuations to make their investments.
  • Start-ups could become acquisition targets. And, out-of-state companies will continue to seek Austin for their talent pool and lower cost of living.
  • Personal tech is evolving. Moving beyond Apple and Android to augmented reality like Pokemon Go, Skills (voice activated apps) like the Amazon Echo, and chatbots, intelligent agents working through Facebook and Messenger.
  • The Austin real estate market has been a bright shining star for the housing markets across the U.S. Of late we have seen a small decline in housing, due in part to a slower job growth. See the Texas A&M Real Estate Center’s take on this.
  • Retail and restaurant openings will continue to be on the rise.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its Austin Economic Indicators report January 5th. According to the report job growth continues to lead in Austin over Texas and the U.S. and unemployment is still down at a low 3.0 percent. Although growth has slowed from Austin-typical fast-paced growth, we still are looking forward to a strong 2017.

The Austin American Statesman covers the full story here.


Protecting yourself against cyber breaches

Earlier this year, the Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) hosted a presentation on trends in Cyber Crime. Throughout 2016, the trends presented have continued and expanded. As Yahoo has recently experienced with the data breach of a billion customer accounts, cyber criminals continue to take advantage of every weakness.

What was stolen from the Yahoo Accounts? Usernames, email addresses, passwords, telephone numbers, birthdays (this is scary), security questions and answers (this is really scary!)

Security professionals have the following recommendations:

  1. Change your Yahoo account password.
  2. Change the password for any other online account you have that is tied to your yahoo email address.
  3. Wherever possible, change security questions and answers with other institutions you have that are common to what you have stored at Yahoo.  Those security questions are potentially compromised.
  4. Change the passwords for any other online accounts you have that use your Yahoo email address. Note: you should avoid using a password in more than one place. Password manager software like LastPass® will help you to manager your passwords.
  5. Be vigilant when receiving and trusting email from Yahoo accounts for the foreseeable future. Avoid clicking on links or assuming an email is safe, even when it seems to come from someone you know.

Title agents take note – it’s no longer “e-closing or bust” to improve the consumer experience

Industries from music to telecommunications have been completely revolutionized by innovative new advancements in technology. Consumers can now buy almost anything online – from cookies to cars. Information is available on-demand via search and our colleagues, friends and family are just an email or text away. But what about the start-to-finish homebuying process?

– By Marvin Stone, SVP Business Integration/CFPB Program Manager at Stewart

Read more at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/title-agents-take-note-its-longer-e-closing-bust-improve-marvin-stone?trk=prof-post.

Businesses continue to choose Central Texas to protect their most critical IT assets

Austin and Central Texas are located in one of the nation’s lowest risk areas for natural disasters which attracts data centers and disaster recovery sites for large companies. According to www.TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com, Texas is a leading location for data centers due to affordable real estate, low incidence of natural disasters, available skilled workforce, bandwidth availability, competitive electricity rates and tailored tax incentives. Many do not think of Austin as a data center location, but all of the conditions are right for companies to look to Austin for their facilities. Austin has not only a safe location, but they also have the technology talent pool to staff new data center sites, an affordable housing market and reasonable cost of living, along with a laid back hill country lifestyle. Continue reading

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