Purchasing her first piece of property at age 23, Michele Smith fell in love with flipping homes and flipping land.
After 20 years of purchasing and selling her real estate as a side venture, Smith decided to get her license and go into the real estate business full time.
“I was flipping homes long before Joanna and Chip Gaines were a thing,” Smith said.
Planning to be a one-woman show, Smith eventually found herself owning two offices and alongside eight agents, including her husband, Paul, the former tennis coach at Mason High School.
In 2012, she officially opened Reata Ranch Realty in Fredericksburg, with the focus of just selling ranches. Smith chose Fredericksburg as it was the center “hub” to where she was working.
“We sell real estate in five or six counties around the Hill Country and I really just felt that Fredericksburg was the center of all that,” she said.
As her business grew, she added home and commercial sales divisions.
Reata Ranch Realty sells everything from $15 million ranches near Horseshoe Bay to fixer-uppers here in Fredericksburg.
Selling the land
Growing up hunting and fishing, Smith has a passion for the outdoors.
“I just love the land and when we moved to the Hill Country, we realized that you don’t sell the land, it sells itself,” she said. “It’s a really emotional sale. They either love it or don’t.”
Anytime Smith steps onto a piece of land, she’s sees the vision, something she shares with her clients.
“If I don’t believe in a piece of property, I have trouble selling it. I guess that doesn’t make me much of a salesman but more of a visionary,” she said.
Smith also prides her company in developing relationships with clients as well as making a sale. The company follows message from Benjamin Franklin: “Well done is better than well said.”
Smith and her team understand the value of the investment their clients are making.
“Representing a buyer or seller and then having them tell a friend about what I do, that means a lot,” she said. “If you can build a relationship or even a friendship, and get the job done, at the end of the day, the paycheck is just the icing on the cake.”
Smith also works to network with other professional land brokers as well as utilizing two Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems.
“I also still believe in picking up the phone and calling to get more information,” she added.
Fuel for the fire
Because of the recent fires in Llano and Blanco counties, Smith is giving a portion of their profits to volunteer fire departments annually.
“These departments are running out of fuel and don’t have the funds to operate,” Smith said. “We rely so much on these departments and it is amazing what they can do despite how small they are.”
She hopes other local agencies will follow suit.
Smith’s father’s favorite movie was the James Dean film, “Giant.”
Every time her father went out to the ranch, they joked that he was going to the “Reata,” the same name of the ranch in the film.
Smith then decided to name her agency after the film.
Reata Ranch Realty
• Owner/Broker: Michele Smith
• Established: 2012 in Fredericksburg, January 2018 in Mason
• Address: 408 North Llano Street
• Phone: 830-992-3045
• Website: reataranchrealty.com
• Primary business: Real estate agency specializing in land
• Agents: 8