Category Archives: Press

2013 Austin Board of REALTORS® Industry Awards Honor Real Estate Leaders

AUSTIN, Texas – November 12, 2013 – The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 ABoR Industry Awards. These awards honor leaders in the real estate community for their outstanding contributions to the industry and their local communities. Join us in congratulating these hard working real estate professionals.

REALTOR® of the Year
Judith Bundschuh of Catalyst Realty
Judith Bundschuh believes that being a REALTOR® means being an integral part of the community and providing ethical, professional assistance to clients looking to buy or sell their homes. Over the past decade, Judith has done that and more to represent the Austin Board of REALTORS® and the REALTOR® brand. She has served to make the Central Texas community a better place and has done so in many ways.

Judith served six years as an ABoR Director and was the 2011 President of the Board. She has also acted as both an ACTRIS and ABoR Foundation Director, and held multiple more positions within both ABoR and the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR). She considers it an honor to have been allowed to serve in the many roles that she has and notes that her experiences have made a difference in both her personal and professional life.

Rookie of the Year
Jackie Horton of Curve Realty, LLC
In 2013, Jackie Horton’s first year as a REALTOR®, Jackie closed 40 transactions for $8.5 million in volume. Jackie built a solid foundation for her career after graduating from Texas A&M University by joining a national new homebuilder in Austin. After ten years as a sales counselor and sales manager, Jackie decided to turn her knowledge and experience toward Residential Real Estate. Believing that her clients deserved a well-educated partner, Jackie immediately obtained the GRI: Graduate, REALTOR® Institute, ABR: Accredited Buyer’s Representation Designations and the SFR: Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification. She dedicates herself to her community by participating with Habitat for Humanity, Susan G. Komen and Texas Humane Heroes.

Community Service Award
Laurie Loew of Give Realty, Inc.
After experiencing some life changing events, Laurie Loew made the decision to create a business model focused on benefiting others. She soon found that she had created a “social” business, and was at the forefront of the latest business trends called social entrepreneurship and For-Benefit business.

She is regularly consulted by business owners and organizations on how businesses can become more “socially responsible.” Helping others realize the benefits of giving—both personally and professionally—is Laurie’s passion. She works tirelessly to promote the benefit of giving.

Affiliate of the Year
John Schutze of Supreme Lending
John Schutze joined the financial services profession shortly after college, becoming a financial adviser specializing in personal financial planning. He soon began to focus on helping his clients manage their mortgages, and then fully transitioned to the mortgage profession in 2002.

He believes it is important to invest in his profession and has been actively involved with the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR), and other industry organizations since 2005. He currently serves as Treasurer for the Austin Board of REALTORS® Foundation. His favorite quote: “To the world, you may be just one person. But to one person, you may be the world.”

You are invited to attend the 2014 Installation and Awards Gala, where ABoR will honor this year’s Industry Award winners, as well as install the incoming President of the Board Bill Evans, the 2014 ABoR Officers and Directors, and the 2014 ABoR Foundation Directors. The gala will take place Saturday, December 7 from 6:00 – 11:30 p.m. at the ZACH Theatre, located at 1510 Toomey Road, Austin, TX 78704. Tickets are $100 each and are limited in quantity. Purchase your ticket at For more information, contact Shirley Williams in ABoR’s Education Department at 512-454-7363, ext. 1603.


The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a non-profit, voluntary organization representing nearly 9,000 licensed REALTORS® in Central Texas. As the primary source for accurate and comprehensive property listing information for REALTORS® in Greater Austin, ABoR works to advance the REALTOR® mission and protect homeowner rights. For more information, please contact the ABoR Marketing Department or 512-454-7636. Visit, a public resource on Austin real estate, for the latest news on the local housing market.

Give Realty Gives Back to Community

Article originally published in Community Impact Newspaper.

Johnson The Care Communities DonationWith Give Realty, owner Laurie Loew is running a real estate brokerage firm while giving back to the community.

Give Realty, which helps clients buy and sell residential properties, donates 25 percent of its brokerage commission to the nonprofit or faith-based organization of a client’s choice. The real estate firm celebrated its five-year anniversary in July. The firm has donated more than $259,000 to local and national nonprofits since opening.

“For a lot of clients, it’s been explained to me that there is the sense that they feel I have their best interests in my heart,” Loew said. “It’s not just about a paycheck and commission; it’s about doing something more.”

Loew started selling real estate in 2005. Following a divorce in 2007, Loew said she started thinking of ways to better the world and stop feeling sorry for herself. She came up with the idea of Give Realty, and the firm has since grown to employ three agents.

Loew said she enjoys how Give Realty connects clients with the nonprofits they help. Give Realty sets up a formal check presentation between the clients and the nonprofit. The clients can then tour the nonprofit if they want and see in person the work the organization is doing.

“It’s all about getting the client engaged in something that they are passionate about,” she said.

Clients have donated checks to nonprofits such as SafePlace, Emancipet and CASA of Travis County.

“The first donation I made was so life-changing, and every one since then has also been life-changing,” Loew said. “It reprioritized what was really important to me.”

Austin broker’s business model: Give back

Article originally published in the Austin American Statesman.

It was, Laurie Loew says, one of the bravest moves she has ever made: Starting her own Austin-based real estate company on July 23, 2008.

Loew’s marriage had dissolved the year before, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to keep working in real estate. But she decided to move forward with her plan to use a “socially responsible” strategy that she hoped would differentiate her firm — which she named Give Realty Inc. — from the competition.

The concept was that Give Realty would be a “philanthropic brokerage” that would donate 25 percent of every sale or commission to a local or national nonprofit of each client’s choice. Having grown up in a Catholic family with nine siblings in an 1,800-square-foot home in Scottsdale, Ariz., Loew says the strategy also aligned with her upbringing — particularly her mom’s mantra to her to always “count your blessings.”

Five years later, Give Realty has surpassed the quarter-million mark in charitable giving, with donations to date totaling $259,527 to nearly 80 nonprofits, Loew said. They include Manto Coahuila Orphanage, the Austin Community Foundation, Safeplace, Any Baby Can, CASA and Austin Pets Alive.

Loew said her firm generated $1 million in revenue in the past five years, including more than $300,000 in the 12 months that ended in June. Assuming the current sales pace continues, Loew expects to top the $500,000 donation mark within two years.

Debbie Johnson, director of Austin Gives, a nonprofit organization that recognizes businesses that give back 1 percent or more of their pre-tax earnings, said Give Realty “epitomizes great philanthropy in Austin.”

Loew “not only gives back way more than most businesses, but she is also committed to creating other, new philanthropists so there is a magnified effect to her giving,” Johnson said by e-mail.

Nationwide, corporate giving is typically just over .1 percent of revenue and just under 1 percent of pre-tax earnings, Johnson said.

Susan Raymond, executive vice president of New York-based Changing Our World, a global consulting firm to nonprofit organizations, corporations, private foundations and philanthropists, said a “fundamental change” is taking place in the way communities and companies look at their relationship to one another.

In an e-mail, Raymond said companies like Give Realty “represent a growing trend in which the success of business creates resources to strengthen community. This has always been the case in many ways – successful business creates jobs and economic value which strengthens community. But to that benefit is now added a more purposeful resource transfer, that adds to the inherent relationship a conscious contribution to the nonprofit institutions that serve the larger societal need.

The changing model, Raymond said, is a “win-win; business gains, economies gain, and the larger community is strengthened by the shared attention to societal needs.”

From the outset, Loew said the “socially responsible” business model she adopted was life-changing.

Loew said when she made Give Realty’s first donation — $1,050 to Mobile Loaves and Fishes on July 31, 2008 — the nonprofit’s receptionist didn’t quite know what to make of it when Loew dropped off the check.

“I literally cried on my way home, I was so happy,” Loew said. “It felt really good.”

Her next client worked at Dell Inc., resulting in a $1,600 check to the Downs Syndrome Association of Central Texas. Dell Inc. matched the contribution, for a total gift of $3,200.

Loew said that even as she watched her retirement savings dwindle during the firm’s first two years as she struggled along with the economy, she refused to change her business model, continuing to donate the full 25 percent.

“It was an investment in my future, and in Austin’s future,” said Loew, whose firm has two full-time agents, one part-time agent and an administrative assistant.

Loew said if every local real estate agent had given one-fourth of their commissions to nonprofits, it would have resulted in more than $14 million being donated in May alone.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg of what can be done,” she said.

Paul Hilgers, president of the Austin Board of Realtos, said Loew “should be recognized for the creative business model that she has, and we are interested in exploring other opportunities for Austin Realtors to make a difference in their community like she has.”

He said it will be a topic of discussion for the board and its foundation going forward, including in upcoming strategic planning sessions.

That’d be just fine by Loew, who said her business model is not about her becoming wealthy, but about “doing some good in the world.” And it has altered her definition of success along the way.

“I have never been happier,” Loew said. “I literally get goosebumps every day. You can create change.”

GeneroCity Award: Give Realty Took Home a Win!

Austin realtor

In photo (right to left): Bobby Jenkins, Laurie Loew, Ed Kargbo (owner Yellow Cab), and Don Kendrick (President Wells Fargo).

Butterflies in my stomach; a table full of Give Realty staff and supporters; a room full of 300 generous people at the Austin Gives Luncheon to celebrate the inaugural GeneroCity awards.  I feel honored just to be in the same room, let alone for Give Realty be a finalist for the Small Business Award.

Roy Spence, cofounder of GSD&M/Idea City and founder of Royito’s, was the guest speaker.  To hear him speak is always inspiring and the story of his journey entertaining.  I’m always surprised at the similarities in the entrepreneurial stories of folks who have started a business and Roy’s tales about startup funding, business ideas and making a difference were all relative to the Give Realty journey.

As you can imagine, I often get asked about the Give Realty business model.  There are many adjectives that can be used to describe it: smart; rewarding; transformational; difficult. Now that Give Realty has 4.5 years under its belt and has survived the ups and downs, I can honestly say it has been the bravest thing I have ever done.  As the saying goes “hindsight is 20/20 vision”.  I am not so sure I would have had the stamina and the courage to fund the model had I known how long it would take to gain traction.

We won!  Give Realty’s name is called as the winner of the Small Business award. There is a round of cheers at the table.  Ultimately this award belongs to Give Realty’s clients.  Without you there would be no Give in Give Realty. I have said it before and I will say it again, our clients are our angel investors. You get it. You understand that allowing us to help you change your address allows us to continue giving in hopes of changing the world.

The rewards are endless. Give Realty has the best, kindest, most inspiring, giving and caring clients on the planet.  The business model allows us to give to wonderful organizations that are doing amazing things in and for our community. Our clients and the nonprofit community are our biggest fans and best advocates along with all the friends who share our story.

Give Realty consists of two full time agents (Laurie and Victoria), one part time agent (Sarka) and a part time admin person (Kim).  There are 9000+ agents who are members of the Austin Board of Realtors®.  If  I  am being truthful, most days I feel like David.  Thank you, Austin Gives, for helping Give Realty be Goliath.

Congratulations to Harden Health Care and BuildASign on their wins too!

Austin Gives™ is a community program to recognize and encourage business philanthropy in metropolitan Austin. There are currently over 130 business members who have committed to giving 1% or more of their pretax earnings to philanthropic efforts. 

Leadership Austin receives $1500 Scholarship Grant from the Give Realty Social Entreprenuer Scholarship Fund

Leadership Austin is an amazing organization focused on creating community leaders.  Laurie Loew is part of the 2012 Essentials Class and it was a great honor to present Heather McKissick, President of Leadership Austin with a donation to the 2013 Scholarship Fund.  Pictured on right is Jennifer Wijangco, Leadership Austin’s Development Director. 

This scholarship fund would not have been created without the generosity of the Alter-Suri family and them allowing us to divert a portion of their Give Realty donation ($2500) to start the fund. 

Social Entrepreneurship is a new and important component of the betterment of our community and world.  Supporting the scholarship fund at Leadership Austin is a wonderful way to give social entrepreneurs in our community the opportunity to attend the Essential Program that Leadership Austin provides.

Three ways to help Leadership Austin:

1.       Come to the Best and Brightest Party Ever.   Join us May 15 on the Long Center for the Performing Arts City Terrace for the Brightest Party Ever where Leadership Austin will recognize three inspiring local leaders for their ongoing commitment and dedication to Central Texas.  You can purchase your tickets here.

2.       Learn about Austin’s hottest issues over breakfast.  Each month, Leadership Austin presents the Engage Speaker Series at the Long Center, covering the most relevant, timely, and often complex issues facing Central Texas. 

3.       Make a commitment to your personal leadership development.  Consider applying to one of Leadership Austin’s programs.  The Essential Class focuses on regional issues, leadership skills, and the building of strong networks to encourage innovative, collaborative solutions to the region’s challenges.  The Emerge program prepares young professionals for community leadership roles with skills training and relationship building.


How it Works

When you buy or sell a home, 25% of Give Realty’s commission is donated to the 501(c)3 nonprofit of the client’s choice. That’s right – YOU choose the recipient. Learn More

Change your address. Change the World.®