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At first glance, Austin, Texas doesn’t seem like the ideal place for a Navy veteran to settle down. Commissaries, base exchanges and the nearest VA medical center are all 58 miles away. Kasey Jorgenson, with Keller Williams Realty in Austin/Round Rock, however, felt drawn to the area when he left the military. Going from taking his meals in the mess hall to dining in SoCo, it’s been a smooth transition for Jorgenson, and he is well on his way down the road to becoming a true Austinite.
Jorgenson grew up in a military family and spent his childhood in Seattle, Akron, various areas around Northern Virginia, and Korea, where he lived on an Air Force base for a year. As a young adult, he spent six years in the Navy onboard an aircraft carrier. “I flew in helicopters, in the back as a door gunner and rescue swimmer,” he explained. Jorgenson served the United States in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He met the lady who would become his wife while in the service – she was in the Navy as well. “I was set to get out at the end of 2009, and she was set to get out in spring of 2010,” he recalls. “I knew I was going into real estate and we just kind of looked at a map for which area had the best potential for real estate, and the best job market for when she finishes her degree, and still has a really cool culture, and we narrowed it down to the Austin area,” Jorgenson concluded.
While waiting for his wife to get out of the Navy, Jorgenson decided to get his feet wet in the real estate industry in San Diego. “I interned with a top-producing team in San Diego, just to make sure real estate was really what I wanted to do and to get some experience,” he recalled. “I was basically an unpaid intern with them, just learning, and I learned a lot. I got a lot of perspective from a few really experienced agents. I went on listing appointments with them, went out with buyers, did some cold-calling,” Jorgenson said. Despite the grunge work, he decided real estate was the industry for him.
Although they receive a good number of referrals, Jorgenson figures that his group gets about 70 percent of their business from their websites. “I’m a huge proponent of staying at the leading edge of technological trends,” he said. “We’re always looking for ways to stay an inch ahead of everyone else – to be just a little bit more innovative. My sites are all SEO’d for different things, different clients, and then each listing we take gets its own single property website, and everything links back to the main website,” Jorgenson explained. He also gives Market Leader kudos for supplying the group with leads. “They do the advertising, they guarantee a certain number of leads and we just focus on converting as many as possible,” he explained. “I think Market Leader is fantastic. It’s been the best thing that we’ve used so far.”
The Jorgenson Group receives referrals from a variety of sources. “We get a lot of referrals from past clients,” he said. “We also get a lot from networks that we belong to and from working with other professionals – attorneys and banks.” To keep in touch with these folks, he uses a general email marketing campaign. “We break our clients into three groups, so we have “A” clients, “B” clients and “C” clients. “A” clients are the ones that send us repeat business. We do a little bit extra for them to thank them for spreading the word,” he said. Jorgenson hasn’t forgotten his roots and does a lot of work with veterans. He has a dedicated website just for them, and he participates in a commission rebate program for them.
The heat in Austin isn’t just a result of the weather – the local real estate market is on fire. “I work primarily in north Austin; downtown and higher,” Jorgenson explains. “Houses here are selling in less than a week, sometimes the day they come on the market if they’re priced well. It’s unfortunate for buyers because a lot of times we end up in a multiple offer situation,” he continued. “April was our 23rd straight month of increased value. It’s a very healthy and fast-paced market,” Jorgenson concluded.
When he’s not trying to drum up listings for his buyer clients, Jorgenson enjoys being outdoors. “We go swimming, hiking, backpacking – really anything that gets us outdoors,” he said. He also participates in the annual BP MS 150, a two-day, 180-mile cycling journey from Houston to Austin that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
He and Mrs. Jorgenson also enjoy donating their time and elbow grease to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home, painting, doing yard work or “whatever is needed,” he said.
Overall, Jorgenson is like all of the agents featured here in our Real Estate Pro of the Week column in that he loves what he does for a living. “There’s always something different happening,” he said. “There’s always a new problem that needs to get solved, and it’s really fulfilling to get that problem solved. It’s satisfying – no two days are the same,” he continued, then paused, thinking…“Real estate is just fun.”