Austin Board of REALTORS® announces 2021 Industry Awards winners
AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Board of REALTORS® announced the winners of its 2021 Industry Awards at the Hotel Van Zandt on March 25. The event celebrated the tireless work of the outstanding REALTOR® members who made an impact in their community and navigated their clients through a thriving, competitive and complex Central Texas real estate market last year.
“I want to give a heartfelt congratulations to all the finalists and award recipients. Thank you for your dedication to your clients and for your work to help strengthen such an important pillar of our regional economy,” Cord Shiflet, 2022 ABoR president, said. “A REALTOR®’s responsibility is to give someone their best options and best opportunity to buy a home, and our 2021 Industry Awards winners go the extra mile to make sure their clients are informed and happy. Their leadership and talent played a huge part in helping establish our housing market as one of the best in the nation and will continue to do so throughout 2022.”
Winners and finalists were selected anonymously by ABoR’s member-led Industry Awards Committee based on their accomplishments this past year. ABoR Industry Awards recipients demonstrate the highest level of integrity and commitment to serve their clients, the community and the real estate industry.
The 2021 ABoR Industry Awards Winners are:
Affiliate of the Year Award - Tyka Booker, US Health Advisors
The Affiliate of Year Award recognizes an ABoR affiliate member who consistently engages with the REALTOR® members of ABoR and offers valuable products and services to members and their clients.
In 2021, Tyka Booker’s involvement with ABoR and in their community played an integral role in her success. After joining US Health Advisors, Booker has been a crucial and influential partner to all of Austin’s REALTORS®. While growing up, she knew that she had a special gift of developing strong long-lasting relationships with people through the services she provides. Booker takes pride in helping families make decisions that will benefit them long term.
Community Service Award – Jéan M. Bruns, Realty Austin
The Community Service Award recognizes a member who allocates a significant amount of time, energy, and resources to help support the community and who also inspires others to do the same, while still maintaining a thriving real estate career.
Growing up in Austin, Bruns has experienced Austin’s market growth firsthand and worked to create and maintain valuable ties to the community. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in finance & marketing, he held several leadership roles in the hospitality industry across the country. It is through these years of experience he mastered the art of —and developed a love for— serving the individual needs of all types of clients. Bruns’s personal success in real estate investments drove his move to the industry full time.
Educator of the Year – Socar Chatmon-Thomas, Elegant Estates Realty & Auctions
The Educator of the Year Award honors a real estate instructor at ABoR who provides exceptional intellectual, moral and social instruction to our REALTOR® members and supports the association and its initiatives. They build caring relationships with students as they work through the challenges and nuances of practicing real estate in our marketplace.
Chatmon-Thomas is known throughout the real estate community as an innovative and creative force in advanced marketing and real estate sales. With over a decade of real estate experience, she is a sought-after marketing consultant to many real estate investors and agents across the United States. Chatmon-Thomas has taught industry leaders her hands-on marketing techniques and demonstrates how the auction method can speed up the real estate sales cycle.
Broker of the Year Award – Noa Levy, The Boutique Real Estate (1-50 agents), David Pruitt, Coldwell Banker Realty (51-100 agents) and Karlyn Ellis, Realty ONE Group Prosper (100 plus agents)
The Broker of the Year Award is bestowed upon a broker member from each category who has exemplified extraordinary initiatives and strategies in their brokerage business model and processes. They actively encourage and provide opportunities for their agents to become more involved in the industry and their community.
Levy’s passion for real estate is a combination of her family’s influence and her cultural experiences and travels. She was hired at Urbanspace LLP as an associate in the summer of 2004. Within the year, Levy became one of the company’s top producers and has continued to excel in the real estate realm. In 2008, she helped open The Boutique Real Estate to provide an utmost level of client service and bring an innovative and fresh approach to real estate marketing. She has helped both buyers and sellers in residential pre-construction, resells, leasing, investment and project development.
Pruitt is a 35 plus year veteran of the Austin real estate scene. A Texas real estate Broker who has been recognized as both REALTOR® of the Year by ABoR and the Manager of the Year by the Austin Platinum Top 50. He is a past president of ABoR and continues to volunteer his time within his industry and community in various roles.
Ellis is the Broker/Owner of Realty ONE Group Prosper. She originally started out buying and selling for her family’s personal use, but quickly took it on full time. She has been a licensed broker since 2006. Ellis founded Prosper Properties with a partner back in 2012. Their dream was to offer a locally owned brokerage that would offer full support to agents, allowing them to grow and reach their full potential. In 2018, she felt the move from Prosper Properties, an independent brokerage, to a franchise would add much needed value to her agents that she just could not get being an independent. The technology, tools, and training that she can provide her agents through Realty ONE Group allows them to grow far beyond what was once imagined.
Rookie of the Year Award – Rafael Llorente, Twelve Rivers Realty
The Rookie of the Year Award celebrates a member who distinguished themselves from their peers and achieved high levels of success early on in their career. The Rookie of the Year Award is primarily based on an evaluation of a member’s personal production, their initiatives to further their education and their contribution to the real estate industry on a local, state and national level.
After graduating from Kansas State, with degrees in both Business and Spanish, Llorente headed to Los Angeles to take on the Hospitality Sales industry. That decade leading the sales teams of numerous hotels and convention bureaus provided a new arena for him to manage large groups of people, properties, and achieving historic success structuring deals. His outcomes were not only financially beneficial to those he represented, but they also helped build companies, cities and industries. On arrival here, he first flexed his hospitality know-how to bring five-time growth to numerous prominent Austin based venues. Finally, he pulls his experiences all together in real estate. Like twine creatively connecting the pieces of vintage furniture, Llorente is the embodiment of kindness, competency and is driven by his vision of future potential when working with his clients.
Salesperson of the Year – Lindsay Neuren, The Lindsay Neuren Group, Compass
The Salesperson of the Year Award honors an individual who broke barriers and achieved extraordinary volume in terms of sales dollar amount and number of transactions closed in 2021. The Salesperson of the Year Award is primarily based on an evaluation of a member’s personal production and their contribution to the real estate industry on a local, state and national level.
A third generation Austinite, Neuren brings a unique perspective to her clients looking to buy and sell in her beloved hometown. Her vast knowledge of the diverse neighborhoods helps her clients find the area in Austin that best fits their lifestyle. She takes immense pride in providing her clients with the best in service. Neuren has sold over $100M in real estate each year in this booming city and has been awarded the top 5 team in Austin and #31 agent in the state of Texas. With her optimism and warm personality, she goes above and beyond helping her clients buy and sell homes across the greater Austin area. She loves to be involved in every aspect of the buying and selling experience.
REALTOR® of the Year Award – Jessica Rumbaugh, Texas Land and Home
The REALTOR® of the Year Award is a prestigious honor based on an evaluation of a member’s continual involvement in and contribution to the real estate industry on a local, state and national level. This individual has distinguished themselves from their peers through both their industry involvement and career growth and is identified as a leader in the real estate industry.
Rumbaugh brings years of experience in sales and negotiations as well as a lifetime of land ownership. As a fourth-generation landowner and rancher, she is knowledgeable about multiple land types like farm and ranch land and recreational properties for various types of hunting. After a strong start in real estate with Keller Williams as a top agent, Rumbaugh is also an expert in residential transactions both inside the city limits and out on rural acreage. When selling, she goes above and beyond with high quality photos, virtual tours and staging to make your house look appealing to the largest market of potential buyers. As a buyer, she understands market values, appraisals, the process of loans and financing and how to make sure you purchase the perfect place within your budget for the right price.
The Ethics Award – Divyaksh Kapur, All City Real Estate, LTD. Co.
A new category, the Ethics Award, was created to honor agents who go above and beyond what’s required in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. They champion Fair Housing, equity and inclusion in their community and consistency demonstrate human values and ethics in their business.
After more than 15 years of professional experience in Management Consulting, Financial Services and Manufacturing and running his family business, Kapur decided to go on his own to fulfill his dream of being an independent business owner while helping people and making a difference. He personally believes in servient leadership and likes to provide his clients the best service by attentively listening and understanding their needs and constraints, being available to address their concerns and questions and using his knowledge and skills to formulate an effective strategy to find the best solution - a house they can call ‘our home’ or getting the top sales price for their existing house.
Iconic Changemaker Award – Robert Wright, R.L. Wright, REALTORS®
The Iconic Changemaker Award honors a member who, throughout their career, has exemplified what it means to be a leader in the real estate industry on a local, state and national level. This individual has been an ABoR member for 20-plus years and during that time, has greatly impacted the real estate industry and the lives of others through their work as a REALTOR®.Being a native Texan who grew up in the surrounding area has provided Wright with a broad scope of the local real estate market and the importance of home ownership. He has provided real estate service to homeowners in the Austin metro area since 1989. Holding designations as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS); Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI); National Association of REALTORS® GREEN designee; Texas Affordable Housing Specialist (TAHS); Certified Relocation Professional (CRP); and Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program (TRLP) graduate, Wright has helped many people in the Austin metro area as well as others with their real estate needs while relocating to other parts of the United States.
To learn more about the ABoR Industry Awards program, or to see the 2021 finalists, visit ABoR.com/Awards.
The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the needs of Central Texas REALTORS® and homebuyers, sellers, and renters for nearly a century. Through professional development, grassroots advocacy, and community, we give our 18,000+ members the power they need to ensure people have homes. Our multiple listing services (MLS) connects both agents and consumers with the most accurate and robust real estate marketplace in the region. For more information, contact the ABoR public relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org . For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com.