Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Elite 25sm?
How does being in the Elite 25sm benefit its members?
How much are the dues and what do they cover?
When and where do the Elite 25sm meet?
Who is in charge of advertising for the Elite 25sm?
What are the minimum criteria to apply?
How are the members selected?
How do I apply?
What is the deadline for submission?
Can I send the application by fax or email?
What happens to the application once the selection process has ended?
When will I know if I’ve been selected?
Who do I contact for more information?

What is the Elite 25sm?
The Elite 25sm is an organization founded by Stewart Title in 1994, which later came under the operation of Gracy Title after the two companies merged in July 2008. The Elite 25sm is now operated by Prime Lending, a PlainsCapital Company, beginning in the 2011 membership year. It is nationally service-marked for exclusive use by Prime Lending, a PlainsCapital Company. The real estate agents who are selected as members sell luxury homes in the greater Austin area. Selection for the current year’s group begins in January and the “Elite 25sm Year” runs from March to the following February (12 months total). To see the 2011 members, please visit www.elite25austin.com.

How does being in the Elite 25sm benefit its members?
There are three main ways in which being a member of the Elite 25sm is beneficial to a real estate agent. First, the Elite 25sm provides a networking and educational arena for top-producing agents. Prime Lending hosts monthly catered luncheons featuring monthly speakers that aid in informing the Elite 25sm members of marketing trends, legislation, current issues, and pertinent education issues affecting membership. Members also use these monthly luncheons to update one another on their own listings and opportunities. Second, being in the Elite 25sm is invaluable marketing for its members. Prime Lending coordinates all advertising and events for the Elite 25sm as a group, which enhances the exposure of its members. Past groups have regularly advertised in such publications as Texas Monthly, Austin City Limits Live, Austin Monthly, Luxe, Performing Arts Programs, Tribeza, Longhorn Sports Programs, ReFine and the Austin Business Journal, to name a few. Past group events include: “Blondie” concert with VIP access at Austin City Limits Live, 2010 March of Dimes, March for Babies. Members are also featured on their own website (www.elite25austin.com) with regular updates and announcements on Twitter (@elite25austin). Finally, membership in the Elite 25sm is a symbol of status and success in the Austin community, and inclusion in the group immediately raises an agent’s profile among potential home buyers and sellers.

How much are the dues and what do they cover?
Dues are $2,400.00 per year and must be paid by the date of the announcement party on Wednesday February 28, 2012. This fee covers the announcement party as well as website, marketing and advertising budgets. Each luncheon is paid for by Member sponsors.

When and where do the Elite 25sm meet?
At the end of February, the new Membership group meets for the first time at the Announcement Party, which is held at a restaurant in the Austin area. The date of the 2011 Announcement Party is Wednesday, February 28th, 2012. Each luncheon is held at a different listing of the Elite 25sm member who sponsors the luncheon, providing an invaluable opportunity to showcase the homes to Austin’s top agents. Each member may only host one luncheon per year. The list price of the host home must be equal to or greater than $1,000,000. The monthly luncheons are always held on the third Tuesday of every month, excluding December, from 11:30am to 1:00pm.

Who is in charge of advertising for the Elite 25sm?
PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company, coordinates all advertising for the Elite 25sm; however, all decisions for advertising are determined by the Task Force, a group of volunteers from within the current Elite 25sm group. The Task Force decides which publications the Elite 25sm group will be featured in over the course of the year. They are also responsible for representing the group as a whole and relating concerns and/or suggestions from the other members. Those wishing to volunteer to be on the Task Force may do so at or before the Announcement Party in March, and should expect to meet shortly thereafter to review the budget and make advertising decisions for the entire year.

What are the minimum criteria to apply?
The Elite 25sm minimum criteria for 2011 are shown below. The final qualifying criteria will be published after the 2012 members are selected by the Advisory Board. (Agent production is based on properties sold and closed in the 2011 calendar year).

  1. Minimum 5 years experience in real estate (REALTORS® with sales volume over $15,000,000 are excluded from this requirement).
  2. Individual Criteria:
  • Minimum $7,000,000 in residential sales volume during the 2010 calendar year. [Includes homes sold in MLS, Customs, New Home Sales, Unimproved Property, Residential Lot Sales, and Private Homes].
  • Minimum of three (3) properties sold in the 2010 calendar year at a price equal to or greater than $500,000, one (1) of which must have been sold at a price equal to or greater than $1,000,000. (In other words, a minimum of two (2) – $500,000 properties and one (1) – $1,000,000 property must have been sold in the 2010 calendar year.) Signed HUD statements must accompany qualifying home sales that include your payment of commission. A property will count twice if the agent represented both sides of the transaction and received a minimum of 4% total commission.

 

How are the members selected?
After all the applications are received, sales data from each application is entered into a spreadsheet with no identifying information about the agent’s name or company. On February 1st, the Elite 25sm Advisory Board meets to view the data and select the final qualifying criteria, which are different from the minimum criteria and change from year to year. The Advisory Board consists of principals from major brokerage firms in the Austin area and makes its decision without seeing the names of any who have applied, which excludes any bias on their part and on the part of Prime Lending. Prime Lending, is not directly involved in the selection criteria of members.

How do I apply?

  1. Obtain an application (applications will be available on December 28th). You may pick up a printed application at PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company’s 6th Street location (1717 W. 6th Street, Suite 340, Austin, Texas 78703). Or for an emailed copy, please contact Tony Trungale at 512-381-4797 or tonyt@primelending.com to have one emailed directly to you.
  2. Complete the application carefully and make sure it is signed by your broker or office manager to verify your sales volume and the applications accuracy.
  3. Include with your applications copies of signed HUD Statements for all qualifying properties you have sold in the 2011 calendar year (properties with sales prices at or above $500,000.)
  4. Submit the application to Tony Trungale at PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company’s 6th Street location (1717 W. 6th Street, Suite 340, Austin, Texas 78703). The application may be mailed or hand-delivered; however, PrimeLending recommends hand-delivery to ensure both the safety of sensitive information and prompt delivery. Applications have been lost in the mail in the past and PrimeLending cannot extend the application deadline even in these circumstances. If mailed, the application must arrive by the due date; a postmark will not suffice.

 

What is the deadline for submission?
The 2011 deadline for submission is Wednesday, January 25th, no later than 5:00pm. Late applications will not be considered; there are no exceptions.

Can I send the application by fax or email? Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications by fax or by email. Due to the large quantity of pages that accompany HUD statements and the necessity of having an original signature from a broker or office manager verifying sales volume, the applications must be mailed or hand-delivered.

What happens to the application once the selection process has ended?
The application and all accompanying documents will be securely destroyed following the application process. If you would like your application to be returned to you instead of destroyed, please indicate this on your application.

When will I know if I’ve been selected?
Invitations for new members to the announcement party will be hand-delivered on Friday February 17th, 2012. Applicants who were not selected will be mailed notification letters the same day.

Who do I contact for more information?
Tony Trungale is the director of Austin’s Elite 25; he may be reached at (512) 381-4797 or tonyt@primelending.com.