Agent Brings Rental Experience to Sales Business
By Amy Morgan
CJ Hernandez may be one of San Antonio’s newest realtors, becoming licensed in March 2022, but he’s already on his way to a successful real estate career. CJ and his wife, Brittany, work together to manage four properties they rent through the popular App airbnb. While they sometimes rent to vacationers, often their customers are those on long term military assignments who prefer the comfort of staying in a home. Additionally, San Antonio’s tight housing market has caused many families seeking to buy to rent as they wait for something to become available.
“The housing market is still crazy and will continue to be for a while. Inventory is still not increasing much,” CJ said. “Bidding wars are becoming more commonplace even in the rental-housing market. No one can find a home to live in because prices are insane.”
As a property manager, CJ heard stories from his rental customers about less-than-positive experiences as they looked for homes to purchase. The lessons he learned through trial and error during his own home purchase nudged him to take the plunge and become an agent.
CJ met fellow realtor Essie Ramahi through his previous position as an audio engineer at his church — he learned of her work filming her testimony. Essie helped him navigate the real estate course and exams, mentored him and encouraged him to join her brokerage, Our Texas Real Estate Group, headquartered in Lubbock.
“I’m inspired to provide a different and better customer service experience that people are going to enjoy. There’s a lot we can do as agents to make the process less stressful. That’s what pushed me,” CJ said.
He agrees with a recent Wall Street Journal article in June that stated, “First time home buyers are facing an exceptionally difficult housing market that threatens to lock younger households out of home ownership.”
“The average cost of a home in San Antonio is more than $300,000,” he said. In a multiple-offer situation, which is common now with tight inventory, people are making offers over asking price. The problem is, if the appraisal values the property lower than the offer, the potential buyer must come up with cash to cover the difference. “Offers from first-time home buyers often don’t look attractive because the seller doesn’t want to take the risk they’ll have the extra cash in the bank if needed.”
CJ counsels his clients to build up their savings, secure a pre-approval letter and be able to show proof of funds. As interest rates are rising, he advises buyers to choose realistically priced properties to keep from being overextended when it’s time to close. He also suggests families consider building a new house to allow them to be more successful in their search.
In his spare time, CJ enjoys mixing music, leading worship or playing one of several instruments — guitar, bass, drums. His children, Scarlett and Jeremiah, are also musically inclined. He says his four-year-old daughter, “sings like an angel.
“Family is number one for me,” CJ said. This newly minted agent will continue to build his business and provide white-glove customer service, all the while, keeping his family on the forefront.