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A French Country Fairytale Home: Selling Real Estate By Way of Storytelling

Welcome back. Welcome back, my readers. Welcome back, spring showers and May flowers. Welcome back, inspiration. And welcome back, Kyle. This week marks a very special time in the Rainey house. Not only did we go LIVE with a charming new listing (landing page & photos below), but this week also marks a full year of my husband being gone (off and on) for work.

If you're privy to the inside track of our story, then you know that we have an almost two year old boy, that's been sorely missed by his daddy, who has been mothered for the past year by a girl missing her soulmate. She is me. I'll try to keep this part short and sweet, but no promises. Feel free to skip to the parts of this blog post you're here for, but I've got a few things to say when it comes to this season of life I've been in. Mainly, that there are a lot of things my husband and I are built for... and that, long distance, isn't one them.

Part of the reason, Spring is my favorite season...

is because without fail, my human life pattern follows that of mother nature's trail.

The silent struggle as grass pushes through the earth with all its might,

The incredible pain of hatchlings breaking through their shell to see the light.

When it rains, it pours... but the gloom must come, before the bloom.

Apparently I needed to rhyme to express that emotion. The thing is... within the last year, specifically, I've had no choice but to rewire several parts of my brain, especially in wearing hats of designer / realtor / entrepreneur / artist / mother, just to name a few.

But one important piece I've known I wanted to rewrite the script for, is selling real estate.

Selling Real Estate By Way of Storytelling.

After reading Will Guidara's Unreasonable Hospitality, I found myself implementing principles of his into my real estate business like "be a swan" — doing my best to present as elegant and poised above the surface, while fiercly paddling to problem solve for my clients beneath the waters of uncertainty.

I stepped up my gift-giving-game not just for closings by hand-painting watercolor art for each family member, but also by showing up to listing consultations with a gourmet tea assortment or fresh baked pastries.

This concept of "giving people more than they expect" had me changing the way I treated my colleagues, clients, friends, family and even total strangers... at every single turn.

And when it comes to the "fun part for me" of serving clients in real estate — the part where I get to be creative in capturing the story of their home instead of just photos of the four walls... this, my reader friend, is where it gets so good.

I think perhaps the best way to demonstrate "how to sell real estate by way of storytelling," is to tell you "a story" of how an absolute dream listing came to be. Ha! A story about a story? How perfectly drole.

Let me first visually introduce you to this lovely Spring Branch home on 2 acres, here in the Texas Hill Country. After that, I'll share an inside look at how to capture the story of a home in an effort to strike balance between art and analytics, as well as form and function. In fact, this blog post, is indeed, part of that very process.

Introducing A French Country Fairytale Farmhouse in Cypress Springs on the Guadalupe:

Photos by Woody Paul

Beautiful isn't it? I absolutely love to think about the lucky ones who will get to call this place their own. If you or someone you know would like a private showing, please get in touch with me to get it all arranged. A button below to schedule.

Alright, now let's talk process. Here's a high-level list in story form.

Put The Relate in Relationship

If you're wondering how I met this seller client... It was none other than a cold call that went from exactly that, to a warm, inspiring conversation within seconds as we related on all things design, blogging, magazine editing, and of course, our shared passion for... storytelling! This perfectly timed intersection of our meeting and the exciting season of change on the horizon for this seller, had catapoulted my impressive and new-found phone acquaintance to make a move across the country.

In this business, it's so critical to know your why. Ours at Magnolia Realty, is to truly use every ounce of our creativity to walk people through the buying and selling process in a way that has them feeling like we are their "dream team." In fact, this seller client sent Kali and I a text saying just that! We're all about making this a transition, not a transaction. So my advice... be relatable and find things relative to talk about to build that relationship.

Align Passion, Purpose and Partners

Once we knew it was a good fit, the next step in creating the narrative in order to list this home, was to align our passion for storytelling with the purpose of getting the job done.

In an industry that tends to be a bit cuthroat in terms of competition. I would challenge you to figure out a way to partner up and partner well. You cannot do life alone on an island. It will make you do things draw a face on a volleyball and name it, Wilson. And let's face it, you're no Tom Hanks!

My point is, find people you can trust... and hire them! The people I will be paying to help get any real estate job done include at minimum: a childcare partner, photo/video partner, design partner, and of course my realtor partner, the ever-so hospitable-hospitality major, Kali Measures.

Recently, our broker had us take this personality quiz called The Five Voices... as our broker pointed out, it's a common misconception that we should partner with those who are "just like us." In fact, it can make for a more powerful connection to have opposite strengths and weaknesses. See our results below! And if you are curious which voice speaks the loudest when you interact with others, click here:

Christa's Voice

Kali's Voice

Intention Begets Inspiration

No matter the scenario, I'm a huge believer in being intentional. Whether it's in the kitchen, or the garden, a business meeting, or a friendly conversation, thoughtfulness is so important.

I think it's a bit of a lost art in just about every industry these days. Certainly, when it comes to real estate, you cannot sit around waiting for inspiration to find you... it must be researched, cultivated, and refined.

In business development, I believe there are two key factors that are crucial to consistent growth. They are RECRUIT and RETAIN. Recruiting is the act of bringing on new clients and team members while retaining is giving them both a reason to keep coming back. Both of which, require INSPIRATION to be successfully implemented.

For example, I have to inspire my clients and team enough to want to work with me in the first place (recruiting) and I have to keep them inspired to keep them around (retaining). Same goes for friendships and marriage. Gotta keep things interesting!

Being good at a job is not all it takes. It takes an overflowing and obvious passion that resounds every time you talk about what you do. Be intentional. Be inspirational.

Capturing The Lifestyle Being Sold

Let's now get into the nitty gritty a bit when it comes to capturing the style, the vibe, the aura of a home. My husband has said for many years... PEOPLE BUY BASED ON THEIR ASPIRATIONS!

An aspiring farmer buys a plow. An aspiring artist buys a paintbrush. The same goes for those buying real estate. This is why it's key to narrate the lifestyle that goes along with the purchase of a new home. This is why visually writing a narrative for online viewers is so effective. Storytelling, my friend! Storytelling.

Bring Life + Bring Style = Lifestyle

We have a couple of non-negotiables when it comes to being ready for photo day. Rule number one, never show up without fresh flowers! Bonus for bringing fruit.

When you bring fresh fruit and flowers into a space, you are LITERALLY BRINGING LIFE INTO THE HOME. Those living organisms actually change the atmosphere to create a desirable vignette now ready to capture on camera.

You'll notice the pears and tulips throughout the listing photos below. Something so simple, goes such a long way.

In case you missed it, here's the property description that aids in telling the story of this absolute french country fairytale of a home in our beloved city, Spring Branch.

"Welcome to your dream retreat on 2 serene acres in Cypress Springs on the Guadalupe, conveniently nestled between Austin and San Antonio. This custom-built haven combines French Country charm with Texas Farmhouse warmth, completed in 2020. Step through the gates into a European-style garden flourishing with vibrant Texas flora. Inside, be captivated by the 30-foot limestone wall sourced from several Texas quarries to get the look just right. The gourmet kitchen is a culinary masterpiece, boasting a leathered-marble island, custom cabinets, butcher block, and hand-forged hardware from San Miguel de Allende. The main level features three bedrooms, a mudroom, and a laundry, while the ideal-sized guest rooms offer luxury with 8-foot doors and a Jack and Jill bathroom set with Quartzite countertops. The piece de resistance? Your primary suite, a sanctuary of style and sophistication. With a private dressing room, walk-in closet, and double vanities topped with Quartzite stone, every detail has been carefully considered. Exterior doors off the primary and kitchen lead to crossvine-draped pergolas with a large fenced-in yard of meandering crushed granite paths. Upstairs, a charming loft space awaits, ideal for curling up with a good book, entertaining guests, or practicing yoga. With large picture windows, built-in bookshelves, and French oak flooring, it's a cozy retreat from the world below. Practicalities include a 2-car carport/pavilion with storage connected to the home by a convenient breezeway. But the real magic? Residents enjoy exclusive access to a private waterfront Guadalupe River park, just a walk around the corner from your front door. Welcome home to luxury living at its finest, where every detail has been lovingly crafted to inspire and delight."

Here are a few more "unofficial" lifestyle shots of this amazing property:

And That's A Wrap

In an effort to prove I've been doing some serious shapeshifting... This past year, I got called two names. Jan Copeland, a real estate coach extraordinaire called me a Storyteller as I guest starred on her podcast and Chip Gaines himself awarded me a Risk-Taker in front of a crowd of my piers... This name-calling is certainly the good kind and has affirmed my passion in my quest to combine design and real estate in order to help those buying and selling homes in the Texas Hill Country.

I do things that are uncomfortable, like cold-calling and door-knocking and starting up real estate conversations with friends because I truly believe in the service I can bring to this incredibly important transition in life. And boy, do I have a dream team that partners with me every step of the way!

It will be our great pleasure to play a part in the writing of a new chapter for our seller on 2081 Whispering Water and those who get to call this haven of a home their own soon.

We actually just had a private showing before it officially hit the market thanks to some intentional pre-marketing and... storytelling.

If you want to follow along in the journey, you can put your name on the email list below! Trust me, it's anything but boring in your inbox when getting an update from me and my team.

Cheers to storytelling with intention wherever you go!


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