The Austin Board of Realtors has elected longtime Austin-based luxury realtor Cord Shiflet as its next president taking office on Jan. 1, replacing Susan Horton in the yearly-elected position.
Shiflet has had a storied career as a realtor, working with Moreland Properties for almost 25 years and frequently ranking among the top 1% of agents in the city. He’s been a member of the Luxury League and the Elite 25 multiple times, which rank realtors on their sales prowess.
A lifelong Austinite, Shiflet said being a native has really allowed him to thrive in the real estate scene.
“What makes me good at what I do and unique at what I do is that I'm born and raised here,” Shiflet told Austonia. “I have knowledge of every school and every road, I can introduce you to every person and I can't just pick up in New Orleans or New York or Los Angeles. I truly can't do my job anywhere else.”
Though he’s long been a realtor, Shiflet has some notable ventures into the entrepreneurial sphere: as a college student Shiflet started Concord Limousine, which later sold in 2013, and founded a real estate magazine called ReFine that is still in print to this day. He's also the creator and a routine competitor in the annual Fool's Roll, a cannonball run-style event, which consists of teams decked in themed cars and costumes racing from Austin to Las Vegas.
This is hardly Shiflet’s first rodeo with ABOR—he’s been a member for more than two decades and previously served on the board of directors from 2015-2017. Shiflet and fellow board member Brian Talley were abruptly removed from the board when they began asking questions about a controversial merger with the San Antonio Board of Realtors, he says.
Shiflet and Realty Austin co-founder Jonathan Boatwright responded with a lawsuit on the grounds that ABOR was holding “illegal elections” that violated bylaws. The pair won the suit, allowing Shiflet and Talley to run for their seat on the board again.
“2017 was a very tough year,” Shiflet said. “I felt there were some issues with transparency within the board, certainly within our membership, and that's just not how I think the board should be run.”
The whole experience left a bad taste in his mouth, Shiflet said, and the only reason he ran for ABOR president was because if he didn’t, the board would have to reelect a previous president. Shiflet was one of the few people that met the qualifications.
“I didn't want to take a step back in history. I really wanted our board to keep moving forward,” Shiflet said. “So I signed up for a position that I always promised I would never do but it was needed. It was necessary.”
In the four years since the power shift happened, Shiflet said he’s very proud of the changes he’s seen. Shiflet said he’s seen a huge increase in member engagement, his election saw about five times more voters than typical, and ABOR’s new CEO Emily Chenevert has made Austin a “shining star in the industry.”
Going forward, Shiflet is “cautiously optimistic” that 2022 will bring just as much growth to Austin as the past two years have but is hopeful that inventory will increase. He’s also hoping to bring more awareness to Texas REALTORS’ political action committee to promote homeownership, TREPAC, during his tenure.
“What I would like to do is let go of the reins and let the people that we've put in place do what they know how to do,” Shiflet said. “You're always told to surround yourself with people smarter than you and we have done that.”
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With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."