Copperas Cove Realtor forges out on her own
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Centex Priority Real Estate launched in June this year as a real estate company dedicated to helping people find their perfect home.
Broker and Owner Erica McPhail has lived in Copperas Cove with her husband and three children since 2007 and has been a realtor since 2009. She has had her broker’s license since 2018. Prior to opening her own business, McPhail worked as a realtor and then an associate broker at Century 21 Premier Realtors. Prior to working as a realtor fulltime, McPhail worked as a contractor with the United States Army until 2013.
Joining McPhail at Centex Priority Real Estate are realtors Brandy Mickey and Birgit Renner.
For McPhail, opening her own company was something she had been thinking of for a while, but she wanted to make sure everything would go smoothly.
After coming up with the name and having the logo made using Fiverr, McPhail’s next step was submitting everything necessary for the business to the state. She expected the process to take weeks but it was finished in three days.
“It was kind of like one of those things that’s just meant to be,” McPhail said.
Since going out on her own and opening Centex Priority, McPhail said that business isn’t too different, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The only difference right now is that our inventory is low, so for buyers, it just means that you have to be ready to buy, and there’s multiple offers,” McPhail said.
Centex Priority focuses especially on helping military families find their homes, and with the current restrictions on PCS’ing in place due to COVID-19, there have been less families moving, she added.
McPhail was initially inspired to get her realtor’s license after negative experiences with real estate agents. She said she wanted to just help her friends and family and never planned on going full time.
Now that she owns her own company, McPhail said it’s been great.
“I’ve kind of always had my own schedule anyways, but it’s kind of surreal that you technically own it,” McPhail said. “I still do things the same way I did at the other company, it’s just now I’m responsible for all the bills.”
Mickey said that she feels the thing that sets McPhail and Centex Priority apart from other real estate businesses is just how much McPhail cares about her clients.
“I think that, to me, from everything I’ve experienced, she cares about more than just the sales. So, she has bills to pay, but you would never know,” Mickey said. “She pushes you to strive for better, so she wants you to do more education, set yourself above, set the standard, and I think that that’s what makes the difference, so being better as a whole instead of go sell, sell, sell, and she’s available.”
McPhail said she wants to set the standard for real estate agents higher than what some have been in the past.
“People are purchasing, making one of the largest purchases that they’ll ever make. Here it’s a little bit different as they make them a little bit more frequently as they go duty station to duty station but it’s about educating them,” McPhail said. “You get a first time home buyer you want them to understand the process and be comfortable with the process and kind of be there when they go to sell that house and then move on, so when they go to a different state- even though things are different from state to state- they still have an idea of the process and they can be like, ‘Oh, well, I remember this. What about this? What about that?’”
McPhail has helped friends who move away find an agent and help former clients come up with questions to ask to determine the best choice.
McPhail said the most important thing for her is making sure people are happy.
“I don’t want a phone call saying, ‘I hate my house,’” McPhail said. “That would just destroy me for somebody to do that.”
She added that her favorite thing is trying to find buyers exactly what they want for the least amount of money.
“You know, just because they’re prequalified for $200,000 doesn’t mean they have to spend it, if you can find them something at $150,000 that will make them happy,” McPhail said.
McPhail added that she doesn’t want to see somebody pay too much for a house and be “house-poor”, where they can only afford a mortgage and nothing else.
For McPhail, it’s not about setting records and earning awards.
“Awards to me, they’re not what drive me to do what I do,” McPhail said. “Am I happy when I sell more than I did the previous year? Absolutely. Can I tell you how many units I’ve sold right now? Nope. I just don’t keep track. That’s not what it’s about for me.”
McPhail said that she wants to make sure that people understand the homebuying process and selling process.
Centex Priority focuses on residential and multifamily listings in Killeen, Harker Heights, Kempner Copperas Cove, Gatesville, Lampasas, Nolanville, Belton, Salado, Temple, Georgetown, Florence, Cedar Park, Liberty Hill, Round Rock and has started property management.
The office is located at 2208 E. Hwy 190, Suite 3. Although McPhail, Mickey or Renner tend to be in the office during most regular business hours, appointments work best, so that the client gets their undivided attention, McPhail said.
For more information, people can visit www.ctxpre.com or call 254-522-4000.