As the New Year approaches it is customary to think about the past year and plan for the future year (and perhaps make a resolution or two). With this in mind, I want to share some reflections and resolutions of my own.

Looking back on 2018 gives me a warm glow about our wonderful Island community. After many years of working for other great Galveston realtors, I went out on my own and started my own brokerage. No doubt many peers thought I was crazy to start a new business at an age when others are thinking of retirement!

For anyone thinking of starting a new venture in 2019 – just do it! The first year of business at Tom’s Galveston Real Estate was been fantastic. We helped so many people realize their dreams of leasing, buying and selling property on the Island. We now have five realtors and two support staff and plan to hire more Galveston people in 2019.

Those who know me know that I am a huge advocate for the Galveston community and will always step up when needed. One of my proudest achievements of 2018 was the ability, through my business, to give back to Galveston. I was happy to sponsor 50 local community groups and organizations in the areas of education, environment, historic restoration, culture and entertainment. All of these groups enhance the quality of life on Galveston Island and am pleased to be able to play my part in helping them grow and thrive.

There is a cliché in real estate that is it all about location, location, location. My take on this is that in 2019 it should we should all be thinking local, local, local. Like many industries, real estate is facing competition from new companies who are national, online players. They make a lot of noise about disrupting the industry and offering cheaper fees. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to sell your home and you are considering an online company then please go in with open eyes.

We live in a unique place where historic preservation and planning rules are so important, where windstorm and flood insurance must be well understood, and where our diverse neighborhoods are not like cookie-cutter neighborhoods in Houston.

Only a local realtor who is a member of the Galveston Association of Realtors can truly understand all of the intricate issues involved in buying and selling on the Island.

When you work with someone like me you can be assured that not only am I bringing may decades of experience to your transaction but I’m also living by my own mantra of local, local, local. This means working with local title companies, local insurance agents, local mortgage brokers, local appraisers and local inspectors – people who understand the unique conditions of our local market.

More importantly, by using Galveston based businesses we are putting money back into our own community. For 2019 my New Year’s resolution is to keep growing Tom’s Galveston Real Estate, to keep giving back to the community and to keep helping people buy, sell and lease our Island.

Afterall, those of us lucky enough to live by the sea, are lucky enough.