Real Estate Blog

Why work with investors?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tyson Schuetze, Natalie Walls and Phillip Vera

Auben Realty celebrates ten years of business this year, and a major part of the company's success has been the ability to adapt to changes in the market. And now more than ever, the experience that comes along with not only working with investors, but being investors. 

It began with Tyson Schuetze, a young entrepreneur who started in real estate as a sales agent in New York City in the early 2000s. He purchased his first investment property in the upstate, and quickly saw a need to educate himself on how to manage the renovation and leasing of his first rental. He traveled to regional conferences and met other investors, some of which became mentors. Tyson pored over data and articles which highlighted the do's and don'ts of property management, and while he encountered several rookie mistakes along the way, he was determined to build a business for himself. It wasn't long before he realized that in order to grow his portfolio, he would need to look at more affordable markets. In 2006, he packed up a U-haul, and headed south to Georgia, where a couple of his conference-going mentors were based in Augusta.

He jumped into partnering with other investors who walked him through the investment buying, renovation, and re-selling of properties. This was an exciting--and exhausting time. The real estate market was hot, and home flipping was hotter. Tyson spent years crawling under houses, analyzing data, attending investor meetings, and continued to travel to conferences. Late nights were spent writing business plans, budgeting for the repairs and renovations, and doing the work himself, but also looking for partners who possessed the skills and experience he lacked. 

By 2008, the bubble had burst. Bad loans, over-leveraging, and a downturn in the economy left millions of people unable to pay their ballooned mortgages, and unable to sell their home for what it should have been worth. Traditional sales were on the decline, and investors were no longer able to flip houses as quickly and easily as they once could. This was a time to get creative. Tyson had to get in front of bankers who turned him down repeatedly for loans--as lending was very conservative at the time. He had to continue forging relationships with agents, vendors, other investors, and the people who desperately needed to sell their homes. This was a time when listening to others, and being solution-oriented was paramount. It was also a time when the status quo looked far less enticing. Tyson wanted to take what he learned from his experience and the advice of others and invest in areas that no one else wanted to be in. Columbia County was bursting at the seams with new construction, shopping and dining. Tyson was drawn to the historical and cultural nuances of Richmond County, and saw the potential to make a difference in bringing back the neighborhoods that had all but been abandoned. He began to invest in Harrisburg, Old Town, downtown, the "lower" Hill, and South Augusta.

After three years of blood, sweat and tears in Augusta, Tyson was ready to give more--blood, sweat and tears, but he had the foundation in place to bring others onboard who were eager to build something from the ground up. Natalie Walls was there from the beginning as an assistant with property management experience, and now as partner and managing broker. They began Auben Realty as a way for Tyson to manage his own properties, but grew out of the necessity for other investors in the Augusta area who were looking for property management services. And it continued to grow for investors who also needed assistance in the buying and selling of properties. Some investors didn't have the same vision of downtown and Richmond County that Tyson had, but with the hiring of agents and the start of a brokerage he could service those clients with the same level of expertise. And yet many investors believed in what Tyson was doing, and had the capital to invest in neighborhood blocks where they could renovate homes and essentially help increase values in the area. And now more than ever, these areas are reaping the benefits of a strengthening economy and influx of people moving in.

The Auben Team continues to expand--with an office in Chattanooga and doing business regionally in SC, GA, TN and NC. The team also continues to attract members who are tenacious and eager to learn and grow with the company. They share a desire to invest in real estate, but also in themselves. And while the company now operates under the leadership of Phillip Vera, CEO and Alex Becker, Director of Operations, everyone is encouraged to take ownership in their role and contribute to the success shared as a team.

As Auben Realty approaches a decade in business, the company is more focused than ever on what it means to invest in a community, and service investors with firsthand knowledge and experience. After all, it is a company made up of investors for investors. 

Read more about the benefits of working with investors here: Why Work With Investors? What You Need to Know About Real Estate Investing (RIS Media)

Holding Steady

Monday, March 4, 2019

Holding Steady

Nationwide home flipping was down in 2018, but many investors are continuing the hunt for bargains. The primary focus for investors continues to be in the lowest-priced areas of the country, where levels of financial distress remain highest.

Home Flip Trends in 2018:

  • Decrease in average time: Homes flipped in 2018 took an average of 180 days to complete, down from 181 days in 2017.
  • Decrease in square footage: The average square footage of homes flipped in the fourth quarter was 1,408, the smallest average square footage on record for CoreLogic’s report, dating back to the first quarter of 2005.
  • Decrease in Financing: Thirty-six percent of all homes flipped in the fourth quarter were financed, down from 39.5 percent a year ago.

While the average price per home in the Augusta and Chattanooga markets continue to increase, by 6% and 8% respectively, the overall prices remain below national average. And the opportunities for investing remain ripe as the economic development of these areas continue to strengthen; attracting renters and new home buyers into the markets. Many investors are looking at areas that were once hit hard by financial hardship and seeing opportunity for growth as mortgage rates hold steady and the number of jobs increase, resulting in greater demand for housing. Greater demand paired with steady increases in home values is attractive to investors who wish to hold onto their properties for the purpose of generating rental income and asset building.

Another attractive quality for investors in Tennessee, and Georgia and South Carolina, along the Savannah River is the level of economic market freedom. Economic market freedom, as defined by Dean Stansel for the Reason Foundation, is the freedom of the individual or business to use their resources as they wish without undue interference from the government. This is important, as it promotes prosperity. These markets tend to experience population growth and economic opportunities for all. Augusta ranked 74th and Chattanooga 59th in the under 1 million study placing them in the top 25 percent of MSAs with the most economic freedom.

As with many other national real estate trends, we anticipate our markets to remain steady with continued growth. There doesn't appear to be a slow-down in sight for the foreseeable future. 


"Home Flipping Slowdown Could Be Temporary, Report Says,"  Realtor Magazine (Mar. 1, 2019)

"Ranking U.S. Metropolitan Areas on the Economic Freedom Index," Reason Foundation (Jan. 31, 2019)

A Cure for Summertime Blues

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Anyone else feeling the end-of-summer blues? The best way to slow down the final month of vacations and beach days is to curl up with a good book. Garden & Gun Magazine recently published an August reading list. Explore the work of many great modern southern writers. It's not too late to explore the outdoors of Appalachia with Phil Hudgins as your guide, or experiment with grilled cheese recipes with the southern-inspired Eric Greenspan. Get lost in the poetry of Kentucky-based Ada Limon, or the photography of Jeremiah Ariaz depicting Louisiana Trail Riders. If you are itching to flex your mind ahead of the school year, read about the life of Arthur Ashe in Raymond Arsenault's comprehensive biography of the Richmond, VA native athlete and civil rights activist. Delve deep into America's opioid crisis as investigative journalist, Beth Macy, takes you from the hard hit corridor of East Tennessee through Virginia. This list has something for everyone -- women's lit and fiction included!

View it here: Garden & Gun August Reading List

AUG Offers Best Risk-Reward for Investing

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


According to an  article  published by Forbes this month, Augusta, GA continues to offer the best risk-reward for investing in the southeast. Along with Greenville and Spartanburg, SC, Augusta "home prices are still modest compared to the income price, but the economics are very promising."

While this is seen as speculation by many analysts, those who live and work in the CSRA have seen, first-hand, the growth and continued promise of growth which will only enrich such investments. 

Our team is comprised of agents and property managers with years of professional and personal investment experience. Contact us today to learn how we can assist in finding the perfect investment opportunity suited to your needs. 

New Faces, Going Places!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Auben Realty is pleased to welcome our newest team members: Aundrea, Jamie and Lene and Justin!

Property Manager Aundrea Benson comes to us with a background in property management and working as a licensed Realtor. She is an Augusta native who loves spending time with her family, which includes her two fur-babies, Mac and Elvis. 


Accountant Jamie Spell has lived all over Georgia. After earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia in Athens, and MBA at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, he spent time working in construction, and as an auditor for a CPA firm in Atlanta. He has since relocated back to Augusta, and looks forward to combining his love for real estate and numbers at Auben Realty. 


Lene Cole grew up the oldest of seven kids on a farm in Battle Ground, IN. Her work experience includes office management for a masonry company, and 15+ years in hospitality and F&B industries. We are excited to have her put her interpersonal skills to work as our new project coordinator.


Justin Henderson was raised in Oklahoma, but has lived in Vail, CO; Jacksonville, FL; and Punta Mita, Mexico. The place that has felt most like home is here in Augusta, GA. He earned his degree in Turfgrass Management from OSU, and has worked for several top tiered golf clubs throughout the country, including Augusta National Golf Club. He says of his new position as Director of Property Management, "Having the opportunity to be a part of a growing company and contribute to its future is something special."


Summer Clean Up at the Canal

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Augusta Canal

Reminder: Join us this Friday, June 15th at 4:30 p.m. for our scheduled canal clean-up. Our team will meet at the Lake Olmstead entrance near the stadium. This volunteer opportunity is open to the public and in partnership with the Augusta Canal Authority Adopt-a-Canal-Trail (ACT) initiative.

For more information, please contact Patrick at (706)294-6514 or

Tee Time

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Monday work day you can look forward to? 

Golf Ball

The Auben Team is fired up about sponsoring a hole again this year in the The Augusta Metro Chamber Annual Golf Classic. Now 18 years running, this event is known to be a favorite among local businesses and organizations. Our team is proudly recognized as leaders in local real estate--not so much in the sport of golf. With that said, we are eager to carry on the tradition of having a great time. Please be sure to say hello to our team out on the green next Monday, May 14th at Gordon Lakes Golf Course. In addition to providing stylish koozies for your beverages, we will be happy to answer any questions you have about investing, buying, and selling real estate in the CSRA.

Visit the Augusta Metro Chamber for more information.

How To Sign A Virtual Lease

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Operation: Beautify Augusta

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Warmer temperatures (finally) and sunny skies (hopefully) bring exciting opportunities to volunteer in the Garden City. Join the Auben team, Saturday April 21st as we participate in TWO community clean-up projects. 

  1. The 4th Annual Harrisburg Clean Up, in conjunction with the CityServe Day of Service. This event starts at 8:30 a.m. at Martha Lester School and lasts until 1:00 p.m. Be sure to sign-up with EventBrite if you plan to stay for lunch at the Salvation Army Kroc Center afterward.
  2. The Auben Team will also be meeting at 11 a.m. for our monthly Adopt-a-Canal clean up. Please contact Chelsea via Email or by phone, 706-305-1551 ext 718 for more information. A waiver must be signed ahead of participation, but we are happy to assist with that!

Each volunteer opportunity encourages participation from adults and children (supervision requested for children under the age of 16.) 

Join us for one or both!

Team Brag

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Customer service is the cornerstone of any business.  We love helping our residents feel welcome in their new homes, and really appreciate when our team member's hard work is recognized. Valencia received these beautiful flowers after helping a new resident with the application and move-in process. We'd like to send a huge thank you to Valencia for representing Auben Realty. Your level of professionalism and expertise makes us proud!

Valencia and Flowers

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