Dave Ramsey, vice president in NewQuest Properties Land Group, has earned the top overall and land producer’s honor for 2017 for the company.
The ten-broker division’s transactions volume topped $230.4 million and more than 3,500 acres in Texas, predominately Greater Houston. Ramsey’s sales accounted for $101.9 million of the grand total and 2,844 acres, the largest of which was nearly 704 acres at FM 529 and Grand Parkway in Katy.
“I certainly had a good year,” Ramsey says. “It’s in the top three of my career.”
Ramsey, who joined NewQuest in 2000, grew up in the business, but didn’t focus on land until shortly after he joined the firm. In addition to earning NewQuest’s top producer honor, he also was named a Heavy Hitter in 2017 by the Houston Business Journal.
Ramsey’s 2017 sales included the one deal he’s been chasing the longest – the 704 acres near Grand Parkway and FM 529 in west Houston. “I made my first offer on that tract in 1983,” says Ramsey, a licensed real estate broker since 1978.
It’s often the story behind the real estate transaction that sticks in the broker’s mind. Two years ago, Ramsey had the opportunity to sell 1,300 acres that his father had sold in 1955. Back in the day, his father had to split the cost of a fence, which he personally built, to make the close.
“When I sold it, I told my dad, who’s now 89, that I got a much higher commission and I didn’t have to build a fence,” Ramsey says, recalling his father’s hearty laughter.
Ramsey holds B.S. degrees in real estate and marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Earlier in his career, Ramsey facilitated shopping center developments in Dallas, Houston and Charleston, S.C., where he lived about six years. He returned to Houston in 1991, traveling and working independently for national retail clients before landing at NewQuest and following in his father’s footsteps as a land broker. Consistently earning awards as one of Houston’s heavy hitters, he has been involved in the sale of 15,451 acres since 2011.
“With land, you have to understand all factors that would result in a successful development. You become an expert, per se, at the variables to help developers, buyers or sellers understand what the issues are with a particular tract of land,” Ramsey explains.
Understanding development issues can be daunting, as Houstonians have learned with Hurricane Harvey. New flood plain regulations are now part of the equation, but development is far from being at a standstill.
“It is hard to find good developable, close-in land with the flood plain changes. Since Harvey, people are more willing to go farther out,” Ramsey says. “We have actually seen an uptick in investment interest.”
Residential development hotspots, fueled by top-ranked educational systems, continue to be west and southwest Houston. On the east side, there has been a spike in interest for property in Liberty and Waller counties and around Lake Houston.
“NewQuest’s land group is really busy, with a lot of deals at the title company. There’s a lot of money chasing land,” Ramsey says. “It’s a fun time to be in the land business in Houston.”