August Harris, Realtor
Known around the office as "Happy", August Harris always brings a positive attitude to his work. As a talented realtor, dedicated Longhorn fan and involved Austinite, he's always out and about in the city.
His Real Estate Journey
My real estate career started in 1980 when I worked part time at Lumbermen’s Investment Corporation for several summers and through my first year of college preparing home mortgage loans for securitized investment pools. I was briefly at Kidder Peabody when the stock market crashed in 1987. I returned to Graves, Dougherty, Hearon and Moody, where I had worked through college, as a paralegal assisting in the liquidation of insolvent savings and loans in Texas. Most of what we worked on were the real estate matters and real estate related litigation.
For more than a decade after that, I managed hundreds of millions of dollars of defaulted real estate loans and real estate assets throughout the country. I also was involved in the valuation and sale of real estate secured portfolios. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about all sorts of unique and diverse aspects of the real estate industry to which few people are ever exposed. It introduced me to parts of the country I would never have imagined exploring and to parts of communities well off the beaten path. It also gave me the opportunity to meet and engage with unbelievably diverse folks from all walks of life and all with incredibly different stories.
Around the Community
Volunteering was just part of my childhood because that’s what my parents did – I never had much money to give so I gave my time. One of my mentors gave me some advice a few years ago that has stuck with me: When asked to volunteer, always say yes because you never know where it is going to lead you.
I have volunteered for all sorts of fun stuff from the Austin Texas Exes, Aqua Fest, Fiesta at Laguna Gloria, the Capitol 10,000, the Rodeo, La Dolce Vida and more. In 2001, I got involved in the Greater Austin Chamber and began to follow a more policy oriented path of service. Over the last two decades I have served as a Director on State Bar of Texas and as Vice Chair of the Texas Historical Commission (both statewide appointed positions), a Commissioner on the City of Austin Downtown Commission, on the board and as treasurer of Leadership Austin, as chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee, its Local Issues Committee, its Small Business Public Policy Forum, its Public Policy Roundtable and participated on its Federal Issues Committee, Downtown Circulator Task Force, Freight Rail Task Force, and Transit Rail Task Force, served as vice president, a board member, and chair of the Advocacy Committee of Preservation Austin, on the board and as president of two neighborhood organizations – the West Austin Neighborhood Group and the Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association, on the board of Pioneer Farms, as treasurer of the Texas School for the Deaf Foundation, on the board and as president of the Stephen F. Austin High School Continuing Education Foundation, and on the board of the Austin Texas Exes. I am now also serving on the facilities masterplan committee for the Brain Health Redesign of the Austin State Hospital, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
The Perfect Austin Weekend
With fall around the corner, it might look like a Friday night at Matt’s El Rancho with friends and family for a couple of margaritas and a bowl of Bob (Armstrong dip that is) with a side of grilled onions and jalapenos. On the way home, we’d pass by House Park where I played my first and last high school football games.
Saturday morning would start with a couple of Otto’s breakfast tacos from Tacodeli and ESPN College Game Day on the tube. Then it would be off to Dirty Martin’s on Guadalupe for an OT Special and tater tots or onion rings on the way to tailgate central, Scholz's and the UT Alumni Center with friends –hopefully running in to long lost compadres on the way. I would get into my seats early to see the Longhorn Band – the Showband of the Southwest – march in to Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium to March Grandioso, followed by the National Anthem, The Eyes of Texas and Texas Fight! And watch that huge Texas flag unfurl.
Sunday morning would be quiet with a morning walk with our dog, Tigger, followed by coffee, the New York Times Sunday edition, Meet the Press, and a little yard work to justify all the calories. If it was a beautiful fall day, we would head to lunch at Shady Grove with an order of chili cheese fries for the table and chicken fried chicken. A walk on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail would follow - if we were less ambitious, both courses at Peter Pan Mini Golf would satisfy the post-lunch experience. Sunday evening would be capped with dinner with my wife and my in-laws at one of their favorite spots.
What Makes a Dream Home
Don’t we want it all! Great architecture, a manicured lawn with amazing trees and beautiful gardens, a pool with classic lines and a wine cellar all come to mind.