Hiring: Licensed Real Estate Assistant

Hiring Licensed Real Estate Assistant Ad

HIRING: Licensed Real Estate Assistant

The Urban Living OKC team at Verbode is expanding again. We’re looking for just the right person who is self-motivated, has a great attitude, can thrive in an ultra fast paced environment, and is completely in love with this city.

We are hiring a licensed real estate assistant. Depending upon background and skills, consideration will be given to candidates regardless of current licensure or real estate experience.

Email resume and cover letter detailing interest to #downtownokc #okchistorichomes #nowhiring #okcrealestate #realestatejobs

Does Boulevard Alt C Match Core to Shore Goals?

OKC Boulevard - Alternative C - CloseupAfter reviewing the Core to Shore Plan today with some colleagues, we came up with a lot of questions with regard to how the OKC Boulevard Alternative C (which appears to be the one with all of the political clout behind it) could have emerged if the goals of the original plan were kept at the forefront of consideration throughout the process. I decided to pick out several pages from the plan to highlight what seem to have been generally admirable intentions back in 2008. I will leave it to you to review the C2S Plan and the Boulevard Alternatives to determine for yourself if you think they match up.

There are countless references throughout the Core to Shore Plan that speak to an emphasis on creating walkable, bikeable, green, artistic, iconic destinations for people to interact. Fast forward six years to 2014. The urban core of Oklahoma City has see an explosion of growth in all of those aspects that were barely in the conversation with most residents at that time, from the monthly arts and entertainment district events, to a resurgence in biking for commuters and casual riders, to the closing down of major thoroughfares to create gathering spaces for people (Open Streets), to the ultra-successes of Better Block OKC. It would be difficult to ignore the evidence of what our friends and neighbors now find most valuable. I can’t imagine that we would not want to collectively create more and better spaces for these human interactions to take place. The re-installation of a highway in a space that has the potential to connect and encourage an expansion of downtown to the river with a plethora of beautiful, healthy gathering places for people and with a focus on attracting and gathering people together at the core of our city, not merely finding quicker ways to get them in and out, seems like a step in the opposite direction. Look at the cropped diagram above for Alternative C for the Boulevard, and you tell me if you think that matches the goals stated in the Core to Shore Plan excerpts in the pages below.

Tonight at 12:00am is your last chance to submit comments to become a part of the public record. Please refer to the info on the Better Block OKC blog post for details on where to send your comments.

Final Community Forum for Downtown OKC Elementary Tonight!

JohnRexLogo Upcoming Community Forum

School Opens in Fall of 2014!

 Who:                     Dr. Joe Pierce, Head of School

What:                   School leaders will discuss the enrollment and application process, plus the many opportunities available in fall of 2014 for incoming Pre-K through 2nd grade students.

When:                  Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Where:                 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

College of Public Health Auditorium

801 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Parking in Lot A and on-street.

(A Spanish translator will be available.)

Follow us:    Twitter @JohnRexSchool

John Rex Charter Elementary School offers a one-of-a-kind, quality education to economically and racially diverse students.  The school is strategically placed in downtown Oklahoma City to provide teachers and students easy access to government, legal and cultural opportunities. The campus’ proximity to the Civic Center Music Hall, the Myriad Gardensand City Hall gives students walking access to multiple learning experiences.

### Content courtesy Candor Public Relations – – Twitter @candorpr ###

UrbanLivingOKC is Hiring – Marketing Assistant

ULMarketingAsst_AdThe Downtown and Historic Core of Oklahoma City is bursting at the seams, and my real estate business is tracking right there with it. With this amazing growth spurt seeing no end in sight, I am excited to bring another member onto the Urban Living OKC team. I have so many ideas for how I would like our business to give back to the urban core of OKC that we love so much by promoting neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and issues that make life in this time and place so amazing.

I need a Marketing Assistant (aka OKC Promoter) with lots of love and energy for OKC to help me execute those ideas. Please contact Gary (405.694.8562 or, if you or someone you know is interested in talking about this opportunity. I am so honored and privileged with the platform my real estate business has given me to promote the city, neighborhoods, and people who make my life and that of my friends, family, and clients so rich and full. Below are a few bullet point qualifications.

  • Passion for OKC (particularly urban and historic life and homes)
  • Risk-taking, creative personality (this is not a sit in your dark cubicle all day kind of job)
  • Social media savvy (we will be using various stream of social media to promote some of our favorite neighborhoods)
  • Comfortable with photo-video work (you don’t need to be an expert)
  • Approx 15-20 hours per week
  • Pay will be competitive – great work and attitude will be rewarded!

The most important traits for this and most any other position in my business will always be a GREAT ATTITUDE, OKC LOVE, and HARD WORK. Everything else is negotiable! This is such an exciting time for our City and for my business. Please spread the word. I’m ready to put someone to work today!

Community Forum on the New Downtown OKC John Rex Elementary

John Rex Elementary MeetingExcitement is building for a new elementary school that is coming to Downtown OKC this Fall. John W. Rex Elementary will be the first tuition-free downtown charter school in Oklahoma City. Tonight the school administrators and board provided a forum for interested parents to get more information about the school and the application-enrollment process. While the room was bursting at the seams, I heard from lots of people who couldn’t make it to the meeting but expressed interest in getting details. So, I thought I would post some of the highlights from the night. ** Please note: these are just my notes; please verify details with John Rex & OKCPS administration. **

Combining what promises to be one of the best teaching staffs in the region with access to all of the wealth of cultural and business opportunities just a short walk away, a broadly diverse student population, and a facility that has been designed for flexibility and cooperative learning, John Rex will be unlike anything this state has seen in terms of elementary education. Dr Joe Pierce has been tasked with leading this new school. He shared some of his vision for the school, as well as many of the details parents have been waiting to hear.

  • ADMISSION: Preference will be given to students who live within the geographic boundaries. Beyond that, others who wish to apply will be given priority based upon the following criteria.
    • 2nd Priority: resides outside of JR geographic zone but in OKCPS.
    • 3rd Priority: resides outside OKCPS but parent works in JR zone.
    • 4th Priority: resides outside OKCPS and parent not employed in JR zone.
  • LOTTERY: A lottery will be implemented, based upon priority, for the remaining spots not filled by those living in the JR geographic boundaries.
  • PERSONALIZATION: There will be an emphasis on differentiated and personalized instructional strategies. So, basically, they will try to tailor the instruction to the individual students’ needs.
  • FLEXIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: He showed a rendering of what the classrooms will look like. Each grade will be grouped together with some collaborative teaching efforts. The classrooms have been designed for flexibility and collaborative learning, with a common “learning launcher” area where the different classes within one grade can interact and work together.
  • LOOPING INSTRUCTORS: They are planning to incorporate “looping” with their instructors, in which the teachers follow their group of students more than just one semester or one year. The teachers will get to know and learn more about their students, which will in turn give them flexibility to personalize their instruction.
  • TECH EMPHASIS: The latest technological tools for education will be incorporated.
  • DRAWING FROM COMMUNITY LEADERS: They intend to take advantage of the amazing wealth of talented business and cultural leaders in something like an adjunct community instructor capacity.
  • SECURITY: In cooperation with the OKC Police Department, following the Sandy Hook tragedy, design and procedural security measures have been implemented, such as auto lock-down doors, specialized key cards, and additional interior and exterior cameras.
  • STORM SAFETY: They hope to complete a third phase of construction, which is expected to include a 600 person safe room, before the start of school in the Fall.
  • EXTENDED DAYS: The instructional days will be longer than the typical 6.5 hrs. Dr Pierce said this will give them more flexibility to focus on other areas beyond just preparing for the standard tests, which compromises most of a typical day.
  • APPLICATION DATES: Applications will be accepted from February 3 – March 14 (My Birthday!!!). The Lottery will take place between March 17-21 and parents will be informed March 24-28.
  • CLASS SIZES: They are anticipating approximately 20 students per class. I believe he said they would start with 4 Pre-K, 4 Kindergarten, 3 First Grade, and 3 Second Grade classes.
  • TEACHING POSITIONS: Teaching positions have not been posted or filled yet. He expected they would start posting available teaching positions in the Spring.
  • COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION FOR TEACHERS: Dr Pierce said he would be going after the very best teachers around. There is a possibility that they may be able to provide better compensation packages in order to attract the best staff.
  • DR PIERCE’S THREE R’s: His three R’s were: Rigor (critical thinking and problem solving skills…often misunderstood as rigid), Relevancy, and Relationship
  • WORKING PARENTS: There will be before and after-school care for a small fee to help accommodate working parents.
  • DRESS CODE: There will likely be a dress code, but the details have yet to be determined.
  • SELECTION CRITERIA: There will be no preference given for siblings. There will also be no first-come, first-serve in terms of when the applications are submitted.

These were just some of the points of discussion that caught my attention. Check the link below for the FAQ Sheet provided at the meeting. You can also visit the website for more details.

As a huge proponent of urban living, I am extremely excited about this significant step forward for Downtown OKC! A world class center for learning for our youngest students will only serve to encourage more and more families to live and work in and around downtown. If you are interested in exploring your options for Urban Living in Oklahoma City, please give me a call at 405.694.8562.


OPEN HOUSE – 1212 N Berry St, Oklahoma City 73127 – Sun, Oct 13 – 2-4pm

This Sunday we are holding our first Open House to provide the public with a special opportunity to view this great new listing in OKC. It is a spectacular wooded acreage with a beautiful custom built home in the heart of the Oklahoma City, less than 10 minutes from Downtown. There are expansive rooms throughout the home. The living, dining, and kitchen areas are surrounded by windows looking out on your serene, post-card like greenscape.

High quality, energy efficient construction (spray foam insulation, energy efficient windows, upgraded hvac, low utility bills!) were employed in building this amazing home. There is a huge, flexible-use upstairs space that could serve as a 4th bedroom, media/game room, workout space, office, etc. The possibilities are endless based upon your needs.

DATE: Sunday, October 13
TIME: 2:00-4:00PM
PRICE: $275,000
LOCATION: 1212 N Berry St, Oklahoma City, OK 73127
DIRECTIONS: Go east from Rockwell on NW 10th St. North (left) on Berry St. It is the last house on the right (about 2 blks).

Feel free to contact Gary (405.694.8562) for more information on the property. Or, if you are unable to make it to the Open House on Sunday, I would love to give you a personal tour. This is a fantastic value with tons and tons of high quality updates!

Click Here to see the Virtual Tour
1_Main_FrontClose_1212NBerry 2_LivingRoom1_1212NBerry 3_Kitchen1_1212NBerry 5_Dining_1212NBerry 8_MasterBed_1212NBerry 10_Upstairs_1212NBerry 14_ExtDrive_1212NBerry 15_ExtLand_1212NBerry


A Fork in the Road: Why I Do What I Do

Have you ever come to a fork in your life path where you had the option to choose a way which is safe, comfortable, and somewhat predictable or to step out into a vast unknown territory of which you can only assume there will be struggle and heartache and sacrifice mixed with the beautiful possibility of the kind of full, meaningful, joyful life for which most can only hope to dream? Well, I was at that exact place about 4 years ago. Those of you who know me well know some of how that went, though I’m sure you have never thought of it in quite such dramatic terms. For those who don’t, you soon will.

Already in the midst of some major career transitions (mechanical engineer-project management whiz-international humanitarian-pastor-property maintenance guru-etc), I had an opportunity to jump into a business I had been contemplating for years. With Kathy & I and many friends and family moving around early in our marriage, I picked up a bit of a sour taste for the real estate industry. In many ways it lived up to all of the not-so-positive hype. And being the kind of stubborn, naive, we can change the system kind of person, I always thought I could create my own little niche as someone who listens first and talks second, who really understands the urban & historic markets, who knows how to market in today’s digital & image conscious world, who has a wealth of knowledge on the technical aspects of homes as well as the aesthetics that make it desirable to buyers, who is a wise & meticulous decision maker, and who hopefully makes a ton of new friends who have decided to make urban okc home for this stage of life.

That sounds magical and all, but this was 2009. Do you remember the real estate market in 2009? You probably don’t, because 2009-2011 were memorable only for running off about half of the agents and lenders in town. As I contemplated making the leap, I spoke to several people who had been in the business for years. Almost without fail, they discouraged me away from real estate, sharing story after story of how the competition and cyclical nature can chew you up and spit you out. I spoke with others from my engineering life who thought I was equally crazy for “wasting” an advanced engineering degree.

But, like my stubborn father and his stubborn father, that was only more fuel for my desire. So, I dove in head first. The first two and a half years were anything but glamorous. I struggled to generate business. My mentors in the industry tried to “help” me with all of the typical sales tactics, calling anyone with whom I had ever had a relationship to ask them how they were doing only long enough for them to soften up for my pitch. That’s not me. I was going to generate and do my business in a way that fit me and in a way that I would want to be treated as a buyer, seller, or referrer of real estate business. If that didn’t work, I would have to find a new line of work. I spent much of my previous career life trying to shape and convince myself that I was what everyone wanted me to be. I was at a place in my life and career where, win or lose, I was going to be the real me.

There were continual glimpses throughout those early years of people “getting” what I had set out to create, just enough to keep me going. I can’t lie and say it has been an easy road getting here or even that the road is easy now. Anyone in business for themselves knows how difficult it can be to have everything on your shoulders. Eighty plus hour work weeks are the norm, rather than the exception. Potential deals and clients often fizzle away as quickly as they appear. But, I love it. How many people can confidently say they love what they do with their life? I can and do. I have the most amazing clients, many of whom have turned into great friends. I love promoting okc, it’s burgeoning growth in my home, the urban-historic core. I love the homes (old and new and everything in between). I LOVE my co-workers. They are so much more than that; they are life friends in every sense. I love promoting and educating friends and clients on green and sustainable living, even in a city that thinks it doesn’t need it. I love my spectacular new office downtown. It is everything I ever dreamed of an urban work environment and more! I love the details. Yes, I am a geek when it comes to contracts and market analysis reports and web traffic statistics. I love that I can sleep soundly each night from a hard day’s work and integrity still intact.

Recently, some clients-turned-best friends, Christa & Paul Ryckbost, sent me a message asking if I would be okay with them writing a blog post about their experience buying and selling with me last summer-fall. I said sure, but then didn’t think much of it. You have to understand, these guys are crazy (in the best way imaginable). They are the kind of people I love. They are risk-takers who think they can feed thousands with half of a sack lunch or at least turn a dilapidated turn-of-the-century home into a work of historic home art. The even better part is they can and are. I won’t ruin the blog. You should most definitely read it.

A week or two after, I went back to the blog to find out if they had written anything. I read it, and immediately recalled that fork in the road four years prior. They get it. They get me. They get what I had only imagined years ago. Their words are complimentary far beyond my level of comfort. So much so, that I haven’t shared what they wrote with anyone but my wife until now. The most difficult part of this business for me is selling myself. I’m not comfortable with that, and in some ways I hope that never changes.

But over the course of the last several weeks I have felt that I NEED to share it. Because, if you get what Christa is saying, you get a lot about who I am and why I do what I do. Please take a moment to read it.

A Glowing (Realtor) Recommendation

Upcoming Urban OKC Events – November 2012

There are so many killer events coming up in the next couple of weeks in and around OKC that I couldn’t help from compiling a list to share with you. The events tap into most of UrbanLivingOKC’s favorite things (arts & culture, historic preservation, the future of cities, delicious food, politics, downtown living, scavenger hunts, and serving our okc neighbors).

This is what community is all about — good food, good times, and great people! Check out the notes below some of the events for organizers, headliners, and honorees who are friends of UrbanLivingOKC. Thanks for making OKC such a great place to live, work, play & serve!


St Elijah Mediterranean Culture & Food Festival

10:00am-8:00pm – St Elijah –
15000 N May Ave – OKC


National Weather Festival

9:00am-1:00pm – National Weather Center –
120 David L Boren Blvd – NORMAN


Fall Peace Festival

11:00am-5:00pm – Civic Center Hall of Mirrors –
201 N Walker – Downtown OKC

Open House

2:00pm-4:00pm – New Urban Living Listing –
19316 Cade Court – Edmond


Democracy in Action — GO VOTE!!

7:00am-7:00pm – Your Local Polling Place
(Friends of UL – Anyone who will be a voice for… walkable, people-oriented development; treating all of our citizens regardless of race, gender, age, orientation or status with dignity & respect; more love & less violence; leaving our habitat a better place for our children & the generations to come; less competition & more community)

Pay It Forward for OKC Philharmonic

11:00am-10:00pm – S&B Burger Joint –
20 NW 9th – Downtown OKC


POK 20/20 – Oklahoma’s Cultural Fabric Seminar

10:00am-5:00pm – Oklahoma History Center –
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive – OKC

TEDxOU Salon – City 2.0

3:00pm-5:00pm – Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art –
555 Elm Avenue – NORMAN

POK 20/20 – Two Decades of Preservation in OK

6:00am-8:00pm – Caliber –
48 NW 8th St – Downtown OKC
(Friends of UL – Kristin Vails,Oklahoma Preservation Young Leadership Award)

CityScape – Great Scavenger Hunt 2012

6:00pm-8:00pm – ExchangeOKC –
700 1/2 W. Sheridan – Downtown OKC

RAWards: 2012 Indie Arts Award

7:00pm-12:00am – Club One15 –
115 E. Sheridan – Downtown OKC (Friends of UL – Lisa Lee & Anna Lee, Nominees for RAW Oklahoma City Photographer of the Year)


IAO Red Dot Art Auction

7:00pm-11:00pm – IAO – 706 W. Sheridan – Downtown OKC
(Friends of UL – Anna Parsons, Jason Blankenship, Kristin Vails, Dylan Bradway & Annalisa Campbell, Contributing Artists)


Cleats for Kids Collection

10:00am-12:00pm – Downtown OKC Community Basketball Court – Reno & Hudson – Downtown OKC
(Friends of UL – Tracey Zeeck)


Anthony Bourdain – Guts & Glory Tour

7:00pm-9:00pm – Rose State Performing Arts Theatre –
6420 SE 15th St – MWC


State of Creativity Forum

7:00am-5:30pm – Cox Convention Center –
One Myriad Gardens – Downtown OKC
(Friends of UL – Jonathan Fowler, Presenter)

IgniteOKC 4.0

6:00pm-10:00pm – Civic Center Hall of Mirrors – 201 N Walker – Downtown OKC
(Friends of UL – David Glover & Benjamin Nockels, Presenters)

Please email ( or text (405.694.8562) Gary for more info or if you would like to carpool to one of these urban OKC events.

NEW LISTING – 12601 Abbotts Way, Oklahoma City

You will spend a lifetime searching & not find many homes cleaner, in better condition or as move-in ready as this one! Spectacular, updated kitchen w granite counters, slate tile backsplash, beautiful floor, stylish fixtures & more. Expansive formal living-dining w charming bay window. Spacious & comfortable family room w vaulted ceiling, brick fireplace & built-in bookshelves, open to the kitchen-breakfast area. Meticulously cared for exterior.

ADDRESS: 12601 Abbotts Way, Oklahoma City, OK 73142

SQ FT: 1708


PRICE: $124,900

OPEN HOUSE – 7720 Maehs Terrace – Sun, July 17, 2-4pm

This Sunday we are holding our first Open House to provide the public with a special opportunity to view this great new listing in Northaven.

DATE: Sunday, July 17
TIME: 2:00-4:00PM
PRICE: $129,900
LOCATION: 7720 Maehs Terrace, Oklahoma City, OK 73162
DIRECTIONS: East on NW 102nd from Council Rd. Make first left (n) on Glennora. Then left (w) on Maehs Circle & follow around to property.

Feel free to contact Gary (405.694.8562) for more information on the property. Or, if you are unable to make it to the Open House on Sunday, I would love to give you a personal tour. This is a fantastic value with tons and tons of high quality updates!

Click Here to see the Virtual Tour