Claude’s clients are his raving fans—they love that he is a financial wizard, and they adore him for his unconditional friendship and lifelong loyalty.
A former accountant and financial advisor, Claude’s property analysis always gets his clients the maximum value. His customer service, community involvement, and acts of generosity are well known within his client base and neighborhood.
Homebuyers and sellers put their trust in Claude Smith to help them make one of the most crucial financial decisions of their lives. Claude’s 20+ years as a real estate expert are backed by another 13 years spent as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with major financial firms in both the United States and Europe. His top-notch financial expertise proves invaluable for homebuyers, sellers, and property investors looking to deftly navigate the real estate market without breaking the bank. When the financial stakes are high, Claude educates his clients about real estate market economic conditions, local and neighborhood appreciation rates, taxes and financial planning, and the complexities of the home loan process. With a proven track record and over $500 million in real estate sold to date, Claude understands value like no other Realtor®.
Because of his unique background in finance and accounting, Claude takes a more logical, analytical approach to real estate. “I like fixing problems,” he says. “I don’t look at real estate as sales or marketing so much as I look at it as problem solving for my clients.” Homebuyers and sellers rave about Claude’s integrity, persistence, loyalty, and above all, his incredible gift with numbers. “Your financial advice was invaluable to me,” wrote Kathryn Sharp after Claude helped her purchase her home. “Your guidance helped me to utilize my funds in the best way—that is, I got the most bang for my buck.”
Claude graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an Accounting degree in 1987 and launched his successful financial management career as a CPA. Soon, he was recruited to join American Express in London, England. Claude spent three years traveling through Europe, and as a golf fanatic, his fondest memory is tackling the famous St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. Eventually, Claude found himself back in his beloved college town and has been here ever since.
In 2000, Claude became a licensed real estate agent and within four years, he earned his Broker license and started his own brokerage firm. “Little did I know that my financial experience, both here and abroad, was really going to prepare me for the challenges I face in real estate every day,” he says. Claude’s Propertysmith team provides him with the resources, systems, and professional staff to take his commitment to excellent customer service to the next level.
Claude believes that educating his clients is the best tool to help them avoid making costly mistakes they’ll regret down the road. Claude examines how a home will fit a client’s lifestyle, how it will fare as a long-term investment, and what future maintenance and ownership costs are expected. Finally, Claude applies his financial expertise to help homebuyers evaluate their lender and loan options. “If you are not paying attention, you can easily overpay for financing in today’s market,” he says. “My job is to pay attention for you.” Claude helps homebuyers understand different loan types, loan fees, and interest rates so they avoid overpaying for a home or overstretching their finances in the future.
For home sellers, Claude is an expert at property marketing.“If done successfully,” Claude says, “this can help you earn up to 15 percent more for your home.” First, he begins with a rigorous pre-inspection process that eliminates any potential price reductions from buyers in the negotiation process. Next, a comprehensive home preparation and staging plan ensures that a home seller is maximizing the perceived value of their home and attracting quality offers.
“I once had a client who was being transferred out of state and had to leave immediately,” remembers Claude. “The house needed considerable work and our prospective buyer market was shrinking rapidly. I took the helm on his behalf and coordinated the home preparation effort—flooring, cabinets, counters, paint, and miscellaneous repairs. With a tight timetable, we got the home on the market, had multiple offers and a great contract well above what the seller had hoped for.” Well organized and incredibly reliable, Claude goes above and beyond for his clients no matter the circumstances.
When Claude isn’t busy finding solutions for clients, he is giving back to his community, volunteering for his local neighborhood association.. He also enjoys spending quality time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Michelle, and their two sons Jackson and Carter. They currently live in Lost Creek, a neighborhood in southwest Austin near West Lake Hills. Because of his firsthand knowledge, Claude is one of the dominating Realtors® in the Lost Creek and Westlake communities. He also assists homebuyers and sellers throughout the greater Austin area, including Travis, Hays and Williamson Counties. “Wherever my clients need me to be, I’m prepared to be.”
Claude Smith is many things: a native Texan, a loving husband and father, an avid hunter and golfer, and to homebuyers and sellers throughout the Austin area, he is a trusted friend, advisor, and resource. It’s not uncommon for Claude and his clients to remain good friends long after the transaction is over. “Some brokers disappear once the contract is signed,” says Todd and Pat Reynolds. “Claude was always there when we needed him.” Indeed, Claude’s clients return again and again over a lifetime of home ownership, confident that they will receive honest facts, consistent results, and impeccable service.