That Jason Castro is breaking more barriers and now helping end the food desert in South Dallas.

American Idol finalist Jason Castro, his brother Michael Castro, and Matt Keeton, have formed a hot new real estate trio, Castro Property Group, now with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Lakewood office in Dallas. Castro Property Group recently lit Uptown with a celebrity-studded celebration.

You recall Jason Castro was the fourth-place finalist on season seven of American Idol. Following his time on American Idol, he released three albums and toured internationally for several years before settling down in Dallas. The east dallas/Rockwall native began his real estate career by renovating homes throughout Lakewood, eventually earning his real estate license to sell and negotiate his own home transactions.

Jason Castro’s brother, Michael Castro, is also a touring artist who settled back in Dallas after living in Nashville and Los Angeles for many years. Like Jason, Michael began his real estate career investing in residential real estate and earned his real estate license shortly after.

In addition to forming the Castro Property Group, Jason Castro and his brother formed the Castro the band. Their latest single, “Forever Texas”, was commissioned by VisitDallas as the city’s official theme song. And they belted it out for guests at the Uptown bash lash at the new Canopy by Hilton Dallas, on Thursday, January 31,.

Rounding out the trio is Matt Keeton, a graduate from Dallas Baptist University with a degree in kinesiology, who has worked alongside nationally-recognized physicians, physical therapists and professional organizations as a kinesiologist. Keeton then transitioned into real estate sales after more than a decade in healthcare and fitness. He is also friends with Daron Babcock, Executive Director of Bonton Farms in south Dallas.

The Castro Property Group has pledged a percentage of sales commissions to Bonton Farms, an  urban farm created in 2014 by Daron Babcock, a former Frisco private equity guy who ditched a lucrative job to start an urban farm, cafe and market in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. This is a significant movement we are seeing in millennial agents giving back to the community: Bonton Farm’s honey butter was gifted to guests at the event.



Ryan Serhant is giving away his real estate playbook. The top-earning real estate broker and star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York is now a published author with his new book, Sell It Like Serhant: How To Sell More, Earn More, And Become The Ultimate Sales Machine, which he calls his real estate playbook for selling absolutely anything.

Serhant drew a large crowd last month to Barnes & Noble-Lincoln Park for a Sell It Like Serhant book signing and Q&A with where he shared insight from the book and answered questions from the audience.

In Sell It Like Serhant, the Texas-born real estate broker shares “Serhant Secrets” on how to become a master salesperson. Here are 12 great lessons we learned from Ryan Serhant’s book that you can use right now:


Ryan Serhant

Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant drew a large crowd Saturday at his Dallas appearance at Barnes & Noble-Lincoln Park.

He may have drawn a large crowd at Barnes & Noble-Lincoln Park Saturday afternoon, but Ryan Serhant said that his first three years in the real estate business were actually a big struggle.

“This business is so hard,” he told the eager crowd who came to hear him talk about his new book, “Sell It Like Serhant.” “I didn’t make any money the first three years. It sucked.”

In fact, later in the afternoon, when an audience member said he was about to graduate college and go into real estate, Serhant advised him to prepare for that eventuality, saying that the “first three years after undergrad, that should be grad school in your head.” (more…)

serhantWriting a book at 33 might seem a little presumptuous — unless you’re Ryan Serhant, who regularly sells luxury real estate in New York and appears on Bravo in more than one show (including Million Dollar Listing).

But Ryan himself will tell you that his book, “Sell It Like Serhant,” is less autobiography and more success secrets from a guy who entered the real estate business in 2008 (at the beginning of the Great Recession) and emerged as one of the top international realtors. (more…)

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader documentary movie you have heard so much about (from me!) comes to Dallas’ USA Film Festival this SUNDAY, April 29, 7:30 pm at the Angelika Theatre. Be there!

A long time ago, I wrote a book on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. It was called A Decade of Dreams: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, written with the approval of the Dallas Cowboys, and published by Taylor Publishing. The book is now out of print, Taylor is out of business, and I could probably finance a small home with my copies: I’m told they are a whopping $100 to $500 apiece now on Amazon. When I wrote the book, I was a new mother to my first child, and fairly new to Dallas. The world of performance, augmented breasts, and glamour was a little foreign. My last stop before Dallas was Columbia University, where the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) took over the administration building, Hamilton Hall, in 1968.

But I was a journalist, and fascinated by these women, all of whom were exquisite with perfect bodies. I spent hours just outside of Tex Schramm’s office in the Cowboy Building on Central Expressway, seated in Suzanne Mitchell’s office, learning about the cheerleaders. As I left the building, I’d occasionally see someone like Tom Landry or Gil Brandt. I even interviewed Mr. Schramm, the brilliant marketing mind he was  — as the New York Times put it:

In 1972, he introduced the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to pro football. They formed a touring troupe that took them around the world.

No kidding. (more…)

Candy and Lynda Piepgras with the Associates Realty took a quick pic with “Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott.

Don’t be surprised if you see a few D/FW properties popping up on a future episode(s) of Property Brothers.

Metrotex Association of Realtors brought the dapper Drew and Jonathan Scott to Texas Tuesday morning to share insights with North Texas Realtors, associates, and friends for a breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel. They spoke, took photos, and then signed their newest book, It Takes Two, which was at every plate.  Interesting: they signed the front of the book — much faster — and were exceedingly gracious. The brothers told me they thought Dallas real estate ROCKED. On the way back to D/FW, Drew Scott spoke to EW Entertainment, which is tracking his progress on Dancing With the Stars. Drew mentioned the Dallas trip and how they feel about their fans:


Alecia Holden

We have another celebrity real estate agent in our midst! Alecia Holden, who works with broker Mark Anthony Rodriquez at Uptown Realty at the ilume, is going to be on the new cast of Survivor! Tulsa-born Alecia will compete for a chance to win the million dollar prize on the series’ new season, which premieres next month on the 17th. Alecia is a mere 24, and according to the press releases sent out to the media, she will be the only Texan in the 18 castaways which will include a 72-year-old former FBI agent, an ice cream entrepreneur from California, a pro poker player and a former Big Brother contestant.

Born in Oklahoma, she went off to Australia when she was 19 where she worked as a nanny and a model for about a year, then spent some time in Indonesia. So she should be thoroughly experienced to survive the conditions on the island of Kaoh Rong in Cambodia, where shooting took place.

After her Far East adventures, Alecia came back to Dallas to work. She signed on with Arthur Greenstein (leasing) for a bit before settling with Uptown, where Mark Antony says she looks like an angel, but definitely has a wild child/hell raiser side to her. We cannot wait!

CBS, by the way, won’t let her talk to the press.

Alecia is planning some fun Survivor watching parties… we sure hope is on the guest list!

Alecia Holden Survivor Team


Becky, Kyle and Sheila Rice



Remember Becky Oliver at Fox 4? That tough-as-nails, pretty blonde consumer reporter who every consumer loved, and every crooked-ass vendor hated and feared? Well dang, she’s gone from the station, as we told you last month. Becky left Channel 4 in June to pursue a real estate career. Well, guess where we found her? Not other than the break room at Champions School of Real Estate! Becky is about 48 hours away from becoming a full fledged real estate agent and if she plunges into RE with the same gusto she displayed in TV, well, watch out North Texas Real Estate! When I heard of her move, I was fascinated by what motivated her to get into the biz. Not too unlike my own decision to ditch mainstream journalism and instead practice a kind of professional blend of real estate-journalism. Here’s a rare look at the real Becky Oliver!Becky Oliver Champions Becky, we never knew you liked dirt – how did you get started in Real Estate? (more…)