Austin’s Green Realtor: ShawnMon Talks Downtown Mobility

shawnmonShawn Monshaugen (ShawnMon) is an Austin-based realtor with Elite Texas Properties, a provider of real estate services throughout the State, who recently became Austin’s newest “trader” in Tour de Fat’s Car/Bike Trade. Now Shawn is making a transition few realtors would consider–to promote green-conscious behaviors by becoming Austin’s first zero emission realtor. He chronicles the move from car to bicycle on his blog

Q: How do you see transportation impacting and/or challenging you & your business in downtown Austin?

Texas is growing at1300 people per day, with over 1.8M people living in Austin. The challenge for the city is in keeping up with the inflow of people, while also making efforts to reduce current congestion. My pledge to go car free forced me to adjust and it’s taken a little effort to get to know the possibilities that exist, but it has been gratifying and convenient to use them all (bike, electric-bike, Metro Rail, Bus, car-share programs, walking, MegaBus, etc).

Essentially, all I’ve done is adjust my schedule. I may have to leave a little earlier to use public transportation, but I’m making business calls and personal calls while riding the bus or metro rail. I’m exercising while biking/walking somewhere. I’m having a blast while electric-biking somewhere. And I’m saving money using all these options. It just takes an effort to get started and make the change.

Q: How has changing your travel impacted your day-to-day business? Have your clients taken to bicycling, transit, carpooling, etc. to accommodate your car-free challenge

I’m just getting started with the revamping of my real estate business and the feedback has been great. If clients don’t want to ride electric bikes while hunting for a home, I jump in their car and let them drive. When sharing a car, I offer a reimbursement program to cover the mileage expense.

Q: What would you like to see Movability Austin, CapMetro, or someone else do to help with transportation in and around downtown?

Keep promoting and raising awareness about using options! Hopefully with a focus on reaching the common commuter, maybe with a challenge or contest that would incentivize the effort from people who wouldn’t normally try it.

CapMetro could offer a free monthly class for the public to go over all the different ways to take advantage of public transportation including buses, MetroRail, and carshare/vanpool services. They could also have a guest-speaker panel featuring people who currently rely on public transportation so the public can connect with real people and ask real questions.

Outside of that, people can follow my blog and contribute ideas or questions.

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