WACO, TX — A well-known, family run clothing store, operated under the motto "An educated consumer is our best Customer" for many years.
Now, a Texas Real Estate agent has adopted the slogan as a moderating influence balancing out two groups, one which wants to carry out a "quest to keep Californians out of Texas" and others, who keep encouraging their arrival.
The most recent Texas relocation report from Texas Realtors for 2021, shows, , the Republic attracted more than half a million new residents for the 7th year in a row.
Once again, no surprise most came from California, with healthy contributions from a handful of other sates. But all this movement halfway across the continent got attention of Realtor Richard Soto.
The pandemic had apparently quickened the pace of relocation, leading to some cases of a kind of "buyers remorse" from some people who, maybe didn't do quite as much homework before moving as others.
"Texas isn't for everyone and in this video we're going to discuss why you might not want to move to Texas" said Richard Soto, of VIP Realty in his video on YouTube.
While many wanted to either encourage or slow the flood of folks to Texas, Soto decided to use YouTube where he already had a series of real estate videos online, to tell newly-minted Texans how the cow ate the cabbage, so to speak.
"Texas is very flat and boring. You might get a little bit of a culture shock, and that is the Western attire. Pretty much on a daily basis, you'll see people wearing big cowboy hats, giant belt buckles and massive cowboy boots. Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way right now. If you don't like guns, you might as well not come" said Soto.
In just a few months, his video, got more than a quarter of a million views.
Mr. Soto's video describes north Texas pretty well... but as Killeen Mayor... and fellow Realtor Jose Segarra points out, The Republic of Texas brings what you might call, several "states" together under one convenient roof.
Why not start with North Texas? it features a kind of mini state people quizzically call "Texoma".... quizzically until you look at a map that is. There's another "oma" ova by Texarcana .That one, they call the "Ark La Tex".... get it?
Every body knows about East Texas. Some say the Houston-Sugar Land-Katy-Beaumont area earned it's place at the table. West Texas still has a clear identity thanks to its many oil wells that grease the skids of commerce... Then, there's "The Valley" where shifting populations meet shifting politics.
"So there's a lot of pluses here. I think my job from the mayor's perspective, and from owning a real estate company has always been to try to sell our community in a positive way. There's something here for everybody," said Segarra.
But even though the Republic features "States within a State".... Kevin Hall... whose ancestors sided with Steve Austin, Sam Houston and others to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico, ...says that tough-talkin', never give up, can-do spirit, remains the same from one end of the lone state to the other, some 800 miles away.
Hall Says, if you buy into the whole "Texas Mystique" not just the hats, boots and belt buckles, but the hard work and the sacrifice part of it.. Texas will still lead the way... One Republic... under God... Indivisible.. with liberty and justice for all.
"No matter where they come from, where they are and where they're going, whether you are a Texan tried and true, or you've been here a day, honestly, it's about the attitude and it's about being friendly, which is the Texas way". he said.
Richard Soto says, "Amen" to that. He said sharing both sides of The Texas coin, and sharing it on what he calls the "second largest search engine". has actually brought in more business.
"I shared the video with my office staff and they said 'Richard, this is probably a bad idea. A lot of Texans are going to be really mad,' but I love Texas and this is how i really feel," said Soto.
But if you check out where he's doing his video, you'll find He's telling tails on Texas... from Miami
"Yeah, that's a little weird," said fellow Realtor and Mayor of Killeen, Jose Segarra.
Listen to Soto's take on Texas... from the sandy beaches of South Florida.
"Texas is very flat. The landscape is boring. You'll get a little bit of a culture shock and that is the Western attire. Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way right now. If you don't like guns, you might as well not bother coming to Texas. So another reason you might not want to move to Texas is the weather during the summer it gets extremely hot," he explained.
"Flat? HAH! Once you get past cities like McGregor or Killeen, you'll find the landscape filled with hills. It's not exactly The Rockies, but it's scenic. Hot? Friday morning's temperature was a cool 27 degrees.
One thing Florida and Texas in common... constant change.
What do they think of Soto's soliloquy in Sunny South Florida?
Lisa Gelfand grew up in Miami,the daughter of a world-famous broadcaster.
She says, when she heard Soto, she thought he was talking ABOUT Miami.
"If I didn't know any better, I would say that he's talking about South Florida," said Gelfand, a Miami Native.
"I was laughing and it's quite puzzling, to be honest I could definitely understand that Miami has become a really wonderful place if you know the right places to go, you know the safe places to go," she said.
"If you're a native you know you know where to go, but if you're a tourist and you don't you can be in trouble," she explained.
Something several cities in Texas share... which brings us back to the meaning of being a Texan.
Kevin Hall's family goes back in Texas to the Declaration of independence from Mexico so he knows something about that.
" I would say, the main thing, of course, Texas represents independence, so if you're waiting on someone else's opinion and tell you whether you're like Texas or not, you probably won't because Texas is about you, having the right to choose," said the son of the Republic.
And with more people taking Texas every day, Soto says Keeping it real, and keeping it Texan is good for business.
I feel like when people choose Texas they choose freedom. That's what I think of Texas. Texas is a symbol of Freedom.
And he says Helping prospective Texans learn about every aspect of life here, helps us all.