Members In the News: Steiner neighbors publish relocation guide for Austin-area newcomers

Steiner neighbors publish relocation guide for Austin-area newcomers from the Hill Country News

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:47 pm | Updated: 12:50 pm, Wed May 11, 2011Lynette Haaland Hill Country News

Two Steiner Ranch neighbors and business partners are expanding the publishing business they bought last fall.

Kevin Evans and Derek Wright are partners in ARG Publications LLC, which publishes the Austin Relocation Guide, a comprehensive guide forpeople moving to the Austin area.

Since they bought the business in October, they have already launched guides in Denver, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. In addition to Austin,purchasing the business came with the Dallas/Fort Worth guide.

People look to move to areas where job growth is high, and there are employment options.

“This certainly favors having a magazine like ours in places like Austin, Dallas and Denver. Even markets that have been hit hard likePhoenix are great cities that have a very positive long termoutlook,” Wright said.

“We are confident that when the economy does recover our markets will see a huge influx of people and need a Relocation Guide to assist themwith this move,” he adds.

The guide, which is supported by ads, is distributed through major employers, real estate agents, Chambers of Commerces and through www.austinrelocation The website is averaging over 33,000 visitors a month.

In 2002 Evans actually launched ARG from his home in Steiner. His goal then was to produce a high-quality, free publication targeting peopleseeking information about moving to Austin.

He expanded with acquiring Destination DFW in 2005. Then in 2008, hesold the business to a larger publisher, Brown Publishing Co.

In early 2010 though Evans had the opportunity to buy ARG back after Brown Publishing’s parent filed for bankruptcy protection. He recruitedWright, and the two began negotiating to buy back the relocationguides.

Evans has known Wright for nearly a decade. They used to live on the same street in Steiner as next-door neighbors. They both moved and nowlive one house apart. Both are active in the community andUniversity of Texas Golf Club, among other things.

One of the main reasons Evans recruited Wright to buy back ARG was that he knew Wright’s track record on running a successful business.

Wright had bought a New Horizons Computer Learning Center franchise in 2004 and today owns and manages 12 New Horizons centers in eightstates. He grew the business from 25 employees to more than 200.His company, called 5Point Enterprises, has grown about 45 percent each year for the past seven years, he said.

So last fall Evans and Wright combined forces and acquired ARG Publications, based at 300 Highland Mall Boulevard.

The two re-established direction that was lost and started improving relationships, product quality, expanding distribution, and usingsocial media.

“As we transition our focus through 2011 from recovery/ rebuilding to growing and innovating there is a lot of opportunity,” Wrightsaid.

“We want to make sure customers get serviced properly; our philosophy is to over-deliver on promises,” Evans said.

A few months ago they rolled out of virtual versions that can be downloaded into mobile devices. Virtual version include videos,audio, a cost-of-living calculator and a property search tool.

The two have been able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time because of Evan’s expertise in the product and the back-officesupport Wright brought to the partnership.

“The sky is the limit for the ARG,” Wright said.