The Story of HomeSweetAbilene.com

Everything I do is a product of a YouTube ongoing education...

My name is Matt Reily, we bought our house in Abilene two days before Christmas 2017. My wife (Cooper Grad) broke her foot the first day of moving from Houston, we spent New Year's Eve on the side of the road in an ice storm in the middle of moving... I love seeing people moving on to usually bigger & better homes, but I don't envy the move, lol.

My dad is an AHigh grad (which I didn't even know until we moved here, crazy) & my father in-law retired from Dyess, so we do have roots here. I have enjoyed being here, getting involved with the Swenson House Historical Society Board of Trustees & projects with local high school & college athletics events.

I learned a lot in the process of moving from a major market to the Big Country when we were searching for a home of our own. Many things are the same everywhere, but many things are not. I am enjoying finally getting around to fully implementing some of my ideas!

As a motorcycle mechanic in 2005 I realized my Ebay ads for bike parts exponentially increased when I used a better picture & put whatever I was selling on my work bench or tool box. Rather than a crummy picture on my carpet at home. Consumers were trained overnight on the internet, young & old, to instantaneously analyze who was selling this product, should I trust them & what is the risk?

Minimize the risk, make them excited about your product, excited about the deal they are getting & hopefully they will be more likely to share their experience!

I tried making websites back before all these "drag & drop" full services. I loved the creativity, I felt I was really great at strategy & marketing. I wasn't particularly great at the sales part of the business & business owners on a tight budget were a tough sell on social media. It's easy for them to get burned. Honestly, not much has changed over the years, my sales skills have slightly improved, maybe;)


I was turned down with a particular client & I lost my momentum on online marketing & services.

I just started taking pics of my kids for a few years, then got connected with a boxing coach trying to get 2 kids to the Olympic Trials in Reno, 2016. Boxing gyms are not conducive to good photography, it's actually the most challenging photography that I personally have done. It is extremely hot, Houston, summer, no a/c... my camera would fog up all the time, the lighting is terrible & the subjects are incredibly fast. It is an intimidating crowd at first, it's always a bit intimidating actually. But, Coach David Martinez & boxer Jay Crenshaw made it, check history. It was about $26k raised that included me getting to fly out & cover the event. I actually have published a book of photos for the event, the first of it's kind. It was just a continuous social media campaign to attract donors to their cause. I am very proud I was a part of it.

I have some other stories too, but that one says the most & probably means the most.

So, real estate?

I happen to be family friends with Glenn Johnson. My opinion of his work is that he is one of the best in the industry of architectural & real estate photography. I was taking event pictures for a magazine called LUXE Interior+Design & the local editor asked me to take pics for some of her clients at the party for their advertisements. It was great, I was in some fabulous houses in Houston with the city's top interior designers & home builders. Glenn gave me some incredible insight, passed down some equipment & got me years of experience day 1.

I came to Abilene & really saw an opportunity to transition to real estate specific photography. I love it, I love meeting people & doing my best work for people who are at a pivotal moment in their life, 95% of the time. It absolutely has never felt like work, I love that the most!

Born: Bozeman, Montana


HS: Berthoud High School


Interests: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Skiing, Snowboarding, Cycling, Ambidextrous Golfer...


After HS: Lived in a my car & a friends car in Vail, CO. Got a double wide trailer in Breckenridge, CO with 15 other bums. Broke my back in a bad snowboarding accident, life kinda crashed & burned. Moved around a bit Virginia Beach, Orlando, bla bla.


Motorcycle Mechanic: 8 years, worked on some race team bikes AMA Superbike & local racers. Thought I was going to start a business & bring my 3 month old to the shop everyday... yea.

Re-invented myself: Picked up a camera, people stroked my ego about it just enough, I got more & more into it.

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