Lakefront properties are often second homes, escapes from big-city life. Prospective buyers enjoy boating and watersports, or maybe just want a beautiful view from their windows.

Hunter Croan understands the appeal. He’s spent most of his life along, in, or on lakes. Since college, he’s sold the world he knows best: first in boat sales, then in real estate.

“You’re selling the lifestyle, the enjoyment of the lake,” he says. “The best way to show that off is to take the client out on a brand-new boat to test it out.” Croan’s team partnered with a local Malibu boat dealership, Texas Malibu, that loans the team a new boat every year for showings and marketing.

Croan grew up on Lake McQueeney near Seguin. He took up waterskiing and wakeboarding; his parents often pulled him behind their boat.

“Having grown up on the lake, I naturally became a competitive water-skier and wakeboarder,” he says. Croan won the men’s title at the 2003 Air Nautique Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships. He also worked at SeaWorld San Antonio and two different Six Flags parks performing waterskiing and stunt shows.

Croan got into real estate to work for himself and live where he wanted. He brought a lifetime of expertise to his new career.

“Selling a waterfront property is different than other types of property,” he says. “We get more questions about the lakes than we do the real estate. All of our agents know the depths, where the ramps are, where the restaurants are.”

Lakefront properties come with additional considerations, such as floodplains, fill areas, and no-rise certifications. Lakefront buyers prize expertise in an agent above even personal connections like having a friend or family member in real estate, Croan says.

Croan was featured on HGTV’s Lakefront Bargain Hunt and has won accolades from his brokerage and magazines. Today, he’s a team leader with The Lakefront Group/Hill Country Luxury Group with Keller Williams Heritage. He’s out of the day-to-day sales, but he leads his agents on how to showcase the lakes’ appeal. He’s particularly proud of his team’s website,, which attracts many prospects and helps explain the lakefront properties and lifestyle.

Croan lives on Lake Dunlap, near New Braunfels, with his wife and two boys. He still gets out on the lake to dust off his skills and to share watersports with his sons. “They’re loving it,” he says. “Our number one rule is to have fun and enjoy the time together on the water. It’s our happy place.”

Croan knows that’s why his clients are here, too. Out on the boat with prospective buyers, he lets the wind, the waves, and the views sell for him.

He remembers a client who was interested but was thinking of waiting a few years to buy. Croan pointed out the client’s children were 8 and 9 years old. How many days on the lake would be lost by waiting? How many memories would never be made? The client bought a place on the lake a few weeks later and couldn’t be happier, he says.

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