Southlake is just a beehive of activity these days. Maybe it’s because a lot of Toyota execs are moving here — the CEO bought in Vaquero — or the fact that many affluent people relocating to Dallas love Southlake. The lots are large and leafy, the homes luxurious, spacious and reasonably-priced for the most part, the schools among the best anywhere. If they come from California or other highly congested, car-centric cities, they could care less that they have to drive — driving is a way of life for these folks.
Now let me tell you something about real estate: when you see a hot housing market, behind the scenes the real estate business — what goes on in the brokerage houses — goes wild. Brokers (who get a cut of every transaction that goes through the house) recruit agents like mad, enticing them with services, marketing assistance, just about everything they can do to help the agents land listings and sell. I have almost become convinced that real estate is like a bear that hibernates for the winter. When the market is good, the pace is almost frenetic and agents and brokers sell and make money as fast as they can. When the market is down, they hibernate, living off of what they stored up during the good months.
A real estate company called Engel & Völkers has entered our market. Engel & Volkers is a global luxury real estate franchise, German-based. It was founded in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services in Hamburg, Germany to folks of high net worth. In other words, rich Germans. Their Concierge level of service to clients soon spread across Europe. These are the folks who invented the word “uber” when it comes to luxury. Oh, they are no longer JUST in Germany. Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial property and yachts.
Did I say, yachts?
I did. In 2006, they extended their franchise market into the United States, into Miami. The firm currently has offices in key U.S. markets including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Denver, Park City Utah/Northern Cali, and now North Texas. (more…)