Toor lockbox

Junior Desinor

UPDATE, 10:30 pm: Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban totally got it, but in the end Kevin O’Leary and Barbara ended up investing in TOOR: $300K loan, $200K investment. I’ll have a full background story next week!

We couldn’t be more excited and more proud of our own Junior Desinor. That is, Garcia Junior Desinor. We first met when I was editing DallasDirt over at DMagazine, and he was a rookie agent at Keller Williams Turtle Creek, where he landed fresh from Texas tech, where he had already been buying and flipping homes, churning funds from a business he started while still an undergraduate, R&J Party Supply. Next he started his own brokerage on McKinney, Level properties, totally unique with salaried agents and even a company car. Then came Toor, Junior’s uniquely conceived smart lockbox for real estate. Bluetooth- and cellular-enabled, it allows agents and buyers to request home showings with the push of a button on a custom smartphone app/scheduling tool.

Now Junior is headed to the big leagues: from bouncy houses to flips to disrupting the entire real estate industry, you can see him in action tonight on ABC’s Shark Tank, all because of this.

Toor lockbox

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Marisa Seloff

Houston real estate agent Kayla Marisa Seloff may be an inactive agent, but she was very active recently in a Friendswood listing she claims she sold. Seloff, age 22, and a 27-year-old guy named Joshua Leal, were caught having what police called a “passionate rendezvous” in a home in the 200 block of East Castle Harbour Drive, according to numerous Houston media reports.

Well, we know that is.

They were arrested after a neighbor noticed people entering the home about 5 a.m., with a flashlight.

Early birds catch the worm!

Then the duo lied to the police:

When police arrived, they saw a man and woman lying on the floor in a “passionate rendezvous,” according to KXAN-TV. Police entered the home in the 200 block of East Castle Harbour Drive through an unlocked front door, and the couple initially hid. Seloff eventually told police she and Leal were married and had bought the home the day before.

But then police found and smelled marijuana in their car. The couple were charged with criminal trespassing and arrested. Eventually Seloff admitted the drugs were hers, and that she was the home’s real estate agent, not owner.

What I do not understand, however, is how Seloff was working on an expired license…

Have you ever encountered an agent having a “passionate rendezvous” in a listing? (How embarrassing…)

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Lakewood self defense
That’s why we are sponsoring a self-defense seminar with Dr. Nick Chamberlain in Lakewood on Saturday from 12 high noon to 2 p.m. The location is 2114 Kidwell Street at Chamberlain’s studios. We want every Real Estate agent in Dallas to learn how to play it safe!

One of the most frightening blogs I have posted was the story of Ebby agent Linda Zevallos dating Robert Durst, he the New York Real Estate scion who may finally be charged with at least three murders. You may recall that Durst lived in Dallas for at least a year at The Centrum in Oak Lawn. Other agents showed him properties.

Durst was “the oldest son and heir apparent to a real estate magnate father, and grew up in privilege outside New York City, according to the New York Times. He was passed over for the presidency of the Durst Organization in 1994 in favor of his younger brother Douglas, but he remained a wealthy real estate mogul.”

Douglas Durst, estranged for years from Robert, described his brother to the New York Times as brilliant, disturbed and dangerous. He said his brother had come to his house with guns and wanted to kill him. He also said Robert was removed from the line of succession after urinating in a wastebasket.

Durst  was arrested in New Orleans last March 2015 and extradited to Los Angeles, where he is supposed to stand trial this summer for the murder of his friend Susan Berman.

The HBO documentary The Jinx, first put Durst in a bright spotlight.

The series re-examined the execution-style killing of Berman. In the final scene, in an interview with Durst, he mumbles, “What did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

This was the man who sent Linda Zevallos $500 worth of orchids after a first date. This is why Dallas Realtors need Dr. Nick Chamberlain. (more…)

Kevin Bake Off

Dallas City Center director Kevin Caskey probably did an extra spin class yesterday evening. I mean, how else could he stay in such great shape after an event like the East Dallas MLS “Cake Wars for TREPAC” yesterday?

The auction, which benefited the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee that focuses on protecting homeowners’ rights, featured some really amazing (and delicious!) treats from several brokerages in the area. It all started with the men of East Dallas MLS baked the treats and the ladies bought them up for a good cause.

But this year’s confections show that it takes a professional touch to rake in the big bids.

Trepac Starwars Back off

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joe atkinsJoe Atkins is one of my favorite Realtors and Brokers in town. He’s a millennial with a capital M, a self-starter and one of the best marketers around. We cannot even write about most of his homes, they don’t last on the market that long!
Anyhow, I may be spilling the beans, but Joe is opening his SECOND real estate office and this one is in Bishop Arts.  It’s going to be the first real estate office in Bishop Arts and one of the few in North Oak Cliff. It’s going to be at 8th and Bishop, across the street from the famous Lucia. The space is under construction and won’t be open for biz until January — then PARTEE!

Ryan Hopson is Joe’s top Oak Cliff agent, who is such a community-minded guy he serves as Treasurer for the Bishop Arts Neighborhood Association (BANA). He also lives just a few blocks away from the new office. Ryan was apparently very helpful in securing the new space. With Ryan and Joe’s growing cadre of agents, Joe Atkins Realty is destined to help shape the future of Bishop Arts and North Oak Cliff.

 

Porsche Exclusive

Do you know one successful agent who drives a run-down (read: crappy) car? I don’t. One of the top condo agents at a large local brokerage just bought herself a gleaming Rolls Royce — yeah more power to her, I say! Cars are not just a mode of transportation for an agent, they are a branding statement. Are you successful enough to afford a nice car? In real estate sales, image is so important. There is probably no other occupation in the world that relies on the condition and make of your car more than Real Estate. This story ran recently in Inman:

Faisal Halum Porsche Exclusive (more…)

reputation management

Imagine yourself in this situation: You’re a Realtor with many years of experience, even more satisfied clients, and by and large, a happy career. Upon the urging of your brokerage, you’ve established a Google Business page, and encouraged people to leave reviews about their experiences with you on Yelp.

Then one afternoon, you see a new review on your Google Business page that leaves you confused, angry, and a little nauseous.

buzz0976: This woman is a con artist! She’s the worse realter Ive ever met and made me loose a bunch of money on ahouse in Dallas. terrible service!!! Liar!!!!!!

Who is buzz0976? What on earth is he or she talking about? And why is this online?

Maybe the situation stops there, and that negative comment gets buried over time. But maybe it does not stop. Some Realtors have been the target of personal attacks on social media and other sites, like RipoffReport.com, where anonymous posters have fabricated all manner of stories designed to destroy their reputation.

It happened to Ebby Halliday Realtor RoseMarie LaCoursiere, who recently endured months of online harassment by an anonymous poster whose intent was clearly character assassination. LaCoursiere says this person wrote dozens of negative reviews under different names across the Internet, from her Google Business page to RipoffReport.com.

“It’s very serious when you look at how the Internet, misused with intention, can destroy a person’s reputation” LaCoursiere said. “In essence, I really have no recourse or effective way to defend my good name if I turn a blind eye and keep silent, which is what is expected of me by my online attacker. That’s what a bully expects.”

The crux of all this is online reputation management. As carefully as you may craft your online brand, by-and-large, you lack control over what other people say about you online in social media and other websites.

Most situations are nowhere near as serious as LaCoursiere’s. But what can you do about personal attacks in social media, no matter the scope? How can you defend your good name?

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That’s Marty Marks of Virginia Cook with a contingent of Virgina Cook agents, plus some Dave Perry-Miller agents, Randall Graham marketing director at Ebby Halliday, DD Flynn is here from Berkshire Hathaway, and I’m having drinks tonight with Hanne Sagalowsky and Linda Callicutt from Ebby’s Little White House. Last year Ellen Sedeno was here from Briggs Freeman. Dallas is everywhere.