Door.com may be opening a new door in the brokerage world, starting with a fresh focus on Texas and a halt to national expansion. Founder Alex Doubet paid a visit to Russia. And he came home hitched.

Last week, as you recall, I had to drive to the company’s Dallas offices at 12570 Dallas Parkway to confirm a flurry of rumors that had erupted before the holidays, that Door was laying off employees. After our story was published and picked up by the Dallas Business Journal (among others), Door.com CEO Alex Doubet returned a phone call Thursday night to the DBJ’s Bill Hethcock, confirming the disruptor flat-fee real estate startup had laid off 34 employees, mainly agents, in its 34,000 square foot Dallas headquarters. He told Bill Hethcock no more layoffs are planned, but the firm’s plans for national expansion are on hold.

A big part of the reason for the layoffs was that a $20 million to $30 million round of funding that Door was targeting fell through last month, Doubet said.

“We did lay some people off, which is really unfortunate,” Doubet said. “We had been working on a national expansion that we just couldn’t figure out the cost structure for. So we had to right-size our employee cost structure and let good people go, which is always unfortunate.”

The plans to expand to all 50 states are on hold, he told Hethcock. On the funding, Doubet said, “We heard (in December) that it was a no instead of a yes, like we were hoping.”

Which is sad. In an interview as recent as October, Doubet told the Business Journal of his ambitious plans to be operating in all 50 states by mid-2020. But he hedged, at the time, Hethcock’s questions concerning new staff to facilitate the expansion, saying what has almost become a familiar refrain: Door “leverage(s) technology to make our agents significantly more efficient than the average agent. That’s why we’re able to charge so much less.”

“As efficiencies have gone up, our agents are able to do a lot more transactions,” he said at the time. “The best answer I can give you is, undoubtedly, we’ll add more people, but we’re also pushing really hard on the product side so that we can make our employees more efficient.”
I caught up with Alex Friday, when he called me from a bachelor party in Aspen no less, to talk about the layoffs, future plans, and why he didn’t call me back in December.

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alex doubet

Shortly before our holiday pause, we reached out to several agents and asked them to look into their crystal ball and tell us what we think the real estate market is going to look like this year. I have my own ideas. Naturally, we had to grab Alex Doubet, the somewhat controversial young hot shot founder of Door, a tech-enable flat fee real estate brokerage. As you can imagine, Alex predicts big changes ahead for the real estate industry and the entire commission structure. He is not alone: Inman’s Brad Inman predicts that one year from now, Opendoor will be the second-largest broker in the U.S., second only to NRT. That’s huge. Brad says that by unit count — and, most importantly, by revenue — the exchange platform will give a segment of the market the certainty they generally cannot get when unloading their homes the traditional way. In other words, instant liquidity:

This coming year, technologists and venture capitalists will zoom in on home sellers, with the $60 billion commission pie up for grabs. Opendoor, Knock and to a degree transparent bidding features are examples. Using technology, more companies will figure out how to give sellers more certainty around their home sale.

Study after study ranked Dallas and its surroundings as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, fueled by a boom in businesses relocating to the area, a generous tax structure, and a thriving construction industry more than happy to keep building new homes,” says Alex.

But with 2016 in our rearview mirror, will all of that momentum carry on into the new year? You bet, he says. Here are the trends that will dominate North Texas’ real estate market in 2017: (more…)

 

Update 3:14 pm: found out Door.com has 34,000 square feet in the Dallas Parkway building which they are subleasing from another tenant. Going rate for these offices about $38 psf plus electricity.

The Dallas-based real estate disruptor Door.com has laid off 37 employees in its Dallas headquarters.

I first received word before the holidays that Door.com, founded by Highland Park-born Alex Doubet, was laying off employees. (I called Alex several times before leaving town in December, but he did not return phone calls.) After the holidays, more rumors swelled. So I decided to actually be a reporter and head over to the offices of Door.com’s headquarters at 14675 Dallas Parkway, the 41,280-square-foot, four-star building where Door.com occupies the sixth floor.

When I got there at 4:15 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, I found beautiful but vacuous offices.

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Swathy Prithivy, Opendoor; Janelle Alacantara, Galaxy Modern; Candy Evans, CandysDirt.com; Becky Frey, Compass; Alex Doubet, Door; and Beth Johnson, Keller Williams (Photo courtesy Dallas Builders Association).

I had the privilege of moderating a panel stuffed to the gills with creative, talented real estate professionals yesterday at the Dallas Builders Association’s luncheon. The panel, featuring some of the top disruptors in the industry, had a lively discussion with one overarching theme: there’s room for everyone in this new playing field for the real estate industry.

Panelists included Swathy Prithivy of Opendoor, Janelle Alcantara of Galaxy Modern, Becky Frey of Compass, Door founder Alex Doubet, and Beth Johnson of Keller Williams. It was a fascinating discussion, with several juicy takeaways. Namely, Doubet predicted that the data indicates that at some point, the last vestiges of traditional model of real estate will disappear. If that’s not a clarion call for the industry, I don’t know what is!

The three full-service Realtors — Alcantara, Frey, and Johnson — stressed that while they felt there is a need for all three models presented at the panel — full service, iBuyer, and flat fee — there will always be a need for a good Realtor that knows the turf, has intimate knowledge of what is selling there regardless of whether it was on MLS or not, and that will advocate for their client.

To get all the best tidbits from these ground-breaking movers and shakers, view the video from our live broadcast now: 

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disruption

Clockwise from left: Candy Evans; Alex Doubet, Door; Swathy Prithivi, Opendoor Dallas-Fort Worth; Janelle Alcantara, Galaxy Modern; Beth Johnson, Keller Williams; and Becky Frey, Compass.

… but the flu is going around, so who knows, a seat or two at our Thursday panel on disruption in real estate may open up.

That is terrible! Shame on me!

But truthfully, I went to the doctor today and (a) I do not have the flu but (b) everyone else does. Seriously, it’s the worst flu season ever STILL!

We are so excited about this Disruption event, brought to you by the Dallas Builders Association, and I knew it would fill up fast. Happy to report it is sold-out. But we’ll be live-streaming on Facebook, so if you do get the flu, or could not get a ticket, you can still check us out.

Also, I am not going to waste time rattling off bios: everyone can just read them here. Reading the bios here on CandysDirt.com saves us valuable debate time! And debate we will!

Questions you would like to ask the panelists? The comments section is WIDE OPEN, so fire away! Or ping me. Jump now for the profiles of our distinguished panelists …

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Get the inside scoop on DISRUPTION!, which is happening in the real estate industry faster than ever.

How are brokers, both big and small, new and old, large and small, reinventing the way homes are bought and sold? Are they keeping up? Can they keep up? Can we?

Last chance to register for the Dallas Division Realtor Panel on Thursday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s NorthPark. This realtor panel will include Becky Frey, Compass; Janelle Alcantara, David Griffin & Co. Realtors, Founder of Galaxy Modern; Alex Doubet, Door; Beth Johnson, Keller Williams Realty; and Swathy Prithivi at Opendoor. 

And I am your moderator for the panel, which is sponsored by the Dallas Builders Association! Get ready to learn about the dramatic changes in real estate marketing as the world turns from consumption of news from newspapers, which are shrinking fast, to digital. Learn why and how digital is so very, very effective in real estate. Here is a teaser:

 

Traditional agents, Door, Opendoor and more… what are these folks bringing to the real estate table? How will they help us sell real estate? Or will they hurt?

Seats are extremely limited, so register online now: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER  See you!

I did not make it to Inman Connect NYC this week, but I am following. And it’s a doozy!

But we are going to have our own Inman-style panel right here in North Texas next week. Get the inside scoop on DISRUPTION!, which is happening in the real estate industry faster than ever.

How are brokers, both big and small, new and old, reinventing the way homes are bought and sold? Are they keeping up? Can they keep up?

Register for the Dallas Division Realtor Panel on Thursday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s NorthPark. This realtor panel will include Becky Frey, Compass; Janelle Alcantara, David Griffin & Co. Realtors, Founder of Galaxy Modern; Alex Doubet, Door; Beth Johnson, Keller Williams Realty; and Swathy Prithivi at Opendoor. 

And I am your moderator for the panel, which is sponsored by the Dallas Builders Association! Get ready to learn about the dramatic changes in real estate marketing as the world turns from consumption of news from newspapers, which are shrinking fast, to digital. Learn why and how digital is so very, very effective in real estate. Here is a teaser: (more…)

Have you ever wanted to ask Alex Doubet of Door what motivates him? Or how he keeps the lights on? What is OpenDoor really about and how much do they charge sellers? Why did so many tip-top agents flock to Compass? Is it possible to sell your home online now? How big are the iBuyers, really? 

Get the inside scoop on how brokers, both big and small, new and old, are reinventing the way homes are bought and sold at the Dallas Division Realtor Panel on Thursday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s NorthPark. This realtor panel will include Becky Frey, Compass; Janelle Alcantara, David Griffin & Co. Realtors, Founder of Galaxy Modern; Alex Doubet, Door; Beth Johnson, Keller Williams Realty; and Swathy Prithivi at Opendoor. 

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