Longtime journalist Jason Sickles is trying his hand at real estate. He recently joined Fathom Realty, a cloud-based brokerage that now has a presence in 75 markets across 19 states.
“Fathom’s an agent-owned virtual brokerage and I believe in the direction they’re heading,” Sickles said. “Their commissions are more favorable to Realtors, and the company’s principles track my own: love, service, integrity, acceptance, respect, support, charity, and family.”
Sickles grew up in East Texas before moving to Dallas in 1989, two days after he graduated high school. A month before he turned 18, he took a part-time job at the Dallas Morning News answering phones for the sports department. By the time he graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a criminal justice degree, he was a full-fledged journalist for the paper. He later worked in both TV news and at Yahoo News.
John Jones is enjoying his new home at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. He joined the firm in February, forming a new team.
“I’m really happy to be part of the Dave Perry-Miller team and I’m really excited about some of the changes going on over here under the new CEO,” he said.
Jones has teamed up with Sam Bullard to form the Bullard/Jones group. The two are longtime friends and have both been active in the East Dallas neighborhood where they reside.
This will mark the 20th year that Jones has been involved with real estate. He began on the mortgage side where founded Homewood Mortgage. For the past decade, he’s been selling homes, which he says he enjoys because he gets to help people. The job requires him to rely upon his analytical skills and utilize his finance and accounting background, two things that he thoroughly enjoys.
“This is a good job for people who like to be involved in the community,” he said. “I just like being on the go and helping make what for many of them is their largest purchase.”
By the time Virginia Cook Realtors officially shut down this week, the vast majority of agents from the firm’s six locations had already found new homes. Many of them were hesitant to talk about the experience out of respect for their former boss. Those who did generally shared the sentiment that they were saddened by the company’s demise but also grateful to find new firms that fit their personalities and business goals.
When Virginia Cook’s closure plans were initially revealed, search committees were formed at the Forest Lane and Park Cities offices to help agents decide where to go next. Representatives from multiple firms were then brought in to make their pitches.
After working independently for 15 years, broker Brad Holden has decided to join The Associates. He will be based out of the Frisco office in the Dallas Cowboys’ Star Development.
“The reason why I decided to jump on board was because of who The Associates are and how they have Stillwater Capital as a branch of who they are. This allows me a tremendous opportunity on the commercial development side,” Holden said. “They are also the best at promoting high-end luxury properties which is another big focus that I want to jump into.”
He admits that working for a brokerage for the first time will be challenging. However, he also believes that the potential opportunities more than outweigh the lesser things he will be giving up.
Local agent Selden Tual joined The Standard Real Estate. He said that he was impressed with how The Standard is embracing openness and “pushing the envelope” in the market. He added that the brokerage’s long-term vision of using technology to make the market better for consumers and agents aligned with his.
“I think getting to work with people that you know and trust was something that I was really interested in,” Tual said. “That’s the kind of culture that I want to be around and I’m excited to contribute.”
Tual hails from Memphis, but moved to Dallas about a decade ago. After dabbling in music while in college, he worked in the service industry for a time but could not decide where to go from there. Some of his colleagues had mentioned going into real estate so he decided to give that a try. He hasn’t looked back since.
Seattle transplant Kelly Gurnee recently joined Clay Stapp + Co. He’d spent the past three and a half years at Gurnee & Associates, a firm in his hometown started by his brother.
This is actually Gurnee’s second stint in Dallas. In 2009 he helped build a dental group that a friend started. For the six years, he oversaw 10 offices and was responsible for many of their business operations. When his friend sold the group in 2015, he returned to Seattle where they hoped to repeat the same business model in a new location. Gurnee ultimately elected to dive in real estate and hang up dental for the time being.
“I did really well but I wanted to get back to Texas all along,” he said. “If I’d had my way I probably wouldn’t have moved back. I met a lot of good people here.”
Long-time Clay Stapp + Co agent Chad Meadors has joined Halo Group Realty. He said the opportunity to grow as a businessperson was his primary motivation.
According to Meadors, he never gave much serious thought to leaving the firm he had been with for eight years. A longtime friend encouraged him to visit Halo and meet founder Britt Morris. (more…)
Keller Williams Realtor Beth Johnson (far right) helped bring the “green home” market to North Texas. Recently she spoke about the innovations and disruptions environmentally-friendly building has brought to the industry at a panel hosted by the Dallas Builders Association.
Beth Johnson has been championing environmental causes for decades. The Keller Williams agent was the first Realtor in the nation to achieve the green “Quadruple Crown.” She’s been certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), EcoBroker, NAR Green, and Certified Green Professionals.
In layman’s terms, that means she’s been trained and certified by the country’s major green accreditation programs, and knows a thing or two about building an eco-friendly home.
Before starting her real estate career in 2005, Johnson spent nearly three decades working in environmental advocacy for area nonprofits. During that time, she lobbied for clean air, clean water, and wilderness protection. When it came time to build her own custom home, she wanted to make it as green as possible.
However, she soon discovered that Realtors in the field literally didn’t know what she was talking about. She began to think that maybe there was a business model there. People like her needed someone who understood the issues and could match environmentally inclined buyers and sellers together. (more…)