Photo by Mike Gibson

Jessica Koltun loves demolition.  She rarely misses the day when it’s time to knock down walls and rip out drywall.

“It’s probably my favorite part of the job,” she joked. “Everything after that is just madness and crazy.”

Managing that madness and craziness is what Koltun does best. On New Year’s Day 2017 she founded Demo Dallas, a company that provides turnkey real estate, design, and construction services.  Depending on her client’s needs, she may handle part or all of those responsibilities on any given project.

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During the week, Andrea Brooks is a Plano-based Realtor for Keller Williams. Over the past decade she’s built a successful business, one that she says is “busy and fulfilling.” However, on weekends she can often be found traveling around the country promoting her invention called Footsie Soft.

“I think most people have thought of something and said, ‘That would be so cool if I could get my invention out there,’” Brooks said. “I thought why not just give it a try so that’s what I did.”

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Ben Caballero is setting the bar high. In May, the 70-year-old agent and owner of Addison-based HomesUSA.com earned a Guinness World Record for having the most annual home transactions through MLS by an individual sell-side agent. According to research conducted by REAL Trends, Caballero sold 3,556 homes in 2016. His next closest competitor sold 467.

Before proclaiming him the winner, the Guinness team reviewed evidence and enlisted the help of a CPA to verify his information. An international research team then worked to confirm that nobody else could claim a higher number

“They don’t mess around,” Caballero said regarding the drawn-out process. He credits a web-based platform he designed about 10 years ago for much of his success. The system caters to homebuilders in the Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets. It is able collect and process vast amounts of information very quickly, facilitating a much higher transaction volume.

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Nadine Meyer left a successful career at a large luxury brokerage to strike out on her own.

Two years ago, Nadine Meyer took a leap of faith and left a successful career at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate to start her own brokerage.  Since then the Meyer Group has added additional agents and become a force in the Dallas market.

“Having your own little brokerage has its challenges for sure, but as a whole I love the flexibility that we offer,” she said. “We try to think out of the box and help builders, which is harder to do in a more corporate environment.”

The Meyer Group’s primary focus has been new homes and condominiums in East Dallas. They work hand-in-hand with builders from the time land is purchased until the home is ready to be sold.  The process typically takes anywhere from nine months to a year. Meyer loves being a part of every step.  She majored in art at UNT, and relishes the opportunity to use her creative side.

“By no means am I a designer, but I do enjoy being a part of that process,” she said “It makes me very passionate about what I’m selling because I helped in the design.”

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Modern Luxury DALLAS Magazine tells me they are gearing up for their annual Real Estate Awards to run in their beautiful April issue. How exciting!

Rather than ask for popularity votes for the “best,” MLD focuses on specific categories of real estate achievement. Let’s face it, every real estate agent I know is the best, to all of us at CandysDirt.com, to everyone at Modern Luxury DALLAS, and especially to their clients. We have talked about having “best campaigns” here at CandysDirt.com, but we always conclude that (a) they are never truly accurate and (b) we celebrate real estate agents every day for their listings, sales, talents, and progress.

While we have a good idea of who, what and where is killing it in real estate in this region, we really want to hear from YOU,  the movers and shakers IN the business. You have until February 1 to give your input.

Please take a moment.  There are only FIVE questions.  You do not have to complete all five, but let us know your thoughts as we help craft Modern Luxury’s Real Estate Awards presented by Yours Truly. Know an agent, broker, or neighborhood that deserves praise? Sing it loud after the jump!

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Cathy Browne and Beth Douglas joined forces, creating a power-packed team at Ebby Hallidays Allen offices.

Our readers will recognize Cathy Browne as the record-setting Allen Realtor that has dominated this Collin County ‘burb for years. But now she’s setting her sights on new territory. Part of her winning strategy to stay on top now includes another top-producing agent, as Browne and Beth Douglas have joined forces to create the Browne-Douglas Group at Ebby Halliday Realtors’ gorgeous new Allen offices.  

“I am pleased to welcome Beth Douglas and Cathy Browne, who are widely known for integrity and dedication to providing clients with exceptional customer service,” said Diane Hausler, sales manager of Ebby’s Allen office. “Beth and Cathy work tirelessly to serve their clients’ best interests and offer extensive knowledge of the North Texas market.” 

With a combined 25 years of experience, we’re sure great things are ahead for Browne and Douglas.

Kristin Smith, Conner Cromeens, Candace Evans, John Jones,Rick Davis, and Chyenne Overturf celebrated the launch of the Source Group at Yucatan Taco Stand, an East Dallas hangout.

As we visited (and drank!) with them at their recent launch party, it was hard to not be impressed with what John Jones and Conner Cromeens want to accomplish. And what they HAVE accomplished! The two East Dallas Realtors launched the Source Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s with the objective of using their skills,  talents and vast network of connections to fulfill a niche in East Dallas neighborhoods. Truly, their mission statement offers a lot of insight to their business:

“We believe our product is a lifestyle. In everything we do, we believe that honor, integrity and kindness are not benefits, but the standard. We believe that community turns houses into homes. We believe that luxury is an experience. We do these things by offering tireless service, unmatched experience, knowledge, and a kind warm approach. We just happen to sell real estate.”

What it doesn’t say is that Jones and Cromeens have the backgrounds to really cater and guide the homebuying or selling experience into something that isn’t fraught or stressful. 

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Ron Brown

Curb appeal can be a huge deciding factor for buyers shopping online, says Realtor Ron Brown.

After what he calls a “lifetime” in commercial landscaping sales, Realtor Ron Brown returned to his first love – real estate. And in his role as at Magnolia Realty, he’s taking those years of being a landscaping professional and putting them to work. He’s on a crusade to help his clients get their homes ready for market – inside and out.

For Brown, it’s not just a personal interest in landscaping (though, he really does love it). His emphasis on his clients’ curb appeal comes from necessity, born out of the way real estate is sold now. “Everyone today shops online, they look at pictures first, and usually the first picture is the outside of the home. If it doesn’t look appealing, they won’t look further.  If the shrubs are grown up over the windows, or there’s no flowers, or the dead flowers haven’t been pulled out, that’s where I can come in and help.” (more…)