Nick Good and his Good Home Team has pulled up stakes and moved to eXp. We checked in with Nick to see what his new brokerage home has to offer.

The real estate industry’s transformation is creating a bevy of new business models that cater to specific concerns within the industry, mostly for buyers and sellers. But what about the agent experience? What are these new brands doing that enhances the broker’s ability to manage multiple agents and to create a business that generates wealth for more people? How are these new brokerage models — complete with iBuyer tools, virtual workplaces, and more technology — enhancing or creating opportunities for different teams looking for different things?

These are some of the questions — difficult ones, nonetheless — that Nick Good had to ask himself when he was looking to transform his business for his 10-member team — The Good Home Team.

While Good landed at eXp, he has some wisdom to share about his search, about what this particular business model offers his agents, and how he’s looking to the future.

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Robert Meche, the charismatic leader of Small World Realty and co-branded Smoker Broker, is at the forefront of real estate industry disruption and has been proactively researching how he can contribute and influence industry outcomes as the lives of real estate agents are in flux. 

Meche embraces change and is welcoming the challenge. As part of that, Meche announced a big transition for his firm: 

“For the past 15 years, I’ve been fighting with one hand behind my back. I took a three agent firm and transformed it into a well respected, 175-plus associate business. I have an extremely loyal agent base and could not be more proud of our results. However, it is my job to give them everything they need to compete and I have come to the conclusion we need more. 

I am fighting mega-million dollar giants such as Zillow, Redfin, Open Door, etc. that have invested millions of dollars in technology and I refuse to be pushed around. I have also come to the conclusion the future of real estate is not in small real estate firms … it’s in small firms becoming large groups who have strong financial backing. 

So I made the decision to find a business partner who can help me fight. Who knows technology. I went straight to the top. I went to the one company who has never been money whipped by another broker … and never will be. I went to the one company who said I can still own my firm yet have my back when competing with others. In short, I have partnered with Keller Williams

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Staff Reports

Ron Burgert, chief financial officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies, is a rarity in these days of frequent job hopping. Burgert has been at the same job, in the same position, for 42 years. Burgert, who recently announced his decision to retire from the company he has played a significant role in building, will continue to visible – among other things, he will continue to teach his popular tax class through the Ebby Education Center.

Says Chris Kelly, president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, “Ron’s contributions to the Ebby Halliday Companies are many, and while we have been the benefactor of his strong fiscal guidance for many years, he has also positioned us for a very bright future due to his strong relationships with our agents and employees. I thank him for his distinguished service and wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.”

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Just two months after entering an agreement, Redfin’s new program that cuts out buyer’s agents has RE/MAX out the door.

It was a quick divorce from a two-month romance. And to be honest, sort of a head-scratcher.

In mid-March, RE/MAX, the 40-year-old, Denver-based national real estate franchise broker announced a unique partnership with Redfin, the tech-focused brokerage that has morphed over the years, from trying to wipe out the Real Estate agent to employing them with discounted commission fees. The partnership gave RE/MAX agents exclusive access to Redfin’s agent referral program — albeit at a discounted rate (25 percent versus 30 percent of the agent’s commission, the standard for referral fees) — in 5,000 U.S. ZIP codes and throughout Canada, where Redfin recently launched its highly navigated home search website.

Ostensibly this was done, RE/MAX leaders claimed, to partner up with an online brokerage.

“Redfin is a good complement to the RE/MAX model, given their online presence and our offline presence,” Kerri Callahan, RE/MAX’s chief financial officer, said to Inman News in March. 

Leaders of both companies were crowing about reciprocal revenue potential, but the honeymoon ended on Monday.

Redfin’s launch of a new program that would essentially cut out buyers agents altogether had one unanticipated result: RE/MAX withdrew from its corporate partnership with Redfin. 

“Redfin has the utmost respect for RE/MAX as a company, for its agents and leaders. RE/MAX agents who already work as Redfin’s partner agents will continue to be our partners, and RE/MAX agents can continue to enroll in our partner program, but Redfin can now enroll partner agents from other brokerages to serve Redfin.com visitors in the U.S. and Canada,” the company said in a statement.

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Browne + DouglasWhen the dynamic duo of Cathy Browne and Beth Douglas joined forces as Browne + Douglas Group last year, it was expected that the two — long known for being top-producing Ebby Halliday agents — would do big things from their home base at the company’s state-of-the-art offices in Allen.

Between the two, they have 25 years of combined experience in a busy North Texas real estate market. But recently, they added two more agents — Leah Graybeal Ashley and Howard R. Roth.

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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.

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Joe Atkins

Joe, Charity, Donovan and Cameron.

Joe Atkins and I held hands — sweating and terrified. Then we ran, screamed, and jumped off the top of a giant platform, into the trees. Not exactly how you get to know your average Realtor, but then there is nothing average about Joe.

Don’t worry, that scene ended well. We were just zip-lining on a 103-degree August afternoon as part of the 2012 class of the  Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP). Since that day I’ve watched Joe grow into one of the most exceptional leaders and Realtors in the industry.

“Every agent loves Joe,” Ebby Halliday Realtor Julie Pillans said. “Joe is just a good guy.”

Joe was born and raised in Lake Highlands and currently lives in Lakewood with his lovely wife, Charity, and his two adorable boys, Donovan and Cameron. He’s the broker/owner of Joe Atkins Realty, a boutique real estate firm.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. Joe grew up in the real estate business.

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Staff Reports

After 20 years serving the North Texas real estate community, multiple sources have confirmed that Virginia Cook Realtors will close for business on April 15. The brokerage, which has five offices throughout the region, is helmed by its eponymous founder and executive officer Sheila Rice. David Griffin & Company Realtors, formerly a brand of Virginia Cook, separated more than a week ago. 

According to one source, the brokerage has just 67 homes on market priced between $3 million to $7 million, with only one sold since the beginning of 2019. We have reached out to multiple representatives with Virginia Cook for an official statement and have not received a call back. There’s no word on where exiting agents with the brokerage will land.

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