Really nice profile of Chris Kelly in DCEO Magazine this month, which you can of course read online any time you want. The article, by former People Newspapers Deputy Editor Bianca R. Montes, REALLY captures the personality and polish of Kelly, who was named CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies in October 2018, taking the helm of the largest independent real estate brokerage in Texas from Mary Frances Burleson. As we wrote at the time:

Longtime Ebby Halliday Companies president and CEO Mary Frances Burleson, an icon in the organization hired by founder Ebby Halliday in 1958, has stepped down from her position to focus on the firm’s eponymous nonprofit — the Ebby Halliday Foundation. In her place, Chris Kelly has been named CEO. Kelly, recently the senior counsel of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, is expected to mold the company’s strategy and direct operations with the aim of shaping the venerable North Texas brokerage’s brand while preserving the legacy of the company’s highly regarded founder, Ebby Halliday Acers. 

I’m glad they did the profile which, albeit a year and two months later, was incredibly well-written and fleshed out Kelly’s background nicely: how he, a Kansas City native, became an attorney, but got into real estate after a trip to Cabo with his sister and her colleagues at ReeceNichols Real Estate led to an in-house position there. (I am always fascinated to learn how people got into real estate.) He was corporate legal counsel and chief administrative officer at ReeceNichols, a home grown firm started by two agent powerhouses much like Ebby. ReeceNichols also happened to be a HomeServices affiliate. His road to Dallas came about, of course, when Ebby Halliday Companies was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices — a company owned by Warren Buffet — in July of 2018.

HomeServices also owns Allie Beth Allman & Associates.               

Bianca didn’t ask about the competition of having two BHHS companies in one city, nor did she ask for a reaction to the company agents have dubbed “the beast” — Compass — because of the accelerated way the disruptive and highly tech-oriented North Texas brokerage has been gobbling up high producing agents.

But that’s okay, we covered it here.

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If you are in real estate in North Texas, you know Bill Tucker.

He is active: Tucker is a member of the usher team at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. He is in great shape: in his spare time, he enjoys jogging and cycling, as well as spending time at his wife Arla’s family ranch in northern Arkansas.

The former underwriter at Chubb North America has been a North Texas resident since 1996. And he has studied at the prestigious Sewanee: University of the South and Birmingham Southern College. All of which adds up to a new leader for Ebby’s booming Frisco office, the largest in the company. (more…)

Elliman

Jacob Sudhoff, CEO of Douglas Elliman Texas

Real estate in Texas might be slowing down, but a slowdown in Texas is like tapping the breaks on the Autobahn — you’re still traversing a hot market. And the most recent company to set the Lone Star State in its sights is Douglas Elliman, who announced a joint venture with Houston-based Sudhoff Companies Monday morning.

The move will create Douglas Elliman Texas, and will join the New York City-based luxury brokerage with Sudhoff Companies, which will give the fledgling Texas venture an immediate boost to the tune of an 85 percent market share of Houston’s new development market for condos and $500 million in current new development with $1.4 billion coming to market in the next year.

Last year, Sudhoff Companies had the highest sales volume for new construction homes in the Houston area at just shy of $500 million in sales volume. Combined with Douglas Elliman, the two account for $28.6 billion in sales nationwide last year.

Current projects on the market include Giorgetti Houston, The River Oaks, The Sophie, and The Revere, as well as a luxury condominium project, The Hawthorne.

Howard M. Lorber

“Like Los Angeles, Houston is experiencing a vertical living phenomenon, and because many of our clients in Colorado, California and Florida hail from Houston, we felt the time was right for a strategic move to Texas,” Howard M. Lorber, executive chairman of Douglas Elliman Realty, said in a press release. “It was important to find a company whose integrated approach to real estate development mirrored that of Douglas Elliman, and we have found a true partner in Sudhoff Companies.”

Jacob Sudhoff will now be CEO of the newly formed Douglas Elliman Texas, while business partner Catherine Lee, also will have an integral (but unspecified in the press release) role in the new company, which will be based in Houston.

But Dallas brokers, don’t sit back and get too comfortable — Elliman may be starting in Houston, but they already have boots on the ground in Dallas, and it won’t be long before they’re firmly planted here, Sudhoff said Monday afternoon. (more…)

North Texas-based JP&Associates is entering the iBuyer market on behalf of its agents, launching an instant offer platform across the exploding firm’s brokerage and franchise network this week. 

This makes JPAR, a full-service brokerage with a capped transaction fee, the first independent brokerage in North Texas to launch an exclusive iBuyer program for its agents. It’s called JPAR Instant Offers.

“Entering the iBuyer market gives our agents a competitive advantage over Opendoor, Knock, OfferPad, and the other unilateral “sell now” offers,” says Giuseppe J.P. Piccinini, President and Chairman of the Board of JP & Associates Realtors. “This will greatly benefit our clients and agents.”

J.P. says he has partnered with a Seattle-based company, OfferAI. which relocated to Dallas in January.

“OfferAI is a white-label iBuyer that uses a bot to make instant offers on off-market properties. It empowers agents to present themselves as an iBuyer from their brokerage site, or their own affiliate page of OfferAI,” says Jack Burns, Founder and CEO of OfferAI. 

Unlike most of the current iBuyers on the landscape, JPAR associates become the “chaperones” of the webpage so they can guide sellers through the process and they retain a 3 percent commission on accepted instant offers.

“And that’s a game-changer,” says JP.

Burns relocated to Dallas from Seattle earlier this year with his firm. He says Texas is a preferable market for the rapidly growing iBuyer market, more so than Seattle, because of our relatively affordable home prices.

“The iBuyer space has not made a strong presence in the Seattle market because the median sales price is $669,500, way too high for iBuyers,” says Burns.
 
Seattle is home to Zillow, Amazon, Microsoft, and other high tech companies, but not likely to be an iBuyer hub.
 
“Texas is a sweet spot as far as home prices that work well for iBuyers,” says Burns, “That’s a home usually in the $200,000- to $250,000-ish range.”

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Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, a major independent brokerage in North Texas catering to luxury real estate buyers and sellers, will celebrate a very special anniversary coming next year.

For this brand, 2020 will mark 60 years since the doors first opened at the corner of Lovers Lane and Preston Road as Ben R. Briggs Realtors with a small group of agents to start what would become one of the most significant independently owned boutique brokerages in Texas. Robbie Briggs joined his father’s firm in 1979, took the reins in 1983, and merged with Charles Freeman in 1989 to form Briggs Freeman Real Estate Brokerage. In 2010, Robbie bought Charles out and aligned with Sotheby’s International Realty to create Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. 

What better way to celebrate a diamond anniversary than with a big real estate move!

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s is upgrading its current Lovers Lane headquarters with a move to prestigious Turtle Creek Boulevard.

The move this fall makes room for the firm’s growing agent population and pinnacles the company’s 60 years of success, which will be celebrated throughout 2020.

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A very familiar face in Dallas, an icon of residential Dallas real estate, buzzed back into town before March blew away to check out his properties here, including the company with his name on the door, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. 

Then, for a couple of hours, he spoke with a small group of advisory board agents and his own team at the Luther Lane office, providing Dave’s view on the Dallas residential scene on both the sales and business side: a macro view of the market. And he’s coming back again, to teach some classes to DPM agents. This man really LOVES, KNOWS, and OWNS houses! No wonder he set so many records SELLING them!  

I caught up with Dave just as he was leaving town…

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We were the first to tell you of the sad demise of Virginia Cook Realtors. And though “others” reporting this story have said that Virginia Cook Realtors shut down all offices, that is not the truth.

The Sherman office of Virginia Cook Realtors has been acquired by Dallas City Center Realtors.

Paragon Realtors debuted in Sherman, Texas, this week with the acquisition of the Virginia Cook Sherman office, the No.1 brokerage in the area, by Dallas-based Dallas City Center Realtors. Sherman is about one hour north of Dallas.

“These agents were so committed to staying together and active,” says Yvette Grove, director of Dallas City Center Coaching and Training. “They had already selected another building. They had their news signs designed and ready in a week.”

Agents chose the name “Paragon” for the newly branded office. “Paragon” is a model or pattern of excellence, exemplifying the hallmark reputation of both companies, says Pat Rowland, manager of the former Virginia Cook Sherman office.

The rebrand and new look will begin rolling out across several North Texas counties this month, including Grayson.

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News from Ebby Halliday: Catherine Sims has been named Vice President of Core Services for the Ebby Halliday Companies.

Core services are real estate related companies and, well, services that touch and enhance the real estate transaction. They are necessary, but you usually have to shop around for them. Ebby’s affiliated core-service companies available to clients include Home Team Mortgage, The Lending Partners, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title.

Chris Kelly, president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, announced Sims’ new position this week. And he emphasized the Ebby Halliday Companies’ distinct position in the North Texas marketplace as an organization that meets the needs of its sales associates and clients during the entirety of the real estate transaction, including now core services.

“To ensure this unique distinction remains at the forefront of our business strategy, we have created the role of Vice President of Core services,” Kelly said in a statement. “Catherine Sims possesses an intimate understanding of the strength and capabilities of our core services through her past leadership role within The Lending Partners, where she was frequently at the forefront of connecting and communicating with our sales associates and their clients, focusing on how our amazing mortgage, title and insurance teams deliver an exceptional experience.” 

Sims has been with Home Team Mortgage and The Lending Partners for more than 10 years. She has served as a loan originator and in sales-management positions. Now she will help coordinate a seamless real estate transaction for every Ebby client.

“My new role will be the ‘glue’ that pulls together each of our core services,” Sims said. “This model has been very successful within the HomeServices family of companies, of which we are a proud member.”

As Chris Kelly explains it: when you buy a car, you don’t go to one place for the body, the next for tires, then another for interiors and a steering wheel. The real estate transaction is many more parts than just the contract. Ebby Halliday aims to make the entire experience as seamless a transaction as possible, with “one-stop shopping”, something that HomeServices has been doing in other markets for years. (more…)