Redfin, the Seattle-based brokerage that launched as a disruptor, has brought it’s Redfin Direct service to Texas. Announced publicly last week, Redfin Direct soft-launched two weeks ago and already has active participants.

Redfin Direct gives real estate buyers in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio the ability to make direct, online offers on Redfin-listed homes without the help of a buyer’s agent. 

In other words, paying zero commission.

The company has 231 active listings in North Texas. According to NTREIS data, Redfin has a 0.7 percent market share for units and an 0.8 percent market share for sales volume in North Texas.

“We have seen 10 offers thus far,” said Tony King, Redfin’s Texas broker. “Clearly, there is already a demand for this type of service in North Texas.”

Who are the buyers, what are the price points? King says he hasn’t seen any high-end luxury Redfin Direct sales as of yet, but Redfin Direct buyers are coming from across the board: investors, more-informed home buyers, even some first-time homebuyers who have done their research online.

“In places like the Park Cities (and Preston Hollow) we represent an incredible value,” said King.

But local brokers say Redfin Direct is no big deal: Consumers have always been able to buy homes without an agent in tow.

“Consumers have always had the ability to purchase direct from a seller and listing agent, that part isn’t new,” says Chris Kelly, President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies.  “However, guiding a buyer and protecting their specific interests is the entire point of buyer agency. Helping to identify the property is just step one of about 100 that the buyer’s agent does, and is likely one of the smallest parts of their value proposition. Representing and protecting the interests of buyers should be expanded not diminished.”

Redfin also believes this could jump-start Redfin listings. If sellers can make their homes more competitive on price (minus the 3 percent agent commission), they might be more likely to list with Redfin.

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A new real estate start-up could completely flip the switch on traditional brokerages in Dallas.

A new real estate start-up could completely flip the switch on traditional brokerages in Dallas. Prevu has announced the closing of its $2 million seed funding for a customer-focused digital home-buying platform. It promises to “deliver industry-leading efficiency and savings,” according to Matthew Chudoba, a publicist with ICR, Prevu’s outside public relations counsel promoting the company’s launch out of Norwalk, Conn.

“We were incredibly frustrated by our own experiences in buying real estate, and we sought to create a truly intuitive model that gives control back to consumers and eliminates a lot of the stress involved,” said Thomas Kutzman, co-founder of Prevu. “Our Smart Buyer platform was created to address these inefficiencies and provide greater control to buyers while delivering rebates that help to offset the significant expenses involved in purchasing a home.”

Prevu passes two-thirds of its commission back to each buyer who completes a purchase using Smart Buyer, which brings with it a rebate of up to 2 percent. Customers who purchased a home using Prevu receive average rebates of $23,000. The aim? To make commissions more transparent, signifying a 180-degree turn from the traditional brokerage model. Agents are already tasked with creating more and more value for buyers and sellers as disruption in the real estate industry becomes the norm. What next?

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Disruption is hitting the real estate industry more than other industries, and at a faster rate, or so it seems to those of us who watch the daily, sometimes hourly, changes from our North Texas perches. Speaking of Perch, there are iBuyers looming on the horizon — even mainstream media is starting to pay attention. That big, hairy-scary class-action “bombshell” lawsuit,  the one that could upend the U.S. real estate industry by forcing changes in how buyer’s agents are compensated (negotiate commission between buyer and agent individually, not dictate the commission to be paid by the home seller) has been amended: more plaintiffs and defendants have been brought in, and the suit is now emphasizing the role commissions and MLS groups play in “steering buyers”, potentially raising costs for sellers. 

Executives and agents are migrating, leaving traditional brokerages, heading towards perceived greener pastures with brokers married to technology, but not necessarily married to an office. 100% commission split brokerages are thriving and rising, with Frisco-based JP and Associates Realtors® (JPAR) taking the charge. 

JP and Associates is excited to announce that Geoff Lewis is joining JPAR as President of Vesuvius Holdings, LLC. Vesuvius is the parent company of JP and Associates Realtors and JPAR Franchising.

Geoff Lewis was most recently President of RE/MAX Holdings, LLC. where he worked for thirteen years. Lewis retired from RE/MAX in early 2018. RE/MAX, with those familiar red signs, is considered the largest real estate brokerage in the world. It was founded in 1973 by David and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 115,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of over 100 countries and territories. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX as measured by total residential transaction sides, which led the company to a post-recession record high in U.S., Canadian and worldwide agent count (100,000+ agents in 100+ countries) and franchise sales. Geoff served on several several industry boards and is widely respected within the industry.

Geoff Lewis was instrumental as a member of the RE/MAX senior team in guiding the organization through a tumultuous 12 years.  He was a part of the team that repurchased almost a dozen regional privately owned master franchises, was a member of the team that guided the firm to its public offering and was important to the organization in so many other, less visible ways.  REAL Trends always found Geoff to be bright, engaging and thoughtful in our dealings with him.  Along with the RE/MAX family we wish Geoff only the very best in his future endeavors: Steve Murray, President, REAL Trends Inc.

Mr. Lewis was ranked in the top fifteen in the Swanepoel Power 200 list of industry leaders.

In citing his reasons for joining JPAR, Mr. Lewis stated: “our industry is ripe for disruption.”

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Matt Templeton of Keller Williams Urban Dallas regularly educates Realtors on how to make the most of the current market. (Courtesy Photo)

By Matthew Templeton
Managing Principal
KW Urban Dallas

It feels like there have been fundamental shifts in the real estate industry within the last few months. Technology is the buzz word, money is being thrown around, and CEOs of just about every top real estate-related company are out. The last few weeks’ news sums up that feeling.

September 2018: Compass closes another funding round for $400 million — money used to build more software and buy more agents.

And then …

February: Rich Barton (billionaire co-founder of Expedia and Zillow) takes the reins from Spencer Rascoff, who was CEO at Zillow for nine years.

February: Keller Williams rolls out the first artificial intelligence and data-driven platform in the real estate industry — others have been clamoring to follow

February: RE/MAX says [sic] “Our amazing technology is coming, and it will be best in class,” and makes a technology acquisition, Booj.

Last Week: Data-driven Opendoor will now show listings from rival brokerages and offer Redfin-like rebates.

Last Week: NTREIS Board holds a vote on whether to sell greater data access to Zillow. April will be a reckoning month for North Texas Realtors and their data.

We’ve moved into a new real estate era that is faster paced and increasingly powered by technology and data — more than ever before. But there’s something else afoot. It’s eerily similar to what happened with the dot-com bust. Real estate technology companies are flush with capital — in fact, 2018 was a banner year for real estate technology investment.

And yet many of the top “technology” or “platform” companies in the industry are not profitable.

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Credit: London Stock Exchange

There could be rough waters ahead for the flat-fee, UK-based brokerage disruptor Purplebricks, which is now in four U.S. states: California, Arizona, Florida, and New York.

I had heard they were planning to come to Dallas and Texas also — maybe not so after this news.

Purplebricks is NOT an iBuyer. It is more akin to our Door, to Trelora, and other flat fee brokers that are also taking traditional real estate by storm nip, nip, nipping at the traditional 6 percent (3 percent +3 percent) agent commision, among other things.

Purplebricks has been charging a flat fee of $3,600, up from $3,200, to sell a house. The company claims it is a full-service real estate experience for thousands less. Dallas-based Door, in contrast, charges $5,000.

But just a month ago, Inman reported that Purplebricks was shifting it’s US model towards a more traditional real estate model: (more…)

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!