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!

I did not make it to Inman Connect NYC this week, but I am following. And it’s a doozy!

But we are going to have our own Inman-style panel right here in North Texas next week. 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, reinventing the way homes are bought and sold? Are they keeping up? Can they keep up?

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: (more…)

Have you ever wanted to ask Alex Doubet of Door what motivates him? Or how he keeps the lights on? What is OpenDoor really about and how much do they charge sellers? Why did so many tip-top agents flock to Compass? Is it possible to sell your home online now? How big are the iBuyers, really? 

Get the inside scoop on how brokers, both big and small, new and old, are reinventing the way homes are bought and sold at 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. 

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I have been hearing all week long that something was afoot at North American Title Company, that a big announcement was coming Friday, and that there has been a lot of personnel movement as of late.

Well, comes word that North American is merging some of its operations with a Silicon Valley-based start-up that was created to disrupt and streamline the $15 billion title insurance industry with technology. It’s called fintech: computer programs and other technology supporting or enabling banking and financial services, and it’s one of the fastest-growing investment areas for venture capitalists.

The company is States Title, and the CEO is Max Simkoff. The two-year-old company’s motto:  “We believe real estate should be simpler, safer, and cheaper to buy, to sell, and to own.”

As we know, buyers use title insurance when buying and financing the purchase of a home. I have often wondered exactly what Title companies do, hence our own Lydia Blair has been educating us the last few months. (And then there are isolated, rare Title Company nightmares.) Basically, title agents scour public records to ensure that buyers (and lenders) avoid liens and ownership disputes on properties, and guarantee full ownership of a property.

But by using technology to scour public records, tech title companies could charge buyers less, which could also eliminate the use of title agents: industry experts say that could result in a 25 percent savings for consumers on title premiums.

Title companies are also highly regulated. So it was a pretty big deal when States Title, a California-based start-up, was approved by regulators this August. States was the first tech-focused title company to be approved in the Golden State. California’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, believes “new technology and more competition would help lower costs for consumers”.

“Title-insurance transactions are often labor intensive and suffer from delays,” Jones said in a statement. “States Title uses a digital platform which is data-driven and automates the process.”

(Speaking of disruption, just wait ’til blockchain hits the title biz.)

According to The Real Deal, the title industry has historically been dominated by four companies: Fidelity National, First American, Old Republic, and Stewart Information Services Corporation. Fidelity bought Stewart for $1.2 billion in early 2018. But Disruptors are creeping in:

But tech has started to play a larger role in the industry. The startup company Spruce recently raised $15.6 million, and Daniel Price’s OneTitle launched in 2014. OneTitle focuses on issuing policies, while Spruce focuses on acting as title agents. Price previously told TRD that he thinks title insurance “is at a major inflection point. This is an industry that has seen perilously little innovation for more than a century.”

North American, which was founded in Dallas, was acquired by national homebuilder Lennar Corporation last year and is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Jump for the official release: (more…)