It’s Realtor Safety month, so tell me if this story sounds somewhat familiar. An agent is hosting an open house and is pretty much by themselves save for a few people coming in and out, maybe one or two at a time. However, one attendee seems to move slowly through the home, almost as if they are waiting for others to leave. The agent begins to feel uncomfortable with the situation.

That’s about how things were unfolding when a Tinley Park, Illinois, real estate agent came across Stanley Keller, 50, an ex-con. Keller was the only visitor at the agent’s open house, according to the National Association of Realtors.

[Keller] asked to see the upstairs bedrooms, the basement, and garage, according to a police report. The agent told police that during the home tour, she felt her body begin to vibrate, and her speech started to slur. When she turned around, Keller had his arm extended toward her with the stun gun in his hand, she said.

Unfortunately, attacks like this one aren’t new territory for real estate agents or even clients for that matter. According to the recent 2019 Realtor Safety Report from NAR, 33 percent of Realtors experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety. The typical Realtor reported feeling unsafe less than once a year (54 percent) in terms of personal safety, but unsafe in terms of personal information every few months or more often (61 percent).

In 2006, McKinney real estate agent Sarah Walker was brutally assaulted and murdered in a model home. Walker was alone at the time. In 2017, Crystal McDowell, a Houston-area real estate agent, went missing during Hurricane Harvey. She was alone when her ex-husband allegedly killed her. The list goes on, and in an industry that focuses on service above all else, safety precautions have been slow to establish.

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north texas

From staff reports

The good news is, North Texas isn’t dead last. The bad news is, North Texas barely cracked the top 50 best places for Realtors to live. But even that bad news is actually fairly good news, when you consider that WalletHub’s rankings were based on 170 cities.

Of North Texas cities, Fort Worth fared the best, coming in 43rd (Austin was the highest ranked Texas city, at 42). Dallas, Garland, Plano, Grand Prairie, Irving, and Arlington ranked 52, 72, 74, 82, 97, and 104, respectively.

In fact, statewide North Texas cumulatively fared much better than other pockets of Texas. (more…)

Ryan Shea, his wife Mercy, and one of their sons enjoy last year’s holiday pie party.

For the seventh straight year, Realtor Ryan Shea will celebrate the holidays with pies. His annual holiday pie party is a way to thank clients and give back to those who have helped him.

“Ultimately it’s just a way to get everyone together,” Shea said. “My clients can meet each other. It’s just a great way to lighten up, relax and have a good time.”

The event will be held from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Dallas Tree House store, 8021 Walnut Hill Lane. Anyone interested in attending should email Shea at ryan.shea@exprealty.com along with their pie preference (pecan, pumpkin or apple) before Dec. 10. International speaker and author Dr. Hank Seitz, known for his books on business and performance development, will also be in attendance. (more…)

The State Fair of Texas is just around the corner, which means Jeremy Larsen is about to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Last year, the home designer and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor entered three items into the Fair’s cookie contest. He was recognized for them all.

“I didn’t think that was a very big deal until other people started telling me it was,” Larsen said. “It turns out a first-time entrant getting three honorable mentions is pretty good.” (more…)

Realtor Lindsay Thomas will have her 9663 Lakemont listing in Midway Hollow open Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. along with several others.

Fans of the Modern Mile Home Tour will recognize this tidy little area of Midway Hollow. This is a wonderful little enclave full to the brim with lovely lots and beautiful homes. Word comes from Realtor Lindsay Thomas that several agents with listings in the area have organized their own tour from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Read on for a map and the full list of homes!

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Long-time Dallas real estate agent Kelly Nolan has joined Dallas City Center Realtors as Director. With over 20 years in the business, Nolan spent 15 year with Ebby Halliday before taking an 18-month sabbatical in Napa Valley. Rested and recharged, she returned to real estate, this time turning her focus to the commercial side. Now she’s applying her extensive experience to overseeing operations at the brokerage. We caught up with Nolan, who, nearly a month into her new gig, says she feels like she’s already been there forever. In a good way.

“I feel so fortunate,” she said. “I walked into a wonderful situation. They’ve embraced me. They’re excited about the future we have here at Dallas City Center. It already feels like I’ve worked here for a long time. It’s just gone very comfortably.”

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Some familiar faces in Dallas real estate are hanging out a new shingle. As of April 1, Local Resident Realty, a new brokerage serving Dallas with a emphasis on Lake Highlands, opened its doors for business. The new venture pairs C+N+T Real Estate Group with the pickaperch team – a package that partner Amy Timmerman describes as, “Six Realtors for the price of one.”

The six, specifically, are C+N+T’s Glen Christy, Robin Norcross, Jason Thomas, and Nicole Thomas together with pickaperch’s Timmerman and Beth Arnold. After years of working together informally, the six got together and decided to “do something great together.”

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Toor lockbox

Junior Desinor

UPDATE, 10:30 pm: Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban totally got it, but in the end Kevin O’Leary and Barbara ended up investing in TOOR: $300K loan, $200K investment. I’ll have a full background story next week!

We couldn’t be more excited and more proud of our own Junior Desinor. That is, Garcia Junior Desinor. We first met when I was editing DallasDirt over at DMagazine, and he was a rookie agent at Keller Williams Turtle Creek, where he landed fresh from Texas tech, where he had already been buying and flipping homes, churning funds from a business he started while still an undergraduate, R&J Party Supply. Next he started his own brokerage on McKinney, Level properties, totally unique with salaried agents and even a company car. Then came Toor, Junior’s uniquely conceived smart lockbox for real estate. Bluetooth- and cellular-enabled, it allows agents and buyers to request home showings with the push of a button on a custom smartphone app/scheduling tool.

Now Junior is headed to the big leagues: from bouncy houses to flips to disrupting the entire real estate industry, you can see him in action tonight on ABC’s Shark Tank, all because of this.

Toor lockbox

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