amazonYou can order groceries, arrange for a house cleaning or handyman, do all your school supply shopping, and try on clothes before you buy them on Amazon. And now the nearly ubiquitous company has dipped its toe into the real estate world with a new collaboration with Realogy Holdings.

And if that doesn’t sound familiar, the companies under the Realogy umbrella probably do — thanks to brands like Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, and Sotheby’s International Realty, Amazon’s TurnKey can hit the ground running in 15 U.S. cities, including Dallas-Fort Worth.

The collaboration between the two companies combines Realogy’s Realtors and their expertise with Amazon’s tech-driven convenience. 

Robbie Briggs

It’s news that excited Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in North Texas. 

“Since 1960 and counting, no brokerage has taken better care of its clients than Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. I’m so proud of that,” he said Wednesday. “And I’m proud we’re affiliated with the only global brokerage that could achieve such an innovative collaboration with Amazon. There is nothing like it.”

“For our participating colleagues, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience for their clients, especially their sellers, who may benefit from more leads to great buyers — many of whom will be in North Texas,” he added.

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, as well as local Century 21, Better Homes and Gardens, and Coldwell Banker brokerages will benefit from TurnKey.

“When we designed TurnKey, we recognized that ‘closing’ on a home is really just the beginning of the homebuying journey,” said Eric Chesin, senior vice president and head of strategy for Realogy. “We are proud to team up with Amazon to extend the value we bring to buying a home beyond the moment you first unlock your new front door.”

But what is TurnKey?

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Representation and advocacy matters, says Coldwell Banker Realtor Alex Prins.

A few months ago, Alex Prins of Coldwell Banker Lakewood attended Global Luxury training at JW Marriott in Austin. As three of the top trainers stepped on stage, each shared pictures of their families, husbands, and children. It was a tremendous moment for Prins because each of the presenters was gay.

Fifteen years ago, Alex Prins remembers coming out to his parents with the words, “I understand I won’t legally be able to marry and likely won’t have children.”  And now, look at his reality. Gay marriage is legal, acceptance is headed in the right direction, and we’ve definitely come a long way. BUT, we’re not there yet and we still have a little way to go.

According to a study from Iowa State University, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) borrowers are more likely to be denied mortgage loans. And those that do get approved pay higher interest rates and fees. As of 2019, only 22 states plus D.C. prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

But when legislation falls short, advocacy steps up. This time in the form of NAGLREP – National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.

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By Matthew Templeton
Managing Principal
KW Urban Dallas

Why is there so much movement in the iBuyer world?

First: What is an iBuyer?

An iBuyer is an institutional or business-based investor that uses automated valuation models (using data and algorithms to estimate value and trends over time) to make offers on properties in the market without actually having to have a huge workforce on the ground.

Who are these guys? Opendoor may be the one you’ve heard about the most. But also, Knock (a version of iBuying that gives you cash to buy the home you want before helping you sell yours), Offerpad, Coldwell Banker, Zillow Instant Offers (opened in Dallas on April 15), and coming in May to Texas, Keller Williams, according to Inman News this week.

How is this different than a traditional investor? In some ways, it’s not — individuals with bandit signs that say things like “we buy houses for cash” and companies like HomeVestors (“We Buy Ugly Houses”) with billboards have been models for decades.  

What’s different is that these institutional investors can buy properties at scale and their hope is to make money on the volume acquisition.  They claim to be purchasing at higher prices than a traditional investor (seemingly providing convenience for a slightly lesser price than retail).  The marketing pitch is slick. The idea behind it seems amazing — except that homes are not just data points. The fallout is yet to be determined.

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Kyle Rovinsky with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has listed 11322 E. Ricks Circle for $4,567,890 – soon to be $3,750,000.

Looking for a contemporary estate in Preston Hollow? This one’s pretty, and it’s about to get even more attractive. There’s a price drop in the air, and listing agent Kyle Rovinsky is dangling it like a carrot. The Coldwell Banker agent originally listed Dallas Council Member Lee Kleinman’s home for $4,567,890 but just alerted us to a price reduction worth over $800,000 for the two-acre creek-side perch on coveted Ricks Circle in Preston Hollow.

“One-acre properties in the area are currently trading for around $1.5 million. This home affords a prime two-acre lot,” Rovinsky said. “So you are paying $3 million for the dirt and $750,000 for the commercial construction,” he explains.

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Coldwell Banker opened its newest regional business center in Southlake. The facility consolidates operations in Colleyville, Southlake, and Keller. Company officials say that the unification of three smaller offices offers better access to marketing and support personnel. The 8,800-square-foot facility includes a large training space and will support 200 affiliated sales agents

“To have synergy and collaboration you really like to bring folks together,” Coldwell Banker Dallas/Fort Worth president Frank Obringer said. “What we’ve recognized is that if you are gong to support teams, you really do need to have some brick and mortar for those support people to come to.”

This is the fourth North Texas regional center Coldwell Banker has opened in the past 12 months. The other facilities include a new Arlington office, the Global Luxury office on Sherry Lane in Dallas, and a new facility near The Star in Frisco. Plans are also in the works to open a fifth regional center in the near future.

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One of the first completed homes in Walsh

13809 Green Elm Road still has that new home smell. (photos: Shoot2Sell)

News Flash: Life happens.  As a real estate sales professional, when a buyer tells me they’re looking for their “Forever Home” I smile and nod, but inside I know life happens … even in Walsh.

Buyers of all ages, sizes, price points all want (or think they want) that perfect home that meets their needs, and where they’ll live for a long time.  Then, yep, life happens.  Households grow, shrink, age, get transferred, make less money, make more money, or just want something different.

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Hanne Sagalowsky

Citing the opportunity to work with more international clients, the Hanne Sagalowsky Group recently joined Coldwell Banker.

“Having grown up in Denmark and being trilingual (English, Danish, and German), global international work is what I love to do,” Hanne Sagalowsky said.

Sagalowsky currently serves as the National Association or Realtors (NAR) global coordinator to Western Europe, Israel, and Turkey. She is also the incoming chair of the Texas Association of Realtor’s International Committee and was one Dallas’s first Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS).

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Darla Gray knew that it was time for something new. After considering the possibility for nearly a decade, she finally took the plunge and joined Coldwell Banker as an agent.

“I’ve done a little of everything and was ready for a change,” Gray said. “It’s been all that I wanted it to be.”

Prior to going into real estate, Gray worked for more than 38 years at TXU. During that time she held several management and customer service positions. In the end, she felt shat had accomplished everything that she wanted to do within the company and was ready to apply her skills elsewhere.

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