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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Lyn Williams is ebullient. Even with her jam-packed schedule, she was able to fit me in for a few minutes to share about a huge change in her career of 16 years — joining Mark Godson and Catherine Thorpe-Lambert at Compass’ Britannia Group.

As you’ve read here on CandysDirt.com, Godson and Thorpe-Lambert have launched their new group with one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages in the nation. The brand reflects the “Town and Country,” upscale energy of the pair, which is equally embraced by Williams.

“Mark, with his energy, is an incredible person,” Williams said. “I’ve been thinking about my future, and when Mark asked me if I wanted to join him with the Britannia Group, there was no hesitation.”

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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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Lake HighlandsWe pride ourselves on finding the cutest remodels, the hottest new construction, the sexiest staging in North Texas. But we apparently missed this transformed Modern Farmhouse in Lake Highlands recently.

Compass Realtor Svetlana Grujic threw down the gauntlet in our Realtor-friendly Facebook group, Getting the Dirt.

“Cannot believe that CandysDirt.com did not “get the dirt” on this remodel:),” she said. So we asked her to tell us all about it.

Turns out, we’ve seen Grujic’s work before. Remember last May, when we talked about another Lake Highlands home on McCree Road that got a sleek update? That was, she said, the start of her showcasing her abilities to help investors make the most of the properties they intend to flip.

“It all started with a flipper that tried to remodel 11029 McCree Road and 2617 Beechmont Dr.,” she said, adding that the homes needed a little help after sitting on the market for a while. “So I was called to the rescue.”

“I took over, did a small remodel, and some staging,” she continued. “McCree was sold for 25 percent more than asking, and Beechmont for 30 percent — the buyers for Beechmont were so in love with it, they purchased all the staging.”

That success got her a seller for life, it seems, since the investor reciprocated by putting even more faith in Grujic. (more…)

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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Inman Connect is happening right now in New York City, if any of you are there please ping me. I couldn’t attend this year.

But we are watching! Apparently Robert Reffkin sat down Tuesday with Brad Inman for an “invite-only” chat, where Robert revealed that Compass won’t be expanding into any new markets this year, and that the Dallas Compass launch was a total success in the company’s eyes.

I have heard from industry insiders that Dallas has been Compass’s most successful launch thus far, unlike Chicago, San Francisco and a few others.

According to Inman, “Compass opened offices nationwide in 2018, but the company won’t be going into any new markets this year, according to Compass CEO Robert Reffkin. The brokerage, instead, is drilling down into its current markets with plans to hire more managers and support staff in 2019, he said.” They will, however, be making acquisitions, but in a softening real estate environment, they will not be getting out the big bucks for them. 

In Texas, Compass now has offices in Dallas, Houston and Austin. Which pretty much covers the state, right? So if you are a broker in a major city that has not been “disrupted” by Compass, like say El Paso or OK City, whew! Take a breath! Toss that Xanax, all is good.

For now. Others at Inman Connect say iBuyers will be 50% of the market in ten years. (more…)

Casa ViewOur Tuesday Two Hundred, by definition of its price point, tends to be a showcase of starter homes — and this week’s updated Midcentury Ranch in Casa View is a great example of a starter home that can be quite long term.

So often, we hear the term starter home and assume it means that the buyer will be in it for a handful of years. But when you have a well-done remodel with a sensible garage conversion to increase the square footage of this 1957 home to a rare (for Casa View) 1,782 square feet, it becomes clear that this home has been remodeled with a family in mind. (more…)

Our Splurge: Phillip Murrell with Compass has listed 4206 Buena Vista Street Apt E for $669,000.

As one of Dallas’ most hip and trendy nightlife districts, Knox-Henderson is where people want to be. Last week we couldn’t take our eyes off this Dave Perry-Miller-owned cottage! So much so we decided to take a closer look at the neighborhood for this week’s Splurge vs. Steal. Which Knox-Henderson condo would you choose, the modern masterpiece splurge, or the LeComte Homes steal? We would love to hear in the comments!

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