Vivo Realty Group just launched a new membership-based business model that provides the infrastructure that agents need at an affordable, tiered pricing scheme. The brokerage has three locations in North Texas: Plano, Uptown Dallas, and North Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District. (Courtesy Photo)

As members of our editorial team cover the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, a recurring theme is the transformation of the traditional real estate brokerage. The existing model, industry disruptors say, no longer serves the individual agent. 

Locally, more and more brokerages are touting their digital assets, using social media and mobile apps to make real estate transactions easier for buyers and sellers. But what about infrastructure?

“The real estate industry is not just changing, it’s changed,” says David Maez Jr., co-founder and broker at Vivo Realty Group, which launched their new subscription-based brokerage model. “We had to think, ‘What’s wrong with the way we have been doing things for over 150-plus years?’ The brokerage model has failed to innovate and deliver what agents need: Flexible pay structures, places to meet clients and work from that are easily assessable, contract, and marketing support.”

So Vivo, with three offices in hot North Texas neighborhoods — Plano, Uptown Dallas, and North Oak Cliff — made a new model that fills the gaps of independent agents without sacrifices.

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NAR’s recent generational survey uncovered some really interesting trends. For starters, more and more Millennials are eschewing urban life and heading for the burbs, where they can afford to buy a house. Though Millennials contributed the largest share of home buyers in 2017 at 36 percent, a shortage of single-family construction has kept aspiring homebuyers from making the move. Additionally, larger numbers of households are living a multi-generational lifestyle, with more younger Baby Boomers buying homes to house their adult children and their own parents. Even Gen X households are buying homes with the intent of having their parents under the same roof. 

Now that many Millennials have started to pay down their staggering student debt, more of them are starting families. According to NAR’s report, the share of Millennials with at least one child continues to grow. But for many Millennial households in America, their desire to become homeowners combined with slow wage growth and high housing costs have pushed many out of larger cities and toward the suburbs. In fact, 52 percent of Millennial homebuyers bought larger and more affordable properties in suburban locations. 

In fact, Thrillist just published a piece that speaks to this trend: “State of the Suburbs: Dallas.” Forced to look in every nook and cranny for a home they can afford, Millennials are now turning their eyes toward the close-in suburbs that might not get as much attention as the master-planned communities in Collin County, such as Duncanville, DeSoto, Garland, and Grand Prairie.  

Of course, a lot of these trends speak to life in Dallas, which has a very upwardly mobile workforce and a lot of Millennials. However, are we seeing a run on suburban living? We asked some of our most-trusted Realtors to find out. 

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holiday

The holiday season can be a great time to find a bargain on a new home, experts say (Photo courtesy Pixabay).

Why would anyone want to buy or sell a house during the holiday season? Who in their right mind would want to pack and move in the middle of all those Christmas parties, family gatherings, and other assorted holiday commitments?

Turns out, plenty of people like to take advantage of a traditionally slower period to go shopping for a new house. (more…)

As more and more people hunt for affordable new construction in North Texas, and as more and more builders look for the right lots to build, once-overlooked suburbs are starting to shine. Take the Midcities’ own Grand Prairie for instance. That’s where you’ll find this great transitional design with contemporary flair built by CAVSO Homes and marketed by David Maez of Vivo Realty.

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DFW rent prices

If it feels like you’re paying a lot for rent, you’re probably right: huge demand for DFW apartments in 2016, coupled with a shortage of supply, has pushed rents and building occupancy to record levels.

DFW rent prices are now averaging almost $1,100 a month, according to MPF Research. Add to that a vacancy rate of under 4 percent, and you’ve got demand at an all-time high. The past year’s demand total for apartments in North Texas jumped to 27,120 units, up sharply from the 2015 volume of about 17,000 units.

Fort Worth ranked sixth in the nation for rent increases in 2016, going up 6.7 percent over the previous year. Dallas was close behind, at number 11, with a 6 percent increase over 2015.

“With out apartment clients, we’re getting a lot of people relocating who are unsure if they want to buy or not,” said David Maez, co-founder of Vivo Realty Group. “I think we going to see competitive rent prices continue, even with the inventory that’s coming up.”

There are now almost 50,000 apartments under construction in North Texas, which is about 9 percent of nation’s building activity. That’s the country’s biggest block of product on the way by a large percentage, according to RealPage. About 29,000 of those apartments scheduled for completion in 2017.

“Dallas-Fort Worth is the country’s top spot for apartment demand by a huge margin, which speaks to the strength of the local job market and household formation pace,” said RealPage chief economist Greg Willett. “There’s a great mix of expansion in both the urban core and the suburbs.”

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Adeo VR

Click HERE to be taken to YouTube to watch a 360 Adeo VR video

Virtual reality is a technology that’s gaining traction in the real estate marketplace.

The idea is visionary: allow homebuyers to experience a property in an immersive, realistic way with their mobile devices or virtual reality headsets. This could have big implications for the luxury market, in particular, where Realtors have to work hard to differentiate their properties and make them memorable to potential buyers (and there tends to be more marketing budget for tools like virtual reality).

A new Carrollton-based company called Adeo VR is launching in July with some truly cool technology with tons of applications for the luxury real estate market, but also useful as a marketing tool for any size property. Company co-founder Shawn Willis promises it will be “affordable for most agents, even though the target market for this product will likely be the luxury real estate market, because of the size of the homes.”

“This let’s people experience a space in a new way and it solves some real estate problems because it let’s buyers experience a home before they drive all over DFW,” Willis said. “The neat thing about the video is it gives people a way to view it on their smartphone or tablet without having to use a virtual reality headset.”

Buyers can experience virtual reality with these 360-degree videos, which can be viewed on Facebook or YouTube, by opening the video and moving their devices left, right, up, and down. Videos can also be viewed on a computer with Chrome or Firefox browsers (if you’re using any of these platforms, be sure to check out the video above!). They are also compatible with Google Cardboard and Samsung virtual reality gear.

“I think the Adeo VR technology is an amazing way to view the space of any home,” said David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty and consultant for Adeo VR. “You can use your mobile phone to view the home in virtual reality and it’s like you’re inside the home—this is a game changer and will be the standard for selling luxury property.”

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Stylish Broker Open Invite Vivo Realty

UPDATE: David Maez says they’re rescheduling this event to June 23rd at the request of the builder, which gives all you hip cats time to find something to wear!

Folks, why are we not doing more themed open houses? Yes, we do a wonderful event every so often with our themed CandysDirt.com Staff Meetings, but that’s a whole different animal altogether. Why are we not doing more open houses like this 1950s swanky cocktail party-themed shindig from VIVO Luxury?

“The inspiration for this affair is based on the elegant cocktail parties of the 1950s that may have taken place in this home when it was built in 1955,” says VIVO broker and co-founder David Maez. While vintage-inspired cocktail attire is encouraged for the June 23 event at 7037 Royal Lane, you don’t have to dress up if you don’t think it’s the bee’s knees, man.

To better remember an event of this type, Maez says they’ll have a photographer on site, so all the more reason to put on that flared skirt and sharkskin suit.

What other themes would be great for period-inspired open houses?

millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

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