Redfin, the Seattle-based brokerage that launched as a disruptor, has brought it’s Redfin Direct service to Texas. Announced publicly last week, Redfin Direct soft-launched two weeks ago and already has active participants.

Redfin Direct gives real estate buyers in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio the ability to make direct, online offers on Redfin-listed homes without the help of a buyer’s agent. 

In other words, paying zero commission.

The company has 231 active listings in North Texas. According to NTREIS data, Redfin has a 0.7 percent market share for units and an 0.8 percent market share for sales volume in North Texas.

“We have seen 10 offers thus far,” said Tony King, Redfin’s Texas broker. “Clearly, there is already a demand for this type of service in North Texas.”

Who are the buyers, what are the price points? King says he hasn’t seen any high-end luxury Redfin Direct sales as of yet, but Redfin Direct buyers are coming from across the board: investors, more-informed home buyers, even some first-time homebuyers who have done their research online.

“In places like the Park Cities (and Preston Hollow) we represent an incredible value,” said King.

But local brokers say Redfin Direct is no big deal: Consumers have always been able to buy homes without an agent in tow.

“Consumers have always had the ability to purchase direct from a seller and listing agent, that part isn’t new,” says Chris Kelly, President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies.  “However, guiding a buyer and protecting their specific interests is the entire point of buyer agency. Helping to identify the property is just step one of about 100 that the buyer’s agent does, and is likely one of the smallest parts of their value proposition. Representing and protecting the interests of buyers should be expanded not diminished.”

Redfin also believes this could jump-start Redfin listings. If sellers can make their homes more competitive on price (minus the 3 percent agent commission), they might be more likely to list with Redfin.

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A new real estate start-up could completely flip the switch on traditional brokerages in Dallas.

A new real estate start-up could completely flip the switch on traditional brokerages in Dallas. Prevu has announced the closing of its $2 million seed funding for a customer-focused digital home-buying platform. It promises to “deliver industry-leading efficiency and savings,” according to Matthew Chudoba, a publicist with ICR, Prevu’s outside public relations counsel promoting the company’s launch out of Norwalk, Conn.

“We were incredibly frustrated by our own experiences in buying real estate, and we sought to create a truly intuitive model that gives control back to consumers and eliminates a lot of the stress involved,” said Thomas Kutzman, co-founder of Prevu. “Our Smart Buyer platform was created to address these inefficiencies and provide greater control to buyers while delivering rebates that help to offset the significant expenses involved in purchasing a home.”

Prevu passes two-thirds of its commission back to each buyer who completes a purchase using Smart Buyer, which brings with it a rebate of up to 2 percent. Customers who purchased a home using Prevu receive average rebates of $23,000. The aim? To make commissions more transparent, signifying a 180-degree turn from the traditional brokerage model. Agents are already tasked with creating more and more value for buyers and sellers as disruption in the real estate industry becomes the norm. What next?

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Nick Good and his Good Home Team has pulled up stakes and moved to eXp. We checked in with Nick to see what his new brokerage home has to offer.

The real estate industry’s transformation is creating a bevy of new business models that cater to specific concerns within the industry, mostly for buyers and sellers. But what about the agent experience? What are these new brands doing that enhances the broker’s ability to manage multiple agents and to create a business that generates wealth for more people? How are these new brokerage models — complete with iBuyer tools, virtual workplaces, and more technology — enhancing or creating opportunities for different teams looking for different things?

These are some of the questions — difficult ones, nonetheless — that Nick Good had to ask himself when he was looking to transform his business for his 10-member team — The Good Home Team.

While Good landed at eXp, he has some wisdom to share about his search, about what this particular business model offers his agents, and how he’s looking to the future.

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There is a lot of talk to sort through when it comes to “disruptors” in the real estate industry, including the focus on technology and alternative listing models, such as flat-fee listings and or iBuyer sales.

But that’s not where the real disruption is happening — those are just strategies, says Andy Bearden, founder of the Insight Realty Network. The real disruption the industry faces is the seismic shift in the relationship between brokers and producers.

Andy Bearden

Experienced agents are becoming more demanding of value and will not tolerate a broker that cannot deliver simple things like a returned phone call or timely payments. They want brokers who are business partners and are committed to helping them build a solid business. A broker that will help them build wealth so their family can thrive and they can give back to their community.

“I find it funny that some brokerages teach that the key to wealth building for agents is to help the brokerage to recruit,” Bearden said. “The key to wealth building is to get your personal finances in order, run your business like a business, and invest in real estate.”   

Insight helps on all three fronts with the tools, education, and encouragement people need to finally earn what they are worth.  “And we return every call by the end of the day,” said Bearden.

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Sub-zero

From left to right, Alan Hoffmann of Hoffmann Homes, Chris Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Builders, Candy Evans, Todd Handwerk of Calais Custom Homes, and Matt Mitchell with James Andrews Custom Homes discuss disruption and innovation in homebuilding (photo courtesy Elissa Genova).

On the heels of a very popular panel discussion on disruption in the real estate world hosted by the Dallas Builders Association last month, CandysDirt found a way to continue that conversation thanks to our hosts at Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Showroom in Dallas.

Panelists included Matt Mitchell with James Andrews Custom Homes, Chris Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Builders, Todd Handwerk of Calais Custom Homes, and Alan Hoffmann of Hoffmann Homes, all who brought their unique perspective to what has changed in homebuilding, how they’ve innovated, and what is coming down the pike.

Who told us about the home with the submarine in the garage and no kitchen? Who told us about the over the top outdoor kitchen they installed? Who said that building codes (which update every three years) are the ultimate disruptor in homebuilding because builders are forced to build stronger, more energy-efficient buildings constantly?

Did you miss the event and now you’re dying to know? We have the whole discussion on video! (more…)

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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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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