Editor’s Note: Jon and Candy are in Denver, at NAREE, and they are hearing a LOT about Instant Offer, Open Door, and other institutional iBuyer platforms. Homevestors, for example, told them they won’t sell a house to someone who has not physically seen it. Full deets next week!

By Alex Doubet
CEO and Founder of DOOR

Alex Doubet

There is a cottage industry in the world of real state agents of generating an uproar over the continued march of innovation. This cottage industry complains about innovation in general, and the effects of the internet on the brokerage space, specifically. The recent announcement of Zillow Instant Offers (ZIO) moved that cottage industry into full-tilt hysteria.

ZIO is nothing more than a slightly different iteration of the business model pioneered by home buying companies such as HomeVestors (of “We Buy Ugly Houses” fame). Opendoor is another recent entry into that same space.

Zillow recently rolled out ZIO as a product to connect homeowners on their web portal with investors. Real estate agents immediately screamed about Zillow “bypassing agents” and “taking our data and profiting on it.”

First things first, listing data does not belong to agents.


6924 Azalea Front Hillcrest

Homes hold so much more than rooms full of furniture. They carry with them the memories of all the families who spent days, both good and bad, sheltered inside. That’s what makes it difficult for Jon Leatherberry to sell his lovely home in Hillcrest Forest, just east of Hillcrest and north of Northwest Highway. It’s a wonderful, sprawling ranch that has been remodeled to be well-scaled for family life.


alex doubet

Shortly before our holiday pause, we reached out to several agents and asked them to look into their crystal ball and tell us what we think the real estate market is going to look like this year. I have my own ideas. Naturally, we had to grab Alex Doubet, the somewhat controversial young hot shot founder of Door, a tech-enable flat fee real estate brokerage. As you can imagine, Alex predicts big changes ahead for the real estate industry and the entire commission structure. He is not alone: Inman’s Brad Inman predicts that one year from now, Opendoor will be the second-largest broker in the U.S., second only to NRT. That’s huge. Brad says that by unit count — and, most importantly, by revenue — the exchange platform will give a segment of the market the certainty they generally cannot get when unloading their homes the traditional way. In other words, instant liquidity:

This coming year, technologists and venture capitalists will zoom in on home sellers, with the $60 billion commission pie up for grabs. Opendoor, Knock and to a degree transparent bidding features are examples. Using technology, more companies will figure out how to give sellers more certainty around their home sale.

Study after study ranked Dallas and its surroundings as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, fueled by a boom in businesses relocating to the area, a generous tax structure, and a thriving construction industry more than happy to keep building new homes,” says Alex.

But with 2016 in our rearview mirror, will all of that momentum carry on into the new year? You bet, he says. Here are the trends that will dominate North Texas’ real estate market in 2017: (more…)


I have to say, I think I am going to really like Alex Doubet, chief executive officer of the real estate company Door. First of all, soft spot for Ivy Leaguers, and Doubet went to Harvard. Secondly, he said this to the Dallas Morning News:

“When you see all the nicely printed collateral from the brokers around town, the pictures and the big-hair poses, that’s all nice, but it doesn’t do anything to sell your house,” Doubet says. “It’s somewhat akin to saying, ‘I’m going to sell your house by running an ad during the Super Bowl.’ You want to get in front of people who are actually going to buy your house, not just spray and pray everywhere.”

Spray and pray! Those big-hair ads are branding ads, but I have said for years the best things agents can do is get the HOUSE out in front of buyers, not their big hair and designer clothes. Those glossy ads are expensive — fun, an ego trip, especially when someone does your make-up or you arrive at the photo shoot in a limo with champagne bucket– but what does it really do to sell the home?

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