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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Have you ever wanted to ask Alex Doubet of Door what motivates him? Or how he keeps the lights on? What is OpenDoor really about and how much do they charge sellers? Why did so many tip-top agents flock to Compass? Is it possible to sell your home online now? How big are the iBuyers, really? 

Get the inside scoop on how brokers, both big and small, new and old, are reinventing the way homes are bought and sold at the Dallas Division Realtor Panel on Thursday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s NorthPark. This realtor panel will include Becky Frey, Compass; Janelle Alcantara, David Griffin & Co. Realtors, Founder of Galaxy Modern; Alex Doubet, Door; Beth Johnson, Keller Williams Realty; and Swathy Prithivi at Opendoor. 

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commissionsThere has been a lot of discussion lately about Realtor commissions, and what sellers should expect for the commission they are going to pay. More and more startups are popping up to cut the Realtor out altogether.

So for our Aug. 3  Friday Question, we asked real estate professionals — and our readers — to tell us what they thought about commissions.

It didn’t take much to find a whole fistful of articles (some written by us, even), that discuss the topic of Realtor commissions and disruptors like Open Door and Door. In the past three years or so, we’ve written stories about Door and other companies looking to change the way people sell their homes.

And then there’s this article in Forbes this month, which asks, “Are Real Estate Agents Still Relevant In The Age Of Tech?” The article begins by talking about Zillow and other sites that allow prospective buyers to look through houses themselves, seeing multiple pictures, finding out all kinds of information about renovations, materials used, etc.

“But though tech has allowed homebuyers to do all this legwork themselves, in most cases, they’re still forced to go through agents to finalize the transaction,” the piece said. “And those agents? They get the same 3 percent commission they did decades ago—for seemingly doing a fraction of the work.” (more…)

I’m sure you caught the Dallas Morning News‘ recent declaration that the start-up discount brokerage Door, while on a tear, is not yet really fully disrupting the buying and selling of real estate.

At least not here, not yet. I’m off to Inman in San Francisco, so let’s talk next week.

But it’s interesting that the DMN even wrote about a topic that once might have seemed too “B to B” for a consumer newspaper. This confirms the vibes I got at NAREE last month: the consumer is now keenly aware of the changes in the Real Estate industry, which means they could be selling their home in a different manner: traditional agent commission split; flat fee brokerage, 100% commission model; a discount broker, like Door; sell the place outright to a cash buyer like OpenDoor or Zillow’s Instant Offer for less than they’d make if they messed with marketing, but get the deal done quickly.

There are many disruptors jolting the real estate marketplace, and we are finally feeling it in Dallas/Fort Worth:

The liquidity or iBuyers/providers: OpenDoor and Zillow’s Instant Offer. benefit to consumer: quick cash.

100% virtual brokerages: eXp Realty, out of Bellingham, Washington. Benefit to consumer: happy, motivated, well compensated agent

100% commission models like JP & Associates, Realty One Group, HomeSmart, etc. Benefit to consumer: happy, super motivated, well compensated agent

Tech brokerages: Compass and Redfin. Benefit to consumer: happy, motivated agent, commission rebate (Redfin) traditional split (Compass)

Flat fee brokerages such as UK’s Purplebricks, Door, OpenListing and ListingSpark. Benefit to consumer: flat fee for selling, savings to consumer

But don’t you “get what you pay for”? As Brad Inman puts it, “For a bigger part of the decade, Keller Williams was beating up on Re/Max, the Realogy brandsBerkshire Hathaway and the big indies. But now all of them are lifting their horns for new fights, with some well-funded challengers proving to be ferocious competitors.” Should we be afraid?

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Splurge vs Steal: Two M-Streets Tudor Houses | CandysDirt.com

In Greenland Hills, we love the sight of a M-Streets Tudors, and the neighborhood doesn’t disappoint. Many appealing options line the streets. 

In today’s Splurge vs Steal, we’re looking at two of these houses, each one a delight. Bonus for families: both schools are in the attendance zone for the beloved Stonewall Jackson Elementary. Let’s take a look. 

 

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Alex Doubet of DOOR, a flat-fee brokerage.

We all know Alex Doubet, his flat-fee brokerage Door, which is home-grown, founded and it turns out funded right here in Dallas/Park Cities. We know the story of how he founded the company right out of Harvard, because he thought his mom had paid too much to the agent when she listed and sold her own Park Cities home.

(Real estate brokers get paid thusly: the broker on each side of the deal takes, on average, three percent of the selling price of the home, which is split 50/50 broker/agent. So, if a house sells for $500,000, the seller and buyer’s broker(s) collectively take $30,000 off the table for themselves. But the 3% commission rate is almost always negotiated, especially in higher priced properties, as is the agents’ split. The Door way would be a $10,000 commission on this deal.)

Alex, like many Millennials, likes to think of himself as a disruptor. And he has done a terrific job of promoting himself to date, with billboard ads, even appearing on stage at Inman Real Estate Connect in NYC, which is a pay-to-play gig but hey, you get what you pay for. He listed a challenging neighbor’s home that did not sell, but they were very pleased with the service.

There is nothing new to his flat-fee brokerage model, that has been tried and, in some cases, proven successful at certain price ranges. It may even be successful at “uncertain” price ranges, too, as home prices contract.

But what is watchable about DOOR is that he is getting people to write checks to expand the company.

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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.

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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.

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