Last week, Becky Frey, a 17-year veteran at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s who once told me she learned the real estate craft from Ellen Terry herself, joined Compass.

“It was a really big, hard decision,” says Becky. “I watched Compass evolve over the year, and it was just a good match for our team. The Sotheby’s brand was a big part of my career, and I have friends everywhere with Sotheby’s.”

But it was, she says, like leaving home: “Briggs Freeman was family to me and always will be, but moving to Compass was just a business decision for the team.”

Becky’s migration now sets Compass Dallas’ total agent count at 168 licensed. Compass has taken ALL local brokerages by storm, part of the significant disruption in the DFW real estate market we expected given our growth and sizzling hot market, and as Wall Street set its sights on the real estate industry. Why? Because the U.S. real estate industry is huge: the total value of all homes in the U.S. increased in 2017 to $31.8 trillion, according to Zillow. At least $89 billion is Realtor commissions alone. And because the industry has so many separate sub-markets (mortgage loans, title companies, insurance, construction) many forsee a way to unite and leverage the entire supply chain to feed consumer’s growing demand for convenience and one-stop shopping, like the ibuying trend:

Venture capitalists are practically throwing funds at real estate-related companies of all shapes, sizes and flavors. Nothing is sacred — brokerage models, commissions, transaction management, bundled services like title and lending. You name it, someone somewhere is trying to change it, fund it, and ultimately, capitalize on it. Every aspect of the real estate business is under scrutiny. There’s just too much money involved for real estate not to be targeted by those with deep pockets — and big ambitions to stuff those pockets full of cold, hard cash.

Outsiders have been marching into the Dallas market at a steady stream for a slice of our market pie. According to RealTrends top 10 largest brokerages in the United States, ranked by closed sales volume for 2018, Compass is number 6, right under Pacific Union. But the report needs to be updated: Compass bought Pacific Union in late August. According to Inman, Compass has more than tripled its agent count and now has more than 7,000 agents. The company also expects it will hit roughly $34 billion in sales volume this year, more than doubling its 2017 sales mark of $14.8 billion. That figure could firmly place Compass, which launched around 2014 as Urban Compass in NYC, at No. 3 on the Real Trends 500 in sales volume, right behind NRT and HomeServices of America.

Right behind NRT and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of America. (more…)

We don’t know if this could become an annual event in Dallas real estate, but we sure liked it.

Christy Berry caught wind of an event in New York City she thought was pretty cool, a panel of successful Real Estate professionals in New York City sharing their success stories to others.

I want to do this in Dallas, she said, but I don’t want to limit it to women in only ONE brokerage. So Christy, a broker associate at Compass Dallas, pulled top female agents from each of the top Dallas brokerage houses — Compass, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, Ebby Halliday/Dave Perry Miller, and Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

“I wanted to hear what motivates these women, what makes them get up in the morning,” says Christy. “And I wanted it to be more of a real estate community event, not limited to simply one brokerage, for all of us.”

The speakers were Becky Frey from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, Michelle Wood from Compass, Cindy O’Gorman from Ebby Halliday, and Allie Beth Allman herself. Powerhouses all.

Appropriately, the event was held at The Crespi Estate, the most expensive estate in Dallas, now owned by Mehrdad Moayedi. It was sold by Allie Beth Allman and is now being marketed by her company with Kyle Crews and his Urban team.

About 200 Realtors, men and women alike, attended — Robbie Briggs was there, along with Kyle Crews — enraptured for an hour on folding chairs in what was once the Crespi’s main parlor.

But the most amazing part of the program, which didn’t dawn on me until I wrote this, was that Christy Berry hosted an event about and for strong women on the afternoon before the history-making hearings of Dr. Christine Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Washington, D.C: hearings about an alleged sexiual aggression by the Supreme Court nominee against Dr. Ford more than 30 years ago that are dominating the news, and have become the pinnacle of the partisan divide that rocks our nation. No matter your opinions on the hearings, no matter your political party, you have to agree that women are at front and center right now in this country, right? And as bitterly partisan as is the temperature in D.C., here in Dallas we had 200 deeply, deeply competitive Real Estate agents hugging each other, snapping selfies, and getting along! It was a beautiful thing to watch. #Womenpower!

(more…)

New England Cottage

You are in for a treat today. I have the most incredible account of this hidden Hillcrest Road New England cottage at 11525 Hillcrest Road because the couple responsible for the renovations kept meticulous notes. Grab a second cuppa, and settle in dear readers. This is one special property.

(more…)

Seventies contemporary

The 1970s were more than just swinging, they were also a decade of action, invention, and creativity. It’s the decade that brought us Microsoft, Apple, the first jumbo jet, video game, cell phone, and some decidedly non-cookie-cutter homes. Our Saturday Seven Hundred at 10801 Branch Oaks Circle is a 1970s contemporary that is an excellent example of how architectural boundaries were being broken in 1976 — and by a female builder.

(more…)

Ebby Halliday

Ebby Halliday Acers founded her eponymous brokerage in 1945. Rumors are swirling that the firm, one of the biggest brands in Texas real estate, is selling.

Rumors abound ahead of a big company-wide Ebby Halliday meeting in Frisco today — namely that one of the oldest and most prestigious shingles in regional real estate might be selling.

But company officials are mum, despite a Dallas Morning News article this morning all but insisting that the company is selling to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The piece, penned by Steve Brown, quotes unnamed insiders. Curiously, even the insiders and company officials quoted only corroborate that a meeting will be held today. (more…)

Open House Sunday, May 20th from 1-3 p.m. 908 Haines Avenue in Dallas, TX is currently listed by Hickman Weber Group of Ebby Halliday for $589,000.

We love finding the best homes, in the best neighborhoods, for the best price, and this week’s Friday Five Hundred is all that and more!  First off, we love with the charming Craftsman architecture and ideal location just steps from Bishop Arts District, but the highlights don’t stop there. Cheerful landscaping? Check. Covered front porch? Check. Fenced back yard with a pool? Check. Doesn’t that classic blue exterior just scream “pick me!”? Well if you love the outside, just wait until you see the inside. We. Were. Blown. Away.

(more…)

Our Inwood Home of the Week at 3837 Fairfax Avenue is a Mockingbird Park midcentury modern. When I say it’s all that and more, you know it’s special, because I don’t say that a lot. We all know I’m picky. But, when I saw this online, it was one of those moments when I looked at the lead photo and thought, “Hmmm … there is something here, it’s very understated but look at those windows, I better open this up.”

And Boom! I was absolutely floored. You simply do not see homes like this come along very often. (more…)

Built in 1966, the Athena has plenty of outdated condominiums waiting for a renovator’s sledgehammer. What’s doubly great is the units are big and the prices relatively small. As I write about new apartment buildings crowing at their 900-square-foot average unit size, I think about the older buildings.  For example, the average unit size at the Athena is 1,721 square feet.  If you figure that most balconies have been enclosed, that jumps to 1,950 square feet. Where ya gonna find that for under $300-large?

Unit 1313 is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with 1,770 square feet. Sure, the listing says 1,543, but that’s because DCAD is too asleep to count the enclosed balcony in their calculations. As you can tell from the photo above, most Athena balconies have been enclosed. As a balcony lover, I’ll also add that you can restore the balcony for some pretty big outdoor space. It’s not like a 1,543-square-foot, two-bedroom is tiny by any measure.

(more…)