Opendoor

Swathy Prithivi has been tabbed to lead the Dallas-Fort Worth operations for Opendoor.  In 2017, she joined the company and helped lead its Orlando expansion. She was later promoted to general manager there

“I joined Opendoor because I really believe in what the company is based on, which is empowering everyone with the freedom to move,” Prithivi said. “It’s very exciting because it’s a customer-based company that’s poised to make big changes in one of the most unchanged industries.”

Opendoor was founded in the Bay Area nearly five years ago.  It’s known for its online platform on which homeowners can quickly sell their homes and search for new ones. The company expanded to Dallas in 2015, and now has a presence in 20 different markets, including Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.  It will begin operations in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. this spring and plans to expand to 50 markets by 2020. (more…)

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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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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Saudi

The death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia has created a ripple effect in the financial world (photo courtesy Flickr).

Money is a funny thing. You never know where it has been and whose hands have touched it.

This week the SoftBank Vision Fund, $93 billion strong and investing heavily in local real estate start-ups Compass and OpenDoor,  has come under the microscope because Saudi Arabia is a major investor in the fund. And the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey is the place where American journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared mysteriously earlier this month.

Now international and U.S. media reports are suggesting that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or members of his family or contingent, either had something to do with Khashoggi’s death or perhaps even ordered it.

Khashoggi was a loud critic of the Saudi royal family and culture. He went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out paperwork for his upcoming wedding.

Okay, you say, how does this tie to SoftBank and Compass and Opendoor?

There is a growing fear that if the Saudi Royal family had anything to do with this man’s death and dismemberment, the financial community — especially in Silicon Valley, and maybe the real estate community — may pull back. I mean, even Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, has condemned it and I’m not sure he even realizes the Dallas connections. 

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Founding team at Opendoor

Opendoor, Open Listings, open sesame to way more disruption in the real estate world.

You know about the fast growing, fast-expanding home selling and buying company Opendoor. Launched in the Bay area in 2014, with Dallas as its second focus group city, OpenDoor has raised $645 million in equity financing, has $1.75 billion in debt, and plans to be in 18 markets across the country by year’s end ostensibly to wipe that debt away.

Opendoor takes all that private equity dough and makes instant offers on homes, based on an automated valuation system that determines home prices online, nearly instantly. Homeowners receive a cash offer and can move without the drudgery of selling their homes: no staging, no showings, minor repairs taken out of the equity. The AVM offers are usually lower than what a seller could fetch with a traditional marketing, but they are quicker and time, says Opendoor, is money. Many customers say the Opendoor offer is exactly what they were hoping to sell for. might prefer to pay 6.5 percent or more to Opendoor versus 6% to two agents to unload a home quickly and move on. People choose Opendoor because it gives them convenience and certainty of an offer and price, which gives them confidence to buy their next home. Opendoor also works with a certain price point of home: originally under $600,000 in Dallas/Fort Worth when they launched here, the company is currently only buying properties valued at $300,000 or less in Dallas/Fort Worth (temporarily) because they have so many properties here: 522 on the market.

On Tuesday, September 11, Opendoor made its first acquisition: it bought Open Listings, a discount, technology-based online brokerage with ready-made, in-house real estate agents and partner agents. The Los Angeles-based company launched in San Francisco in 2015 with the slogan, “Shop without an agent. We’ve got your back”. Now in most of California plus Seattle, Chicago, Austin and here in Dallas, the company offers on demand showings with minimal agent interaction, and in-house agents:

“We have different teams of agents that are focused on making the buyer’s experience as smooth as possible at each step, whether it’s researching properties, tracking down answers to specific buyer questions, helping buyers get pre-approved, providing on-demand showings, or fully supporting them from offer negotiations to closing.” 

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Take-away: Opendoor is a tech company with artificial intelligence hard at work behind the scenes, so they are learning in real time from every bit of data input, every listing, every sale

A presentation by Dallas Opendoor was one of the most anticipated presentations at last weeks’ annual RAC (Relocation Appraisers & Consultants) industry conference at the Westin Stonebriar. The RAC is a group of active appraisers, recognized professionals in evaluating complex residential properties for relocation, litigation support, testimony and reviews. Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc. is current president. They are the folks who banks and individuals rely on before they mortgage a property or move across the country. They are the go-to’s for lawyers disproving an ex-husband’s claim they are penniless (when they own tens of millions in real estate). Founded in 1990, RAC members are the go-to people for complex real estate appraisals in the US and even abroad.

First, it was an introduction and explanation of Opendoor:  Opendoor (OD) buys real estate in the $125,000 to $500,000 price range in a few select markets quickly, rapidly: pack your bags and go. The company uses technology to flip homes and streamline the agent’s role. In fact, Opendoor employs salaried listing agents to market its properties, and forks over a 3 percent commission to buyer’s agents who come through the MLS should they bring a buyer. The company has garnered roughly $320 million in equity from investors, including its biggest shareholder, venture capital giant Khosla Ventures.  The company has raised $575 million in debt. Their ads are all over the Metroplex, aimed at consumers. (more…)

You are sure going to want to Open the Door of this charmer at 8029 Dusty Way, Fort Worth, that proves how darn tootin’ much house you can have in Texas for, well, dust. Or maybe peanuts. Proof right here: this two-story Fort Worth wonder listed with Opendoor, the San Francisco-based startup that is disrupting the real estate biz by re-defining the way some folks might want to sell their homes, is listed for $277,000.

Opendoor says they can transform a more-than-two month process into an instant and frictionless experience. Instead of dealing with the hassle of listing and showings, upfront costs and repairs, negotiating with multiple parties, and the risk of the home not closing, homeowners who want to sell can visit Opendoor.com, receive a guaranteed Opendoor offer, and complete their sale in a few clicks. This is one of those homes. Previously, the home was listed with DFW Fine Properties for more than 124 days at $245,000. Actually, the home had been on the market since April of 2015, before it was purchased by Opendoor. So it appears these sellers finally had a great option to sell their home! (more…)

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The Real Estate business is headed for extreme change in the way we buy, sell and market real estate, and in how we compensate agents.

Last week, we talked about Alex Doubet of Door, a Highland Park and Harvard lad-grad who has started a technology-based flat fee discount brokerage. I applaud and wish him well, and plan to follow him like a hawk. I just found it amusing that the local print media reacted to his story as if he were the very first to ever attempt this! This industry is in more flux than the automobile.

And we have written here about Opendoor. Opendoor is the boldly fascinating Silicon Valley startup heavily funded by some big Bay area checkbooks. The company uses technology to buy and flip homes and streamline the agent’s role. In fact, Opendoor employs salaried listing agents to market its properties, and forks over a 3 percent commission to buyer’s agents who come through the MLS should they bring a buyer. The company has garnered roughly $110 million from investors, including its biggest shareholder, venture capital giant Khosla Ventures. Their ads are all over the Metroplex, aimed at consumers.

Now comes word via TechCrunch that Opendoor is getting even more brazen: it will now offers buyers a buy-back guarantee and a 30 day refund policy.

Yes, you have 30 days to return a house. This is better than Nordstroms:

Starting today, it’s making two more bold promises. First, it will buy back a home if the new owner is unhappy with it. Specifically, if someone changes his or her mind for any reason, that person has 30 days to receive a full refund. More, Opendoor will provide each new buyer with a 180-point inspection report on the condition of their new home; if anything breaks in the first two years, it will fix it.

“We stand behind our homes,” says Eric Wu, CEO and co-founder of Opendoor. “Unlike a typical seller who is trying to hide information from [the seller], we’re fully transparent because we want our customers to be happy.”

(A typical seller trying to hide information from the seller? This sounds like a 2-year Home Warranty policy. Hold that thought.) (more…)