Hey y’all, seems like we are hearing about more and more real estate TV shows finding their way to Dallas, and all of them seem to be asking me for help in finding hot agents to star.

I am remiss in that, earlier this month, someone contacted me. I tell you this because she is casting for Million Dollar Listing, Dallas and seeking agents. You know the drill: the Million Dollar Listing franchise (New York City, Los Angeles), follows the exploits and foibles of hotshot agents and brokers with gorgeous listings and yes, some serious (but well-deserved) egos. I think they are in Miami, and boy do I know some agents who would be perfect there.

I know some here, too. This gal must really be combing the city — got an email from a mortgage broker earlier today telling me they are even calling mortgage brokers, title companies, turning every cushion looking for the perfect agents to screen test. I have heard that our wonderful Hunter Dehn is in the running and they LOVE HIM — talk about someone with gorgeous listings and only the nicest of egos. Janine must have seen our profile on Hunter.Hunter Dehn and Family

Who do you think would be perfectly cast in a Dallas version of Million Dollar Listing? Is it really, as Curbed calls it, the “Real Housewives of Real Estate?”

We love Hunter, he’s a slam-dunk. Here’s a few more for ya: Allie Beth Allman, who sold President and Mrs. Bush their home, Doris Jacobs (and her two darling daughters), Erin Mathews, Becky Frey, Kyle Crews, Ben Jones, Kari Schlegel Kloewer, Clay Stapp, Rustin Smith, Joan Eleazer, Ginger and Susan, Diane Duvall Rogers oh my yes, Susan Marcus, Ellen Terry, Todd Terry (already an actor for kripes sake), Carolyn Summers, Dave Perry-Miller (shoot his wonderful homes), Ralph Randall, Joe Kobell, Mark Cain, Ryan Streif, come on help me out here…

MDL Dallas Houston-Flyer.docx

NB_23aikmanhouseWell we cannot blame this one on the Republicans: the Dallas real estate market, which had been in a heated frenzy ever since about January 2, has finally cooled heels a bit. It started on Labor Day, Ebby agent Kay Weeks told Steve Brown, when higher mortgage rates and economic uncertainties cooled the market as much as we all grabbed jackets this week for the first time.

We know sales of pre-owned homes in Dallas are up more than 20 percent this year. Prices in many neighborhoods have jumped by double-digits. Troy Aikman sold his home on Highland Drive to Michel and Tiffany Moreno, bought a home on Normandy and then just picked up a tear-down on St. Johns.

3801 NormandyTroy Aikman St. JohnsLike I said, everyone was buying houses.

But now agents say that looney, frenzied pace that kept them rolling from closing to closing has chilled somewhat.

“We have seen it really since Labor Day,” said Kay Weeks, a top sales agent for Dallas’ Ebby Halliday Realtors. “We are not seeing the open floodgates of business we have experienced from January to July.

“It’s become a much more reasonable market, and more normal.”

Weeks said real estate agents in the Dallas area have plenty of business and the market is strong.

“We are still getting multiple offers if a home is priced right,” she said.

There are fewer buyers looking, and listings are taking longer to sell. Or, perhaps I should say, selling in a more normal amount of time.

Lusting for Listings

Inventory is still at about 1.5 ish months in most parts of town, while total pre-owned single-family home listings in North Texas were 14 percent lower this September than they were last, this from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, told Steve that inventory is still a big issue, but she expects a strong fall and winter market.

“We just sold two really big properties in the Park Cities,” she said. “The buyers are still out there paying cash.”

Cash, yes, and a lot of homes are still moving without ever hitting MLS.

Is The Sweet Sale Hot Spot Gone?

Many sellers want to know the best time to sell, of course, and want to jump in at the perfect time. Mortgage rates are still low by historic standards, even though they have jumped about a point from last year. And they may go up — I will be at Forecast 2014 and let you know what the experts think. We have heard from the guys at Texas A&M that this would happen, the market would temper off. Personally, I do not think that is a bad thing.

First of all, values have bubbled up from the Park Cities to Preston Hollow and Lakewood, still one of the hottest ‘hoods in town. Last CoreLogic report had us up 10% YOY. There is nothing wrong with a less frenzied market as long as those values stay strong. Values should hold because there isn’t that much inventory. Land prices in the Park Cities continue to wow, and builders are alive again. Interestingly, I was in Southlake today and out of 10,000 homes in a community of 26,000 people, only 152 homes are for sale.

“I have heard that the hotness factor may have eased a bit since the summer,” said D’Ann Petersen, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “I think it could be partly seasonal, but I do think that is more normal for North Texas.

“A less hot market is not a bad thing,” she said. “North Texas is benefiting from good job growth, population growth, and both our housing and apartment markets are healthy.”

Would you rather market your house now, when values are up, against less competition, or market it when the rest of the herd is selling?

kelly-rushMaybe you went to Yale or SMU for your undergrad degree, but if you have a real estate license and you got it in Dallas, chances are you went to Champions School of Real Estate on Mapleshade in Plano. That’s where I went, that’s where Kari Schlegel Kloewer went, that’s where everyone goes to get a license. Even Eleanor Mowery Sheets was there last June. I don’t know about you, but my favorite teacher was Kelly Logsdon Rush. (The guy who taught real estate law was number two.) Kelly was fun, vivacious, and boy did she know her stuff. I actually kept my iphone in my purse during her class — she was more interesting than email!

A whole lot of students at Champions agree: Kelly was selected from more than 80 statewide instructors for her “contribution to Excellence in Teaching. You are a true subject matter expert in real estate courses and your expertise in investment courses, client representation, are excellent.”

The letter went on to say that the evaluations came from season agents as well as the newbies.

“The real estate agents know you have correct information and your presentation style has their well-being at heart. Your use of enthusiasm mixed with technology and lecture equals a dynamic learning experience.”

Congratulations, Kelly. Kelly is an Ebby Halliday agent at Ebby’s Little White House. I’ve asked her to begin contributing to CandysDirt.com not because I was teacher’s pet or anything, but because I think we may need to hear from The Teacher once in awhile. And it would be a blast to re-live class right here on this blog!

Realtors

Xplode Dallas was just last Friday, and the epic Texas Realtors Conference continues until tomorrow, so let’s take a look at some of the top apps for agents featured in both Xplode and Inman News’ Agent Reboot

At Agent Reboot, agents got the dish on these great apps for all users, not just mobile. We’ll do another post featuring the tops agent-friendly mobile apps from Xplode.

Boomerang

This is a tool for Gmail users. If you are not a Gmail user you need to be! It allows you to schedule an email to be sent later. You can also set a reminder to follow up with clients or a reminder to yourself! It’s basically an automated mom!

Zillow Digs

Keep an eye on this. It’s a Houzz wannabe. It allows people to see a beautiful room and the cost to remodel with a regional adjustment built in. Now if the room is in a house for sale, it also allows you to get information about the purchase of that house. I think this is going to be big but it’s still in the infancy stage right now and just no competitor for Houzz…yet.

Yesware

Do you wonder if your emails get opened and who opens them? What about who clicks on your links? Then this is the app for you. It also allows for email templates that are time savers. It also syncs with Salesforce.

Over

This is totally cool. Add text to your photos! Think about the uses here. You can send a photo of the house your client is interested in with “ Home Sweet Home” or “ This is the ONE” in a beautiful font. If you just sold a home you can send a photo with “Congratulations” on the front.

Rapportive

Talk about inside skinny! Rapportive not only tells you that you have mail, it lets see a photo of the email sender, their job, company, LinkedIn profile, MailChimp activity AND if they are nearby so you can text them to meet for coffee! Relationship management built into email is how they describe it and that’s pretty spot on!

Tigerlead

I cannot say it any better than they do. “A fully integrated marketing platform for Realtors” that combines high quality home buyer and home seller lead generation. It has a database of a million real estate related keywords so you can really target your market.

BombBomb

Well love the name of course! Realtors just have to get on board with video. It’s growing and you really have no choice. Reboot taught us that 75 % of smart phone users watch video on their phones and 26% watch DAILY and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is VISUAL. You need to be there! This is straight off their site because frankly I can’t say it better, “ BombBomb makes it easy to create, send, and track the results of both traditional emails and video emails to just one person, to a segment

Videolicious

I know you hate the idea of being on video, so do I, we all do but we have to go there. Videolicious makes it easy and pretty darned painless. It’s a “Talk n Tap” process. All you do is choose your shots, still or video, talk about your property, then choose some cool music that they provide and sit back and enjoy your masterpiece. Oh and of course link it everywhere!

Karen Eubank

Karen Eubank is a top stager in Dallas and counts several well-known real estate agents among her clientele. She lives in Hollywood Heights with her son and her silk orchid collection that everyone thinks is real. Find out more about Karen on her website.

East Dallas TREPAC AuctionWhile you are safely at home, snug in your beds sleeping… or like me, blogging… there are men and women out in the cold fighting for your rights, your homeowner rights. Faster than a speeding bullet… more powerful than a locomotive… and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound ESPECIALLY when those buildings are condos with mortgage interest deductions! These would be the real estate agents of Texas who comprise TREPAC. TREPAC fights for homeowner’s rights. Like, who do you think is out there protecting that mortgage interest deduction and preventing the transfer tax on real estate that keeps looming over us? The Super-Hero’s of TREPAC.

And at last week’s March 6 auction, auction Chair Kevin Caskey of Dallas City Center was a superhero’s superhero. Kevin and the Dallas City committee team raised $22,767, the most dough ever, for TREPAC at that auction. The auction was started many years ago with the male agents baking, and the female agents would (force themselves to) buy those baked goods.  This year, the auction went back to those baking roots with a Broker Bake Off where the attendees voted for the best baked presentation. The Golden Spoon trophy will be awarded at the next East Dallas MLS Meeting… and I totally know who won! There were also, for the first time, tons of sporting event tickets (Mavs, Rangers, Stars), lake houses, vacation homes, bed & breakfasts, a dive trip to Honduras, and tons of gift cards to buy.East Dallas MLS TREPAC Auction 1 East Dallas MLS TREPAC Auction 2

And buy people did. Buy Buy baby!

That’s $27,767 more dollars to protect homeowner’s rights and keep Texas housing as healthy as ever. Thanks all to the Superheros!

Courtesy AP

Homegain is a company based out of San Francisco, CA — Emeryville — and I know the GM, Louis Cammarosano. HomeGain exists as a portal for finding real estate agents, researching home values, and viewing homes for sale — yes, kind of like a Zillow or Trulia, but with more Realtor research. HomeGain is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC a strategic joint venture formed by Belo Corp., Gannett Co., The McClatchy Company, Tribune Company, and The Washington Post Company. Classified Ventures’ also owns and operates Cars.com, an automotive Web site where consumers can find information on new and used cars and shop for a vehicle, Apartments.com, a national on line apartment guide and relocation resource and Homescape.com, a national network of local newspaper real estate websites.

You saw the ownership by five media companies… including our Belo, that’s right. Homegain is a smart stab at owning some of that world wide web traffic that is chipping away at traditional print ad revenue. Diversify, right? Anyhow, that is not terribly real-estate related, but I always like to tell you who the heck these companies are that come up with these studies. When it comes to what consumers (2200) and agents (300) are thinking, Homegain is a decent bellweather.

President Barack Obama’s performance is hurting home prices, they say. Yep, Texas ranked as No 4. nationally, with real estate agents (73 percent) and homeowners (67 percent) disapproving of the President’s work, according to HomeGain’s latest report. Nationally, Obama earned a 67 percent disapproval rating from Real Estate agents and a 56 percent disapproval rate from homeowners. But!

“Optimism about the direction of home prices continues to grow,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “The survey shows an increase in optimism, especially over the course of the next two years, as 80 percent of real estate professionals expect home prices to be higher than they are today.”

Fifty-three percent of agents and brokers surveyed indicated that they “strongly disapproved” and 14 percent “somewhat disapproved” of Barack Obama’s performance as President, earning him a 67 percent disapproval rating, a decrease of five percent from the disapproval rating of agents and brokers surveyed in the third quarter of 2011. So as the market improves, it’s getting better. In the second quarter of 2012, the President had a 66 percent disapproval rating among agents and brokers.

Think we already told you what S&P’s/Case-Shiller said about prices of existing homes in the Dallas area: they rose 3.7 percent in July from a year earlier. Dallas-area home prices are down about 5 percent from the peak of the local housing market five years ago, which was spring of 2009.

Now don’t let this knock you out of your chair, hang on: HomeGain found that U.S. real estate agents tend to be more optimistic about home values than homeowners.

(Ya think?)

Forty-eight percent of agents polled last month expect home values to increase, the same amount as in the second-quarter survey. But when polled, only 34 percent of homeowners expect values to rise, little less optimistic. Still that’s up from 27 percent in the second quarter.

Show me a Realtor who is not naturally optimistic, I’ll show you a —  former Realtor.

It’s got to be the color. Nathan Grace, a slick  East Dallas brokerage firm that really likes the color orange, seems to be doing something very, very right: despite the economy, they are growing. Of course, the market in Lakewood and Lake Highlands is hopping. And Nathan Grace itself appears to be the poster child of the New Age brokerage: leaner, uber community oriented, hyper local, customer service job one. Its tough being a broker these days. Now joining Nathan Grace: a top-producing Dallas real estate group from, are you ready,  EBBY HALLIDAY –Christy/Norcross/ Thomas (CNT). The CNT Group is comprised of veteran agents Glen Christy, Robin Moss Norcross and Jason Thomas, who bring extensive experience and sales success in the Lake Highlands and surrounding Dallas neighborhoods to Nathan Grace.

I just love that name, Nathan Grace!

Glen Christy, Robin Moss Norcross and Jason Thomas have spent their careers as real estate agents with Ebby Halliday Realtors Inc., as top achievers. Their unique business model is that of three equal partners, as opposed to one person leading the group, with their many minions agents surrounding them. The group’s move to Nathan Grace is the first time the trio have ever considered making a move to another firm.

Established in 2009, Dallas-based Nathan Grace is a growing real estate firm in Dallas and Houston,  attracting top talent in both markets. The firm emphasizes low overhead (which translates to higher commissions) for agents. In a short period of time, Nathan  Grace has built significant market presence and visibility in Dallas attracting top agents like Peggy Hill of The Hill Group, Amy Timmerman’s PickaPerch Team, Carrie Hill, and Warren Sibley. I’ve heard that more agents are coming on board, so many that Nathan Grace even plans to open an additional Lake Highlands office, more in 2012.

Must be something about orange…

I say this only because, according to this, um, interesting web site called AshleyMadison.com, which I just found (I swear) on Sellsius, even though the thing is nine years old. Get this business plan: people get on this site and PAY to meet other people who want to have an affair.¬† Me, I only have affairs with houses. But I’ll tell you what I’d like to see: where the guy who started this company lives.

Well guess what five occupations among women yield gals who are the most likely to have an affair?

1. Teachers
2. Stay-at-home Moms
3. Nurses
4. Administrative Assistants
5. Real Estate Agents

Oh. Dear. Cheaters! Realtors made it on both lists — the women and the men:

1. Physicians
2. Police Officers
3. Lawyers
4. Real Estate Agents
5. Engineers

So glad to see journalists and home builders are squeaky clean.