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: 

(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?

(more…)

Remember this name: Cobalt Homes. A Dallas-based urban builder disrupting the urban town home concept with not just aesthetics and quality construction, but an unheard of thoughtfulness — like a sixth sense — to provide buyers comfort and true home livability.

We all love stories about guys who started famous companies at home. In 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in Packard’s Palo Alto garage, now the birthplace of Silicon Valley. In 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers, they hand built 50 computers in 30 days from a garage in Cupertino, California. 

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were graduate students and started what’s now known as Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage in September 1998. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 as an online bookstore, completely run out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington.

In North Texas, Canadian-born Larry Lacerte started Lacerte Software Corp. in his home in 1978, the first desktop application for general ledger and tax preparation. He sold the business to Intuit Inc. in 1998 for $400 million in cash, with a $200 million takeaway. 

And there’s the CoastOak Group: Gregory McGowan, Joshua Nichols, and Don Carroll. An unusual union of developers, the trio came from private equity backgrounds, Wall Street ones at that: Josh and Don worked for Goldman Sachs. Greg worked for Rockpoint Group and Westbrook Partners.

And like the entrepreneurs mentioned above, when they started their company in 2008, they worked on tables and computers out of an empty home next door to Greg’s residence for three months. They didn’t even have heat for three days.

But these are private equity guys who know how to rough it. They had all worked together at Trammell Crow in the mid 1990s — all except for Joshua, who was still doing championship wrestling in high school, and on his way to Princeton. Even their current office — it has heat — is nestled among the top-tier real estate guys and gals nesting at Harlan Crow’s Old Parkland.

Real estate is their product, but it’s a way different mousetrap. (more…)

 

James Bohan-Pitt and Clay Stapp launched HipPocket, an app that connected Realtors to off-MLS listings, in 2015. The company will close at the end of this month.

We got tipped off by a reader that HipPocket, the tech start-up brought to the market by pioneering broker Clay Stapp and his business partner, James Bohan-Pitt, will soon close. In a message to users and clients of the site, Stapp and Bohan-Pitt said that the company, which was launched give agents and brokers a different platform to market and ask for properties in high-demand markets.

“Unfortunately we will be closing HipPocket officially on August 31st 2017,” Stapp and Bohan-Pitt said in the message to users. “Even though the evolution of HipPocket into an intelligent collaboration platform was sound, we have been unable to secure new financing to build HipPocket 2.0 and our brokerage subscriptions have not reached a level that we can maintain the business long term.”

The platform, which was available in the Apple iTunes store, came on the market with a bang in May of 2015. Users that have any questions or concerns about the closure of the company have been asked to contact support@hippocket.com.

(more…)

Rentberry already counts over 1,000 rentals in the Metroplex

Rentberry already counts over 1,000 rentals in the Metroplex

I don’t like Uber and Lyft because they operate on an uneven playing field. I don’t like Airbnb for similar reasons, and for the in/out/party upheaval they can cause to neighborhoods. I don’t like drug companies that raise prices just because they can.  Therefore, it’s no surprise what I think of new apartment rental apps Rentberry and Biddwell.

(more…)

opendoor-team-photo-1024x682

Opendoor start-up team

Sell your home with a click? A lot of things have changed about buying a home in the last ten years, from the way we shop for real estate (on line, or via mobile device) to the way we sign closing documents. And though the disruptors Redfin Inc., Zillow Inc. and Trulia Inc. have made searching for homes easier by taking the process online, the process of actually SELLING a home still has not really changed. Still pretty slow and cumbersome.

Experts say this is the next real estate horizon.

A San Francisco-based startup that just landed in Dallas may just be the disruptor to shake it all up. Opendoor.com has technology that replaces the traditional “cash for homes”  market — you know, “We Buy Ugly Houses”, or those signs on the street corner saying, “We buy houses.”

There is, of course, a huge market for investors who want to buy troubled (read: cheap) homes quickly. Opendoor may be their Nirvana. Or it may be great for the person who just doesn’t want to mess with the time it takes to sell.

Opendoor redefines how real estate is transacted, transforming 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 can visit Opendoor.com, receive a guaranteed Opendoor offer and complete their sale in a few clicks.

The startup is expanding from its test market cities to buy homes nationwide. Thursday, OpenDoor launched in Dallas, one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. (more…)