Compass, ZillowZillow filed suit Friday against Compass, alleging that the high-tech brokerage poached three employees from the company in a bid to abscond with intellectual property.

Robert Chen

Two suits were filed — one in federal court and one in Washington state — claiming that the three employees had signed contracts with 12-month non-compete and non-disclosure clauses. The three employees — Chester Millisock Jr., Robert Chen, and Michael Hania — are also named in the suit.

“This calculated theft was designed by Compass to help it better compete with Zillow in the marketplace, at Zillow’s expense, and so Compass could avoid the expense of independently developing valuable machine learning and other technologies,” the federal suit said.

“Compass actively recruited these employees in order to avoid the costs associated with open and honest competition and to obtain Zillow’s confidential and proprietary information,” Zillow accuses.

Chester Millisock Jr.

The suit also alleges that Chen took photos of  “proprietary wireframes and a proposed regional launch timeline related to certain Zillow services.”

The federal suit names Chen, the state court suit names Millisock and Hania. The lawsuit alleges that Millisock transferred confidential information to a personal Dropbox account, and then attempted to delete evidence that he used the account.

“Mr. Millisock still has access to the information stored in his Dropbox account and remains able to access the misappropriated software data from other devices,” the court documents state.

Hania, Zillow alleges, sent emails with confidential and/or proprietary information from his Zillow email account to his personal email account “in the months, weeks and days before he left employment with Zillow.” (more…)

Champions School of Real Estate team members from the Austin and Online campuses posed for a snap ahead of the Grand Opening Event on April 5.

Staff Reports

The new Austin Champions School of Real Estate campus was bursting with activity on Friday, April 5, when more than 300 guests joined the Austin and online teams in celebrating the grand opening of the new Austin campus.

Bright blooms and a beautiful balloon arch welcomed guests, who walked in to tour the new campus, enjoy delicious treats and live music, and network with both Champions School of Real Estate teams and fellow real estate professionals. Many guests queued in line for the opportunity to have a meet and greet with Champions School of Real Estate founder Rita Santamaria, who signed autographs in the promotion of the national release of her new book series, Successful Tendencies of Real Estate Champions.

For more photos from the Champions School of Real Estate Austin Campus grand opening, jump:

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From Staff Reports

Ebby Halliday Realtors has appointed Betsy Cameron sales manager of its Ebby’s Little White House office. Chris Kelly, president and chief executive officer, recently made the announcement.

“A fourth-generation Dallasite with 15 years of real estate experience, Betsy brings proven leadership skills and industry expertise to our iconic Little White House Office at the corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road,” Kelly says. “A natural teacher and mentor who has led other well-known local sales offices, we are very pleased that she has chosen to grow her real estate career with the Ebby Halliday Companies.”

Cameron is passionate about the residential real estate business and the professional relationships that she is privileged to enjoy.

“I am very relationship-driven,” Cameron says. “Relationships are at the heart of real estate, and I am excited about supporting and serving our Little White House agents. The most important thing for me is to understand how each operates so I can better serve them.”

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From staff reports

Across all income brackets, Millennials said they don’t think they are wealthy, a new survey of 1,000 people who fall in the 23-38 age bracket conducted by LendEDU revealed.

The company set out to find out how the generation that is eclipsing the Baby Boomer generation frames personal finance and the concept of wealthy.

“The 1,000 respondents were split evenly between three income brackets, allowing us to analyze where millennials from each economic class are similar and different in their views on finance,” LendEDU research analyst Mike Brown said.

The three income brackets were divided as $49,999 or lower; $50,000 to $99,999; $100,000 or higher.

LendEDU

Across every income bracket, respondents overwhelmingly said that they did not consider themselves to be wealthy. (more…)

Fathom Realty CEO Josh Harley (Photo courtesy Fathom Realty).

From staff reports

McKinney-based Fathom Realty announced last week that it would begin working towards taking the company public, saying it would file documents for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the second quarter of 2019.

The cloud-based, 100 percent commission brokerage said it will submit a Form S-1 with the SEC to begin the process of publicly listing its common stock. (more…)

downsizeBy Nancy Peham
Special Contributor

We all reach a point in life where it makes sense to downsize. The first step is to realize, accept, and decide that the time has come to move forward with the process.

As adult children, we can support our parents’ decision in several ways.  We can provide emotional support, share information and resources, and when possible work alongside a parent to go through their home giving physical assistance. When that’s not feasible a third party can be brought in to help.

Your parent may be dealing with a home that has been lived in for 40 years or an apartment that has already been through the first round of downsizing.  There may have been a recent illness, loss of a spouse, or physical constraints that complicate the process, or your parents may be in great health.

So, Where Do You Start?

Whether a move will take place soon or your parents’ goal is just to simplify their lives, the steps are the same.  In the case of an imminent move, the stress level may be higher, but the most important thing is to begin the process as soon as you know the change is coming.    (more…)

The majority of sellers in 2019 are prepared to deal with a slower housing market, know they need an agent, but are still unclear on costs associated with selling a home, a new report revealed.

The report by Clever.com found that 65 percent of those surveyed were aware that 2019 might signal a slowdown in the market, and were prepared to wait longer for a good price versus selling their home quickly.

More than 60 percent of those surveyed said they wouldn’t feel comfortable handling the paperwork for a real estate transaction and would hire a Realtor, and half said they wouldn’t feel comfortable negotiating with buyers on their own. (more…)

home pricesHome sales fell in North Texas in the fourth quarter of 2018, Dallas-Fort Worth hit record home prices last year, and the Arlington Black Chamber of Commerce will hold its Hard Hat Construction Expo — and we have all this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Area Home Sales Fall in 4Q 2018

While the median home price grew, home sales in North Texas fell 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, a report by Texas A&M’s Real Estate Center said.

Area home sales fell to 22,402 transactions, while the median home price grew 2.4 percent over the year to $260,000. Months of inventory rose 32.5 percent to 2.5 months, and residential property listings increased to 29.4 percent in 2018 to 20,627 listings.

Courtesy the Texas A&M Real Estate Center

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