North Texas-based JP&Associates is entering the iBuyer market on behalf of its agents, launching an instant offer platform across the exploding firm’s brokerage and franchise network this week. 

This makes JPAR, a full-service brokerage with a capped transaction fee, the first independent brokerage in North Texas to launch an exclusive iBuyer program for its agents. It’s called JPAR Instant Offers.

“Entering the iBuyer market gives our agents a competitive advantage over Opendoor, Knock, OfferPad, and the other unilateral “sell now” offers,” says Giuseppe J.P. Piccinini, President and Chairman of the Board of JP & Associates Realtors. “This will greatly benefit our clients and agents.”

J.P. says he has partnered with a Seattle-based company, OfferAI. which relocated to Dallas in January.

“OfferAI is a white-label iBuyer that uses a bot to make instant offers on off-market properties. It empowers agents to present themselves as an iBuyer from their brokerage site, or their own affiliate page of OfferAI,” says Jack Burns, Founder and CEO of OfferAI. 

Unlike most of the current iBuyers on the landscape, JPAR associates become the “chaperones” of the webpage so they can guide sellers through the process and they retain a 3 percent commission on accepted instant offers.

“And that’s a game-changer,” says JP.

Burns relocated to Dallas from Seattle earlier this year with his firm. He says Texas is a preferable market for the rapidly growing iBuyer market, more so than Seattle, because of our relatively affordable home prices.

“The iBuyer space has not made a strong presence in the Seattle market because the median sales price is $669,500, way too high for iBuyers,” says Burns.
 
Seattle is home to Zillow, Amazon, Microsoft, and other high tech companies, but not likely to be an iBuyer hub.
 
“Texas is a sweet spot as far as home prices that work well for iBuyers,” says Burns, “That’s a home usually in the $200,000- to $250,000-ish range.”

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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…)

Matt Templeton of Keller Williams Urban Dallas regularly educates Realtors on how to make the most of the current market. (Courtesy Photo)

By Matthew Templeton
Managing Principal
KW Urban Dallas

It feels like there have been fundamental shifts in the real estate industry within the last few months. Technology is the buzz word, money is being thrown around, and CEOs of just about every top real estate-related company are out. The last few weeks’ news sums up that feeling.

September 2018: Compass closes another funding round for $400 million — money used to build more software and buy more agents.

And then …

February: Rich Barton (billionaire co-founder of Expedia and Zillow) takes the reins from Spencer Rascoff, who was CEO at Zillow for nine years.

February: Keller Williams rolls out the first artificial intelligence and data-driven platform in the real estate industry — others have been clamoring to follow

February: RE/MAX says [sic] “Our amazing technology is coming, and it will be best in class,” and makes a technology acquisition, Booj.

Last Week: Data-driven Opendoor will now show listings from rival brokerages and offer Redfin-like rebates.

Last Week: NTREIS Board holds a vote on whether to sell greater data access to Zillow. April will be a reckoning month for North Texas Realtors and their data.

We’ve moved into a new real estate era that is faster paced and increasingly powered by technology and data — more than ever before. But there’s something else afoot. It’s eerily similar to what happened with the dot-com bust. Real estate technology companies are flush with capital — in fact, 2018 was a banner year for real estate technology investment.

And yet many of the top “technology” or “platform” companies in the industry are not profitable.

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According to a recent report from Zillow, a significant number of markets across the nation are seeing price reductions across all ranges. Is that a sign of depreciation? What can buyers and sellers expect when it comes to the bidding process?

In this weeks BobMortgage Zone episode, Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) tells us what these lower listing prices and “corrections” are — and especially what they aren’t. Get the pulse of the real estate market with Bob Johnson, senior mortgage adviser at the nation’s oldest private lender, Wallick & Volk.

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scam

(Illustration courtesy Pixabay)

Every so often, I’ll get tipped about a listing in Dallas that seems too good to be true — a scam, some might say. Sometimes you get photos of the inside, and immediately understand why the Realtor or owner chose a bargain price.

Other times, you know immediately it’s a scam. And that’s what happened Friday when someone mentioned a three-bedroom, two-bath listing near Knox-Henderson that had been priced at $34,000.

Now, we’ve done this before, and by now most CandysDirt.com readers know we have zero reticence about engaging with folks that are probably up to no good. A few years ago we did just that when a property owner found her rental listing duplicated, with the new listing offering the house in Highland Park for a ridiculously low $1,000 a month.

Now, I’d love to send you to the actual listing, but after being alerted by the actual property owner (more on that in a minute), Zillow pulled the fraudulent listing down. However, knowing this would probably be the case, I grabbed screenshots. (more…)

recessionDallas was among nine metros where the bulk of home values have hit pre-recession levels, affordability is hampering one age group in particular from purchasing homes, Zillow is making yet another bid toward world domination, and mortgage rates are ticking up — all this and more in this week’s real estate news roundup. (more…)

ZillowIn a bid to be all the things, Zillow announced just minutes ago that it has launched new tools that will not only allow property owners and managers to collect rent and vet prospective tenants more easily, but will also provide renters with the ability to submit multiple applications for apartments at once and pay rent online.

The tools will also screen prospective tenants by performing background checks, the company said in a press release. (more…)

Here is news coming from the east coast that the State of New York is considering — mind you, just chatting about — regulating online real estate ads placed by agents. The focus is on third party ads such as Zillow’s “Premiere Agent” whereby an agent buys an ad on another agent’s listing. That is, the on line publication/portal,  Zillow or Realtor.com, displays a listing. You would think, or at least I did when I first discovered this process, that only the agent who is actually contractually listing that home would be allowed to advertise next to it, right? I mean, who knows the listing better than the actual listing agent?

Wrong: any licensed agent can buy the spot for lead generation.

I learned of this process when I first started writing about real estate listings at D Magazine. I’d surf the web looking for homes, amazed at how many beauties I could find out there. I’d find one, then move over to see who the listing agent was to call for more information and photo permission, etc.  Nine times out of ten I called someone who was not listing the house, and knew nothing about it for my editorial purposes. Surely they were sorely disappointed I was an editor, not an online millionaire from New Zealand wanting to invest in Dallas real estate. This bugged me — because I’d have to scroll forever to find the actual agent — until I learned what was going on. Right from the getgo, I said, I don’t think this is fair to the consumer. If they are really interested in a property, why shouldn’t they or their agent have direct access to the listing agent, not a go-between?

Apparently the state of New York thinks the same thing. (more…)