Robbie Briggs: Real Estate is Global, Baby, Global

I caught up with charged-up Briggs Freeman CEO Robbie Briggs for the low down on his new deal with Sothebys. After all, that was all any of us talked about last night at Duxiana. Did Robbie sell out? Is he retiring? What’s the story– inquiring real estate minds want to know all. Well, here’s the deal: last week Robbie and some BF agents were showing homes to 25 very wealthy Chinese citizens along with Mayor Leppert. They want to buy homes, In Dallas. Then there were the New Zealanders who came in to Big D on a private jet, looking at real estate. The point is Robbie Briggs gets it: real estate is going global, and he wants to position Briggs Freeman to be ready for it. So he just invested in more exposure for Briggs Freeman by relinquishing the firm’s Christies Great Estates affiliation and buying into Sotheby’s International Realty.

Did I say buy in? Yes, Robbie made an investment in his company’s future. From now on there will be a fee to Sotheby’s on every BF transaction so that BF can basically “have a guerilla for a partner,” says Robbie. What he means is that Sotheby’s takes those hefty fees BF pays on each transaction and puts them to work developing state of the art technology, computer systems and websites designed to keep BF competitive not just in Dallas, but everywhere, and to bring in those referrals from folks who recognize the quality of the name. BF will have access to a 9000 member company. And here’s how BF listings have already changed: Any home $1.5 million or over goes into an E Gallery shown in every single Sotheby’s office IN EVERY COUNTRY.And get this: all of BF’s graphics have been translated into 15 languages with sales prices posted in 15 languages. And as for language, does anyone speak Mandarin?

“I’ll soon be looking for agents who speak different languages,” says Briggs.

(To be continued)

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  • <i>showing homes to 25 very wealthy Chinese citizens along with Mayor Leppert. They want to buy homes, In Dallas. Then there were the New Zealanders who came in to Big D on a private jet, looking at real estate. The point is Robbie Briggs gets it: real estate is going global,</i>

    Candy, inquiring minds want to know the story <i>behind</i> the Robbie Briggs positioning story, too: the larger general story about real estate going global (or perhaps that's part of the "to be continued"?).

  • <i>showing homes to 25 very wealthy Chinese citizens along with Mayor Leppert. They want to buy homes, In Dallas. Then there were the New Zealanders who came in to Big D on a private jet, looking at real estate. The point is Robbie Briggs gets it: real estate is going global,</i>

    Candy, inquiring minds want to know the story <i>behind</i> the Robbie Briggs positioning story, too: the larger general story about real estate going global (or perhaps that's part of the "to be continued"?).

  • (Looked like my HTML tags didn't take again in my previous comment.)

    What it would be interesting to understand is how real estate fits into the larger picture of ever more rapid globalization. We're all familiar with jobs, particularly IT jobs, even medical imaging jobs, flitting here and there around the globe because they can now be done by wire – or, rather, wirelessly. Of course, real estate can't do that; and, of course, real estate is more properly understood as international investment, not as cyber-vaporous job options. But that's just it: whatever its ROI, real estate is glued down where it is, can't move, gotta stay. So how does site-sticky real estate, which, once bought, then must be sold to be liquidated, now fit into a world of ever more rapidly globe-trotting capital flows? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • (Looked like my HTML tags didn't take again in my previous comment.)

    What it would be interesting to understand is how real estate fits into the larger picture of ever more rapid globalization. We're all familiar with jobs, particularly IT jobs, even medical imaging jobs, flitting here and there around the globe because they can now be done by wire – or, rather, wirelessly. Of course, real estate can't do that; and, of course, real estate is more properly understood as international investment, not as cyber-vaporous job options. But that's just it: whatever its ROI, real estate is glued down where it is, can't move, gotta stay. So how does site-sticky real estate, which, once bought, then must be sold to be liquidated, now fit into a world of ever more rapidly globe-trotting capital flows? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • My Dear HMS: First of all, more foreigners are buying up U.S. real estate, particularly those whose currencies are stronger than our's — Canadians, I've heard, are huge consumers of second home real estate. (Well it's so cold up in Canada they have got to have a warm weather escape.) Renting is becoming more and more popular. In fact, today I learned that most of the units at the Ritz Carlton Dallas — Tower I — are leased. We will see a sea change in home ownership in the next several years in the U.S., shall I say away from home ownership and to a rental model. Leasing is the only thing that can give you that kind of mobility. However, I have no doubt an internet company exists that can take over your lease, sub-lease, or manage the lease of your home if you have to leave the U.S. for a few years.
    Guess what else comes to mind? Craigs List!

  • My Dear HMS: First of all, more foreigners are buying up U.S. real estate, particularly those whose currencies are stronger than our's — Canadians, I've heard, are huge consumers of second home real estate. (Well it's so cold up in Canada they have got to have a warm weather escape.) Renting is becoming more and more popular. In fact, today I learned that most of the units at the Ritz Carlton Dallas — Tower I — are leased. We will see a sea change in home ownership in the next several years in the U.S., shall I say away from home ownership and to a rental model. Leasing is the only thing that can give you that kind of mobility. However, I have no doubt an internet company exists that can take over your lease, sub-lease, or manage the lease of your home if you have to leave the U.S. for a few years.
    Guess what else comes to mind? Craigs List!