Spotlight On: Russ Anderson, President, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Spotlight On: Russ Anderson, President, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

2022-07-12T09:44:47-04:00March 24th, 2022|Dallas, Real Estate, Spotlight On|

Russ Anderson2 min read March 2022In an interview with Invest:, Russ Anderson, president of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, talked about the current state of real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth region — especially in a fervent market that hasn’t had much precedent. Anderson also spoke about the firm’s unique relationship with the community and how it has been adapting to trends in the market to prepare for the future. 

What have been some highlights or milestones for you over the last year? 

We’ve been around since 1960 and operate out of five different offices throughout North Texas. We cover the whole metroplex and have for a long time, so that gives us a great sense of what is going on. We almost feel guilty talking about how good of a year we had, given that the pandemic is still a factor, but the real estate market has been very strong.

We were hopeful that 2021 would at least match 2020, so we predicted about $2.4 to 2.5 billion — and we closed a little over $3 billion. That’s 26% over our forecast. We have about 400 agents and had a record number of them surpassing their personal best years. We also saw the highest number of transactions in so many of our markets. 

We’ve moved two of our offices this past year to some more collaborative and accessible spaces, which has led to more foot traffic and more visibility. The main goal was to be more integrated with the community. We believe our value is determined based on the impact we can have on the people around us and the areas we work in. We participated in a number of food drives and are sponsors of a number of charities, as we believe our responsibility is to be a steward of the community.  

How has the exponential growth of your firm been reflective of the current market?

It is very clear that the luxury space has dramatically outperformed any of the other categories. The entire North Texas market is constantly identified in the media as one of the fastest-growing places in the country. It has a great standard of living, is centrally located and has a great tax structure — so it is easy for people to live here. The gift of time that you are able to give to people by moving almost anywhere in North Texas and only being 20 minutes away from work is noticeable and helps make the area spectacular. 

Have you been experiencing inventory issues? 

Inventory — the number of homes that are for sale at any given moment — has been a challenge for us and it shows up in a lot of different ways. It has kept the environment relatively flat where inventory is available and promptly sold. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for those interested in selling and those interested in buying to be satisfied. 

But, there are not a lot of inherent limitations because there is a lot of land to build on as we go further and further out. People have preferences, and building permits and construction times are slow, but I predict the opportunities will further increase in that way. We also see a lot of real estate being repurposed and resold, and that cycle will continue working its way through. 

What makes your brokerage unique?

Our affiliation with the Sotheby’s auction house is important, as there are very few names as recognizable as theirs. When you think about coming to this marketplace, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is the firm you start with because it represents luxury. People who know us know that we know the neighborhoods, the people and the different areas. When it comes to luxury homes, you need a professional agent and we are thrilled to help. 

What are some of the most active communities for investment in the area right now?

If you go through the list of luxury areas where we’ve seen strong sales it is University Park, Highland Park, Plano, Frisco, Southlake, Westlake, Preston Hollow, Westover Hills, Montserrat and Tanglewood.

What are some immediate goals for the brokerage? 

The short-term strategy is continuing to invest and becoming more precise. We rebuilt our website just a handful of years ago and we are rebu fervent ilding it again because a robust and enjoyable internet experience is so important. We also want technology that agents understand and that makes them more efficient in delivering high-quality experiences for their clients. We kind of redefine almost every day what that looks and feels like. For example, we’ve invested in even more digital opportunities and tools for our agents — including digital advertising — because the luxury consumer now embraces all things web, digital and video. 

We expect 2022 to pretty much top 2021. We have a three-year forecast and, at some point, we have to build in the implication of interest-rate increases. There is enough pent-up demand that the changes the Federal Reserve is talking about this year will not dramatically alter our 2022 results. 

One of the interesting things we’ve seen this year and last is that ranches and land have become very popular places to put money. These are more hobby ranches — places to escape to on the weekends, for example. As we’ve looked at the different asset classes that people can move money into, that are inflation-resistant, real estate remains the best option.  

We have had a commercial real estate team for a number of years, but recently we expanded it and brought on a dynamic new director for the Dallas side of it — we have a commercial team in Fort Worth, too — because we believe we are uniquely positioned to be in that space. We haven’t seen a real disruption in the commercial marketplace. With the relationships we have with the local community, we feel suited for investing in that because of our unique expertise. 

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