I think I speak for many of our clients and agents when I say, “Welcome 2011! It was a sometimes rocky road from there to here, but the promise of a new year makes it seem worth all the steps we had to take! Collectively, we certainly had to ask big questions and dig deep, and that builds character - right?”
For David Griffin & Company Realtors, the biggest leap we made in 2011 was to officially become a division of Virginia Cook Realtors on August 23, 2010. As I have said often over the past few months, the new alliance certainly feels in many ways like a homecoming. I started on the road to real estate brokerage as a tenderfoot just graduated from SMU (and prior to that from HP High) at Henry S. Miller Residential in 1978. Virginia Cook was the President of Henry S. Miller Residential and a career long relationship and mutual admiration society was begun between Virginia and her business partner Sheila Rice and myself. Over the years, we each worked diligently to build strong brands - David Griffin & Company Realtors and Virginia Cook Realtors - and earned our stripes by navigating our clients and our agents through the ups and downs of the national and local economies.
In 2010, Virginia and I decided that much could be gained by joining forces and operating our two brands under one management. We start 2011 supremely well positioned to represent our clients and lead our agents as a billion dollar sales organization and as the second largest independently owned residential real estate company in North Texas.
Some many pluses of the new alliance include the following: We are members of LRE - the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, which is composed of the 3 or 4 top real estate brokerage firms in every leading market in the U. S. and in 40 countries internationally. That gives us access through our Relocation Division managed by Catherine Gorrell to the most capable buyers relocating to North Texas via seven Virginia Cook and David Griffin offices stretching from Dallas, west to Ft. Worth and north to Plano and Sherman. Job growth and access to those clients is key to the health of any residential market.
David Griffin & Company Realtors has brought to every Virginia Cook office our highly successful partnership with Shelter Mortgage that began in 2003. Through Shelter, whose parent company is Guaranty Bank - a family-owned bank with over $7 billion in deposits founded in 1923 by the Levy’s, David Griffin & Company Realtors and Virginia Cook Realtors offer superb mortgage banking options for our clientele. In an era where home financing has been fraught with the misdeeds of many, through our partnership we have been able to offer uninterrupted and unparalleled mortgage services to our clients and will continue to do so in 2011.
We also offer complete Leasing and Property Management Services managed by Virginia Cook veteran Riggs Rylander as well as assistance to sellers who are in the position of needing to “short sell,” under the leadership of Kerry Thornhill. Our Commercial Division is directed by David Griffin & Company Realtors Curtis Hawkins and through these initiatives and others; we represent numerous banks on marketing their foreclosure product and assist our residential agents who have clients interested in income producing property.
What do I see for David Griffin & Company Realtors and our clientele in 2011? It will continue to be a market about value. Home ownership has lost none of its validity. In fact, it is probably more rock solid and real than ever. What is no longer viable is the unrealistic expectation that homes will produce major investment returns in the period of a year or two. Historically residential real estate has not been about short-term investment except for speculators with lots of disposable income.
Home ownership is in its truest sense about the big, long distance picture. Who disputes the value of making a sound home investment and reaching retirement and having no house or rent payment? Home ownership should be about security. Home ideally is one’s safe haven. Home at its highest calling is about an environment that expresses who we are and that provides comfort and pleasure for family and friends.
It seems to me after a quarter of a century of being a broker that home ownership makes the most sense when it is looked on as a privilege earned through savings and careful planning. When the down payment is skimpy and savings are low, it is probably a better option in today’s world to lease than to risk finding oneself “upside down” in a house. Our home, when we purchase it, should be not be a source of stress. In fact, we have seen a big shift in our younger clients who are now trending towards leasing until they have the financial resources to make a smart home purchase.
At David Griffin & Company Realtors, we continue to believe that the markets we serve are the best in Dallas. That is the reason we focus on them to stay up-to-the-minute on active and hip pocket inventory and make it our business to know these markets from an insider’s point of view. We focus on many of the original residential neighborhoods of the city that offer a diversity of housing stock and other unique characteristics. Our “beat” includes posh Highland Park and University Park and their exemplary schools, country-like and diverse Bluffview, and the East Dallas neighborhoods centered around the outdoors culture provided courtesy of White Rock Lake. We “dig” North Oak Cliff for its “Left Bank” or Austin-like groove with its amazing dining scene and hill country topography. Urban (or better yet Urbane!) is our middle name, which is the reason you cannot drive through Uptown or down the Turtle Creek corridor without seeing our award winning turquoise G logo everywhere you turn.
As a past, current or future client knows, David Griffin & Company is there for you as your guide, consultant, and expert in navigating the residential market place. Our focus is always to guide and direct you to your best options when the subject is “home.”
A few COOL houses we sold in 2010
4107 Turtle Creek Blvd
4728 Crooked Lane
7110 N. Janmar Drive
7010 Airline Road
4541 Belclaire Avenue