DALLAS, TX - Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, was featured in The Wall Street Journal Mansion section last week in the article, “Robbie’s Real Estate Trends: A Surge in Leasing.” Below you’ll find the full feature as seen in the WSJ:
According to U.S. Census data, 35 percent of Americans choose to lease instead of own their current home. In the case of automobiles, Google Trends reports leases accounted for 27.5 percent of new car purchases last year, up from about 11 percent in 2009. Those are provocative statistics. While many have never even considered leasing as an option, preferring to own their home, these days we’ve seen a shift. That doesn’t necessarily mean that “rent” is the new “own.” However, it’s a trend not to be ignored.
With that in mind, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has responded to the market. I’m excited about our newly developed leasing department. The fact is, until recently we’d not been focused on leasing – now we are. While the math is certainly different for each market, the leasing trend in Dallas is red hot, particularly by virtue of the fact that the city has become more and more urban. About two-thirds of the buildings being constructed downtown right now are rentals.
In years past, Americans bought a house and stayed there forever. Now, we live differently. People are moving to Dallas from regions where it’s more challenging to sell their home – without a leasing department, we’d miss the opportunity to help these clients. We have 15 great people in the department, including leasing agents, who are focused on exploring opportunities. They know the market well, and provide clients with sound leasing strategies.
Over time, it stands to reason that renters eventually become buyers. We don’t simply sell homes – we are in the relationship business. Through this new emphasis on leasing, that gives us an opportunity to begin relationships that we can grow over time. And I’m looking forward to that.
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