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Top 100 Realtor of the Year Robbie Briggs takes the long view – and keeps moving forward

The residential real estate market in North Texas has gone a bit nuts. Everyone wants to come to Texas. No doubt a real estate brokerage could be forgiven for quite simply running as fast as possible just to keep up.

But not Robbie Briggs, CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. Briggs has always been one to take the long – and strategic – view. No surprise then that the savvy Briggs was selected by the Fort Worth Business Press as the Top 100 Realtor of the Year for 2021 – a year like no other in Texas residential real estate.

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty was founded as a boutique firm in 1960. For the past 30 years, it has been led by CEO Robbie Briggs, growing to six offices, 381 agents and a projected $2.9 billion in 2021 real estate sales. It provides a luxury service experience to clients throughout six offices with approximately 380 agents, about 80 of whom are based in Fort Worth. Check out their new Fort Worth quarters on Camp Bowie. It’s a stunner in its own right. There might even be an art exhibit taking place.

Briggs Freeman’s entry into the Fort Worth residential real estate world in 2018 was also a stunner in its own right. Several of Tarrant County’s top residential real estate firms joined forces with the brokerage and vastly increased its presence west of Dallas.

Brants Realtors, Mira Vista Realtors and Bloom Real Estate Group all joined with Briggs Freeman at the time. The trademark dark blue Briggs Freeman signs began appearing on Fort Worth lawns soon after.

Thinking outside the box? That’s par for the course for Briggs and Briggs Freeman Realty.

Last year, the forward-looking Briggs appointed Russ Anderson president of the brokerage.

Anderson, formerly the brokerage’s Chief Operating Officer, was selected to lead the company in strategy, business planning, budgeting and day-to-day operations, including sales, marketing, relocation services, finance, and technology – leaving Briggs to handle big-picture tasks.

“His background came from banking,” Briggs said of Anderson. “He’s very financially geared and understands running a corporation. So, we’re really primed for growth and for stability.”

Then, in October, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty was acquired by Peerage Realty Partners, a Toronto-based private equity investor that had previously purchased three other affiliates of Sotheby’s.

The Peerage partnership will allow Briggs Freeman to keep up with the many competitors – some with deep pockets – that have entered the red-hot North Texas residential real estate market.

“As an independent brokerage it’s hard to keep up with technology and growth, et cetera, without deep pockets,” said Briggs. “We built this organization basically organically for 61 years, but all of a sudden now we have deep pockets and that just makes a difference. We don’t have to worry about the cycles. It’s just a much more stabilizing effect, and I’m really thrilled about it.”

Big changes? Don’t expect them. Certainly not from the outside.

“The part that really got me excited is, these partners, they’ve got very deep pockets but they really respect the leadership of companies and have no intention of coming in and changing anything,” said Briggs. “They want to come alongside, and if we want to grow, if we want to make acquisitions, if we want to venture in the new sources of income like title and mortgage and whatnot, they’re all about helping us do that. All of a sudden we have a lot more capital to do what we want.”

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