After earning a master’s degree in architecture from Tulane University, Robbie Briggs got a job designing commercial buildings for a small firm in Dallas. He soon discovered that he didn’t have a “starving artist” love for the profession, though, and segued into residential real estate by joining a Highland Park firm run by his father. The younger Briggs raised eyebrows by getting a pager and talking his dad into buying a fax machine. “I wanted to be accessible,” he says. “I didn’t want to miss any deals.” After taking the helm of the firm in the 1980s, Briggs realized he could recruit better agents if he didn’t compete with them. Instead, he focused on supporting them and building the business, innovating again by creating in-house marketing and training divisions.
Today, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has more than 300 agents. The firm should top $3 billion in annual home sales once its new Fort Worth and Plano-Frisco offices are up and running, Briggs says. Innovation is important, he adds, but it always comes back to the basics: “Hire good people, take care of your people, and make sure they’re taking care of their people. Technology doesn’t replace that.”
Read about the other winners in D CEO’s Residential Real Estate Awards program here. Read our spotlight report on DFW’s single-family and multifamily markets here. And click here to see a photo gallery from the awards event.