Travel Blog

Dallas real estate agent Robbie Briggs has relocated to China but stays in touch with his Boots to Beijing web site. 

SNAPSHOT: Avery, Bonner, Robbie, and Nancy Briggs stand before the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. 
photography courtesy of Robbie Briggs

Robbie briggs, chairman of dallas-based briggs-Freeman Real Estate, traveled to China for the first time two years ago. Since then, he says, the number of connections to the People’s Republic was too great to ignore. In August, he, his wife Nancy, and their two daughters Avery and Bonner moved to Beijing. (The Briggs’ eldest son Ben and his Chinese wife have lived in Xiamen since 2004.)

China is far away, but the Internet is everywhere. Briggs has kept his friends and contacts up-to-date on his experiences through his web site, He took time between sight-seeing, deal-making, and learning Chinese for “Italian food” to answer some of our questions via e-mail.

What do you miss most about Dallas? My friends, blue skies, and milk.

What’s been the biggest adjustment for you and your family? Everything takes longer here. For instance we have to go to the bank to buy our gas to heat the house. The gas company rations the amount, so it only covers a short period of time. In our American world the efficiency of this system would not be tolerated, but here it is a way of life.

What have you observed as being the main difference between doing business there and doing business in the states? I have barely begun doing business here in China, [but] consummating a transaction here is much slower and more tedious than we are accustomed to. I might be told that I will get a response to an important business question within a few days. Weeks may go by. Then aspects of “the deal” you thought you had settled are open to negotiations again. I think for foreigners here, it takes a good deal of patience.


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