A celebration of life in the heart of Dallas

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Texas Business Climate Fuels Growth

Firms are moving to North Texas to enjoy the good business environment and low cost of living.

Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News
Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty's Robby Briggs (left)
with Haynes and Boone manging partner Terry Conner
With one new resident moving into Dallas-Fort Worth every four minutes, it is clearly a good time to be in the real estate business.
But real estate firms like Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty are finding that the strong North Texas economy is being fueled not just by individuals moving to the Lone Star state, but also CEOs moving their companies with them.

Projections, provided by the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, are that by 2040, North Texas will have 10.5 million people and 6.6 million jobs.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth region is one of the most attractive areas not just for individuals moving here, but also for many companies looking to provide a central location, good business climate and great quality of life,” says Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.
Companies and professional service firms such as the law firm of Haynes and Boone are turning to real estate companies like Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s to manage their corporate moves. Ginny Taylor and two other Briggs Freeman employees have been helping companies with relocation for seven years.
The Briggs Freeman relocation service works with the companies to design the benefits packages for the moving employees, set budgets and make sure everything goes smoothly.
As she does for a variety of large- and medium-sized companies and firms, Taylor helps Haynes and Boone move its attorneys among its 12 offices, including offices in New York, northern and southern California, Mexico City and soon possibly Shanghai, China.
Last year, the firm’s relocation company closed sale son 187 homes for relocating employees. And with more companies eyeing North Texas as their new home, Taylor expects that number to rise significantly in 2013.
To encourage businesses to relocate to Texas, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s has launched an advertising campaign about the advantages Texas offers in private jet terminals in California, Chicago, Florida, New York and Mexico.
“We are getting a lot of Californians moving here,” Taylor says. “But there are also a lot of people coming from Florida and Chicago.”
According to Chamber statistics, North Texas gained more than 60,000 people in net migration from California cities between 200 and 2010. Chicago was second with more than 17,000 people coming to North Texas. And 16,000 former Manhattan residents moved to North Texas in that decade.
Besides having not state corporate and individual income tax, Texas offers a substantially lower cost of living – an index of 96 for D-FW versus 218 for New York City, 132 for Los Angeles an 114 for Chicago, according to the chamber statistics.
Housing is also substantially less expensive with an index of 75 for D-FW compared to 413 in New York City, 196 in Los Angeles and 133 in Chicago, the chamber reports.
Christy Berry, one of the top-producing Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Realtors, says new Texans “are surprised to find that they can get a large home in the $200s.”
“We provide a very high touch service,” Taylor says. “That’s just another reason our clients are so happy to move to Texas.”
Article Credit: The Dallas Morning News
Stewart Lytle (stewart_lytal@yahoo.com) is a freelance writer who divides his time between Dallas and Newburyport, Mass.