NextHome announces new Orange Beach, AL brokerage

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Shannon Higginbotham, Joy Cobert & Christie House Theaux

Pleasanton, CA — January 14, 2022 — NextHome is proud to announce the opening of NextHome Sunset Realty in Orange Beach, Alabama. The brokerage represents the 430th office to join the NextHome franchise out of 568 active office locations across the country.

NextHome Sunset Realty will serve residential clients in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, and the remainder of Baldwin County. 

The brokerage is a joint partnership with longtime NextHome owners Joy Cobert and Christie House Theaux. High-producing team leader Shannon Higginbotham completes the ownership team and will serve as NextHome Sunset Realty’s broker of record. Joy and Christie also own NextHome Cutting Edge Realty, which has been serving clients in Lafayette, Louisiana since 2018. 

Both Christie and Joy have been licensed since 2011. As Chief Executive Officer of the Lafayette office, Christie’s goal is to grow both offices and support their agents in Lafayette and Alabama. While she is no longer sells to new clients, Christie shares her business opportunities with agents in the office to help them grow. Her focus is on bridging the gap between the builder, agent, and consumer through their New Construction Program. Christie is also a certified Luxury Agent and NAR Certified Instructor.  

Joy has an impressive resume as well. While selling more than 25 homes yearly, her skills as an instructor have led her to various positions of leadership. As the Productivity Coach at her former brokerage, she helped coach more than 40 REALTORS® on all things real estate including prospecting for new business, providing world-class client service, and best practices to retain clientele.

“We are teachers at heart and we love helping agents grow,” Joy said.

As Joy and Christie looked into expanding into the Orange Beach market, they knew that Shannon was the right partner. 

“We felt that Shannon had all of the qualities we were looking for in a realtor as well as business owner,” Joy said. “She has great ethics and her business philosophy aligns with NextHome’s vision of putting humans over houses. She is a talented business woman and will be an outstanding asset for NextHome Sunset Realty agents and clients.”

Shannon’s business took off soon after she obtained her license in 2014. Her first year as a REALTOR®, Shannon reached a six million annual sales volume and sold more than 40 homes. A year and a half after obtaining her license, Shannon created The Higginbotham Group. With a full-time assistant and three dedicated agents, The Higginbotham Group accomplished $19 million in annual sales volume. That achievement is more noteworthy in a housing market where the average sales price hovered around $200,000. 

Shannon spent her foundational years in real estate with a Keller Williams franchise in Lafayette, Louisiana, eventually joining NextHome Cutting Edge Realty. A business decision took her back to a nationally franchised brand, but her connections with Joy and Christie remained strong and the trio maintained a respect for each person’s unique professional talents. 

Then, in late 2021, as Shannon’s business expanded in the Orange Beach area, the trio knew it was the right time to open a new NextHome office. 

“My long-term vision was to build a brokerage where I could grow a bigger team and train others to be really successful,” Shannon said. 

Joy and Christie understood Shannon’s vision and they began discussing a partnership. 

Shannon knew that with NextHome she could focus on training and nurturing high-producing agents because of the franchise’s emphasis on quality talent over quantity of agents. 

“I didn’t want people to feel like they were a number,” Shannon said. “The type of agents I am looking for right now are those who are focused on the transaction and the people involved. Ethics, integrity, and a care for the people involved will make a successful agent.”

Today, NextHome Sunset Realty stands apart through its emphasis on quality, professional service. 

“We truly care about people,” Shannon said. “We are the brokerage where you can feel comfortable asking for information without that intense pressure to list or buy. We are service focused.”

Additionally, NextHome Sunset Realty stands out through its attention to quality property marketing. Each listing comes with professional photography and tailored MLS descriptions. The brokerage also offers targeted marketing, which gets the right eyes on client listings. 

“We communicate with clients throughout the entire transaction so they are never left in the dark,” Shannon said.

Outside of the office, Shannon, Christie, and Joy are each dedicated to serving their community. 

Christie is a sponsor for the football and softball teams at Lafayette High School, the largest high school in the state of Louisiana. She also sits on the board of directors for her local association, the local MLS committe, the Acadiana Home Builders Association, and the Louisiana Home Builders Association.  

Joy volunteers her time as both a speaker and a personal growth coach for local organizations in her community.

Shannon volunteers with a local builders association that donates a home to a family in need each year. She also enjoys partnering with Toys for Tots each holiday season.

Christie and her husband, Rocky, have four boys between the ages of four and 26. Together, the family loves boating and offshore fishing.

Joy and her husband, Roger, have three children – sons Christian (age 20) and Colin (16) and daughter Carleigh (12). Together, the family loves to travel.

Shannon is the mother of two grown children and the proud grandmother of four grand babies: Ellie (6), Aurora (3), Emerson (3), and Essyn (6 months). 

Please join us in congratulating Christie, Joy, and Shannon on the opening of NextHome Sunset Realty in Orange Beach, Alabama!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.


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