Blog : Franchise Sales

NextHome Estates Realty Group opens in Orange County

NextHome Estates Realty Group opens in Orange County

Tom McKenzie

Pleasanton, CA — July 7, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Estates Realty Group, based in Los Alamitos, California. The brokerage represents the 74th office location opened in California for the NextHome franchise and the 489th NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Estates Realty Group will serve clients across Orange County and Los Angeles County including Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Cypress, Long Beach, Buena Park, Anaheim, Lakewood, and Huntington Beach. 

NextHome Estates Realty Group is owned by local attorney Tom McKenzie, who brings extensive experience to the new brokerage. Tom has been a practicing attorney and licensed broker for more than 20 years, specializing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, asset protection, and elder law. In addition, Tom has been a licensed financial advisor since 1995 and holds 10 different real estate certifications and designations.

Tom’s remarkable life included an early stint as a singer/songwriter. His talents helped him pay his way through law school – working as a full-time entertainer at night and excelling in his legal studies as a full-time student during the day. While attending Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, Tom was the only member of his class to receive the “American Jurisprudence Award” for real estate law. During these years, Tom was extended an invitation to serve as the associate editor of his school’s prestigious law review publication, and his article on Historically Black Colleges has been cited in a number of books and legal journals, including the book “Unearthing Promise and Potential: Our Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” by Marybeth Gasman. 

Tom obtained his broker’s license in 1998 and, after graduating among the top of his law school class, opened McKenzie Legal and Financial. 

Throughout his career, Tom often worked with legal and financial planning clients who needed real estate services. Their needs prompted Tom to think about opening his own brokerage. To gain a better understanding of the industry in the area, Tom first began selling with a nationally franchised brokerage. He quickly learned what he did, and what he did not want to do, to best serve his clients. 

“I saw the opportunity to offer true, ethical representation for buyers and sellers that currently weren’t being well represented,” Tom said. “I wanted to be able to provide agents who embrace the highest levels of integrity and put the clients first.”

As a dedicated professional for both his legal and real estate clients, Tom knew he would have to partner with a robust and supportive franchise in order to not spread himself too thin. That’s when he discovered NextHome in REALTOR® Magazine. 

“When I read the article, NextHome was exactly what I was looking for so that I could truly help my clients,” Tom said. “Throughout the process of being affiliated with NextHome, I have not been disappointed. I have been very happy with the corporate staff, the support they give, and the educational assistance.”

Now, as a brokerage owner and attorney, Tom is uniquely qualified to help clients with a broad range of needs. 

“I can offer perspectives and advice that can only be given by a licensed attorney, helping clients avoid pitfalls and seize opportunities they might not have even known existed,” Tom said. 

From putting properties straight into trusts, to helping investors with LLCs, to legal review and notary services, Tom can help with it all. 

“I want to provide convenient, low-pressure options for my clients and help them know that they are in safe hands from the beginning of their transaction to closing and beyond,” Tom said. 

Tom’s wife Natalie will be joining him at NextHome Estates Realty Group as the brokerage’s office manager. She is also a paralegal and notary public. 

Tom and Natalie recently celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss and together they are the proud parents of four children. 

Macy (18) recently graduated from Los Alamitos High School. For most of her academic career, Macy performed with the school’s prestigious Sound FX advanced mixed choir group. The choir is recognized as one of the nation’s best and members have performed at The Hollywood Bowl with Kristen Bell, Nick Jonas and John Stamos, and at the Greek Theater with Barry Manilow. Last year, they hosted the world’s largest assembly with the “Mean Stink’s” anti-bullying campaign and were featured performers on the Today Show.

Ryan (17) is both academically and mechanically talented and, according to his dad, has the biggest heart in his family.

Cody (12) is a high achiever in math and Noah (10) is a standout football player. 

“My family is truly my greatest joy,” Tom said. 

Please join us in congratulating Tom on the opening of NextHome Estates Realty Group in Los Alamitos, California!


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.

NextHome announces new Charlotte-area brokerage

NextHome announces new Charlotte-area brokerage

Rhonda Rivers

Pleasanton, CA — July 2, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Rivers Realty, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brokerage represents the 24th office location opened in North Carolina for the NextHome franchise and the 488th NextHome office opened nationally.

The brokerage will serve residential clients across the greater Charlotte area including Gaston, Union, and Cabarrus counties. NextHome Rivers Realty is also poised to provide excellent service in South Carolina throughout Lancaster and York counties. 

NextHome Rivers Realty is owned by Rhonda Rivers, a 17-year veteran of Charlotte-area real estate who has a passion for community relationships and offers excellent customer service. Under her leadership, NextHome Rivers Realty provides expertise in investment properties, corporate relocations, retirement properties, first-time home buying, and numerous other subsets of residential real estate. 

Rhonda began her career in 2003 with a small boutique brokerage. As her business grew, she joined Wilkinson ERA Real Estate where she remained for the next 12 years. Throughout her years with the regional firm, Rhonda became uniquely skilled at helping corporate clients with relocations. 

In 2018, Rhonda joined a local NextHome office as a Broker-Associate. As she delved into all NextHome had to offer, Rhonda fell in love with the franchise’s marketing and technology. She also spent several years developing deep relationships with investment buyers, many of whom return time and again.

“I have enjoyed great relationships over the years and sold many homes for investors, but many have never met me in person,” Rhonda said. “That’s the type of trust we have built and the type of relationships we have with our clients. I really pride myself on helping clients feel comfortable with my level of knowledge and experience in the area.” 

After getting to know NextHome’s systems and support, Rhonda knew that throughout her career she would remain with the NextHome brand – come what may. 

Then, in 2019, when her NextHome Broker-in-charge needed to relocate across the country, Rhonda jumped at the opportunity to open and own her own brokerage.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to stay with NextHome and I didn’t want to work with another company,” Rhonda said. “I had a positive experience. I knew as an agent how responsive the corporate team was and my broker spoke very highly of it. I knew that in order to make my career as a Broker/Owner successful, I would need those resources and systems in place so I could focus on the excellent service I provide my clients. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Today, NextHome Rivers Realty is continuing Rhonda’s legacy of excellence. 

“This gives me an opportunity to develop a team and provide support to other agents as I continue to build this company,” Rhonda said. “There is something really special about this franchise.”

In her role as a business owner and mentor, Rhonda is incorporating her background in education. Rhonda holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in leadership. Her career in education not only gives her valuable skills that can help agents with professional development, but also keeps her connected to Charlotte’s area school districts. 

“I spend a lot of time as a mother of three understanding our school system and volunteering,” Rhonda said. “I’m able to provide that knowledgeable perspective.” 

Rhonda is the president of the Athletics Booster Club and is a strong advocate for programs that support children and families across North Carolina. 

Through both her professional life and her volunteer work, Rhonda is passionate about helping others achieve their dreams.  

“Regardless of what the market looks like and what their needs are, it is always my greatest honor to help people find a home that represents who they are and where they want to live,” Rhonda said. “I am so fortunate to work in an industry that values relationship building, and I truly enjoy those deep relationships throughout the community.”

Rhonda has been married to her husband Craig for 25 years and together they have three children; Caylee (20), Kendall (17), and Preston (12). Rhonda and Craig enjoy cheering each of their children on as they excel in lacrosse, golf, and baseball.

Please join us in congratulating Rhonda on the opening of NextHome Rivers Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina!


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.

NextHome announces newest brokerage in Minnesota

NextHome announces newest brokerage in Minnesota

Enrique Ramos

Pleasanton, CA — June 26, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Elhm Realty, based in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. The brokerage represents the fourth office location opened in Minnesota for the NextHome franchise and the 487th NextHome office opened nationally.

Conveniently located between St. Paul and Minneapolis, NextHome Elhm Realty will serve clients across Washington, Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin, and Carver counties. 

This bi-lingual brokerage will serve both English and Spanish speaking clients and offers expertise in all types of residential real estate.

NextHome Elhm Realty is owned by IT professional and local REALTOR® Enrique Ramos. The unique brokerage name pays tribute to Enrique’s family and reflects his family-centered professional values. Elhm combines all the initials of Enrique’s family members: Enrique, his wife Lisa, and children Harlo and Melia. Lisa is also a licensed real estate agent and will be handling day-to-day operations and training at NextHome Elhm Realty.    

Enrique spent more than 10 years in the technology industry before obtaining his real estate license in 2015. He then worked with boutique brokerages, sharpening his skills in investment real estate and relocations. 

Enrique credits his background and upbringing for his entrepreneurial spirit. Born in an impoverished part of Honduras, Enrique was raised in New York City and earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration in Wisconsin. 

“The empowerment that I feel from working hard and creating a legacy for my kids is why I do what I do,” Enrique said.

In 2019, Enrique used his passion for real estate sales to open his own independent brokerage. 

However, he soon discovered that he was spending all his time developing back-end systems and missing valuable opportunities to grow his business and build relationships with clients, agents, and community leaders. 

“I was spending too much time building systems and not enough time growing,” Enrique recalled. “The type of connections we make with agents and customers is really important. It needs to be more than just saying hi and bye, but really getting to know people.”

After speaking with several people at various franchises, Enrique knew that NextHome was the direction he wanted to go. 

“At first I was impressed with the technology NextHome offered,” Enrique said. “Plus, the website looked great, but what really helped me make the right decision was my conversation with Charis Moreno (NextHome’s VP of Sales). I knew then what NextHome stood for, what it could offer me, and how we could grow together.”

Today, Enrique is building a full-service brokerage with superior technology tools.

“We are here to offer personalized help from beginning to end, with every single step of the home buying process,” Enrique said. “We truly believe in the principle of Humans over Houses.”

Enrique currently serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR). In addition, the Ramos family hosts an annual volleyball tournament to raise money for breast cancer awareness organizations. The cause is dear to their hearts after losing Lisa’s mother, Charlotte Jonas, to breast cancer seven years ago. 

Lisa and Enrique have been married for eight years and they are the proud parents of two young children: Harlo and Melia. Together, the family enjoys cooking and traveling. 

Please join us in congratulating Enrique, Lisa, and the entire team at NextHome Elhm Realty on the opening of their office in Cottage Grove, Minnesota!


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.

Meet the NextHomie who made the top one-tenth of one percent

Meet the NextHomie who made the top one-tenth of one percent

Pleasanton, CA — June 26, 2020 — NextHome is thrilled to announce that an exceptional NextHomie made REAL Trends + Tom Ferry’s The Thousand list that highlights the top one-tenth of one percent of more than 1.4 million licensed REALTORS® nationwide.

The Thousand list is put together every year by REAL Trends, a trusted source for news, analysis, and information on the residential brokerage industry. The list ranks the top real estate agents and teams in the United States, by both sales volume and transaction sides. The ranking is in partnership with Tom Ferry International and advertised in The Wall Street Journal.

The NextHomie who made the list ranked No. 12 on the 2020 Agent-Owned Brokerage Individual Transaction Sides list with 283 sides. Congratulations to Kimberly Taylor of NextHome First Class! 

Kimberly is not only a leader in the industry, but also at NextHome. She has always graciously shared her vast knowledge from the field at real estate events, and on a ground level, assisting other members one-on-one. 

Kimberly Taylor is the owner of NextHome First Class based out of Freeport, Illinois. Licensed since 2001, she has always been an early adopter of cutting-edge technology and constant education. With her commitment to providing first-class service to her clients, Kimberly has steadily built her business year-over-year as one of the best agents in her area.

Kimberly has a team of support staff to help her with her transactions but makes sure that each of her clients gets a personal and custom real estate experience. With her hands-on approach, her listings usually go under contract in under 60 days – half of the average days on market of competitors’ listings.

Please join us in congratulating Kimberly on her continued success! We’re so proud to have NextHomies like her helping people find their next home. 


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.

NextHome announces new Richmond-area office

NextHome announces new Richmond-area office

Susie Hall

Pleasanton, CA — June 25, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Advantage, based in Glen Allen, Virginia. The brokerage represents the 13th office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise and the 486th NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Advantage will serve clients across the greater Richmond metro area in addition to Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland, Chester, and Richmond counties. 

With more than 20 professional associates, each with a unique experience, NextHome Advantage is poised to help all types of residential clients. The brokerage offers expertise in first-time home buying, listings, investment properties, relocations, probate, and working with 55+ communities. 

Leading this outstanding team is 18-year real estate veteran Susie Hall. Susie began her career in 2002 and worked with a large, nationally franchised brand. In 2004, she formed a team and began a career with RE/MAX. Her leadership skills and sales success quickly made her a trusted resource for agents across the area. In 2005, she opened her own brokerage, RE/MAX Today, where she built a fantastic culture and camaraderie. 

“My background is in training and management, so it was a very natural progression,” Susie said. 

Despite opening a real estate brokerage at the dawn of one of the greatest downturns in modern housing market history, Susie endured and even grew her business. 

“I think agents were hesitant at the time to move to a company that was brand new,” Susie recalled. “But after my first year, people realized ‘hey, she’s sticking around for the long term’ and they knew that I was here to stay.”

What started as a seven-agent office quickly grew to more than 20 producing agents by year two. Then, it continued to grow. Susie’s brokerage burst into the top 35 offices in her MLS area and closed more than 400 transactions last year. 

“We really built a business out of my core values: taking care of people, communication, and creating a great workplace culture,” Susie said of the brokerage’s success. 

In early 2020, Susie realized that in order to maintain alignment with her core values she needed to partner with a new franchise. She had heard about NextHome several years prior but became reacquainted with the franchise after friends made glowing remarks in social media groups. 

“There were a lot of NextHome brokers and owners in a real estate Facebook group I was a part of,” Susie said. “I kept seeing the brand mentioned time and time again. So, I reached out to a NextHome owner and she just raved about the company. She connected me with Charis Moreno (NextHome’s VP of Sales) and it was a very fast evolution from there.”

Today, NextHome Advantage offers agents the streamlined tools, marketing, and support to provide clients with a superior buying or selling experience. 

“Over the years, my associates have been promised a lot when it comes to technology and I’ve had to keep saying I’m sorry it’s coming just hold on,” Susie said. “So, when they were able to see all the incredible things NextHome provides there was very tangible renewal, a recharge. I consistently hear ‘this is the fresh start that I didn’t know that I needed.’”

Susie was also attracted to NextHome’s approach to the industry.  

“Everything just clicked,” Susie said. “But one of the first things I read on the website was about how as an industry we need to lift the bar. I just thought, truer words were never spoken. I loved that a company was saying that we need to up our game and serve our clients at a higher level and make it easy for our agents to serve our clients at a higher level.”

In her community, Susie is deeply involved with The Children’s Miracle Network. For the past 10 years, Susie has volunteered and contributed to their cause. A portion of each NextHome Advantage transaction fee goes to the charity and, when she can, Susie and her team love volunteering at the local hospital. 

“To meet these parents and hear everything they’ve gone through and hear how The Children’s Miracle Network has helped them, it just touches your heart at a really deep level,” Susie said. “It is a cause that is very dear to our agents.”

In addition, Susie is a rescue mom of five animals – two dogs and three cats. As such, she is a heartfelt supporter of Canine Companions for Independence and her local animal shelter. 

Susie has been married to her husband Greg for 25 years and together they are the parents of four grown children. Susie’s youngest daughter Caitlin also works with her at NextHome Advantage. 

Please join us in congratulating Susie and the entire team on the opening of NextHome Advantage in Glen Allen, Virginia!


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.

NextHome announces new Florida office

NextHome announces new Florida office

Jon Hall

Pleasanton, CA — June 24, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Top Shelf Realty, based in Orange City, Florida. The brokerage represents the 73rd office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise and the 485th NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Top Shelf Realty will serve clients across Central Florida including those in the cities of DeBary, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Sanford, and the remainder of Orange, Volusia, and Seminole counties. 

The brokerage is owned by Jon Hall, a native Floridian who has worked in the Central Florida real estate and commercial business since 2005. NextHome Top Shelf Realty’s broker of record is David Hall. David obtained his license in 1985 and is also a licensed real estate attorney. Together, this father and son duo is bringing exceptional marketing and cutting-edge real estate technology to central Florida clients. 

With a group of professional agents poised to help, NextHome Top Shelf Realty offers expertise in vacation rentals, 1031 exchanges, investments, property management, military relocations, and many other types of residential and commercial real estate. NextHome Top Shelf Realty also offers expertise for foreign investors. 

“We have a great group of people here,” Jon said. 

Jon began his real estate career after graduating from Florida State University. His first year in business, Jon achieved $1.3 million in sales. His career path then turned towards the construction trades. Jon worked with Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. where he coordinated large machinery rentals for construction projects. In 2010, Jon started work with the Kohler Company. Although the company is best known for its plumbing products, it also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators.

“Working in the builder channel, I got to see every phase of housing from start to finish,” Jon said. “We are uniquely qualified to handle every step of the way with our clients.” 

In 2019, Jon jumped back into real estate sales full-time and opened Top Shelf Realty Group LLC. The brokerage quickly began to attract agents and Jon began to think carefully about how he could offer them the best possible work experience. 

“I began looking at all the different resources I needed to invest in so that my agents could have a full package of cutting-edge tools at their disposal,” Jon said. “I’m a numbers guy and when I started adding it all up, these tools began to exceed the cost of a franchise!”

At that point, Jon knew that franchising was the right choice. After comparing options, he also knew that franchising with NextHome was the right choice. 

“After I saw the outstanding tools that NextHome offers, the value they provide, and the company’s people-first culture, the decision became a no-brainer,” Jon said. 

He added that he was attracted both by the company’s technology and its philosophy. 

“The whole reason I’m in real estate is that I want to make connections with people and truly help them,” Jon said. “It just felt right partnering with a company that understands that it’s not about a sale, it’s about a person.”

Today, Jon is combining his care for clients with NextHome’s suite of technology to provide an unparalleled experience. 

Around town, the brokerage owner is known as “Coach Jon.” An avid supporter of youth sports, Jon has been volunteering his time coaching since 2002. Coach Jon has been there every step of the way as local kids learn the fundamentals of good sportsmanship through basketball, soccer, football, and baseball. Jon volunteers through the City of DeBary Parks & Recreation Department, DreadHead Sports, and at various YMCAs.

Jon and his wife Courtney have been married since 2005 and together they have three children: Caitlyn (10), Addison (8), and Tyler (18 months). Caitlyn is an accomplished athlete in many sports and Addison is a state-level gymnastics champion. The family loves being outside together, and they can often be found enjoying the 100-square foot American Ninja Warrior course that Jon built in their backyard. 

Yet another fun fact about Jon: in 2007 he competed on Wheel of Fortune and won $27,300 in cash. 

Please join us in congratulating Jon, David, and the rest of the team at NextHome Top Shelf Realty on their official opening!


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.

NextHome announces new brokerage in Michigan

NextHome announces new brokerage in Michigan

Craig Kallen

Pleasanton, CA — June 19, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Aegis (ee·juhs) Properties, based in Royal Oak, Michigan. The brokerage represents the 19th office location opened in Michigan for the NextHome franchise and the 484th NextHome office opened nationally.

Located about 20 minutes northwest of Detroit, NextHome Aegis Properties will serve clients across Birmingham, Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township, Northville, Novi, and the remainder of Southern Michigan. 

The brokerage is owned by veteran builder, Craig Kallen. With more than 27 years of experience as a licensed contractor, Craig offers unique expertise in all types of residential real estate. 

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Craig built custom homes alongside his father. Their company, Galaxy Builders, built and sold between 100 and 150 homes per year and focused mainly on tract homes. As America descended into the housing crisis, Craig’s father concluded Galaxy Builders, and Craig began focusing on custom luxury homes. In 2008 he started Brooklyn Custom Homes and continued creating high-end properties until 2014. 

“I understand the mechanics of a house very well,” Craig said. “When I walk into a house with a client, I’m able to tell them exactly what they want and need to know.”

In 2014, Craig obtained his real estate sales license and began working for his wife’s independent brokerage – KLK Realty. He quickly discovered how much he loved the real estate sales industry and decided he wanted to be a broker. 

“I absolutely loved that line of work,” Craig said. “It was almost better than being a builder. I really enjoy working with agents and helping them achieve their potential.”

Craig became a licensed broker in 2019 and hit his stride.

“In early 2019, I was considering opening my own independent and began searching for great logo ideas,” Craig said. “When I typed in ‘really cool real estate signs’ NextHome’s came up. It immediately caught my attention.”

During the next several months, Craig continued serving sales clients and building ideas for his new brokerage. He once again found himself searching the internet and when he typed in “best real estate franchise in the world” NextHome reappeared. Craig knew he needed to learn more. 

“When I reached out, James (Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome, Inc.) called me back and after that conversation, I knew NextHome was a great opportunity,” Craig said. 

The NextHome approach to real estate aligned perfectly with Craig’s goals. 

“I clicked with everyone I talked to at NextHome,” Craig said. “James understood that I wanted to be the best NextHome brokerage in Michigan, not necessarily the biggest. NextHome offered the tools I needed to focus on quality over quantity.”

Today, NextHome Aegis Properties is combining Craig’s extensive building experience with NextHome’s eye-catching marketing and unparalleled back-end support. 

The brokerage gets its name from the shield carried by Athena and Zeus in Homer’s Iliad. Drawing on the shield’s symbolism, the modern concept of doing something “under someone’s aegis” means doing something under the protection of a powerful, knowledgeable, or benevolent source. 

Clients working with NextHome Aegis Properties will have access to the guidance of an experienced builder as well as several agents who are deeply knowledgeable about their communities. 

“Being a broker, a builder, and an agent, I hope that I can lead clients down the right path that’s right for them and makes them happy – whether it be a $100,000 house or a million-dollar property,” Craig said.

In addition, agents who work with NextHome Aegis Properties have access to exceptional training and support. 

“I’m known as the guy who really talks with and gets to know my agents,” Craig said. “I connect with them throughout the day – I’m there for them. I also recognize raw talent and I’m excited to offer outstanding professionals access to both my experience and NextHome’s great training.”

When he isn’t building his brokerage, Craig is active volunteering in his community. As the pet parent of two rescue dogs, Craig has an especially soft spot for donating to the local Humane Society. 

Please join us in congratulating Craig on the opening of NextHome Aegis Properties in Royal Oak, Michigan!


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.

When Shooie Met Sally: A Luke Day Story

When Shooie Met Sally: A Luke Day Story

Luke, our beloved orange French bulldog mascot, has been with us since NextHome’s inception. Since 2014, his presence has caught the eye of real estate professionals and consumers alike as he helps people find their next home.

Like any four-legged friend who joins the family, Luke has a birthday that is celebrated each year, landing on June 15th. In 2019, NextHome set aside June 15th as “Luke Day” to celebrate Luke by participating in community service and outreach. 

NextHome offices across the country use this special day as an opportunity to step away from business and come together to serve our local areas and the people and pets that thrive there. Events range from food and school supplies drives to pet vaccine clinics and adoption events. 

Last year, NextHome’s corporate office based in Pleasanton, California used Luke’s special day to bring attention to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, California.

“At NextHome, we know how much joy pets can bring to our homes and hearts,” said James Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome, Inc. “It is so important to highlight and support the great work that animal rescues do to save pet’s lives, support pet owners, and help nurture a sense of joy in our homes.”

With it being a year later now, we’re taking a look back at our inaugural Luke Day with the story of Sally, one of the animals available for adoption that day. 

When Shooie Met Sally: A Luke Day Story 

The sniffing and sizing up in the park last summer began benignly enough, but Shooie the dachshund couldn’t have imagined where this relationship with the energetic rescue puppy was heading. Neither could Shooie’s owners, Joel and Veronica Stein. 

The dogs met at NextHome’s annual Luke Day in 2019 and the Stein family grew by four paws that day in June. 

“We don’t regret for a moment adopting Sally,” Veronica said of their German Shepard-looking rescue Sally. “She is a great addition to our life.”

At the mention of his new sister, the Stein’s five-year-old dachshund tipped her head. 

“Shooie is glad she is here too,” Veronica added with a smile. 

For the past year, Shooie and Sally have continued sizing each other up, but their love has grown. The mellow dachshund has learned to tolerate Sally’s energy and Sally has taught Shooie a thing or two about the importance of backyard squirrels. 

“They’ve learned to get along over the past year,” Veronica said. “Now when we leave with Sally, the first thing she does when she comes home is look for Shooie.”

Together, the furry friends have developed a tag-team system for barking at backyard intruders and welcoming front door visitors. Sally has taken up the role of underfoot kitchen companion while Shooie contentedly secures his spot on the couch. 

“Sally likes to stay close,” Joel said with a smile. “You could be doing something in the kitchen and she plops down two inches from your foot. She definitely likes to follow you – until something diverts her attention and she wants to go outside.”

Those outside distractions include her fascination with the cluster of squirrels who scurry along the back fence, taunting the excited puppy. 

“Those squirrels will sometimes turn around and flip their tails at her, almost as if they know what they are doing,” Veronica said. 

Sally’s love of the back-fence squirrels is only rivaled by her excitement over a good garden hose spray. 

“She loves the water,” Joel said. “When we have the garden hose out, she jumps and nips at the water and can’t get enough of that.” 

Life wasn’t always so fancy-free for Sally. As a young pup, Sally’s loving personality was sheltered and nurtured by ARF. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is the rescue of dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, giving them a chance at life until a new home can be found. 

As NextHome celebrated Luke Day in 2019, several cats found forever homes, but Sally was the one and only dog available for adoption. 

“We had been talking about adopting a dog as a companion for Shooie, so when our sons called and told us that there was a dog we might really like available at Luke Day, we drove over,” Veronica recalled.  

As Shooie and Sally sniffed and scampered and played that day, Joel and Veronica knew they might have found the right addition to their family. 

“In everybody’s opinion, they were a great match,” Veronica recalled. “They were the same size, plus they weren’t all over each other and didn’t fight. It just seemed to work, so we took the chance.”

As previous rescue parents, the Steins were also impressed with ARF and it’s caring approach to adoptions. 

“We have been fortunate to adopt our animals from good rescue organizations, particularly Tony La Russa’s ARF,” Veronica said. “ARF offers training resources and contact information for veterinarians and pet insurance companies. When we adopted Sally, ARF provided a lot of educational materials and support, as well as starter food and, get this, toys! It was a pleasure working with them.”

As experienced rescue parents, the Steins will also be the first to tell you that adopting an animal isn’t easy. 

“Don’t underestimate what the challenges might be,” Joel said. 

Veronica added that new owners should always take advantage of any training opportunities and keep their expectations reasonable. 

“There is an adjustment period,” Veronica said. “Dogs just love people and they want to be your special friend. They watch you, but it takes time to make that true connection.”

One year after her adoption, Sally and the Steins are still working daily to build that connection, but not one of them would have it any other way. 

It warms our orange hearts that Sally was one of many animals adopted on Luke Day. At NextHome, our mission is to enrich lives by helping people find their next home, and we couldn’t be happier to know that animals are finding their next homes as well with the help of caring NextHomies across the country. 

For more information on Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, visit

Shifting back to the present day, it’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been a hard year for everyone. In light of the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic that has swept the world, this year’s Luke Day celebrations have been postponed to July 15th to allow NextHomies more time to plan and prepare for a safe way to help their local communities. 

This year, NextHome’s efforts will be focused on ways to support children in the local communities across the country where NextHome offices are located. With so much change in their day-to-day lives, with much confusion as to why, we hope Luke Day 2020 will bring smiles to their faces during these uncertain times. We’re excited to see ideas like adopting a classroom, sponsoring a graduating senior, and virtual book readings come to life – with lots of orange of course. 

About NextHome, Inc.

NextHome, Inc. is an independently owned national franchisor with a focus on changing the

way consumers work with local agents and shop for real estate online. The NextHome franchise

network ended 2019 with 400+ offices and over 3,600 members across 46 states. The company

closes over 23,000 transactions annually worth over $6.2B in volume.

NextHome Picket Fence Realty opens in Oregon

NextHome Picket Fence Realty opens in Oregon

Lila Timmons

Pleasanton, CA — June 18, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Picket Fence Realty, based in Woodburn, Oregon. The brokerage represents the ninth office location opened in Oregon for the NextHome franchise and the 483rd NextHome office opened nationally.

Located halfway between Portland and Salem, NextHome Picket Fence Realty is poised to serve the needs of residential buyers and sellers across Marion, Yamhill, Polk, Linn, and Clackamas counties. 

The brokerage is owned by high-producing professional Lila Timmons. Lila began her real estate career in 2014 after 14 years in restaurant and retail management. 

“In those jobs, you learn to work effectively with a wide variety of people – whether it be the employees or customers,” Lila said. “I learned what it really meant to provide excellent customer service right away.”

Lila eventually took her customer service skills on the road, becoming a mobile notary. She worked with mostly real estate clients and their experiences prompted Lila to think about becoming a REALTOR®

After obtaining her license in 2014, Lila first worked for a large national franchise, then with a small boutique firm. Her skills were apparent from the start. Lila was Rookie of the Year for her brokerage in 2015, and in March she achieved the milestone of selling more than 100 houses. 

However, throughout her success, something was missing. As Lila went into her sixth year in business, she craved the flexibility to cater to her clients in her own way. Lila also recognized that the most efficient way to build success was to have the backing of a strong franchise. 

After searching online, she discovered NextHome and immediately knew she wanted to pursue a partnership. 

“NextHome took all the things that I would have done on my own and took them to a new level,” Lila said. “I loved that everything was all included, that the marketing was all automated – it is stunning that once you put a listing in all the marketing is produced for you.”

Today, Lila is setting NextHome Picket Fence Realty apart through her caring customer service and refreshing honesty. 

“A big part of being an outstanding agent is communication,” Lila said. “My clients appreciate that I am up-front and honest and will tell them the way it is. I also stay in contact with clients throughout the entire process, never leaving them wondering what exactly is going on with their transaction.”

As she grows her brokerage, Lila will be adding agents who embrace that same philosophy. 

“NextHome Picket Fence agents need to be driven professionals who will take care of customers in the best way they possibly can,” Lila said. 

When she isn’t focused on her clients and brokerage, Lila is active in serving her community. Alongside her husband Eric, Lila volunteers with the Woodburn Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT). The organization supports first responders as a trained, second-line response in the case of major natural disasters. In the community, CERT volunteers host events and help promote public safety. The group recently helped give away and install free smoke alarms and also hosted a bike safety event. 

Lila and Eric have been married for a little over a year and, when possible, they enjoy traveling together internationally. Their home life is brightened by Eric’s two children and their English bulldog Bo Jangles. 

Please join us in congratulating Lila on the opening of NextHome Picket Fence Realty in Woodburn, Oregon!


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.

Experts: Spring’s Missing Home Sales Will be Added to Coming Years

Experts: Spring’s Missing Home Sales Will be Added to Coming Years

  • In a survey of 106 economists and real estate experts conducted by Pulsenomics and Zillow, 41% of panelists expect the U.S. recovery will follow a ‘U’ shape, with the recession lasting several quarters before returning to growth.
  • Once the pandemic begins to subside, experts agree, there will be an increase in demand for suburban and rural living.
  • On average, panelists expect home values to decrease 0.3% in 2020, a sharp decline from expected growth of 3.3% when surveyed three months before.

When coronavirus turned the economy upside down, anxiety and uncertainty about the future initially kept many homebuyers and sellers at bay. Inventory and sales have picked up over the past month, though, and a panel of housing experts and economists say the U.S. housing market hasn’t lost those missing springtime transactions for good.

The Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics LLC, asks more than 100 economists, investment strategists and real estate experts for their predictions about the U.S. housing market. The Q2 survey focused on the impact of coronavirus on the market and expected recovery patterns, and also asked for predictions on how the pandemic will shape home-buying decisions in the future.

Coronavirus and subsequent stay-at-home orders resulted in lower-than-expected transaction volume during what was primed to be a busy spring home shopping season. While it was thought the spring buying season could shift to the fall, the pandemic effects are poised to continue into summer and only 10% of the survey panelists said they believe those transactions will materialize later in 2020. More than twice as many experts (22%) said they expect a “double up” during next spring’s shopping season, and the vast majority predicted that recovery will be spread out over the next several years.

ZHPE results, Q2 2020 coronavirus

This prediction is in line with how the experts expect the U.S. economy to recover overall. Forty-one percent said they think economic recovery will follow a ‘U’ shape, and 33% say it will be a bumpy, multi-year return back to trend growth. Both patterns are characterized first by a sharp decline and then match how experts see transaction volume recovering, with the consensus generally being a more gradual journey back to normal.

Prices nationally are now projected to fall 0.3 percent this year according to the panel-wide average forecast — down from an expected increase of 3.3 percent just three months ago.

“This is the first time since 2012 that the panel-wide price outlook has turned negative, and the quarter-to-quarter swing in expectations is the largest we’ve seen in more than a decade,” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics. “Longer term, the outlook for home values nationwide is mixed — price projections for 2022 and beyond actually inched higher from levels recorded prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, nearly seven in ten experts now indicate that their five-year forecast has downside risk. Last quarter, fewer than four in ten panelists foresaw downside — of course, that was before the Covid-19 crisis, its economic devastation and unprecedented government response.”

Zillow’s own forecast calls for a 1.8% drop in home prices by October 2020, expecting home prices to return to Q4 2019 levels by the Q3 2021. While predictions on home prices continue to steepen, the outlook on pending home sales continues to become more optimistic, and Zillow now shows sales hit bottom in April with a 44% drop, and are on their way back up, compared to the original forecast of a 60% dip.

Experts’ forecasts on the future of housing vary widely at this early stage of the recovery. Zillow’s own forecast has become more optimistic as we ingest new data and watch pending sales pick up faster than expected. What does seem more consistent in this wisdom of crowds is that full recovery is a couple years away — much faster than in the last housing downturn — and remote work will eventually work its changes on the housing market.

Experts also said that where people choose to live will look a little different once the pandemic subsides. Panelists predict future homebuyers will show more interest in suburban and rural areas, at the expense of urban density. Previous Zillow research has indicated that a future that sees more people working from home could make the suburbs more appealing, and the panelists echoed the likelihood of this demand. Although panelists believe there will be a shift in location preference after coronavirus, they also say buyers will want larger homes equipped with home offices moving forward. Stay-at-home orders quickly emphasized the need for more space while stuck at home, and panelists think more space will be a determining feature for future home-buyers.

Even with lower sales volumes compared to 2019, the U.S. housing market has shown resilience during the pandemic and has already begun to rebound. Pending sales are up 40.8% in the past month, and new home sales in April were up 0.6% from March.

Year      Average Home Value Growth Expectations – Q1 2020 Survey Average Home Value Growth Expectations – Q2 2020 Survey
2020 3.3% -0.3%
2021 2.7% 0.9%
2022 2.7% 2.9%
2023 3.0% 3.3%



This edition of the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey surveyed 106 experts between April 28, 2020 and May 15, 2020. The survey was conducted by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc. The Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey and any related materials are available through Zillow and Pulsenomics.