Two powerhouses in the LGBT real estate market combine forces but retain their brands

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

Virginia Cook, Sheila Rice and David Griffin
Virginia Cook, Sheila Rice and David Griffin

Virginia Cook and David Griffin have announced they will merge their real estate companies. They are two of the largest firms selling property in Oak Lawn and Oak Cliff and to the LGBT community.

“A major emphasis of our company is the in-town neighborhoods,” said Griffin. “We have many gay and lesbian clients because the neighborhoods we specialize in are so special.”

He said David Griffin & Company’s specialty is property in livelier neighborhoods with diversity, community activity and urban excitement.
Griffin founded his firm in 1982 and has been a one-office boutique operation located in Uptown, with satellite offices in projects to which the company markets.

Cook opened Virginia Cook, Realtors with business partner Sheila Rice in 1999. They have grown into one of the largest residential real estate companies in North Texas with a number of top-producers who are members of the LGBT community. They have offices in Plano, Sherman and Fort Worth as well as several locations in Dallas, including one at 2626 Cole Ave. in Oak Lawn.

The combined company will have more than 500 residential agents with headquarters on Sherry Lane near Preston Center in North Dallas.
The company will retain both the Virginia Cook and David Griffin Company brands.

“This merger feels very natural. I started my career working for Virginia at Henry S. Miller,” David Griffin said. “We worked together for five years.”

“Our firms have complementary strengths,” said Cook. “The opportunity to bring together the agent talent, marketing resources, industry and community connections of our two firms is very exciting.”

Griffin said the combination offers scale of economy. He’ll have more tech options and, with a larger sales force, more training options.
Rice said that Griffin adds “authoritative understanding of close-in neighborhoods.”

Griffin said he gains multi-office visibility, Cook’s relocation division and excellent management experience.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010