I finally did it. I changed brokers. I am now officially an agent at Thompson’s Realty (or a Thompsonite, some people call us). Let me tell you: it’s been a long time coming and it was not a pretty journey.
Leaving a brokerage is kind of like breaking up with a boyfriend. You always think going into it that you can stay friends and remain amicable. You loved each other once, and even though you can’t be together, you should still be able to treat each other with care and respect. One of you is always the one who wants to leave, though, and the other has hurt feelings which quickly turn into resentment and bitterness, reinforcing the leaving party’s decision to split. People say obnoxious things and steal old sweatshirts and CDs as mementos. Occasionally they stalk each other (what, you’ve never stalked an ex? Just me, then?).
Suffice it to say my old broker said some things I hope he eventually looks back on and regrets. However, as a gal who still keeps in touch with almost every long-term boyfriend she ever had (most of them were at my wedding), I feel confident hurt feelings can be overcome and in the end, we can all be friends.
So just in case you’re wondering what made me make the big leap from the safety and security of the gold blazer to the relatively small world of Thompson’s, it breaks down into three reasons:
1. The commission structure is way better. In the beginning, when I first started out in real estate, I needed someone to hold my hand and teach me how to run my business. I was willing to pay the big chunk of my commission required by my former brokerage to have someone help me through it all. As I’ve grown and learned I have had less need to lean on my gold jacket mentors. I’ve become ready to stand on my own and oh-so-very-much-a-lot ready to keep more of the commissions I bring in.
2. I respect the Thompson’s Realty business model. Jay has been blogging for roughly 8.3 million years and is widely respected as one of the most popular real estate bloggers. Many (if not most) of the agents at Thompson’s are big into Twitter and other forms of social media (blogging, vlogging, Facebook, FourSquare, Shnoodle [I made the last one up. But you didn’t know. You either had no idea what any of them were, or you knew them all but the last and just assumed it was the latest cutting edge thing you hadn’t heard of yet and were impressed with how tech-savvy I am. But then I ruined it by confessing.]). The office is of the ‘virtual’ variety (I was introduced to the office and the public via blog yesterday). The agents all seems to believe heavily in collaboration and technology. All of these are ingredients I want to bake into my business plan cake.
3. The people at Thompson’s are just sort of MY PEOPLE. Yesterday I was added to a group text thing they have set up for all of the agents at Thompson’s. You text one number and it goes to everyone’s phone with your name so everyone knows who is talking. This is how the first 7 texts went:
Hi, you’ve been added by Jay Thompson to the ‘Thompson’s Realty’ group text!
Shar – Yay!
Francy – Hey, Elizabeth, you’re going to love the group text!
Dean (who I totally know pretty well and has been bugging me about coming to Thompson’s for months) – Who’s Elizabeth?
Elizabeth – omg, I already LOVE the group text, yay! And suck it, Dean!
Francisco – Who’s Dean?
Jay Thompson has removed you from the group.
At which point I became a little paranoid that ‘suck it’ was more ‘locker room’ talk and less ‘first day at a new job over text to people who I don’t even know’ talk and that I was removed because I was in trouble. After about an hour of silence this all started funneling down in a shame-spiral manner during which I berated myself for my rudeness and vulgarity. Eventually I sheepishly emailed Jay asking why I had been removed from the text group. Agonizingly long minutes later he replied that he was fiddling with the phone ap for the text group and I must have accidentally been taken out.
Email from Me: Oh. Phew. I was afraid ‘suck it’ was not work-text appropriate and I was in trouble.
Email from Jay: Actually, my response to Francy after that text was, “well she fits in perfectly”