As many of my readers know, we moved our operations to Baird & Warner Real Estate on January 27th of this year. To say it was the right move at the right time would be a huge understatement. After we left, both clients & realtor colleagues alike have continued to ask me the 2 most obvious questions: “How’s it going?” and “Why did you move?”
Now that we are almost 8 months into our new home, I thought it was the right time to reflect and share the answers to those two questions. Looking back, I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not making a move sooner. I have realized just how unhappy I was at my former brokerage. Unfortunately, as Realtors, we really tend to over-analyze things and over-worry, and fear can be the basis for a lot of decisions (or, in this case, inaction).
I was afraid of the unknown: how would the move affect my business? Would clients follow me? I kept telling myself it would be a huge pain in the you-know-what, and just to keep my head down, stick it out, try & effect change where I was. I told myself “it will get better” more times then I can count.
I did that for 2 years. And you want to know what? It never got better. In fact, it got worse. So much so that my mood changed, and every time I came into the office I was fixing a problem, lamenting an issue, begging for change – and generally not being a nice person. I didn’t like who I became in that environment.
So in August, I made a decision. And for anyone who is in a similar situation, who is thinking of making a change, what I can tell you is that in order to *make* that change, you have to accept that change. I willingly made the decision – and verbally said out loud to myself that I was going to make a move. Saying it – owning it – admitting it – is the first step, as I’ve learned. Isn’t that true of so many things in life??
If you’re a Realtor, maybe that change is the brokerage, or letting a team member go, or finally hiring an assistant to manage the parts of the business that you don’t do well.
But you have to stop putting it off. In making that decision and saying it out aloud – I felt like I was finally taking control.
So here is what else I learned in this process (and if you’ve read this far, let’s just make a long story even longer!). I learned that if I was going to make the change, I had to commit to it and own it. I could not hem and haw, or think about it any longer. What would be the point? I know so many colleagues who have struggled with similar feelings and experiences. Lots of them talk about making a move, but they never do.
Do it. Just do it. Don’t think any more, if you know – in your gut, your heart of hearts, or whatever little voice you like to listen to – that the only way to change is to take a specific action, then *take* that action. Today. Right now.
I’m not going to tell you moving to a different brokerage wasn’t a pain in the butt (it had its moments), For me, the pain and feeling of upheaval was short lived. Within a week we were up and running and within a month we were adjusted to new systems. There were still a few kinks to work out – and those took a few months – but I remember thinking “what was I concerned about?” quite often. Of course, I moved right at the start of the spring market (despite what you may hear, I was planning a move for February 1st), with a brand new team, in the year I was planning a wedding. By all accounts that was a bad decision!
And you know what else? There is not a “perfect” time to move. There is always going to be something going on that tells you to say no and stay put. In my case, as a Realtor…those excuses were “oh it’s the spring market” or “it’s too late now”….or a variety of similar bull crap statements I made in the two years prior before I decided to own my needs & my business more.
Did I suffer for my move? Nope. All of our clients (save 1) came with us. The entire team moved. Our business has flourished, and I feel supported by a management team that is never too busy for us, is in partnership with us, asks “what else can I do to help” and actually means it, and then delivers on it.
And I see that in my colleagues too. It’s not just me as a $30 million producer – it’s the $3, $5, $8 million producers that get that same level of attention. It’s quite remarkable, and there is something to be said for a local (yet strong) brokerage that isn’t tied to wall street, or a big corporation. You want to know the moment it really sunk in? When our owner – Steve Baird – picked up the phone early in the summer to touch base and say congrats on a great year so far. I had never had that happen in my final years at my former brokerage.
So that’ s the (very long) story for all of those wondering. I definitely feel that it was the right decision and one that was made deliberately and after much careful consideration. I didn’t just pick up and move. I spent almost 4 months interviewing, researching & figuring out where I felt my team and I belonged. Thankfully I made the right choice. I hope you do the same, whatever your “change” happens to be!