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Let’s Talk About Me

I may as well since Athol already has done so. Bloody wool-faced Kiwi.

By mid-day today I will have switched from Century 21 Arizona Foothills, my only home (if you include Tradin’ Places which was bought out) during my real estate career, in favor of RE/MAX Desert Showcase. (No, not that one.)


Switching brokerages had never crossed my mind, at least not in any concrete fashion. I always figured if I moved I’d go over to my father-in-law’s brokerage which also is the home to Russell Shaw (they’ve been there about the same length of time, too.) But since I tend to like Russell much more than my in-laws these days, that was less of an option.

Like you, I’ve received countless e-mails over the past few months. Almost all have been in the same format:

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Dear (insert name),

I see you have been in real estate since (insert year) and last year sold (insert sales). We think you’d be a great fit, etc., whatever.

This call – a call, not an e-mail – was different.

“This is Paige Whitney at RE/MAX Desert Showcase and I’m calling to tell you that Tobey wants to move to RE/MAX.”

I explained Tobey’s afraid of heights and that the balloon wouldn’t work for him but still made plans to at least visit. And of course, I didn’t.

Fast forward to lunch at the Margaritaville Cafe about a month ago. Margaritaville is at the Westgate City Center and sits below the offices of a different RE/MAX franchise. (Each is independently owned and operated and, much like Century 21, it’s hard to drive too far without running into a franchise.)

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One of my fellow agents had interviewed at both places and shared some basic numbers. I then went home and started looking at things a little more closely. (The same friend is the one responsible for the hot air balloon on my forehead. You suck, Vescova.)

One week later I went in and interviewed Paige. Aside from jumping on the corporate relocation hamster wheel I’m mostly self-sufficient. I don’t need desk space. I don’t need a whole lot of anything. As I’ve said before, I’m a one-trick electronic pony.

Last week I went in for a second interview. Last week I also had $430 removed from one of my closings just because the broker could do so. And so today, after waiting for the last of my checks to come (at least for a while – I have two pending sales that close in March), I have moved on.

Financials weren’t the only consideration. The technology seems a little better at RE/MAX and there’s a more concerted effort to drive traffic to the company site. And one of the little extras at Desert Showcase is I can have individual listings as “Showcase” listings on Realtor.Com and pay by the listing, allowing me to tell the good salespeople at what they can do with themselves and their asinine fees when they call me in March.

From a business standpoint this was an incredibly easy decision. From the personal side, though, it was tough. Extremely tough. I have an incredible amount of respect for my now former manager (who was my broker before the buyout) and training director. I wouldn’t still be here without them and much of what I know is due to them.

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For anyone just getting their license, I can’t recommend my old company enough. You’ll receive excellent training and the extra helping hand everyone needs straight out of real estate school (even if they don’t think they need it.)

Those days are behind me, though. They probably have been for some time. And so we’re on the move. I’m not sure if Tobey’s okay with losing his shot at a gold jacket, but I think he and his rebuilt knees will be just fine above and beyond.

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Athol Kay

    January 10, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Good luck Jonathan, though I hazard a guess that fairly little will change for you day to day.

    Don’t be too excited about the brokerage website I think. I found my current brokerage is better that my prior one on that account, but in terms of people finding you etc, it’s just 100% better at returning no leads.

    It’s always gonna be up to you.

    Showcasing at seems more useful. Though I hear rumblings here and there that it does nothing but drive hits and the sales outcome is the same.

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    January 10, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Not so much the brokerage website, Athol … I took that with a grain of salt. But there’s some built-in stuff from Top Producer that looks pretty cool.

    I now have empathy for what you had to do … I still have two sites left to convert but I’m too damn tired to care right now.

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