Warning, this is another one of Rich’s Opinion posts that is more personal in nature and less about Albuquerque real estate than some of you might hope. And it’s close to 800 words in length,omg. Read on at your own risk…
When I saw the RE/MAX hot air balloon flying past my northwest Albuquerque neighborhood last fall I knew I had to get a photo, so I grabbed my banged up Kodak, jumped in my car and began tracking the balloon’s flight. I must have followed that silly thing for 30 minutes trying to guess where it was going to land. Unfortunately, when it finally did it was out of sight behind some houses. So I waited. I waited until the balloon took off again and then I snapped this picture as the RE/MAX Balloon sailed away.
Little did I know that only two months later I would be using this photo to say goodbye to the company that I loved for close to 6 years.
Although I started my career at a local company in late 2004, it was beginning in 2006 at RE/MAX Elite where I learned to list and sell houses from a guy named Seth. Then later, when the market turned in 2008, it was where I learned about internet marketing and working with home buyers from a guy named Joe. In 2010 I took what those guys taught me and moved to RE/MAX Finest in Northwest Albuquerque determined to make it on my own. And I did.
So in the words of Garrett Morris, RE/MAX “has been berry berry good to me.” (that remark is for the over 40 crowd)
But now it’s time for the balloon to sail and a new ad “Venture” to begin.
When I realized it was time for me to move on, to try something new, I figured I would have to start my own brokerage. I mean, I market to find Albuquerque home buyers in a way that no one else in this town does, so how could I possibly find a place to work where I would be understood, let alone supported???
However, on a lark on the day after I was extremely upset with some policy changes being pondered by the Southwest MLS Board of directors, I decided to meet with Alex Vasquez at Venture Realty Group. It was probably the worst interview Alex has ever or will ever do. I walked in and immediately started telling (and almost yelling, which for me is very unusual) him everything that was wrong with Albuquerque real estate brokerages and our Southwest MLS board. He sat there and patiently listened but didn’t look at me like I was a lunatic, instead he seemed to get most of what I was saying. I was shocked.
I left there thinking that this was a place where my opinions might be appreciated, where my apparently innovative approach to marketing using content marketing (please call it blogging only if you really have to) and social media might be understood and encouraged.
But I kept thinking “but these are just the downtown condo guys, right?”
It wasn’t really until the next meeting with Alex Vasquez and Travis Thom when we talked more about my passion, marketing, that I really got interested. You see, Venture knows how to market, and Travis is on top of the newest tools and trends. Once I realized how much we had in common on that topic and once I realized too that our philosophies of how a real estate brokerage should be run were in sync, I knew that the idea of starting my own brokerage was dying. When they told me about their plans to expand in 2012 I was like “I believe in you, let me be the first to jump on board for the new year.”
In doing so I may have given up the opportunity to lead my own group, but hey, I think I’m going to be the happy staying in sales doing what I love best, which is helping people, for at least a few more years. My dedication, enthusiasm and belief in the importance of excellent buyer brokerage in Albuquerque remains strong, and maybe my role in leadership can be the kind they talk about in sports-You know, maybe I can be one of those ‘good clubhouse guys‘ that winning teams always talk about needing?
So I’m very happy and very proud to say that I have officially joined Venture Realty Group. And trust me when I say that they are much more than just “the downtown condo guys.” They are young, they are smart, they are fresh, and they are innovative, just like me.
And oh yeah, bye bye balloon, thank you for being there when I needed you.