Monday, July 11, 2016
I have been at my current brokerage since 2010 when I left a different brokerage. I have always loved it here, but they have made many changes without considering the effects those changes are having on the agents.
I moved from one of our offices to another in about 2012 after my mother passed away. There was no longer any need for me to be on that side of town and my current office is by my husband's office so it works out well.
When we first started here, they suggested that we park my husband's license with the state and he would be my licensed personal assistant and that way, we don't have to pay them 2 marketing fees etc. Part of the reason we left the other brokerage is it cost us a lot of money having to pay for both of us when my husband doesn't do this full time. He is still a building inspector with the City of Milwaukee and has only a couple of years before he can retire with his full pension--whatever that means today.
Things were going along very well until our regional manager got a bug up her a@@ as I wanted to bring him to an awards dinner. She stated only our agents get to go to the dinners, award banquets etc. I told her that, from the time we joined the brokerage, it was understood that he was part of my team. He comes to all showings, takes pictures and measurements of our listings and checks the structural integrity of the properties our buyers are considering. No, he doesn't draft contracts or negotiate the deals or play psychologist with our buyers and sellers.
Then, this same person decided we should start paying a marketing fee for him. I asked what we were marketing. Oh, I forgot to mention she made me do a separate picture of just me for the Brokerage's marketing of me. This really ticked me off. We are independent contractors. We are NOT employees. We have a signed contract with the brokerage that he is my licensed assistant. My manager told me just to forget what she said and just go back to what we have been doing. That has not been sitting well with me, but ok. I can do that.
Then, we found out that one of our managers was leaving our office and going back to the other office full time and the manager left at our office would be handling two offices. Are you effing serious!!! One person, who isn't all that bright, handling two offices? That's like 70 agents.
I do like this manager on a personal level. We used to go to dinner together and talk, but she was never the manager I went to when I really had a real estate issue. Then I heard that the regional manager was discussing our office with the other offices and asking them what should be done about our office? Excuse me. How about asking those of us that are at that office. I called her and hit the roof. She LIED!!! She said the other agents brought it up not her. BS!!!!!!
I ran into a couple of those agents at dinner one night and asked. They told me exactly how it went down. I called my manager and said the regional manager was full of it. I told her exactly how I felt about it and I told her that there was no doubt in my mind they were going to destroy our office and it would be closed within a year.
Remember, I worked for a public school district that was liked the Titanic. I kept wondering how long to stay before I jumped. Unfortunately, I didn't jump in time and ended up with several surgeries.
In my suggestion to my manager was that we all get together (the key agents and management) and discuss our office. The regional manager took 3 of us to a very expensive restaurant for lunch. Needless to say, that accomplished nothing. She wasn't going to hear anything we had to say. Would have been ok if the food was good....
I left the next week to go to that horse show in Minneapolis. I had them calling every day about that agent that was making my life a living nightmare, but nothing else was said to me. On Friday at about 4:45, I saw an email from my manager. I saw something about our office administrator (secretary) leaving to go to the other office. UGH! I fought to get her to this office when I moved there because it was a freaking disaster.
Before I could react, my manager called me to tell me about it and the decision. She always calls when she only has 5 minutes to talk so she doesn't have to talk to me. So now we have a very nice girl who knows nothing about real estate. Her job is to teach new agents to fill out docs and work with our programs. Of course, we have to remember that this girl has no clue how to do it either.
So, we add all that to the fact that I was put through a living nightmare with one of my listings because the other agent was part of our company as well. My manager literally threw me under the bus.
This whole thing got me thinking about what else is out there. I started a deal with another agent who started her own brokerage a long time ago. She called me and I liked what she had to say. I have had many brokerages call me to recruit me, but I didn't like what any of them said over the phone so I wouldn't meet with them.
I have given my manager the courtesy of asking for a meeting with her before I decide what I want to do. Of course, she doesn't know I am meeting with another brokerage. When I did sort of mention I was debating what to do, she started singing the song with the lyrics.."should I stay or should I go?" and she was laughing. I guess the fact that I am one of the two highest producers in my office doesn't matter.
I am weighing the pros and cons at this point. I do get the RELO, the leads and I am fully branded and known here. Brian only has a couple more years with the City so do we wait for him to retire before we make a decision. Right now, I won't do anything harsh. I don't go into the office anyway. I work from home. Just wanted to write it all out and hope that helps me figure it out in my head.