On February the 18th 2016, RE/MAX held it's annual award ceremony at the Omni in Nashville TN
This is always a great opportunity to meet the RE/MAX regional staff and owners as well as to see RE/MAX agents from around the our region in Tennessee.
It was also interesting to see how some of the new franchises that had opened were approaching the changing face of the real estate brokerage model. Each of the new franchises have created a new model that has helped them set themselves apart from the traditional brokerage model that over that last 10 years has slowly started to lose relevance in today's world of instant information and changing values.
The team culture is something that has developed over the last few years too, as more and more people see the value in using an agent that has all the resources that come with a national brand, such as RE/MAX, but they also benefit from the power of working with an agent that has the full support of their teammates.
At The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage the benefits of the team became very obvious when in September 2015, I was given the opportunity to start my own RE/MAX brokerage, but retain the team concept.
We had to act very quickly, as the window of opportunity given to us was actually very small, but with the help of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the senior management at RE/MAX and RE/MAX Regional Services, we managed to create the brokerage and become fully operational in less than 3 weeks. This whole process can take up 8 weeks and more usually about 3 months!
As with any change, there will always be some disruption, and although we were growing at the time we left RE/MAX Elite where we had 70 agents, we actually retained 53 agents in total. The way I describe the transition is that we were all on a train called Real Estate, heading towards a tunnel called "The Future". The passengers on the train were my agents and all our clients. As the train entered the tunnel, we could see a sign giving us three different options to choose, in terms of our final destination. One was to stay with RE/MAX, one was to vere to the right and become and independant real estate agency and the 3rd was to join another national real estate brand.
As we actually entered the tunnel, the options became all blacked out with smoke and the train tracks seem to partially disappear, as the ride became very shaky and bumpy. As a consequence, the passengers were being jostled and pushed around, and in some cases they became very nervous about which track the train was going to take.
In our story, the time in the tunnel, trying to find the right track, was very quick but as the driver of the train, I knew that to retain the maximum number of clients and agents, we had to retain our branding that had been built up over the past 11 years. For me the choice was simple! We had to stay on the RE/MAX track and keep our clients and agents happy and make the transition as smooth as possible.
Unfortunately, while we were in the tunnel, we lost a few of our agents who decided that they wanted to stay with the old RE/MAX brokerage, and some agents went to some smaller local brokerages, but we had 53 agents that saw the light at the end of the tunnel and became the charter members of the newest and most original real estate brokerage in Tennessee. This was the day that The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage was born on October 8th 2015 and we came out of the tunnel still RE/MAX but as as our new brokerage.
Since that day in September, when I was given the opportunity to start my own RE/MAX brokerage with Debra Beagle and Jonny Lee, we have never looked back. Well, maybe once or twice, to pick up a couple of stragglers who went down the wrong tunnel in all the confusion, but came back after the saw they light. The good news that we were awarded the "Rookie Franchise of the Year" for the most successful start to a new franchise in the region!!!
The members of the team that stayed with The Ashton Real Estate Group are also seeing the benefits of staying with the #1 RE/MAX team in Nashville and Tennessee. We continue to be the exclusive real estate team of the Tennessee Titans and offer the agents the ability to work with the players and coaches. We are also exclusively endorsed by Barbara Corcoran as the only agent she trusts in Nashville to buy and sell her a home!. Bobby Bones described me as "the man!" as we listed and sold his home in less than 24 hours, so he could move closer Nashville and his studio.
In 2015 the team sold just under $240 million dollars worth of real estate and were involved in well over 800 transactions. This puts as the #1 real estate team in Tennessee and the top 5 real estate team with RE/MAX in the USA!
2016 continues to provide more opportunities for the growth and development of the team with the addition of 10 new agents, a new domain a name and a high profile relocation deal that will help put RE/MAX Advantage firmly on the real estate map in Nashville!!!
Thank you again RE/MAX for the support and most of all thank you for the opportunity!!!
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
The #1 Real Estate Team in Tennessee and #4 RE/MAX team in the world!