That’s the gist of the phone call Demotte, Indiana Broker/Owner Tracy VanderWall received from an agent she’d been trying to recruit for several years. So what prompted the agent to finally make the move?
VanderWall had purchased a RE/MAX franchise.
“She was never ready to make the jump before, but now she was,” says VanderWall, who joined RE/MAX in June 2018 after being a partner/agent with Century 21 for five years. Prior to that, she owned an independent brokerage for 13 years. “With RE/MAX, I’m able to develop a better culture, and everybody’s excited again. My agents love the brand; it’s helping them grow.”
Not the Only One
VanderWall’s 17-agent RE/MAX Executives is one of Indiana’s two Century 21 conversions in the past year. In late
2018, about 125 miles away in Indianapolis, C-21 Broker/Owner Becky Rogers faced a difficult decision with her office. Her franchise agreement was set to expire in December, and she wasn’t excited about signing another 10-year contract.
“I still wanted to sell real estate, but I didn’t want to be an owner for another 10 years,” Rogers says.
Like VanderWall had done, Rogers started investigating other brands and exploring her options. Mike Jones, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX At The Crossing, took notice.
“When I heard Becky was interviewing with other brands, I made sure I met with her, too,” says Jones, who has owned his Indianapolis franchise since 2014. “She and her late husband, Tony, were local celebrities in the industry. I idolized them throughout my career, and I knew they were really good people.”
After meeting with Jones and his RE/MAX At The Crossing crew several times, Rogers knew it was a perfect match.
“It was important to me to find the best fit for my agents,” she says, noting that her office always had a collaborative, family atmosphere. “Mike runs his brokerage the same way I had. It was a great fit for us all.”
25 Agents Made the Move
Rogers merged her office into Jones’ RE/MAX brokerage, and about 25 of her agents changed brands as well.
One of them, Mary Lou Gordon, had been with Century 21 for three decades.
After attending a welcome luncheon hosted by RE/MAX At The Crossing, any reservations Gordon had quickly disappeared. “I couldn’t believe the warm reception from the other agents. I feel like I won the lottery.”
Rogers is happy, too. She says RE/MAX INTEGRA, which owns and manages the Indiana region, made the move much easier than she anticipated. “They did a lot to take the burden off of me and the agents. There’s a lot involved in changing brands – new cards, signs, websites, systems – it’s a big undertaking. But the whole transition was smooth and easy because of all the work done by the regional staff and Mike.”
Jones says the benefits of the merger are already apparent.
“There’s a new excitement buzzing, a new dynamic, he says. “Growing pains are worth it if the people involved are committed to success – not only their own but everyone’s. We gained a lot of great agents who operate like that. And they fit perfectly with the group we already had.”
‘I Was Stunned’
Back in Demotte, VanderWall is similarly pleased with the support her agents received during and since the conversion. She has particular praise for RE/MAX Design Center Automation.
“I was stunned when I found out we don’t have to pay extra for the automated marketing packages,” she says of the Design Center system that automatically creates an entire set of materials for each new listing. “It’s such a major advantage for the agents.”
VanderWall has seen many of her agents – including some who had been struggling to reach certain goals – increasing their production. “With RE/MAX, the support is always there,” she says. “It’s just phenomenal.”
Even clients are happy with her move to RE/MAX, VanderWall says.
“RE/MAX connects with people in so many ways. I have clients with children who’ve used services made possible through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” she says of the network’s philanthropic partner for over 25 years. “Our move to RE/MAX really hit home with them.
“It’s been incredibly good in every way.”