The nest-shaking started with a text message from a co-worker at 12:13 pm on Jan. 20. About three minutes' worth of texting back and forth, and the picture was pretty clear. Our office was closing March 1, and all of the agents were being transferred to the office across town, which was owned by the same corporation. It was a purely financial decision, we were assured. There was no need to have two branches of the same franchise, owned by the same corporation, in our town. So start packing and move on over to the other building.
It didn't quite work out that way. Most of the agents scattered to competing companies within two weeks, For those of us who had not yet moved, it was like living in the middle of a vortex that was sucking people out of the doors while we watched. My plan was to stay on until the promised close date of March 1, but it soon became obvious that it was going to be a shell of an office long before that. Ironically, the two top-producing teams (my team and one led by the agent right across the hall from me) were the last to leave.
Our office culture had been shattered, and it was obvious that too few of us were moving to the "other office" to have any semblence of our old community.
I picked up my license on Feb. 14 (exactly one week before the locks were officially changed). Before the end of the day, my husband and I traveled the 240 miles to the state capitol to register my company. Riverbend Realty became official that day. It has been a whirlwind of change for me, but all in a good way--not the sucking vortex kind of wind.
From designing a logo to forming a corporation, getting checking accounts set up, insurance policies in place, licenses of all sorts filed, vendor applications filled out, domain names and DBAs reserved, and a phone and internet system installed, I feel like I've made critical decisions back-to-back. At first, we didn't even have appropriate furniture; and we were living out of boxes. Now we sort of have desks and even filing cabinets, but many of the boxes are only half unpacked. Finally, the phones, the fax, and the internet all work. My listings all have signs in the yards, and my first newspaper ad appears this Sunday.
Please, don't anybody tell me it's a bad time to open a new company! It's a perfect time! Now, if I can just get the website up and running, and taxes sorted out, and the accounting software set up, and, and, and ....
Oh well, now you know why I haven't been in The Rain much lately!