Why I switched to Fathom Realty - The Future of RE

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

People ask me why I switched brokerages to Fathom Realty. Let me first give you the Reader's Digest on my career path in real estate.

I've been a licensed broker now for over 20 years. Fathom Realty is the fifth brokerage I've been aligned with over that time. I started with a Realty Executives office in Lawrence KS when I first got licensed. When we moved to WA State, I joined a well-known regional brokerage, Windermere. During my stint as a Community Manager  here at ActiveRain, I joined Brio Realty, a boutique brokerage owned by ActiveRain founder, Jonathan Washburn. After that, I rejoined Windermere for a few more years. In 2011, I moved my license to Keller Williams, and helped them to launch their office here in Kitsap County WA. And finally, most recently, in September of 2017, I became a District Director for Fathom Realty. As a result, I've had the benefit of experiencing a number of different brokerage models, from traditional to 100% commission, as well as locally-owned, regional, and nationally based companies.

Realty Executives was a great starting point. I knew the broker owner, and he afforded me some generous concessions on the desk fees as I built my business. When we moved to WA State, Windermere was making a big push on technology and training, and was a leading regional brokerage. My experience with Keller Williams was a very positive one. They offered a more competitive split, lower annual fees, profit share, and a very attractive culture that resonated with my core values.

As 2017 rolled around, I wasn't thinking of moving my license. I was fairly content in my affiliation with KW, and the team we had developed in Kitsap County was growing nicely. Yet, during my 6 years with KW, I had observed a growing erosion of the company culture. I felt it was becoming less personal, and more numbers driven (focused on agent count & production). In addition, I was having a hard time justifying the annual costs ($30K plus) associated with being a KW broker (paying out higher caps, splits, and associated fees are okay as long as you receive reasonable value in return).

Interestingly, the person who had recruited me to KW, Matt Thomson, called to inform me that he was leaving KW, and joining a young, up and coming company called Fathom Realty. Matt had been part owner in the local KW market center, served as a Team Leader and MAPS coach, and ran a successful real estate business. So the news of his departure was both disconcerting and intriguing. Matt is a really smart guy who I respect tremendously, so naturally, he got me to start the process of investigating Fathom Realty.

At the same time, I had been observing the growing disruption occurring within our industry, fueled by the popularity of many so-called 'modern discount brokerages,' like Redfin, Faira, Clever, UpNest, and various iBuyer platforms - heavily VC-funded companies that offer significant discounts and rebates to Buyers and Sellers.

It remains to be seen what impact and growth such companies will have in the short term, or whether they can sustain operations in a market downturn. But regardless, it's obvious that the disruption of the traditional brokerage model is happening now, and as a result, commissions and profitability are slowly eroding.

As I investigated Fathom Realty, I discovered a model that has effectively anticipated this disruption, and is pro-actively preparing/equipping their agents/brokers for future success and profitability. Fathom Realty offers a very simple, cost-effective, per-transaction plan. Every broker or agent pays only a $450 per transaction fee for the first 12 transactions (they consider this their $5400 cap). After that, all subsequent per-transaction fees are only $99. In addition, there is an annual fee of $500, paid out of your first transaction. So with Fathom, instead of paying over $30K to my previous brokerage every year, I now only pay Fathom $7600! Can you imagine the things you could do with an extra $20K+ to spend? Take that long deserved vacation? Set money aside for retirement. Fund your kids college education? Re-invest in your business?

But I learned that the advantages of Fathom Realty don't just end on cost-savings alone. Unlike many other 'per-transaction-based brokerages, or so-called '100% Commission' brokerages, Fathom offers full support services and cutting edge tech tools like kvCORE (a very robust CRM platform), as well as a highly efficient, mobile-friendly, transaction management system called IntelliAgent (developed and owned by Fathom Realty!) Then, add to all that, stock grants, vested after 3 years, and the benefits make Fathom Realty a truly viable, lifelong company to call home!

Of all the brokerages I have been affiliated with, Fathom Realty offers some of the best, most responsive support services I have ever experienced. After uploading my transaction documents into IntelliAgent, I create the Funding Request, and the commission disbursement typically shows up at escrow within 24 hours. On the day of closing, if all of my paperwork has been properly submitted, I pick up my commission check at escrow. The whole process is easy, efficient, and seamless!

While my move to Fathom has been an excellent decision for me, one thing I have learned through my experiences is that one size doesn't fit all. No one brokerage offers the best solution for everyone. Fathom Realty is a virtual brokerage, and as such, does not offer traditional brick and mortar office locations. Some people need an office/desk/cubicle. They don't do well working from home. Others like the comradery and connection that an office environment affords. However, for many veterans, like myself, who don't need a lot of hand holding, we enjoy the freedom that comes from being affiliated with a virtual brokerage. Though my designated broker here in WA State, Mark Ossinger, is readily accessible, and offers another set of eyes on all my contracts, I am free to run my business as I see fit, with minimal intrusion or limitations.

And lastly, Fathom Realty's core values find their foundational basis from a verse in the Gospel of Matthew - "Whoever wants to be great, must become a servant." Ultimately, this is the key to having a successful career in real estate - an unselfish focus on serving the needs and interests of your valued clients!

Perhaps you're tired of paying someone else for the privilege of doing business? Or, you'd like to retain more of your hard earned commissions, yet still get the support, tools, and services you deserve? Maybe you just want a more fun, positive, and empowering evironment?

Welcome to the Fathom Realty Family!

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Rich Jacobson is a REALTOR® and licensed Broker with Fathom Realty. He's a Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, skilffuly vanquishing anything in a shell! He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.

Comments (2)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Rich.

Welcome to the Family of Fathom.  I've been with them for 4 years now.  It's a great place to work.  

Jun 28, 2019 02:25 AM
Jay Valento
Fathom Realty Group - Jay Valento - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Real Estate Agent - Beach Cities

Fathom Realty Group is the way to go Rich

Feb 22, 2021 07:36 PM