So you have now heard the news. Jay Thompson has sold Phoenix Real Estate Guy to myself, Nick and Shar. So how did all this go down? Well here is my take on some of the happenings that lead to this big moment.
It all started back in 1969 when my mom… ok, we won’t go back that far. Dang… Did I just give away my age? That’s okay, I am still younger than Nick.
So in 2008 I got my real estate license. I had just recently moved to Arizona, so knew maybe a dozen people.
I turned to blogging, something I had done successfully in the past. Quickly I met a bunch of great people including Jay, Nick and Shar. Over the years we would all become close friends. Then in 2010 (I think, my mind is not what it used to be) Shar and myself joined Jay at Thompson’s Realty. We tried numerous times to get Nick to come on over, but for some reason he was not interested in leaving Realty Executives (more to come on that later.)
Over the next three years I would work across a table from Jay on almost a daily basis. We would talk blogging, sports, beer, cars and make stupid #WalmartBet type wagers. Damn you Phillip Rivers.
Shortly after Jay abandoned us for Zillow, Shar would leave and go join Gentry Real Estate. I never would have left Thompson’s Realty if Jay and Francy remained owners. I cannot speak for her, but I don’t think Shar would have either. Soon after I followed Shar to Gentry.
About 2 years ago I was having an adult beverage with a good friend Justin McHood, who was a former contributor to this site and my oldest friend in real estate. Justin took me under his wings (as a loan officer) from day 1 and taught me a lot. Justin told me I should talk to Jay about buying tPREG. We talked about it and I floated the idea by Jay and Francy. They decided that they wanted to remain loyal to their agents and continue to provide them leads, so they decided against it.
About every six months or so I would shoot Jay a Facebook message saying “if you ever change your mind let me know.”
Then at the beginning of 2015 more things started to change. Shar and I both loved the team at Gentry, but decided we needed to do something else. Nick and I had been talking for months about trying to form a team, but in the end we decided to keep our separate businesses, but work closely together on some web stuff that would benefit both of us. That lead me to Realty Executives where Nick was. At first I was not a fan of going to Realty Execs at all. I had this image in my head of what they were like, and it wasn’t the culture I was looking for. But after meeting with the new owners, I could see things were changing. My perception did not match the reality.
So Nick and I started working together. We started planning. We decided that we were going to take my old blog, East Valley Team, and make it a joint effort and split leads off of it. We approached some other agents and started working on a game plan to build a site that involved several agents that could rival tPREG for dominance in Phoenix. We were ready to take on the world.
Meanwhile, Shar was still trying to decide where to hang her license next. I had tried to convince her to look at Realty Execs, but she had the same preconceived notions that I did.
Then, about 6 weeks ago I get a Facebook message from Jay saying “we think we are ready to sell.” I was shocked, but excited. I asked for how much, and he said “we are not sure, but want to give you first shot at it if you want it.”
Did I want it? Does a fish want water? Does a dog want to go for a car ride? Do I know the hidden outlet locations in Wal-Mart? I was ready, I had a number in my head, it was a large number, but one I thought was reasonable.
I called a good friend of mine. He and I go back over 15 years and we discussed the numbers, we put pen to paper and what we decided was, my number was WAY OFF. This was worth a lot more than I was thinking. We came up with a number that was almost 5x the original number I had thought in my head.
So I waited for Jay to come back with a number. And amazingly we were both in the same ball park. My number was actually slightly higher than his, so I was happy with his. Sorry Jay, no renegotiating it now.
Now I had a choice. I could either go it alone, keep the leads all to myself and hire some buyers agents, or I could have others join me in the effort.
That decision took about 6.3 seconds of contemplating. I knew I wanted Nick and Shar involved in this.
So why them?
If you know me, really know me, you know there are a few things in my life that are really important. The Red Sox, running and coaching, beer, stupid contests… sure, those are accurate, but none of them compare to the big things. For me it is all about two words. Faith. Family.
I have been told many times that I should not talk about strong Catholic and Christian beliefs. I should keep that in the house and to myself. To me, keeping my faith at home would be like every time I walked out the door saying while I am at home honey we are married, but once I walk outside these doors I am going to just leave that here.
It just is who I am.
And the second part is family. I love my wife and my kids greatly. Some of you know our story. Married way too young (18 and 22) we went through a very rough patch where things were just not working. This patch was for many, many years. It even lead to divorce papers. But in the end we recommitted to each other because we put God at the center of our lives again. Thank you Retrouvaille!
And that’s what I love about Shar and Nick. They are not Catholic like I am, but they both put a high priority on their faith and their family. I honestly cannot think of anyone I’d rather build this business with than them. We not only have the same strong beliefs in family and faith, we also all believe in putting the customer first as stated in our tPREG manifesto.
When I approached them, I think it took them both less than 10 seconds to say “I’m in.”
That was about 5 weeks ago. In the last five weeks we have set up TPREG Marketing LLC to do some joint venture stuff with. We have spent numerous hours talking about where we are going and how we are going to get there. And we have enjoyed working closely together.
I know I speak for Shar and Nick when I say, thank you Jay and Francy. Thank you for all you have done for us over the years. Your friendship, your mentoring, and your spending most of the night with me in a Wal-Mart Jay. Thanks for this wonderful business platform you have built. We promise to make you proud.
Its been a fun ride, and the best part is, we are just getting going. Phase 1 of tPREG is done. And just like any successful venture, once you have a successful phase 1, you start looking at where to go next. We have a LOT of plans for the future of tPREG Marketing. So stick around for a while, I think you may enjoy the ride. I know we will!
In 2009 tPREG won the Inman award for most innovative blog. We hope to make tPREG a 2-time winner of that prestigious award!