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2010-06-25 15:41:51

Virtual Culture Continues to Surprise

Every time I think we understand this new paradigm called the Virtual Culture it tosses another surprise at us.
I have had many discussions with some of the heads of our industry over the last 2 ½ years about the Virtual Culture. The one issue that we discuss time and time again is HOW MANY REALTORS DO OR DO NOT CARE FOR A BRICK AND MORTAR OFFICE?

I continue to argue that more than 40% of the Realtors could care less about working in the Brokers brick and mortar office. Quite honestly, between you and me, I think it’s even higher than 50%.

I have had everyone of these industry leaders agree that I’m right and a certain percentage of the Realtors do not care about a brick and mortar office. Their estimates range from a low of 10% to as high as 20% that they agree do not care about a brick and mortar envirment.

However, what is starting to become very apparent to me is that we are both right.
The Realtors that don’t care about the Brokers brick and mortar environment is probably above 50% as I have stated in the past, but the Realtors that could care even less about a brick and mortar environment is probably right at 20%.

So why am I changing my tone and saying we are both right?

Because we have been experiencing a phenomena for the last 6 months that is starting to take place on a weekly basis. We are having more and more top producers join us. However what we are finding is that they don’t care to work in the broker’s brick and mortar environment, but they do want a brick and mortar environment of their own.

These top producers are using the money that they don’t pay the Broker when joining the Virtual Culture and they use those savings to open their own offices. The top producers love the fact that they have their own office. Free of office politics, free of non producers, free of the Broker.

They love the fact that their back office operation is handled for them, that they receive complete support in the area of compliance and that they can attend training at their own choosing by attending webinars or a video conference.

We find ourselves with almost 20 offices scattered around the country that were open by our Realtors. Most of these locations are in high profile, expensive locations.
In just the area of where we have our corporate office in Southwest Florida we have 3 offices already open with three more about to open.

We never expected this to happen nor did we encourage it to happen, but yet we find that we are seeing these offices open up on almost a daily occurrence. I guess it’s natural for an independent contractor to want to be independent.

What I love best is that I’m seeing some gorgeous offices open up with our name on the door. Yet we aren’t absorbing the costs. We just give all our Realtors total support, total freedom within the confines of compliance and we show every one of them that we care.


James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes and may be reached at

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