An old axiom says “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” Maine Home Realty was, indeed, born out of necessity, and on our 2nd Anniversary, we think back on how it all began and we are amazed, and proud, of our journey. For those of you who don’t know, here is our story:
We had been happily (more or less) working for an independent real estate brokerage company that had opened a branch office in Bath in 2008. In 2011, all of us working in that branch were acutely aware that the office lease was up for renewal in the fall. The real estate market had been pretty miserable since the 2008 financial crash and the economy just wasn’t recovering. We realized the future of the company’s Bath office was a big question mark.
The Summer of 2011 did, in fact, bring the news that the company would be consolidating its operations into a single office location and all of the agents were invited to work in Freeport. We both live in Bath and neither of us did much business in Freeport, making this a poor option. We needed a company in Bath! Thinking of the established real offices that we could join, we dismissed one after the other for various reasons – none were a good match for the way we worked.
We had both been through a similar scenario with another company in 2008, so we decided to strike out on our own. We would start a new company to sell real estate the way we know it should be done and, at the same time, take control of our future in this business. But, we would have to act quickly!
With barely 2 months before we would be “out on the street,” every spare minute was used to brainstorm a company name and tag line (Get the Attention You Deserve!), file LLC paperwork, apply for a company real estate license, and create a policy manual, develop procedures and office forms. We secured a domain name for a website we didn’t have, set up email accounts, and had a logo professionally created. We created marketing materials and had business cards printed. We negotiated and signed a lease for office space that our former company would vacate (no change of location was a plus!), got permits, ordered building signage and lawn signs and lock boxes for our listings. We shopped for furniture and equipment and contracted for MLS service, phone and internet connections, and bought paint for the walls. We both registered for the next Designated Broker class we could find!
Between our former company vacating the office space at the end of August and Maine Home Realty being licensed to start business on September 7, 2011, we had a whole week to get the office ready. In between meetings with clients to get new contracts signed to transfer listings and buyers from the old company to the new, we painted, and painted, and painted some more! To rest from painting, we did paperwork and updated our info in all the places we “live” on line, and then painted some more. Our families helped with the painting and with furniture assembly when they had time. Our new company license arrived from the Maine Real Estate Commission and it was proudly framed and displayed.
The day before Maine Home Realty opened for business, we were both down in Portland at our first (all-day) broker class! It would be 6 more weeks before we would complete our classes, get Broker licenses, and finally be totally on our own. What a whirl-wind! But we’ve never looked back and this has turned out to be the best thing we could have done for ourselves and our real estate business.
We’ve known each other and have worked together since 2007. We have always shared a business philosophy that is client-centered, where ethics and professionalism rule the day. We make a highly effective team, using the same kind of creative thinking, hard work and energy that we employed to start our company, to help our clients achieve their goals of buying and selling real estate in the Southern Mid-Coast Region. We rely on our satisfied clients, and the people who know us well, to recommend us to family, friends and co-workers so that our business will grow and prosper. It is that simple.
As Maine Home Realty begins its 3rd year, we know that we aren’t able to do what we do without the help of many. Thank you to all who have been so supportive – that includes family, friends, clients, customers, lenders, vendors, title companies, lawyers, home inspectors, contractors & service providers of all kinds, and our neighbors in this fantastic community!
Jon Leaver & Terry Driscoll