Jeff Grobman has been in the commercial, industrial, and investment sectors of real estate for over 20 years. He has worked with boutique Alberta and British Columbia firms including Royal Park Realty and Torode, though Colliers International purchased the latter in 2007. During his near-decade as an agent with Colliers—wherein he also served as an Associate Vice-President—Grobman met his current business partner, Steven Pearson. Grobman was missing the company culture he’d enjoyed at Torode and, together with Pearson, decided to seek out that kind of working environment once again.
“At Torode, there weren’t head offices,” says Grobman. “We worked very intimately as a group and had lots of fun, readily sharing information between bullpens. If someone was talking about getting a listing for a new apartment and you overheard it, you could get involved and work with them. We made money, splits were good, but it was that synergy of working off each other: I’d lost that whole atmosphere.”
After Colliers acquired Torode, the shift toward more of an institutional style worked for some, but being an international body meant less splitting and collaboration. “You had to make a certain amount,” Grobman says, “and you were under pressure to do your thing. I wasn’t as happy. The problem was, where to go?”
The answer came as a surprise to both Grobman and his partner Pearson. “After so many years with Colliers,” says Grobman, “it had to be the right move.”
He and Pearson would be comfortable somewhere with a strong brand presence but they were also definitely seeking high split rates. Like most, they were familiar with the established brand image of RE/MAX as a residential real estate powerhouse; and they were pleased to discover that they also hold a leading position in the commercial real estate industry, with over 40 years of experience. RE/MAX’s expertise in franchise conversions, mergers and acquisitions, expansions, new locations, startups and team building was unparalleled. The next question was whether Grobman/Pearson could bring their clients along.
The answer is yes, their good friend and RE/MAX franchisee Scott Hughes explained, at a monthly social get-together for local commercial and industrial realtors. RE/MAX Commercial’s proven system attracts high-producing agents, and provides support, brand awareness, education and training to offer a competitive advantage.
“The timing was right,” says Grobman, “and we’d have the freedom to do commercial/industrial—no residential.”
Grobman and Pearson officially joined RE/MAX in 2016.
“We’re building our autonomy,” says Grobman. “We’re independent contractors within RE/MAX, basically. Clients are going with me—not the house—but the brand name recognition makes me feel comfortable. It’s working out really well. We’re going to conventions and meeting other people. Exchanging ideas is fantastic. You’re well informed of what’s out there and you can help each other. Two years have passed and it’s been very good for us.”
They even share their expertise with up-and-comers, which is encouraged within the organization. “It’s been a great experience having younger residential people mentor with us,” Grobman says, “to get more into the commercial end of things.”
In addition to its support and education opportunities, RE/MAX offers latitude. “You reap what you sow,” says Grobman. “It’s up to you if you want to come in one day a month and do a single sale. Steven and I are generalists. We don’t get packed into one specialty. You don’t have to reach a quota or you’re out.”
“You can do what you want to do,” Grobman says, “what you do best.”
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