It’s been two months since Tad Lake, his brother Brady and their co-worker Paul Shreenan decided to make a move, but in that time, Nelson’s real estate offices have seen a steady stream of moves, mergers and swaps.
The trio of realtors were working at Re/Max RHC Realty when, as a group, they all decided to leave and join Nelson’s Fair Realty.
“I guess we just shook things up a bit,” said Tad about his move. Tad had worked at Re/Max for 16 years, but felt a change was needed.
“It was just a decision that we had been thinking about awhile… It was just a decision where, in a small market like ours, the smaller offices, not so much the big brokerage modals, can succeed and can be successful.”
He and his co-workers thought they could use that to their advantage to both grow their clientele and serve their customers.
Other realtors have also moved over to Fair Realty. In the past few months, Deane Stanley, from Nelson Realty, Bob Price from Century 21 and Peggy Scott, coming to the Kootenays from Calgary, have all come on board.
Fair Realty owner John Knox said realtors like the fact that his company has a presence on Nelson’s Baker Street and that they are free to make their own decisions.
“Our business model as a realtor is for them to run their business the way they chose to run it, within the guidelines,” he said.
The departures, left some of Nelson’s other realty companies a little short-handed.
That’s when the next round of moves occurred.
Negotiations took place and soon, Nelson Realty owner Dave Gentles merged his operation with Remax.
Glen Darough, owner at Remax since 1996, said he was pleased to combine forces with Gentles — saving on administration costs while working to benefit the client in one office instead of two.
“Dave brings with him a lot of experience,” said Darough who’s been on the local real estate scene for almost as long as his colleague. “We’re all trying to do the same thing out there… I think it will be awesome.”
As for Gentles, who started Nelson Realty in 2006 with his wife Joan, he said “it was very nice to create it. It was very nice to have it well received by the community. It’s something that will always be near and dear to my heart.”
Gentles had his thumb on the pulse of the Nelson real estate scene since 1980.
With Gentles, three realtors and son-in-law Trevor Jenkinson as property manager became part of the Remax RHC Realty team. They brought along 40 listings as well as 90 rental properties managed.
Other minor moves occurred, as they do in any industry, but after the merger, Nelson’s game of “realtor roulette” seems to have calmed down.
Looking back, Tad Lake said he had no idea that his move would create such a wave in the industry.
“We quite honestly weren’t thinking about anything else except ourselves and our clients.
“Did I think that we were changing anything? Nah. I think the only thing that happened is a lot of people thought, ‘Oh, it’s okay to make a change.’”