Hi, Darin Thompson here, Broker and Owner of Stuart St James.
My “customer” is a licensed real estate agent like you, and my focus is providing massive value to entrepreneurial Massachusetts real estate agents.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Boston, Stuart St James is a residential real estate brokerage and its agents serve the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Why I Started Stuart St James and Turned It Into a 100% Commission Real Estate Brokerage
Ever since 2005, when I first became professionally licensed to practice real estate, I pursued it unconventionally. While I spent time at Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams as a broker associate and real estate salesperson respectively, “traditional” brokerage models and their approach to the practice of real estate never really sat well with me.
That itch, of disagreeing with the traditional real estate brokerage status quo, grew more noticeable to me over time.
One of the first things that tipped me off was the Coldwell Banker listing presentation training with its endless series of yes-centric questions, no one wants to buy from people who use “yes momentum” selling, or at least no one with whom you want to have a long-term respected relationship – if you don’t know what I’m referring to here, simply Google “Chris Voss yes battered” or watch this 4-minute video of Chris Voss explaining the concept. Chris Voss is one of the foremost authorities in the world on negotiation.
My uneasiness grew as I was pressured to be seen in the office when there was no constructive value in being there, and my frustration grew when I was forced to pay erroneous fees like a “virtual phone fee” when I didn’t have an assigned desk in the office and never made a call from a brokerage-owned telephone.
I finally had to leave Keller Williams when my broker requested a sit-down meeting to voice her frustration with me because I wasn’t seen in the office enough or perceived to be closing enough deals. The sad truth was I explicitly and transparently set expectations with that same broker before joining Keller Williams that real estate was a side hustle at the time.
In 2010, after hanging my license with several “independent” brokers who allowed me the freedom to build my brand and practice largely as I desired, I pursued a broker’s license and had the opportunity to launch Stuart St James.
It wasn’t until years after I started a residential real estate brokerage in Massachusetts that I realized “why“. It’s so clearly explained by my personality type. I did the 16 Personalities Test (it’s free) and the insights it gave me about myself were incredibly accurate.
In case you’re wondering, I’m an “Advocate” (INFJ-A) personality type – people with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life. It’s been an honor to create a platform in Stuart St James as a brokerage that maximizes real estate agent take-home pay.
Over the years, the brokerage has evolved to become the premier 100% commission virtual real estate brokerage in Massachusetts serving experienced agents and experienced top producer agents, newly licensed real estate agents, part-time real estate agents, real estate investor agents, and real estate teams.
Agents who join Stuart St James operate outside the traditional real estate brokerage status quo swim lane, they don’t want their time wasted, they are annoyed with the nonsense and hassle of traditional brokerage models and silly fees, appreciate straight to the point transparent communication, and they want to be compensated fairly for the work they do.
While I would like you to take at least two actions on this page (1) consider joining Stuart St James as a licensed real estate agent in Massachusetts and (2) become more self-aware, if there’s only one thing you do, do the short personality test, it will really open your eyes and I think you’ll be super happy you did it – just let me know which of the 16 personality types you are!
Where is Stuart St James and the Real Estate Industry Headed?
It’s my belief that if I focus the efforts of the brokerage on serving these distinct audiences of real estate agents well, I’ll create unique value.
I predict there will be an acceleration in the breaking down of the current status quo of traditional real estate brokerages. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused traditional brokerages to start promising more take-home pay but they will not reveal their plan without agents offering up their contact information, so there’s still a lot of progress traditional brokerages need to make toward transparency around real estate agent commission and fees and efficiency in respecting the time of agents.
In an effort to stay up with the times, traditional brokerages are beginning to offer iBuyer experiences, evidenced by the Offerpad and Keller Williams partnership announced in late 2019. Traditional brokerages are trying to stay relevant in the changing environment that started well before Covid-19 and will likely be accelerated by the disruption to the economy – traditional brokerages are scrambling to maintain their relevance and justify their higher take and split of real estate agent commission. Clearly, agents need more flexibility and a 100% commission model delivers.
I’m excited Stuart St James has been forerunning 100 percent real estate commission brokerage best practices, the no-nonsense and no-hassle approach we take to providing value to real estate agents represents positive change, which is fantastic to lead.