Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Agents Decoded: Why I'm here 

Jay brings his extensive real estate industry experience, balanced perspective, and a love of writing to Real Estate News.

October 25, 2022
4 minutes

The direction of your business depends on decisions you make every day. Agents Decoded can help you by presenting the perspectives of seasoned pros who have been there, made mistakes, and found success.

Welcome to Real Estate News! 

It’s always exciting when something new launches in the real estate world. While a news site is hardly a revolutionary concept, there’s no question in my mind that when done well, one can be incredibly valuable to its audience.

That audience is you — agents, brokers, real estate leaders, the staff of associations and MLSs, and those who work in fields that support the industry. That’s a big audience, serving an important role in the economy and in people’s lives.

You have an important and difficult job, and you need resources to help you understand the complexities of your profession. Developing multiple ways to optimize efficiency and prospect for new business are critical for your success. Anything that can help decode the twists and turns, the ever-changing environment of real estate in a concise, authentic way should be quite helpful for you.

This is where my writing, and Real Estate News, comes into play.

My love for writing was born in high school. Thanks to an amazing English teacher in my sophomore year, I gained confidence in my writing. Confidence that led to a passion that drove my parents, and a few teachers, crazy.

It also annoyed my friends and classmates. I was that guy who responded to the teacher saying, “Write a 500-word essay on the rise of the Roman empire,” with, “Is it cool if I do 1,000 words?” Much eye-rolling and head-shaking ensued. 

Even my undergraduate thesis advisor knew me well enough to say, “This needs to be 25 pages, Jay, 30 max. And no, you can’t make the font smaller or the margins wider.”  

The first draft of my thesis came in at 38 pages. Ruthless editing and re-writes finally got it down to 27. That edit left me mentally and physically exhausted and somehow deeper in love with writing. I submitted it 15 minutes before the deadline.

“Here you go, Dr. Sutherland. Am I the last one to submit?”

“Of course. How was the process?”

“Excruciating.”

“But you loved it, right?”

“Yep.”

“Do you love this?” she asked, holding up my paper.

“It’s pretty damn good.” 

“Could it be better?”

“Always.”

Dr. Sutherland smiled, pushed back her chair and pointed for me to sit down. We had many a chat in her office over the years, and we both knew this would probably be our last one. 

I don’t recall everything we talked about, but as we wrapped up, I do remember exactly what she said.

“You’re a wonderful writer who will publish. When you do, make sure you’re publishing for the right reason, with the right people, for the right audience. Don’t just publish just for the sake of it. Publish to help you, and help others. Publish where you trust."

Real Estate News checks every box Dr. Sutherland pointed out all those years ago.     

How do I know that? Because I know Stefan Swanepoel, the founder and publisher. I know Mitch, Stephanie, and Amie, the leadership behind Real Estate News. I know Jack Miller, the president of T3 Sixty. These are smart people and, importantly, wonderful humans.   

The purpose of Real Estate News and this “Decoded” column is “making complex things make sense.” That’s what I love to do, and I love doing it for an audience like this, with a group I trust.

Check, check, check. 

Looking forward to our adventures ahead!

Jay Thompson is a former real estate agent, broker-owner and industry outreach director. He is currently an industry consultant and sits on several boards. The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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