Our Origin Story
After being in real estate for just a few weeks, I knew the industry was way behind the technology curve and was in need of a serious overhaul. A few years into my career, I had reconnected with Sean via Twitter and we had a conversation about how far real estate tech lagged behind other industries. I asked for Sean's help to build an agent site better than what was currently available. Sean was the CTO of a medtech startup and the wheels were already turning in his head. He saw the opportunity to help reshape another industry using his tech expertise.
Not long after that, I decided to start the process of forming my own real estate company. Then not long after that, Sean's company was acquired, and he was looking for his next project. We decided to go into business together and form a real estate company with the intent of looking for ways to improve the process. We went through a few names, but we eventually settled on Third Coast Realty Group. Sean went all in and got his real estate license. He spent time in the trenches doing everything from putting out signs to negotiating counter offers. I got my broker's license and spent hours reading and researching and learning how to do the things necessary to make the business run smoothly. Things were going well enough that we decided to narrow our focus and establish our first community office. We found a killer space in the Denham Springs Antique Village in March 2016. Denham Springs was one of the fastest growing cities in the state and the ideal location for a growing real estate business. We spent considerable time painting, rewiring, reflooring and getting everything just perfect. Things were going great until the first weekend in August when severe rain was predicted in the forecast.
Over that weekend, between 80 and 90% of the structures in Denham Springs flooded in what was the worse flooding event in our area's history. What we went through in that weekend could fill up a book, but it culminated with evacuating my house and wading through waist deep water holding dogs to get to higher ground. When the water went down and the roads were finally open again, we went to check on the office and were shocked to find that it was somehow dry. We laughed, cried, screamed, jumped up and down, all of it. We offered our office space and equipment to local businesses because we had one of the only functioning spaces at the time. People came buy and had coffee, made copies, and shared what they had been through. We even had a hairstylist who gave haircuts in the back office for a while. The Livingston Parish News became our officemates so they could continue their job of getting out vital information to the public.
Eventually it hit us. Our original plans for the business were out the window. We really didn't know if the business could survive, but we committed to seeing things through and seeing if we could keep the business alive. In addition to letting other people in the community use our office space, we offered commission discounts to homeowners who needed to sell their houses in as is condition. It was heartbreaking to watch people have to leave behind such a big part of their lives. My home had flooded as well so I understood what they were going through. But many people moved on to better things and slowly life, and the real estate market, started to recover.
Somewhere in the conversations we had about how to move forward, one of us said, why don't we just keep the commissions the same?