old signIn true real estate fashion, the room began to fill with agents just minutes before the announcement was to be made.  Truly, the team of Wilkins & Associates Real Estate entered the breakfast meeting with anticipation and, judging by their faces, some anxiety.  They hung on every word of their leader, Tom Wilkins, and only exhaled after Sherry Chris our President and CEO, and Wendy Forsythe, our Vice President of Broker Services, presented our company to them for the first time. 

Amid the flurry of post-announcement questions, all seemed calm … which made me just a little leery.  You see, I alone was to remain in the Poconos for the next several days to personally deliver the tools and systems of the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate brand to the agents 120+ agents and management team.  I was scheduled to run through seven presentations in three days.  Why, you ask, would I have concerns when everything appeared fine on the surface?  Because we all know how people usually accept and adapt to change. 

sign change The night before I was to present I sat, glued to my laptop, in a hotel room with barely an internet connection.  I combed our consumer site,  and our extranet for last minute glitches, and reviewed my slides and presentation for clarity.  Oh, and yes, I ran through my own list of anticipated FAQ’s making sure that I had the best and most current information.  I finally tucked myself into bed for a sleepless night long after midnight had passed. 

The morning presented the Summa Cum Laude graduates of the Who Moved My Cheese “school of change”!  From the first presentation to the seventh, each group was enthusiastic and excited.  They were anxious to learn and truly interested in the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate products, tools, services and systems for their benefit.  And they did ask questions … very good, pertinent, positive questions. 

Throughout the week and seemingly overnight, I watched yard signs change and, more dramatically, office signs change from Wilkins & Associates Real Estate to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates.  Through it all, one thing rang with sparkling clarity; we could not have chosen a better “first” franchisee.   Kudos to the leadership team of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Wilkins & Associates, and kudos to the agents!  It was my extreme honor to be among this group of professionals.   

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