Today, we mark our 5th anniversary! To celebrate, Jeff shares the abridged version of how The New Home Experts® almost never happened; a story that features BETRAYAL! DESPERATION! PREGNANCY! And so much more…
Few people realize this, but initially we had a 3rd partner (who I will cleverly refer to as “#3” going forward). Lou and I had been talking about this business concept since our days together at Centex, but didn’t get serious about it until 2012, when the recovery was well underway. We had pieced together some ideas, but we were struggling with some minor details like money, legitimacy, and the fact that neither of us was a broker. You know, minor details.
I had mentioned our plans in passing to a friend (#3), who was retired from the biz. Not thinking for a second he would want to be involved (I just wanted some feedback), he told me he wanted in. He was a broker, with money to invest, and a recognizable name. It was perfect.
I convinced Lou to bring him on board and the three of us steamrolled forward, spending months putting together our business plan. By late October 2012, with barely enough time to get a website live ahead of our (anticipated) January launch, we were set to move forward with a web developer. With the scope of what we were looking to create, it would require an investment that meant once committed, there was no turning back.
The night before we were set to finalize the website, #3 summoned me to one of our regular meeting spots, and told me that he was out. That he wasn’t ready to leave retirement. That he wouldn’t be joining us in the morning.
Blindsided by the news, I still believed we could make it happen without him. We had recently discovered a quick route to our brokers license (thanks to Lou’s MBA), and I was confident we could scrape together enough cash on our own. After all, neither Lou or I had kids at that point, and both of our wives worked. Sure, it might mean a longer road to profitability, but we had the flexibility to stretch each penny. Feeling slightly better about the situation, I went home. My wife greeted me at the door with a hug and, before I could tell her what had happened, she told me she was pregnant.
Early the next morning, Lou sent me a text asking if we could get together ahead of the website meeting; just him and I. Naturally, I assumed the worst, and figured he was about to bail too. We met for breakfast and I instantly shared the news from the night before (both items), then made my pitch for why I believed we could still make it work. Lou laughed; he was planning to tell me that he didn’t agree with the direction #3 was taking us, and that he would be leaving if #3 stayed. Problem solved.
We moved forward, going live on February 7th 2013; just a couple weeks later than initially projected. 5 years (and 4 kids) later, here we are.
We offer a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this milestone possible, and look forward to continued growth with all of you! Additionally, we would like to thank those who took the time to read this, and made it this far without the aid of pictures; Jeff wrote most of this, and we’re pretty sure even he bailed like two paragraphs ago…
Lou Bitove & Jeff Bortnick, owners of The New Home Experts®, have more than 30 years combined experience in real estate, much of that with builders like Pulte & Toll Brothers. They also provide market research for area builders, developers and national firms. If you’re considering a new home, remember: the builders rep represents the builder, not you. Work with the only local agents in Metro Detroit to specialize in new homes, and save money in the process – ask us how!
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