March 29, 2023

Hello from the Other Side: Christina Thoreson Reflects on Selling Her Vacation Rental Business

In today’s episode, Alex and Annie are joined by Christina Thoreson, who with her husband Thor, built Chattanooga Vacation Rentals into a sizable and well-run outfit in Tennessee prior to selling in 2022.

Christina recalls their early struggles including not knowing how to run housekeeping and maintenance, and struggling to figure out the legal and operational aspects of the business. Christina and Thor were early adopters of technology, and although they went through a series of software changes, they had finally found the perfect tech and operational recipe in 2021 - and that’s exactly when the doors started knocking with offers to acquire the business.

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Amazon Music podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

In today’s episode, Alex and Annie are joined by Christina Thoreson, who with her husband Thor, built Chattanooga Vacation Rentals into a sizable and well-run outfit in Tennessee prior to selling in 2022. 

Christina recalls their early struggles including not knowing how to run housekeeping and maintenance, and struggling to figure out the legal and operational aspects of the business. Christina and Thor were early adopters of technology, and although they went through a series of software changes, they had finally found the perfect tech and operational recipe in 2021 - and that’s exactly when the doors started knocking with offers to acquire the business.

Christina shares her and Thor’s plans for the future, which she says may include getting back into the industry…perhaps through a franchise. 

Learn more about building and selling a successful vacation rental company and shifting careers as a sommelier in this episode of Alex & Annie: The Real Women of Vacation Rentals.


Christina: Seizing a golden opportunity at the best terms  

"In a three week, first in a 24-hour period, and then about a three-week period, we had four interested parties. And I said, Thor, what? We weren't gonna sell. What do we do? And he said, I think it's a sign You know, to get two offers in this period of time, this just doesn't happen. We just need to move forward."

"We probably spent six weeks negotiating that. Well, the first offer we spent about three, two, or three weeks on and just couldn't figure out a way to do it. That second offer, we spent about six weeks really hammering out terms, wanting a lot of assurances about how things were gonna move forward."

Christina: Getting guarantees for their people was a top priority

"One of the things we negotiated, we spent about three weeks negotiating, is a clause in the contract that said you have to keep our people for at least six months. You absolutely cannot change their pay, you can only increase it, and you have to give them these benefits you're promising them. If you don't do that, we have a contract, we'll sue you."

Connect with Christina:

This episode is brought to you byCasago,Guest Ranger, andGood Neighbor Tech to view our top picks for the best suppliers in vacation rental technology and services. 

Special thanks toRev & Research for being the presenting sponsor of Alex & Annie’s List.

Connect with Alexand Annie and get more real vacation rental goodness:

If you enjoyed this episode ofALEX & ANNIE: The Real Women Of Vacation Rentals, make sure to visit our socials, leave us a like, a comment, or share our content with the crowd! Don’t forget to subscribe!

LinkedIn |YouTube |Facebook |Instagram |TikTok


[00:00:00]Welcome to Alex and Annie, the Real Women of vacation rentals. With more than 35 years combined industry experience, Alex Hener and Annie Holcomb have teamed up to connect the dots between inspiration and opportunity. Seeking to find the one's story, idea, strategy, or decision that led to their guest's big aha moment.

[00:00:22]Join them as they highlight the real stories behind the people and. That have built vacation rentals into the $100 billion industry it is today. And now it's time to get real and have some fun with your hosts, Alex and Annie. We'll start the show in just a minute, but first a word from our premier brand sponsor, Casa Go, and co-sponsors Guest Ranger and good neighbor Tech CASA's founder Steve Schwab has been quoted as saying you can only be a local in one place.

[00:00:53]The simple yet profound statement is the basis of Casa Ghosts franchise model, which allows locally owned vacation rental management companies the ability to compete at a national level by leveraging the system's, software, and support and buying power of a much larger organization. As a Casa Co franchisee, you have the freedom to run your business with the support of a community of like-minded professionals while leveraging the economies of scale and buying power to increase profitability and reduce operating costs.

[00:01:20]Guest Ranger is the premier guest screening and chargeback protection solution. Leveraging ai, their tool effectively detects fraudulent activity, fake IDs, and underage guests, while also performing comprehensive dynamic background. With guest ranger businesses can rest assured that their customers are safe and secure.

[00:01:39]Good neighbor tech allows you to manage your properties remotely and intelligently, protecting your owners and your guests. Their smart wifi locks allow you to provide temporary access to home and garage from anywhere, and keep track of when guests and service providers are in the property. Good Neighbor Tech provides the ability for you to collect email addresses from all guests staying in a property, not just the one who booked the reservation.

[00:02:01]Every guest who connects to the internet will see your branded welcome page and be prompted to provide their email address in order to connect to the wifi. Visit casa guest and good neighbor for more information. Welcome to Alex and Annie, the Real Women on Vacation Rentals.

[00:02:19]I'm Alex, and I'm a. And we are joined today with Christina Thorson, who is a vacation rental legend and an aspiring sammer. Did I say that right? . I think that's good. We love wine. So you're keeping the red train , you're with the right crowd. Yep. Y'all will help me taste right so I can develop my palate.

[00:02:42]Well, our favorite thing is twist our arms, talking about vacation rentals while drinking wine. And unfortunately we don't have any today, but , we should have planned this better. next time. Yeah. Well, we're so excited to have you and Christina, you've, you just have such an amazing story that you've built in, um, many, many years within the industry and in other industries, and most recently some pretty, um, Uh, maybe dramatic is the word, I'm not sure, but just very interesting things that have happened, um, within your role in the business.

[00:03:12]So before we get started, can you give our audience a little bit of history of who you are and your background within vacation rentals? Sure. So in about 2004, Thor, my now husband mm-hmm. , uh, built a house that was on the bluff of Lookout Mountain and. The interest rate started rising and he was on an adjustable rate mortgage based on, uh, Lior, which is the London Interbank loan rate, and thought, I'm just gonna be able to afford this.

[00:03:41]I need to make this something else. I need to make this a vacation rental. And so checked around, found somebody in Chattanooga that would help him with that. And so 2004 turned that property and vacation when only moved in something we call the shed. And during the time from four to about 13, When the guests would have a problem, the person managing the property would have them call his cell

[00:04:05]Mm-hmm. . And so in 13, we found out that person was neither licensed by the state of Tennessee, which they're required to be, nor had an escrow account. Oh, wow. And so I said to him, one night on the porch, Drinking wine, perhaps . Uh, hey, I, I think you should just take him away from this person and we should start managing them.

[00:04:27]And so in January of 2014, we went up to Sevierville and took a vacation lodging license class, and he became licensed and started managing his own two. And then, people started coming cuz they knew him from the hang lighting community. Started coming to him and saying, Hey, you're managing yours. Would you do ours?

[00:04:46]Mm-hmm. . That's kinda how we got started in the industry in about February of 2014 as professional managers. That's right around Valentine's Day too, right? Yeah. . It actually was, I think it's a few days before Valentine's that he became licensed. Yeah, of course I went to the class with him, but I didn't become licensed because I had all those other real estate credentials.

[00:05:05]I didn't wanna try. Manage all those things. . Yeah. Yeah. So how did you grow, like, so when you, well recently, I mean, we'll go, go touch on it. Recently you sold it, but back then, like how, how did you grow your business? Cause I mean, that, that was at a time when thing, vacation rentals was growing slowly and, and kind of quietly.

[00:05:24]I mean, Alex and I have been around for a enough time to know Yeah. That the last few years has been the boom. But it's, you know, things were slow and you were in a, a, a, I mean, Gatlinburg is a big market, but Chattanooga's. Huge market for vacation rentals, or at least it wasn't at the time. No, it wasn't. So I think we were one of the first properties in Chattanooga in like a hundred mile radius to be on, uh, FlipKey back in the day.

[00:05:47]Oh yeah. So we were paying for advertising. Thank you Jeremy. And why'd you sell anyway? All the, it's a love. I've had this conversation. Um, we were on flip key and then. Paid to be on HomeAway. And then of course, I think V R B O bought flip key and then HomeAway bought V R B O. You know that whole thing happened.

[00:06:07]Yeah, yeah. Um, When we decided we were managing, it was really not intentional to open a company, although we opened a company cuz he's a former military policeman, he's a rule guy. We wanna make sure we're following all the rules and then people started coming and saying, Hey, would you manage this for us?

[00:06:24]We just organically. Had owners recommend other owners. People found out he was doing it. He was like a 14 year old girl on Facebook posting what he was doing every day, , and, you know, but he still does that. That's right. I love it. But we'd be like, at my office and have this gorgeous view or office. Yeah, whatever.

[00:06:45]Um, and then we had a good friend who was real interested in us helping a local, um, land trust called the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. With their property. They had a property on the river that they were using for events and brides, and they didn't like it. They were spending a lot of time and a lot of money.

[00:07:00]They weren't making any money. And they came to us and said, Hey, would you help us manage this? And that became like our fourth property. So Wow. We just grew from word of mouth until we decided, oh, now we have payroll, we should probably do something intentional . Cause we really didn't plan any of. And I think that's how so many of us have gotten into the, into the business and even the business owners that they didn't realize that they were actually building a business until all of a sudden it's like, okay, wow.

[00:07:29]I actually, I need software and I need people to be able to manage this empire that is like quickly growing in front of my eyes. Um, and it's just, it's, it's interesting to, to see that happen in so many different areas of the country that it's just a similar path for many of us, but. Un unintentional. It wasn't like in fifth grade I said, Ooh, I wanna be a vacation rental manager.

[00:07:49]You know? Right. Yeah. Most, unless you're born into the business, it's not like you aspire to, like, I'm gonna go to college and learn all about vacation rentals soon. Yeah. There probably should be a class for it though. Just to give a little bit of foreshadowing and, and we'll, we'll touch on this in a little bit, but, um, you recently sold your business or in about a year and a half ago, is that correct?

[00:08:12]Actually, uh, we closed June 30 of 22, so Okay. 7, 6, 7 months. Okay, so you had been in the business for roughly six years or so before you decided to sell. Tell us about those early days. I mean, FlipKey, I certainly remember that, and I remember things were so much easier back then. People just sent in an inquiry and you wrote back and you know, sometimes you hear from him, sometimes you didn't.

[00:08:36]But it, uh, it definitely put a lot more control in the hands of the operator, I think, to respond how they wanted to and control that guest experience. But talk about the early days and maybe just some of the struggles that you guys experienced between those years of, you know, the um, 20 15, 20 18, 20 20.

[00:08:54]In that time. Sure. So 2014 is when we technically opened, um, about 2015. We had four properties in early 20 at the, by the end of 2015, early 2016, we had like seven or eight. Um, some of the early struggles were not knowing of. Being about vacation rental housekeeping, right? Yeah, sure. Every surface, every time.

[00:09:19]What? What are we talking about here? ? This, just change the sheets, right? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So we didn't know. And so we had some residential cleaners that were working for us on contract basis. And then early 2016 we had a meeting with an attorney. We thought, okay, now we have a fairly substantial amount of income coming in and we've got a couple of employees.

[00:09:39]We need to make everybody an employee cuz we're telling the housekeepers when and. Yeah. So figuring out the legal aspects and operational aspects, how does the trash get taken off? Most of the houses didn't have internet. I mean, there was a lot of, it was a rural market, right? Mm-hmm. , we were out on Lookout Mountain.

[00:09:56]We were out on the river west of Chattanooga, um, down the valley in Lookout Valley on the west side of the mountain. You know, trying to find the right people for the right seats. We didn't even know that was a thing. Yeah. We just were like, Hey, can you come help me? Yeah, yeah. Please look nice. Just begging

[00:10:13]Yes. Just begging and then trying to professionalize it as we learned more and more about it. Um, we were early adopters to, um, Escapia. So in 2016 we had eight or nine properties and we were getting, or maybe 10 properties we were getting, we had a little thing called Res Key. Mm-hmm. That was basically just calendar ops, right?

[00:10:34]Mm-hmm. , um, and pushed back to our VRBO and Flip Key, I think, or homeboy FlipKey, I can't remember exactly. And so I had met somebody and I was like, oh, we really need to be on Escapia. We've been doing the accounting on, on a legal pad. We'll be back in just a minute afterward from our Premier brand sponsor, KA.

[00:10:55]I've done every position in this company. I'm gonna start it from a ground up. I was done right. I, I just did everything. So I've done it all. Not to say that I don't still enjoy vacuuming. I love that , you get burned out a little bit and you lose your, you know what I mean? Like, I dunno if I can do this anymore.

[00:11:09]That's Kelly Hill CASA's franchisee from McCall, Idaho. Her company, dun Wright Management had been a leader in the market for many years, but as larger national companies started to gain ground, Kelly felt like she was losing control of the business. That was my way out the door before Casa came. I really was, I think I was considering selling the company because I was, I was at that point where I was getting like, you know, maybe this isn't for me.

[00:11:34]Ryan had approached Ryan and Steve approached me and. It was like they sang a song to me because I was like, this is what I need. I need direction. I'm looking at the bigger companies and I'll say, you know, VA Casas out there and, and I admire them for a lot that they do. They have, but they have a lot of bandwidth here.

[00:11:55]They have, you know, bulk and so they can get, do things a lot cheaper and their systems are great. And I looked. Is, is the opportunity that we needed to, um, to get there, to have some of those advantages. We asked Kelly about the transition to becoming part of Casa and her thoughts on the benefits of becoming part of their franchise model.

[00:12:19]We had just switched to a different, um, uh, p m s system that same year. So it was a real challenging year, but it was so worth it because streamline is just, I mean, it's, it's the best of breed and I love touting that. When I meet with owners, I'm like, yeah, oh, we use streamline software. It's the best in the, interesting.

[00:12:37]That's one main thing is that the training and the support that they've given us, I mean, they are just there. I mean, anything we need, anything we. Kelly's story is one that resonates with many of our franchisees. Switching software is a big decision. CASA's full-time support staff are here to help make this process significantly easier and more efficient than a regular software switch.

[00:12:59]Ryan and Steve, they just really said, you can, you can still do this. We're here for you. And if we have all these things in place, your company can run smoothly. And it does. And I think that, um, I mean, I, I can. I can take off for a week and I know I'm gonna come back and everything is running as good, if not better than when I was here.

[00:13:17]So it's. Visit Casa to hear more stories from franchisees like Kelly and inquire about territory opportunities and available markets every month. And that was complicated. And so they said, well, we take 90 days to onboard. And I said, well, we're leaving for Europe in two weeks, so either we onboard or we can't do this.

[00:13:39]Yeah, because we were leaving somebody else in charge , but we did it. Of course, we had a lot of properties. Right. Yeah. So, you know, software and technology, yeah. People, operations, all those things were a challenge to sort of figure out, oh, now we need a pickup truck just for trash. Yeah. Cause there was a trash removal, rurally,

[00:13:58]Yeah. Especially where you were, I mean, you were having to cover a wide geographic area. I mean the, the Smokies and Chattanooga, the whole area. I mean, that's, if you're managing in different parts there, I mean, you're having to send crews in very large distances, but that operationally, that's. Yeah, he called it windshield time.

[00:14:17]Yeah. So there were a couple of later years in 21 and 22 when we were putting 30 or 40,000 miles a year on four different vehicles. Wow. And that's just tra, that's trash and maintenance, basically. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Um, not because our furthest property was probably 65 miles. Wow. Office. So we were, you know, between properties, it's not very reasonable.

[00:14:41]Distance . Yes. Yeah. So in that, in that having a property that far away from your office, you obviously, I would say obviously assume that you were an early adopter of some of the like, tech to be able to check people in. Um, you know, I think that, that, that has really come into its own in the last couple of years.

[00:14:59]That was kind of at the, the beginning of the like, don't touch your guest phase, you know, like when that was really happening. So how did you decide that that was a way you could operate? Or was it just by necessity? So when we started the company, we decided we did not wanna have keys, we wanted electronic locks.

[00:15:14]We wanted to be able to do those remotely. Mm-hmm. . So, um, we used a company called Ere Lock, which basically was log rhythm net card, and you put in the data time of start of the reservation and the data, time of finish. So you can manually make every code for every reservation. And you just, we popped that into the emails to the guest.

[00:15:34]Mm-hmm. , um, We figured if like we as guests, we don't need to meet you. We don't need to come get your key and talk to you in your office. And because we didn't have a real estate arm, we didn't have a brokerage, so we weren't trying to bring the opportunity for those guests to sell, right? We weren't trying to sell them property, so we didn't need to meet them in person.

[00:15:56]If they were happy, they'd go to the property, love the space, have a great time, and check back out. We didn't hear from 'em cause they didn't need anything. We, it was great. Great for them. Great for us cuz that's how we like to travel. We started Laurel tell you, I was a huge advocate because I had gas perspective of one price per night, like one rate.

[00:16:19]Cleaning taxes, everything included. No additional fees now that the conversation's become so huge. Right? . And he was, after about, I don't know, maybe 18 months, he said, um, I think we should sales tax. When we started, we had, they were like, we were one of the first people on. The Internet's, you know? Yeah. But then when we, when we went back like in 16, there were like 17 properties or something ridiculous.

[00:16:48]A really small number for John. Yeah. And he said everybody else is charging these things. Cleaning and sales. We should probably charge, we're just leaving that on the table cuz our nightly rate is, I was doing a nightly rate study manually once a quarter cuz I'm a weird appraisal geek. Right. . . So talk about.

[00:17:07]Like, uh, scrape data. I was literally looking at every listing and seeing how they were listed on the different sites and they, yeah. Yeah. That's so funny. I mean, that's, that's my, that's my experience as well, just literally looking on other websites. I mean, back, back in those days, that's what you did.

[00:17:24]Cause I mean, they did, there, there were no tools, there were no dynamic pricing tools in the, you know, 2014 to 18 or so. I, I'm not sure when they started, probably around 18 or 19, I'd say. But yeah, it was looking at websites and it was very time consuming because some sites made it. Easier to tell from the onset versus some, you have to go all the way to the checkout page and then, you know, everybody does things a little bit differently and, and I think that there's, there's greatness in that, but there's also , you know, this is not comparing a Hilton to a Marriott on Expedia.

[00:17:55]It makes it very difficult for people like you who actually you were essentially the revenue manager without even knowing that that was probably a title at that point. . Exactly. Yeah. I'll date myself and say that, um, I remember we would have meetings on Monday and take the reservation team offline and they would call around, like we had, we, we had fif, you know, I mean, that's what they would do.

[00:18:16]They would call around and then come back with their report, like the re reservation manager would come back in and tell us what all the competitors would, handwritten notes. It's like, yeah. It's just so amazing where we've come. Oh, it's, the tools we have now are remarkable remarks. Yeah. Now towards the end of the two or the, the 2010s I guess.

[00:18:36]Yeah. You um, you decided to change software, right? You changed over to track and it was fourth time . Fourth. Fourth software change. We had changed. Yeah, we had changed. Wow. That's a lot. We were, uh, we went from rescue to escapia. So live res to track. Oh wow. Okay. I didn't know those two Live res was in the middle of too.

[00:18:57]Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Okay. Yeah, so a lot, lot of changes over the years. Yeah. So you ch ch changed the track. And then I know one of the things that was so interesting to me when we first met was you were actually, I think the first one to tell us about e o s and how you integrated that in the business. And it seems like that's just something that's become very, uh, common in our industry and probably in other industries too.

[00:19:19]But it's just recently that that's become utilized. Vacation rentals. But, um, did you tell us about that? Was that part of track or did you do that after track, or how did that work? That's a great question. So we, in March of 2020 when everything was starting to fall down in Pandemic World, you know, people were getting sick and die.

[00:19:39]Mm-hmm. , um, Thor did one of his famous long hikes and he called me and he said, I think we just shut it down. This is before the government shut down anything anywhere. And he said that I'm worried about our team getting sick. Yes. Guests coming that are sick or getting sick while they're here. Yeah. And then the repercussions potentially for owners and for our community.

[00:19:59]So if a guest gets our community sick or comes sick and, and then dies in a property. Yeah. What does that look like for our team? For the owners, there's so much risk. He said, Christina, you know, and a lot of our team, several of our team, Long time friends and family, two of my daughters worked with us mm-hmm.

[00:20:19]and he said, I don't wanna put anybody's life at risk. Yeah. I think we just shut it down till we understand. Mm-hmm. . And so we, we shut it down, we created a nonprofit and we decided we would put all of our personal savings in this nonprofit and pay our team. Whatever the gap was. Like we didn't, they hadn't decided about any, they hadn't shut anything down.

[00:20:40]They hadn't decided about federal benefits or something for unemployment. We just figured we would pay whatever their average monthly wage was like over the last 12 months, whatever the gap between unemployment and that wages, we would just pay them that out of that foundation because we wanted, we didn't know how long this was gonna last.

[00:20:56]Right, right. Yeah. Nobody knew. So we, okay, we're gonna shut it down cause it's not, and then we do, we shut the company down and we're done. Yeah. Or do we invest everything we have in moving it forward in a different way? We have a, a unique opportunity. We don't know how much time we have, a couple of months at least.

[00:21:16]Yeah. To completely reformat the business. So we decided B and I talked to Steve Trover, who I'd had several conversations with. Yeah. He recommended the book Traction. He recommended that I call Sharon Ke. And look at EEO s I read the book in two days and I was like, oh, this is definitely what we need to do.

[00:21:36]Um, we kept on our two, two of our team members, Jen Richards, who's now actually at track, and Katie Ben, who's with Ventor, who's also one of our vendors. Um, And we said, okay, this is what we're gonna do. We gotta, everybody read the book, we're gonna do this. And then we called Track and John Stoker was still there, and I said, John, we're not quite at 50, but we really wanna be track.

[00:21:57]We, we had wanted to be on track since, uh, maybe 2016. And they were so cute. We were at a conference and we said, oh, we would like to be on your system. And they were like, oh, great. Here's my card. And oh, by the way, how many properties do you have? And we. Six. I think when we bringing on seven, they were like, oh, how cute.

[00:22:13]Yeah. Yeah. , you can't, you can't be on track without numbers. Right. You can afford it. Yeah. Right. Um, anyway, so we decided to double down and track made us a great deal and nobody knew what was gonna happen. We said We'll pay you a year in advance. We'll pay you for 50 and before we quit the business, we had one at 50 properties.

[00:22:31]So Yeah, isn't that great? We just doubled down basically and tried to reformat everything so well and having the right software, tools, systems, I mean that's like you guys were really building to what you probably always need all those. The through those years. But here's the thing too, you don't know when you start what you don't know.

[00:22:49]And I've, I've talked to so many people in, in my role now in CASA, that are interested in becoming a franchisee and they say, you know, I could do this on my own, but I know I'm gonna end up. Taking missteps or I'm going to go down a path and I'm not gonna know something. And that's gonna cost me way more money than it would to be to start with something that somebody that knows it.

[00:23:10]And I think for anybody getting into the industry, whether it's through mentorship or through different programs or, or aligning with us, Software that's gonna help guide you. That's really important. I mean, you guys had to take a few years there to, to get to that point, but, but you got there and, and now, now let's, let's, uh, segue into the really interesting part of the story, but tell us what happened next.

[00:23:33]Well, we doubled down. We reopened, you know, three days between one day, between zero days. Everybody's good. We had all the cleaning stuff already in place, but we found out about dwell times. I never thought I'd need to know about dwell times of chemicals to kill germs. Right. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Literally like I spent three or four days researching dwell times of chemicals.

[00:23:53]So, and Thor and I were talking about this, you know, for breakfast. Um, we came back. Rock and roll. Everybody knows we got super busy. We had people calling us while we were closed saying, please let us come. We've been long time guests. We always come. Please let us come. We need to get away. We couldn't. We just couldn't open 'em.

[00:24:11]Anyway, when we finally opened, got real busy. We had all the processes in place and we're working on some of the bigger ideas. Yeah, and just got super busy. It kind of exploded. And in mid 21, uh, I got an email from Jacoby. Oh. He said, Hey, if you're thinking about selling your business, and I was like, ah, please, , please get me out,

[00:24:33]And so I said, walk me through what that looks like. And so he did, and Thor and I talked about it and we decided, no, we're just gonna do this. We're just gonna keep doing this. We have everything in place. We have a great team. We just need to rock and roll. Keep going. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . And in early 22, he called us with an.

[00:24:51]And less than 24 hours later, we get a second offer from a completely unrelated. And then I went to Chicago to conference and I talked to two more people who wanted to sign NDAs and make us offers on our business. Wow. Wow, wow. So like in a three week, first, in a 24-hour period, and then about a three week period we had four interested parties.

[00:25:09]And I, I said, Thor, what? We weren't gonna sell. What, what do we do? And he said, I think it's a sign I, yeah. You know, to get new offers in this period of time, this just doesn't happen. We just need to move forward. Mm-hmm. , um, we probably spent six weeks. Negotiating that. Well, the first offer we spent about three, two, or three weeks on and just couldn't figure out a way to do it.

[00:25:31]That second offer, we spent about six weeks really hammering out terms, wanting a lot of assurances about how things were gonna move forward. Mm-hmm. , it was a real hard decision. It's like having an eight-year-old. So at that point we were eight years in the business. Yeah. With the company. And so of course I'd been operating vacation rental since I four without knowing that's what we were doing.

[00:25:53]Right. Um, It's like selling your kid. Yeah. Yeah. And Thorne Thor doesn't have children and he jokingly says, I'd sell my kid. . Yeah. . I mean, there are days when I would've sold mine for the right amount of money.

[00:26:13]Um, and so it was real tough decision. Plus, these are all our people. Right? Right. And these owners we've known. A long time. I mean, they trusted us with their, usually their largest financial assets. Sure. Sometimes they're second largest. It was a tough decision and at the end we, we signed the paperwork. Um, We called every single team member in that next two hour period and said, okay, this is what we've been doing the last six weeks and this is the direction we're gonna see if we can go.

[00:26:43]Because we had a long contract period, it was a, for like a 45 day contract period. Mm-hmm. , we really weren't sure until day of closing that we were gonna agree to do it. Wow. And how did, what was that conversation like with your staff? Because again, you talk about like, you know, the, the business is your child, but the, you know, this is your support system, your family, your family members, your aunts, uncles, cousins.

[00:27:04]Like, this is what it all is. Like, how do you go to them and say like, I know you've worked all this, but we're, we're getting out, you know, like Yeah. To give them that assurance, cuz I, I'm sure that, you know, again, you want to make sure that they're protected, but there's only so far you can go with. With a sale of giving assurances.

[00:27:19]And, and so a lot of it is just really trying to utilize that, uh, that, that, that, I guess that comfort that they have with you, the trust that they have in you, right? That you're gonna do the best by them. Well, that was hard. It was hard conversations. Um, you know, from our perspective, we just explained our decision making process and why we thought it would be a good opportunity for them.

[00:27:39]Mm-hmm. , because it would give them the option of working in a lot of different areas if they wanted to physically move geographically. If they wanted to move up in a company, like in our company, there's order to go. Right? You know, we own the company. There's really no upward progression if you want to grow in your field.

[00:27:58]Right. One of the things that we told everybody was, If you know this, one of the things we negotiated, we spent about three weeks negotiating, is a clause in the contract that said you have to keep our people for at least six months. You absolutely cannot change their pay. You can only increase it and you have to give them these benefits.

[00:28:17]You're promising them. If you don't do that, we have a contract. We'll sue you. I mean, it was, Thor was, you know, he can be kind of direct. , . There were several times I thought they were just gonna throw up their hands and say, nevermind. Right. And. But they didn't, they really wanted this location. Yeah. Um, so we just told people, look, this is the reason we think it'll give you more opportunity.

[00:28:38]You have options to move in other places. You can move out of your current role into a different kind of role in the vacation rental industry. Yeah. You know, we're all learning in this business and we want you to have as many options as possible. You've built some traction in yourself and, and fundamental.

[00:28:54]Skills and knowledge and expertise. And so you can take that anywhere. This industry is amazing. Mm-hmm. . And that's kind of what we said. And of course, um, you know, at closing we did a big bonus for. The people who were still at the company. Yeah. Um, and one of the people that had left, because without them we wouldn't have gotten to where we were.

[00:29:13]Right. And I think, you know, I remember being in Chicago with you and, and, and talking. Not you, you didn't talk about selling the business at that point, um, talking about what was going on and. It's just, that was like right before, or probably in the middle of when we started hearing of a lot of different acquisitions within the industry.

[00:29:30]Yeah. Um, you know, several big legacy players that had sold either to Vacasa or v Tripps or another private equity company there. That was almost, and we had a first of the month episode, Annie, I think that was maybe June with Simon Leman that mm-hmm. . That's what we talked about, was like, what in the world is going on?

[00:29:46]Everybody's selling their businesses in this mass exodus. But that was also right before real estate. Slowed down significantly over the summer and interest rates rose. And so it's interesting now to see, I don't think that anybody really is out there in the same with the same buying appetite that they had at that time.

[00:30:05]Uh, and you know, from a, from a numerical and revenue standpoint, I'm sure it may, it was a very good time for you to get out when you did cuz that deal. Even with the other ones, I don't think would probably exist in its same format now. But you know, that being said, I mean obviously getting an, the, the payout for your work is wonderful, but I'm sure it's also a challenge for you guys to look back on it and know that part of that is, is gone, or a lot of it is gone and was a lot of it wasn't upheld to how you had wished things would go.

[00:30:39]Can you tell us a little bit about what that process. . Sure. So as part of the contract, they were buying the contract assets, our agreements with the owners, and they were also buying all of our brand identity. Mm-hmm. . And after closing, we found out they hadn't even forwarded the phone number. Wow. Uhhuh And like on purpose or just that somebody, no idea.

[00:31:03]The team that integrated us, uh, about three months after closing, they were all let. Wow. And oh my gosh, the fellow at the organization who was a salesperson who came to us to negotiate the deal is no longer with. Yeah. Of about three weeks ago. Two weeks ago. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's a real weird, like I'm trying to resolve 2022 taxes.

[00:31:26]Yeah. And I'm, you dunno who to go. There's nobody to go to. Wow. Oh yeah. And I'm emailing them and crickets. They're like, who are you? Yeah. Cause we had revenue until June 30 and they started revenue July 1st. Mm-hmm. . And I mean, I couldn't. Any of the marketing websites to give me information. We had downloaded everything from our site.

[00:31:48]We were on track and we were about 60% direct bookings. Mm-hmm. . So the bulk of the revenue we can handle and deal with the rest of it. It's like . Yeah. We're gonna rely on our financial records cause we don't have, there's no 10 99 or anything. Yeah, it's, and it's interesting too, I mean, I, I remember back a few years ago when in my previous role we, we had purchased another company that also had a very large presence and website in our area.

[00:32:15]And we talked to people about do we redirect that website? Do we keep the brand, do we merge it into our brand? And a lot of people that we talked to said, well, you ought to just follow what Vacasa. Did, and they just, you know, when they buy a company, they just redirect it and you just get the value of the, that traffic and those links.

[00:32:31]And we, we did the opposite. And I think we did, we definitely did it the right way by not doing that. I mean having, and really I think if, if other big companies, uh, would have followed suit, it would've been better in their path also, because, I mean, really the local brands are, So important. And if anything else, I mean, it's more to, certainly more to manage and more complicated, but when you have more results on a, on a search results page, that's only better for, for that company to continue to get their own direct business, which you have built up pretty good direct business in a fairly short amount of time.

[00:33:02]Yeah. So that's, that's a lot of equity in a company to throw away. And I, I really think that, And a lot of these acquisitions that the equity in the marketing assets, the websites, the brand is, it's almost not even part of the, it's not part of the equation. You're, you're valuing the company based just on the contracts.

[00:33:19]But a lot of these websites have a lot of value that even if they're repurposed and used for something different, not vacation rentals, a lot of them have, uh, you know, URLs that are not specifically for accommodations that they could be repurposed. But it's interesting to see the different path. Agreed.

[00:33:34]It's, and it's tough for us to see after the fact. Yeah, bet. We left town right after the close and, um, we're in St. Lucia. We went to, and my phone was off, so it was thes like, For 10 or 11 days and we turned it back on. It was like Bing binging, Bing binging. Oh. Oh no. That's the, all the text messages from our team, our owners.

[00:34:02]Owners. Sure. Uh, we did have a couple of owners actually reach out and say, oh my gosh, y'all, I had no idea how much work y'all were doing. We appreciate so much. We are so sorry we were ever hard to deal with. Yeah. After the fact. Just amazing. Right, right. Yeah. Cause they have a different perspective. . Yeah.

[00:34:20]So, so in your sale, um, how long I, I, other, other people have talked about, there was different clauses, I guess. Um, but how long do you have to, if you wanted to get back into vacation rentals, like how long do you have to not be in the market to be able to do that? So in Chattanooga, we agreed to a five year non-compete.

[00:34:40]Wow. Wow. Strange. Well, think about how iconic Thor is. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, if people heard he was doing it again, they'd be like, oh, Thor. Um, but it's, well, hopefully they paid you for his, his stature in the community. never paid for that.

[00:34:58]Yeah, I mean, they did. They hit a pretty high price, and from my understanding, it was median for what happened in that first quarter. Yeah. And after that first quarter, nothing else really has sold or been boughted. Yeah. Yeah. You got the tail end of it. You got the very Thor said. I don't know. I think God loves me.

[00:35:18]It's like she's, she's like tiny, you know? Yeah, right. Um, but then now he's so upset cuz he misses it . He does. He does. So we could go to other markets and do it. Okay. I'm not sure he wants to do operations again. Yeah. I would love the opportunity, knowing what I know now. That's like if you could go back to 25, but know what you do now.

[00:35:39]Yeah. Would you do it? Yeah. There's some real appeal to that. Yeah. You know, hearing about, um, Travis and Rebecca talk about the, um, 100 club, which I love the idea. We were initially part of that and then weren't, we decided to stop doing it. But it, I, because it wasn't done yet, but we Yeah. Yeah. Hearing them talk about it, I would love to be a part of that.

[00:36:02]Like that kinda stuff that people are doing. Yeah. Um, I think we would probably, Go franchise. I mean, I think we would probably call you , right? Council? I know somebody that , I can hook up with somebody that, right, yeah. Somebody knows about franchises. Right? Um, I think that's probably the route we would go because why beat your head against so off, right?

[00:36:24]Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, it's, I mean, to start from scratch is, is even if you've been in the business, there's still so much to, to begin and start building that tech stack and, uh, you know, all the processes and everything that you need to redocument. But it is interesting. I, I think being in the position that you guys are in, it's like, I, I would imagine you kind of have that feeling of like, you almost wanna, and I.

[00:36:45]Thor does, wants to prove it to himself that he can do it again. ? Yes. Um, cause it's, it's kinda like you guys, I mean, everything worked out, you know, well, in a certain way for you. Yeah. Now it's like, okay, I wanna, I, but I'm not done. You know? It's like, it's almost like you guys had like the last song cut, cut out for your name concert, like, and Yeah.

[00:37:06]Before you go able to dance, you know, , right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I dunno, I don't. You know, he was doing most of the operational heavy lifting. Yeah. So like when nobody, when nobody shows up to clean or somebody's not picking up the track, he's going to do it, you know, an issue with the housekeeper being out or something.

[00:37:26]Um, I've cleaned houses, I'm not good at it. Y'all terrible. Didn't clean my own house. Right. I just don't. Yeah, yeah. Um, but he was doing operationally most of the heavy lifting. So when we talk about going back into that, he is like, oh. This in the summer. Right. I wanted to ask you about your staff and, and I go back to when I was in vacation rentals, so before 2012.

[00:37:52]I had been in it since like the late nineties. And so one of the things that being in the business I, I struggled with and a lot of people that I knew struggled with is when you wanted to leave vacation rentals, there were really nowhere where to. Um, you know, the hotel sector looked at you with like vacation rentals.

[00:38:07]You don't know anything about hospitality or mm-hmm. and then there wasn't all this technology. And so you have a couple of people that have now one of yours went to track and you said, uh, Katie is at inventory. Yes. Um, there, there's more opportunity out there for people and I think that there's now so much value put on the expertise and the experience and the, like, just the, the breadth of knowledge that people from vacation rentals have that the hotel side didn't.

[00:38:32]They didn't really pay close enough attention to and probably let opportunity to get some really great employees pass them by over the years. But what did it look like, cuz it's, I'm guessing that some of these people came to you and said like, the situation is just the snow bueno. I don't wanna be here.

[00:38:47]Yeah. Were you able to help them find their, their purpose in their place and, and the next chapter for them? We have in several instances. Uh, some of 'em I can't really talk about, but, and some of those people of course being, having been in a smaller company, like we had, you wear a lot of hats. So they had a breadth of experience like you're talking about.

[00:39:07]Yeah. Um. A lot of our team has found other roles in other sectors, mostly on, let's see, let me think. Almost wholesale on the vendor side. guess. Operations is hard, y'all. Um, yeah, sure. And so I think, you know, they. They have been able to pivot and of course get paid a whole lot more, more money than we were paying 'em because yeah, we were little, we couldn't, yeah.

[00:39:32]You know, they were growing with us. Yeah. But we couldn't really compensate. Unfortunately, Costa Living is not huge in Chattanooga and Metro and Dan County. Um. You know, I think we, we paid for our staff to do a ton of training. We sent them to conferences. We always wanted them to be sharpen their skills.

[00:39:52]And one of the ideas behind the nonprofit, which we kept open after, after the pandemic was over and people could apply for a grant to do any kind of education. Cuz our goal was not to keep them at our company. Our goal was them to, for them to be the best they could be. Lean into your interest and your curiosity.

[00:40:09]We'll pay for that. And if that means you leave us, we will. That's wonderful. Hold your hand away. Goodbye and say, stay in touch. We love you. We want you to do the best wherever you know, that's what us or not. Um, I think that's, and think that's good. Important. Yeah, that's, that's the way to look at it because A, as you're building your team, for anybody building a team right now, if you can't necessarily afford to pay somebody the top dollar that you know, they, you know, that they deserve and they know they deserve, but they wanna work for you, there's other ways to compensate them.

[00:40:38]And that's a part of that is just having that support of, you know, I'm gonna do it my best that I can to train you and to teach you and. Skills and the experience you'll get here. But I also know that if it's not forever, then that's okay. You know? I mean, you can't expect people to stay with you forever if, if you also know you're not able to give them what you know they're gonna be able to deserve and and rise into.

[00:40:58]But I think that that speaks a lot for you and Thor's character, character, and also leadership. Yeah. Well, I have to say, when we implemented EOS in mid 2020, we made some really crazy stretch. And we were meeting all of them. Wow. And the goal was we had implemented a simple IRA because we had met some of those goals and we had the money to do it.

[00:41:20]Sure. Um, little known secret probably in a lot of companies. I never ever got a paycheck from that company, even though I was working 30 or 40 hours a week. Never gave me a dime. Uh, we didn't start paying Thor until, uh, early 20. Wow. Never a dime. Wow. Yeah. So we were living our personal life on my appraisal, my evaluation practice, and we were putting every dime.

[00:41:45]We were actually putting money into the company, back in the company because we wanted it to grow and we wanted our people to have a great place to work. Yeah, right. Not sure that's the right strategy. Matter of fact, in New Orleans at the conference in New Orleans, Simon at Matt Land's party said to.

[00:42:00]Really, you're not profitable. We didn't talk about this , profitability is really only time. We've heard that from Simon, and, and, and he's Right. But it's the oxygen that grows your business. Yeah. Yes. I know. We literally have sayings ingrained in our minds now. Oh my gosh. Yeah. But you know what? That, that, to me, that to me is I'm, I'm a big believer in karma, you know, in the karmic flow of the universe.

[00:42:23]And that goes to me, speaks to why. Like Thor, you know, and likes you. Like that was why this opportunity came when it did, because you're, you had, you had built up your team to be prepared for anything, whether they really knew it or not, and you set them up for success. And so whether it was easy to do or not, you had done all the right things.

[00:42:43]And so I think that that just is like, I love hearing that and I love to hear that people invest in. Their employees, because I've worked at companies where they just couldn't have cared less about anybody that worked for them. It was just really about the, the, the bottom line. And it was that nobody cared about making you whole or making you a better human down the road.

[00:43:04]And so it's just, it's great to hear that. Yeah. And I think it's it. Sorry. Okay. Okay. I just always wanted people to follow their passion in terms of what they wanted to do in the industry and or beyond the industry. Sure. Uh, we paid for one, um, one person who worked for us wanted pilot, like learn to get her pilot's license.

[00:43:23]We paid Oh no. Cool. Pilot license, like, you know, like we paid for, she never got Wow. License, but we paid for the lessons for her to go. She found that she had, uh, she's colorblind, so she put Oh, no, . I know. So she couldn't accommodate. Wow. Yeah. You. Oh, you can't be a pilot of your color. I mean, I guess that makes sense.

[00:43:39]Cause the color switch, the colors on the switch. Yeah, it's commercial. So she can be a private pilot and she could be, but she couldn't do commercial, so. Okay. Interesting. Well, I mean, I guess if you like, you know, get a million dollars and get a Learjet and wanna fly to Germany and Austria and Italy, you're setting yourself up for future benefits.

[00:43:56]With this employee, right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's that. There's also another good lesson in that too, that businesses that, and not everybody can do this, but I think you, you and Thor were in a good situation, that you had another living, that you didn't have to take money out of the business.

[00:44:11]Right. But there's, I've, there's a trend for sure of businesses that are, have also been able to do that. That the owner managers aren't bleeding the company dry and supporting, you know, their heavy salaries. I mean, those are the companies that last in the, in the long haul. Um, I've seen bo both sides of that in my experience.

[00:44:29]So that's, um, something that everyone should aspire to. I mean, even if you're starting a side hustle or a vacation rental company on the side, if you've got something else that can keep your, you know, page your. Pockets funded for a while, that's gonna be better in the long term because whether you invest it back in your people or in technology to be able to grow the business, you know, but people in technology are the two most expensive line items on anyone's p and l, so Absolutely.

[00:44:54]You gotta have the money to do it. And, and rightfully so. Without the people, there's no point. Yeah. I mean, we're, we're a human business. Absolutely. We're a human business. So what's, so what's next for you guys? I mean, I will say that we met you in Chicago and fell in love with you. No, no, no. Actually met in, uh, better at Burma.

[00:45:15]In San Antonio. San Antonio, that's right. San Antonio. Yes. Yes. Oh, yes. Yes. With the wine. With wine, of course. No, I mean, we fell. Yeah. We did have wine with Right. We fell in love with you and Thor like instantly and just. You know, this has been a long time coming get to get our calendars just sync to get you on the show, but like you are just one of literally my top five managers in the business.

[00:45:38]Just your energy is fun. And, and so when you, I remember when you told me at DM that you had done, you had done this and you were like, it's not public. Like it's coming out. It's like we told a few people and, and I was like, I, I remember walking away going. Wait a minute. No, that can't, like she, I just heard her wrong.

[00:45:54]Look. What are you gonna do? We're gonna, we, I need to see you, like, I need you at these shows, . Yeah, yeah, yeah. Uh, so we've been tossed around a lot of things. Um, I had been accepted to an NBA program late the summer. Oh, congratulations. I always, I always thought I was gonna do, PhD because I'd love to do a PhD in data visualization.

[00:46:17]So in my other world in real estate valuation appraisal review and litigation support, I do some expert witness testimony and I teach some around the country. Um, I wanted to learn more about that. Like how do I present information in ways? I mean, I love a spreadsheet, but not everybody loves a spreadsheet, y'all True.

[00:46:37]So I wanna figure out a way to better produce that kind of stuff. So I was thinking, you know, mba, PhD. And I had actually registered for classes and Thor and I were watching, we watched this movie called Uncorked about a young man who wanted to become a sommelier. And at the end of the movie, I'm sitting there crying and he says, what's wrong?

[00:46:59]What's going on? I was like, I wanna be a so maier. I wanna have my retail wine store that I wanted to do 30 years ago. Oh, I wanted to have a wine. Wouldn't that be amazing? And he said, NBA Sonier. They rhyme. Rice Amma. Yay. Sounds like a lot more fun. Yeah. You're just tasting. I can drink the rest of the wine.

[00:47:20]Yeah, I Grape . Yeah. Oh, I love that love. I actually called my advisor and I said, can I defer enrollment in the MBA program for a year? And she said, absolutely. We'll take you when you come. We don't. Oh wow. Okay. Okay. That's great. And so they refunded the money and I'm gonna do some. Uh, thanks to Matt Pauls and some of his recommendations.

[00:47:41]Matt, uh, uh, prominent solutions track, um, cuz he has a psalm, I dunno if you know that. Oh, ok. He's very knowledgeable. Yeah. Wow. And he suggested both p song training, which is the. Court of Master Somme and Wset, which is Wine and Spirits Education Trust. So they both have different sort of focus. Um, sammer is more like fine dining and how you serve and plates and travel around the table and, and also wine.

[00:48:12]and then W Set is more on the retail wholesale side, so understanding, tasting wine, but also understanding where their, where wines are produced and what goes into the production. Y'all, I had no idea it was this complicated. It's way more complicated than, so I just have bought a bunch of books and. Uh, decided to start with Chardonnay.

[00:48:32]I don't know. I've been tasting chardonnay all my, that's my favorite. Let, yeah, . Well, I mean, we can do that. This is your time to follow your passions, and I do hope that Thor finds something back in property management. But if you can find some blend of wine and property management, well that's, that's really the sweet spot.

[00:48:52]Think about how cool it would be to be able to be, um, as an operator. Yeah, that automatically share wines with guests and or property owners. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Or so are you a round of winery? Something like that? Yeah. Oh, there you go. There you go. Are you gonna, so are, are you gonna open a store? Is that where you still wanna go?

[00:49:11]Or you just don't know at this point? Yeah. So early in my learning. Okay. And I'm literally just learning. , like every varietal of grape. Like I, yeah, I didn't even know. I like wine. You know? I don't know. Right. , how they're made, or if they're picked earlier or late, or if they've grown in warmer or cool on it.

[00:49:27]And the variety is, there's something like 500,000 different wines. Wow. Wow. So it's a lot to learn. It's gonna keep me busy for a bit. Yeah. Yeah. So I guess we, we know that, um, whenever we go to a conference and you're there, we just ask you to come to dinner with us, right? Yes. We'll defer to your judgment.

[00:49:47]Yeah. , of course. We don't have a whole lot of choices at these conferences we go to. It's . It's true. White or red. Not even the type, but yeah. Table wine. Table wine. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think, uh, I don't know. We'll see what happens and, and maybe I get into this and I decide, Ooh, that's just my brain's exploding.

[00:50:04]I won't be able to do it. Yeah. Um, and if not, we'll figure out something. I don't wanna leave the hospitality space. Everybody that I've met, I mean, you guys, everybody else has. It's been so wonderful and engaging and encouraging and supportive. Yeah. And I mean, we, we always, we had a problem. We would like, Hey, who do we call about this problem?

[00:50:24]People were so willing to be open and share their best practices. Yeah. And this is how we solved it. That has been remarkable. Yeah. Um, you know, as an inventory mastermind for about four years when we finally. Oh, maybe trying to grow the company. Maybe we should market to owners like that had occurred.

[00:50:41]Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. . Yeah. I was talking to CJ Sam about it and he said, why don't you call Brooke Fouts? Do you remember Brooke was at Lire and call him. He's got a thing he's doing. So I called Brooke and what I found out later is we were partner number 10, but they helped us explain the business.

[00:50:57]Replace. That's awesome. And properties that weren't helpful and better properties in place and then also grow pretty tremendously. And that's how Katie ended up in that role. We Thorne, I didn't have time to manage all the leads coming in. Yeah. Yeah. So that's pretty remarkable. . Well, I think you guys, I think, again, you guys, I, I say this.

[00:51:16]I've said it for years, but people are born with a hospitality gene or they are not mm-hmm. and you really can't teach it. And the ones that have it are the ones that I feel like they thrive. But I think I, I feel like I've had it my whole life and I just didn't know what to do with it. And, but this industry, this industry is like all of those genes, everybody, like the gene pools come together, you know, and like we're all working together.

[00:51:37]But you're right. I mean, having worked on the hotel side of the business, There's the, the vacation rentals. There is nothing. And even, even short term rentals isn't really the same. Vacation rentals has something about it. It's just got this, this lure and this, this passion that I've never seen anywhere else.

[00:51:53]And I think that we are all, we're competitors. In different aspects, but we all wanna work together to make it better. And, and that's, Alex and I have learned that through all the conversations that we've had, is like you'll talk to people that are very, you know, heated competitors in like TE technology space, but they'll go out and golf together and have a drink together and they know each other's kids and you know, like, it's just, it.

[00:52:12]They, we are all one big family regardless. You know, it's a large, vast. Uh, pool of inventory, but as far as the, the family and the people that are in it, it's, it's very tight knit and close and small, and I just, I love it and, and I just hope that you and Thor stay in it because you are so valued by everybody that's ever met you, and you're a great asset to the whole community at large.

[00:52:32]Yeah, we cry . That's my goal. That's gonna be my goal. This shares how many people can I make cry. It's usually me, that. It's very kind. I agree with you. I think the people in this space will compete and then leave that at the table and go be friends and support each other in real and measurable ways.

[00:52:55]Absolutely. Over and over and over against seeing that. Yeah, it's, we we're all in something very special. I think that we've learned that more and more as the years go on, but it's not replicatable in other industries as far as I've seen, but it's, it's something special. I mean, to feel like you're part of something bigger than what you are, what your company, and not just what you're, but just for your company is too.

[00:53:16]There's, there's a lot of value to that. And just you, you get, you get a. You get, I, somebody taught me years and years ago, and I didn't understand this, this was when I was in college, um, when I was in sorority days that they said, yeah, it was a simple, nothing groundbreaking advice, but you get what you, what you give.

[00:53:32]I mean, absolutely what you put in comes back to you. And I remember I didn't really like being in sorority and I always felt like it was rules and regulations and all these different things, and I didn't like that. But then when I looked back, I, I wish I had participated the way that I would've gained more from it if I had embraced why, why I should have learned, you know, in the, in those days, how to run board meetings.

[00:53:53]I mean, those are totally things now that I do in my daily life, so, right. Um, but you, you get what you put into something and, and the more that you engage and lean in, the more it, it rewards you too. But we're so excited to watch you and Thor's journey as I know everybody on LinkedIn and within our community is, I think there's you guys I.

[00:54:11]Probably find somebody to do a reality show about you at this point. , definitely four. It's, it's your characters about, yeah. I'm not as interesting as he's, I can tell you that now I'm a weirdo and I'll lean into things, but he is a whole nother level. Yeah, I know. I'm, I'm excited to get to know him more. I mean, like we, he's so quiet when we've talked, but I know he is got so much behind him and I see his, like you mentioned, the pictures he posts on Facebook.

[00:54:36]Sometimes they're like a beer at seven 30 in the morning. I'm like, that guy is just funny. Like he would never expect him to be posting some of these pictures, but I love it. , he's embraced his authenticity on like a whole nother level . I think he has long not cared what other people thought. Like that's just his ethos.

[00:54:56]Yeah, I mean, you know, our, our company values were like always be kind, do the right thing, be a duck, which is like, let it roll off your back when it gets to our teammate, you're having a struggle and also paddle like crazy. Make it look easy. Yeah, yeah. Um, love. But I think love, those were things that were so important to him.

[00:55:17]always do the right thing is like his sing. I think it's single personal ethos. Yeah. And not everybody agrees with what he thinks is the right thing. Him cares. Sure. . Yeah. Yeah. He, he knows it in the heart of hearts, whether it's right or wrong. For wrong Yeah. Yeah. For him. Yeah. And that's fine. You know?

[00:55:32]Yeah. It's, that's a really, it, it's, it takes some people, I mean, I've just recently come to some of that and Yes, I, yeah, it takes a long time usually to get to that. So good for him. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, we will continue watching your path and we will certainly have you back again and definitely let, I think the next time we have you and Thor or maybe just Thor and then we have both back together.

[00:55:53]Just Thor . Yeah. Yeah. We, we wanna come and go on our nature, walk with him while we record. That's probably the best way. That be great to get him in his elements. Totally. Totally. That would be fun. Yeah. On the mountain , if anybody wants to get in touch with you, Christina, what's the best way to reach you?

[00:56:08]Sure. So probably my gmail, christina h thorson and I guess that'll be in show notes. Um, and they're welcome to ping me, um, my real estate evaluation practice phone number. Uh, it's a Google number, 4 2 3 4 6 3 0 7 7 0. Awesome. Yeah, we will include that in the show notes. And thank you again. If anybody wants to reach Annie and I, you can go to Alex and Annie

[00:56:35]And if you're enjoying the show, we'd love to hear from you. If you could write a review, Christina wrote an amazing one, probably about a year ago, . Um, but thank you everybody for tuning again, and we will talk to you next time.

Christina ThoresonProfile Photo

Christina Thoreson

Christina H. Thoreson, SR/WA, MAI, AI-GRS, SRA, CRE

More than 35 years experience as a consultant in real estate valuation, review, analysis, eminent domain, investing, purchase and sale, and litigation support. Clients include individuals, corporations, local, state and federal government agencies, limited liability companies, lenders, attorneys and investors. Over 1,000 valuation analyses, numerous expert witness testimony appearances, more than 100 direct buyer and seller represented sales, ten years experience in real estate brokerage with five years broker management of up to 75 agents in two offices, and five years service on a Georgia County Board of Assessors. Over 2,800 student hours of continuing education directly related to real estate valuation, brokerage, and right of way and more than 800 hours as an instructor. Full time review appraiser for the Tennessee Department of Transportation between 2013 and 2016.

BBA, Real Estate Georgia State University
SR/WA International Right of Way Association
MAI, AI-GRS, SRA Appraisal Institute
CCIM Designation Track Former Candidate CCIM Institute
Accredited Buyer Rep National Association of Realtors