Cloud-based realty and coworking take shape in Midland’s Center City

If you build it, they will come. That is the intent behind a new office space and venture for Jamie and Daniel Broderick of Bricks Real Estate, who recently closed on their next enterprise.

 

The husband and wife duo have new development plans that include expansion and filling a growing need in the workforce: the need for flexibility.

 

After a move to the cloud-based brokerage firm eXp Realty in late 2019, the pair has found they need a bit more room and recently purchased additional office space on Ashman in Midland, just blocks away from their Midtown location.

 

After minimal renovations like paint, lighting and furniture, the duo plans to officially open shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

The 5,000 square feet building was previously occupied by Special Tree Rehabilitation System, a neurologic and spinal cord rehabilitation facility. Jamie is planning to focus on a flexible workspace for eXp agents, but the building has the ability to accommodate an additional one to five tenants depending on the size and resources needed.

 

“[...] I am hoping to get a few additional people or business owners who are interested in sharing and working from the space, such as a salon, spa, or fitness studio,” says Jamie. “I think the variety of different businesses would be complementary to have within the space and it also gives other local businesses a chance to gain new interest in a creative and evolving environment.”

 

The Bricks Real Estate office in Midtown is not going anywhere and the couple will still be a neighborhood staple.

 

“Our home office will still be the place you’ll find us regularly, we are just at the point where we need to think about and accommodate for growth as well,” says Jamie. “This new office location will allow us to grow for years to come, as well as extend the community impact we’ve seen since opening in 2018. We are really excited for what the space could become.”
The Bricks Real Estate office in Midtown is not going anywhere and the couple will still be a neighborhood staple.

 

The rise of coworking and flexibility

 

Coworking has been on the rise for a few years, with the U.S. adding an average of 20 coworking spaces per state in 2018. It’s not a trend that is showing any signs of slowing down either. If anything, the pandemic has increased the need for flexibility, and coworking is expected to rise beyond more than 25,000 projected spaces worldwide by 2022.

 

In the theme of adapting, Jamie has been leading the charge to keep local real estate efforts afloat this year, making a virtual home buying guide to help buyers, sellers, and other agents cope with the restrictions of quarantine in the spring of 2020.

 

The shift of doing business differently is one that Jamie and Daniel formally made in December 2019 when they made the switch to align Bricks Real Estate with eXp Realty, an innovative brokerage firm.

 

eXp Realty is an agent-owned cloud brokerage model, which operates independently and gives agents the opportunity to work from anywhere.

 

“Many agents choose to be completely remote and others will often go with a blend of working in an office setting part of the time,” says Jamie. “It’s something we’ve really seen growth in and we think that is where the next generation of real estate is heading.”

 

The Brodericks transitioned to the cloud-brokerage model in part because of the growth the cloud format is getting. The new office will be an extension of available space and resources for other eXp agents.

 

“When it came down to it, we needed more space. We’ve had many people raise their hands who want to be a part of a tech-driven real estate company, and we’ve also run into many instances where people are looking to do that while still having the resource of an office outside of their home,” says Jamie. “Location wise, it’s one we love — and just up the road on Ashman not far from our office — yet we didn’t want to deal with taking on another huge project like Bricks was in terms of the renovation.”
The 5,000 square feet building was previously occupied by Special Tree Rehabilitation System, a neurologic and spinal cord rehabilitation facility.

 

eXp Realty has grown significantly over the last few years. In 2019, the company ranked first in the nation for closed transactions by independent agents and number two for the largest increase in sales volume from 2018 to 2019 Nationally, the company is growing by more than 100 agents per day and is quickly becoming one of Michigan’s largest brokerages, a draw for the Brodericks.

 

Part of that growth has been driven by shifts in the society and work culture, which has moved away from traditional working models more and more each year, often with the help and backing of millennial employees, who prioritize flexible, technology-driven work arrangements that stray from a one-size-fits-all model.

 

“It's a paradigm shift within the industry on one hand and recently, several challenges have shown us all that people don’t necessarily need to be in an office or physical location to be effective and get things done,” Jamie says. “That flexibility plays such a huge role in balancing our careers in real estate with daily life. Plus, we see it as a better brokerage platform for agents that want to build their business and the future of real estate.”

 

Making a career out of flexibility

 

Jamie feels the switch is something that has made her a better business owner, partner, and parent.

 

“As the mom of three young boys, I’ve been able to adapt to meet the needs of a growing business while also being there for my family when I need to be,” she says.

 

“So far, we have structured our business so that every person that works alongside us has given us the biggest gift of all — time. They are the key people in my life that allow me to have flexible mornings playing with my children before I head into a 10-hour day, or the ability to pick up evening showings or go on a date with my husband,” says Jamie.

 

“Building this flexible and supportive environment and protecting it has been the one vital key to becoming a better partner, wife, and business owner. We are excited about the new office location and see it as a natural extension of adding more flexibility.”

Read more articles by Courtney Soule.

Courtney is a longtime Midland resident and enjoys telling the story of the community's evolution. She ran Catalyst Midland as the publication's managing editor from October 2017 through September 2020. Her favorite topics are interesting people, change makers, outdoor recreation and design. Aside from Catalyst, her published work can be found various places including Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog and a number of other websites, papers, menus and the occasional one-liner. 
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