DOBI Featured: Real Producers of Oakland County
If the name DOBI doesn’t already ring a bell… it will soon. DOBI is a residential real estate brokerage located in the Rail District of Birmingham that officially opened its doors Summer of 2018. When asked about the origins of the DOBI name, Simon explained that it came from his “good luck charm,” a statue of a Doberman Pinscher. Simon first started in real estate seven years ago -his broker put the statue on Simon’s desk with a label that read “Employee of the Month.” It was intended to be more of a joke, but since then, Simon vows that the his charm has something to do with his success. Simon built his own real estate team, and awards the statue to the team member that has earned “Top Dog” status the previous month. Simply put, DOBI is short for Doberman and represents the ideology of who the agents are and want to be as agents: loyal, intelligent, energetic, fearless and confident.
In five years as a Realtor before obtaining his brokers license, Simon Thomas climbed through the ranks of top producers at Max Broock (Birmingham), hitting over $20 Million in sales in just his 3rd year. In 2016, Simon held his license at Keller Williams Domain (Birmingham) where he started a team of 10 people.
Simon grew up in Rochester Hills and Grosse Pointe but now resides with his family in Bloomfield Hills. His wife, Angela, also works in real estate, but on the commercial side. The couple has a mutual understanding of each other’s work life. Simon and Angela dated for nearly five years before they got married and have been married for five and half years. They are blessed with ten-month-old twins, a boy, Simon and a girl, Francesca.
Both Simon and Angela come from large families, so they stay busy with family-oriented activities and get-togethers. When they are not with their families, they enjoy golfing, entertaining, or taking quick trips down to Naples. Simon’s love for golf started in middle school where he was involved in other sports such as football, baseball and basketball. He became particularly obsessed with golf and was a varsity player throughout high school. Four years ago, Simon made a pact with his brother to play the top 50 golf courses in the U.S. and have checked off 20 courses!
While attending Oakland University to receive his B.A. in Communications, Simon Thomas worked in the family banquet hall business at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. After 12 years, he decided to leave the family business and move towards a new goal. Unfortunately, in 2011 there were few choices for a college graduate other than insurance, mortgage, or real estate. A cousin influenced him regarding the merits of real estate and coached him in getting started. It worked out well.
When asked how he has seen business changed for him in the past seven years, Simon remarked, “For the first two years of my career, it was all about foreclosures. The bank sends you the listings, and that’s a lot different from working with sellers who have an emotional bond with their home. The bank foreclosures had very little personal interaction. Aligning myself with the goals of buyers and sellers and building lasting relationships is a lot more satisfying to me. Sellers have a passion about the memories they’ve created in the home they’re leaving and must be persuaded to understand that those memories can be carried with them to the next home. It’s important to show them how and where the memories will form in the next home and how the new place better fits their current needs.”
When asked why Simon loves real estate, he responded, “You can earn as much as you would like to in real estate, and not have to wait for a raise. It’s great to be able to support yourself and your family the way you would like to. It empowers you to own your goals and dreams,” Simon added. “That’s a wonderful feeling.”
Simon created an excellent office space in Birmingham’s trendy Cole and Eaton Rail District. “I really enjoyed building out a new space the way I envisioned it. It’s an open floor plan with plenty of room to accommodate our growing brokerage of 15 agents [currently] and their amazing energy,” said Simon. He loves to read about entrepreneurs, and his favorite book is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” a chart-buster worldwide, written by Robert T. Kiyosaki.
According to Simon, “DOBI is different from other brokerages because we treat our agents as the clients. We give our agents all the tools to be successful; we support their growth and talk to them like business owners. We offer consistent coaching and training and we spend a lot of time not only on the brokerage’s marketing, but on the marketing of each agent as well. We grow our business by growing our agents’ business.”