Word from the real estate community leaked out yesterday that Jay Schweppe, who sold his business last October to NRT, Inc., the parent company of Burgdorff, is stepping down from day-to-day operations of the merged Valley Road real estate firm.
Schweppe was named NRT’s vice president of strategic initiatives for the northeast region last year when the acquisition was announced. He was also going to continue to manage the newly created Schweppe-Burgdorff ERA — a role that has now ended.
According to reports, yesterday’s role change for Schweppe was announced during a meeting that turned funereal, with Schweppe himself becoming choked up and many of his longterm associates crying.
It also coincided with the news that the commission structure for agents would be changed to align with the more generous Burgdorff system — something that agents at the combined firm had been clamoring for. How or whether the two events are related is unclear.
Schweppe himself was a major force in the local real estate business. He preached constantly to agents about his views, including the concept of "perception of value," which posited that it was important to price a property low enough to be attractive to the most buyers. "He would say you could never price a house too low," one agent recalled. If three houses on a block were for sale, the house with the lowest price would have the "perception of value" and would often gather multiple bids — a strategy that, in the end, often yielded the highest selling price.
Schweppe’s strategies were so successful that Schweppe’s name was revered and feared in local real estate circles. His longterm associate Denise Riordan is also said to be stepping down.
Schweppe has not yet returned our calls.