Since before Christmas, rumors have abounded at Coldwell Banker’s the Condo Store as to what happened to their intrepid leader, David Tufts who disappeared almost overnight. Did he jump? Was he pushed? No one in Florida seemed to know.
Three days after CondoMetropolis published the story, the Atlanta Business Chronicle found the answer. Tufts quit to start another company just a stone’s throw from his old office. Tufts founded the Condo Store nearly 15 years ago, but has finally moved on to build a new residential real estate company – as president of the Marketing Directors LLC, a marketing and sales company about to enter – the Atlanta market. The Marketing Directors is part of The Ryness Co., a privately held, San Diego-based real estate firm.
Leaving The Condo Store was not easy, he said. But it was time to do something different. “Coldwell Banker’s focus is resales,” Tufts said. The Condo Store was about marketing and selling new properties. “I need to be with people who understand that business.”
Tufts’ departure came as a shock to many in Atlanta’s residential real estate industry, especially those in his own company who had been kept in the dark about about his plans. Within six months, Tuft’s new office, should have 20 to 30 employees. Some of those, it seems will be poached from his old company, much to the chagrin of NRT, who appear less than happy with the move and have reminded Condo Store employees about the non-compete clause in their contract via a stern email.
Tufts worked for 10 years with Adrienne Albert, president of The Marketing Directors in New York, years before he moved to Atlanta. It’s where he learned his trade. Albert will remain president of the Northeast operation, while Tufts will become president of the new, Southeast operation. The company will continue to operate as The Ryness Co. on the West Coast, but as The Marketing Directors on the East Coast.
Atlanta Business Chronicle – January 5, 2007
by Lisa Schoolcraft