Trailblazing Through Transition

Today is a tough day.  Today is an exhilarating day.

It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce the close of my career at Windermere Property Management/Lori Gill & Associates effective August 31st.  After nearly 9 years of hard and rewarding work, collaborating alongside several incredibly dedicated individuals, as well as a true fearless leader Lori Gill, I am ready to complete this career and move toward new adventures.

Effective September 18th, I am thrilled to announce that I will continue my 12-year real estate career with Windermere as the Branch Manager for the Queen Anne Sales office.  I am beyond excited to take on this new role that will allow me to further increase my expertise and passion for real estate, marketing, business development and recruitment.

As I blaze forth with this transition, I have learned quite a bit about how to transition smoothly which I have summarized in 6 tips to share with you:

1) DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS CULTURE: Prior to accepting an opportunity based on income potential, make sure you assess the full picture of your new environment.  What is important to you during your regular work day?  What hours are you most efficient?  Do you need a work environment that fosters water cooler chat and kickball tournaments, or do you just need a place to drop your stapler and swing by once a week while you work from the comfort of your couch? Are you seeking a manager that will help mentor and lead? Or do you prefer someone that is more hands on and able to provide ongoing training? Are you comfortable working in a cubicle or do you need to negotiate a private office?  Is there sufficient parking for yourself and your clients?  In Seattle, of course we have to ask, what brand of coffee is served?  While the financials are important, it is the environment that could make or break your happiness.

2) MEASURE YOUR MISGIVINGS: This is your opportunity to perfect your tool chest. When I first started in property management, I was deathly afraid of accounting.  As I interviewed with firms, one of my biggest priorities was to find a firm that had strong administrative and accounting support.  When I interviewed with John Wellman at the Wall Street Group for my new role, I was thrilled to see the shiny, and free, tools that they have created to further support their broker success.  The Live Love Own program (yes, this is the shameless plug is truly ahead of the game with their sleek full service system of reportingsocial media, marketing and so much more.  The value of this free tool chest is bar none the best in the market.  What kind of support do you need?  Will the support staff provide you with the assistance you require to manage your transaction?  What tools do you need to further your success?

3) PERFECT YOUR MESSAGE: Explaining transition to colleagues and clients alike is not easy.  Develop your 30 second elevator response.  As you read in my introduction, I chose to “close” my career.  I especially appreciate a key phrase I picked up from friend who mentioned that her marriage was “complete” as she trail blazed through divorce. What an empowering way to look at past work as we forge on to new opportunities.  My point is, make sure it’s a message that is empowering to yourself and one that others will easily understand.

4) TECHNOLOGY RESET: This was hands down the hardest thing for me to do.  After 9 grueling years of being glued to my phone and email, I now have the opportunity to break the bad habits and set forth a new level of expectation for my colleagues, my family and most importantly, myself.  The first step was to set my internal technology schedule.  This started with removing the phone from my bedroom as well as changing the email settings so that messages are not pushed through to my inbox between the hours of 8:00 PM – 8:00 AM.  The bad habits of still checking email are slowing beginning to break now that there is nothing new to read.  Second – store my phone in my handbag while driving.  Point blank – it’s the law.  Lastly – ask people to pick up the phone and call when they need you.  So often we are not aware, myself included, of timing when we send a less than urgent text.  Sure it’s 11pm, yes, I want to know if there is a keybox on the door, but could it wait until the morning?  I have realized that the only time I think to self-check actual time is when I’m picking up the phone and making a call.  With growth in technology we have given up all respect for the receiver of the communication. Transition allows for new opportunities to set boundaries, decide what your technology limits will be in advance, and set the plan forth on day one.

5) HIDE YOUR SUPER POWERS: Not forever, but perhaps just for the first 6 months.  My new boss calls it “Crawl, Walk, Run,” my life coach calls it “Delay Your Super Powers.”  However you want to reference it, make sure you don’t show all of your cards in the first hand.  Not only does it help build a steady foundation but it will ultimately benefit your time management skills.  If you are reading email at 11pm every night on day one, your colleagues will come to expect this from you, every night.  And how disappointed will they be when you one day decide to simply go to bed at 11pm?  Give yourself some time to get acquainted with your colleagues, their expectations, and your own.

6) MIND YOUR PATH: How much notice will you give? I gave 90 days, and if I was really honest with myself, I have to admit, I regret it.  Even though I felt I owed my team, ultimately it made my transition incredibly stressful.  90 days was much too far ahead of time to begin the transition work and hiring that needed to be done, and yet my mind was already in the new office.  However, with the 90 days I had the chance to see the results of my work.  The most humbling part of this entire experience was when a few colleagues approached me to say that they were sad to lose their “mentor.”  Wait . . who me? A mentor? I was not only completely shocked but deeply humbled.  In all of my efforts of continually looking ahead for advancement and success, I neglected to watch the trail I was leaving behind.  As I reminded them, I firmly believe mentorship does not end with a job.  What kind of path will you leave?

Even though I am departing Lori Gill & Associates, I know that I am leaving behind a team of incredibly talented property managers who will continue to support you with your leasing and rental needs.  Going forth, please contact our General Manager Cory Brewer at (425) 623-1330 or

I will be based at the Windermere Queen Anne office at 214 W McGraw St., if you are ever on the hill please do stop by.

PS: Just to be clear, it is super important to me that I continue to support the trust that I have established with brokers over the years, and will not be selling Real Estate.  I think this is the only way I can fully support my new team in growing their success. 


Keep in touch!


Cassie Walker Johnson

(206) 999-9820




Posted on August 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Cassie Walker Johnson | Posted in Uncategorized |