Longtime journalist Jason Sickles is trying his hand at real estate. He recently joined Fathom Realty, a cloud-based brokerage that now has a presence in 75 markets across 19 states.
“Fathom’s an agent-owned virtual brokerage and I believe in the direction they’re heading,” Sickles said. “Their commissions are more favorable to Realtors, and the company’s principles track my own: love, service, integrity, acceptance, respect, support, charity, and family.”
Sickles grew up in East Texas before moving to Dallas in 1989, two days after he graduated high school. A month before he turned 18, he took a part-time job at the Dallas Morning News answering phones for the sports department. By the time he graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a criminal justice degree, he was a full-fledged journalist for the paper. He later worked in both TV news and at Yahoo News.
Over the course of his career, Sickles traveled to the scene of numerous tragedies including Hurricane Katrina, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater. He also covered Super Bowls, World Series, and countless national and state elections.
“As much as I love journalism, and it will always be my first love, unfortunately, media companies aren’t doing well these days and I kind of wanted to control my own destiny,” he said. “I started looking around and considering, ‘what is my second act in life?’”
Sickles says he has always been interested in real estate. A few months ago, he helped his longtime friend Sherri Burlison with some video and social media marketing projects. She heads the Burlison Group and had moved from Keller Williams to Fathom last year because she felt their commission structure was more favorable. She told Sickles he should consider joining her.
“I didn’t want to have to take a job that I didn’t want so I decided to see if this was something that would work for me,” he said.
The new gig seems to be fitting quite well. Sickles enjoys talking with people, studying complex concepts, and conducting research just as he did in his previous career. He also gets to advocate for people, only now he does so for clients. And while he sometimes misses being in a newsroom with 500 other journalists, he also knows that those days are largely gone as print media outlets downsize and evolve to meet new challenges.
So far Sickles’ primary real estate focus has been on new construction and new sales in areas on the northern fringes of Collin County such as Prosper, Celina, and Frisco. He also takes on traditional clients and says he looks forward to expanding his business wherever the demand takes him.