EXIT Realty, a company with an average 2021 per agent production of 20.5 closed ends, is led in Canada by CEO, Joyce Paron. Under Joyce’s leadership, this phenomenal productivity has been achieved by focusing on what the company does best: unwavering dedication to putting people first.
The guiding principles with which Joyce leads flow through every area of the organization from regional owners to franchisees to agents, who can then be the solution for their clients and communities they serve. She sums up her style as servant leadership. “Servant-leadership is predicated on the growth of the individual above all else and understanding that when we get the most and the best out of other people, and we help them achieve their dreams, we achieve ours. And this is a very different mindset than traditional, bottom-line-first, leadership because it’s focused on the right thing to do next, not the most profitable thing to do next,” she says.
The key to a people-first environment where everyone can thrive is based on a business model founded and built on the potential of the human spirit; where ego takes a back seat to empathy, and where words like abundance and prosperity are as common in the vernacular as listing and closing. Too good to be true you might think, but with many EXIT brokerages in Canada achieving and maintaining #1 market share and agents averaging more than 20 closed ends per year, it’s not only true, but proven. Still skeptical? Read on.
Founded on human potential
Founded in Canada in 1996, EXIT Realty Corp. International was the first company to introduce the concept of single-level residual income to the real estate industry. And more than 25 years later with rapid expansion in both the U.S. and Canada, its simple, easy-to-explain and understand business model has nurtured a by-invitation-only environment where everyone has a vested interest in the success of everyone else and in the company.
For example, if Megan introduces Bob to her broker and he is hired as a salesperson, EXIT’s head office pays Megan a bonus in an amount equivalent to 10% of Bob’s gross closed commission up to $10,000 per person per year, perpetually, as a special thank you for helping to grow the company for as long as they both remain with EXIT. If Bob stays for 15 years, earning over $100,000 annually, Megan’s benefit is $150,000. This is a process known as sponsoring. If Bob sponsors Asha, Megan does not receive a bonus based on Asha’s commission because Megan didn’t introduce Asha. There is no downline. This is single-level residual income that converts into retirement income and beneficiary benefits. “For the first time ever, real estate agents have a financial future they never had before. There is no other business model that I’m aware of – not just in real estate but anywhere – that provides single-level residuals in this capacity to build wealth while working, through retirement and to create a financial legacy,” says Joyce. “Many of our agents have discovered that the incredible financial return also comes with the satisfaction they receive from working with the people they sponsor, helping them achieve their goals and dreams.”
The road to the top
It was the business model that attracted Joyce to EXIT in its infancy. At the time, she was working in her family’s land and business development company and had established relationships with many real estate brokers, so she understood their challenges. “A broker’s greatest problems are recruiting and retention. Traditional real estate is very unfriendly from the point of view of profitability and saleability for the business owner,” she says, because there is little glue and incentive for agents to join or stay with the company. EXIT’s business model solved these problems.
Joyce purchased district rights for EXIT in the Golden Horseshoe and was quickly invited by Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, to assume a leadership role at Corporate. “Steve asked me to come on board because I was already selling franchises. I knew that this was the best business model in the industry, and I was excited about the challenge.”
Broker of the Year for Canada in 2020 and owner of two EXIT Realty Liftlock locations in Ontario, Mary Ellen McCamus has worked with Joyce for more than two decades. “I first met Joyce in 1999. Her vivacious personality and knowledge of the real estate industry made an immediate connection with me,” says Mary Ellen. “At that point she was one of the few women who were top of their industry especially in light of the fact that she was helping to build a whole new concept in real estate. I know she is truly a unique leader.”
“Everything we’re doing here is built on relationships. Our focus is on understanding who our people are, knowing that every single person is doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Everyone is in a different place. It’s not about how long it takes to achieve a goal, it’s about the journey and who we become along the way,” Joyce says.
Expansion in the GTA
One of the company’s key goals is expansion in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). “We have a very limited number of opportunities for franchise ownership across the GTA, and they’re once in a lifetime,” she says. “Once they’re sold, they’re sold.”
A team of regional owners is spearheading the company’s growth across Ontario and working with Joyce specifically on the company’s GTA expansion is Regional Director, Marie Kozak, a twenty-five plus year real estate veteran with leadership experience.
“I really believe that agents need something better for them and their family”, says Marie. “In the past, my reward for bringing strong people to a brokerage was a lunch. I did the math, and if I had introduced those same agents to EXIT, I would have made close to $700,000 by now in single-level residuals and counting.”
“We are looking for entrepreneurs who have a heart for people and a mind for business.” says Joyce. “We’re looking for leaders who want more personal and financial leverage, more relevance in their career and more meaningful experiences. We want people who are looking for something bigger; people who love and understand the value of teaching, training and coaching; people who understand that what’s best for our agents is best for us. We understand that our approach isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. We’re looking for the right people.”
Teamwork and collaboration
Val Connell, an EXIT veteran and owner of four EXIT Realty Town & Country locations in Nova Scotia, is one of many market-leading franchisees who credits Joyce’s leadership with reaching their success. “Having known Joyce for 16 years, she is the driving force of our Atlantic Canadian growth. With a talent for seeing talent, instilling ‘what if’ thinking and encouraging the most undeveloped skills, Joyce has brought me and so many like me, along to maturity as leaders with established thriving businesses, giving back to each other and the communities that support us,” says Val. “Unfailingly supportive, available, encouraging and most importantly unruffled, she has created a network of franchisees motivated by each others growth, happy and eager to help each other.”
Val’s offices, like those of most EXIT Realty franchisees, place a high value on teamwork. While EXIT agents have the flexibility to work remotely and are well equipped, the company thrives on in-person collaboration whether at the brokerage, sales rallies or during its annual Convention. “We provide full-service beautiful working environments that encourage people to come together because we understand the importance of synergy. It’s about an environment that provides emotional and spiritual reinforcement, and the tools, training, and support necessary to grow a successful business,” says Joyce.
Technology and training
Among the tools that equip EXIT associates to thrive in the office and on the go, are the company’s unprecedented technology offerings, many of which are included in the annual membership fee at no additional cost.
This includes the company’s Expert Marketing Suite™ which automatically generates virtual tours, flyers, single-property websites plus geolocation Smart Sign™ technology. Another exclusive technology is the Mobile Business Card™. “We demonstrate to agents how the prospect can download the Mobile Business Card™ into the contacts on their phone. It’s easy, fast, reliable and effective technology, built for the person behind the device,” says Joyce.
The EXIT Realty Connect app places the company’s intranet, the Resource Center, in the palm of their hand, and connects EXIT associates with their clients. “We’ve built the best in the industry, integrated it with everything we do, and we teach our agents how to use it,” she says.
In addition to technology training, MIND-SET Trainers work exclusively with EXIT and provide training geared for novices to multi-million-dollar top-producers. Also offered are on-demand sessions taught by experts and peers on everything to start, manage and grow a successful real estate career and brokerage.
Key to the success of the company’s franchisees is Broker/Owner Training, offered at no charge by the corporate office to anyone in ownership or management at the regional or brokerage level. “This program enhances the business acumen of leadership and positively affects their approach to life. They leave well-equipped to build successful real estate brokerages,” says Joyce, who teaches at the course.
Joyce describes EXIT’s long-term goal for the country as, “Three hundred and forty franchises in prosperity with over 18,000 real estate professionals. When everybody’s working together, and we’re getting the best and the most out of each other, we’re also growing the brand within the community. Our entire team has absolute conviction about what we want and where we’re going.”
As seen in Buzz Magazine. Reproduced with permission.