After almost a decade of real estate experience that began with EXIT and saw her venture to two other international franchise brands, Betty Manrique recently discovered the grass is greener where she was first planted and made her way home to EXIT.
At 20 years old, Betty dreamed of becoming a real estate agent, but life’s circumstances pushed that dream to the back burner for 30 years. In 2009 following the loss of her parents and a severe injury that restricted her husband’s ability to work, Betty once again entertained the idea of becoming an agent. “I was struggling and trying to figure out how to better myself for my family,” she says. “I saw a bunch of my friends were doing very well in real estate and decided to give it a try.”
After becoming licensed and interviewing with a company known for real estate development, she was still looking for the right fit to call home. “I was talking to a friend who said, ‘I know this lady who’s just amazing. She’s a broker. She comes into my store all the time to buy pet food. I think you are a great match!’ and that’s how I met Shawn.”
Shawn Sorensen is the Broker/Owner of EXIT Alliance Realty with locations in Temecula and Murrieta, California. Her brokerage is renowned for its community involvement and Shawn has been named Humanitarian of the Year for EXIT Realty Corp. International. She was recently named Riverside County 3rd District 2023 Woman of the Year.
“Even during my first meeting with Shawn, I knew I was in the right place with the right person,” Betty remembers. “She told me all the good things EXIT does, how they give back, and how she runs her business. I signed up that day.”
Betty’s sphere was in an area two hours from her home in Murrieta, so it took some time and special effort to gain traction in her new career. “Shawn took me under her wing and was such a good person to me. Before coming to EXIT, I lost both my parents within a four-month period, and I was missing that family connection. That’s what EXIT was – it was my family at that time.”
And then three years later in typical industry fashion, the competition came knocking. The other company offered a signing bonus for Betty to leave EXIT and she took it. “I needed the money, and I thought it would help me get my business going. It was a very tough decision, and I should have thought it out more. It was very hard to tell Shawn I was leaving.”
But leave she did and for the next almost-six years built her business with two different international franchise brands. A revolving door of managers spurred her exodus from the first company, and she then joined a brokerage that grew from one location to 14 through the pandemic.
“They offered me systems, technology, and free coaching, but I was lost amongst hundreds of agents. I thought I needed a big corporation with a big name to help my business grow. But in reality, this isn’t what I needed. They were telling me they were helping me, but honestly they were just focused on growing their offices and not taking care of agents like me. They were focused on the top producers and the new agents. They would promise them the world while I felt left out. I didn’t require much and when I did have a need with a transaction it was hard to get any attention.”
Over the years, Betty still relied on Shawn for a shoulder to lean on. “Shawn was always taking care of her agents with the right information. You need a broker who’s accessible and who protects you, right? In my office, I had a lot of technology and leads but I was missing these two things: A real broker who’s going to protect her agent at all costs, and the core values of EXIT Alliance Realty, the family, and giving back to the community. I hadn’t given back to the community since I left. At EXIT, first we give, then we receive.”
In early 2023, Betty approached Shawn about returning to EXIT and was welcomed with open arms. “I feel great. I was kind of scared when I came back, but as Shawn said, it’s like I never left. All roads lead to home. I’m where I need to be.”