By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer
AJ Plant, Regional Owner of EXIT Realty Eastern Ontario, has seen just about every role real estate has to offer and he knows his ability to come so far is because he chose the best brand and people from whom to learn.
He always had ownership in his sights, so when AJ had the chance to join EXIT Realty Matrix, Brokerage in Embrun, Ontario with Franchisee, Maggie Tessier, he jumped at the opportunity explaining, “She understood the salesperson’s business flow; what activities are needed to succeed, and once you start growing, where to focus your money and resources for hiring and lead generation. As I sold, I felt that I had a lot to offer other agents as I was taught by one of the best.”
As an agent AJ enjoyed the idea of leveraging smaller amounts of money to control a large piece of real estate as a landlord. He recognized the opportunity EXIT presented, because he understood the value of receiving passive income from tenants. However, being a broker provided invaluable insights into dealing with people, and also running an office; an entirely different vocation as AJ refers to it.
“When I was office manager, I really understood the meaning of empathy; truly focused on the agents and staff. Spending time finding out needs and wants was an eye opener. I drew from this experience in my journey towards regional ownership,” AJ recalled. “Being a sales representative is different because sometimes we start to get addicted to the deal and that’s what fuels the daily activities. In brokerage and regional ownership, the business cycle is longer, so you really have to plan short, medium, and long-term strategies.”
Since purchasing the subfranchisor rights to EXIT Realty Eastern Ontario in 2015, AJ has diligently and skillfully grown the region, knowing that franchise ownership isn’t for just anyone, but that it’s a unique proposition to financially invest in becoming a shepherd of entrepreneurs. He’s also acutely aware that everyone develops at their own pace, despite his ideas about growth. Where he has achieved success is not just in how often he talks to his franchisees and leader agents, but in the quality of those conversations coupled with what EXIT has to offer.
“When you find the right person to do the job, it’s life changing,” he admitted, sharing that he also feels this way about having the right tools, like the EXIT Realty Connect App, just one of many reasons he continues to choose EXIT through his many real estate roles. “EXIT is the only company that truly puts people first. The branding, residual income, and head office support is awesome, but the secret sauce is when you see people being treated the way they want to be treated, and you see that the agents are the foundation. Then it becomes real. For me, knowing that our agents and brokers are being taken care of is number one.”
For this and other great stories about agent and office successes, check out The EXIT Achiever, EXIT’s corporate magazine online today at exitrealty.com/achiever or text ACHIEVER to 85377 for a mobile friendly version.