By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer

When the going gets tough, which happens to all those in business at one time or another, Franchisee, Tiffany Burgess learned early on in brokerage ownership with EXIT that the best thing you can do is reach out for help when you need it.

“My dad, grandmother, uncle, even my cousin, all happen to be in the real estate industry as well. I guess you can say I was born to be in the business. EXIT is like family too. If you need anything, and I mean anything, reach out. Ask. Someone somewhere has something they can offer,” she urges. “From my Regional Owners, Kathy and Troy Dooley, to corporate office staff, anytime I’ve asked for guidance, assistance, or help, someone has been there for me. We’re not superheroes and we cannot do it all on our own and that’s perfectly okay.”

The daughter of a real estate couple, Tiffany began her journey as a sales agent in her mother and stepfather’s firm to help with showing houses after her mother started a property management company. Tiffany worked this side of the business until 2015 when she obtained her broker’s license, purchased the property management company, as well as her first EXIT Magnolia Coast Realty franchise. It wouldn’t be long however, before she needed help herself.

“Three months after purchasing my franchise I went through a horrendous divorce. Only my parents and Kathy knew. The Dooleys, and EXIT MIND-SET Trainers, Rick O’Neil and Angel Tucker, have been my lifeline and have done more for me than I can ever explain. These people aren’t just ‘head office staff’ or ‘higher ups’, they’re family. We just happen to be in the business of real estate together.”

Now at the age of 34, a single-mother, Broker/Owner of two EXIT offices, and handling management of several rental properties, Burgess still finds time to pay-it-forward at frequent community charitable events. Her offices are located in a part of Mississippi also referred to as a weather “cone of uncertainty,” and she gives back knowing all too well what it’s like to lose everything after sheltering with her cousin in Toronto, Canada through Hurricane Katrina in 2004.

“I try to be the light for others and hope to make a small impact in their lives like Catherine did for me,” she shares. “As a fundraiser, our team rappelled from the tallest building on the coast, participated in women’s builds and ‘feed the first responders’ events, raised money for the local NICU, and so much more. I want to continue to build my name in the community as an office that gives back and stays involved.”

Tiffany waves the EXIT flag so proudly that she captured the attention of EXIT Realty Corp. International and won the company’s Esprit De Corps – Central USA award at their recent virtual annual awards event. As the leader of what she calls a “tight knit” office, she aims to one day quadruple the number of producing agents at her brokerage, and have her agents walk across the Convention stage as winners, in addition to setting her sights on achieving Broker of the Year.

To reach these heights, she digs into the training offered by Rick and Angel, who helped her grow from a brokerage of one to 14 agents so far. She sees EXIT’s training as the differentiator for her offices within her marketplace saying, “I think one of our greatest accomplishments is the teaching, training and guiding of real estate professionals. We have a mix of agents in our offices as we like to be a brokerage of the community; people from all backgrounds, of all ages, who speak a multitude of languages.”

Tiffany knew when she was looking to open her first office five years ago that she wanted the value provided by a franchise model, and now thanks to EXIT’s unique Formula she’s seeing life for all its possibilities heading into 2021. “I’ve buckled down and worked harder than ever in 2020 and have had the best year yet,” she admits. “The residual income has allowed me to go from a two- to a one-income household and not worry about birthdays, Christmases, or making ends meet. I’m able to take my boys on vacations and purchase things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to without residuals. EXIT has been the light for me through a very hard time in my life.”


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