For Grace Hudson-Plummer, it’s all about relationships; the ones that drew her to EXIT, the ones that steered her away and the ones that finally brought her home again.
“There was an expiry date on my career as a high-fashion model,” remembers Grace. When modeling opportunities changed because of her age, she combined her twin loves of meeting new people and architecture and began a new chapter as a real estate agent.
Grace started her successful career with a family-owned brokerage and spent the next decade there honing her craft. “They were a phenomenal company of about 1,200 agents. It was a magical family atmosphere; supportive, kind and uplifting,” she says, at least that is, until the ownership started paying less attention to the agents. “As the company grew, the agents were relegated to the back seat, literally and figuratively,” she remembers. “The owner would host multi-million dollar award ceremonies and sit us way in the back where we couldn’t see the stage. I felt there was something wrong.”
Grace’s best friend, also an agent with the company, decided to make a change and Grace went with her to a multi-level, profit-share franchise model. “There was nothing I liked about it,” she states definitively. “It was very confusing. I didn’t like the culture. I thought it was very fake.”
By this time Grace was dating an EXIT Realty franchise owner who invited her to join his office, but she was convinced it would be just like the multi-level company she was with. Then everything changed when he invited her to attend EXIT’s Annual Convention as his guest.
“The only reason I agreed to go to the Convention was that John Maxwell would be speaking and I love him,” she remembers. “So, I went to Convention in Anaheim and my jaw hit the floor when my boyfriend introduced me to Steve Morris, the founder of EXIT.” Grace seized the opportunity to ask Steve about the company’s name. “I used to make fun of people who were with EXIT saying they were on their way out of the business, so I wanted to hear it from him – why the name EXIT? Steve spent more than a half hour with me explaining his vision and he didn’t know me from Adam. He didn’t know if I was a top producer or a brand-new agent. It was like we were the only ones in the room. Then two days later at one of the dinners, he came up to me and asked, ‘Grace, how are you doing?’ I couldn’t believe he remembered my name. That’s when I fell in love with EXIT. I had the same feeling I had when I joined that first family-owned business, but now with a huge company. I could tell everyone felt valued, loved, and nurtured. I joined and I never wanted to leave.”
But relationships being what they are, Grace found herself in an untenable situation when the one with her boyfriend, the owner of the office she joined, was on rocky ground. When he left EXIT she left too, and when they broke up she again followed her best friend who had moved to another multi-level company.
“I was there for a year, and their business model made no sense to me. I didn’t want to have to explain it to anybody. I told my friend I didn’t even know who our broker was. She said, ‘You’re kidding me. You haven’t sat and talked to our broker? We talk all the time. I take my avatar out for a meeting and we talk in the virtual world.’ I looked at her in amazement and asked, ‘Did you just hear your yourself? You’re talking to an avatar and you feel like you’re besties?’ I just couldn’t get into that. I wanted real people. I told her I was out of there. I was going back to EXIT.”
Shawn Sorensen’s EXIT Alliance Realty office was both close by and exuded the culture and support Grace expected. “I want to be around really good, uplifting, kind, generous, spirited people. That’s what I was longing for and that’s what we have at EXIT.”
Coming up on the first anniversary of her return to EXIT, Grace says she’s home to stay. “It’s like I never left,” she says, “Everyone at Shawn’s office and everyone at corporate have been great. Our relationship picked up exactly where it left off. EXIT is not for everybody, and we don’t want everybody. People who don’t fit the model of being uplifting and caring weed themselves out pretty quickly. We have the best culture I’ve ever seen. And everybody at our company, starting from the top down, walks the walk and talks the talk. I am the biggest fan of EXIT and I stand by that. I can say definitively that I am home to stay and will never leave my EXIT family again”.