Coming Home to EXIT: It’s not competition, it’s collaboration

Real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada are realizing their careers are better served with EXIT and they’re returning to the company in droves.  Susan Harrison, Senior Vice President with EXIT Realty Corp. International and Lindsey Coughlan, Sales Representative with EXIT Realty Advantage in Fredericton, New Brunswick, discussed why this was true for Lindsey and her return to the company she loves.

Thank you for taking the time to chat, Lindsey.  How did you get started in real estate and what attracted you to EXIT?

I had been taking pharmacy in university and I realized very quickly that I didn’t want to stand behind a counter all day, so I left that field. My uncle, who is a high producing REALTOR® encouraged me to get my license.  I borrowed some money from my dad to do the course and jumped in with two feet.

The first thing that attracted me to EXIT was that our local Board Office admin (who is one of my best friends) told me that somebody at EXIT was looking for an assistant. At the time, I was just coming out of school, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay it off. My uncle encouraged me to join EXIT because of the training. I believe EXIT is the best place to start as a first-time agent because of the one-on-one, hands-on training.

What was your experience at EXIT?

I loved it immediately. Everybody at EXIT was so sweet. I started working virtually as an assistant before I was licensed, and when I became licensed, this office quickly became a family. I have two young children, so having adult interaction was huge! There were always people around at the office which I know isn’t necessarily always the case at a lot of companies. Everybody was welcoming, willing to help and answer questions. I never got the cold shoulder. It was awesome.

But something changed. What happened?

The person with whom I was working as an assistant, and I, had very different business styles. As I began to build my own clientele, we clashed. Things became uncomfortable so I ended that partnership and went to another company. My decision actually had nothing to do with EXIT. I was heartbroken. I remember crying on General Manager, Dana Clowater’s desk. I left for about a year and a half and quickly realized that that wasn’t the right choice.

What was the difference?

The other company welcomed me with open arms; it was a great experience starting there.  What I found was that the promises of training didn’t stand up. I didn’t find the training to be personalized; it was collaborating with other companies in the area versus actually training to our knowledge base. I knew what EXIT’s training was and this wasn’t like it.

On top of that I never lost touch with the people at EXIT. They were letting me know about some of the trainings and other exciting things they had coming up. I had worked with Chris Turner <EXIT Realty Advantage’s Training and Development Manager> multiple times and really enjoyed his personality and how driven he was. Hearing he was going to be taking a bigger role in the company was exciting to me. The person I had clashed with wasn’t there any longer so I started thinking it might be a good idea to go back. EXIT, the training, Chris have been a massive driving force in keeping me motivated, and on the ball!

It’s funny how sometimes these things happen to help you understand what it is you don’t want, right?

Right. I left because it was the right decision for me at the time and I quickly realized that the other company didn’t have what EXIT had to offer. And of course, EXIT is the largest brokerage in Fredericton so we have more agents who can contribute to those resources.

Do you find that as your career progresses that the training and support at EXIT is advancing with you?

Absolutely. When you’re first starting out, you’ve got questions about everything. There’s training targeted towards newer agents, but also training targeted towards me and the agents who are more advanced than I am. And, of course, EXIT Realty Corp. International has so many resources in the Resource Center including all of the training videos I’ve taken advantage of.

I can go to anybody in the office, no matter their production level and ask them about a deal I have going on and they’re going to tell me straight up. Of course, we are competitive because we’re salespeople; that’s the nature of the business. But they also understand that this is never going to be their sale, this is my sale, so they’re willing to help me get through it. It’s not competition, it’s collaboration.

Having somebody to drive me forward and help me develop myself professionally is huge. And it’s not only “somebody”, we have a whole office and a whole head office continuing to try to drive the agents forward. I just don’t see being able to get those anywhere else.

That’s great. So how do you feel about being back?

I don’t ever want to be anywhere else. I love the crew of people I work with. I adore our management. The training and tech resources we have available to us are incredible. There’s no way another company could offer me what this family has offered me. I’ve been through some stuff personally, too. We lost a house to the flooding of 2018 and I’m going through a recent separation.  These people have been there and supportive every step of the way. In a competitive industry you can feel like you’re alone real fast, but not here. EXIT makes me feel like I’m not alone. EXIT is my other family.

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