By Maegan Carrasquillo, Staff Writer
Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like fate has intervened in some way? Maybe there were butterflies in your stomach when you first met someone who holds a special place in your heart. Or that time you missed an interview, leading you to cross paths with your future business partner. For Tom Hubba, it was goosebumps as he drove by an EXIT Realty billboard on his return home from visiting his parents in Florida.
His first introduction to EXIT came earlier on his visit when his father mentioned that one of his friends in the neighborhood recently bought a franchise. That friend came by and gave Tom the elevator speech and though it certainly intrigued him at the time, he was also in the process of opening his third fast food franchise, so it didn’t stay top of mind.
On Tom’s trip back up to Virginia however, he passed the billboard in Jacksonville, FL. “I’m not kidding, it was the weirdest sensation I’ve ever had in my life. It was as if something just appeared before me. It gave me the chills. It was definitely a sign,” he said. Tom couldn’t stop thinking about it and so when the third fast food franchise fell through, he reached out to EXIT’s regional owners for more information.
Tom already held a real estate license, which was mainly the reason his father had mentioned EXIT to him in the first place, but Tom’s experience with franchising was what actually sold him on the company. As someone coming from food industry franchising, he was used to paying heavy royalties every week. After finding out that with EXIT there were transaction fees but no royalties being taken off the top like many other brands, he was immediately drawn to the differences that EXIT offered.
When he and his brother, Andy, opened their EXIT Realty Professionals location in 2006, there were no other EXIT offices in their Virginia Beach area. Tom was under the impression that the EXIT Formula would grow the company on its own but quickly learned that wasn’t the case. “No one had heard of us! Everybody was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is this EXIT thing?’” They started establishing the brand in the area from scratch, and grew, little by little.
Tom chose a brand not only because he was already familiar with franchising, but because with a brand, he felt the foundation had already been built. He wasn’t looking to reinvent the wheel, so to have a company that offered training and kept pace with the newest technology was a great help in the growth of his office.
Now after 15 years with the company Tom is proud of having been the one to bring EXIT to southeast Virginia saying, “Our signs are everywhere. That’s probably our greatest accomplishment because now everybody’s heard of EXIT.”
Tom’s portfolio diversified to include not only fast-food franchises, but also a successful real estate company. Though it was never in the plans, he’s glad to have fatefully found a home with EXIT saying, “Honestly, I wasn’t looking for this, it kind of found me.”