Franchisees Sheryll White and Marc White opened their first real estate franchise, EXIT Realty Denver Tech Center in Englewood, back in 2005. Up until then Sheryll worked for an independent broker. “At the time I was feeling burnt out,” said Sheryll, “I never got any training or direction from my broker. It was just me out there.” She decided to act. Her business was going so well that her husband Marc left his six-figure income job to become her business partner, and together they hired three agents who are still with them to this day.
Sheryll realized her true calling was helping her agents grow their business and wanted to find a company with similar values to call home. Marc was attending the 2005 National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo when he spoke with EXIT Realty’s now-CEO, Tami Bonnell. Sheryll recalls, “Marc phoned me that afternoon and said, ‘I found what we’re looking for. We’re going to buy an EXIT franchise.’”
Fast forward to 2008 and Sheryll and Marc owned two EXIT franchises and were still growing, despite entering one of the worst financial crises of all time. That’s because people are hungry for strong leadership in trying times. “We had to think outside the box. We jumped immediately into short sales and had a knack for it, closing roughly 100 short sales company-wide that year. We continued recruiting, teaching others how to do the same. Although it was a bad time in the market, it was a blessing for us,” said Sheryll. By 2014 they were operating three very successful franchises.
Sheryll and Marc were honored at EXIT’s 2019 Annual Convention as the company’s third largest grossing office (multiple) in North America. Their recipe for success comes down to three things: high-impact training, community involvement, and a familial office culture that invests in people.
Sheryll and Marc are taking their agents to school with their hands-on training curriculum. “Lack of support in their existing brokerage is the biggest complaint I hear when agents are considering making the switch to join us, so that’s our focus.” New agents begin with a one-on-one business plan meeting, a new agent orientation based on the EXIT Success Plan with added Colorado elements, and a marketing appointment to demonstrate EXIT technology and online resources.
Then, every Monday there’s an hour-long group meeting to review each agent’s business plan, weekly calendar, and discuss what is and isn’t working. The brokerage’s specialized “Engage Training” is scheduled every other week, teaching agents step by step the skills they need to effectively serve the buying and selling public. Add in Buffini & Company’s Peak Producers™ course twice a year, Live Interactive Training with EXIT Realty’s Kevin Ahearn and Key Yessaad, and kvCORE training and the result is a highly dedicated and skilled group of agents. “Our focus is on providing our agents with the training and resources they need to become trusted advisors to their clients. We realized that if we invest in our agents, the reward is tenfold,” says Sheryll.
Sheryll and Marc’s holistic approach to leadership means that community involvement is part of each agent’s individual business plan. “What that looks like is up to each agent – we want them to pick something they care about. For example, there are moms sponsoring their kids’ elementary schools and extra-curricular events, a volunteer for the Matthew Shephard Foundation for LGBTQ+ acceptance, and an agent who twice a year hands out 300 homemade lunches to the homeless, among other charitable endeavors. “With two to three community contributions, our agents can parlay with that database and interact more with their clients. It makes a pretty big impact,” says Sheryll.
Today, Sheryll and Marc oversee 170 agents across three locations. “I think 200 would be the perfect size for us,” says Sheryll. “It can be difficult to scale the tight-knit culture we’ve worked so hard to create. Quantity is not important; we want to focus on the quality of our agents.” All three offices gather under one roof once a month for dinner and drinks, to socialize and share ideas. “What we have here really is like a family. In hindsight, there may have been challenges we could have handled differently, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It led us to where we are today.”
EXIT brokers interested to learn more about Sheryll and Marc’s training and leadership style can watch their webinar on the EXIT Resource Center.