by Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International

I am an information junkie and one of the many newsletters I receive is from The Motley Fool, which is all about investing.  I was interested to learn about their Ownership Portfolio which focuses on the stocks of companies where the founder is still in control.  The return on this portfolio has been a whopping 650%.

There’s a lot to be said for the success of companies where the visionary who founded the company is still in charge, and I believe that speaks to who we are at EXIT Realty.  EXIT is a 24-year-old, privately held company founded by Steve Morris whose hands are firmly on the reins today.  Steve created our unique business model, the EXIT Formula, which is the foundation of a company built on human potential.  He then attracted like-minded people who believed in his vision and who wanted to put their heart and soul into it, too.

We’re witnessing a revolving door of CEOs in the real estate industry, some of whom have no real estate experience whatsoever. They signed on because they received a package, and they have a parachute. Some are paid a fortune when they leave. And on to the next.

Motley Fool studied companies like Zoom and Fiverr and discovered a picture of stakeholder management where the founders are in control.  They have an expansive mindset with a vision to create something tied to a purpose.  They have skin in the game.  Steve is such a leader.

At EXIT, we went a step further by creating opportunities for Regional Owners to have skin in the game, too. These leaders have invested a tremendous amount of money to be able to build a state or province, and their heart is in it. Opportunities like this come up rarely in a person’s life and we have a select few still available.  In addition, we have Franchisees developing brokerages in their own communities.  And because of our Formula which provides the opportunity for all associates to earn residual income, they have skin in the game too.  Everyone has a vested interest in the success of the company.  They have something on the line that makes them get up, go to work and hustle.

Being founder-led is a tremendous asset for a company. The creative genius who had the intent of what it is that they wanted to build and where they wanted to go, can constantly deliver their vision back to the people within the company. That’s part of the reason why we have such longevity in our leadership team, who on average have served the company for more than 16 years. Why would people stay with a company for that long if their heart and soul wasn’t in it and they weren’t tied to the company’s mission? We are completely focused on this cause with a vested interest in its success. We feel like we’re part of something better. We instinctively know each other well enough now so that we know where we need to jump in or back off. We know where our lanes are. We experiment and try new things because we’re in a safe environment that encourages growth and risk-taking.

In a recent address to EXIT Nation, Steve said, “Everybody in the beginning said that EXIT would never work – that’s what they told me.  But to-date we’ve paid out a half a billion dollars in single-level residuals internationally. It’s absolutely phenomenal. We’ve also dedicated $6 million to charity.  That’s where we’ve been. Now what about where we’re going.  Well-intentioned, good-hearted people, that’s what we’re looking for.  I’m interested in going right to the top of the mountain and I’m interested in staying at the top of the mountain.  Arm-in arm, positive and constructive, creative and harmonious – that’s the way this corporation is.”

And we’re going there with you, Steve.

 

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