Never Judge an Agent: Dispelling Misconceptions

by Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

When Susie Fisk thought about careers she saw herself getting back to once she was done homeschooling, real estate was definitely not one of them. Admittedly, it was the last thing she’d ever considered. That was until she was introduced to EXIT Realty.

“I always thought it was ridiculous that [real estate agents] made that much money, and it seemed like they really didn’t do that much. I just thought real estate agents were kind of crooks. That’s honestly what I thought,” she recalled, chiding herself.  

Two years ago, Susie and her husband were house hunting for a horse property with her friend and REALTOR®, Sholly Faye Walker. They were concerned about stretching their single income too tight, since Susie had spent the last 18 years as a stay-at-home mom after working in the construction and lumber industries. When Sholly suggested a career with EXIT Realty, Susie’s notion of the business was about to change drastically.

“I was really impressed with the foundation that <EXIT’s Chairman> Steve Morris laid with this company; that it put the agents first. The residual income really, really impressed me because it showed he cared about his agents, beyond them being agents. I just really liked the family atmosphere; I didn’t feel like EXIT was cutthroat and competitive at all.”

In the fall of 2020, Susie joined EXIT Realty Number One in Las Vegas, Nevada, and quickly earned the office’s Rookie of the Year Award for 2021 after generating $5.1M in total gross volume her first 12 months as a REALTOR®. Still homeschooling two of her three kids, Susie set a goal of selling six houses and almost doubled that. How did she do it? By being coachable and specializing in something that she loves.

“I grew up with horses. I know what it takes to have them and a ranch property. I know a lot about wells and septic systems, which is pretty particular to horse properties. Find a niche. It really makes a difference to your clients, and they see you as the expert,” she explained of building on your strengths as a new agent. “I feel like even though I’ve only been in real estate for just over a year, people can still look to me as knowledgeable in my expertise, because I’ve studied and put in the time to know what it takes to be part of that group.”

Susie jumped right in the middle of a remarkable market, which has taught her quite a bit already. She has witnessed all the signs that many real estate professionals have across North America; watching as out-of-town interest flooded her area and caused a ripple effect of cash purchases, over bidding, and local buyers waiving appraisals and conditions as they struggle just to get a foothold in the game. She has seen clients living in hotels, houses selling faster than agents can write offers, and has shown clients 60 houses in some cases before achieving a successful bid.

But even Susie knows this isn’t the norm saying, “I’m thinking this is almost too good to be true, and that I got in at the right time. I’m a little hesitant about what’s going to happen when the market slows back down, I don’t even know what that looks like. But I do know that I have a broker who has 35 years’ experience to lean on, so, I’m not worried. She’s been my personal coach and has helped me so much through this time.”

Susie leans on learning, attending almost every one of her office’s weekly sales meetings. She admits that she still gains at least one thing every meeting, whether it’s a tip or someone else’s misstep from which she can learn. She has also taken Buffini & Company training courses, and building on her extensive homeschooling experience, she has become a Buffini certified trainer so she can further impart knowledge on others. She has also taken advantage of EXIT’s unique Formula to not only show others a better way of doing business, but as a way to balance her income no matter what the market does.

“I have one sponsor right now. She’s a fairly new agent, and that’s my goal for this next year. I’m working on bringing in new sponsors into the EXIT family and trying to be a mentor to them. I know it’s not our responsibility as agents to mentor, but I was surely mentored and helped along the way and I would love to pass that on,” Susie shared. “I feel like EXIT is the best place to work. I get calls all the time from other brokerages, but I’ll never ever leave EXIT because of what they have done for me, what they’ve taught me, and what I’ve built. I want as many people in our industry to come to EXIT as possible because I really believe that we could change this business.”

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