By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer
The passage of time ushers in a new generation of real estate agents; ones who are learning their craft through college degrees and bringing a breadth of technology prowess that accelerates their growth, but unlike generations before, they’re unabashedly seeking to carve out the career landscape they desire.
With a heavy value on participation, belief in success as a team, and nurtured confidence that anything is possible, young professionals want to start their F.I.R.E. More than a simple acronym or phrase thrown around via text; this is a way of life. It’s about achieving Financial Independence and Retiring Early and EXIT Realty provides the spark.
“I believe my generation brings energy and innovation to the industry. A lot of professionals brought up in previous work environments have been used to conventional nine-to-five jobs that ultimately turn into careers. In today’s world of business, you have to be ready to innovate, try new things, and create your own opportunities,” shared EXIT Realty Genesis Franchisee, Matthew Grant. Not only is he EXIT’s youngest, solo owner in Kitchener, ON, he also often finds himself the youngest in the room. “Getting into franchise ownership at age 27 is something that’s definitely pushed me to the next level in real estate. I also feel like the best way for me to move forward in life is to intentionally put myself in rooms where people are more experienced than I am.”
Thirty-one-year-old, Jacey-Kay Carter, Franchisee of EXIT Realty Property Pros in Lumberton and Beaumont, TX, often feels the same, and she too prefers it that way, saying, “I honestly believe it’s never a good idea to be the smartest person in the room, because that takes away the ability to grow personally and professionally. Spending time with people who are willing to share their career successes and failures is something in which I find great value. Real estate at EXIT is a business with no limitations with so much to offer. Don’t let age hinder you from taking the leap because there is room for everyone at the table. It was a big endeavor for me to become an owner, but it was also the best decision I made for my career.”
Being the “little fish” as 33-year-old Franchisee, Stuart Peterson, calls it can feel intimidating. He knows because he’s also been there, but now he thinks of it as an opportunity to learn too. That’s why having access to all of EXIT’s unparalleled support means so much to him.
“I love the accessibility to Franchise Support, they couldn’t be more helpful. You just open a quick chat, and you have somebody. If you need to call them, you can call them. It’s so simple,” he said, but it goes further than that. “There’s MIND-SET Trainers, and top executives like Co-Chair, Tami Bonnell, and U.S. CEO, Craig Witt, who make themselves available, which is amazing, but what I think is so valuable to us as owners is they’re accomplished owners themselves. They’ve grown and moved up the ladder organically and understand what it takes to be successful.”
These fellow entrepreneurs share another commonality; seeing huge potential in the ability for an EXIT agent to earn additional income streams through a unique Formula of sponsoring and single-level residuals.
“With EXIT, you can build a professional business and achieve the level of success you want, all while continuing to be the person, spouse, or parent you want to be,” Jacey-Kay explained, a concept which meant a lot to her after recently having a baby, running her two offices, and earning a six-figure income without missing a beat.
Just over a year into opening his EXIT Realty Partners office, Stuart is actively seeking recruits as well because he sees sponsoring as a valuable asset that often resonates with the younger generation.
“I don’t know anybody who has one job and one job only,” he admitted. “Everybody has a side gig; everybody has a hustle for their ‘splurge money’ they’re saving to invest. Things are expensive these days. There’s a need for additional income to continue daily life, so I think that’s why it’s so enticing.”
“There’s simply no other real estate brand that has a business model as good as EXIT,” Matthew said of the extra earning potential, an essential aspect that allows him to dream big and why he chose EXIT. “When I received my first sponsoring bonus, I knew that my life was about to change. Every REALTOR® needs to experience that feeling.”
By offering associates the opportunity to earn single-level sponsoring bonuses that convert into retirement benefits that they can enhance and denote as a beneficiary benefits, Jacey-Kay feels EXIT has rooted agents into brokerages and created real office cultures, not just hype.
“Sponsoring produces supplemental income and tremendously reduces the pressure this industry can sometimes create. It’s not only a key part to the success of the individual, but it also helps in the success of the brokerage overall and promotes mentoring and coaching, which are very important to me. When agents engage relationships are built, and a family is formed within the brokerage. I believe this approach cultivates an atmosphere where agents can push themselves and our team to the next level.”
‘Extra’ is definitely an apt way to describe the last couple of years, and by opening their doors during or on the heels of this time, each of these young professionals have certainly weathered their fair share of ups and downs, some like Stuart quite literally with natural disasters growing more potent in his area every year. But while they “celebrated the peaks and pushed through the valleys” as Jacey-Kay said, each are comers in new and hot marketplaces, looking to make a name for EXIT like never before.
“As young professionals, time is our biggest weapon. With information being so accessible these days our learning curve may be 10 times shorter than what it was for other more experienced owners who went through their startup phase before. Get on the phone and talk to people who have done this already,” Matthew urged other young real estate agents thinking about ownership. Staying in touch with his mentors like his previous Franchisee, Daryl Ruff, and EXIT’s Canadian Supervisor of Growth and Development, Mike McCarron, has served him well. “Use the internet to your advantage. Video marketing is huge right now, so I’m planning a creative space in the office to allow agents the ability to produce high-quality videos to help brand themselves. We use web-based systems for everything in our office so that information can be shared easily, and we have an open-door approach where we encourage professionals from all industries to come into the office when we’re having different meetings or events.”
With his extensive background in commercial sales, Stuart works on being accessible to agents in his office in addition to targeting the investment sector, something he noticed was missing in his Rosepine, LA, market saying, “A lot of other agents want to buy rental properties and invest, or they have clients who are investors who want to work those deals, so they want to dabble in commercial, but a lot of offices don’t have that experience here. Just the accessibility too; being there for agents and trying to foster a fun, competitive environment. That’s what I’m trying to differentiate here. I don’t want people to just come to an office, I want them to come to a fun atmosphere, where their coworkers are friends and there’s good, healthy competition.”
These three professionals are proof positive that there’s no right or wrong age to get into franchise ownership. Stuart encourages the conversations that will ensure you learn from the mistakes of others, just as Jacey-Kay believes that pairing a stellar work ethic and determination with EXIT’s tools will help you build a successful business as an owner. Like owning property, Matthew suggests, the sooner the better.
Find this and other great stories in The EXIT Achiever magazine available online at exitrealty.com/achiever or by texting ACHIEVER to 85377