By Steve Morris, Founder and Chairman, EXIT Realty Corp. International
I’ve been in real estate 45 years this year. In my early days as a sales rep, I knew what it was like to put three deals together in one night and that sinking feeling of a double-ender falling through. As an agent and later as a manager, I spent time road testing what worked and what didn’t and discovered my passion of teaching selling to salespeople rather than selling products to customers.
Real estate is a human business; it’s all about people. I learned that if you get the good agents, you get the good business. However, most managers had a “step-aside” attitude – their people were disposable and their favorite four-letter word was “next”. They didn’t specialize in getting the most and the best of out of their agents because they didn’t put a value on people.
I dreamed up EXIT Realty one morning at 3:17 am in 1983 and had to keep it a secret because I wasn’t ready and it wasn’t ready, but the idea was there. I watched what other managers did and most of what they were doing didn’t work. One of the tools in my personal tool kit is the ability to ask effective questions, so I dropped all the rules and asked, what if it didn’t have to be that way? How do I get the better agents and keep them? What if there was a good incentive for agents to introduce other agents to the company? Asking why, how and what if opens up all kinds of doorways.
If we were going to make this work, we had to take the position that our agents were the assets of the corporation because they bring in all the front-line money that pays the bills. We needed a methodology to glue them in and keep the good ones forever.
I didn’t care if it had never been done this way because what they were doing didn’t work. I had to learn to recruit. I had to learn to get anchored properly and then the right time came. EXIT Realty and our Formula were launched on September 3, 1996. Timing is everything.
Over the past 25 years at EXIT Realty, we have set out to build and stabilize the most productively successful real estate company in the world, with a bottom line of 100,000 agents who love and respect the company, positively, constructively, and harmoniously working arm-in-arm to create a future where there wasn’t one before.
Our immediate objective is for every associate to introduce an average of three agents to EXIT every year. It’s not about inventing more new stuff. We’re rolling up our sleeves with a single-minded focus on this objective. It’s what we want and expect to have happen. We’ve buttoned-down technology and administration. We have the right people and backups in place. In this business, the first 10 years proves you can survive. The next 10 years proves you are a contender. The next 10 years, you turn your ideals into reality. It’s a different run towards the end. We’re wiser than we were.
As I look back on where we’ve been, and I look forward to where we’re headed, I’m tremendously thankful, grateful, and appreciative of the efforts of everyone who has played a role in our growth. Where is EXIT Realty going? Right to the top! The product is real estate, the business is people, the company is EXIT.