By Rick DeLuca, Regional Owner, EXIT Realty Pacific West
Twenty-six years of traveling throughout North America consulting with real estate office owners, conducting training sessions for both managers and agents, made a few things very clear to me. Very often, this is what I experienced. I was hired to consult and/or provide a training session for their agents, and many times, their managers as well. When the work was completed, it was common for the owner to invite me to a round of golf and/or a nice leisurely lunch. During those private times they shared what they liked about their franchise and the things that really bothered them. I heard the same things so often, when it came time for me to re-enter the real estate industry, I made a promise to myself to do everything I could to not commit these mistakes.
#1 complaint: “I joined so I would be relieved of some of the many responsibilities I have, but…”
Perhaps the single biggest reason an owner chooses to franchise is to relieve themselves of some of the many burdens they face as an owner. Today’s real estate owner wears so many hats, is stretched so thin and many must personally produce to generate an income that makes it all worthwhile. Many times, I heard how disappointed they were to discover when the franchisor created a program/tool for the franchisees, they were told they had to deliver and teach their agents how to use it. What caused some bitterness was, “I’m paying a franchise fee, thinking they would relieve me of some of the many responsibilities, only to find out they added some!”
#2 complaint: “I’m paying a lot of money to the franchise and then I’m nickel and dimed to death.” Although franchises charge their fees in various ways, the perception of the owner is they’re paying a lot of money for services, only to discover there are additional costs they never anticipated. It simply rubs them the wrong way, which causes many negative consequences.
#3 complaint: “I just don’t see the support from the franchisor that I anticipated.”
Being the owner of a real estate company is a lonely position. There are very few people they can turn to in hope of assistance. With profit margins today falling to less than 15%, it’s a road that can seem very daunting. Like many other types of sales, the promises made up front seem to wane as the months turn into years. So many times, I heard owners say, “I wish I didn’t feel like I’m in this all by myself.” So often I heard an owner complain that the “franchise representative” they were told would be there to help them had such little experience in real estate and was stretched so thin, the value was questionable, at best.
#4 complaint: “I thought there would be more opportunities to share and learn from others.” There is a desperate need for owners to bounce ideas off people who are challenged with the same things they are. They are frustrated there’s so little sharing of everything from sales meetings, retention, recruiting, financial issues, policies, etc. Their vision was “there will be so many peers to learn from and trade ideas.” Although the logistics of creating an opportunity for owners to help one another is challenging, many of them would jump at the chance to learn from their fellow owners through whatever medium was presented.
My Five “Must Haves” in Deciding to Join EXIT Realty to Create My Legacy
(All equal in importance)
#1 Systems: Checklists, specific direction, and guides all in writing. Like many people I’ve met in my 45 years in this business, I am by nature, disorganized. I discovered early on that without access to a systematic approach to things I would be all over the board. I spent my career creating systems, so when it came time to decide where I would finish my real estate journey, having access to these tools was paramount in my choice of where to go.
#2 Technology: You simply cannot survive in today’s world without state-of-the-art technology. It goes without saying that a primary consideration in deciding who to finish my career with had to not just have technology tools, but be a leader in technology. I’ve made a habit of never saying, “We have the best….” But I will say, “I’ve never seen anything better than the technology EXIT Realty has created for owners and agents.”
#3 Business Model: Because my career has spanned more than four decades, I’ve seen just about every business model this industry has created. My final consideration was to align myself with a company that offered a truly unique model. Something that is so simple, yet at the same time, complex and expensive to create, no one else would attempt it. That’s what Steve Morris has created. Providing a straight-forward, simple to execute model that encourages a synergistic culture and offers a third revenue stream, EXIT Realty is something everyone in real estate should seriously consider embracing.
#4 Training and #5 Support: For many years my passion has been training. Flying to other countries and all 50 states has been an absolute blessing. However, I recognized when I re-entered the real estate industry and took on the challenge of growing my 5-state region for EXIT Realty, I simply would not have the time to be conducting a lot of training. It was imperative that I had confidence that the training provided would be both quality and time sensitive. What impressed me about EXIT Realty was their strong belief in MIND-SET training. Rather than just teaching “what to do” their approach is “let me first explain why it’s so important to do these things.” Without that emphasis the majority of agents will simply not take doing the activities seriously.
After considering how EXIT Realty addresses all of the complaints I’d heard from other franchisees, plus all of my “must haves” my options were very few. As a matter of fact, EXIT Realty was the ONLY ONE that checked all the boxes. Are there other good franchises? Of course. I simply decided why shouldn’t I reward myself by joining forces with the BEST! Look out world – here we come. Our time is NOW!