The Business of Belonging

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

We’ve all felt that awkwardness of being the new kid at school, or even the new hire. The need for us to find “our people” is a cornerstone of humankind’s organization. We want to belong, yes, but a group of us together does not acceptance make. So how do you capture that?

Having been once burned previously in her real estate career, Sales Representative, Stephanie Walls, was looking for this sense of belonging in an office, but would instead find a family when Sales Representative, Angie Robinson, asked fellow EXIT Riverbend Realty agents, Dona Cronin and Rebecca Wyatt, to have a meeting with her before she joined EXIT.

It was intended to be a one-time occurrence, but when Stephanie found her first sponsor months after joining, she had such a wonderful experience meeting with a group that she called on them again for her sponsor. These luncheons have since become a regular practice at EXIT Riverbend Realty, where over five new agents have joined, and two more are on the way.

“We all agree this process has created a relaxing, more successful experience for each sponsor’s journey and development,” Stephanie explained. “Recruiting as a group allows sponsors to feel like they already know a portion of their new office from day one, which helps them feel welcome, and more at ease.”

“This sort of casual luncheon lets [sponsors] see us as just individuals who happen to be real estate agents enjoying one another’s company,” Dona agreed, adding, “I think it has encouraged the agents to reach out more and to openly sponsor. Since the lunches began, we seem to be growing much faster.”

How It Works

When there’s news of a new sponsor, a group chat is initiated with an invite for those who want to join. At least four typically attend: the sponsor, another new agent, in addition to two more agents from the office. And although the menu varies, there’s definitely a secret sauce to the conversations according to Rebecca. “We allow the new recruits to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. We talk about the reality of real estate, so they know what they’re getting into. We want people to spend their money wisely, to stick with it – especially through the first year – and to love the decision they make.”

So many are residually benefiting from these luncheons, going on much needed vacations, building dream homes, or just saving for a rainy day thanks to their bonuses received from EXIT’s head office for helping to grow the company.

But you can’t really put a price on true belonging as newly sponsored agent, Briana Stephens shared, “My impression after the luncheon was this is not a brokerage where there’s competition and drama, but one where there’s respect for others and teamwork. They care for each other, and that’s priceless.”

For this and other great stories about agent and office successes, check out The EXIT Achiever, EXIT’s corporate magazine online today at exitrealty.com/achiever or text ACHIEVER to 85377 for a mobile friendly version.

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