Growing up with families in the construction industry, it makes perfect sense Mike and Debbie Murdock would have their own real estate franchise, EXIT Realty Pro, with a passion for community service and supporting their agents with being professional, progressive, productive at the top of their minds daily.
The couple just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary, and, looking back on their careers, the Murdocks first started buying, fixing and flipping houses in the Canton,Texas area, way before there was a Joanna and Chip Gaines! At the same time, Mike was a long-time Dallas area fireman. He actually injured his back lifting drywall which led the couple to becoming Realtors, less physical than home construction and something they could do together. They earned their licenses in 2003.
As the Murdocks were making their decision on a real estate franchise talking with various companies, Mike was on Founder/Chairman Steve Morris’s email list and received this Morris Code email message, ‘never look down on someone unless you are offering a hand up.’
“As a fireman and being very active in our church and community, I thought this guy gets it. If he can deliver, we don’t need to go anywhere else,” says Mike.
The Murdocks opened their franchise in September 2006 and they are now celebrating their 16th anniversary with EXIT. “We spent money we didn’t have to buy something we didn’t know we needed,” said Mike. “The others competing against us bought a RE/MAX and another a Century 21 franchise. The guy who bought Century 21 eventually came to work for us!”
During the difficult years of 2007 and 2008, a good banker and corporate support was crucial for the couple. Today, they see this market as a correction and an opportunity for hard-working agents.
“We are in a transitional market moving toward a balanced market where neither the buyer nor seller has an unfair advantage. One of our top producers said the previous two years made us lazy as agents. Today’s market gives us an opportunity to do our jobs as we research, market and guide our clients in making good decisions,” Debbie said.
There are a lot of mantras or phrases which have special meaning for the Murdocks. Their three Ps mean being professional in everything they do, progressive in staying on the cutting edge and productive in the work they do daily. You can also add passion to this list of Ps.
“We are very passionate about supporting our agents and doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do,” says Mike. Debbie adds, “we are real and we are who we are.”
The couple are also very selective in who they invite to join their office. In the beginning, they had around six or seven agents. After Mike retired after 32 years of public service, in the past five years they have grown to around 55 to 60 agents.
“We’ve had tremendous growth due to our culture and as our agents understand the benefits of inviting people to join EXIT with the sponsorship bonus. But, we’ve been picky too,” explains Mike. “I tell my agents, if you don’t think they share our culture, don’t invite them in. The agents who are here can pick out really quickly someone who is going to fit in.”
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“We have had some agents earning up to an additional $80,000 a year which can have a huge impact on their lives, Mike said. “When they see other agents checks, then they understand how EXIT Realty benefits them."
An important part of the EXIT Realty Pro culture is the broker support Mike offers his agents, says Debbie.
“We offer a lot of training and support which is an important part of our culture. Mike is a very hands-on broker and is on the phone most of the day helping agents. We don’t put people off. We also offer multiple events throughout the year to help our agents and to offer recruitment opportunities. Support is definitely a part of our culture and so is community service,” Debbie explains.
Community service is a passion for the Murdocks and something they model with their franchise. “Being a community servant is who we are, giving back through our church and supporting our community. We bought this franchise because we never look down but offer a hand up,” says Mike.
Throughout the year, EXIT Realty Pro gives back to their communities through a variety of ways including an upcoming community health fair on the first Friday in October. It will be their third one.
“We will have all sorts of vendors there from checking hearing, teeth and blood pressure to mammograms and the blood mobile for donations – anything having to do with health. We’ll also have a firetruck, ambulance and helicopter to educate the public on how these people serve our community. This is our gift to the community that we do with our agents,” Mike said.
A food drive is part of the event and a cookbook has been added this year. Debbie and Mike, who was also the full-time cook at the firehouse, are creating a cookbook with recipes curated from the agents and the Murdocks. Proceeds will benefit the local Children’s Advocacy Center and they will be applying for matching funds through the Spirit of EXIT.
Relationships is Mike’s word of the year and it’s what gets things done he says. “When the chips are down, you have to be able to count on that person,” Mike said.
Corporate and regional support has also been important to them. “We love Kenny and Stacy and it has been fun getting to know them,” Debbie said. “We also appreciated the Rally and after being locked down with the pandemic, it came at a much-needed time. We are social beings and it helped our agents reconnect.”
Take advantage of the resources and training available say the Murdocks. “Be consistent and stay with it. Longevity is the key to being successful in this business. We offer EXIT Realty’s eight week success plan and you will get out of it what you put into it,” Debbie says. And, don’t be a secret agent.
“A recently retired agent with 48 years in the industry said my best advice to new Realtors is don’t be a secret agent. Wear your name badge, let people know what you are doing and share your mobile business card,” Mike advises.
For people considering being franchise owners, the Murdocks say you can’t go wrong.
“The pros outweigh any cons and I’m very open about this and can validate it,” says Mike. “Being an EXIT Realty franchise is like a fire house. We laugh and have a good time, but, when the bell rings, we go to work!”
EXIT Realty Pro has been voted Van Zandt County’s Favorite Real Estate Agency for the Readers’ Choice Awards four years in a row. Connect with this award-winning team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit their website today EXITRealtyPro.