When Bob Lamb started in real estate in 1973, he never imagined he would be celebrating 50 years of an epic career with the biggest impact on his path choosing EXIT Realty in 2007. Here’s more on his inspiring story and how the EXIT residual system has been an important part.
If you know your history, you know 2007 was a difficult time in the real estate industry. Bob has weathered many challenging times but in 2007 he charted a new path impacting the lives of over 30 agents who followed him to EXIT Realty but the why is key.
“We all definitely experienced a dip in production and sales in 2007 and I had lived through a lot of corrections and market changes. I wasn’t really worried about it. I had been with several companies over the years being bought and sold. I didn’t prefer this and after 34 years in real estate, I stuck my neck out and started my own office at 59. Talking with my agents about this change, we looked at several companies and EXIT had the best overall game plan for everyone from a business plan to support and training. To me, the big thing was residuals. I don’t think any of us realized how big residuals were at first and it has turned out to be tremendous,” Bob explained.
Fortunately, Bob says being able to open a company with good, seasoned agents who were loyal helped him weather it all. Bankers and business friends told him, if you can make it through this spell, you can make it through anything. In 2010, he teamed up with Jeramie Taber’s team and become the biggest producing EXIT company in Tennessee, EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates.
On the day of Bob’s EXIT Southeast interview, he was marking 16 years of purchasing an EXIT franchise and he couldn’t have predicted the impact this move made on his life, his future and his retirement.
“I have a houseboat on Center Hill Lake I should have named Residual,” he says with a laugh. “I’m more low key than that and don’t want to come across as boastful but it has definitely impacted my life. To be in my retirement years and have that income stream is so important.”
Residuals make a difference in difficult times, no doubt about it, Bob says. “Everyone in sales goes through a slump no matter how good. If you have residuals coming in from other agents you sponsor it helps you get through lean times. So many of us don’t do a good job investing in our business, buying rental property, and don’t have the security for retirement. It is important to do it and plan for it. When I started in 1973, I never imagined being in real estate this many years later,” he said.
Ultimately, what baffles him the most is why people leave EXIT and suffer the financial impact.
“Practically all the major brands have tried to win me away. None have been able to answer the question, what about our residuals? No other real estate company can touch it. When you look back on it and get your 1099 from EXIT, you don’t realize how much it adds up,” he said.
To date, EXIT Realty Corp International has paid more than half a billion in residuals. Here’s more about the unique residual system.
When asked his advice for new Realtors, Bob doesn’t hesitant in giving a smart list of four tips with joining EXIT at the top.
1, Join EXIT
2. Take advantage of all the training you can get either free classes or ones you pay for through your local association.
3. Take advantage of the residual opportunity and get other agents to join you so they can have this advantage.
4. Be active in your company. Support your fellow agents. Be active with your professional association. It is all part of professionalism.
Bob says he is very optimistic about the state of real estate, especially in the southeast, Tennessee and Murfreesboro. “We’ve weathered a lot with a very vibrant economy. In those years of recessions like 2007 or interest rates of 20% in the 80s, we survived and have been lucky in Murfreesboro to have a diverse economy but also have the opportunities which EXIT offers to help us all in good times and bad.”
Due your due diligence and homework, if you are considering buying a franchise Bob advises.
“If you are doing it to own your own company, find out how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. EXIT offers a lot from training, technology, branding and residuals to support. Know those strengths and it will help you decide,” he said.
Looking back over your life, Bob says you can think of four or five decisions that really impacted your life in a positive way.
“For me, it was finishing college, serving in the military, going to graduate school, becoming a Realtor and purchasing a franchise,” he said. “My dad got me into real estate and had the confidence in me and encouraged me to get my license. In the first few years, you don’t know if you are going to make it, but it offers freedom and direct rewards. Going into management was a big decision in 1994. It was also a difficult decision in 2007 when I risked my life savings opening my own company entering into a lease and laying it on the line. I was 59, risking it all with this new venture. In 2007, I would wake up in the middle of the night and think I was crazy. I talked myself into and out of it. I made the decision and it all worked out and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Support in the EXIT equation has also meant a lot to Bob and his agents.
“Kenny and Stacy have made a huge difference in the state of Tennessee and the region, stepping it up and taking things to a whole new level. They’ve grow our region, done a great job and are always there to help. They are also good at bringing along new franchises and are always there to help. They are good at helping connect people with us veterans so we can always help each other out. The corporate staff has always been there too to advice or whatever help you need,” he said.
Bob says he is most proud of the loyalty and faith his core group of agents showed in following him, leaving an excellent company, and moving ahead into something relatively unknown.
“We went from a big office to an older house and were all crowded together. We became closer and tighter. I could have never imagined how things we be years later. I’m proud of my team and the life-changing opportunity we’ve all taken advantage of,” he said.