EXIT TLC Realty franchise owner Patti Whalen says the TLC in her franchise name stands for trust, loyalty and commitment, something she expects of her agents when serving clients, and it reflects her commitment too!
“We are who we are, and we are definitely a family. The name for our franchise means all my agents must be trustworthy, loyal and committed to our clients, just as I am committed to my agents,” Patti explains.
The EXIT TLC Realty Difference
Based in Lenoir City, Tennessee, Patti says using the principles of the" EXIT way" is what makes her franchise special making sure clients are the number one priority.
“Our clients are number one, therefore we have a lot of repeat and referral business. I love the Brian Buffini training and I’m a certified Buffini mentor/trainer. We encourage our agents to take his courses, especially 100 Days to Greatness. The agents who do complete the course, do see results. Patti is also a certified RPR trainer (Realtors Property Resource®), one of two in the EXIT Realty Corp. International family. “I strongly encourage all EXIT Realty brokers to take the RPR Train the Trainer course,” says Patti. “RPR is an incredible tool only available to NAR members. Teaching our agents how to effectively use RPR has helped grow their business.”
She also is in constant communication with her agents, answering their calls 24/7. Being an available broker is important to me. I receive calls from agents in other brokerages because they can’t reach their broker and need an answer ASAP. Of course, I preface my answer with ‘If one of my agents were in your situation, I would suggest xyz.’ One of my pet peeves is that a broker doesn’t answer or return agents’ calls.”
Patti is committed to preserving the culture of her EXIT franchise, saying she’s had to release some agents over the years who didn’t fit, in order to protect what she’s spent years building.
“Early on, the mentoring and coaching I received meant a lot to me. I’ve gained great advice from watching webinars and attending live events from trainer Key Yassad, EXIT Realty Corp. International Director of Brokerage Development Janice Petteway and from Coach Michael Burt. Attending EXIT Realty Corp. International conventions and EXIT Southeast Rallies have been key in helping me succeed as a brokerage.”
Ultimately, she considers her agents and EXIT colleagues as family which meant a lot after a recent accident, tripping downstairs over a pet resulting in serious injury.
“I’ve been in real estate for almost 17 years, the last five with EXIT. The outpouring of concern and support from my peers over my accident meant so much. The messages and calls from corporate leaders were a heartfelt surprise. They’ve always been there with support, but the caring gestures just proved even more the EXIT Realty is truly family. It’s a no-brainer for me to renew my franchise this year! I’m not going anywhere else,” Patti said.
Internal support has also been crucial for Patti. She’s grateful for her training broker, Sherrie Zaring (the other RPR Trainer in the EXIT family) and her sister, Debbie Haugan, who is the transaction coordinator for the office, both helped keep things running smoothly, especially after her accident.
Advice to New Realtors
We’ve all been there and know what it is like to start, says Patti. “Don’t be shy or scared to ask questions. Also, take courses to obtain designations and certifications. Education is a big thing for me, and I believe it makes you a better Realtor. The public may not know what those letters mean behind our name, but they understand it means something. Just like picking a new doctor. Do you call the one that has MD after their name or the one that has a slew of other letters? I’ve started a competition in our office. For each certification or designation an agent receives, their name goes into a box for a drawing at the end of the year. The winner will get their NAR, TR, KAAR dues paid which is a $495 value,” Patti shares. A great idea!
Advice to Anyone Considering a Franchise
Just do it!
“We have a family driven culture. Some may not like the family atmosphere because maybe they feel they are more important than anyone else. There is a place for that, but not in my office. If you like a family atmosphere, no backstabbing, and total support, EXIT Realty is for you,”she says. “It is hard to explain because I’ve not found anything else out there quite like the culture of EXIT Realty. I think franchise owners Aaron and Christy Burke Dwyer explain it best in the video they created.” Click here for the video.
Patti says beginning a franchise is easier than expected, due to the processes that EXIT Realty Corp. International has in place.
“All of the back office support is there for you with a click of a button. I have friends with other brokerages that complain, and I don’t understand it. The EXIT process makes it so easy, and you can always get someone on the phone from regional or corporate to help if you can’t find what you need,” she spoke.
Another unique element of EXIT is the single-level residual. Patti said residuals helped her in the lean months in early days. She also uses it for profession fees for herself and her staff as well as using residuals to do nice thing for her agents. Click here for more on EXIT’s unique residual system.
Service and Community Support is Important
EXIT TLC Realty agents are very involved in their community and quarterly decide what non-profits to support, including helping collect pajamas for foster kids, collecting food for the Good Samaritan Food Pantry and collecting items for the Loudon County Animal Shelter. (All three of Patti’s dogs are rescues.)
Patti is also a Tennessee Real Estate Educational Foundation Trustee (TREEF), on the state Professional Standards Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors as the Loudon County Chapter Chair.
The Future Looks Bright!
Patti was tested in her first years of owning the franchise but with the support of her agents she came out the other side even stronger. She is looking forward to the next five years! Today, she has 23 agents who all come from various backgrounds, with more coming onboard, soon.
Connect with EXIT TLC Realty Today!
To find out more about EXIT TLC Realty and to connect with Patti Whalen text Whalen to 85377 or call her at 865-816-3094.