Not many people can say they were in the hospital with COVID-19 facing a ventilator decision when they were driven to commit to a new franchise and this is EXIT Realty Bluegrass Broker/Owner Jackie Denton’s story. She now has three Kentucky franchises in Campbellsville, Glasgow and Hart County!
“Honestly, it was one adversity after another. Life will throw you punches to make you stronger. I have a fear of failure and was driven to launch this brokerage and be successful! You can’t give up,” says Jackie, EXIT Realty Bluegrass.
Jackie retired after being a school teacher for 28 years and actually feels led to being in real estate while regretting not starting sooner.
“I loved teaching and the kids but I really regret not retiring 10 years sooner to begin my second chapter in life. A family crisis led me to understanding the importance and value of a Realtor. I’m used to helping and teaching people and this situation confirmed my feelings that I’m where I need to be,” Jackie explained.
While attending real estate school with a renown instructor, Jackie was advised to research different real estate brokerages.
“I looked into the big brands and mom and pop brokerages, which didn’t suit me at all. By chance at a bridal fair, an EXIT booth was next to a photographer I was looking for. I got information, did my Google research, met the principal broker and signed on,” Jackie said.
The culture and family atmosphere of the EXIT office attracted Jackie.
“I found EXIT to be very down to earth and caring with agent support and residual opportunities. They care about beneficiary and retirement, something very different from other brokerages,” she said. “I was doing a lot of volume with 50 to 60 deals a year and knew it was time to do my own thing, take control and branch out. In 2021, I bought two franchises.”
As an owner, Jackie says the residuals are a cushion for her business, home and family giving her the liberty to use as investment or buying a boat she uses for entertaining or a getaway. Click here to learn more about this system unique to EXIT.
One of the elements which makes EXIT Realty Bluegrass unique today is that Jackie is very selective on who she recruits.
“I don’t recruit people off the streets. I’m into quality, not quantity. I want integrity, loyalty and agents with compassion. When they are nurturing and loyal to their clients while being passionate about what they do, they are a good fit for us,” Jackie said.
Although Jackie says she doesn’t need anyone checking in every other day, regional support is important to her.
“I just discussed this with another broker recently. I feel like I don’t need Kenny or Stacy (EXIT Southeast Regional Owners) calling to check in every other day, but, I know I can reach out any time for that support if I need it. They really care about their brokers and agents and, with multiple states, they are juggling a lot. But, I know if I need to talk with them, they are there and Valerie (Evans) is all of that and a bag of chips! I’ve met other regional owners and know there is just something special about ours. They are caring, show it from their facial expressions and go above and beyond,” Jackie said.
Educate yourself is Jackie’s best advice for new Realtors.
“Just like the book, “212: The Extra Degree,” you need books that will help you lay a foundation, educate and drive you. EXIT has some of the best training. My son-in-law doesn’t get to the office often and can get all the training he needs online via the EXIT Resource Center,” Jackie said. “I tell new Realtors to brand yourself and put yourself out there. Make yourself known. Little things can turn into big and better!”
Make sure you are financially, mentally and physically ready to buy a franchise says Jackie.
“Put a lot of thought and prayer into it. I laid the stepping stones for my purchase by banking money ahead of time to be ready. To the best of your ability, try not to go into debt. Also, be sure you take care of your family and always make time for yourself. Family is a top priority,” she said.
Community festivals are something Jackie encourages her agents to support. Campbellsville has the fourth largest July 4th celebration in Kentucky lasting multiple days.
“From the big parade, where we bring out our EXIT float which looks like a house, to the hot air balloon race, we are always present there and in the community,” Jackie said.
A self-professed motor head, EXIT Realty Bluegrass will be sponsoring their first truck and tractor pull to support a local backpack program.
“I traveled all over the U.S. to pulls with my dad as a truck pulling family. My son-in-law, Andrew Savage, and daughter, Daley Savage, also have a pulling truck. Andrew is the sphere head of the championship pull and fundraiser pull supporting a local backpack program which sends home a backpack of food for families in need through the Family Resource Center. We are very excited about ours, Metcalfe County Super Pull Feeding Kids and Crowning Champions. It will take place October 21,” Jackie said.
Reach out to Jackie Denton and EXIT Realty Bluegrass by visiting their Facebook page or website. You can also connect with Jackie about EXIT opportunities – EXITRealtyJackie@gmail.com.