You’ll want to dig into our blogs as we share monthly newsletters and profiles of success EXIT Southeast franchises. It’s important to dig deeper beyond a social media post to find inspiration and help to better your own business today.
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.”
Here’s more on how EXIT Realty is changing the real estate landscape through single-level residuals. (Insert video)
“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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website today EXITRealtyPro.
With a family-owned business taking pride in their name and service, EXIT Realty McCauley owner, Larry McCauley says the personal touch makes a difference in how he serves clients in Lebanon and the Marion County Kentucky area.
Real Estate School Led to EXIT Franchise – Personal Touch – The Difference
A long-time businessman, Larry previously owned a successful food vending company he sold to a competitor and began looking for his next venture.
“I had bought and sold a lot of properties in my lifetime and I woke up one morning and told my wife, Martha, I want to sell real estate. I found GC Real Estate School and Vickie Grimes, founder of the school and owner/broker of EXIT Realty Heartland. It jump started my career,” Larry said. “I originally started with another company in South Central Kentucky before following up with Vickie who helped me connect with Regional Owners Kenny Lynn and Stacy Strobl and begin EXIT Realty McCauley in Lebanon. Vickie still serves as my broker today, five years later.”
When he started real estate school, Vickie says she could tell after two weeks because he understood business and was good with people.
“I could tell from the get-go he didn’t need to work for anyone else. Larry has a mind for business, personality to work well with people and the heart of an EXITeer. I knew owning a franchise would be the right choice,” she says.
Today, Larry says the personal touch makes all the difference in his business.
“With Martha by my side, serving as admin, I think the personal touch makes a difference. We try to treat everyone as a relative and I train my agents to do the same. It’s worked out well for us,” Larry said.
The parents of three, busy children, Martha worked with Larry in their prior business but is not there every day in the real estate office “so she doesn’t threaten to kill me,” he says with a laugh.
Advice To New Realtors
Don’t sell a house or property just for the commission, says Larry, do it to help the buyer or the seller.
“This is when the personal touch is important. If you sell just for the money, you won’t be successful. Look out for the best interest of your buyers or sellers,” Larry says.
With over a dozen agents today, Larry says supporting the agents is important.
“We help them learn the process of being a good agent and are there to support them and answer question. The EXIT training and technology helps an agent starting fresh to understand there is someone who has been there before you and can help you,” Larry said.
Training and technology are part of the five pillars of EXIT which also includes financial freedom through residuals. Larry said the residuals helps agents. “They get very excited about that check. They realize we aren’t just taking from them but giving back.”
Larry uses the residuals to invest in his business and brand awareness including billboard, radio and newspaper advertising.
Here’s more on the EXIT Realty difference. (Insert video)
Advice To Anyone Considering A Franchise – Culture of Support
“Owning a franchise is a smart move and I know some of the new EXIT franchise owners in the area and have worked with them on several deals,” says Larry. “When I started, I didn’t really have a lot of other owners to talk with. Kenny and Stacy have done a great job in building the name and the brand in Kentucky which helps us out tremendously and gives us name recognition across the state.”
Regional and corporate support have been important to Larry as a franchise owner.
“Anytime I have a problem, I can call Stacy and Kenny and they are very supportive. The same goes with our corporate leaders. They are quick to respond and that’s why we are sticking with the EXIT family and will soon be renewing,” he said.
Giving back to his community is important to Larry and his EXIT Realty McCauley office.
“We do a lot of youth sports sponsorships including baseball, basketball and soccer. I think it all starts with the kids. Take care of them first or you have no future,” he said.
Future of EXIT Realty McCauley
If there’s one slogan that describes EXIT Realty McCauley, Larry says it is they are the “I’m Sold” company.” It’s not sell time here, but it is sold time, he explains. And, that’s exactly what they do for their clients!
Connect with EXIT Realty McCauley
Connect with Larry and his team today via email email@example.com or 270-692-8800.
EXIT Ryan Scott Realty serves clients in Miami, Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties while making a difference in lives daily throughout their community says company president and broker of record, George Corey.
Making Positive Differences In Lives Daily
With almost four decades of real estate industry experience as well as a proven businessman, George was the keynote luncheon speaker for the Harvard Business School Alumni Association, the real estate editor for the Palm Beach County WPBT Weekly Business Review and executive vice president of Coldwell Banker, instrumental in growing 3,700 offices.
His story is also about surviving cancer, living to tell the tale and dedicating his life to making a positive difference in the lives of his 60+ agents, clients and community
“On June 7 of this year, it has been 22 years since that first cancer diagnosis with 30 days to live. Because I lived for some reason, I wanted to spend the rest of my life making a positive impact on others and had to find a company that didn’t just talk about supporting agents but does it,” George said.
In the early 2000s, multiple companies wanted George to open a franchise and he actually signed an agreement with GMAC.
“A couple of my former brokers at Coldwell joined EXIT and said George please don’t do anything until you talk with EXIT. I thought, what a silly name, not interested. They asked me to trust them. I found out more, and, during my right of rescission period, I canceled my deal with GMAC because EXIT was giving me an opportunity to do what really mattered – make a positive difference in people’s lives. The money is important but that is not what drives me. What really drives me is looking at the difference I might make in an agent’s life. This is the reason I’m still working,” George said.
George said there are several ways in which EXIT RSR operates differently as a franchise.
“We are fiduciaries not facilitators. Other companies have customers, we have clients. We are required by law to be obedient to our client, give them full disclosure, full confidentiality and to be loyal to our client and no one else – something you won’t see with transaction brokers,” George explains.
EXIT Culture of Support Matters
A culture of support means a lot to EXIT RSR from local to regional and corporate.
“At EXIT RSR, we are family and I don’t just say that I mean it,” says George. “As Regional Owners, Kenny (Lynn) and Stacy (Strobl) are a breath of fresh air. They are aggressive, supportive, responsive and they are always rocking and rolling which motivates the rest of us. Last year’s EXIT Southeast Rally was important to us. I’ve been doing this for 39 years and it gives me a shot in the arm and reminds me of why I am here. I’ll be trying to get as many agents there as possible in 2023. I want my agents to see that EXIT is much more than our office of 60+ agents and to says, ‘wow, look what I am a part of.’ The whole set up was great and we will have a big representation at the next one.”
Corporate support also means a lot in the EXIT culture of caring. George said, “it is nice to be able to pick up the phone and call the chairman/founder (Steve Morris) or co-chair (Tami Bonnell). I told our CEO Craig Witt at the EXIT Southeast Rally that it doesn’t happen at other companies and we really appreciate that.”
Advice To New Realtors
When working with a potential new Realtor, George said he is very honest about the career.
“I’m honest with people about what you have to do to make a living. The bottom line is if they are willing to work hard, they can make it. I consider it a business partnership and the agent is president of your own company. Act like and run your business every day and take advantage of the support your partner is offering you from marketing and an office to technology and training support,” he said.
With over 60 plus agents, George never says, “go get ‘em!”
“With decades of experience, we don’t just throw agents into the real estate world and say go get ‘em. I do a personal business plan for each agent which fits their comfort level, talent and budget which we review every quarter. We find a way to make it work. On-going training is also provided for every aspect of the business. And, we have monthly business meetings with the entire company to reinforce this,” George said.
Advice To Anyone Considering An EXIT Southeast Franchise?
“Just buy it!” says George to anyone considering an EXIT franchise. Also, make sure your agents understand the value.
“EXIT has so many wonderful tools and support which makes this so valuable to the franchise owner. But, you have to make sure your agents are aware of it and teach them how to use the tools professionally to service prospective clients. Some people resent paying real estate commission because they don’t understand the value. Owners need to understand the value EXIT offers and agents need to help clients understand the difference as well. It helps agents become more productive,” George said.
If an EXIT RSR agent has a connection with a decision maker at a local nonprofit, we can add them to our Affinity Program says George.
“If someone comes to us, through that affiliation, we will give the client a credit of 10% of our commission at closing. The client then signs a form at closing donating this amount back to the nonprofit. It’s a win/win because now the client gets a tax benefit for donating this money to their worthy cause,” he explains.
The franchise also adopted an area daycare center for around 275 under privileged kids, supplying them each year with school supplies. Pre-COVID, they also have a special holiday party making sure each child receives something special from agents dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves and angels. The plan is the return to this good will event this year!
How to connect?
Connect with George today! He loves a phone call or text at 954-249-8547. Or, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He says he is always available!
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.
Built upon a solid foundation, EXIT Realty of Lubbock owners Russell and Gene McGuire have been very intentional building their EXIT franchise while focusing on going above and beyond as they cultivate customers for life by going the extra mile.
What Makes EXIT Realty of Lubbock Special?
Located in a gorgeous, high-profile building on the west side of Lubbock on Loop 289, today, EXIT Realty of Lubbock has around 135 agents and have come a long way since originally buying their franchise in 2007 during an economic downturn.
“We began our office as an independent and had actually considered a ReMax franchise and decided it wasn’t a good fit. As we went forward with our independent real estate office, years later we connected with Bob McKinnon, now EXIT Director of Leadership Development, who planted the seed for us. My dad and I both have accounting degrees and what ultimately sold us was how generous the EXIT system is for the agent. We realized something great could be made from this opportunity,” Russell said. “As we began our EXIT franchise in 2007, the real estate market crash happened. We used this time when the market was slower to learn the EXIT systems, set up our processes and tools and were able to create a good foundation for growth.”
What makes EXIT Realty of Lubbock special is the character of their agents and staff which creates a supportive culture.
“We’re blessed to have good support staff as we began. We also were trained by Bob McKinnon in our early days giving us a good foundation. We’ve been intentional about finding the right people and growing slowly. Our agents have helped us find like-minded people which has helped protect our culture. Our agents are protective of our franchise and look at the big picture too,” Russell said.
One unique marketing element of the franchise is a digital sign just outside the building’s front door.
“When we moved into our new building in 2016, we installed a digital sign which raised our profile big time. It rotates listings, profiles agents and award winners. Each week at our sales meeting, we draw names of those attending to highlight on the board which is also a great encouragement to attend,” he said.
EXIT Model Seemed Too Good To be True!
When first introduced to the EXIT model which includes training and tools, support, branding, culture and the opportunity for single-level residuals, the McGuires thought it was too good to be true.
“Our EXIT System is unique and offers a financial opportunity you can only find with EXIT. Agents have a way to create passive income as well as creating ownership in the company. The residual opportunity definitely helps us with recruiting and our agents serve as mentors helping people they sponsor. This creates loyalty and people who have been with us for a while as successful agents are also seeing the importance of recruiting,” Russell said.
Residuals are one of the many things which makes EXIT unique McGuire says and support from the top down is important too.
“In addition to the unique financial opportunity agents have in creating passive income, support is important. We’ve been in the company for awhile and from the top down, Steve (Morris) and Tami (Bonnell) take the time to get to know people. It’s not unusual to hear from Craig Witt to help us inspire our agents or Annette who helps us welcome new agents with a video. It’s reassuring to know the quality of leaders we have and how relational everyone is. They care about our brokers, agents and staff. We are more than just a number,” Russell said. “The EXIT Southeast Rally was very encouraging to us and as good as a full blown convention which meant a lot. Kenny and Stacy have had so much success in other states, we know they will do really well in Texas.”
Advice for New Realtors
Work hard and use the tools EXIT offers is some of the best advice Russell offers his new agents.
“Being a Realtor is really hard work. People think, I’ve got my license now business will just fall into my lap. We will give you the tools, training and everything you need to be successful but you have to put in the time and have the drive. The agents who plugin, attend sales meetings and spend the time training are more successful,” he said.
Advice For Anyone Considering A Franchise
We always like to hear from our smart franchise owners on any advice they would give to someone considering a franchise. Russell says he would immediately point to EXIT if considering a real estate franchise.
“EXIT does what they say they are going to do – they talk the talk and walk the walk. Starting a franchise is harder than you think and takes more money than you think. Be diligent, control your expenses and make sure you have enough time to build and nurture your agents. The resources are there and it’s the benefit of buying a franchise that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Use the system,” Russell said.
Bright Future For EXIT Realty of Lubbock
The leadership of EXIT Realty of Lubbock is a unique father and son duo which Russell said has meant a lot to both of them.
“We started our careers in real estate around the same time and I’ve learned a lot about sales from him. Today, he acts as a big encourager for our agents offering motivation and inspiration. We have very different strengths and it has worked out well for us,” Russell said.
EXIT Realty of Lubbock has also been active supporting the local Habitat for Humanity and has built an entire home with matching funds through the Spirit of EXIT. In 2020, they raised over $50,000.
The agents are also very involved in their community, churches and civic organizations says Russell. “Our culture is our biggest strength and we do have a family atmosphere of agents taking care of one another. Beyond that, we are a Christian business with agents sharing prayer requests. We care about people and their lives.”
Connect with EXIT Realty of Lubbock and Russell McGuire at 806-771-3900 or visit their website EXIT Realty of Lubbock.