EXIT Realty

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EXIT Realty strives to not only expand its operations across North America,

but also help its franchisees and associates be the best people they can be.

By Bianca Herron

While working for RE/MAX in the 1980s, Steve Morris, EXIT Realty’s Founder and Chairman, dreamed of creating a real estate company that provided its people with opportunities for retirement and steady, consistent paychecks. In the fall of 1996, Morris turned his idea into reality and founded EXIT Realty Corp. International.


“Steve created a new formula for real estate,” CEO Tami Bonnell says proudly. “What he wanted to do more than anything was to give agents and brokers as many opportunities as possible to be in control of their business and income. With typical residential real estate, if you represent either the seller or buyer, you’ll get paid if you sell something. However, if you don’t sell anything you won’t get paid. With the EXIT Formula, Steve created the opportunity for real estate agents to earn single-level residual income.”EXIT Realty Fact Box

EXIT Realty has grown rapidly since it was started 21 years ago, and today the company has 545 locations across the United States and Canada. “Currently one of my focuses is selling regions,” Bonnell explains. “A regional owner is a sub franchisor who owns the rights to a state or province so that they can sell franchises. Their job is to help the franchisees grow in that marketplace. We have found that having boots on the ground locally helps to make a terrific difference with our franchisees’ success rate.”

Key Advantages

Morris created EXIT Realty for its No. 1 assets: its agents and brokers, or franchisees. “We work in a very simple way,” Bonnell says. “For example, if I’m an agent with EXIT Realty and I’m working on a real estate transaction with an agent from another company – and I like their work ethic and we get along really well – I can invite them to join EXIT. If they are hired by the broker and join the company, as a special thank you for helping to grow the company, EXIT will pay me the equivalent of 10 percent of that agent’s gross commission every year - to a maximum of $10,000 annually - for as long as that person stays with EXIT Realty and closes deals. This is a process known as sponsoring at EXIT.”

EXIT associates can sponsor as many people as they want, anywhere there is an EXIT office. “We have agents, brokers and regional owners who make thousands, some of them even hundreds of thousands of dollars, every year before they even get out of bed,” Bonnell continues. “They know that cash is coming through the door.”

When it comes to retirement, “the average age of a REALTOR® across North America is 58, while a broker is older,” Bonnell notes. “Many of them do not have a set retirement plan. They are concerned about whether or not their social security will be enough, or if it’s even going to be here when they retire. That’s why when our people retire or take a break from selling real estate, their 10 percent sponsoring bonuses convert to 7 percent retirement residuals. The other three percent goes to the broker because we want them to have cash flow, too.”

Additionally, a retiree’s benefit is portable and convertible, which means it “follows them wherever they go,” Bonnell says. “For example, if my significant other gets relocated to California and we move there from Boston, all my residual income follows me to California. So if I have to start all over again I have a great opportunity, or if I want to retire and go to the beach I can, and still have income.”

A retired associate can return to work if they like. Once they close their eighth real estate transaction, their 7 percent retirement benefit converts to 10 percent sponsoring bonuses. “There are many reasons why some people go into retirement,” Bonnell explains. “Some people do so while on maternity leave, for example. Until now, there has never been an opportunity for that in real estate. Others need to take care of a sick loved one, or need time to take care of themselves. So, whatever the case is, they can take the time off and enjoy an income stream knowing they don’t have to jump back in right away.”

EXIT Realty also keeps associates’ families in mind. “If someone unfortunately passes away, their 10 percent sponsoring bonuses and 7 percent retirement residuals convert to a 5 percent beneficiary benefit which makes a huge difference,” Bonnell says. “Real estate has always been straight commission. However, in today’s market we are teaching our franchisees and agents how to utilize the EXIT Formula to build a business and continue to earn residual income so they are able to retire and provide for their families.”

With its webinars, “techinars” – or technology-focused webinars – live interactive and total immersion training, EXIT Realty strives to help its franchisees and agents understand how to think effectively and maintain work/life balance. “We want them to understand how they think so they can set really great targets and goals, not just for their business life, but also for their personal life as well,” Bonnell explains. “We have trainers who approach education from every angle so that our people can learn the way they learn best. We teach best practices in real estate and management, but we also teach them how to build stronger relationships and grow as human beings.”

Looking Ahead

EXIT Realty’s goal is to ultimately have 3,600 franchises and 100,000 agents in North America. “Right now I’m focused on finding qualified regional owners for the areas where there are none currently,” Bonnell says. “We’re focused on selling franchises and helping them all succeed. Ultimately, EXIT is about the agents first and teaching them to take control on their life and business.”


Contact Us

Franchising Today

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK

Click here for a full list of contacts.

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