“Everyone is here to help one another,” a worker at Exit Realty Achieve said in describing what it’s like to work for the Smithtown-based real estate agency.
This sentiment was a common theme in dozens of comments from agents at Exit Realty Achieve, which placed first among all midsized companies in the 2022 Long Island Top Workplaces survey for 2022.
The Long Island franchise of Exit Realty Corp. International, Exit Realty Achieve, has 174 agents and three full-time administrative staff members, all of whom are based at the company’s Smithtown headquarters. Exit Realty Achieve was founded in 2010 by Susan Hamblen, who passed the reins to current Broker/Owner Jeffrey Mistretta in January 2021.
The company’s unique business model seeks to fosters a collaborative atmosphere while providing agents with multiple revenue streams.
“We grow organically by having our agents invite other agents they know to join the organization,” Mistretta said. “They invite people with good work ethics and good morals who are true professionals. We have built a beautiful culture this way.”
And when an agent brings another agent aboard, the first agent is rewarded with the equivalent of 10% of the new agent’s gross commission income (GCI) annually, as long as they are both with the company. When the referring agent retires, this converts down to 7%, and when the referring agent dies, his beneficiaries receive 5% of the new agent’s GCI, for as long as the new person works for the company. This model financially incentivizes agents to help their colleagues succeed.
Mistretta first joined Exit Realty Achieve in 2015. He had been a real estate salesperson for about a decade, and one of his favorite aspects of his work was training and counseling up-and-coming agents. Mistretta received an invitation to join Exit Realty Achieve from a former colleague he had trained.
“About two weeks after my former coworker joined Exit Realty Achieve, he called me and said, ‘You know how you love helping people in the office? Well, everyone here reminds me of you.’ Everyone’s helping everyone,’” Mistretta said. “I thought he was lying or exaggerating. In most organizations, the sales business is dog-eat-dog.”
But Mistretta followed his former colleague to Exit Realty Achieve and soon found out what he had said was true. Mistretta thrived in the collaborative atmosphere, working alongside Hamblen for several years and transitioning into the leadership role as she stepped back.
Other agents have thrived there too. “I love my job because Exit Realty Achieve truly cares about the individual agent, and they believe in creating a culture where agents help build each other up,” one agent wrote. Another commented, “I have received so much training and help from my manager and everyone in my office. When I am at the office, I feel like we are a big family.”
Training is an important focus at the company, where its Mind Set Training Programs focus on topics such as sales initiation, finalization, negotiation, and personality profiles.
One employee wrote, “The management strongly encourages us to think outside the box and play to our strengths, and provides us with a variety of tools and strategies to succeed.”
“Our training and tools are holistic and designed to radically shift the agent’s ability to provide for their families and thrive in the industry. The tools are easy to use and generate free leads for the agent,” Mistretta said.
Tools include a personal website branded to the agent. For-sale signs outside houses contain verbiage instructing passerby to send a text for more information about the property. Texters are directed to the agent’s website, and the agent is given the person’s cell phone number.
Agents also expressed satisfaction with their financial compensation. Exit Realty Achieve offers a 70-30 commission split, with agents receiving 70% of the commission on sales. Once an agent exceeds $100,000 in GCI, the agent’s share bumps up to 90%.
“Working with EXIT Realty Achieve affords me extra money to do the things with my family that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do without sacrificing a major amount of time with my family,” one agent wrote.
Exit Realty Achieve holds up to a dozen team-building activities for agents each year.
“We go to the ziplining course in Wheatley Heights,” Mistretta said. “Every year, we have 50 or 60 agents in the trees. People are fearful, and you can hear the agents encouraging each other. You come out of there feeling like you can do anything.”
Each October, the company hosts a fall festival for clients, with a pumpkin patch, balloon artists, and face painting for the kids. “We urge agents to come and invite their clients,” Mistretta said. “We know the connection between agent and client is important for referrals. We invest heavily in our agents to make sure they thrive.”