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collette mcdonald exp realty

Atlanta’s Collette McDonald came to real estate in a roundabout way. She was a high-level tech executive in corporate America, traveling the world. Then 9/11 happened and the thought of leaving her infant son with a nanny was unbearable. She took the company’s golden parachute and on the advice of her father, landed back in real estate in 2001 — her family’s business when she was growing up.

After nearly 20 years with a couple of big-box brokerages, she learned about eXp Realty through her coaches — power duo Tim and Julie Harris.

Collette McDonald is a two-time eXp ICON Agent with her main territory in Atlanta and the surrounding area.

“They were my coaches for the past decade and then they started at eXp a couple of months before I did,” said McDonald. “They have consistently proven to add things to my plate to make me more successful. Every time I’ve done what they told me to do, I’m happier and more successful. I felt this was my best opportunity to advance and be even more successful.”

McDonald joined eXp in March 2019 and has not looked back. She is a two-time ICON Agent, is now a coach alongside Tim and Julie Harris and best of all, she is teaching business and real estate to her 19-year-old son, Declan, who is taking a gap year from college. “He’s been licensed for six weeks and already has two deals!” says McDonald.

“I love my freedom with real estate. And with eXp, no one here is your competition. Everyone is your teammate,” she said.

Collette was recently awarded the 2020 Community Partner Award from the Brookhaven (Georgia) Police Foundation. (Read more here.)

Learn more about Collette McDonald:

Years in real estate: Since 2001

Gross sales and transactions in 2020: $24 million on 48 transactions

Brokerage history:

  • eXp Realty (March 2019-current)
  • RE/MAX (2009-2019) 
  • Coldwell Banker (2001-2009)

Main territory: Atlanta, GA

Main focus: Single-family residential

Number of people on team: 69 overall but 21 local in Georgia

When and why did you join eXp?

“I saw the ability to be at the forefront of a completely revolutionary brokerage model and I thought to myself, ‘Why should I miss out on this chance to make the most I can in my career?’”

What makes eXp special to you? 

“The ability to have such a vast worldwide network, the many ways to earn income and my personal favorite is how independent I can be while still functioning as a salesperson.”

Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?

“Yes, I was able to sit my oldest son, Declan, down and have a serious conversation about his opportunity to become a third-generation salesperson and I honestly believe his choice was made because of the network we have here at eXp. It was special to me because that means my legacy can be carried down for generations to come — all possible thanks to eXp.”

What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?

“I love how there is no competition between agents in our brokerage. Yes, we all want the listings and clients but when one person succeeds we can all succeed thanks to our ability to actually share in the company’s growth we are building together.”

Tell us your thoughts around eXp’s global revenue share and commercial businesses. Have you had any experience or success with either of them yet?

“Yes! Our local market in Atlanta is extremely diverse and having the opportunity for agents who have family and business connections globally connect with this model is beyond satisfying. On top of that, having ICON agents share tips and their secrets to their success in their market is a benefit for me to assimilate in my market their great strategies. I’m learning from the best worldwide!” 

What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?

“The ability to connect with anyone around the globe for any referrals, tips, or coaching! I’ve also enjoyed giving back to my eXp colleagues through my own class in eXp University. eXp has made me a kinder, gentler agent. Before everyone was competition, now we have collaboration. I want all eXp agents to be as successful as me! ”

Best tip to share with other agents:

“Move on quickly from your perceived failures. You have to have a lot of conversations to get to the level of success that I’ve achieved. It doesn’t happen overnight and you will fail, but the ability to move on quickly will serve you well!”

10 Fun Things About Collette McDonald

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Financial freedom. I define this as doing what I want, when I want to do it! I’m a single mom so having that security to take care of my loved ones is very important. 

Who is the person you most admire?

My parents. They came from poor and middle-class backgrounds. They gave me the work ethic and confidence to shine where I shine and accept my imperfections. 

One thing you can’t live without?

My dogs. Currently, I have two boxers and I can honestly say that they only make my life better. I feel that way about all the dogs I’ve ever had in my life. They protect me, relax me, make me laugh and they want to be with me 100% of their waking hours. Dogs are the definition of unconditional love. 

One trait that has led to your success? 

Urgency = Abundance. We all have the natural desire to procrastinate. That is where I shine. If my goals are not aligning with my behaviors, it’s because I’m procrastinating and not having the urgency that needs to be applied to that particular issue in my life. Reset, and get it done! 

What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?

Geena Davis. 

Pet peeve?

Agents who do not read private remarks in a listing or have proper professional etiquette. 

Little known fact about yourself?

I was going to be a television reporter but I cannot pronounce names. My worst was “Blythe.”

Song you never tire of?

“American Pie,” by Don McLean

Favorite meal?

Flank steak, baked beans, and coleslaw. I like to make a Cowboy Sundae. Flank on the bottom, beans and then you top it off with coleslaw. 

Your epitaph will say:

“Here lies Collette McDonald. She was as big in personality as she was in stature. Beloved mom, mentor and coach. The world is a bit quieter without her.” 


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These figures are not a guarantee, representation or projection of earnings or profits you can or should expect. They also do not include expenses incurred by Agents in operating their businesses. eXp Realty makes no guarantee of financial success. Success with eXp Realty results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and leadership. Your success will depend upon how well you exercise these qualities.

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