Mitch Ribak once owned his own independent brokerage in the Cocoa Beach area of Florida. By 2016, he had three brick-and-mortar offices and 120 agents doing about 700 transactions a year for $160 million in gross sales. But he learned a dirty little secret: If you own your own brokerage, you work long, crazy hours and carry a lot of risks, but you don’t make much money.
“This is not something you learn from other brokers because the same ego it takes to be a great salesperson or motivational leader doesn’t easily get shared as to the downside of owning your own brokerage,” said Mitch. “For example, in 2016, I made $4.5 million in revenue, but after all the expenses, all the salaries and a monthly overhead of $100K, I cleared about $90K. Ninety thousand dollars.”
Mitch said he heard about eXp Realty® over the years, but his ego stopped him. He finally joined in June 2017 to give his agents a better opportunity to gain more wealth and to give him and his family a way to escape the business at some point.
The Word ‘Entrepreneur’ Is Mitch’s Middle Name
For some background, Mitch owned 22 different companies in his wild entrepreneurial career, making a lot of money, losing a lot and having some stolen. He launched and operated a string of businesses mainly in the Boston area: A restaurant, a paintball business, flower business, ad agency, dating service, online dating site, affiliate marketing agency and hosting a radio dating show out of Universal Studios in Orlando. He had a contract to sell his online dating service (PerfectMates.com) for $80 million, but it fell through during the dot-com bust. He was left with $14,000 to his name. He turned to real estate where he went on to excel.
“As I look back, I’m happier than ever with the decision I made to join eXp,” said Mitch. “I went from working 80 to 40 hours a week. I have a life now. I play music with my grandkids. But I still sell about 35 to 40 homes a year and do a bunch of coaching. I feel like I have it all: My company with all its rewards without the worry and overhead I had when I was an independent broker-owner.”
Learn more about Mitch Ribak:
Years in real estate: Since 2001
- eXp Realty (June 2017-present)
- Tropical Realty Beachside (March 2005-June 2017)
- Tropical Realty and Investments (Sept 2001-March 2005)
Main territory: Brevard County, Florida
Main focus: Mostly residential
Number of people on team: Approximately 70
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- President of the Space Coast Association of Realtors 2014
- District 2 Vice President for Florida Association of Realtors 2015
What makes eXp special to you?
“To me, it really comes down to people. I have had many companies over the years and have always built my businesses from contribution. eXp is all about contribution and the people I have met through eXp are exceptional!”
Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?
“When I turned 55 I kind of freaked out. My parents both died in their 50’s and I worried what would happen to my family (especially my granddaughter who has a rare disease) if something happened to me. I know that by owning a brokerage, that when I died, so the brokerage did, too. eXp offered the ability to create generational wealth.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“The collaboration and the support. Both are unlike anything I have ever seen.”
Have you had any experience or success around eXp’s global revenue share and commercial businesses yet?
“I haven’t done anything yet with the commercial side. I’ve concentrated mostly on revenue share both domestically and starting internationally. We are currently in 6 countries outside the U.S. It’s very exciting!”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
“It’s everywhere. I tell people all the time that we are all motivated to help each other because we all own the company. The collaboration between all agents — from top agents to beginner agents is outstanding! I, along with Elizabeth Riley, Rich Tomasini and Hank Avink, started a workplace group called eXp Family Tree. We now have almost 4,000 eXp agents on our page. We do live training at least 4 times per week and anyone can participate. It’s been a huge hit!”
Best tip to share with other agents:
“Do the work!! It’s really simple. Commitment equals results. Those who are committed to growing their business will do so. It’s important to plug in and implement programs you will actually be consistent following.”
10 Fun Things About Mitch Ribak:
- I started the first online dating service. It started as Perfect Mates and then private labeled it for the media.
- I played in a rock band for several years in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
- I created the third paintball field in the U.S. starting in 1983. We had 150 playing every Saturday and Sunday.
- I play in a band with my grandkids right now called Positively Senseless. Wicked fun!
- Very little gets in the way of my Saturday morning golf. I’ve been golfing with the same foursome at 7 a.m. every Saturday for the past 20 years.
- I always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately, I think I’m the only one that thinks I’m funny!
- I was ranked 14th in Ping-Pong in southern New England.
- I’ve been to Red Sox Fantasy Camp six times. Played with all my heroes.
- I have a 54-year streak of going to Fenway Park for my annual Red Sox game.
- I almost died at 17 years old; that changed everything about my life forever.
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