North Carolina’s Susan Duncan has always been an entrepreneur with a passion for helping others. After starting several different businesses in the Asheville area, she landed in real estate in 2006. She soon opened her own EXIT Realty firm in 2009, which grew to over 120 agents in two offices. Her vision was having agents of integrity, positive energy and a team mindset. That became her growth model as well.
In recent years, Duncan realized she was reaching some limits.
“There was only so much training, so many leads, so much mentoring I could provide with the time and resources I had. I needed to find a way to bring more value to my agents,” said Duncan.
She began looking at everything that might help — programs, systems, coaching and even looking at other firms. But the burden always fell back on her to financially support, implement and carry the responsibility for anything that might help.
“I had looked at eXp several years ago,” said Duncan. “I could see they had a great model with tons of resources. But I just couldn’t see how their virtual world concept could mesh with the big team model and the culture that my local firm had built. So I continued searching for a solution.”
Duncan Devised a Hybrid Model to Fit Her Vision
Duncan reached out to longtime friend and fellow real estate agent Jason Shinpaugh who had recently joined eXp Realty. “Jason is always encouraging and is great at thinking outside the box.” Soon another friend and former business coach for Duncan, John Mikesh — who had also joined eXp — entered the conversation. “John has a great business mind and knows how to provide clarity and get things done.”
The three soon came up with the idea of a hybrid office model for Duncan’s situation where she could keep the team camaraderie of her local offices, but have it all “powered by eXp.”
“High Vistas Realty provides our agents a community of support, brick and mortar, new agent training, and leads with the underlayment of eXp’s amazing business model that provides revenue share, stock, health benefits and exceptional training for new and seasoned agents,” said Duncan.
Duncan: I Love Teaching People How to Sell and Close the Deal
Duncan’s foray into sales started with kitchen products company The Pampered Chef. “I did about 900 ‘kitchen shows’ in people’s homes selling products like baking stones and vegetable peelers.”
After eight years of working nights, she was ready for a change and real estate was the path she chose. Cautioned by everyone that it will “eat you up and spit you out,” she was determined and wanted to “do it right.” She got into real estate at age 50.
“With my sales experience, I love teaching people how to sell and close the deal,” said Duncan. “Moms who do direct sales (e.g., Mary Kay, etc.) on the side when raising kids have the best training when teaching people how to sell.”
“Teaching agents real estate is not hard — it’s teaching them the skills of sales. That’s the challenging part. Many of them have an hourly wage mentality. It’s rewarding to see them learning how to close the deal.”
Learn more about Susan Duncan:
Years in real estate: Since 2006
- eXp Realty (July 2021-current)
- EXIT Realty Vistas – Broker/Owner (2009-2021)
- Coldwell Banker Top Producing Agent (2006-2008)
Gross sales and transactions in 2020: 491 transactions with $92.5 million sales volume
Main territory: Western North Carolina, specializing in the Asheville area
Main focus: Residential and land sales
Number of people on team: Started with one agent in August 2009 (myself) and grew it to 127 agents.
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- No. 1 North Carolina EXIT office (2013-2020)
- Top 5% of EXIT offices in the USA
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Graduate, Realtor® Institute (GRI)
When and why did you join eXp?
“I joined in July 2021. I joined because I had capped with the resources, training and revenue streams that I could bring my agents with traditional brokerages.”
What makes eXp special to you?
“I have always been focused on supporting my agents. They work so hard, and with the changes in our industry, it is getting harder and harder for the agents to close deals. I wanted a company that would provide me the support I needed to thrive in this industry, along with the resources my agents needed to be more productive.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“The training resources and networking opportunities for my agents and myself are unbelievable! I found a lot of value in Workplace. I can search for niches. I had an agent who wanted to get into luxury marketing. I went into Workplace and searched ‘luxury’ and saw several groups and I shared that with her and got her into groups. Agents across the country are willing to share what works for them! The collaboration in eXp is phenomenal!”
Have you had any experience or success around eXp’s global revenue share and commercial businesses yet?
“Not yet. I’m just getting started, but I can see it is coming.”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
“The support from eXp has been amazing!! I was trying to onboard 125 agents, which was no easy feat! The support that eXp has provided to my agents, down to the regional president answering questions for one of my agents. That shows me that they really care.”
Interested in jump-starting your real estate career? Learn how eXp Realty puts agents first.