As with most ambitious independent broker-owners, Phoenix’s Curtis Johnson finally hit his head on the ceiling — the ceiling of growth and opportunity, that is. That’s why he decided to give up his brokerage and join eXp Realty in 2018.
“We were successful, we were doing well, but I was bored — I wasn’t challenged,” said Johnson.
“It was groundhog day. It was lonely. You’re just running this thing. Plus, it’s so hard to grow because real estate is so local. There’s gotta be something bigger out there.”
Johnson said he scaled his brokerage to a certain point until he realized it wasn’t necessarily more profitable with more agents, it just offered more headaches and the costs went up.
“eXp is so much more fun. You’re building something together and there’s way less risk — it’s just an ego risk. I had to ask myself if I was settling for something less, but the reality is that it expands your horizons by a million.”
Johnson said eXp reinvigorated him about real estate.
“I love collaborating with other (eXp) agents,” said Johnson. “It’s so much more different. It’s like someone giving you free advice. In real estate, there are people who are incentivized not to be open with their information. eXp is like having true business partners.”
Learn more about Curtis Johnson:
Years in real estate: Since 1998
Gross sales and transactions in 2019: $52 million on 205 transactions.
- eXp Realty (Jan. 2018-current)
- Revelation (2017)
- Curtis Johnson Realty (2005-2017)
- Keller Williams (2003-2005)
- RE/MAX (2001-2003)
Main territory: Chandler / Phoenix, Arizona.
Main focus: Traditional residential resale market.
Number of people on team: 20+ agents.
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- The Curtis Johnson Team Powered by eXp Realty has sold more than 5,000 homes.
- National finalist for Inman’s “Most Innovative Team In Real Estate.”
- Best-Selling Author of “Top Dollar.”
- Ranked as one of the Top 50 Realtors in America by The Wall Street Journal.
- Featured on the cover of REALTOR magazine as one of the National 30 Under 30.
When and why did you join eXp?
“Brent Gove was looking at moving over to eXp and wanted my opinion. I was not interested, but listened as a courtesy. I had sold with RE/MAX, Keller Williams, independent brokerages as well as ran my own brokerage for 12 years so I thought I had seen it all. The reality was I was close-minded and even if he was offering gold bricks for free I would have turned it down. You can’t teach someone a lesson they think they already know.
“Fast forward a little over a year later and the frustration of running a mega team for almost two decades with no end in sight, running non-stop on a never-ending hamster wheel was sucking the life out of me and I was looking for a new challenge. A good friend of mine, Jay Kinder, was looking into eXp. I was hoping he would tell me it was not something I should consider. But, he dug deep, and told me just the opposite — that eXp Realty is exactly what we have been looking for in our mastermind meetings for years and years.
“I could not be happier at eXp. I got to partner with Brent, Jay Kinder, Mike Reese and so many top agents I’ve looked up to. This has been the most fun, most profitable and most rewarding two and a half years in my career.”
What makes eXp special to you?
“For most of my career, I was following models to have massive sales, and then to build a mega team. eXp is the first brokerage that has a true model on how to create freedom in real estate sales by adding in multiple streams of income by doing the same things I’d always done.
It was exhausting trying to just run faster and faster on the treadmill and sell my way to freedom. Agents want to be more than sales agents – they want big opportunities and ownership in their careers. That’s what makes eXp so attractive to so many agents wanting to build their future together.”
Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?
“It is inspiring to see how many eXp agents give and pour into others, so much more than I thought possible, and that’s a testament to the model (Founder and eXp World Holdings CEO) Glenn Sanford built.
“eXp makes it possible for top agents and givers to use the eXp platform to bring the smartest minds in real estate together to share on a scale that’s never been done at a deep level.
“Finally there is true alignment.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“I’ve been to funerals of agents – but never been to a retirement party for a real estate agent. With all the hundreds of agents getting licensed each day, isn’t that weird? Baffling really, and pretty sad.
“We get into real estate for more freedom and eventually an exit plan. The longer we are in the business we figure out that like the Hotel California, you can check in but can never leave. Until now with eXp. The thing that surprised me is that when you are having this much fun why would you ever want to retire?”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
“(eXp agent) Daniel Beer said it best when he said, “The key to growth in your career is to ‘Get in the right rooms, with the right people at the right times.”’ A great mastermind and coach can essentially become your personal board of directors.
“Because we’re all shareholders here, when we all link arms as partners, everybody comes to the room with a very giving and open attitude. That’s allowed eXp to create the most powerful and dynamic mastermind and education group in real estate! Others might think of us as just a virtual company, but I can’t overstate when I say this is the pinnacle of masterminds, as we collaborate online, local and in-person and face-to-face across the country!”
Best tip to share with other agents:
“Many agents say ‘no’ to eXp before they say ‘yes.’ Change is hard and very few good agents are looking to change companies with all the pain involved. They have been misled that all real estate brokerages are the same, their sales business and life will be the same no matter where they are, so why bother? Eventually, who’s coming to eXp? They’re ALL coming!”
10 Fun Things About Curtis Johnson
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Spending time doing what I want, when I want, where I want, with who I want, for as long as I want.
If you could add a tattoo, what would it be?
No tats – I change my mind too often, and needles freak me out.
One thing you can’t live without?
One trait that has led to your success?
I am a relentless bulldog.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
Rob Lowe. In actuality, Danny Bonaduce.
Whiners who refuse to take responsibility, as well as time vampires.
Little known fact about yourself?
Growing up if I didn’t make the NBA, I planned on being a stockbroker by day and a stand up comedian at night
Song you never tire of?
“Lose Yourself,” by Eminem.
Chicago pizza and Diet Dr Pepper
Your epitaph will say:
Loved the Lord. Loved his family. Loved his friends. Made the world a better place. Loved life and left nothing in the tank!
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