Dwayne Hirsch is a licensed real estate agent-owner of Hirsch Network Real Estate-Powered by eXp Realty in Chicago, and a well-known networking professional and small business advocate.
Dwayne is also a key member of the executive board of the Small Business Advocacy Council. The SBAC’s 2017 Advocate of the Year played a key role in the recent passing of legislation for the reduction of LLC filing fees and intrastate equity crowdfunding.
Tell us about your company.
Hirsch Network Real Estate LLC is the company that I own. I operate as an independently contracted agent-owner to sell real estate under a national, publicly traded brokerage, eXp Realty. All agents own and earn stock in the brokerage and are also compensated on revenue generated from the agents they attract to the company.
How did you first get involved in this business?
I became an agent owner under this new business model at the suggestion of my friend John, who followed up often to make sure I was paying attention. He didn’t know it, but I was looking for a way to take the business to the next level.
What is your greatest achievement in real estate?
One day, from a response to a Facebook post, I got a call from a woman who had been displaced by a fire with her young daughter, just more than two weeks before Christmas. They had lost a lot. I worked hard for them and they moved into their new home on Christmas Eve. The looks on their faces when she got her keys and the outpouring of emotions was priceless and will stick with me forever. It was a rental and not a huge commission, but the impact on their lives made me feel an enormous sense of accomplishment beyond what money could ever do.
What has surprised you the most about your business?
The lives of my clients can be the biggest surprises. A Facebook friend referred me to a client to sell a large building in Chicago. He is a lesser known figure in Black history who, after facing incredible difficulties through the struggle, owns several successful businesses in North Carolina, is building homes in Belize and has sons who are elite businessmen and leaders. He has an amazing story that makes me proud to have him as a client.
What is the benefit of working with your company?
Pride of ownership without the hassle of being a managing broker. The revenue sharing portion of our compensation plan allows me to earn from the agents that I attract to the company without the cost and liability associated with brick-and-mortar ownership. This also levels the playing field for agents in lower value markets where it’s harder to make a larger income. This creates a huge upside for people who are considering a career in real estate.
Tell me about someone who has influenced you in your career?
In Real Estate, my first broker Lutalo McGee was extremely influential by pressing professionalism, attention to detail and working truly in the best interest of the clients that we serve in a way that is completely in line with the law. In Advocacy, its Elliot Richardson, the Founder of the SBAC, whose meritorious, non-partisan approach to lobbying was the driving force behind our ability to change laws that benefit small business owners like the LLC fee reduction bill and equity crowdfunding.
What might we be surprised to know about this company?
Many are surprised to know that the brokerage has no offices. It is cloud-based and each agent-owner accesses the company through a cyber world, complete with avatars, auditoriums, classrooms, even a soccer field and a speedboat to drive. It’s very futuristic and very cool way to access the services we need from the company.
What’s next for your business?
My next step is to use this model to accelerate interest in real estate careers in our community and build a network of professionally branded, independent agents, who all own stock in the brokerage they represent. I am also working on new construction projects and equity crowdfunded real estate developments.