An estate agent is marking two years of running her own business through eXp and claims it has been better for her career and mental health.
Linda Stringer joined eXp in July 2020 after previously working for Spicerhaart but said the pressure of targets and corporate requirements weighed on her mental health and made it harder to provide a personal service for clients.
She told Estate Agent Today: “Spicehaart had amazing training but things just changed. I am not saying it is down to that but at one point I was a lister and managing a branch, I became someone I didn’t want to be.
“There was a point during the pandemic where so many staff were on furlough that you couldn’t get through to everybody and I felt that I was taking charge of all aspects of the sale so I may as well do it myself rather than lining someone else’s pockets.”
Stringer said she considered easyProperty but was attracted to eXp as she could use her own name, adding: “I had to make it work as I had no money so I got my first exchange in 10 weeks and knew I was onto something.
“I have had some mentally down times, especially with the pressure and targets you are under, obviously you don’t know it at the time, but it does affect you.
“It is crazy how different my life is now.”
Marking her two years with eXp on LinkedIn, she said: “I still have to pinch myself that I actually had the balls (so to speak) to leave my employed role after 10 years, with no money behind me and I no longer take anti-depressants.
“I understand eXp isn’t for everyone because you have to be accountable, as there is no brand to hide behind if something goes wrong, it’s your name.
“But for those that have dared, myself included, I could not be prouder of my achievements and theirs.
"I am happy, my time is mine to divvy up how I want it to be. My time is my own and I will never give that up again.
"I have a team of incredible agents under my wing now, who are thriving at being their own boss."
Spicerhaart defended its support for staff, even going as far as accusing eXp of trying to recruit its agents.
A spokesperson said: "We're extremely disappointed with the tactics being taken by eXp to recruit our staff, including emails inviting our employees to 'a confidential 1-2-1 meeting' to discuss their future.
"Additionally, the comments feel like they are very much part of this targeted campaign against us and we are very disappointed as we have considerable measures in place to support people with any mental health issues. When Linda left, in the early days of the pandemic two years ago, it was a time of uncertainty for absolutely everyone in the industry.
"Importantly, all sales people within estate agency are expected to achieve certain targets, whoever they work for, and we train and support our staff to an exceptionally high standard in order to achieve their own financial goals, as well as those of the company. This takes incredible focus, dedication and the right mental attitude. We wish her all the best in her current role."