Donna Dalonzo on Building a Real Estate Empire

With eXp Realty 

Meet Donna Dalonzo, Chartered Real Estate Broker with over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, she’s an avid believer of  growing in a team, and when it comes to investments, not putting all your eggs in one basket. A mother of  two beautiful children, she’s the true definition of a superwoman! There is literally nothing this woman cannot  achieve. Here’s a look into her career, her life, and her passions. 

“It’s been 23 years now”, she says nonchalantly about the time she’s given to her real estate career. “It wasn’t always like this though. It took me a while to find my place, and to feel good working with an innovative real estate company such as eXp Realty.” Donna’s career began in the fashion industry. “I loved fashion, but I also loved to see women in business. The one thing that I would have really liked to be was a lawyer, but I did not go that route. I went into finance, appraising homes and mortgages then I ended up in real estate. It was a natural transition for me to go into real estate, it was always in the back of my mind. I formed a partnership with someone and we got so busy we had to build a team to assist us. He and I worked this way for about seven years at Remax, and we ended up purchasing the office that we worked at. I realized then, that’s what I loved to do. I loved building relationships with realtors. I loved helping them and seeing them excel. That’s where I come from. I come from a place of contribution. I want people to succeed. I ended up building that office from 92 to approximately 300 agents. We were at the time the largest Remax at Brokerage in Quebec, and I loved it. 

Photo Credit – Brightsight Visuals

How did you end up with EXP? 

“Life is so funny, and I believe things happen for a reason at a certain time. When Patrick Ashby from Ottawa contacted me about eXp I was intrigued, something went off in my head and I just knew, this is going to be big. So of course I wanted to be part of it. I went to meet Jason Gesing and Gene Frederick at a conference in Florida, I met Glenn Sanford as well, all such phenomenal leaders. [at  the time] there were approximately 2800 agents in late October of 2017. Today, eXp has  grown to over 50,000 agents. eXp is the  fastest growing real estate company in history.” I am so happy I met these amazing people and  was able to launch it here with an amazing team! I definitely made the right choice.

eXp launched in Quebec a little over a year ago under Donna’s leadership as the Quebec Provincial Director.   She says, “The numbers are constantly increasing. Now we are open in all 50 states, 9 Canadian provinces. We are in the UK, Australia, Mexico, Portugal, France, South Africa, India. Brazil, Italy & Hong kong!. Many more countries will launch under the leadership of the amazing Michael Valdes, President of eXp Global Expansion  For me, it’s very exciting because I can do what I love to do now globally.

Agents can expand into other countries instead of investing tons of money to open their own brokerage.

Where do you see the brand expanding in the coming years? 

They actually say that eXp would probably be the first company to hit one million real estate agents. The teams that we are bringing over are incredible. We have complete agencies that are transferring over. The last one that came in had over 500 agents. What we do that is different from other companies is if you are an agent or you have a team, you have built your brand, we know this took time and hard work. we do not ask you to change it. You will keep your branding, and your deals will be brokered by eXp. That’s why a lot of very successful individual agents as well as large teams that are already branded are making the move. In Oakville Ontario, the number one luxury Remax team joined us.. The Invidiata Team were at Remax for 34 years, a large team of 21 are now at eXp Realty.. So many really good quality brokers are joining us, which is fun. We have a large team that came over from Keller Williams here in Montreal,  12 on the team. One of the reasons they decided to join us instead of opening their own agency was the fact that they could keep their branding, besides the stock awards they receive and they don’t have any agency responsibility, financial or other, so Montreal’s Elite Real Estate Group chose eXp Quebec. We are in business with amazing brokers like Corey Posluns who had his own agency, Louis Lachaine who was an agency director, all our brokers are amazing and I love all of them! We are growing everyday with brokers from all different banners making a move to eXp Quebec. We can expand all over Quebec with our business model so that is very exciting for all of us, well all over the world actually.

What have you noticed is a big shift in the market these days? 

There is a huge increase in buyers and there is little inventory. That’s the rough part. An agent has a listing, it’s sold in a minute, all in multiple offer situations, some of them, selling 100,000$ over asking. It is not only in our market it is everywhere Vancouver, Toronto, the US, we’re all in the same boat. It’s a good time to sell. If you buy, you’re going to spend more money. A Lot of investors are buying second homes. They may want to AIRBNB. There’s that. too. You’re going to pay more today. That’s just the way it is.

What areas are good to invest in now? 

Almost every area, really. Every single area is experiencing a higher sale price. 

What advice would you give brokers that are starting out?  

They need to be ready to be coachable. They need to find a brokerage, whether it’s us or someone else, that will help them understand quickly what it’s like out there. It’s not exactly what they are learning at school. They want to be somewhere that has a Training Program for them for their first months, where they can learn what they need to know fast, instead of making them spin their wheels and waste time for a year. They would need to be ready with a business plan. That’s what a lot of people don’t do. They come into the business not knowing what they want to do and why.. You need to know what kind of life you want, why you want it. For you to live the life you want, how much income do you need? What do you have to do to get that income? How many sales do you have to make? There’s just so much, so if they are with a company that doesn’t have that, they’re just going to delay their success.

With us at eXp Quebec, we have 2 amazing coaches. I have Louis Lachane, 12 years in the business, he was an  agency director. I have Corey Posluns that I mentioned earlier, 23 years in the business and was an agency director. We are a really good team, we have great people behind the scenes to support our agents like Andrea Tahan, 18 years in the business, Mathieu Cloutier who was in the field so he understands our agents needs, we have a really cool team, our agents are extremely happy.

Getting back to my advice,. being coachable is the most important thing. Even if it’s your second career, because we have people who are retired from another industry or simply want a change. It’s still real estate, and it’s new to you. Whether you were really successful in your previous career, you need to be able to be open and now look at it from a real estate agent’s point of view. . What I do suggest as well to new realtors is always do your due diligence before you  join an agency. Ask them the hard questions when you’re talking with them. What kind of systems do they provide for you ? Do they provide you with tools such as personal websites & lead generation systems to help you make more sales? What kind of coaching are you  going to get?

I think the company [EXP] is the answer for a lot of agents, new and experienced, just because of the platform, the stock awards, referral system and we offer an exit strategy for all agents. That is what is missing in the traditional business model, an exit strategy.. 

Another thing is that an agent should be building their database as soon as possible, I don’t understand this part, an agent can meet with many agencies while they are looking for the right one for them but no one tells them early on to start adding people that they know to their database! They should be doing this while they are on the course, this way they are ready the day they get their licence, this makes a huge difference in how their first months in business will go. I tell them this even if they may not choose my agency, wherever they go they will need this and with eXp we put their database into the system we provide for them to stay in touch with their clients, it’s built in both languages exclusively for eXp Quebec. Agents need to be adding contact to their database every week.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means Freedom. Freedom to choose what we want to do, when we want to do it. It is not just material things, of course that is important, however, if we don’t enjoy the freedom and have the ability to choose how we want to spend our time then what is it all for? 

What is your 5 year plan?

Part of my 5 year plan is to open a dog shelter, grow my eXp Global real estate team to a few thousand agents worldwide and be able to travel more. 

What is the difference between your firm and other firms:

EXp Realty is Cloud based, a very agile company, it can adapt to whatever is going on in the world. eXp was created after the internet was invented so it is a real estate brokerage & tech company. This is why all our agents receive those free websites and lead generation systems, stock awards, referral system to help with an agents retirement plan, 50 hours of LIVE coaching in eXp world, for these reasons it is the fastest growing real estate company in history.

Photo Credit – @brightsight.visuals

How do you practice balance in your life?

I balance my life by planning my time away. My Plan is to have a pied a terre in different countries so it will make it easier for me to pick up and get away. I am pretty focused on my business and maybe a bit of a workaholic…

What inspires you?

Helping people inspires me, learning from positive people that have a purpose to be good to the world. To do things for the greater good of all.

For more information visit

Follow Donna Dalonzo and her real estate game, @Donna_exp_Realestate

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