Studying under the best

Studying under the best
Steve Johnstone


Steve Johnstone’s in-depth knowledge and training courses have helped agents make the right decisions about their futures in real estate. This Q&A reveals his insights into the key to being a great real estate agent, amplifying lead generation in a crowded market and how he views eXp, one of the fastest growing real estate tech companies in the world, as a game-changing business model.


Question: What is your background and training?

Steve Johnstone: I had a corporate training business in my 20s before I was introduced to the American real estate training expert Brian Buffini. His company Buffini & Co. Real Estate Coaching and Training is the world’s largest in its field and he taught me real estate training from the ground level upwards.


Question: What qualities constitute a good estate agent?

SJ: Good agents care more about their relationships with clients than money. Relationships are built on  a genuine desire to help. Yet  good agents are also disciplined, working to a clear strategy driven by  daily, weekly and monthly goals. Success demands consistent discipline and so when working in an industry where the earnings are commission-driven, the importance of a clear strategy combined with self-motivation cannot be underestimated.


Question: Your specialisation focuses on lead generation and how agents can ensure a full pipeline. Please unpack the concept.

SJ: Lead generation is about working to a system; knowing where to find new opportunities, and that always comes down to communicating with more people and developing more relationships. The agents who build the best relationships with the most property owners in their area win. It’s that simple.  But that demands time, discipline and keeping in touch with your various audiences using a proven strategy. That’s what I’ve always taught agents to do.


Question: Why do you believe the eXp model is an industry game-changer?

SJ:  The eXp model rewards the people who actually build the company – the agents. Teams and individuals are able to generate income through multiple revenue streams, and this alone puts eXp decades ahead of how the industry has traditionally operated. Additionally, the power of eXp’s proprietary avatar world provides a way for us to build a genuine community and function effectively as teams online – in a way that Zoom meetings simply cannot do. The eXp model is changing how real estate agents operate worldwide and creating an unprecedented opportunity for one to succeed and build wealth through a culture of collaboration.


Question: Lastly, what are your passions outside of work – your family, hobbies and interests?

SJ: I have a master’s degree in theology from Reformed Theological Seminary and between 2009 and 2011 was the international coordinator for a global campaign against corruption. Those efforts saw thousands of people from more than 80 countries unite against corruption and unclean living under the Unashamedly Ethical initiative. I  currently run a ministry and admittedly I am also an adrenaline junkie and love downhill mountain biking, while my wife Danielle and I have three children – Francesca (19), Olivia (17) and Luke (15).


Steve recently conducted an incredibly successful six-part online ‘Spotlight Coaching Series’. Hundreds of agents participated in the online course where he unpacked his blueprint for success in real estate. Those who have been able to share in his expertise have expressed a positive experience; Erna Rossouw from Cape Town says “The course not only expanded my knowledge but also took me to a new level of confidence” and Elmarie Davies from Pretoria said, “Thanks Steve for putting your heart and soul into mentoring us through the year. It certainly came at a time where everyone needed inspiration and personally, it helped me to establish my identity as a real estate agent.”


One golden nugget shared by Steve reads: “Building the best relationships produces the winners, but it demands time, discipline and keeping in touch – that old-fashioned person-to-person contact. It means investing time in building relationships with property owners in your area.”


Replays of the hugely popular and powerful Spotlight Series can be viewed online here, for those looking to up their game:  Spotlight Coaching. For Steve’s explanation of eXp South Africa’s model, agents can visit