October Standout Agent – Matthew Ryan Johnson
By Charlotte Top Producers |Oct 17, 2022

An Entrepreneur at Heart with a Client-Centric Mindset

Matthew Ryan Johnson of Matthew Johnson Properties LLC, Brokered by eXp Realty

Written by Heather Pluard

Photos by J Dedmon Photo

As an ultramarathon runner and three-time IRONMAN, Matthew Johnson never quits. So when he was laid off due to COVID-19 from a 20-year career in the tech industry, he didn’t let it get him down. Instead, he kept investing in real estate and decided to become a full-time REALTOR®. After joining eXp Realty in September 2020, Matthew ended his first 12 months in real estate with over $11.5 million in sales. In addition, he was named the Vane Mingle Rookie of the Year by Canopy REALTOR® Association, which spans 26 counties. 

“I have always known I am an entrepreneur at heart,” Matthew says. “My favorite part of the IT staffing world was the relationships with my clients and consultants, and I figured that in real estate, everyone could be a client. So although I was scared and anxious, I decided to go all in and ‘burn the bridges behind me,’ as the saying goes. After that, there was no turning back.” 

Born and raised in Union County, Matthew graduated from Appalachian State University with a double major in business and computer information systems and marketing. After being laid off four times from Corporate America, he understood there is no such thing as 100% employment security. So even though he was terrified of making a career change, he joined eXp Realty and says it was one of the best decisions he ever made. 

“The level of collaboration here at eXp is nothing short of phenomenal. It feels like a family, and there is a profusion of extremely bright, successful and genuinely good-hearted people. When I started, I hardly knew being on a team was an option and was head down, busy building and doing the business. I was a sponge, absorbing every bit of knowledge I could, and my approach was just like in my prior career, to be a connector of people and grow organically. It worked! Walking on stage at the Canopy Centennial Celebration to receive an award based on production volume and active involvement in our local community was an over-the-moon honor. I teared up on the spot and called my parents in tears (the happy kind) on the way home.” 

Matthew credits his parents for laying the foundation for his success. “My parents taught me to apply myself, treat people well and give 100% to every task, whether large or small. They also instilled in me that I could do anything I put my mind to, and as a result, I have always believed in myself. Being raised that way is a blessing I do not take for granted. You can be the smartest person on Earth, but if you do not work hard, it doesn’t matter.” 

A client-centric mindset has also helped Matthew make a name for himself quickly. ”When I started my real estate business, I said I would build it ‘one brick at a time.’ Those bricks are each valued client who places their trust in me. Their goals, families, and finances are what matter. My role is to blaze a trail, navigate and advise, and help them write their life stories successfully. Everything in life and business comes down to relationships. God has blessed me with an abundance of them, and I aim to make them count.” 

Clients rave about how Matthew goes above and beyond for them. “In January of this year, I tent camped for five days in 22-degree weather to help two of my clients get homes,” he says. “That hot shower after five days in the cold was heavenly! I have also climbed into crawlspaces and mowed my clients’ yards without being asked. ‘Whatever it takes’ is my mindset. In addition, I think having purchased my first rental property at age 26 helps me relate with and serve my investor clients. In my first year, exactly 50% of my closed transactions were with investors. Real estate is a solid hedge for anyone worried about the current inflationary environment.” 

Not one to ever slow down, Matthew recently became the majority owner of Everlong Residential, a company specializing in turn-key property management for short-term rentals. He also remains an avid real estate investor himself and is an eXp Certified Mentor. “My dreams include helping others build generational wealth while building my own as a natural by-product,” Matthew says. “At eXp, I welcome other agents who want to build, take their business to the next level, and have fun working together.” 

Grit and a no-quit attitude have also served Matthew well in his personal life. “Late last year, I ran a 65-mile trail race, and at mile 40, the tendons in both lower legs were shot,” he says. “It felt like a hammer hitting my shins with every step. I ran the last 25 miles through that pain and ended up winning the race by around two hours. Mental toughness is one of my strengths, and training for and especially racing endurance sports events is my zen. I am far from perfect and make mistakes, but I am “comfortable being uncomfortable” and tend to rebound quickly. Clients know that if I do make a mistake or I’m wrong, I will be the first to admit it. To me, integrity means running towards those hard conversations.”

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