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Pay It Forward

A couple finds an underestimated real-estate opportunity in the agents.

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This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In Ray and Cyndi White's case, it really did take a rocket scientist to run a business. After Ray, a former rocket scientist at JPL, and Cyndi, a hearing specialist, retired from their careers, they sought ways to grow their capital. Opportunity soon came knocking.

In early 2000, the Whites attended a business-opportunity convention. Since they already had real estate investments in four states, friends at the convention urged the couple to check out a franchise called Commission Express, which buys real estate agents' pending commissions at a discount and advances their pay. While Commission Express waits for escrow to close, agents can use the money. "When I understood what it was all about, I knew it was the business for us," says Cyndi, 53. In June 2000, the couple got a franchise in Los Angeles.

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