The future is eXp
Have you heard of eXp? eXp is the first agent-owned, cloud-based real estate company in the world and is the fastest-growing residential property businesses on the planet.
With more than 28,000 agents in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, eXp is now in Australia. By the end of the year, they will also be in South Africa, Portugal, France, Mexico and India.
Michael Valdes is the Executive Vice President of International Expansion at eXp. A former Senior Vice President of Global Servicing for Realogy Corporation and Sotheby’s International Realty in 113 countries, he knows real estate inside out and he’s excited about eXp.
Michael says, “We had eighty per cent age and growth in the last year. The transaction volumes have been extraordinary. We have reported the most profitable order in the company’s ten-year history, our last quarter in the middle of a pandemic. It is a fact that the model is proven, but now how you actually take that message globally has to be done systematically.”
In company with the finest agents across the globe
He says, “We’re in Canada, the United Kingdom and in your beautiful country of Australia. We have had some amazing, amazing people join. Tarek El Moussa is an eXp agent. He has an incredible following with his HGTV shows, which are shown in over 36 countries, including Australia. We are right now finalizing one of the largest teams that do over half a billion U.S. dollars a year, in sales. We’re attracting an incredible amount of folks that are understanding what our model is and what that growth trajectory means to either a broker or an individual agent. Especially now that we’re looking at this global footprint and really are going to have the opportunity and the gift of being a true global brand.”
The eXp Business Model
What excites Michael about eXp is the leadership of the company, the business model, it’s interaction with leading technologies and how the technologies build a sense of community. He says, “We really have the idea of becoming the global premier brand in our industry. We’re not selling a brand. One thing that I learned is an American sitting in London telling the Europeans how to build their businesses, is that they don’t want an American sitting in London, to tell their people how to build their business. They really wanted to have their own branding. We’re not selling a franchise. We don’t charge a franchise fee. We don’t charge a royalty fee. We are empowering agents to become the brand for no cost.”
Michael says, “They have a commission split that is different in different parts of the world where we have our model. They have the ability to earn a hundred per cent commission in most cases. At that point, they are just paying a nominal transaction fee when they’re at a hundred per cent. What they then have the ability to do is to earn eXp stock.”
As a subsidiary of a publicly-traded company, eXp Realty uniquely offers real estate professionals within its ranks opportunities to earn eXp World Holdings stock for production and contributions to overall company growth. eXp also owns VirBELA, which is an immersive technology platform for business, events and education. Its modern, cloud-based environment provides a virtual experience for workers, attendees, students and more to communicate, collaborate, meet and socialize.
Michael says, “VirBELA is our technology platform. Everybody comes on and they become an avatar. It’s an avatar that is created in eXp world. It’s literally a virtual world. We have a football field, we have a boat, we’ve got beaches, we’ve got areas that really become fun areas. We also have auditoriums. We have a learning centre. My office is in eXp world as is every other executive that’s working with the company. We have our Australia operations, which becomes its own world with its own auditorium and boardroom and meeting rooms for the Australian agents that we have. We have a UK world, a Canada world. It’s the greatest equaliser. The agent gets access to the education platform. They can collaborate worldwide.”
To aid the building of a community, Facebook has also customised a workplace for eXp. Michael says, “It’s one of the largest. It is so effective. I’m an early riser. I wake up before 6:00am usually, and I will start by 7:00am in different time zones. I’m already on the phone. I am either on with Europe or some other destination and I work my way East and around the globe. Workplace is so wonderful because everyone’s on it. Your chat works just like your Facebook Messenger would or DM on Instagram and it is so incredibly efficient. We can create our own groups. You can actually create them to be open or closed or even secret. It gives us an incredible amount of flexibility to be able to do this on a global scale. Now, we’re building in our language translations and those capabilities to really ramp up and have this be a global tool for us.”
Understanding that real estate is always local, eXp also is committed to making sure partners have the access and the resources of everything that they need. Michael says, “In general, what we do is that we will, from a corporate perspective, create our relationship with all of the key portals, for example, in a listing distribution platform. We will include all of the training. We’ll include all of the resources, the CRM, the lead generation. All of those tools become packaged for the agents, so when I really start talking about the agent becoming the brand, it truly is. When you actually have conversations like I’ve had with some of the other countries we’re going into with larger brokerages, that conversation now shifts, because now the brokerage is looking at it like, “Okay. All of my bricks and mortar costs go away. I’m now a virtual model. I don’t need that 300 square meter office any longer. I don’t need the idea of having the insurance or all of my estate agents. I don’t need to have all of these other costs on top of this.” Those costs go away for that particular broker. If they have a certain number of agents, it comes under what we’re calling their growth line. The ability for that broker now to have … Let’s say, it’s a hundred agents, those hundred agents now have the ability to become their own brands.”
He continues, “Now, they can recruit other people to the eXp family and be able to earn from those efforts as well. There are so many different models of an agent looking at eXp. Not just having a very generous commission split, but being able to grow their own growth revenue line underneath them and being able to qualify for these stock options as well. The stock has actually done incredibly well and people can go and do their history on the stock of late, because it’s had a very interesting run.”
Plans are also afoot to do what has never been done before. Wanting to cater to the needs of a global consumer, there are moves to create one direct access, global portal. Michael says, “We want to build in essence, a global MLS, which will be a repository of all of our listings, anywhere that we have a presence. No one’s ever done that. No one has ever had one direct access to a listing portal that would be all in essence, a global MLS for a consumer. You could be sitting where you are now and be able to sell in Miami, in New York, in London, anywhere in Paris, anywhere we are now. It would all be in one site that you control as an eXp agent.”
Can you imagine?