I know, I know! You say you’re not leaving your current brokerage, that you like it where you are. You’re loyal. I get it. That was also my firm position last fall, until it wasn’t. Here are a few reasons why, in my opinion, you may want to take a closer look at eXp Realty.
ONE: Follow the industry
Every business landscape is fluid, changing, evolving and it makes sense for most all professionals to at least pay attention to the newcomers, the trends, the rapid growth players. Failure to do so may result in missed opportunities and declining industry awareness.
In this 5/23 “big bang theory” article in Inman News, Brad Inman interviewed eXp founder, Glenn Sanford (warning, it’s behind a paywall … but I heard that perhaps a little copy & paste of the title [Triumph of the nerd: how eXp Realty’s founder built a $1 billion business] into google search may pull up the full version? [Austin Realtors, and maybes, get a complimentary Inman Select subscription … go to ABoR member benefits & click through). In the article, Brad Inman outlined eXp founder, Glenn Sanford’s, vision:
“Revolutionize the real estate industry … eliminating the redundancies of traditional real estate brokerages and moving to a paperless, low-carbon footprint, highly efficient ecosystem leveraging today’s technologies.”
Inman pointed out these critical factors behind the eXp explosive growth:
- Hockey stick growth: This year alone, he doubled his agent count from 6,000-plus in January to 12,000 today. He is adding hundreds of agents each week. At this pace, he could conceivably reach 50,000 agents by the end of next year or in 2020. Like The Big Bang Theory, the company has gone viral.
- His virtual office model gives Sanford a compelling competitive advantage, office expenses can reek financial havoc on traditional brokerages.
TWO: Hockey Stick
I remember when agents were lining up at my old big brokerage, wanting to know what the big deal was and agents were joining left and right. It was exciting. There is typically one brokerage or another that is making industry moves and gaining all sorts of attention and momentum. Occasionally one of those hits it out of the park and changes the industry, disrupts the market. Today, that is eXp and agents are joining in droves.
I have always considered it a bit of a sport to watch the real estate industry and study (in all my free time) the movers and shakers and disrupters. If everyone is talking about a certain company or technology or trend, I am typically curious and want to know the why and how and what’s the big deal and do I want to be on that bus? Stay curious, my friends.
So the hockey stick with eXp is primarily two things:
- Hockey stick AGENT COUNT trajectory … this has already happened.
- Hockey stick MARKET SHARE trajectory … this is evolving and I believe it will sneak up on some industry leaders when all of a sudden they realize that eXp is now showing up in their MLS leaderboard stats on a consistent basis.
- I’d like to add a third, STOCK … for the early adopters, stock value has hockey sticked, but for mid-adopters it’s still an immature stock (promoted to the NASDAQ summer 2018) trading at a somewhat low volume … so this I am still watching.
Hockey stick typically means massive opportunity and in November 2017, I stepped onto the eXp bus.
THREE: Technology NOW
Founder, Glenn Sanford, is a techy. With Silicon Valley roots and an understanding of what Realtors need to be successful (hint: leads and easy yet sophisticated tools). eXp built an enterprise system, the back office with full transparency for agents to click through to the detail on pretty much anything they need. With a 24/7 team of developers across the pond, the tech team hammers out solutions and tweaks and add-ons in a real-time fluid manner. The team develops and delivers, develops and delivers. Agents need technology tools and systems NOW, not years of development for a maybe tool somewhere in the future.
Here is just one example of the enterprise system, one example that every Realtor out there can relate to … getting paid. You have an important question on your disbursement authorization for your closing next week. Can you get the information and answer yourself or do you need to email the broker accounting department and hope you get a response this afternoon? In the enterprise system, agents click through on their transaction to see the DA, then click through one more level to see all the math (every single line item) behind the DA to see if it included the price change or the referral fee or the closing date change. It’s all there and the agent has full access and the accounting department is not bogged down with 30 email inquiries from agents on important DA details. This is simple business that reduces staff time and puts the agent in the driver’s seat of getting answers quickly.
FOUR: Technology and LEADS
Does your brokerage technology platform help you generate and convert leads? How many leads are you getting from your broker-provided tools, and are all your friends and clients using that tool?? Do you have a user-friendly tool in place where you can amp up your online attraction? A tool that does that for you? Buyers are online and agents need increasingly sophisticated tools to stay in that game. In addition to the enterprise system, eXp utilizes some the top proven tools in the industry (for free) including kvCORE and SkySlope. Does your current technology tell you when a friend or former client is using your website to look at properties and how often they are clicking through? And when they revisit after not looking at homes for two months? It should.
FIVE: Service, The Cloud … Where Business is Heading
Business in the cloud … this is not an eXp vs other brokerages statement (well, actually it could be). This is where business is heading.
Sanford saw the 2008 economic dip, bubble-burst, mortgage crisis coming. At the time, he had brick & mortar like any other real estate office. Rent, staff, phone systems, and everything else that comes with having a commercial lease, an office. He knew he needed to be agile, had to reduce hard costs to adapt to the forthcoming market shift so he emailed his staff on a Friday. That email basically told the staff to not come into the office on Monday. Rather, stay home, click here and we are going to have a meeting online. The virtual office began.
When I first joined eXp, I was somewhat skeptical of the cloud office. I had never lived in that type of online virtual business environment before and was not quite sure what to expect. And here is what I found.
The fastest most amazing customer service EVER! Any question I have, whether accounting, tech support, agent services, broker questions, I am typically in and out of the cloud IN UNDER 5 MINUTES with an answer!
In most businesses and brokerages, when you have a question you are either going to call someone, email someone, or stop by someone’s office. Normal business, right? And you hope you have an answer this afternoon and it may involve a drive to and from the office.
9 times out of 10, I am getting what I need in under 5 minutes and I have not left my home office desk. This is not only customer service on steroids, it saves me an enormous amount of time. Oh, and online meetings … easy peasy, no commute, save time, get more done.
SIX: And the Cloud is Personal
Yep, the cloud is personal. Once you connect with a staff member in the department you need (in my experience this typically happens within a couple minutes), then it’s just a personal phone conversation via our two laptops. Think laptop = phone. I know I am talking with Michelle or Michael or Sam or Elaine (because my screen tells me that) and I have an idea of what they look like because they designed their avatar to represent, but before I get off the laptop = phone with my person, I always ask “Where are you located?” I want to know where they are. It’s personal, polite, professional, quick. The 250 eXp paid staff members are all over the country, working from their home offices just like me.
SEVEN: Stock and Your Retirement Plan
The majority of Realtors are lacking a solid investment plan and an exit strategy. I am 56 years old. While I absolutely enjoy my buyers and sellers and helping my clients change their lives by changing their address, I do not plan to be opening doors at age 70. Whether you are in your 30’s, 40’s, or a candidate for the AARP mailing list, having a sound investment strategy makes sense. This is simple. When I was in the corporate world, I was with a company that offered stock and everyone was invested in the company doing well. I like having that same thing with my brokerage.
EIGHT: Revenue Share, Your Financial Outlook, and Breathing Room
Having multiple streams of income makes sense, especially if one of them is passive income. I owned investment property off and on for ten years with moderate cash flow (and a couple negative) but I grew tired of being a landlord, I just did not really like it. My I-am-no-longer-a-landlord badge is one reason why eXp revenue share makes sense for me. My rev share cash flow is so much greater (like hugely, like 20x) than my rental cash flow and it’s easier, has no liability, no credit score screening, no wood rot, clogged drains, or broken fences. Revenue share is a completely passive income stream and has changed my financial outlook.
More specifically, I will make more in eXp rev share my first year than I did in my best KW profit share year. eXp revenue share is real, my friends, and I can see my numbers steadily increasing month by month and I have not yet hit the one-year mark with eXp.
This new and increased cash flow has done a number of things for me. One, it takes some financial pressure off my other income activities and allows me to focus on some special projects that are not yet lucrative or are more creative in nature. Two, it provides a retirement solution. And three, it motivates me to think bigger. One, two, and three add up to more breathing room in my world.
NINE: Pivot Opportunity
I am a big fan of “Notes From The Universe” … a daily inspiration email I receive via tut.com that helps me pause and set my compass. This morning’s message (funny how it shows up at the right time) taps into one of my favorite topics, the art of the pivot. The message: “You might call it spiritual logistics, but sometimes you have to move away, to get closer.” This could be interpreted as one step back, two steps forward but I think there are many iterations of the “move away, to get closer” concept.
I address the art of the pivot, whether business or personal, in my book Success Faster: Quickly Launch or Relaunch Your Real Estate Career (your roadmap to getting started or starting over). In looking back at my professional journey, I came to realize that every single growth surge or new opportunity came with some sort of one step back, two steps forward, or sometimes two steps sideways, one back, cha-cha-cha forward back spin, then forward toward something new and bigger and better and more satisfying.
In looking back, I believe I pivoted a lot. As it turns out, business pivoting is a bit of a skill, a survival technique of sort. Two steps forward, one step back. Not always linear, sometimes sideways, sometimes messy. It’s a bit of a business cha-cha-cha.”
What is your pivot record? What are the different chapters in your career? What events or developments over the years make up the tapestry of your professional journey? Are you happy? Are you hitting your financial targets? Do you have a clear retirement plan? Are you due for a pivot? I will plant that seed right here. You may be in just the right place for your business moving forward, or are you?
This actually belongs at the top, and here’s why. When I found myself last summer re-assessing my professional place in the world and mapping out my next 5-10 year plan, the very first thing I needed to know was is the culture in alignment with me, my values. I needed to know that the people were good and smart and leaders, that the energy was positive, that the company’s core values included community and service and integrity. I needed to know that training and education were a foundational piece of the eXp pie. Check, check, check, and check. The culture was in place, the people were good, everyone seemed to be having fun, the vision was attractive … this allowed me to open the door and take a peek inside.
eXp, take a closer look.