InmanNews recently interviewed Glenn Sanford by phone to discuss his perspective on eXp Realty’s current state of business as well as his growth projections for this cloud-based brokerage. Here are some bits and pieces of that conversation.
When asked about eXp’s acquisition of VirBELA some seven or eight months ago, Sanford said he was most excited about VirBELA’s effectiveness in building the “Open Campus” that any business/university/governmental program/person can use to conduct meetings and trainings.
Originally developed for educational institutions, foundations and universities, VirBELA was adapted for use by the real estate industry. It is currently being used by real estate professionals, the Honor Foundation (training for veterans coming from overseas assignments who are re-integrating into their local communities, worksites, activities, etc.) the US Navy for simulation training, Stanford University, retail business professionals, etc. VirBELA can now accommodate more than 1,000 people as avatars (typically, virtual worlds accommodate just 150-200 users) for trainings, networking and socializing.
A new product within VirBELA is its Team Rooms, a 24/7, always-on virtual space for teams of people to have a private “room” to hold meetings, trainings, conferences, etc. without high overhead costs. Team Rooms can accommodate both small and large groups with mini spaces inside larger spaces to reduce overhead costs even further.
Sanford said, “It’s interesting how we’re kind of a leader in the world of remote work because of the way we use the virtual campus…certainly, eXp Realty and its growth trajectory would not have been possible without VirBELA’s virtual campus.”
Speaking of growth, Sanford was asked where he sees eXp’s agent count going. Sanford said that the leadership team had originally talked in 2012 about eXp Realty having 10,000 agents by the year 2020. EXp now has some 20,000 agents likely because Sanford focuses not no agent count but on the agent value proposition.
“I see it (eXp Realty) as a field of dreams thing (referring to the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams”.) If we build it right, the agents will come.”
“Looking at five years from now, we should have 100,000 agents on the eXp platform. A 50% growth rate y/y for the next five years would take us well past 100,000 agents and we’ve been growing more than that for the last four years.”
EXp Realty’s immediate plans call for expansion into the New York City market, a very tough nut to crack as that market is overly packed with big brand names. How will eXp fare in such a market?
Sanford said that eXp is focusing as it does in all locations on the agent’s brand, not the corporate brand. “We are not wanting to be Douglas Elliman or Compass or Corcoran. EXp is for the entrepreneurial broker/owner type, probably the indie broker type who has figured out what they want be and do as their unique selling proposition, who wants to keep doing what he/she does until what they do scales and profits.”