Key Highlights

  • Glen Sanford to take the stage at Inman Connect New York January 28-January 31 for an “insider’s view” of eXp’s progress
  • Interview with Sanford by Patrick Kearns for InmanNews
  • Sanford – “I’m not concerned at the moment about any big impact other than the economy itself.”

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Last week, InmanNews’ Patrick Kearns interviewed Glen Sanford, co-founder of eXp, as a preview to Sanford’s appearance at the Inman Connect New York at the end of this month. Here are some of the issues Kearns and Sanford discussed along with some of Sanford’s comments:

Asked about the impact of eXp’s acquisition of VirBELA on the company’s approach to building tech in 2019, Sanford said that eXp’s transition of VirBELA from software as service to software as stakeholder enabled the company to invest in more voice servers and in more experimentation. eXp has since launched the VirBELA Open Campus in order to create a product called Team Rooms. These Team Rooms are geared to real estate teams for management purposes. Also, the acquisition of VirBELA has enabled eXp to beef up its sales marketing in order that more companies can use the platform. Currently, companies such as Peter Diamond’s Singularity University are now using the VirBELA platform. 

Asked about how far VirBELA can take the real estate industry, Sanford said, “I think we’re just scratching the surface.” The acquisition of VirBELA and its now Open Campus have enabled more and more real estate professionals to connect with real estate tech companies, brainstorm and as a place for agents/brokers to work.

Asked whether or not other real estate companies are following eXp’s lead in reducing office footprints and physical space, Sanford said, “I don’t know how companies can survive without some portion of their business being dedicated to a remote workforce.”

Asked whether or not remote working in virtual worlds is becoming normative, Sanford said, “Our vice president of marketing and communications works from home in Seattle. I’m at a Starbucks. And I don’t know where you are right now, Patrick.” Sanford’s short answer is yes.

Asked whether agent count and revenue growth are going to remain eXp’s central focus or whether or not the growth of eXp is still vastly not tapped, Sanford that eXp is “just about delivering services.” If delivering great services to agents, such as an attractive compensation package model and a stock sharing model, it’s likely the company will continue growing.

Asked why the eXp model is growing its overseas market share while growth in the US and North America continues to be ripe, Sanford replied that the company model can capture real estate transacting, listing and selling in any locally run business because the collaborative tech model can be used anywhere. And, in fact, eXp now has 50-100 agents in the UK, Canada, and Australia within just a few months.

Asked whether or not eXp’s team model and virtual brokerage invites additional regulatory scrutiny, Sanford replied that regulators are continuing to learn about eXp and when they do, these regulators become supporters of eXp as the regulators are “…recognizing this (model of real estate business) is the future.”

Asked whether or not the new frontier for ancillary real estate services (mortgage lending, title services, moving, etc.) to help facilitate the transaction process is being consumer or industry driven, Sanford said, “…if (consumers) can get a one-stop-shop, it really helps…(and) I think makes total sense.” Sanford also emphasized that eXp is not dictating its agents to use or promote these ancillary services. “Whatever choices the consumer makes that best serves their needs is the best choice.”

Asked whether or not Sanford would crystal ball gaze into the real estate industry for 2020, Sanford said that iBuyers, flex programs, etc. are “…definitely changing brokerages to some extent.” Sanford also believes that programmatic blockchain in the next 15-20 hears is likely to make “…as big a change as anything.”

Asked whether or not there is a big threat from tech companies such as Zillow, commission lawsuits and/or government regulators looking in to agent commissions, Sanford said, “I’m not super concerned at the moment about any big impact other than the economy itself….should the Fed change directions, I think that’s when we’re going to see real estate prices start to decline and we could see that as being the biggest impact in the future.”

 

Thanks to InmanNews’ Patrick Kearns for source material.

Also read: Podcast: Exclusive Interview with HGTV, Tarek El Moussa, Guarded Optimism as Global Lux Markets Enter 2020 – Part 2, Most Popular Descriptive Words Used in Real Estate Listings