Key Highlights

  • From its get-go 10 years ago, eXp Realty dedicated itself to operating within 3D virtual world, without brick and mortar offices
  • Agents use avatars to interact with each other
  • Other distinguishing features include agent-led recruiting program, stock program and health care program

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Founded 10 years ago in the depths of the housing crisis, eXp Realty, a subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, began its first decade with 25 agents in four US states. Founder and CEO Chairman of eXp World Holdings Glenn Sanford said, “…the core business constraint was to build a technology-first real estate brokerage without the legacy overhead of traditional physical office space while sharing much of this new model with the agents and brokers who help us grow.”

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From the company’s inception, eXp Realty transformed that core business constraint into a successful core business strength…a fully committed virtual infrastructure that provides its now international agents/brokers and customers a fully committed virtual experience.

Yes, eXp Realty has always been ready to go as a “Real Estate Cloud Brokerage.”  That readiness as a cloud brokerage was established well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, mid pandemic, and, hopefully soon, we’ll be able to use the term post-pandemic.

Here are some things to look for when paying attention to eXp Realty, according to both company insiders and outside company watchers:

Agent Growth

Always committed to “sharing much of this new model with the agents and brokers who help us grow,” eXp Realty has an aggressive, incentivized agent-to-agent growth program.

From its original 25 agents in 2010, eXp now has more than 40,000 agents working in its stateside and international markets. CEO Jason Gesing recently told Inman that the company’s goal is to get to an agent count of 100,000likely but not definitively in some three years. Outside company watcher Steve Murray, founder of Real Trends, told Inman that he doesn’t “know of any particular reason why (eXp Realty) can’t keep growing…they seem to have some really good systems in place to continue to attract agents and teams…(and)…they understand, at heart, that recruiting, if you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to have a consistent, persistent recruiting system.”

International Expansion

eXp began 2020 thinking it would “…go into two more countries, maybe three…” said Gesing. Instead, eXp has gone into India, South Africa, Mexico and France just this fall after already establishing itself in all 50 US states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

This international expansion blossomed because of eXp’s agent growth model. Here’s an example of how this growth model works…an existing eXp agent knows another agent working overseas and recruits that overseas agent to transition into an eXp agent working overseas. Voila…both eXp agent and international growth.

Outside company observers see no reason why eXp’s international growth would be limited in any way in 2021 and in fact, company observers are expecting several international expansion announcements coming from eXp in 2021.

Stock Performance

The first thing to know is that it’s highly unusual for a real estate benefits package to include a stock program for its agents and brokers. eXp Realty, under its parent company eXp World Holdings, has a stock program for its agents and brokers.

eXp had originally been trading on the middle-tier venture market OTCQB and was up-listed to the Nasdaq in May of 2018. The company was then trading in the $20/share range and then fell to the $11/share range in early 2020. Since April, the stock valuation took off and as of last week, the price-per- share is in the $76-range. The company’s market cap comes in at +$5B.

The more productive an agent/broker is, the more stock awards that agent/broker receives from eXp. As one agent told Inman, “We get stock awards, and as the company grows I grow too, literally.”

Murray (Real Trends) told Inman, “I expect (eXp’s) earnings to keep growing well above average for some time. Their earnings can keep growing very solidly because as they keep growing, their fixed costs don’t grow at the same time.”

eXp’s Virtual Environment

VirBELA built eXp’s virtual work environment in 2016 and in 2018, eXp acquired the company. This virtual work environment includes virtual meeting rooms, training facilities, recreational venues and avatars for eXp’s agents and brokers to engender and facilitate both professional and social interactions.

Like all of us challenged by the lack of face-to-face interactions and actual human contact, VirBELA and its avatar world help remote work feel less remote. Both company agents/brokers and outside company observers agree that eXp is ahead of the curve on this issue. Researchers at Harvard University think so as well…those researchers are studying how the eXp VirBELLA virtual world model can be applied to other companies and their workers moving into virtual environments.

Meanwhile, as agents/brokers were scrambling when COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the “regular” real estate industry in2020, eXp Realty was ready to go, just as it had been in 2010. And, as others have stated throughout this piece, there is no reason why eXp Realty won’t be ready to go even farther in 2021…and years after that.


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