Why Glenn Sanford Created eXp Realty During the Last Recession

Real Estate Agent with North Texas Real Estate Team

Success stories are a dime a dozen these days, but in 2008, that wasn’t the case. The financial collapse that occurred that year was devastating to countless businesses, including businesses that were seen as bulletproof.

So, what inspired Glenn Sanford to create eXp Realty during a housing crash and time of economic crisis, and how exactly did it explode into the fastest-growing residential brokerage in U.S. history? Read on to find out!


The Setting

Before creating eXp Realty, Glenn Sanford was a highly successful, top 50 expansion team for Keller Williams. He was operating in multiple markets along the West Coast and in the mid-2000s, his fourth year in real estate he closed more than $60 million in sales volume.

Glenn quickly encountered financial challenges operating an expansion team in a franchise system in multiple market centers,

and soon decided to part ways from the franchise model and decided to become an independent broker.

In the year before the 2008 crash, Glen closed over $70 million in sales volume, but his financial trials were not done. With the crash of Wall Street, the overhead and brick-and-mortar operational costs he had in multiple markets was simply too much and forced him to seek solutions and the idea of a cloud based office was born.


The Beginning

Not wanting to scale back an operation that was performing at a high level, Glenn decided to look into alternatives. What he discovered was that the overhead associated with brick and mortar locations was not only costly but was also unnecessary.

After all, what do people do in an office? They sit in front of a computer with their cellphone within reach, right? Both of those things are possible from anywhere and without the excessive expense of physical offices.

This thought prompted Glenn to try something new, something innovative. By moving the workplace to the cloud, collaboration and business interactions could continue as normal, but be much more cost-effective. The money saved by moving to a cloud-based office environment could then be reallocated into scaling across the United States and eventually around the globe. Newly freed resources could even be reinvested into more advanced technology, training, and support for his agents and brokers.

It was a simple idea, but one that gave birth to the fastest-growing residential brokerage in U.S. history!


The Result

From origins of practicality, a revolutionary approach to an outdated brokerage model has evolved. Not only did Glenn’s move to the cloud save his business from the financial collapse of 2008, but it also shifted the landscape of the real estate industry forever.

In 2018 alone, eXp Realty closed $19.8 billion in sales volume. Without seeing an opportunity and pursuing it, this would have never been possible. Beyond financial success—and arguably more important—Glenn’s business model prioritizes people. Agents at eXp become shareholders (NASDAQ-EXPI) when they complete transactions. They also earn revenue share from closed transactions when they attract like-minded productive agents and brokers to the company. This formula has incentivized real estate professionals to contribute to the growth of the company, while building their own businesses with one of the most aggressive compensations plans available today.


Exp Realty has its roots in technology and innovation, and while it continues to lead the way in a tech-centric world, the true story lies in the resilience of people, from Glenn to the thousands of agents that call eXp Realty their home today.


If you're looking for ways to grow and expand your business by leveraging technology, look no further, let's connect, collaborate and have a conversation to see if eXp Realty may be a good fit for your future business.



Posted by

Ian Flannigan

North Texas Real Estate Team

15950 Dallas Parkway Ste:400

Dallas, TX 75248



Comments (2)

faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Thoroughly enjoy working in eXp through the cloud, without having to go into an office every day. 

Sep 26, 2019 08:32 AM
Ian Flannigan

Faye, I appreciate the positive feedback and comment.

Sep 27, 2019 10:07 AM
Gwendolyn Oglesby-Odom
eXp Realty - Merrillville, IN
Agent Owner

Love working at eXp and having access to agents all over the US and in Canada! In addition, education and lead generation opportunities are amazing! 

Sep 27, 2019 07:44 AM
Ian Flannigan

Gwendolyn, glad you've had a great eXperience with the company. Thanks for the comment.

Sep 27, 2019 10:53 AM