eXp Realty—What is it, how does it work, how does it compare?
Despite some of the hype, eXp Realty is a typical real estate company with brokers, BIC’s, agents, clients, and an office. The eXp Realty office is a virtual office located in the cloud and always accessible to each & every agent throughout the USA and abroad. This is true even during the closure of brick & mortar offices such as experienced with the Covid-19 national emergency.
For conducting business, eXp Realty agents meet with clients in person, just like everyone is accustomed to. What is different is that there is no brick & mortar office for occasional client meetings, for staff meetings, for local training, or for access to printers & copiers. All those things still happen though. Client meetings are held either in the client's home or at a neutral site such as an escrow company or a Starbucks. The other activities happen either in the eXp World virtual office or at the agent’s home office. For the home office, agents need a computer, printer, and internet connection, something that every agent surely already has. Staff meetings and enhanced training are held in eXp World via computer software where avatars represent the agent. In eXp World, agents interact live with others across the nation and around the world. The agent can talk, listen, text-chat, stand, sit, walk, run, leave, or even do backflips if feeling happy. There is a real sense of community here. Since eXp agents are sending their avatars to events, there is no need for the agent to clean-up, suit-up, and show-up. Nudists rejoice, you can attend events in your “natural” attire! The more traditional agents can attend in casual attire without shaving or applying makeup. What’s not to like about that?
Some compare the eXp Realty business model to Amazon since both are cloud-based industry disruptors. This is a poor comparison though because, unlike Amazon, agents still meet face-to-face with clients & customers to preview homes, show listings, hold open houses, and do every other traditional action that clients expect. During times of national emergency (think Covid-19) when some of these activities are restricted, agents are fully equipped to carry on with 3-D virtual showings, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live, Docusign, and more.
eXp Realty is typically compared to national real estate companies which are actually franchise operations with many hundreds of independent companies operating under the franchise umbrella. eXp Realty is one huge nationwide company, not a franchise. As such, there are none of those expensive franchise fees deducted from agent commissions and no high-cost brick and mortar offices*. Without these expenses, company costs are much less so that they can provide all agents an 80% split compared to the more typical range of 50+ to 70+% after their franchise fees. Most agents have an ownership stake in the company as they are stockholders in eXp World Holdings which is listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol “expi”. As agent-owners, agents gladly assist other eXp agents to help “their” company thrive thus enhancing the value of their investments. Superior training is offered at a national level by national experts rather than by local volunteers at the office and with no need for agents or the trainer to travel since the eXp office is “in the cloud”. Attracting other agents is left to the individual eXp Realty agent instead of an impersonal company executive. eXp agents know the business model and are in the best position to discuss the company culture, platform, resources, and sense of community. The company rewards agents for these efforts via a company Revenue Share program.
Perhaps this quotation from the highly-respected Swanepoel Trends Report of 2019 best sums-up what agents think of the eXp Realty business model, “Fast-growing cloud-based eXp Realty claims to take the Keller Williams model to a new level with its virtual environment, and thousands of agents have voted with their feet." At the end of 2019 there were 25,423 eXp Realty agents, a growth of 63% from the prior year. Rapid growth is continuing in 2020. It was announced at the May 12 Shareholders meeting that eXp Realty agent count had exceeded 29,000.
This overview is provided by Richard Dolbeare, a Hawaii Real Estate Broker, Lic # RB-20941, with eXp Realty**. For access to more detailed information, visit https://MauiSandCastles.com/exp/
. Questions and inquiries are welcomed at expinquiry@RichardDolbeare.com. Opinions are his own and information is to the best of his knowledge.
*Some high-volume eXp agents have elected to provide a public office as part of their personal business model.
**In Hawaii, a real estate brokerage is required to have a licensed address. For eXp Realty, that address is 500 Ala Moana Blvd, #7-400, Honolulu, HI 96813.