EXPCON has been nothing short of spectacular and Wednesday’s daylong, information-packed general session offered plenty of proof. Former world No. 1 tennis great, author and fashion designer Venus Williams gave a heartfelt keynote and eXp World Holdings Founder and CEO Glenn Sanford emphasized the importance of eXp’s incredible growth through the past year with big things ahead, including the goal of achieving 500,000 agents in five years.
Day 2 of EXPCON 2021, being held in Las Vegas, started with a procession of flags – representing the 18 countries where eXp Realty is located – flowing into the auditorium to a remake of rapper Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” song. It got the crowd going as Kirtus Dixon, the Senior Vice President of Agent Development, welcomed everyone, offered some housekeeping notes and introduced Sanford and eXp Realty CEO Jason Gesing.
‘Great to Be Together Again!’
Jason and Glenn mentioned this conference could perhaps be the largest real estate conference in the country and remarked on how great it was to be all together again after two years of COVID-19 distancing.
“For me, it gives me chills to think about 12 years ago, we came up with this crazy idea of going to work in a virtual campus and actually running a real estate brokerage and building a compensation model that totally aligns all of our interests, there’s no agenda that outweighs any other agenda at eXp, it’s just been an amazing ride,” said Glenn.
- On iBuying: On the topic of ExpressOffers, eXp’s iBuyer business, Glenn said eXp’s version will continue and thrive because there is no risk to the balance sheet and eXp will never have to exit the business.
“We will be there for the long haul, building momentum, building an ecosystem and marketplace that’s going to continue to grow. It will also be a lead generation tool to get listing leads in helping people sell homes.”
- On agent growth: “We’re at 68,000 agents and it has exceeded my original vision of 10,000 agents by 2020 and we blew that out. Doing the math, we should reach 500,000 agents in five years around the world. This is not that much of a stretch goal. If you take our agent count today, and if you grow the company 50% year-over-year over the next five years, we will be at 516,000 agents at this time five years from now. It’s very doable.”
- On agent healthcare: Jason mentioned that 30% of agents in the business don’t have healthcare and another 30% have coverage via their spouse or partner. He went through the high medical costs and said eXp offers Agent Healthcare, which has low costs, an open network and is unveiling a new concierge service. He also said this is a major attraction benefit for new agents looking at joining eXp.
eXp World Holdings CFO Jeff Whiteside: ‘The Growth Story Continues in a Big Way’
Jeff recapped the past quarter and year of growth, mentioning eXp’s incredible record financial results as well as agent growth. “This is the best growth company and the best culture I’ve ever worked in” he said, as he reviewed the results and talked about future direction.
“The big news and a really positive thing about being here is the model generates cash flow. There’s no debt on the balance sheet and we’re able to invest, give back and do what we want to do because we control our own destiny and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Jeff mentioned that the model Glenn created is designed to give back as much as possible to the agents in the form of commission, revenue share, and stock and with the money that is left to run the company, it is being invested in the U.S., global, commercial and technology.
“I am sharing a number we’ve never shared before, which is we’ve paid out $48.7 million in revenue share in this quarter alone, which is up 73% quarter-to-date and on the year-to-date basis, we paid $124 million in rev share.”
Former World No. 1 Tennis Star Venus Williams Gave a Heartfelt Keynote
Venus Williams is the former world’s No. 1 tennis player, author and fashion designer and she sat down with ICON agent Veronica Figueroa of Orlando, Florida to give the day’s keynote in the form of a Q&A. You can read Venus’ entire interview here.
Stacey Onnen Talked About Making Agents’ Lives Easier
Stacey Onnen, President, U.S. Brokerage Operations for eXp Realty, runs a huge staff of thousands of folks in the world, supporting the needs of eXp’s 68,000+ agents.
She asked the agents in the audience to look around the room, saying, “This is your tribe. These are the people who help you. I’ve never – in my 23 years of real estate – been with a company where every single agent is willing to help every other agent around them.”
Stacey also made a point to talk about her latest implementation of the transaction coordination department, which is currently operational in 16 states with 10 more states coming and in every province in Canada.
“I remember as an agent, going out to sell and I would get seven houses in escrow, which was amazing. Then I would get so busy working the deals, that I wasn’t working my pipeline. I was the roller coaster agent until I hired a transaction coordinator.”
AAC Chair Jacqui Bowman Moderates Panel
Jacqui Bowman, chair of eXp Realty’s Agent Advisory Council, moderated an agent panel which included AAC co-chair Nakia Evans of Baltimore; Jeffrey Buettner of Peoria, Arizona; and Monica Weakly of Cincinnati, Ohio asking their thoughts about eXp and the AAC.
Nakia, who will be the chair of the AAC in 2022, said, “The Agent Advisory Council will partner up with the Agent Experience team to make some serious and great improvements in onboarding and mentoring. You guys will see changes sooner rather than later.“
Jeffrey said he was excited to join the AAC and the biggest thing he learned was the eXp leadership team’s commitment to transparency. “It’s easy to put transparency as a core value and put it on a website, but it’s another thing to really live it and ask for that feedback in every single avenue.”
‘The Amount of Lives We Are Touching Is Extraordinary’
The always energized Michael Valdes, the President of eXp Global, gave a rousing presentation on eXp’s growth internationally and reinforced that eXp is changing people’s lives all over the world.
“As we continue to grow, the wind is in our sails. There’s no way we’re going to be caught. The only competition is ourselves,” said Michael.
Michael said the pipeline of growth is incredibly healthy and for 2022, the company will focus more closely on developing and growing regionally around the globe in regions such the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
‘We Are the Future of Commercial Real Estate’
James Huang, President, eXp Commercial and Stephanie Gilezan, Director, eXp Commercial Brokerage Operations, gave a revealing overview of the eXp Commercial program, reflecting on joining eXp in November 2020 with just 8 commercial agents and open in 13 states. To date, eXp Commercial has more than 450 agents and is operating in all 50 states. Jim and Stephanie spoke about how they are growing the commercial business, adding that eXp Commercial’s value proposition is a big plus, but also eXp’s technology and awareness are big draws.
Attraction Panel Offers Tips On How to Attract
Kirtus moderated a panel of successful top agents that included attractors Gene Frederick and Angela and Chuck Fazio. They offered tips on how to attract new agents to eXp.
Gene Frederick said, “Five years from now, 80% of transactions in the world will be done by agents who don’t have their licenses yet. I only knew two people when I joined eXp (Glenn Sanford and Jason Gesing). I joined people – not the model. They will join you first. So make it fun. Don’t be scared.”
Angela said, “The way I look at it is everybody has pain points and goals. If I can create solutions to their pain points and achieve their goals, that’s what I call agent attraction.”
ICON Panel Discusses Importance of Lifting Up Others
After lunch, Renee Funk of Orlando, Florida moderated a panel that included Jim Lambright of Columbus, Ohio, and Elizabeth Riley of Austin, Texas – all multiple-year ICON agents and power players in their locations. Renee led a valuable, focused discussion getting excellent tips from both Renee and Jim. She asked each how they adapt and find success in an ever-changing industry.
Elizabeth said, “Being an ICON is not only stepping up my game and leveling up my service and the person I’m supposed to be in my family and my community and in my industry, but also lifting others up so we can all be successful and we all win.”
Jim said, “We’re not only trying to be successful, we’re also trying to be significant. We want to help all of you get to where we’re at. Think about your local community and the top agents. How many give you their secrets? The old school model is there is no one there to teach you and mentor you. At eXp, we do.”
eXp Partners Can Create Yet Another Revenue Stream
Gracie Martinez, Director of eXp Partners, gave an overview of the eXp Partners program, which is an end-to-end marketplace solution for agents and their clients. The program offers services for buyers, sellers and, additionally, eXp agents can benefit from exclusive promos, earning and revenue share potential.
Gracie said some of the partners offer revenue share, which is another stream of income on top of the three main categories of commission, revenue share and stock options. Additionally, any of the profit generated through eXp Partners will go to eXp’s bottom line, which will help the company dollar.
The eXp Partners include ExpressOffers, The CE Shop, Making It Rain, Silverline Title and Escrow, DepositLink, 360 Tours, Utility Connect, Curbio, Young Alfred, Currencies Direct, America’s Preferred Home Warranty, SUCCESS Lending and Build A Sign.
First Black Realtor Introduced During ONE eXp Panel
Brian said at eXp, “We are building the most diverse, the most inclusive real estate brokerage in the world.”
Fee explained ONE eXp and said, “We have a responsibility to uphold one another and to lift each other up financially and culturally and socially. That’s why we believe everyone should have a place to belong. That’s what our slogan is: We are one. We are ONE eXp.”
A wonderful surprise was the introduction of Ben Slayton, who became the first African American Realtor in America in 1964. There were many trials and tribulations of doing so, but he found a sponsor willing to take a risk and went on to have a successful career, becoming the first Black Century 21 franchise owner in the U.S.
1.6 Billion People Live Without Sustainable Shelters
Sarah Lee, Chief Operating Officer of New Story, talked about eXp’s partnership with New Story, a nonprofit organization that provides solutions to end global homelessness. She said more than 1.6 billion people worldwide are living without sustainable shelters, describing families across the world who are living in tarp tents, doing homework on dirt floors and surrounded by flimsy walls and materials.
“A home unlocks a family’s ability to thrive. It enables the community and kids to be able to thrive in schools,” she said.
eXp’s goal is to raise enough money to build 100 new homes in the Morelos region of Mexico, which was devastated by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 2017. eXp’s Glenn Sanford is matching up to $300K of his own money in this effort.
eXtend a Hand Has Achieved 501 3C Status
Two big announcements came out of this segment in which Annie Pellegrini, formerly a lead management specialist, was newly named to head up eXtend a Hand, which was given 501 3c status, making the program tax-exempt.
Also on the panel were eXp agents Lexy Sanchez, who founded eXtend a Hand, Micah Mruwat and George Huntoon, who was one of the first recipients of help via eXtend a Hand.
So far this year, eXtend a Hand has helped 80 eXp agents with grants. Annie emphasized that 100% of the profits from the eXp Brand Store will go toward eXtend a Hand. Additionally, the funds generated through the EXPCON 5K Fund Run will also be donated to eXtend a Hand.
Kurt Uhlir Presents Showcase IDX’s Mission
Kurt Uhlir, Vice President of Marketing for Showcase IDX, explained that when Showcase was acquired by eXp in August 2020, the vision was to build a portal and agent tools that help eXp agents connect with tens of millions of consumers on a monthly basis.
Kurt explained that the eXp technology department provides technology solutions for eXp agents and the brokerage to create agent success. Showcase IDX was given the task of providing solutions for eXp agents and their relationships with consumers to increase their success.
“eXp is growing so quickly that it kind of takes time to join the rocketship and keep on going.”
Some takeaways from Kurt’s presentation:
- Need simple, useful tools for agents and consumers. No one wants to be thought of as a lead.
- Connect both agents and consumers at the right time to create meaningful relationships.
- Working with the eXp technology team to get national listings coverage by early 2022.
- Working on an updated design and user experience for our search that can compete and win against the largest brokerages and portals.
- Using best practices and the latest design thinking not just from the top real estate sites, but across dozens of industries and sites.
‘The Metaverse Is Already Here and It’s Virbela’
Perhaps the best summary of Alex Howland’s presentation was in the opening video of his talk, saying, “The metaverse is already here and it’s Virbela.”
It’s true. Alex Howland, President, eXp World Technologies, created Virbela, which is the 3D virtual platform used by eXp in its avatar-designed eXp World. In other words, eXp was already doing the metaverse before it became a recent, trendy buzzword.
“Other companies are finally catching on and embracing all that the metaverse has to offer, but this is something eXp has been doing for years,” said Alex. “Big names like Microsoft and Facebook are getting a lot of attention for embracing virtual work solutions, but their products don’t have the same scale Virbela does.”
Alex said plenty of changes are coming to Virbela, including:
- Campus 2.0 is coming. It’s a newly designed campus with exciting new integrations.
- Spaces around campus will be easier to access, will be more connected and navigation will be more intuitive.
- Increase the bandwidth of voice servers and make it easier than ever to connect to your preferred audio devices.
- Screenshare improvements and exciting new integration options.
- Updates to the avatar system, including improving diversity.
- Allow for customization and self-expression options.
- Help scale more avatars in a single scene, and enable better performance moving forward.
SUCCESS® Coaching Developed As Part of the SUCCESS® Enterprises Purchase
When eXp World Holdings acquired SUCCESS Enterprises in December 2020, there was a natural evolution of development in properties under the brand, including the launch of SUCCESS® Coaching.
Ben Fairfield, head of SUCCESS Coaching, said, “You got into real estate to make more money and have more freedom of time. How is that working for you? For some, it has lived up to its promise. For others, it’s a mystery.”
He said everyone needs a coach in order to be stretched and put under tension.
“Most of us are afraid of failing. But if we have someone come alongside us and force us to stretch, they take us into the realm of what is possible. That’s a coach,” he said.
Shaun Patrickus Introduced as New President of SUCCESS® Lending
Glenn Sanford was joined onstage by Kind Lending Founder and CEO Glenn Stearns who recapped how the joint venture came together four months ago to form SUCCESS® Lending. But perhaps one of the biggest bits of news coming out of this presentation is a $10K recruiting bonus eXp agents can make if they help recruit loan officers to join SUCCESS Lending.
Glenn also introduced the new President of SUCCESS Lending, Shaun Patrickus and Mortgage Loan Originator, Mike Scheid.
“We expect this to be a huge opportunity and we expect to work for it. We have to earn your business,” said Shaun. “We intend to have excellent service and earn the opportunity to work with your customers. We know we’re going to have to be available to you night and day. We’re expecting a lot of hard work to get this launched. We’re hoping for the meteoric rise of eXp Realty to happen at SUCCESS Lending.”
Shortly after, Glenn was surprised when Kirtus Dixon called up to the stage eXp agent No. 50 – David Harbour of Leesburg, Virginia. David said he was at the first EXPCON in Chicago in 2014 where there were about 70 agents in attendance. David said of Glenn: “He championed this crazy company 12 years ago. He is our champion.” And with that, he presented Glenn with a boxing championship-style belt with the eXp Realty, SUCCESS and Virbela logos emblazoned on it.
Grant Cardone Held a Meet & Greet
Earlier Wednesday morning, an intimate gathering of agents attended a Meet and Greet with New York Times best-selling author, a star on Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire,” recognized industry sales training expert, social media influencer and motivational speaker Grant Cardone.
eXp Realty’s and Cardone’s relationship is built upon the shared passion for agent development and training. He has created training materials for eXp University and continues to be a featured speaker at eXp events.
The meet and greet was a personal experience that created the perfect environment for small Q&A sessions and mini masterminds. This was also a special opportunity to connect with the expert before he presented during EXPCON’s general session later that day.
Guests mingled with one another and took photos with Cardone, who was joined by his wife Elena Cardone. The morning gathering was complete with a breakfast spread in the VIP Lounge. Although the event was early that day, Cardone’s enthusiasm and wisdom acted like caffeine to the system. Guests left energized and inspired by Cardone’s insights, equipped with new knowledge for their businesses and lives.
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