The reasons that an agent choses a specific brokerage are myriad. Some boast their technological prowess, others name recognition, but eXp Realty offers something relatively unique: stock in the company.
“About 15 percent to 20 percent of the company is agent owned,” eXp World Holdings CEO Glenn Sanford told the crowd of attendees at Inman Connect in San Francisco during an indie brokerage summit.
Agents can earn equity in a number of ways: they receive a small amount of stock after completing their first transaction, or a small amount of stock if they attract another agent. But they can also contribute 5 percent of their commission to buy stock at a 20 percent discount.
The unique lure has paid major dividends for eXp Realty. When the company launched the program in 2013, it went from 50 percent year-over-year growth to more than 100 percent year-over-year growth.
“We wanted to make another form of compensation that nobody else had,” Sanford said. “Nobody can actually put a share of stock, generally speaking, in the agents’ hands in a large quantity. That, for us, was a differentiator.”
Kendall Butler, the broker owner of FLI Properties takes a much different tact. For her company, the value proposition is all about focusing on consumers.
“We’re problem-solvers,” she said. “If you’re attracting consumers, you’re going to attract agents as well. And so we focus on the consumer and how we provide knowledge into the market, being market experts.”
Butler said five years ago they were able to forecast the inventory shortage the market is seeing today. The company looked at back at 70 years of historical homebuilding data to equip its agents with knowledge and a way to still be successful during a crunch.
“I actually invested in going back to school and getting a master’s degree in real estate development so that we could become a market leader in new construction homes in our region,” she said.
With that high level of knowledge and market expertise from the top down, comes high expectations for agents. The expectation is that all agents understand the market well and display a high level of competency in representing buyers, sellers and the company brand.
“We don’t want anybody with our company that isn’t going to meet that minimum standard,” Butler said.
The company provides training one-on-one training to provide that market knowledge. It lets agents know that to be a part of FLI Properties requires an investment of time.
“In less than 12 months, we expect [agents] to close 16 transactions in their first year,” Butler said.