All week, Inman is taking a Deep Dive into eXp Realty. We’re talking to key executives, unpacking the company’s strategic moves and reporting on the EXPCON event — taking place this week in Las Vegas. Stay tuned in the coming days for more on the tech-focused brokerage, and for future Inman Deep Dives into other top companies.
In a world that is constantly changing, few companies seem as well poised to capture the zeitgeist than eXp Realty.
As teams exploded in popularity over the last few years, eXp was there recruiting. When in-person interactions became verboton due to the coronavirus pandemic, eXp already had a remote-work infrastructure in place. And when interest in virtual worlds, or “the metaverse,” spiked in recent weeks, eXp already had years of experience with its virBELA platform.
Real estate is a competitive world, but whether from luck or foresight eXp has managed to find itself on the vanguard of some of the industry’s most notable trends.
This week, eXp is gathering for EXPCON in Las Vegas. The event begins in earnest Tuesday, is expected to draw thousands and is the first company-wide gathering since the outbreak of the pandemic. As a result, it’ll offer a useful opportunity to gauge how eXp sees its own handling of issues such as virtual work and teams, as well as what might lie ahead.
Here are some of the key issues to keep in mind as EXPCON gets started, and some of the sessions that might touch on real estate’s hottest topics.
What role will teams play in the future, and how will they expand?
Inman has interviewed many of the team leaders who have joined eXp, and one thing that comes up again and again in these conversations is that moving to the company allowed them to expand more easily. Instead of having to start their own brokerage or buy a franchise — both costly and time-consuming options — team leaders say eXp’s model allows them to easily expand.
Given how significant this trend has been in recent years, it’ll be interesting to see how EXPCON frames teams and expansion. How, for example, does eXp maintain momentum? How will this expansionist model evolve in the near future? From a practical standpoint, how does eXp make expansion easier for agents?
Sessions to watch:
Wednesday, Nov. 10: Team Building with the Best with David Kurz. 2:30 p.m. — 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 10: Supercharge Your Team’s Growth. Overview of kvCORE’s Team Add-on. 2:00 p.m. — 2: 45 p.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11: Beyond Your Borders with Orlando Montiel. 8:00 a.m. — 8:30 a.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11: Beyond Your Borders with Veronica Figueroa. 8:45 a.m. — 9:15 a.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11: Beyond Your Borders with Micah Mruwat. 9:30 a.m. — 10:15 a.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11:Beyond Your Borders with Marty Turner. 10:30 a.m. — 11:15 a.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11: Perfect Your Team Growth Set Up. 10:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.
How much and how fast can eXp grow?
Glenn Sanford, who founded eXp and continues to serve as CEO of parent company eXp World Holdings, has been open about having major ambitions for his company. Last year, for example, he mentioned achieving an agent count of “multi hundreds of thousands” in the next 5 to 10 years.
“We think that 100,000 [agents in the United States] is almost a fait accompli in the next few years,” Sanford also said last August.
In that context, it’ll be interesting to see how eXp talks about growth at this event. But it’s also worth noting, specifically, that EXPCON includes an entire group of sessions dubbed “5 Years to 500,000 Agents.”
Clearly, the company’s ambitions are not diminished.
Thursday , Nov. 11: 5 Years to 500,000 Agents. 8:00 a.m — 9:15 a.m
Thursday , Nov. 11: Ramp Up Your Brokerage Attraction. 9:30 a.m. — 10:15 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 11: Perfect Your Team Growth Set Up. 10:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.
Thursday , Nov. 11: Attracting Agents the Right Way. 1:15 p.m. — 1:45 p.m.
What role will virtual worlds and crypto play in real estate?
EXp has long been known for its focus on technology generally, and for its investment in a virtual world specifically. That investment has allowed the company to maintain a light footprint in the real world and helps distinguish the firm from other fast-growing upstarts.
However, all of eXp’s virtual world-building and experimentation has taken on new meaning in recent weeks thanks to Facebook’s announcement that it is changing its name to Meta and will focus on building a virtual space known as the metaverse. Though details of Facebook’s efforts are still sparse, the news likely means Facebook will be embarking on a project akin to what eXp has already been doing for some time now.
That puts eXp, more so than other companies in real estate, at the nexus of a an ongoing debate about how real and virtual worlds should intersect. It also means eXp’s perspective on topics such as cryptocurrency — which has been a major point of conversation following Facebook’s announcement — are uniquely informed by years of world-building.
Sessions to watch:
Tuesday, Nov. 9: How Crypto will Lead Traditional Real Estate. 1:30 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.
What does Zillow’s failure in iBuying mean for real estate?
It’s only a week into November, but already the month has delivered one of the biggest real estate stories of the year: Zillow is ending its Zillow Offers program and getting out of the iBuying business.
The end of Zillow Offer’s doesn’t directly intersect with eXp, and the latter company’s own Express Offers program remains in place.
But EXPCON will be the first huge real estate gathering after Zillow’s announcement. And that means it will be a good opportunity to gauge how the news is being received and processed.
Moreover, EXPCON also has programming devoted to how agents can use Zillow in their business, meaning the event may prove to be an important entry into the discussion about what Zillow’s pivot means for those working in the industry’s trenches.
Sessions to watch:
Thursday, Nov. 11: Leads & Database: What Zillow Taught Us About Lead Conversion. 10:30 a.m — 11:30 a.m.
What’s next for eXp’s compensation model?
During Inman’s interviews with team leaders who have joined eXp, one of the other topics that comes up again and again along side expansion is compensation.
In short, due to eXp’s revenue sharing and stock-based compensation, it’s possible for agents to build an additional income stream beyond their standard commissions. This has proven a major selling point for the company, and has focused increased attention on eXp’s stock price — which is currently up compared to the past few months but down from an all-time high earlier this year.
It’s unclear how much time eXp may ultimately devote to its compensation model at EXPCON. But the topic is without a doubt one of the major drivers of the company’s growth, as well as a significant differentiator from other players. So any hints at how compensation might evolve at eXp are worth paying attention to.
Sessions to watch:
Wednesday, Nov. 10: General Session. 2:00 p.m — 4:30 p.m.