In its fourth-quarter earnings call on Monday, eXp World Holdings Chairman Glenn Sanford his brokerage’s 2021 growth to several agent-centric improvements in eXp’s technology, tools and agent services.

EXp World Holdings, the parent company of eXp Realty, reported a total of $3.8 billion in 2021 revenue — $1.1 billion of which the Seattle-based brokerage earned in the fourth quarter — in a new earnings report. The company said it remained profitable over both periods, with a Q4 net income of $15.5 million and a full-year net income of $81.2 million.

EXp World Holdings Chairman Glenn Sanford credited eXp’s 110 percent increase in 2021 revenue and 77 percent increase in Q4 revenue to the strengthening demand for virtual and technology-based business models, the development of its mortgage arm, SUCCESS Lending, and the launch of its personalized business development platform, SUCCESS Coaching.

Glenn Sanford

“2021 was another year of tremendous growth for eXp, as our core focus on innovation enabled us to welcome nearly 30,000 new agents across six continents to eXp,” Sanford said in a statement ahead of the company’s live earnings call on Thursday. “As real estate professionals increasingly turn to technology-based solutions for productivity and collaboration, our cloud-based platform has given us a first-mover advantage to scale our brokerage at the fastest rate in the industry. We attract top agents that value freedom, compensation and community.”

“We evolved our robust suite of products and services last year as we made preparations to launch SUCCESS Lending, a synergistic mortgage solution that aims to provide greater efficiencies and clearer communication between agents and their customers,” he added. “To deepen our commitment to developing and inspiring our community of real estate professionals, we launched SUCCESS Coaching, our new business that provides a results-driven approach to personal development.”

Although the company managed to post triple-digit increases in net income for Q4 (+162 percent) and the full year 2021 (+101 percent), a one-time $10 million legal settlement weakened its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the fourth quarter and the full-year 2021.

Without the settlement, the brokerage’s fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA increased 39 percent to $23.1 million, and its 2021 adjusted EBITDA increased  52 percent to $88.0 million. With the settlement, the brokerage’s 2021 adjusted EBITDA increased 35 percent to $78.0 million; however, the adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter decreased 21 percent to $13.1 million.

EXp’s earnings per diluted share increased 143 percent to $0.51 in 2021 and increased 100 percent to $0.10 per diluted share during Q4, which enabled the company to pay shareholders a cash dividend of $0.04 per share of common stock on Nov. 15, 2021. Another cash dividend of $0.04 will be paid on March 31, the report explained.

“Our year-over-year increase in transaction volume proves that the eXp model is resonating with top-producing agents and our ability to maintain this momentum underscores the strength of our competitive position,” eXp World Holdings CFO and Chief Collaboration Officer Jeff Whiteside said in a statement. “Reinvesting incremental cash flows generated by our business in products, services and technologies that further enhances the eXp platform for agents remains a priority as we scale, both within our existing markets and globally.”

Sanford and Whiteside said the company’s investment in its technology and productivity lead to significant agent count growth, as the company inches closer to its goal of having 100,000 agents by the end of 2022. The number of agents and brokers on the eXp Realty platform increased 72 percent to 71,137 in 2021, partially as a result of the brokerage’s international expansion into Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy, Hong Kong, Colombia, Spain, Israel, Panama, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Greece and New Zealand.

EXp’s agents increased their productivity for the year and for the quarter, with closed transactions increasing 86 percent to 444,367 in 2021 and 52 percent to 125,029 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Those transactions represented a sales volume of $156.1 billion in 2021 (+116 percent) and $44.9 billion sales volume in Q4.

Jason Gesing | Photo credit: eXp Realty

In the company’s live earnings call, EXp Realty CEO Jason Gesing said the brokerage’s push into commercial real estate and the launch of improved onboarding, transaction management, and concierge services will accelerate agent count growth in 2022, as they attempt to boost their Net Promoter Score and strengthen their virtual culture.

“We’ve really offered some significant growth in development opportunities to our employees as we continue to expand globally and into new lines of business,” he said. “We continue to build our culture here in the metaverse and our entire [workforce] is collaborative [and] they’re connected.”

He added, “This place really comes to life in eXp World where employees have the unique opportunity to engage and interact on a daily basis, and each month, more than 1,300 employees from around the globe join our all-hands meetings to discuss organizational updates, wins and strategies.”

Gesing said eXp will double-down on improving its employee benefits in 2022, which already include expanded paid parental leave and a robust array of medical insurance options. “These benefits will help attract and retain top talent,” he said of the brokerage’s push to become the largest real estate brand by agent count by 2026.

Looking forward, Sanford said eXp is poised to have another record-breaking year as it hammers down on increasing its agent count and market share and creating a more robust experience for its agents and teams, with its “secret sauce.”

“I don’t know if I should call it our secret sauce, but continuing to be the most agent-centric real estate brokerage on the planet really is the driver for growth,” he said. “And that’s really how we approach everything — we’re approaching it from how do we truly build [our] market share, and turn this industry into an industry that’s really agent led and an agent-driven.”

Email Marian McPherson

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