Today begins coverage of eXp World Holdings Shareholder Summit, which is being held May 17-19 in eXp’s virtual world environment. We will share updates on events and highlights each day right here in eXp Life.
Today, the 7th annual eXp Shareholder Summit kicked off in which eXp agents, staff and shareholders gathered for a week of updates and events, covering the company’s financials and future outlook. Due to COVID-19, this is the second year the Summit is being held virtually. The event is being held May 17-19 in eXp’s newly created EXPI Campus and is free and open to shareholders, investors, media and anyone interested in eXp. In-person, agent-led events will be held in each state May 20-21.
eXp Founder Glenn Sanford and Realty CEO Jason Gesing Kick It Off
Kirtus Dixon, Senior Vice President of Agent Development, emceed the event and started the General Session by introducing eXp World Holdings Founder, CEO and Chairman, Glenn Sanford and eXp Realty CEO Jason Gesing.
Gesing took the stage and made his avatar do a backflip, which prompted Sanford to say, “Last year there was a lot of stuff to backflip about.”
Gesing chimed in to say, “It’s been an incredible year with a lot of uncertainty at times and a lot of external things going on in the world, which inevitably impacted all of us in our work and family life.
“If we look back at 2020, this has been a year about standing up and lifting up others.”
Gesing went on to discuss the value of building culture and community and cutting costs through eXp’s online world and it was designed working remotely rather than out of necessity.
Sanford agreed. “We’ve been pushing the envelope and using the Virbela since 2016 and because of eXp’s exclusive platform, we are the most mature virtual world for work platform.”
eXp CIO John Tobison Keeps the Systems Running
eXp Chief Information Officer John Tobison summarized his mission for eXp, which is simply to keep the systems running and to scale for growth. He gave a quick look back on accomplishments and what’s coming. Some highlights for his team:
- Recruit in any geography and earn revenue share across the globe
- My eXp: Global agent-centric dashboard in native languages
- Supporting new lines of business:
- Create affordable transaction coordination services
- Provide qualified leads distributed immediately
Boyd Bastian, Director of Compliance Education said the team’s mission is to empower all eXp agents with knowledge and resources to succeed and to focus on four things as the company grows and gets busier:
- Agent experience
- Proactive education
- Agent recognition
- Project pipeline
eXp CMO Courtney Chakarun Led Rebrand of Company
eXp CMO Courtney Chakarun, who has been with eXp less than a year, reviewed the marketing team’s accomplishments, which included evolution of the brand, elevating the messaging and collateral around the company, big increases in digital, 70 different channels on social media, aligning with the growth team and enhancing the hybrid model of virtual and in-person events.
She also touched upon the branding journey. “We built the brand together — especially when it came to the logo and doing a transparent vote for the branding. Branding is a journey. Our brand is organic. It’s living and we’re going to continue making it the best brand it can be.”
Chakarun also spoke to the “harmonization of events,” saying there is a lot of synergy between eXp Realty, Virbela and SUCCESS, pointing to the recent offsite in Cabo, Mexico, which celebrated the launch of eXp Mexico and a parallel mastermind event. She said more in-person events are coming, including the EXPCON Nov. 9-11 in Las Vegas at the Mirage.
> Register for EXPCON here
eXp EVP of People Mike Vein Celebrates eXp’s Accomplishments
Mike Vein, Executive Vice President of People, EVP of People, said, “I have the best role here at eXp. I get to support the most passionate, the most driven, the most successful staff in real estate across the globe.”
Vein touched upon eXp’s many awards, including being named to Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list for four consecutive years (rating 4.8 out of 5), getting recognition from RealTrends and HousingWire and achieving high NPS results.
“Day in and day out, our staff is here to win,” said Vein.
Jason Dorsey Presented Talk on Emerging Real Estate Trends
Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics and a pioneering Generation Z, millennial and generations keynote speaker and researcher, was the day’s first keynote. He provided fascinating insights into generational behaviors in his talk, “2021 Emerging Real Estate Trends National Study: What Consumers Really Want.”
Two of his main takeaways are that we shouldn’t make assumptions about behaviors of generations as they all shape trends and that parenting is the No. 1 trend that shapes generations.
“Every single generation brings value to your business and what so many people say about certain generations is not true.”
But, perhaps the biggest surprise in his study was learning that owning a house is dramatically more important now than it was pre-pandemic.
“This is a very of-the-moment finding,” said Dorsey. “Homeownership is not just a trend, but a change in belief and values and it will have a profound impact long term, particularly among the younger generation.”
- 87% believe people should be trying to buy a home by age 40.
- 73% of new homeowners and shoppers say owning a home is more important to them now because of the pandemic.
- Property taxes, overpaying and home maintenance costs are most concerning to homeowners and shoppers.
- 62% of new homeowners and shoppers feel secure in their current financial situation.
- 43% of new homeowners and shoppers and half of the millennials have checked their credit score more in the past year.
- New male homeowners and shoppers more likely to have checked their credit score more in the past year.
- A good credit score and finding the style or size of a house you want are the most important factors when it comes to buying a home.
Gesing: ‘We Were Built for This’
eXp Realty CEO Jason Gesing reflected on last March, not knowing what was going to happen due to the pandemic.
“If there was a company out there that was well-positioned to not only survive but thrive in a pandemic, it was eXp. On campus, you would see people start to use the phrase, ‘We were built for this.’
“We had this ability with eXp World to design and hold classes for eXp agents and folks who were not with the company. We became a destination for agents to escape and get out of isolation. They needed to rediscover a collaborative environment. We were able to restore that office environment without boundaries and restrictions.
“We are the fastest-growing real estate brokerage in North America and our growth rate in the U.S. has reached unprecedented levels in 2020 and continues into this year.
“We are retaining more people. We have a phenomenal growth team and across the globe, we are the fastest-growing brokerage in India and Mexico.”
Gesing touched upon eXp’s value proposition, which called the three 3 C’s: Cloud, Compensation and Community (See graphic above.)
“eXp World is filled with many languages and agents and staff from different time zones, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities. And these differences among us are embraced and we recognize the strength and energy that comes from harnessing rich diversity like that.”
Gesing also talked about the importance of eXp’s use of NPS data (Net Promoter Score), the bravery of launching into other countries in the face of a pandemic without ever getting on a plane, how eXp’s model translated into commercial business, how independent brokerages are moving to eXp in droves, the relaunch of the Agent Advisory Council (AAC) and the launch of REO and RELO businesses.
U.S. Presidents Stacey Onnen and Dave Conord Reflect on Year
U.S. President of Brokerage Operations, Stacey Onnen introduced a few initiatives her team is heading up, including the REO and RELO businesses, in which 1,800 agents have already completed the REO Certification program. She is also proud of the Transaction Coordinator program, which will help take agent’s minds off this part of business so they can continue to work leads.
U.S. President of U.S. Growth, Dave Conord said “agents vote with their feet” and said his team worked to nearly double the number of agents joining since this same time last year. “We will never be focused on body count, but way more important is that our volume is up, our units are up. We are bringing in producing agents. We are focused on helping agents succeed.”
eXp President of Global, Michael Valdes: ‘eXp is Unstoppable’
Michael Valdes said last year’s Shareholder Summit was his eighth day with eXp. He talked about his vision for eXp Global. “Once I understood what eXp was — what this model was – I knew it was unstoppable around the globe and we’ve proven that.”
He highlighted the day’s news of eXp Spain launching and three new countries coming in Q3 of 2021 including Panama, Japan and Germany.
eXp Commercial Platform Growing
James Huang, President eXp Commercial, and Stephanie Gilezan, Director of eXp Commercial Brokerage Operations, reviewed the amazing growth of this segment of eXp’s business and the synergy between eXp Realty and eXp Commercial.
“eXp is setting the new standard when it comes to commercial real estate, training and technology,” said Gilezan.
Glenn Sanford Interviews 10X Guru Grant Cardone During Midday Keynote
eXp World Holdings Founder and CEO Glenn Sanford interviewed international speaker, entrepreneur and author of “The 10X Rule,” Grant Cardone during the midday keynote. Cardone is the chief executive officer of Grant Cardone Enterprises and Cardone Capital and the creator of 21 bestselling business programs. Many know him as a star on Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire” reality show.
It was a freeform talk starting with Cardone’s background and upbringing. Some takeaways:
- On who he studied for self-improvement: “William Clement Stone – one of the first founders for self-improvement, for inspiration.”
- On self-improvement: “Self-improvement is essentially education outside of school.”
- On how he became the top salesperson in the automotive industry: “Look – I’m transparent. I’m doing the opposite of what they teach.”
- On what his dad taught him: “Your name is your most important thing. My goal is to make as many people as possible know my name and make sure I don’t ruin it.”
- On how he came to eXp: “You learn a lot of industries and giants within those industries. When I heard about eXp and started researching it, I started learning about the business model. And when I met you (Glenn Sanford), I thought this guy lines up. I bought a million dollars worth of eXp stock last week at $28.”
- On how he balances life: “You know (rock group) Sly and the Family Stone? It’s a family affair. I created a life where every time we improve our business, we help our family and vice versa. Once I take care of myself, I can take care of other people.”
- On the unique nature of eXp: “eXp is constraint-free. You threw the constraints out.”
- On his overall success: “I am where I am because I studied the top 1 of 1%.”
eXp General Counsel Jim Bramble Conducts Shareholder Business
Jim Bramble, General Counsel, eXp World Holdings, oversaw the Shareholder session in which several items were voted on, including:
- Election of seven directors for one-year term
- Ratification of independent auditors
- Approval of 2020 named executive officer compensation
- Approval of Charter amendment, increasing authorized shares of common stock.
All items were approved.
CFO Jeff Whiteside Presents Record Results and Growth
Next up, eXp World Holdings CFO and Chief Collaboration Officer Jeff Whiteside reviewed a year of record financial results and growth for eXp World Holdings for 2020 amid a global pandemic. Some highlights from 2020 include:
- Year-end NPS of 74, compared to 64 in 2019.
- Revenue increased 83% YOY due to continued agent growth (+63% vs. previous year) and increased agent productivity (+13% vs. previous year.)
- Net income $31M vs. $10M loss in 2019.
- Cash flow is +$99M resulting in $100M cash balance after $29.4M stock buyback.
- 15,890 net increase in agents over the previous year to a total of 41,313 agents.
- Virbela external revenue increased 286% vs. previous year.
- Purchased Showcase IDX and SUCCESS Enterprises.
- Opened eXp Realty in 5 additional countries: South Africa, India, Mexico, Portugal and France.
Whiteside concluded by saying, “We feel great where we are right now and where we’re going. We have a long runway of growth ahead.”
Scott Lockhart Says eXp ‘Exceeded His Expectations’
Scott Lockhart, CEO of Showcase IDX, talked of Aug. 1, 2020, which was the date eXp purchased Showcase, a search technology company. He called it a bright spot in a very rocky year.
“Acquisitions can go in a lot of different ways and often not in the way you hope. I just want to say it has gone way better than I would have ever expected. Delighted and surprised that expectations have been exceeded, which is a testament to the culture here at eXp.”
“We’re here to do really big things to build a platform that is really truly valuable for agents and consumers.”
Virbela’s Growth Goes Global
Virbela Co-founder and President Alex Howland said he started working with eXp in 2016 with just 900 agents.
“It’s been an incredible journey.”
He offered some company highlights:
- Grew Virbela’s monthly recurring revenue by 15x
- Experienced 45x growth in new users and over 50x growth in international users
- Expanded Virbela team from 20 to 170+ employees
- Added over 300 new customers.
Big Things Coming for SUCCESS Piece of eXp Pie
eXp World Holdings acquired SUCCESS Enterprises in 2020 and Ted Laatz, COO of SUCCESS, gave an overview of the big ideas that are coming:
- SUCCESS Space – Called a co-working and coaching space, it’s a real-life cafe, which encourages a community of success-driven individuals to work in a shared office space. It’s an opportunity to network with others, but also to own and manage a hang-out for creative professionals to work and learn individually or collaboratively.
- SUCCESS Coaching – To build on SUCCESS’ history of personal development offerings, it is launching three SUCCESS coaching programs: group coaching, 1:1 coaching and a certification program that will also offer three levels of coaching: Group Coaching, Elite Coaching and Pinnacle Coaching.
Swan Sit Gave Afternoon Keynote With eXp CFO Jeff Whiteside
The afternoon keynote was given by Swan Sit, whose impressive resume includes stints with Revlon, Estée Lauder and Nike. She is one of Brand Innovators’ 40 under 40 and Marketing Women to Watch. She serves as Independent Board Director for two publicly traded companies and operating partners at AF Ventures and their newly launched SPAC (AFAQ).
Her talk ranged from how she navigated her career from traditional marketing to digital and what she sees as emerging trends. Here are some takeaways:
- “Social media started as a place to connect with family and friends and then businesses joined in. Most effective thing is to tell authentic stories that consumers can relate to. It’s about authenticity.”
- “Anything you’re doing with a customer is a big life moment. First house, moving into a bigger house with a baby, or retirement. These are all moments in between relationships and community. How are you facilitating these things? We are tribal and like a community.”
- “Voices are inherently intimate. There is something intimate about speaking with someone. Voice-only mediums. Podcasts. When I joke on Clubhouse, I’m in my bathrobe.”
- “Clubhouse is about conversations and discovery, but it’s the serendipity of people walking in and out of rooms and chatting. It can be hundreds of rooms with topics ranging from cryptocurrency, hobbyists doing model airplanes, core strength conditioning or what’s happening in Israel.”
- “Use the rule of 3 to define your brand. Our brains are simple and three seem attainable. Pick three qualities that are descriptive of yourself or your business. Or ask someone who is familiar with you.”
EXPO Hall Open Each Day
In the afternoon, the EXPO Hall was open for two hours and provided a chance to learn more about eXp’s sponsors, eXp Partners, ONE eXp, SUCCESS Enterprises, eXp Realty’s Agent Advisory Council, I Heart eXp, eXtend a Hand and more!
DJ Jazzy Jeff Concluded the Day Spinning at the Speakeasy
After a packed first day of Shareholders, the fabulous DJ Jazzy Jeff entertained everyone by spinning at the Speakeasy. Participants took advantage of dance styles such as hip-hop, the twist, Gangnam style and much more. Yes – an avatar can do more than you know!
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