Christopher Invidiata moving his 30-person team to eXp, reaffirming the eXp model as the ‘Future of Real Estate’
After 35 years building The Invidiata Team with RE/MAX, a powerhouse luxury brand in the greater Toronto area, Christopher Invidiata, founder and principal, is moving his 30-person team to eXp Realty. The news might shock many in the Canadian real estate community, but for Invidiata, it makes total sense.
“People who know me know I don’t move around easily,” said Invidiata. “I’m pretty careful and conservative. They’ll wonder why and I’m happy to share because the reality is, the reasons I have chosen to move to eXp are because the model is bullet-proof. They’re logical, they’re timely. To me, eXp is the future of real estate.”
Contemplating His Own Brokerage, Until Learning About eXp
Invidiata, whose company completed $250 million (CND) in sales volume on 184 transactions in 2019, was on the verge of starting his own brokerage. Invidiata wanted to provide more for his agents — to give them security and stability for their financial future and to build a wealth succession opportunity for his agents’ families. Once Invidiata learned about eXp’s generous commission, revenue share and stock awards platform, he saw that the model he had envisioned already exists. He was all in.
“To give individuals ownership in a company is unheard of. And to take 50% of the top end revenue that we’re earning and give it back to agents, that’s also unheard of. Often in other models profit sharing is from the bottom line, so there’s rarely a profit — it’s always disappointing. When I heard both of those things, the lights went on for me because this is what I’d been thinking about for the past five years,” said Invidiata.
Invidiata also cited eXp’s virtual world and world-class tools as being another reason to join.
“Being a virtual company, completely cloud-based, and no brick and mortar? I thought ‘Wow, how timely is eXp with this pandemic?’ The world has changed now, with more people working from home, this is a fitting opportunity.”
Invidiata’s Background in Fashion a Perfect Fit for a Luxury Brand
Building a luxury real estate brand was a natural segue for Invidiata who is a designer at his core. His early career was in the fashion business, with runways and traveling the world selling high-end women’s and menswear. It was an intoxicating business, and Christopher realized he needed to be closer to home after he missed the first steps his daughter, Shae, had taken. Christopher’s father, a medical doctor, gave him astute advice. He told him, ‘You love people, and you’re really good at selling. So, rather than trying to sell Harry Rosen’s thousand-dollar suits, why not sell million-dollar homes?’”
eXp spoke with Christopher Invidiata to learn more about his brand, what luxury means to him and why he would move after 35 years with RE/MAX.
Q. How do you maintain your Invidiata luxury brand?
“The ethos of what we do is to leave a “hallmark” on people that we serve – when you give love to somebody through your actions and what you say. If you do that authentically, people feel it, they realize it. That’s the goal we are shooting for.”
Q. What would folks in Toronto say about the Invidiata brand?
“Without question, everybody remembers the high-end listings and says, ‘wow.’ The $60 million, $30 million or $20 million (listings) — they remember all of that. But the reality is, over 50% of our business comes from below million-dollar sales. I know that luxury for a lot of people means expensive, but for me, it is just adding a zero to the end of a number, meaning regardless of the price point of your home or the budget you have to spend on a house, we provide the same caliber of service and marketing efforts. We also believe in developing lasting relationships, so we treat people as if they are already future clients of ours. Whether you are buying a $200,000 home or a $7,400,000 home, one day it may be $4 million and then in the next few years it could be $40 million. We honor the opportunity to be on the clients’ journey, or building their life, family, success and wealth.”
Q. What else appealed to you about eXp?
“I just read recently in the (Toronto) Globe and Mail that Shopify is going to close its offices and everyone is just going to work from home. They’re bigger than the Royal Bank of Canada, Canada’s biggest company. And they’re a tech company. I thought to myself, “eXp has mastered that virtual office experience completely. And the other pillar eXp tore down is there are no franchise fees, no brokerage fees. You’re part of a single company, which, again, if you were thinking of GM starting or Henry Ford starting a company, you could buy shares. It’s literally like that. When all of those things lined up, I thought, “This is it. There’s nothing better I can even dream of doing that I could match the business opportunity that I want to create. I’m in.”
Q. eXp isn’t known as a luxury real estate brand, so why would you choose eXp?
“Being a luxury brand as we are, I thought eXp hasn’t (yet) created a luxury brand because they’ve been more agent-centric rather than brand-centric. Agents have been flocking to eXp — which they should — because of these benefits. But, when I heard (President, eXp Global) Michael Valdes, who was the VP for international growth for Sotheby’s, Century 21 and Corcoran heading eXp’s international growth, I thought, ‘Perfect. He’s going to be the guy who’s going to create the luxury brand.’ When I spoke to him about it, he said ‘We’re all in.’ We’re going to be the best luxury brand in the world.’ And I said ‘That’s it, Hallelujah!’ Michael is the guy. He’s the force behind creating the luxury eXp brand.”
Q. What does the eXp brand mean to you?
“eXp offers Realtors the ability to invest in their future and truly create a legacy that can be passed on. No other real estate company has the model that eXp does to provide this opportunity.”
Q. What can eXp provide your team?
“There’s a renewed sense of excitement within the team already. The pure thought that one day in the future when I am ready to retire, or if something impacts my health (knock on wood) and I am not able to work, ‘I will still have a revenue stream that will continue to come in. This is the power of working smarter to have a better life in your future, and it’s now in your hands to do. It’s giving renewed energy to work hard today with a sense of purpose tomorrow.”
Q. How did you initially hear about eXp?
“My consultant — an amazing guy — said, ‘Have you heard about eXp?’ I said ‘No, what is it?’ He said ‘it’s an amazing company that has shares for its agents.’ And I said, “Excuse me? Shares for agents?’ And then it all started.
“We’ve done a thorough investigation (of eXp) I have to say. Because after 35 years of being in one brokerage, you don’t move lightly, you don’t move easily. We needed to do our due diligence. We talked to the president, the founder. We spoke to countless agents in the U.S. and made really good calls in Canada. We did our rounds. We heard the good and the areas needed for improvement. And like any company that is growing, there are going to be growing pains, but those that believe in it, stick with it.”
Q. Do you have any concerns about your brand?
“Not at all. When you look at anything that is a back-office entity like eXp today is, you’re thankful you can have your own identity and you’re thankful that your brand is strong enough that it’s not being overshadowed. To me, I’m very grateful for that because our brand is established within our community where eXp is not known. To be powered by them, to let them harness all of the virtual online services, is a good marriage.”
Q. How will the baton be passed for the future of the Invidiata brand?
“I’m so proud of my two children. Shae and Caleb. We’re on this journey together. That’s another fun part for me to sit back a little bit and let them stand in front and guide us through new technology, new social platforms, new digital advancements and ways to execute our business online. I’d rather be the light behind them, rather than the shadow before them.
“In closing, for those who are hearing about eXp for the first time, my advice is to spend quality time asking the right questions; I would be happy to support that agent during their due diligence period. Once your questions have been answered, I think for most people, the lights will go on and they will want to step into the future of real estate.”
Interested in jump-starting your real estate career? Learn how eXp Realty puts agents first.