An all-consuming laser light show and an equally electrifying drum group brought the energy and a futuristic feel as the first EXPCON 2023 general session opened on Tuesday in Las Vegas and was filled with announcements that will keep eXp Realty’s fast-paced growth on track.
Glenn Sanford, Founder, CEO and Chairman of eXp World Holdings, opened the conference and thanked those who made the commitment to attend the 10th EXPCON.
“There is so much power in getting together like this and with like-minded people to network, and share knowledge and tools.”
He said eXp continues to see huge growth, topping 89K agents last week as eXp approaches its 14th anniversary as a company.
“The most productive agents in the world are choosing eXp. Instead of a business that owns you, it’s a business you own. Let’s face it – nobody quits real estate – they just die. There’s no retirement plan. At eXp, the idea is multiple streams of income.
“We were the first to provide equity, the first to offer stock. We continue to iterate on our value proposition and do what’s right for our agents. Our model is a promise to our agents that you can build exceptional business and leave a legacy.”
Glenn announced that eXp hired longtime real estate professional Bryon Ellington as Chief Learning Officer and brought him on stage.
Bryon said, “I have two commitments: I don’t care if you’re a new agent or big agent or team leader, eXp will have the best training and coaching to exceed your goals – whether in your local market or entire industry. Let’s go!”
Big Welcome Extended to the Bean Group
Glenn was joined on stage by Chief Industry Relations Officer, Jason Gesing and Chief Growth Officer Michael Valdes in welcoming the Bean Group from New England, introducing Michael Bean, CEO of Bean Group and Kelly Bower, Director of Sales.
The Bean Group, one of New England’s largest brokerages with sales volume exceeding $1.5 billion, is the first brokerage to join eXp Realty through its Boost program, which is designed to financially incentivize qualifying independent teams and brokerages to join eXp Realty.
Michael Bean said, “Joining eXp now allows us to refocus on our team and offer value to our agents. More lead generation, more marketing, more coaching and more everything.”
Kelly Bower, Director of Sales at Bean Group, said eXp’s access to a global network, luxury program, the ICON program, additional earning potential and agent equity are key reasons to move to eXp.
‘Welcome to Vegas’ Panel Paints a Bright Picture of the City
Carolyn Merchant, Chief Marketing Officer of eXp Realty, moderated a panel discussion with Las Vegas-based eXp agents Sam Curby, Katie Gillespie, Pamela Junge and Aaron Taylor.
They all presented a very positive, forward-looking city filled with innovation and benefits.
Aaron talked about the allure of Vegas, that has a population of 3 million people, a household income of $100K, and a median sales price of $450K. “It’s a great state for seniors, especially because it’s in one of nine states with no state income tax!”
Sam Curby focused on the major league teams in the city that continue to bring in revenue, including the Las Vegas Aces (WNBA), Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) and the Raiders (NHL). Plus, he mentioned two big events Vegas is hosting: the Formula 1 in November and the Super Bowl in February. “Vegas just does everything right.”
Pamela Junge, an eXp Commercial broker, said “We take big gambles here” and spoke about the planned bullet train – a 100% electric train – that will connect Vegas to LA; the Vegas Loop, which is an underground autonomous transportation system that will grow to over 68 miles; the airport expansion; and the first high school trade school dedicated to construction. “We are business-friendly. Keep bringing California money coming here!”
Listing Presentation Kit for Agents Announced
CMO Carolyn Merchant announced the launch of the Listing Presentation Kit — a package that eXp Realty agents can use to present a property’s marketing strategy to clients. Alternatively, the Active Listing Kit can be utilized to market a property. (Read the press release here.)
Leo Pareja and Michael Valdes Give the State of the Market and eXp Realty
Leo Pareja and Michael Valdes delivered a “State of the Market and eXp Realty” segment, which addressed the existing housing market and what’s to come in 2024.
They gave insight into what they predict the future will hold, which is hamstrung by high mortgage rates and those holding onto their low rates, which have resulted in low inventory and a slowdown in home sales.
Michael said, “Consumer spending is outpacing consumers’ confidence. Normally those go hand in hand. But since Covid, for the first time ever, they’ve been completely decoupled. Covid destroyed our confidence but not our spending. That’s the canary in the coal mine for economists. Typically that means a recession is coming. Consumer credit card spending has topped $1 trillion dollars for the first time ever.”
Leo added that personal savings are at historic lows. “We’re telling you a story so that we can tell you where to focus your business for the next 12-18 months.”
Some key takeaways:
- Recession is still a very real possibility but will look different than previous recessions
- Mortgage rates will continue to be at a 20-year high.
- Existing home sales are on pace to be lowest since 2009
- Resales will be the lowest
- Price declines on new homes
- Need to focus on the homeowner that NEEDS to sell
- Investors still account for a large percentage of purchases
- Opportunity to move up and list for distressed homeowners who still have equity
“You’re in the right place to build for your future. Our competitors call us the recruiting company but they forget we’re number 1 in transactions across the U.S.”
eXp Exclusives: Attractive for Buyers and Sellers
Leo announced the launch of eXp Exclusives, which will offer pre-market and off-market listings to eXp Realty agents and their clients.
Leo emphasized the importance of rolling out innovative products and services like this to help grow eXp Realty’s agent base.
“Most competitors are franchisees. We have a structural advantage that can’t be replicated. We are the single largest brokerage by agent count by a mile.
“We are the No. 1 company in transactions and agent count in the U.S. and we are just getting warmed up,” he said.
Tarek El Moussa Spoke About What to Focus on in 2024
The always-popular Tarek El Moussa, who is an eXp Realty agent, has flipped 500 properties and sold over 1,000 houses in his career. He is a self-made real estate TV personality known for his popular HGTV flipping shows. He took the stage with a cast on his arm (no explanation) and shared some anecdotes about his transformation into a real estate professional.
He recounted his background in selling Cutco knives before getting into real estate, focusing on flipping houses (“I found out I was good at sales.”) It eventually led Tarek to his aha moment to flip houses on TV.
“Focus on people who need to sell — they have no choice,” he said. “My entire life is dependent on people who need to sell. They are all over out there. They are called ‘expired listings.’ You are never going to convince someone to sell their house if they don’t want to. The biggest opportunity in 2024 and today is expired listings.
“Everything in my life came from prospecting, You have to create your own opportunities. Don’t wait.”
He has a book coming out in February 2023, “Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress—in Real Estate, Business, and Life.” It should be a good one!
‘Gaining Market Share in a Challenged Market’
Next, Leo Pareja returned to the stage to discuss, “Gaining Market Share in a Challenged Market” with eXp Realty agent Eric Gedalje, who shared his challenging story of living alone in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, at the vulnerable age of 16. (Read his story here.)
Eric said his team did 378 transactions on $208 million in sales volume in 2022 and is currently on track to do 420 units for $220 million this year. He is capturing a disproportionate share of the market in a city of only 60,000. Leo asked him how he does it.
“I’m seeing a lot of indie agents drop their lead spend and resources. We haven’t dropped any of what we do — Zillow, cold calls, etc. As a matter of fact, we have 5X our activities. That’s because other agents are dropping out, so we are expanding. In a recessed market, you shouldn’t drop your resources.
“If you’re not working 5X as hard and not protecting your market share, someone else is going to take it from you.”
Real Estate Analyst Mike DelPrete Says eXp’s Model Is Winning
Mike DelPrete, who is one of real estate’s most important voices, took the stage to deliver his keynote. DelPrete has emerged as a respected real estate industry thought leader in recent years, whose evidence-based analysis and data result in highly anticipated insights that dissect real estate trends.
In his keynote, he said, “Disruptors like eXp are thriving over traditional brokerages.”
> Read his keynote here.
Individual Awards Presented to U.S., Canada and International eXp Realty Agents
Glenn Sanford, along with Carolyn Merchant, Michael Valdes, and Leo Pareja, celebrated the outstanding production achievements and contributions of nearly 90 eXp Realty agents in 2022. Individual agents were recognized based on sides, GCI and volume in the U.S., Canada and internationally.
> See the winners here.
Top Producers Spoke About How They Achieve Success
Amy Somerville, CEO of SUCCESS Enterprises, moderated a panel discussion with some of the top award winners, including:
- Mark Buchanan, No. 3 GCI, UK
- Bjorn Kunzel, No. 3 GCI, Global, Australia
- John Scalia U.S. – No. 1 Sides, Volume, GCI
- Rachel Vanderveen – No. 1 Volume, GCI Canada
- Mark Verzyl – No. 1 Sides, Canada
Key insights on their best lead generation strategy:
- John: “I’m old school. No social media. I go to conferences and wait for foreclosures and banks and call institutional buyers and hedge funds and try to get business from them.”
- Rachel: “Know which system suits you. We used to use Google PPC (pay-per-click), but now moving more toward Facebook. Terrifyingly, it’s getting better for us.”
- Mark Buchanan: “Facebook for me. I’ve built my entire business around social media. It allows you to demonstrate you are competent and shows your personality.”
- Mark Verzyl: “If a salesperson is in a sales center and has 25 groups of people coming in and one buys, what are the other 24 doing that didn’t buy? Go after them. This is an absolutely free lead system.”
- Bjorn: “Nothing beats word of mouth. Nothing beats making someone feel like they are the most important person in the world. Stop searching for strangers. Concentrate on the people right in front of you. Forget about the money. Care about them and the business will start flowing in.”
“It’s Time to Release Your Inner Savage”
eXp Realty agent Sherry Hatcher-Swift who is a performance and leadership coach, gave an agent address titled, “It’s Time to Release Your Inner Savage: Balancing the Heart and the Hustle.”
She said if you lead with your heart, it can make you unstoppable.
“I put a wall around my heart to protect my heart from future pain. The walls keep the bad out, but also the good. Where there are walls, there is no transparency. When we are open with our struggles and our moments of doubt, we create trust and invite others in. If they can’t see you, they won’t trust you or follow you.”
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