Location, location, location. It’s the first rule of real estate. The address of a property almost always influences a sale more than any other factor. A house can have all the bells and whistles a buyer could want, but if it’s too far from work or shares a property line with an unsavory business, location can be a deal-breaker.
Which is one of the reasons why agents are leaving their old brick-and-mortar firms behind and joining eXp Realty, the first cloud-based real estate brokerage. eXp turns any location — from the sidelines of a soccer game to a kitchen table — into an agent’s headquarters and proves that the best location is wherever agents can best serve their clients.
When any location equipped with Wi-Fi can serve as your home office, the benefits quickly stack up. But the benefits extend beyond the convenience of not having a morning commute. When a problem comes up, instead of driving to an office to find the one person on staff who specializes in IT or accounting who may or may not be in the building, eXp agents simply log on to their cloud-based office, take a virtual ticket and promptly receive help from one of the 600 professionals who make up the company’s robust and specialized staff.
This quick response, customer service style is status quo at eXp, led by the experienced leadership duo of President, U.S. Brokerage Operations Stacey Onnen and President, U.S. Growth Dave Conord.
Onnen, who has worked as an agent, brokerage owner and everything in between since her start in 1998, brings a compliance intensive mindset, offering solutions to ongoing problems and supporting staff; while Conord, who began buying brokerage franchises in the early 2000s and had more than 7,000 independent contractor agents working for him before joining eXp, helps drive growth through the onboarding of agents and teams. Together, their blend of strengths, along with the support of hundreds of eXp staff, contributes to what has become eXp’s superpower: a company culture obsessed with agent success.
eXp Strives to Offer a Small Agency Sensibility
In an effort to replicate the pros of a brick-and-mortar office while diminishing the cons, eXp provides personalization and support on a mega-scale while maintaining the small agency feel that many agents enjoy. “We’re working very hard to make sure that we keep that personal feeling while still giving agents all the support they need,” Onnen says.
Sometimes that support means creating on-demand solutions for pain points that agents are experiencing. When the company discovered that it was taking an average of 21 days for an agent to transition from their existing brokerage to eXp, they recognized the need for a dramatic solution. By streamlining their process, they lowered that average from 21 days to three, with some agents onboarding in as few as 27 minutes.
“The entire company is focused on being agent success obsessed,” Conord says. “It drives every decision that we make. It drives our staff and how our teams work, and what their focus is, and how we’re always looking at every little interaction. Every seemingly little work activity has a big impact, so we focus on being absolutely obsessed with helping our agents be successful.”
eXp’s Rapid Growth Is Due to Organic Agent Success
Without a staff of salespeople, all of the rapid growth the company has experienced is an organic result of word-of-mouth marketing from satisfied and successful agents. The foot traffic from traditional brokerages to eXp’s virtual doorstep has been heavy as agents gravitate to the cloud office environment, partnership and resources the company provides.
More than that, the cooperative environment, where agents help each other build businesses and become shareholders in the company’s success, has attracted new and seasoned agents alike. “At other brokerages, you feel like you’re competing against the agents next to you,” Onnen says. “Here, if one does better, we all do better.”
This “one team” mentality combined with the convenience factor of a virtual office equates to more thorough and plentiful resources. With access to more talent, information, and tools, all while under the umbrella of one platform instead of localized groups, agents can stay focused on their clients and enhance their growth knowing that every eXp agent has a vested interest in the success of the agents around them.
No more dues across multiple offices or building teams within separate franchises; eXp agents network and virtually meet with successful agents from across the country. Agents in Texas or Nevada can learn about the different marketing techniques and client service options that are driving growth in markets on the East Coast and vice versa.
It’s an edge that locally based franchises simply can’t access. And since eXp agents do it while functioning as one company, rather than fractured regional offices and segmented territories, sharing advice comes naturally. “The agents at eXp — because we’re all shareholders — everybody comes to the table with a very giving and open attitude,” Onnen says. “There’s never a scarcity mindset.”
Everyone Benefits From eXp’s Team Player Mindset
Agents aren’t the only ones benefiting from eXp’s business model. Brokers, whose role focuses on resolving conflicts within contracts, managing compliance and training agents, find a deeper well of knowledge and support to draw from through the company’s team player mindset. The phrase “I’ve never seen this before” is rarely spoken at eXp because, with more than 120 people on the broker team, there’s usually someone else who has navigated the situation before, whether it’s a confusing contract negotiation or complicated compliance issue.
This infrastructure creates a type of real estate crowdsourcing, with all of the answers coming from trustworthy and experienced professionals who have the other person’s best interest in mind. It’s an overarching theme of the system that eXp has endeavored to create.
There are no clear lines dividing each group or department, and the expertise of each professional is fluidly intertwined with the other, meaning the sales and operations department works together with the brokerage team, who teams up with compliance and payment processing. The system is at its best when a new individual comes on board, and each department has a hand in the assimilation process.
Together, these separate groups function as one organism, making sure the new agent is encircled by the experience, learning opportunities, mentors and resources they need. It’s a comprehensive overlapping process that requires an incredible amount of communication and a working environment that insists on collaboration.
eXp Agents Are Valued Above All Else
With all of these moving parts, it can be difficult to keep tabs on what’s working and what’s slowing the system down or cutting into a new agent’s opportunity to thrive, so the company monitors the pulse of their system through Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This number provides a grade for how agents feel about the company, what’s going well and where changes need to be made.
“We read every single ounce of feedback that comes through and then just continually make course corrections until we feel strongly that there is a really good process from start to finish.”– Stacey Onnen, President, U.S. Brokerage Operations
This relentless attention to detail has been one of the keys to growing eXp into the real estate giant it is today. The impressive numbers — like the more than $17 billion in real estate sales the company accomplished in 2018 — attracts a lot of attention, but it’s the individualized agent successes that feeds the obsession.
“Every day I hear another great story about a staff member who stayed late to get something done for an agent or went out of their way to really make sure an agent was taken care of,” Conord says. “Our goal is to take care of our agents at the highest level possible.”
Editor’s note: This has been reprinted from “Excellence” magazine, which was published in October 2019 and distributed to attendees at EXPCON in Las Vegas. To get your own personal copy, you can order it via the eXp store.
Learn more about how eXp is transforming the real estate experience.