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eXp’s Glenn Sanford on His Virtual Brokerage’s Explosive Growth Story

Glen Sanford (Photo courtesy of eXp Realty)

Glenn Sanford has built billions of dollars in housing brokerage with his own unrestrained image.

Former top producer of Keller Williams, Sanford was founded eXp Realty With the ambition to build the first fully virtualized broker in 2009. A few years later, he formed an army of agents across the United States at 43 feet of Winnebago, selling them on a technology promise and motivating others to take him to his peers. ..

eXp exists only in the cloud, and agents use avatars to interact in a Sims-like world. While other companies are still developing end-to-end platforms, eXp already offers a full set of digital tools for listing, marketing and selling homes.

The pandemic has supercharged one of the most explosive growth stories in housing brokerage. In 2020, eXp will grow to 50,000 agents, Created a record $ 31 million With profit. EXp World Holdings, which owns a brokerage firm and VR platform Virbela, is a three-time college dropout on Forbes’ billionaire list, with its share price skyrocketing nine-fold over the past year to a market capitalization of $ 5.4 billion. Landed Sanford.

According to critics, eXp attracts agents with a revenue-sharing program that has high commission splits and prioritizes hiring new agents over selling real estate. But Sanford argues that his model is the fairest way to grow a business. “One of the most democratic ways to share income and equity,” he said, “by sharing it with the people in the field who actually work.”

birth: October 15, 1966
alive: Pacific Northwest
Birthplace: Alberta, Canada; Oklahoma City
family: In relation to Debbie Biery; divorced two daughters (25 and 27 years old)

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Alberta and moved to British Columbia at the age of three. We lived there until we were thirteen. My father and uncle sold the grain manufacturing industry to Kellogg in 1978. My dad was investing in the oil and gas business, so it was a good idea to move to Oklahoma. We first moved to Oklahoma City, then about 45 minutes outside the city to a dirt road community at least two miles away from the paved road in any direction.

How did you feel when you were a kid?

I’ve moved so much that I can’t say I had a really deep friendship. But I really enjoyed computers, chess, long distance running and more. At one level, I wasn’t very interested in people’s ideas, so I think I was able to become a better entrepreneur over time … I’m more creative to meet my needs and try things out. I was able to tackle the entrepreneurial spirit with a tendency.

Since you were 15 years old, you’ve seen newspaper clips and developed accounting software for local businesses. What was the source of your interest in technology?

I realized that repetition can be done on a computer, not on a person. It was something that stuck to me — I realized that a personal computer could be used. I used the keyboard a little while I was in college. It’s long ago that I was able to attend Apple user group meetings and meet different computer enthusiasts and trading software from different disciplines.

You have not graduated from school.

I was in and out of college, but I didn’t get stuck. But I went three times. I didn’t think much about all the other courses like geography, American history, and psychology … I went out almost first. The second time, I was distracted because I was starting a new business, such as becoming a stock broker. I think I’ve run out of money and I’m back with my parents. The third time I didn’t want to spend the rest of my degree.

What was your first job?

I had a mandatory paper route when I was 11 or 12 years old. At the age of 15, I was working in software development. In the summer of graduating from high school, I did landscaping. I worked for many Taco Bells. When I was in the first year of college, I was selling cars. When I dropped out for the first time, I visited and sold a Kirby vacuum cleaner. I clenched my teeth there for sale.Eventually i [was] Top salesmen until I realize I’m selling them for about $ 1,000 and my boss is buying them for $ 200. I couldn’t sell another Kirby vacuum cleaner because it suddenly lost its value.

How did you start real estate?

When I started my business in 2002, I was in debt $ 40,000 more than before I started my previous startup. I ended up working for a local realtor on his website. He thought I should be a real estate agent. I said. “Okay, but I’m not going to ask my friends or family to buy real estate. I’m going to build this online and get the lead working.” I did it amazingly well. In 2004, I went to Keller Williams and stayed there for three years. Generating leads, and helping agents convert those leads into closed transactions, was a sweet spot for me.

What happened when the financial crisis struck?

In 2007, we decided to break away from Keller Williams and start our own mediation. By late 2008, we had to hurry to remove some offices just to be floating. We collected a little money and went back to the drawing board. The high-speed Internet has come to be recognized as quite ubiquitous. [we said], “Why don’t you start real estate brokerage like many industry experts and futurists are talking about?”

2015 you Driven Winnebego in 26 states Sell ​​eXp to agents in 10 months.

I’m all about scientific experiments. In 2009, the question was, “How can I build a real estate agent without using physical bricks or mortar?” But that was really a timing issue. The debt of our house was imminent. I flew 56 times in 2014. So, “Take a house and take a look at the countryside. Meet some of our agents.” We also offer a 100% virtually operated company and actually I thought it would be a good story to be able to do it without going to the actual office.

Where do you live now?

There is a condo [in Blaine, Washington] And the boat I’m sitting on. At the end of this year, we were actually in RV, so we have a pretty mobile lifestyle. I attend meetings all day in the virtual office and do it from the boat.

You published eXp in 2013, long before the current SPAC epidemic, through a reverse merger with a Canadian Penny stock company.

In 1988 or 1989, my dad helped about 10 or 12 companies go public through a reverse merger. I sometimes helped with investor public relations and did other work behind the scenes.

I always wanted the agent to be a shareholder of eXp. At that time, there was a serious limitation on your ability to actually have shareholders who were not certified as part of your company. For quite some time, some people wanted to do a “shell deal.” He and I said together, “Hey, this makes a lot of sense. Let’s see if we can do this, because it’s settled to help agents become shareholders. . ”

eXp has a revenue sharing program for agents based on their ability to recruit others. Critics call it a murine lecture.

Many people do not like another way to handle rewards because they compete with traditional business approaches. Historically, corporate wealth has been limited to a small number of large elite shareholders. When you look at some of the fastest growing companies, they have invaded those industries with network marketing compensation plans.

What do you think of the current SPAC frenzy?

Publishing is a really interesting approach. [with] The IPO process really needs to do an inside track with the right investment bank and everything needs to be very well placed. The amount of brain damage it takes to go through that cycle doesn’t make as much sense as if you had a company with $ 200 million or $ 500 million in capital looking for a project.

I don’t think [though] SPAC can be a viable tool in the long run. Because the quality of investment deteriorates, and as a result, profits really start to hurt shareholders.

You debuted at Forbes Millionaire List this month. What does success mean to you?

It wasn’t really about wealth. I have some toys that I would probably have no matter what. I always want to work on something that is interesting to me. I didn’t expect to be a millionaire even far away. It wasn’t on my bucket list. It’s about having the freedom to do what I want when I want to. I think eXp has created more millionaires in the residential real estate industry than any other real estate agent, at least in paper. I consider it a measure of success.

You described eXp as an intermediary for “bread and butter”. The average price is $ 350,000. But it is part of the market most threatened by technology and iBuyers. Are you worried that your agent may go the way of a travel agency?

not yet. iBuyers has not yet seen a market downturn.I saw this a little last year [at the height of the pandemic] When iBuyers basically stopped buying a house. Nevertheless, the agent continued to list and sell homes and did the work necessary to keep the home market running.

Many brokerage firms claim to be technology compliant. Is their technology really that much? Where does eXp fall?

I think eXp is a hybrid. This is a real estate agent with specific technical assistance functions. Instead of going to many agents and saying, “There are a lot of really cool technology tools that can help you do more business,” we’re actually using technology to mediate in-store. Is to stop. After all, agents have a hard time measuring whether they have taken one additional transaction from their technology stack. And that’s where I scratch my head. “It sounds more like smoke and a mirror than real technology.”

Has eXp finally beat skeptics against brokerage firms that use cloud-based avatars?

I don’t think the skeptical avatar part is completely gone. But the idea of ​​a cloud-based brokerage firm is now recognized as a truly legitimate business at that time. We were simply the pioneers of that model. After going out for another 10 years, about 20-25% of agents will be connected to a brand or brokerage firm whose actual office is not even in its current state.

Who do you think is your biggest mentor?

My dad was certainly my biggest mentor early on. I realized that this “business” offers a lifestyle that is a little different from traditional work. When I was young, we lived in a single-wide manufactured house and parked in a trailer park in Abbotsford, British Columbia. So I always thought it was more dangerous to get a job than to start a business.

What is your hobby?

I run 15 to 30 miles every week. And I’ve been enjoying boat ownership since 2017. I have been playing judo since I was 17 years old. I like to coach as little as possible. I’m introverted in nature, so I love taking long walks through the woods.

Do you have any advice on where you live?

The purpose of the business is to meet the needs of the owner.If more broker owners really designed their By doing business that meets your human needs, you can gain even more of these benefits so that you have the freedom and flexibility to live.

And the other is my favorite Zig Ziglar word. “If you help others get what they want, you can get whatever you want in your life.”

eXp’s Glenn Sanford on His Virtual Brokerage’s Explosive Growth Story Source link eXp’s Glenn Sanford on His Virtual Brokerage’s Explosive Growth Story

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