Why I Left my Brokerage and Joined eXp Realty
Why I Left my Brokerage and Joined eXp Realty
I grew up in real estate offices. On days off from school back in the 1980s I would go with my mom and pretend I was an agent. Back in those days they had a listing book that looked like a thousand pages and it had all of the local houses for sale. i think they published it every few weeks and it seemed like if you had it you had all of the power. Consumers had no real idea what was on the market except for what they found in the newspaper, a for sale sign in their neighbor's lawn, or by visiting an agent at the office.
Just think about that for a moment...
So back in the 80's I would go to the office with my mom and pretend I was selling houses while she met with clients and sifted through that book.
Fast forward 30 years and I find myself at a crossroads in my career. Since graduating college I had been an assistant hockey director at the local rink and spent my days coaching, fielding registration calls, maintaining a website, and a myriad of other tasks. It was a great place to work with a supportive management and I enjoyed my 15 years there. But by the time my daughter was born in 2011 I knew I needed something new, a new challenge, and new career path. I had looked into teaching for a while since it seemed like a logical extension from coaching but that never worked out. Where could I go that first I was qualified to do the job and second I could actually get the job?
My Start in Real Estate
That is where my career in real estate began...from a need to do something new and a willingness to take a chance. So here I am taking classes and beginning my career in real estate and taking a huge risk with a new daughter, a wife, and a mortgage. My mom was working at RE/MAX and had been for 15 years so it was the logical place to start. It was the perfect setup to be honest. I had a 35 year real estate veteran who was going to show me the ropes and teach me how to sell houses and attract clients. And if you can't trust your mom to be your mentor well who can you trust?!
For about 6 years I built a business along with my mom here in Bergen County. My business has always been strongly based on referrals from family, friends, and old colleagues from hockey. I also built a strong presence on the web through our website www.GibbonsTeam.net and social media. I learned how to find leads through Facebook advertising which has also brought in new business to the team and expanded our presence. With a marketing degree from the University of Scranton marketing myself and the team is something I had been trained well to do. One of the best things I did to gain awareness for myself and the Gibbons Team brand was video. I have always been interested in video and started a Youtube channel around 2012 with basic real estate informational videos. Over time I have grown that to a more polished version with the Bergen County Real Estate Show that focuses on topics for sellers and buyers around our area. It is building a solid following and will continue to grow and evolve over time.
So this all brings us to early 2018 when I started hearing about this "new" brokerage. I have cultivated relationships with agents throughout the country through coaching, seminars, and through RE/MAX so I have a ton of real estate friends on Facebook. One day I am flipping through Facebook and see Kyle Whissel in san Diego making announcements that he is moving his independent brokerage to eXp Realty. While at it he was doing this with 2 other top teams out of his area. I will be honest it was interesting but I didn't pay too much notice. I kept seeing him and the other agents posting about this great opportunity and again I watched but didn't act.
See I never realistically thought we would ever leave RE/MAX. My mom is in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, which I had aspirations of joining in the next few years, we had a great office with some of the most productive agents in the business and we were happy. RE/MAX is the number 1 company in our county and in New Jersey so why in the world would you leave? That is what I thought and believed...we would never leave.
Learning about the Opportunity
So like I said I have hundreds of agents across the country with whom I am friends on Facebook and I started noticing that a lot of them were moving. I kept seeing Facebook Live streams of agents smiling announcing that they were joining eXp. Some of them are single agents, some had teams, and some had brokerages and they were picking up and moving to this company I hadn't even heard of but a few months earlier. It wasn't until I saw a Live announcement for Matt Curcio from RE/MAX in Southern NJ that I really felt I needed to take a deeper look.
Matt and I had met at a video shoot for RE/MAX of NJ a few years earlier that went into why we loved working at the company. So when I see Matt who was this big RE/MAX guy discussing this opportunity with Jay Kinder and Albie Stasek I have to take a step back and think for a minute. For me this was the pivotal moment when I realized that this was a company I needed to look into and had to understand what it was all about. So that is what i did. I reached out to Matt and asked him about his experience and why he made the move.
So now my head is spinning a bit about the opportunity of a lifetime but also of leaving the only company I had worked for. Oh and I had a business partner/mom who I was convinced would never leave! So one day after visiting houses on broker tour I said to my mom "Have you ever heard of eXp? I have been looking into and it looks interesting." This started a weekslong dialogue about eXp Realty and what it meant for us. We independently did our research and independently decided that we absolutely had to do this.
Deciding to Make the Move
So how did we come to this conclusion? The simple answer is that everything about the company makes sense and the model was perfect for both of us even though we are on opposite ends of our career path. One of the big things that helped us become educated on the company was watching a webinar held by Jay Kinder who is a mega agent based out of Oklahoma and was once the number 2 agent with Coldwell Banker. The webinar went through the basics and history of the company, explained the fees, covered revenue share and stock awards, and just about everything else you need to know about eXp Realty. But even with that we had questions and concerns so we scheduled a call with Jay and Matt and they helped through our issues.
So even with all of this information and both of us knowing that this was an opportunity we could not pass up we still had trepidations. We had to cut ties with a great office, leave a company we had been with for 27 years combined, and one of the biggest issues was leaving behind a brick and mortar company and work out of a cloud office. This one was the hardest for my mom to get over but eventually the model overcame the issue. For me there are three main components to why I left: technology, training, and income and I will explain to you why.
I am a self proclaimed technology nerd. I love my iPhone, iPad, building websites, tinkering on social media, new gadgets, etc. So technology in a company is something important to me. When I first started in real estate I would travel with vast amounts of paper from listing sheets to contracts to marketing items. I slowly moved to the iPad for listing info, created contracts online, and emailed my marketing materials so my paper trail has gotten smaller. In looking at eXp I realized that much of the technology I was paying for and some that I wanted but couldn't afford was offered for a minimal tech fee. I could get KV Core, Skyslope, G Suite, and more and pay much less than I was before. I would also get Facebook workplace which is basically an eXp version of Facebook where 12,000+ agents collaborate and share ideas. Previously I had to join numerous Facebook groups to get the wisdom and sharing I now got in one place.
This one I honestly didn't really understand until I actually joined eXp Realty but had known enough about before I moved. Training at eXp Realty is done in eXp World which is a virtual world that houses offices, auditoriums, classrooms, a soccer field, and a pirate ship...yes I said pirate ship. It may sound crazy at first but in reality it is an amazing place. Just yesterday I sat front row in an auditorium listening to company founder Glenn Sanford do a Q and A with mega agent Brent Gove discussing the state of the company. We had the opportunity to ask questions in real time and learn about what is to come and how we got here. Just that alone is an experience I never thought I would have previously.
eXp Realty offers hours and hours of live training every week including technology training (learn how to use Skyslope, KV Core, etc), how to farm for listings, building a business, and many other timely and relatable topics. Again these trainings happen every week and you have the opportunity to interact, ask questions via chat box or you can turn on your mic and simple use your voice and ask. I have found at least one training a week that I have attended and found value in so it is not just for the beginner agent. And the great part is you can attend from anywhere! Even on the couch in your pajamas:)
In addition to the training I receive from the company I am a part of a revenue share group that has some of the top agents in the country who routinely do live trainings, masterminds, and are always available to answer questions to help build our business. I can honestly say that I have never come across a group so dedicated to help each other succeed.
Income may not be a topic everyone wants to discuss but when it comes to your career and building a business it needs to be a consideration. I have looked into other models: high split, low split, profit share, and 100% and never saw one outside of RE/MAX that made sense to me. They all gave way too much to the company either through commission or fees. eXp Realty is different and revolutionary in 2 ways: revenue share and stock ownership.
First and foremost is revenue share as it is off the top not after all bills are paid. It is predictable and transparent which makes it something you can build and rely on. Simply put as you bring agents into the company and they produce you get paid a portion of the money they pay to the company.
For us this was a way to build passive income as well as create an exit strategy. See with most companies the only money you make is from your commission check unless you buy a brokerage. With eXp Realty we can build revenue share that will stay with us as long as we are an agent and with the company. Again this is not profit share where you might be lucky to get a few hundred dollars a month. This is revenue share off the top and can be an incredible way to increase your income.
Stock and Agent Ownership
The second part of the income equation was stock and with a growing company that was just listed on Nasdaq with a $1 billion market cap that can be a tremendous growth builder. When you hit certain benchmarks within eXp Realty you are awarded stock in the company making you an owner! You also have the option to buy stock at a discount through your commission check which for me is a form of forced savings.
When you add revenue share, stock awards, technology, training, and everything else that eXp Realty offers it simply became a no brainer for us. This is the model and the platform of the future and time will show this to be true. Over the past month we have been extremely happy with our decision and are excited for what the future holds for the Gibbons Team. If you have any questions about our journey, real estate, or what eXp Realty can do for you please reach out to one of us. We are always happy to chat.
If you would like to see the webinar that educated us on the company and frankly kept us up at night thinking about eXp visit: http://gibbonsteam.net/what-is-exp/ and we will send you a link to check it out.
- Sharon - River Edge
- Navisha - River Edge
- Zena - Dumont
- Rich - Wyckoff