eXp takes an agent-centric approach in a tough market

The goal is to leverage its scale and become the No. 1 worldwide real estate brokerage and brand, CEO Glenn Sanford said

With mortgage rates back on the rise, inventory back down in many metropolitan areas and transaction volume continuing to decline, agents and brokerages are looking to differentiate themselves. Over at eXp, founder and CEO Glenn Sanford says this means becoming more agent-centric.

“To drive the next phase of eXp’s growth, we’re actually really, and one of the reasons why I came back as CEO of eXp Realty was to really continue our focus on the agent-centric nature of the real estate brokerage, leveraging our scale with the ultimate goal being the No. 1 worldwide real estate brokerage and brand, and we’ve done a great job so far,” Sanford told investors and analysts listening to the firm’s fourth quarter earnings call Tuesday evening.

In 2022, an agent-centric approach by eXp World Holdings, the parent company of eXp Realty, led the firm to a 22% year-over-year uptick in revenue to $4.6 billion, a 15% yearly increase in closed transactions to 511,859 sides, and a net income of $15.42 million.

Out of the three statistics, eXp’s net income was the only one to fall year over year, dropping from $81.16 million in 2021.

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that eXp’s strong full-year financial results came despite revenue dropping from $1.076 billion in Q4 2021 to $933 million in Q4 2022. In addition, the number of closed transactions fell 13% year over year to 109,168, and the firm recorded a net loss of $7.2 million compared to a net income of $15.46 million.

While eXp expanded into six new international markets in 2022, including the Dominican Republic, Greece, New Zealand, Chile and Poland, executives said the North American Realty segment, which produced $4.552 billion in revenue in 2022, is the firm’s overall primary driver of revenue.

“We’re very, very fortunate in our business to have the North American business really driving growth and profitability. That allows us to invest not only in North America, but international, and in our technologies,” Jeff Whiteside, the firm’s CFO, said.

While eXp is known as one of the most tech-focused brokerages due to its cloudbased structure, Sanford said the firm is continuing to invest in its virtual reality structures.

Virbela, one thing we continue to do is invest there, because that’s the single-enabling technology that’s allowed us to grow, and in fact you’re here in one of the many Virbela campuses that we maintain for various purposes for the shareholder meeting today,” Sanford said. “And we continue to invest in another Metaverse platform, Frame VR, which is a web-based Metaverse which is super accessible from desktop, mobile, Oculus headsets, etc.”