eXp’s Glenn Sanford on his ‘aha’ moment building the firm

Glenn Sanford and eXp Realty were named 2022 GameChangers for growing 1,342% by transaction sides percentage from 2017-2021.

Every year, RealTrends chooses GameChangers based on five-year, transaction side percentage data from the RealTrends 500. This year, we chose seven independent brokerage firms and 10 franchises who grew their businesses at astronomical rates.

In analyzing this list of top-growth brokerages, these GameChangers grew their brokers in multiple different ways. From mergers and acquisitions to recruiting and coaching and retention.

This is the second year in a row that eXp Realty and Sanford were named GameChangers.

RealTrends spoke with Sanford, whose firm grew 1,342% by transaction side percentage between 2017 and 2021 based on RealTrends 500 data (which only includes residential sales), about his firm:

Tracey Velt: What was your biggest aha moment or lesson learned while building your firm?

Glenn Sanford: My biggest “aha” was that, in order to achieve success — especially with a model so radically different than the standard models in real estate — was to stand my ground defending the base tenants of the model.

It was clear to me that the model that would resonate with agents having been one and having run a team at a very high level. However, since no one else had built the model like we did, the push back, especially from “experts,” was immense.

To build the most agent-centric brokerage, you also need to be an active listener and champion of agents. It is critical to be on the forefront of understanding the macro-economic environment, housing landscape and real estate trends impacting agents. We focus on catalyzing opportunities to help our real estate professionals better serve their customers and build their businesses.

Tracey Velt: In the past five years, what percentage of your growth was organic (recruiting or increasing agent productivity) and what percentage was M&A?

Glenn Sanford: My focus has always been to deliver and enhance the best agent value props on the planet and that has enabled nearly 100% organic growth across eXp Realty. Prior to 2016, we did a number of very small equity roll ups. Since then, our growth has been 100% organic growth.

Tracey Velt: Moving forward, what is your main focus for growth?

We continue to focus on agent growth domestically and internationally. It’s our goal to be over 100,000 agents and brokers by the end of the year through continued iteration on our agent value proposition, including strategic investments in technology, coaching and education. 

We anticipate markets will continue to shift through the balance of 2022 and into 2023, and we believe that eXp will thrive even in challenging market conditions. Despite the headwinds affecting the broader housing market, we are well-positioned to capture increased market share this year. 

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