Picture: Andrew Thompson, eXp South Africa’s managing broker
How do you promote transformation in the real estate sector with a virtual office? Property Professional asked Andrew Thompson, managing broker eXp South Africa, about this and other matters to find out how the fastest growing global agency will accommodate the demands of the local context.
Q: How do you promote transformation in the real estate sector with a virtual office?
Andrew Thompson (AT): This is a topic I am so pleased that you have asked, this would be our top priority to bring transformation, development and growth into South Africa and is aimed at the young, dynamic, tech savvy individuals that want property and real estate as a career and thereby offering a wealth strategy and an improved lifestyle for all South Africans. Our sense of community, our social responsibility, our training, communication and our agent centric approach to creating more productive agents who enjoy what they are doing through technology is a massive advantage. We foresee youngsters endorsing and adopting our strategy but through our business platform allowing the youth of today to grow into becoming real property professionals with a diverse manner of earning
Q: eXp Realty is a cloud-based brokerage which means there is no brick and mortar head office. South Africa already has a couple of online agencies, so what makes this real estate franchise different?
AT: Everyone who works at eXp has access to our virtual reality campus. In this virtual world we have team meetings in boardrooms, training sessions in training venues, self-help counters, technicians that can provide immediate assistance and a whole lot more. Team South Africa is already hosting meetings and appointments on eXp South Africa daily. This is a key component to successful communication within our eXp offices. For instance, the Agent Hub guides agents through a personalised welcome. It is unique, more efficient and makes us more productive.
Q: What about training? If I am a candidate agent, how will I receive mentorship as required by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB)?
AT: Good question. An intern agent in South Africa with a FFC licence will require a qualified agent in their immediate upline thus creating a mentor/mentee type of relationship. It is recommended that here in South Africa the upline mentor be based close to the intern for day-to-day assistance and guidance. Our team will also offer in excess of 40 hours training which will be specific to South Africa. Local team members will also be able to tap into the eXp 100 hours a week of live and recorded training from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. Up to 1 500 people can meet and interact with top agents, presenters and panelists during these training sessions.
Q: Explain the remuneration system
AT: There are four ways of earning through eXp with incentives added on top of that. When an estate agent joins the team, they effectively become shareholders in the company. This is how it works. Firstly, there is a 75/25 commission split on sales and procurement rentals. Secondly, there is revenue share through the introduction of new agents. Agents receive a part of the profit when the new agent they introduced performs. Thirdly, through part commissions (5%) being paid in the form of shares at a 10% discount, and also, top performers can realise their cap value of R150k paid back in the form of shares over a three year period, subject to certain targets being achieved. Lastly, we also have share incentives when an agent sells their first property, when an agent caps and when a sponsor’s agent does their first sale.
Q: Will a new agent be completely on their own or part of a team?
AT: The virtual campus eXp World and eXp SA World is very interactive. We also use an internal Facebook programme for referrals and WorkChat, an internal team messaging tool for communications. This is a close-knit family of 36 000 agents and it is growing. Technology has brought us together, but it is the genuineness, honesty and integrity that really moulds the eXp mindset. Personally, I have never had a better welcome into a company. Last year eXp Realty was named ‘Best place to work’ for a third consecutive year in Glassdoor’s 2020 Employee Choice Awards among large businesses in the US. The exciting part is we are now going global and I love the vision of the leadership as we take tech realty strategically around the world. I am so proud to be part of this journey and it is incredibly satisfying to bring something so unique to South Africa.
About eXp Realty: eXp World Holdings (Nasdaq: EXPI), the holding company for eXp Realty, announced the expansion of its brokerage model into South Africa under the eXp South Africa banner in October this year. With more than 35 000 agents in its global network (USA, where it is based, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia), eXp Realty is currently one of the fastest growing global real estate networks.