3 May 2018

Mark Zawaideh

Why I left Keller Williams and Chose EXP Realty

It's been 30 days now since I have left Keller Williams Realty in Novi, Michigan. There isn't a day that goes by now that I don't get multiple calls and emails from Realtors asking why I left Keller Williams after 12 years and a lot of success. Why did me and my team of 30+ Realtors and staff just pick up and leave? I have sold over 5,000 homes in my career and the last two years were the best years of my entire career selling over $200 MILLION DOLLARS consisting of over 900 transactions. Why in the world would I walk away from this right? I loved Keller Williams and always told myself if I left I would never do another franchise again. So why didn't I just do my own brokerage and keep 100% of the income instead of working for another brokerage? Both are great questions. 

It all started about a year ago when a building came for sale in the same city I have always worked. Huntington Bank was acquiring FirstMerit Bank so they shut this location down and listed it for sale. It was the perfect building with a little less than 4,000 square feet and priced at $700,000. I was very excited and just gave them full price. I closed on it thirty days later. I started working on architectural plans & renovations. All of my dreams were set to come true. I was going to start my own independent brokerage called MARK Z. Real Estate Experts. 

I had a great working relationship with my OP(operating principal) and I respect her tremendously. She's one of the smartest people I have ever met. I sat down with her and other managers in the office and was completely transparent. I told them my plans but didn't know a time line. They were very supportive and although they didn't want to see me go they understood that it was just a matter of time before I would start my own brokerage. After all every single system, equipment and tools that we use on my team I owned except for a few desks. When I say everything I mean it. All thirty computers, phones, monitors, headsets, 23 different phone numbers for tracking marketing sources, websites, office supplies, copiers, printers, and so much more. There were 35+ people at all times among the various companies I own including my property management company JMZ Management, home improvement company Mario Brothers Home Improvements,& Z Apartment group.  We occupied approximately 2,000 SF in our Keller Williams office suite. 

Once I gave notice, my operating principal(majority shareholder) would want to meet with me at least once a month to check and see how my plans were coming and to see if there was something we could of possible done to keep me in the KW family. I can appreciate where she was coming from and wish there was a way to make it work for the both of us, but I couldn't see it. There was nothing at Keller Williams I was utilizing. I generated 100% of my own business and owned all of my systems and tools.

Each time we met she kept telling me that she is hearing rumors that I was going to join eXp Realty. Honestly I had never really looked at it. She kept bringing it up every time we met that I gotta admit I was somewhat curious why she was so concerned. So I looked into it. In the background Jay Kinder and Daniel Beer were both trying to get me to sit down and watch a webinar. I avoided it for months. Until one day I said you know what it can't hurt. I watched the webinar and I felt like I I just struck gold. I felt like I was given all of the tools, technology & systems to be able to not only help my team members succeed at a higher level, but any Realtor for that matter. This was such an easy sell. As my buddy Jay Kinder said to me "Once you see it, you can't unsee it." That always stuck with me. Not only did I love the entire cloud based agent owned brokerage model, but the revenue sharing plan was real. Unlike profit sharing this is simply based on revenue. Meaning the office doesn't have to be profitable for you to get paid on the agents that you sponsor. Every time an agent sells a home that you sponsor EXP Realty pays you 3.5% of their commission up to $2,800 every year. But it doesn't stop there, you actually get paid on six people below that person. 

Revenue Share Graphic

Revenue Share vs Profit Share: Again big difference between Revenue sharing vs Profit sharing. In the profit sharing model the company has to be profitable before money is distributed to the agents. In the EXP revenue share model, you get paid when the agent sells a house period, no questions asked. It's not based on whether the office or the company is profitable. Game changer. I personally know many people in EXP earning $20,000 to $100,000 a MONTH IN REVENUE SHARING! The Realtor who is six above me(so I'm his 7th level) earned over $100,000 last month as I write this. He has 55 sponsored agents and those 55 agents brought in over 1,600 agents. It grows quickly. What I love about the way they set up the revenue sharing model is that they give you more money for your 2nd level recruit(so the person that is under the person you sponsored) than they do the first level. Why you ask? Because they want to encourage you to help build the person's down line knowing that if you do that the person will be very excited to start building their own. Genius if you ask me. 

money_400Company CAP: EXP takes 20% of each commission check until you pay a $16,000 CAP. Then after you CAP, you pay just a $250 transaction fee for 20 transactions. But get ready for this! After you pay in $5,000 in transaction fees, which is 20 transactions, the company grants you $16,000 back in stock shares! I'm not joking! $4,000 of it is available immediately and the remaining $12,000 is vested for three years. But who cares, I'm not leaving. So every year I get $16,000 back in EXP Stock, because it's a public traded company. The stock symbol is EXPI. It's currently at $13.76 a share. Last year at this time it was under $4 a share. As you can see it's moving for obvious reasons. 

At Avg Sales Price $275,000

Keller Williams

  eXP Realty

Gross Commission At 3%



KW 70/30 CAP



eXp 80/20 CAP



KW Franchise Fee 6%



eXp Franchise Fee 0% (There Isn’t One)



eXp Broker Review Fee



Your Net





You Net $1,270 More (15% More)

Retirement Plan & Stock Purchase Program: Because it's a publicly traded company you can buy stock in the company and therefore this makes you part owner. The company allows you to take up to 5% of each commission check and buy their stock at a 20% discount. Whatever the monthly average is for the stock you can take 5% of your commission check and buy their stock. So today it's $13.76 that means I get to buy it at $11 a share. And you can sell this stock at any time. Imagine accumulating stock at 20% discount. Which other company offers such an incentive to their agents? I love this part of the company. This is a great retirement plan.

exp cloud

Cloud Campus:This is one of my favorite parts of the company. Talk about instant gratification here you go. EXP is known as an agent owned Cloud Brokerage. What does that mean exactly? EXP has it's own online Campus. Before you get started you literally create your avatar and it's like a college campus. There are four or five classes each day taught by top producers all over the country. You can literally walk into an auditorium sit down listen to the presenter and if you have a question raise your hand and the presenter can call you to speak. Your name is above your avatar so everyone knows who you are. I run into friends across the country all the time and you can talk and ask questions. They have an accounting office you can walk into and ask questions about your commission check. They have a tech center you can ask how to get your website up and running. There are two or three employees in each building 16 hours a day to serve you and answer questions. It's awesome! The cost for the cloud University is $420 a year and they take that out of your first commission check. 

Education: They have over 15 hours a week of live training each week. This isn't just average training. It's done by top Realtors across the country and now that all of these huge teams are coming on board it's about to get even better. You literally walk into an online auditorium and sit down while there is someone on stage speaking with a big screen. You can even raise your hand and be called on. Brad Anderson is the director of education in eXp Realty. 

Technology: So for $50 a month you get two websites. One from Kunversion and one from Commissions Inc. These are really nice websites in the real estate industry. If you were to go purchase these websites on your own you would pay literally thousands of dollars for these sites. Wait it doesn't stop there. You also get skyslope, an online transaction management system along with an e-signature platform built in. You also get one of the best CRM's in the industry kVCore which would cost you thousands if you tried to get it on your own. It doesn't stop there here's exactly what you get when you sign up:

FREE Business Cards 1,000 to be exact 
FREE Commission Inc website
FREE Kunversion IDX Website 
FREE eXp Agent Attraction Website for recruiting
FREE Fax Number
FREE 800 Number
FREE eXp branded Google Apps for work , email, storage, Youtube, and Hangout
eXp World cloud campus
Regus Worldwide Membership
Skyslope Transaction Management Platform
FREE Contact Management System KvCore

Culture & Community: The brokerage I came from always talked about their culture and I agree culture was good. I was worried what the culture would be like at EXP Realty. Here are my thoughts after 30 days. It's better than I could have ever imagined. A lot of the top teams in every state have joined EXP so the brightest most creative minds in the industry have joined forces. The best part is we all have a vested interest in growing the company even if an agent isn't in your downline you still want to help because it betters the company and ultimately will increase revenue and stock price. We are all owners and we all own stock so like I said we all have a vested interest in everyone's success. The company has doubled in size in the last seven months. It's the fastest growing brokerage in the world right now. 

At the end of the day I just couldn't offer everything eXp Realty had to offer if I was an independent brokerage. It would literally cost me millions of dollars to try to reinvent the wheel. By joining eXp Realty I have a huge value proposition now to attract agents including the best agents in the industry. It's very sticky meaning once you get in it's hard to get out which is great for agent retention. I felt like the business was getting boring and now I am just as excited as I was 15 years ago. I feel like the founders took everything that was broken in the brokerage industry and fixed it. 

FAQ for agents considering joining eXp realty

What is eXp Realty?
eXp Realty is the nations first “Agent Owned Cloud Brokerage”.

Who started eXp?
eXp Realty was founded by Glenn Sanford who was a former Keller Williams agent who realized that a cloud based brokerage that offered revenue share was the future of real estate.

When was it started?
eXp Realty was incorporated in 2009.

What does “Agent Owned” mean?
eXp Realty is agent owned meaning that agents can acquire stock in the company and have a vested ownership in the brokerage. There are 6 ways that agents can acquire stock, from simply purchasing it to achieving certain performance benchmarks.

What is a cloud brokerage?
A cloud brokerage is a brokerage that does not have physical offices and conducts business entirely on the Internet. Think of Amazon. They are a cloud company. They have no physical stores yet they sell a heck of a lot of merchandise!

Are there really no brick and mortar offices?
It depends on the state. Recently a lot of big teams who have space have flocked to exp Realty. So it's possible you might be able to use their space or work something out with them for nominal fee. For example here in Michigan, MARK Z Real Estate Experts owns a branch office located at 40020 W 12 Mile Road. Other than that, every agent and broker works from home or a remote office space. The company realizes a tremendous savings and is able to pass on the savings to agents in lowered costs. 

What if I need to occasionally need a physical office?
We have that covered. eXp Realty has an agreement with Regus Business Lounges Worldwide to provide free access to their facilities.

Where does eXp Realty operate?
We are currently operating in 49 states in Canada and growing. We will eventually be in all 50 states and international.

Are there different divisions at eXp Realty?
Yes, we currently have residential, commercial, REO, and a luxury division.

Who is the broker for eXp Realty?
Each state has one state broker. Some larger states also have compliance brokers to help with reviewing files. In Michigan the broker is Cheryl Yost. MARK Z. is the Associate Broker of the MARK Z Real Estate Expert branch office located in Novi, Michigan. 

How many agents does eXp Realty have?
We are constantly growing but as of this post we have over 10,000 agents. We have doubled in size in just the last seven months. We are the fastest growing brokerage in the world right now. 

What is revenue share?
For every agent that you introduce to and joins eXp Realty, you will receive a portion of their annual commissions. You will also receive revenue from agents they recruit up to 7 levels deep. The revenue share component of eXp Realty is the way you can create income even after you stop selling real estate. Rev share is one of the most compelling reasons agents join eXp Realty.

How does an agent build rev share?
Simple. Introduce eXp Realty to other agents that you know. If they join, you become their sponsor and you will receive up to $2800 annually from them if they cap. You will also get rev share from whomever they recruit. All the way down to 7 levels.

How much rev share can we earn?
Well, for every agent you personally recruit (your first line) you get up to $2800 annually if they cap. See the chart above to see what you can earn for 2nd -7th levels.

Do I have to recruit agents?
No. It’s up to you. However, there is a great opportunity to build passive income if you do attract agents to eXp Realty. Ask your sponsor for help.

What is the split?
Everyone at eXp Realty has a split of 80/20 until the cap of $16,000 is met.

What is the cap?
eXp agents cap when they pay $16k to the company. That equates to generating $80K in gross commission.

Where is eXp stock traded?
eXp stock is traded on OTC Markets and as of today's date the stock is $13.70

What is the ticker symbol?
The ticker symbol is EXPI.

What is the start up cost?
When you start at eXp Realty you pay a $99 fee.  There is also an annual $420 university Tuition fee taken from your first annual closing. This pays for cloud campus university and all the services in the cloud. 

What are the monthly costs?
Once you are an agent affiliated with eXp Realty you only pay $50 per month that goes towards tech support. That’s it!

Does eXp Realty charge an annual “Royalty Fee” like some companies?
No, they don’t, and of course there are no desk fees either.

What is the eXp cloud campus?
The cloud campus, also known as “eXp World” is our virtual world where agents and staff meet on the web for training, collaboration, meetings, and support. You can join and tour our campus for free. Go here to download the app and get your avatar.

Is there training?
eXp Realty offers a full array of training offered ever week. Currently over 15 hours a week. 

Where are meetings held?
All of our meetings are held in the eXp Cloud Campus. We have everything from a large auditorium to small intimate spaces to meet clients.

Des eXp Realty have conferences?
Yes, eXpCon is our annual conference held in different cities. Past conferences were held in Las Vegas, Chicago, and San Antonio. We are excited to announce eXpCon is going to be in New Orleans in Oct 2018! We also have annual ownership meetings for stockholders.

What tools are available to agents?
eXp Realty offers a wide array of tools for agents including:
A free Commission Inc website
A free Kunversion IDX Website 
An free eXp Agent Attraction Website for recruiting
A free Hello Fax Number
Free eXp branded Google Apps for work , email, storage, Youtube, and Hangout
eXp World cloud campus
Regus Worldwide Membership
Skyslope Transaction Management Platform
Free Contact Management System KvCore

What kind of agent support do you offer?
eXp Realty offers superior agent support. Each state or region has an “agent services” person and a transaction coordinator. You simply log in to eXp World and go to the department you are looking for and ask for help.

What kind of tech support do you offer?
eXp Realty has a whole division that offers tech support. Need help with eXp email? Questions about Word press? Wondering how to use Google apps? We got you covered. Live tech support is located in the eXp Cloud Campus.

What is the process of joining eXp Realty?
Easy, just go here and fill out the simple application. Then the agent services department will start the quick onboarding process and send you the independent contractor agreement. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to email me at markz@soldbymarkz.com or call me at 248-890-7077. I hope this helps. 

Topics: Mark Z