EXp Realty was one of the best positioned companies to address the pandemic. With VirBELA, the virtual world provider that operates the eXp Realty virtual platform and owned by eXp World Holdings, already has a fully virtual infrastructure in place, the company didn’t have to go anywhere near the kind of transition that many other real estate companies have done have in 2020.
During the pandemic year, eXp had its most profitable year ever with net income of $ 31 million, proving its strength in turbulent times.
EXp has also been aggressively expanding its agent ranks recently, a sign that it is becoming increasingly prominent among agents in the industry. According to an earnings report released in March, the number of agents at the company’s year-end had increased 63 percent year over year.
The company needs to be doing something right, because in addition to these growing agent numbers, the Net Promoter Score, a metric that measures agent attitudes towards the company, rose from 30 to 80 between Q1 and Q3 2020.
It is the thought leaders at eXp, like the people highlighted below, who are driving the company on the road to success, both at the agent level and across the industry.
Fee Gentry, co-founder of ONE eXp and member of the board of directors
Without a doubt, Fee Gentry is one of the biggest movers and shakers at eXp Realty. Gentry joined the brokerage business in 2017 and has worked hard to bring positive change to the real estate industry ever since.
Prior to joining eXp, Gentry was an agent at Keller Williams for almost 13 years and had previously undertaken various entrepreneurial endeavors.
Once at eXp, it didn’t take long for Gentry to make a name for himself. In February 2019, Gentry co-founded ONE eXp, an initiative for diversity and inclusion within the company to promote career development, fair living principles and networking opportunities for various property groups. Before that, Gentry founded the Black Network at the eXp in December 2018.
Gentry was named a “Crusader” at RISMedia’s 2021 Newsmaker Awards.
In May 2020, Gentry was appointed to the board of directors of eXp World Holding, making her one of the few black professionals to sit on the board of directors of a real estate company. Gentry’s website states that with her appointment to the Board of Directors, Gentry is “helping to build an equitable real estate industry from within”.
“We are very pleased to have Fee on the board of eXp World Holdings as we have appreciated her contributions and ideas on a wide variety of topics affecting real estate agents today,” said Glenn Sanford, CEO and Founder of eXp. “We look forward to future joint discussions that will help grow our business and add value to all eXp shareholders.”
In addition to her professional commitment, Gentry also moderates the YouTube shows “A Seat at the Table” and “Black Table Talk”, which are intended to inspire various communities to overcome barriers.
Stacey Onnen, President of US Brokerage Operations
Stacey Onnen has proven agents and management at eXp that she is absolutely solid when it comes to helping agents succeed.
In 2018, Onnen was hired by Realty One Group as Senior Vice President for Brokerage Operations at eXp. When brokerage was messed up a little the following year by a series of high profile executive departures, Onnen and Dave Conord, who had previously spearheaded eXp’s U.S. growth, emerged as co-presidents of the brokerage. Since then, Onnen has continued to lead the US brokerage operations side as President, while Conord has taken on a role as President of US Growth.
In her current position, Onnen continuously evaluates the efficiency of the company’s systems and processes to ensure that agents and eXp as a whole can continue to grow and expand. In January 2020, Onnen took on the daunting task of redesigning the payment processing system for the roughly 35,000 eXp agents. The broker has also credited her with creating a unified standard for all brokerage business across the company, which enables eXp to expand its business to all 50 states.
In addition to this work, Onnen is currently leading the further development of a transaction coordination platform that supports the internal handling of agent files. The platform currently available to agents in Arizona, California, Florida, and New York will eventually be phased out to all 50 states and will target agent transaction services that are specific to each state.
Onnen’s efforts also earned her the Pioneer Award for RISMedia’s 2021 Real Estate Newsmakers Awards.
“[Onnen] is a successful and trusted leader and has a reputation for developing people and inspiring teams, ”said Sanford after Onnen’s promotion to co-president in May 2019.
Anpi Poudyal, eXp agent in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
A certain determined, motivated personality type often marks people who are successful in real estate. EXP agent Anpi Poudyal is no exception to this model, but he had a long way to go before becoming the successful real estate agent he is today.
Poudyal joined eXp in 2019 because he wanted to help immigrants in his Pennsylvania city from his home country Bhutan and the surrounding area to realize the American dream of home ownership.
In his first year as an agent, Poudyal completed 31 transactions and posted gross revenues of over $ 8.8 million. In contrast, the average agent with two years of experience or less typically makes $ 8,900 per year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 2019. The success of Poudyal enabled him to achieve the status of an “Icon Agent” at eXp. This award indicates that an agent is generating and representing “exceptional sales volume”[ed] the basic values of the company ”, so the blog of eXp.
“He’s a very humble man,” said Tina Faleshock, Poudyal’s mentor at eXp, in a statement. “It wasn’t just him [his clients’] Broker, but also your interpreter. He has a special place in our hearts. We are very proud of him. “
When he was only 14 years old, Poudyal and his family had to flee Bhutan to a refugee camp in Nepal, where they stayed for 18 years. He and his family were relocated to Manchester, New Hampshire, under a United Nations Resettlement Program in 2009. With a background in computer networking and hardware, Poudyal was able to find employment in New Hampshire and eventually rose to become Director of Operations at Building Community in New Hampshire, a multi-ethnic nonprofit that supports refugees and immigrants.
About ten years after arriving in the United States, Poudyal and his family moved to Mechanicsburg to be closer to other Bhutanese and Nepalese communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
In 2020, Poudyal had another great year: he had a total of 42 transactions (including two rentals) and earned $ 12.9 million in revenue.
Courtney Chakarun, Marketing Director
Courtney Chakarun has only been with eXp since June 2020, but has already led the company through a rebranding that was unveiled at the company’s eXpCON general meeting in November.
In her role, newly created when she came to brokerage, Chakarun is responsible for driving the digital strategy for the company’s growth and raising awareness for VirBELA.
Prior to joining eXp, Chakarun had a strong track record of leading marketing efforts with other real estate companies. At CoreLogic, where Chakarun worked from 2014 to 2018, she eventually rose to Senior Vice President for Marketing and Innovation Solutions. She then worked for Roostify as Chief Marketing Officer for about two years before joining eXp. Previously, Chakarun spent over a decade at GE Capital in marketing, new products, and mobile devices.
Chakarun’s successes in the industry helped her to be recognized by Housing Wire as a Woman of Influence in 2019. In particular, Housing Wire cited Chakaruns “laser focus on the customer”, “digital first focus” and “hyperpersonalization” as features of their work that helped gain recognition.
“Courtney’s drive, expertise and leadership roles in housing, consumer finance and technology are in line with our growth phase and commitment to the agent experience,” said Sanford at the time of her hiring. “Your track record of driving growth and building brands will be invaluable as eXp expands its affiliate service program and continues to focus on delivering innovative solutions to agents and their customers.”
John Tobison, Chief Information Officer at eXp World Holdings
Tobison has a long career in C-level positions in software, e-commerce and related companies. So it’s no surprise that he was an attractive choice for eXp when he was hired as Chief Information Officer for the broker’s holding company in 2019.
As head of information technology, software and data services at eXp, Tobison is primarily responsible for a company that works completely virtually and relies so heavily on technology. Additionally, eXp’s ambitious growth targets have put additional pressure on Tobison to deliver efficient products with minimal problems.
Housing Wire named Tobison one of their 2020 Tech Trendsetters, a list that highlighted industry products and technology leaders that were “essential to bringing innovative technical solutions to customers in the industry” this year. Housing Wire then found that, under Tobison’s leadership, eXp successfully scaled VirBELA to meet the growing number of agents over the year, and also gathered and reviewed several affiliated service companies that the broker could work with during the buying process (such as Titles , Mortgage) and home guarantee provider).
“John was instrumental in overseeing the many requirements needed to create a platform that will help drive the incredible growth of eXp,” said Sanford after Tobison’s recognition as a “Tech Trendsetter.”
“His innovation and leadership skills – especially during this pandemic – have helped us shape our thinking about how to scale and use our core technologies, build cross-functional teams, and work with everyone in a way that supports the cloud-based vision, which we all support here at eXp. “
Email Lillian Dickerson