Thirty-year real estate veteran Dan Gray of Sudbury recently made the move to cloud-based eXp Realty.
Gray sold his company about three years ago and remained with the office as an agent. However he says he missed the mentoring opportunities being an owner provided, so it wasn’t long before he began searching for a franchise of his own. His research led him to eXp. Gray was intrigued but shocked when he discovered it didn’t offer what he was looking for at the time – an opportunity to own his own bricks-and-mortar office.
He reached out to Vancouver-based Phil Hahn, bonding with the man who is from Sturgeon Falls, Ont., about an hour from Sudbury, to get the scoop from a Canadian perspective.
eXp is agent-owned and since it is cloud based, there is no office, which at first Gray viewed as a downside. However it wasn’t long before he saw the advantages. He was drawn by the training and marketing materials available, the revenue sharing and access to stocks.
“There is no desk fee, which is great for new agents or those slowing down. The company is on the stock market and has gone up a lot. Agents can put their money into stocks if they want. There are different ways to save money and work on retirement. And of course there’s the technology,” Gray says.
He says his first two weeks focused on technology but “once you know it, it’s better and easier.” Technical support is also available.
The split (80-20) is also attractive. And once you reach a certain dollar figure in commission, it’s 100-per-cent to you, Gray says. “Franchises are mostly 95-5 – they can’t do a 100-per-cent spilt because of office, staff and other costs.”
Gray started investigating eXp about 18 months ago, before the pandemic, but says he wishes he had made the move years ago.
Over the last three or four years, there has been a shift to paperless. During the pandemic, staff started working at home and agents were not in the office. And Gray says, “we’re not going back to the way it used to be, personally or in business.”
Zoom meetings (in a dress shirt on top and pyjamas on the bottom) have become a way of life but when it’s safe to do so, there will be in-person meetings. Where do you hold meetings when you have no office? eXp has rental meeting space available.
Colleagues have asked Gray about eXp (he continues to mentor agents) and several, including Danielle Aubrey, Melissa Fuller, David Mallette, Quentin Steeley, Julianne Foisy and Jeff Dickson – have also made the move.
When new people join, the agent who brought them in gets a residual each year, which provides extra income.
When Gray started in the 1980s, he says there were no computers or cell phones. He’s an early adopter and learned technology as it became available. “I needed to learn in case staff had questions. As broker of record and with my own office for 15 years, I needed to stay on top” of changes, he says.
Gray earned his real estate licence when he was 20, drawn by a career that blends his love of people with real estate. He bought his first property at 20 – a $35,000 condo that he rented to three friends. Next was a multi-family property. He has bought, sold, invested and mentored since.
He started his career with Re/Max Sudbury. He later bought the company. His partner bought him out three years ago.
Gray’s achievements include Re/Max Platinum and Lifetime Achievement awards. He is a past committee member of the Ontario and Canadian Real Estate associations and five-time past president of the Sudbury Real Estate Board. He is also past chair of the Health Sciences North Sudbury Hospital Foundation and is now on its board of directors.
Connie Adair is a contributing writer for REM.