Michael Valdes is the Chief Growth Officer at eXp Realty and President at eXp Global. Working in the real estate sector since 2005, he also holds the distinction of being the only Latino president of a US real estate corporation.
The real estate industry has faced many challenges these past few years, being forced to evolve and adapt to the times. From a pandemic that turned the world upside-down, to new demands and needs from clients, real estate had to look into new technology to keep afloat.
eXp Realty was one of the real estate firms that thrived in spite of the difficulties by investing in a cloud-based infrastructure to better serve both agents and clients.
Michael Valdes, Chief Growth Officer at eXp Realty, spoke with DesignRush to discuss some of the roadblocks and opportunities this uncertain era has presented, making it abundantly clear that there’s potential even in challenging times.
Spotlight: The recent pandemic opened the floodgates for remote work models, converting many people’s homes into their new offices. What impact did this have on the real estate industry?
Michael Valdes: The pandemic had a huge impact on the real estate industry, along with every other industry. It truly forced all of us to change course and adopt technology as individuals and businesses in order to satisfy the human need for connection.
Through the Virbela digital platform, we are able to continue to provide options for our agents that facilitated the ability to deepen relationships with their clients during such a tenuous period for the world.
Agents were not only able to connect with their clients on a personal level, they were also able to conduct business and continue the buying/selling process digitally.
This was all due to our cloud-based brokerage model and virtual working environment, which has been in operation for over a decade and truly resonated with agents, their families and their clients around the world.
Operating in over 20 countries, where else does eXp Realty plan to expand? And what are the perks and challenges of having a global real estate network?
As of today we are officially operational in 23 countries and our goal set last year was to be operational in 50 countries within 5 years – we are well on our way and have no plans to slow down!
Having a global real estate network of over 85,000 agents across 23 countries allows for our agents to engage in cross-functional collaboration around the world.
Bringing people together beyond boundaries with advanced cloud-based technologies – from digital applications and services to real-time communications to virtual reality environments – fosters interconnectivity, boosts morale and heightens performance, which ultimately drives each agent’s individual success.
I think the most obvious challenge is that every country has its own government, cultures, languages, policies, laws, currency and time zones. Managing our business across multiple countries means managing all of our offerings across all of these different factors.
At the same time, this challenge allows our eXp Realty family to meet and establish relationships across the globe and it’s undoubtedly worthwhile for everyone involved!
eXp Realty reportedly has the world's fastest-growing cloud-based brokerage. How is technology helping the company’s evolution?
Yes, and it is certainly due, largely in part, to our cloud-based operations. Through constant innovation and digital operations, we have the ability to expand on a global scale without stepping foot on a plane.
In just under two years, we have opened brokerage operations in 23 countries and locations – that’s unheard of!
We do not have brick-and-mortar offices. Rather, our agents are avatars that operate, connect and collaborate with colleagues and clients through a cloud-based platform.
We are constantly enhancing our technology stack and offer a fully integrated digital marketing strategy accessible to all agents. To support our agent-first focus, we provide our agents with the tools, programs and platforms necessary to help support their own brands and businesses.
At eXp Realty, we are focused on building and enhancing a technologically advanced digital real estate infrastructure that changes not only the way the modern agent works, but empowers the agent to build and grow their own brand.
We are changing lives not only for our agents and their families, but our customers and their communities.