Purplebricks has changed the industry forever by making self-employment more widely accepted, the CEO of a US-based company launching in the UK has claimed during an interview with The Negotiator.
Jason Gesing (pictured above, right), the recently-promoted global CEO of eXp Realty, was at the official launch party of its UK subsidiary which is to be called eXp UK.
His company has 24,400 agents in the US and Canada and is beginning to roll its business out internationally with a launch due in Australia, as well as the UK.
Led here by former eMoov and easyProperty executive Adam Day (above, left), eXp UK has been preparing to launch for several months and has already signed-up 30 ‘founder’ agents many of whom attended the event in Soho at the upmarket Ham Yard Hotel on Friday night.
Day says he expected to have ten agents by now and 16 by the end of the year, but that so far 33 are signed up and another 14 are in the pipeline.
“I’ll think we’ll be at 50 by the end of the year,” he says.
Gesing admitted that the eXp style of self-employed estate agents working via a central digital hub, similar in several ways to the Keller Williams model, is more likely to succeed in the UK because of Purplebricks.
“They have done a really good job of paving the way for self-employment in the UK and it means it’s something an agent will at least entertain now,” he says.
Gesing also believes that employed estate agents in the UK aren’t paid well enough for the heavy workload and long hours that are common in the industry, and that eXp is designed to appeal to those looking to take a larger slice of the fees they generate.
Agents joining the company use an online ‘digital world’ to network with other agents using eXp, access services including both ValPal’s leads platform and For Sale boards, and pay a flat fee of approximately £125 a month plus VAT.
AML and redress
Day also says he has learned from the Purplebricks experience and is ensuring all his agents are individually registered with a redress scheme and have completed HMRC registration for AML.
The Negotiator spoke to agents at the event, and it was clear that they all had different reasons for joining. This includes letting agent using eXp to set up their own sales operations and existing traditional agencies using it’s platform to extend their territories without the expense of a high street branch.
“It’s easy to set up and get going – it takes a few hours rather than weeks or days,” said Bobby Ijaz. “The tenant fees ban is making it more difficult in lettings, so we’re using eXp’s platform to go into sales again.”