Q: How is eXp Realty leveraging data and technology to change Mexico’s real estate industry?
A: eXp Realty focuses on providing an integral real estate service that includes promotion and social media that realtors can use to show the properties and attract new clients. There are two ways to do business: by securing a property to promote it and by recruiting potential clients to buy properties.
eXp Realty is part of eXp Holdings, which runs a stock exchange and awards shares for goals accomplished. When realtors reach a checkpoint in Realty by recruiting properties and potential clients, Holdings awards them with shares. Our business model is not just to sell properties but to provide a whole experience. Our highly skilled and capable realtors are certified to operate in every country we work in. eXp realtors work with the support of an experienced company that offers certainty and a full service in a very complex business. On their own, clients could spend up to two years completing a real estate transaction. eXp’s infrastructure, legal professionals, accountants and its close contact with public notaries could reduce that time to two months or less.
Q: How does eXp’s digital platform operate and what makes it different from its competitors?
A: One of the platform’s strengths is that it operates as a PR specialist. eXp holds commercial relations with virtually every specialized digital platform in Mexico, such as Inmuebles24, Metros Cúbicos, Vivanuncios and Segunda Mano. When a client publishes a property on the eXp platform, it will automatically replicate in others so realtors do not have to upload the property’s information manually on every website.
Q: What changes did the pandemic bring to the real estate business?
A: The real estate sector boomed due to the pandemic and the unfortunate loss of jobs that it caused. In many cases, the newly unemployed people were forced to sell their properties, sometimes at very low prices. The pandemic boosted the supply but also improved the financing opportunities for those buying properties. The market is slowly returning to normal and interest rates dropped by 3-5 percent between 2019 and 2021, making mortgages more viable.
While realtors had a larger supply of available properties, they still had to find clients with the payment capacity to buy properties during these difficult times. During this period, investors with enough capital were in a good position to bid for foreclosed properties. These properties offer up to 60 percent discounts for those who do not need financing.
Trends also changed during the past year. With the popularity of working at home, people started to look for different characteristics in their houses and apartments. If they previously required three rooms, now they are looking for four or five to have a proper office where they can concentrate and work. Demand for office space and prices dropped significantly and will likely not recover until 2023.
Q: What alliances has eXp Realty made to position itself in the global market?
A: Our first alliances were in the US, where certification is mandatory. We have focused on certifications in all the countries where we work. In Mexico, we reached out to the National Council for Normalization and Certification of Work Competence (CONOCER) from the Ministry of Education and the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) to professionalize the realtors’ job.
Better education will allow agents to expand their services beyond selling properties. There are other possibilities, such as flipping, which consists of buying deteriorated properties, rehabbing and selling them for larger profit margins. We also work with most banks to offer the best financing options to our clients, who will get better interest rates when going with one of our agents than by themselves.
Q: What are the expansion plans for eXp Realty in Mexico and across the world?
A: eXp just launched operations in Colombia, Peru and Spain. In the coming months, we will be opening in Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Germany. The possibilities that technology opens to us are significant. For instance, we have an agent in Miami who has sold eight properties remotely, only using virtual tours to promote them.
We are also expanding in Mexico. eXp originally only covered Mexico City and its metropolitan area. Our goal is to have representatives across the country offering the most personalized, professional service.