Glenn Sanford is the CEO and founder of eXp World Holdings (Nasdaq: EXPI), the holding company for eXp Realty, Virbela, and SUCCESS® Enterprises. He is also Chief Strategy Officer at Virbela, a virtual world platform for remote work, learning, and events that was acquired by eXp in 2018. In late 2020 Glenn purchased SUCCESS®, a brand dedicated to personal and professional development, where he serves as the company’s CEO.
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Welcome to the SUCCESS® Coaching™ Podcast. On today's episode, our guest, Glenn Sanford shares his own personal journey to success. Because success is a journey, not a destination. Here's the hosts of the SUCCESS® Coaching™ Podcast, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.
Alyssa Stanley 00:22
Hello, everyone and welcome to the SUCCESS® Coaching™ Podcast. My name is Alyssa Stanley and I am here with co hosts Todd Foster and Kelley Skar. Joining us today is none other than Glenn Sanford who is the co-founder and visionary of eXp World Holdings, the holding company for the fastest growing real estate company in the world. He is also the Chief Strategy Officer at Virbela, which is a virtual world platform for remote work learning and events. In late 2020, Glenn purchased SUCCESS®, where he serves as the company's CEO. SUCCESS® is a brand dedicated to personal and professional development. And it also turns 125 years in 2022. Welcome, Glenn. Thanks so much for taking some time for us today.
Glenn Sanford 01:11
Hey, thanks, Alyssa. Thanks, everyone. It's great to be on here today.
Alyssa Stanley 01:15
So the purpose of this podcast is to really pull back the curtains of success and to show our audience that success is never a straight line to the top. It's full of curves, turns and maybe a fire here or there. Which, as entrepreneurs, we all know that happens. So I for one, I'm curious, Glenn, before you really found success, who was Glenn?
Glenn Sanford 01:35
Yeah, so I'm, like Kelley, fellow Canadian. I was born actually in Alberta, up up in northern North of Edmonton. And so my parents, my, my dad, his brother, and my grandpa, all were in the honey business. And they were beekeepers in northern Alberta. And actually Northern California, I just happened to be born in northern Alberta. And I lived there till I was three, then we moved to the lower Lower Mainland of British Columbia, so that you know, close to an area called Langley and AlderGrove, which is about, about an hour out of downtown Vancouver, and sort of did my elementary and a little bit of middle school there. And my dad had gotten a granola manufacturing business with my uncle. And they bought a company in 1971 for something like $8,000 and in the cereal manufacturing business. And by 1978, they sold it to Kellogg's for the time, which was big numbers today, it's not as big but they sold it for about $3 million, then to Kellogg's and then we moved to Oklahoma to invest and lose all that money on that oil and gas business in Oklahoma. So that was you know, some of my formative years I was a geek, I got my first Apple two computer, right when they came out, like within months of the first Apple two computers, my dad bought one. And so I started programming that at a young age, 12-13 years old. So I really enjoyed computers and enjoyed sort of, and then really, they, I mean, you really couldn't call it the internet, but I was using a 300 baud modem to to dial up other other systems and whether it be CompuServe or their source, those are kind of two different online services that you can log into. And so I was an early adopter of a really sort of online tech. And so that was then and moved to Oklahoma and I was also a little bit of a chess player, you know, joined the chess club, you know, so I did all the geeky stuff, but if there was a geeky thing to do, I was doing it. So that was kind of my early years. I was also into a little bit of long distance running. So I ran release from a young age and cross country and the mile the two miles road runs on the weekends and even now, like three weeks ago, I think it was I ran a half marathon in St. George Utah, just before eXp Con in Las Vegas. So I'm still a runner at 55 and something I still enjoy doing bit of a health nut and in sort of, like sort of biohacking and in some respects the term that's got popularized by another Canadian Dave Ashby. And but you know, those are some of my some of the traits that I have. I'm obviously a business guy to love, love businesses and love, love starting them. It's a very , you know, it's actually one of the most democratic things that you can do in in, in the world is start a business because, you know, to a large extent, you're not being told by anybody, you can't do it. And so it's one of the things that you know, you if you don't grow up in the right sort of, sort of, from come from like families or go to the right schools and to get the right jobs, you know, business is like one of those things that literally, you know, is open to anybody and, and that's the path I chose was sort of the, the Business Route and just kind of being an entrepreneur and not wanting to work for anybody. So that's a little bit of me.
Todd Foster 05:39
Were you a self taught computer programmer, or, as you said, geek, or where did you pick those traits up from?
Glenn Sanford 05:46
Yeah so, 1978-79 you know, my math, both my math and science teacher at the middle school that I went to, they both got Apple two computers and brought them to school. And I thought they were really cool now. So we're talking 48k of RAM ours ours had. So I think ours had a 48k Ram to five and a quarter inch floppy drives, a green phosphorus monitor, a nine pin dot matrix printer. But but then you couldn't really take computer classes. I mean, there was a little bit that the science and math teacher would do. But for the most part, you're open up the manuals, and you're writing the little programs and making a do something on the screen. And then you're, you write another program, and you see what it does. And you'd write another program, and you see what it does. And so it really was very much of a self taught and sort of learn as you go kind of kind of exercise plan.
Kelley Skar 06:47
I'm curious how old were you when you moved to Oklahoma and your dad and your grandpa had invested all that money into the oil and gas industry? Yeah, I think we moved there. It was, I think it might have been 1980. It was either 79 or 80. And then in the 1980, right after we moved there. Penn Square Bank, which was holding all of the loans for or well 90% of the loans for the oil and gas industry went through one bank and Oklahoma City. And it went under. And, and, and with it, they literally took the economy down, including, I think the S&L crisis was, you know, sort of came out of that and some other things. So it was, you know, oil and went to something like $40 a barrel at that point. And, of course, you know, everybody was sort of predicting, oh, well, it's gonna go to $100 a barrel. So this is the best business to be in and, and then, you know, eventually went down to whatever, $6 a barrel or something substantially lower than that. And everybody borrowed money on $40 a barrel oil to drill their oil wells. And that didn't, didn't work out really well. So I was going through high school. So I graduated high school at four. So I gave my junior and senior year in a little town called Shawnee, Oklahoma. And my sophomore year, I did it in Oklahoma City, so I was there for three years. So we must have moved there in 80. And then that, so that would have been the year that we moved there. So I'm curious, you're obviously old enough to kind of remember that. And I'm curious whether that experience kind of shaped, you know, part of who you are today as a business person?
Glenn Sanford 08:43
For sure. Yeah. You know, one of the things I got to experience early on is sort of what happens when an over-exuberant market crashes. So we could call it the bubble bubble bursting, or what have you. And so, so oil was definitely in a bubble and it crashed. I was also in 87. I actually became a stockbroker right after the market crash in 87. And then, and 90 There was a little bit more of a market correction as well. In obviously in 2000, was the .com crash and then we had 9/11. And then we had the housing crash and so probably going up to the housing crash I'd already learned my lesson that once every 10 years, you know, the markets crash and and and you don't know which markets gonna crash sometimes oil markets, sometimes it's the the stock market, sometimes the housing market, you know, but you know, these big markets that get over extended, you know, they do crash. So I did learn a lot about that whole cycle and, you know, as a business guy, when I look back to 2009, that's when I started eXp. I literally said, Okay, we want to build a recession proof business, something that, you know, when the next crash takes place. You know, it'll be painful, but it won't put us out of business. I mean, so many businesses had to close during the housing crisis, and that we had, and some of it was stuff that would have happened anyway, because of the internet. So you think about Borders Books, you know, that was probably doomed anyway. But it went down, I think sort of in that, that, you know, housing market crash. So you sort of look at, you know, the the role of technology, and you look at the fact that markets go up and down. And you look at the idea that you know, that what's going to replace whatever business that is, and the next, the next iteration, or after the next crash is going to be, it's going to have to be more efficient than than the previous way that the business was done. And so for me back in 2009, having been even well 95, we moved back up, right up by the Canadian border, back in 86 so my parents moved up, and then I, I was going to college. Originally, I thought my parents were going to pay for college, but they lost everything so and I didn't, didn't get the best grades that I possibly could. So I was, I ended up dropping out and moving moving back home with my parents, my parents moved back to the Pacific Northwest in 86. And, and, and then I moved back up, but I think, for me, it was really just one of sort of paying attention. Even as a kid I, I sort of paid attention. I read a lot of books, I was a kid. I love consuming lots of content. In fact, you know, Og Mandino, who actually was a was one of the publishers of SUCCESS® Magazine back in, I think the 70s or 80s, you know, reading his book, like the greatest salesman in the world, Zig Ziglar. His books, you know, see at the top, and then I think how to sell anything. I think, anyway, there, I read a lot of Zig, I really liked well reading, what would be considered to be positive mental attitude books, and then just hearing how people made it. So that was kind of a big deal for me was just seeing how different business people navigated the challenges that they went through. And so everyone went through challenges and just sort of recognizing that I would be navigating challenges myself in business as well.
Todd Foster 12:47
I have a question in regards to your dad and grandfather. So what did they do to recover? And how do they recover from that? Both financially and mentally?
Glenn Sanford 12:55
Yeah, so um, my uncle didn't put any of his money into oil and gas. So he did just fine. So he was, he was very conservative with his money and his so he was able to sort of navigate that. And as a result, my grandpa, you know, in grandma, they lived up and up in Abbotsford, British Columbia, right next door, pretty much to my my uncle and aunt. And so they were they were generally fine. My dad ended up going into helping actual companies sort of pivot and scale, and primarily through public companies. So he, from the early 90s, probably 90, 91, 92, he was well actually was early that. Even in the late 70s. He was, or 80s, he was helping companies structure and then and then actually merge themselves into public companies, primarily over the counter shells. And so that was a business that he did. And I joined them a bit in probably 88,89, 90 and kind of worked with him off and on through probably till about 97-98. And, and so that was kind of his, his way to make a living. And he would, he would help put these companies together, he would keep a few shares for himself hoping that these companies would be successful. Unfortunately, almost every one of them wasn't successful, even though the businesses themselves were were fine businesses. They just weren't public company appropriate. So they, you know, they ended up going in, there was no real market for those companies because they didn't, they weren't really trying to fundamentally change or grow to a size that would actually interest the public markets. And so most of them kind of struggled as as public companies and eventually, you know, they either, you know, wound down the the public company and my private company etc. But I learned a lot through that process. So that was It was very formative for me. And he makes some other consulting fees doing that. But that was just generally what he did. He did, really, sort of consulting and helping companies that wanted to be public, because they the allure of being public was something that a lot of entrepreneurs golden, I've made it when I'm public. Well, you're, if you want help getting public, then that was what my dad did. And it was his way of making a living there in the, in the 90s.
Alyssa Stanley 15:28
So, as a young man, you saw the ebbs and flows of starting a business and entrepreneurship. You saw one side, success, and then the other side, total and complete loss within investment. It makes me curious, what made you want to go that path? Because some people would see that and go, Oh, I'm out? I don't, that's that's too much risk?
Glenn Sanford 15:54
Yeah, so I think one of the things is, it's a great question, because, you know, most businesses, starting out, don't make it. I mean, if you look at the odds of starting a business, and actually being successful with that business, it's a pretty, it's a pretty low percentage. So if you're, if you're really sort of, if you're really playing the odds, you know, starting businesses is, you know, somewhat somewhat risky. The other side of it is, though, that if you're around it long enough, you start to understand what makes businesses tick. And that's why they have business schools, and all the other things that are out there is because there are certain aspects of business, that actually, if you actually understand it, businesses aren't that risky. So. So I got to see, you know, a lot of it. So I started initially, actually, in 87, I became a stockbroker, and so and so I did that in Las Vegas, and that I kind of left there and then came up and worked with my dad, up in Blaine, Washington. And so he had a company called Request Financial Services. And I was as I was still a stockbroker for a company that time called column and sand out actually the different company. Can't remember the name at the moment, but I was a stockbroker. And so I was I was doing fairly conservative stock picking. But, you know, my dad would sort of have me talk to various business people, because I was this the, in the in family stockbroker, and every once a while, I'd raise money for some companies. And because I liked the idea, and invariably, these are small public companies, invariably, they ended up not doing as well as they could have, almost every one of them got had to get reorganized and reorganized again, and that that there's a whole thing in the Vancouver Stock Exchange, which was sort of in my backyard was that was the whole thing you put a put a mining project, or oil or gas project in, you speculate bunch of people raise money, they go drill, or they go try to prove up the property, invariably, there was nothing there. And then they'd have to go and do restructure the shell. And then they go find another project and roll it in. And so but then you they I saw that also with with other companies. And so eventually, I said, Well, you know, it doesn't make sense for me to be out, outside the company, I'd like to be inside of a company. So I did investor relations work for for a couple different companies in the, in the early 90s, probably about 93-94. And so now I'm on the inside, and I'm watching these businesses. And I'm watching the like, business people who seem to have really great ideas. They run some decent sized businesses. And they they had this sort of, we'll say, this brilliance, this inventor mindset, but they sucked at execution. And so I was raising money inside the companies. And then eventually, I'm like, going, I've got to do my, I've got to start my own deal. And so So eventually, I did, I started a couple of companies. One was a, basically a web development company, an online service called Interactive cafe. And we rolled that into a small public company. And then because of some internal struggles that we spun back out, and then I started another company called eshippers.com, which was an outsource e-commerce logistics company in 1998, and wrote the business plan and then raised money for it. And I ended up being a 25% shareholder in the company that that, that I founded, but we raised about 2 million for the company. And it was a great idea, but I had a bonehead of a business partner. So every time I went through these processes, I sort of took notes this okay, if I ever do it again, I'm not doing I'm doing it this way, not that way. And so you know, so The first one was, I'm not going to raise money for companies unless I'm part of the company. And once I became part of the company, I'm gone. I'm not gonna raise money for a company unless I start the company. Then I raised money and I found out I got a boneheaded business plan, a business partner. And then, and then I'm, and then my next iteration really was in real estate. In 2002, after eshippers going back to the issue of eshippers days, the company I founded, the guy who raised the money, a guy named Wayne Hunter, he raised it, but he really was a golfer. He really and he liked financing. He liked going out and networking, but he didn't really like the idea of really running the company. But I wanted to run the company. And so I wanted to partner with me. We did partner with United Van Lines, Mayflower transit, and they actually offered a space there. There was a group inside their organization called the inside logistics, where we were going to use their pick and pack. They were using their warehouses there for pick and pack fulfillment. So we were doing kind of early on Amazon kind of stuff. Back in, in in 2000, 2001. So we raised a couple million dollars. But Wayne's like, I want the company be located in Phoenix, Arizona. And the reason why is he's a big golfer, had nothing to do with business. And, and and he's, and he made the phrase, He who has the gold makes the rules like, Okay, well, I guess, you know, I guess I get that. And so we went there, he wouldn't even sign checks to put furniture in the office that we leased down there. So he was, so it's so it was really kind of a boneheaded deal. And then we had a board of directors, and we actually were part of a public company. And they were blown off their stock and a bunch of other stuff. So it was kind of a kind of a, anyway, for lack of a better term, it was a bit of a shit show. So that was kind of the thing. And so when I got out of that, in 2000, late 2001, I literally made a kind of a religious decision that I'm not going to answer to a board of directors or shareholders. And so I ended up doing web design work locally in the Pacific Northwest, for small businesses, and one of the one of the businesses, one of the people that I did a website for was a local realtor. And he was the top real estate agent in the area. And he started generating leads, I was 35. At the time, he was 63 at the time, and he said, Glenn, you need to get your real estate license. And I'm like, I'm like, you and I need a real estate license. Like I need a hole in the head. I wasn't super excited about about it. And I said, Well, nobody makes any money in the first couple years in the business. I'd already figured figured out that, you know, it can be a rough start for business. And so he said, what's it going to take? And I said, I don't know, guarantee me three grand a month. And then he said, Fine. And so that was like, crap, I didn't really want you to say that. And then uh...
Alyssa Stanley 23:03
You should've started with a higher number.
Glenn Sanford 23:04
Well, I couldn't. But that was just the first time I did and so now I'm finding it financially, and then that it was okay. I'm not going to go to I'm not going to sit open houses, I'm not going to wear a REALTOR pin at the grocery store. I'm going to basically build a business online. And, and it's going to work or it's not going to work. And he said, Fine, fine, fine. So so now I'm kind of stuck. And then I had to study for my real estate license exam. And so what 30 days later, he goes, Glen, how come you don't have your license?'' I said, Well, I get paid $60 an hour to do website development work. So I've been focused on that to pay the bills. And he says, I'll pay you $60 an hour to go study for your license, go get your darn license. So I literally I'm probably the first person in the history of real estate to get paid $60 now to actually study for my real estate license exam. But But I did that and got my license. And so I was on his team for a bit but and so we had a two year deal. But and then I then I went and started my own team. And again, at this point, I'm not answering to shareholders, I have no board of directors, life is good. I'm really good at the Internet lead gen thing because I've been doing sort of internet based marketing. Even in the 90s pre web, I was doing some internet marketing, type type activities, online services, etc. So I really had a good sense of Internet Marketing. And I also had a good sense of sort of what it took to scale a business and also you know, just just some of the other and I was decent at sales, having been a stock broker when I was 21 and 87, etc. So I kind of developed kind of a full set of skills by that point in time. And so really just worked on building a business and so then it was then was built into a personal practice. And by my fourth full year 2006 was the top 50 nationally with Keller Williams. I did 60 million in production, which was a which was a good number still is a good number but nowadays we definitely have some teams don't, you know, two and three times that as as, as a as just an average large team. So at that time 60 million was was really a usually respectable number come by now you got individual agents that can do that type of volume just because of prices, etc. So that was kind of it. And then then 2000 um, 2008 hit and I had six really top rank websites around the country. And in one of the things that I was trying to do being the house, when the market turned was, I was trying to sell some of the website's off to real estate brokerages saying, hey, this would be a great asset for you, because it's got all this traffic, it's turning all this lead flow. I was trying to sell them for $100,000- $200,000, which was totally worth it. But nobody took it, that that tact, and then I sort of broke down, it's okay, I'm going to take on some shareholders. So So 2000, 2008 was first time I took on shareholders. And we we brought on some shareholders into what the time was called Buyer Tours Realty. And that was to get us from 2008 into 2009. And 2009, we really said, Okay, how do we, how do we do this now for this new economy, and that's where we kind of, you know, came up with the business model of eXp with no bricks and mortar, you know, cloud based revenue sharing program, etc. And so we launched that in in 2009. So that point, small number of friends and family shareholders, we weren't a public company and didn't really have a board beyond what was statutorily required to have a company. And we just continued to kind of go along for the next few years. And it wasn't until 2013, when we became a public company that we had to actually build a board. So as much as I made a religious decision not to have a board of directors and shareholders to answer to, you know, I at least kept that commitment for the better part of 10-11 years.
Alyssa Stanley 27:09
So what was your initial vision in 2009 for eXp, compared to now? Is it pretty close?
Glenn Sanford 27:19
Well, the general value proposition is pretty much exactly the same. So at the time, when we put together eXp, I literally said I looked at all the things that I would have wanted in a real estate brokers that didn't exist anywhere else in the marketplace. So at the time, you had, you know, the standard fare of real estate brokerages, whether it be the REMAXs, the Keller Williams, the Coldwell Bankers, etc. And, and, for the most part, you know, Keller kind of changed the model up a bit because they created their profit share program. But even that failed in 2008-2009. In that, you know, offices, no offices were really profitable during the downturn. So there was no profit share effectively being paid. But I said, you know, the single biggest cost in real estate time was the physical offices I'd had four in 2008, we actually closed down three of them went to a skeleton crew on the fourth. And we said, if we can figure out a way to build it without physical offices, we can save a ton of money. And we could actually say, take some of the savings that we're saving, we can actually pass it back to our agents or brokers in the form of revenue share. And the reason being is I wanted personally to build some sort of religious residual benefit for for my family if something happened to me, real estate's very unforgiving if you're the primary breadwinner if you get hit by a bus then your family is kind of up a creek and and because it's it's very much eat what you kill, there's no retirement program, there's no there's nothing really there to sort of support the family you know, after that and most real estate agents as I observed, he really didn't have a strong financial background to begin with. So they live commission check commission check in so if something happened to him, it would be really bad. Or for most agents out there even agents live agents that were making good money, that was still their, their life. So I went and I'd been a personal agent about top agent, I've been rookie of the year I'd had all these sort of accolades going on. And, and I had a technically a business in my LLC and I had the team that was in there, but it wasn't something that would grow beyond me, unless I was there. So you know, a lot of team based real estate teams that you see all over the country all over the world. They're the lifetime of their brand with them. Name of the agent at the front of that particular team. And that agent is to some extent necessary because they're there, the drive there, the ambition there, the accountability there, all the things that are necessary for that team to, to grow and thrive. They need to bring these young agents into their group, they've got to coach them up, they've got to keep them sort of on testing and bring on the staff, the whole nine yard, but it's all based on on the persona of one person. So I just saw that as being a not a, a fly in the real estate model. And, of course, if you go in and you interview, and of course, Kelley can probably speak to this as well. But, you know, they, they, when they recruit you, they say you have a real estate business now. And, and yet at the same time, in reality, that you have a business, you don't have a business, a business as you because, you know, the the fact is, is that, you know, the business owns you, if you're not producing the business doesn't make any money. And so you are the business. So that was you know, that was one of the, the, the other pieces of it, we wanted to figure out a way to actually get agents off the the hamster wheel deal to deal and, and me included. And the way that I saw being able to get off the hamster wheel is actually starting a business that solved the biggest pain point for REALTORs, which was there's no retirement in, in the business. And we've that that was the thing that we thought would solve it, it would, I knew it would solve it for me. And I figured there was enough other me's out there that, that it would actually take on a life of its own. So now, you know, if I something happens me, you know, I decide to retire, whatever the business model will still continue to go grow and run. And and for probably multigenerational. I don't think there's a whole bunch of stuff that we could do to sort of screw that up. I'm sure we can think of some things but for the most part, I think it's it's it's got a lot of a lot of potential to be a multi generational business that you know, impacts, you know, families for decades to come.
Kelley Skar 32:13
It certainly is a disruptive model, there's no question about it. There seems to be a lot of room in the sandbox to play you know, with with this style of not just a cloud based model, but you know, rev share, there's you know Real brokerage, there's Fathom Realty, there's a couple of different players now kind of in the space that are, you know, for lack of a better term, I guess, are indeed eXp is kind of business model and kind of made it their own. Do you see the older brokerages the Century 21s or perhaps that's not a great example is you know, they're owned by Realogy. But, you know, the RE/MAXs, the Keller Williams, you know, Royal LePage, you know, some of these older brands, do you see them kind of shifting their model to be able to compete, because it does seem like some of these older brands seem to be losing a lot of ground to you know, some of these newer models that are that are starting to emerge.
Glenn Sanford 33:06
Yeah. So you know, one of the challenges that I think the industry has in general is they were all set up to sell franchises. And so whether you think about Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Century 21, all the all the Realogy brands, Berkshire Hathaway, etc. They all were designed to sell these franchises and the franchise agreements pretty much has a bricks and mortar based requirement. It has a certain territory that's attached to it, it's got it's got all these rules attached to it. And those rules go both directions. So they go to the franchisee but they also have impact on the franchisor. And I think that's one of the big challenges like Keller, you know, and I don't know exactly what they'll do. They're certainly coming up with some other strategies around their model. But they've looked at creating the virtual Market Center. And they got a lot of pushback internally is the, is what I hear. And and so that pushback has stopped them from actually launching it. So Gary Keller announced his virtual Market Center at least three or four years ago. And, and it was, you know, to a large extent, a way to try to answer the challenge where he was losing agents to to eXp, probably more than any other single brand. And in fact, I don't think they sort of had an attrition problem before we came along. But they tried to come up with that. And the franchisees, I think, revolted because they they're locked into 5 and 10 year franchise agreements. They, they've got these handcuffs, and then the franchisor was potentially going to compete with them. And I think that's one of the fundamental challenges for the big franchisor. So I think what we're gonna see is we're already seeing it, I mean, you said RND which in the real estate world stands for rip off and duplicate. So, you know, so the, we've got some copycats that are, you know, literally took our exact model, and, you know, they they're competing on price and, and that's their whole thing you know, it's like, we're just gonna be eXp we're gonna be cheaper. What's the phrase we've all heard, especially in sales and coaching is, you know, in the absence of value, what do you compete on? Price. So that's so I think we're we're kind of continuing to innovate and continuing to do things. I think that that first mover's advantage will allow us to continue to do some really interesting stuff over time. Until, you know, but we'll see we've got Real, there's another company called CR Realty, there's there's another there's another company in Florida, I can't remember the name of it. But there's a there's all these companies are sort of popping up and Keller had the same thing happen, by the way. So when Keller was growing, there's a whole bunch of companies that created a profit share model. Almost all of them, I think, have went out of business. Because, you know, it's it's one thing when you're the innovator, but you know, you sort of look at even like RE/MAX, you know, there, there's really not like a number two to RE/MAX. Now you could maybe look at a Realty Executives they're like 1/10th, 1/20th of the size, but that's like their next competitor. And so, you know, once somebody sort of creates a new model in the space, they end up, you know, getting, you know, 80 90% of that new space, ends up being with that, you know, that brokerage,
Alyssa Stanley 36:46
Glenn for a while now, the trend seems to be that privately held real estate companies choose to go from a private company to a publicly held company. There's also privately held real estate companies that have stated in the past that they would never go public, there's a lot of speculation that they will indeed go public in the near future. My question is, could you explain to us what the disadvantages of going from a private to a public company are, or if there are any?
Glenn Sanford 37:15
You know, to be a public company, you have to have a really compelling reason to be public. So there's two reasons that you that you go public, one, you're too big for anybody to buy you if you want an exit strategy. So you're just that that's one. If you don't want an exit strategy, then there's no need to even consider going public. But if you want an exit strategy, and it gets so large, then then you want to go public. The other reason is, you're you're growing. While there may be a third reason I'll I'll mention that one here in a minute. But you're growing so fast, that the the ability to raise money, you can in the public markets, they might give you a significant premium, sort of giving you the ability to raise money, as if you are three or four years down the road, as opposed to where you're at right now. Right now, if you're a private company, and you go raise money, to a large extent, with, you know, unless you get into sophisticated institutions that really like the space, you're going to be raising money based on last year's profit loss statement, and they're not going to give you a lot of credit for future growth, they'll give you some credit, that's why they'll invest in you. But you'd really don't get that valuation job. The third reason, I think, is worth being public. And this is the reason why we became a public company, we didn't raise any money from from the from institutional investors, we didn't need an extra strategy for myself. But we raised it, specifically because I wanted all of our agents and brokers to also be shareholders. So we actually bought a public company never raised any money from from from Wall Street. And we started to, to, to then give shares to our agents. So that was the third reason. But when I sort of think about companies going public, one you want that you want that valuation boost that you get if you're fast growing, so right now we're growing, you know, 70-80-90-100%, year over year, as a company, we've been doing that consistently for for many years. And so for us, that gives us a big valuation bump, because investors can sort of look at the fact that in five years, our P&L should be X in their mind, which means that the company will then be worth Y. And if it's going to be worth the company's will be worth that. And today, it's worth you know, something less than Y and it's better than interest in the bank, then why not buy eXp stock today, and that's kind of the idea and they there's it's called a discounted cash flow analysis where you sort of take the future cash flows and you discount 15%. You know, for multiple years that comes back to sort of giving you a net present value for a company, but that's one of the things that's a big benefit for us. You know, Compass just they just went public. So they went public at $18 a share their down less than $10 a share, $9 something yesterday they were, and their, their market cap is now under 4 billion and they did a raise private raise at $4 billion valuation when they were private, and then they did another small raise, comparatively speaking, when they went public, smaller than I think they were hoping for. But they, they raised some some money, but they're going to be kind of hooked in this public market space, because I think that public markets are already starting to assume that Compass is going to need money long before they're profitable. And, you know, because they are burning, you know, $100 million, $200 million, a quarter, and they only have, you know, two or $300 million on their balance sheet. So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they're going to need to raise some money. Now you look at you know, that a company rumored to go to has eyes are going public is Keller Williams, and they've sort of created KWx, and they brought in somebody to be sort of the the lead or CEO of the the holding company. And so the question is, is, is it a private equity play? Or is it a, or is a public markets play? And, you know, right now, you know, just look at real estate stocks in general. They're all they've all been trending down here recently. So, you know, didn't help that Zillow decided to lose a half a billion dollars in the ibuyer space. But with that, in the market, you know, took a bit of a hit and I think it's sort of spilled over that, you know, the the that that the markets might have been a little overvalued. So you got, you know, Open Door is coming down hard. You got, you know, eXp has been sort of in that draft down as well. So our market cap is still the high, the largest of all organized real estate companies. So it's bigger than Compass, bigger than Redfin, and Realty bigger than RE/MAX. And so we've got this, this fairly large market cap, Zillow has got the biggest market cap in the space, followed by Open Door. But they're not in traditional real estate brokerages with agents. So what I see is like, is the market ripe for Keller to be public, they might be missing their window to be public. You know, if we see higher interest rates, which we are, realtor.com just came up with some stats about a softer housing market in 2022. And you've got sort of this backdrop of a slower housing market, then, you know, investors are going to factor in the future numbers a lot lower than then they would have looked at it like six or 10 months ago, like six or 10 months ago would have been ideal. Like if they could have gone public in February this year. I think they would have been golden, but, you know, trying to go public in February next year, you know, it might mean half the market cap value in terms of the price that they go public.
Alyssa Stanley 43:15
So let's say KW does go public, do you see it boosting in the short term anyone's IPO and stock prices? Or do you think that it could actually bring those down?
Glenn Sanford 43:26
So what it would do is, it would open up Keller's books entirely from a Keller Williams International perspective. So, you know, nobody really knows what's in those books. Like we all know, if you were at a Market Center level, you knew what the Market Center profit was, you knew a little bit about what the global profit share was. For Keller Williams and you knew agent count, but you didn't actually know. You know, where Keller Williams stood in terms of net net profitability. So I think there's a question, you know, do you know, how much do you want to open up that kimono? From a Gary, Gary Keller perspective, I think it's a double edged sword. I think there's definitely benefits to doing that for Gary personally. But I think there's also some challenges to, you know, over revealing your, your, your business, I know, some of the businesses, like I aren't actually being rolled into KWx like, I'm not sure if MAPS is being rolled in there. And so that, you know, that suggests that MAPS is probably quite profitable.
Alyssa Stanley 44:42
What challenges do you see that Gary Keller faces as a founder of a company that may go public that has been privately held for close to 40 years?
Glenn Sanford 44:52
Yeah, I'm not sure you know, you have to like I think he's got some challenges where he basically said he'd never be answering to Wall Street as a company, and he sort of made that statement over the years. So he kind of painted himself into a bit of a corner with that. And so then the question is, what is Gary's long term exit strategy? Like, you know, he's certainly turned over the top post in Keller Williams. I mean it's, I mean talk about a revolving door. So, you know, so it seems that if he can't find good leadership that he can get along with long term. But then, you know, he, it's still got Keller Williams, like, it's his name on the shingle. And so I think he's, I don't know, I, I, I can see him going public, but I see him, I see it creating a lot of challenges for him, just based on past statements.
Alyssa Stanley 45:57
As a franchise company, what hurdles need to be considered when there's franchisees and capped models in the mix?
Glenn Sanford 46:05
My guess is that nobody gets money except whoever owns KWx shares. And so I don't think there's a way like independent contractors, if you think about it, like he, let's say he wanted to go public to do the same thing that eXp does, like he wants to make agent shareholders a noble idea. However, if you think about it, how do you distribute shares to these folks, and then they don't even have a direct relationship with Keller, Williams International, they're franchisees or their agents of a local franchisee. So, you know, how do you do the the shares share swap, and I have no idea but what his is, what his ultimate goal is, but, you know, you go down the path and then you, you get to a point where you have to make a decision and, you know, I my guess is he probably will, he's probably put, he's probably got too much sunk cost and that in the decisions he's made, but I'm not sure it's the right decision.
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Kelley Skar 47:17
It seems you know, it seems the um the public real estate companies all kind of have the same. They, with the exception of one, have the same kind of business model, and that is just to own real estate brokerages. There's no ancillary business models or business units that have been spun off like RE/MAX just owns RE/MAX. And that's it. You know, Realogy might be the exception to that rule. I know that they own a bunch of title companies as well as you know, Coldwell Banker and Century 21 and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and ERA and a bunch of different brands, but ultimately, they're just all real estate brokerages, whereas with what you've created Glenn, as you've, you know, you own Virbela and SUCCESS®, and, you know, eXp and, you know, SUCCESS® Lending now, SUCCESS® Coaching now, you know, all these these different business units, do you think that that is, you know, and like, I've said this to a couple of different people talking about Real Brokerage, you know, again, they're, they're playing in the space, they're, like you have mentioned, you know, kind of a reduced cost imitator of the company that you started, but, you know, ultimately, they're, they're also just a real estate brokerage. And that's it. Do you think that the future of, you know, kind of coming back to this question that I had before about playing in the sandbox is providing all of these ancillary benefits and business units to the agents and contributing to the overall revenue? And which then all ultimately, you know, is going to increase the cost of the share?
Glenn Sanford 48:48
Yeah, so I think, you know, I don't particularly want to talk too much about reality but they've already said they're going to get in the title and mortgage and business, they want to own a title company outright. And, or and do that. So I think it's natural, I mean, Keller has got Keller Mortgage. And so you got and RE/MAX does have Motto Mortgage. So they do have that. But I think you do become a one stop shop. Realogy has their deal with Guaranteed Rate. So we all have sort of different flavors of it. I think that at the end of the day, you do have to figure out you know how to get to some sort of critical mass. And then you also then once you've got a certain number of agents on their platform, then it's now a matter of adding value where you can and in the right way. And so when we think about things like mortgage Title and Escrow you know, we're looking at insurance, health insurance and other things for real estate professionals. Right now. We've got a Health Cooperative that we roll out in the US, but to be able to have that course in Canada insurance is a little bit different animal, but was sort of thinking about, you know, all the things that we can sort of bring and be kind of this overall marketplace for for products and services agents and their customers might want in need, but not sort of be saying, This is what you need to you have to do. So I think that as we grow, like right now, or if you count Canada, we're probably 70-71,000 agents, you know, North America. And you start to think about all the, all the differences in products and services that, you know, can come from there. But then you go another year out, and now we're 130,000 agents or some, some are 120,000, some some number next year, and then, and then you go another year out, and now we're pushing closer to 200,000 agents. So you sort of just do that math, and then you start to just think about all the things that you can naturally just put in it, and that there will be some natural consumption of those products and services, if they exist inside the same ecosystem. And then if our, as our agents are also our shareholders, they get the extra benefit, every time one of those services are used. It just enhances the value prop and the share value, etc.
Kelley Skar 51:27
You know, we've talked a lot about brick and mortar and you know, how it relates to real estate companies and you know, success there, whether they're successful or not, whether that's the actual future, it's interesting to me that you guys came up with the concept for SUCCESS® Spaces. So can you maybe run us through that a little bit, Glenn, and give us an understanding as to what that actually is?
Glenn Sanford 51:46
Yeah, so one of the things that we've been working on for years is trying to come up with a brand for a co-working company. So this is eXp, Realty and holdings. And the reason why is there's a lot of one, we provide all of our agents with access to the Regis network. So we're a big user of Regis, you can get a Regis card and drop in any Regis anywhere in the world, with the Regis card that we provide was a great benefit. But we also have, you know, broker owners converting their offices over to eXp and they're like, What do we do with our offices? We played with the idea that a co-working concept would make a ton of sense for their offices. So you know, instead of being a real estate office, you're a co working office, and if agents want to come in agents use co working spaces all all the time, they could have this other business that now actually provides benefits to the, to the larger entrepreneur and business community, in their local marketplaces, which is actually really beneficial, also to the real estate industry. So we said, hey, you could always turn your office into a co-working space, and we came up with a number of different concepts over the years, but nothing really quite stuck. And then we bought SUCCESS®, like, Oh, this is a perfect brand, because you can now you know, on the walls, put up the covers of the various magazines, you can bring in all that content. And we've got, I don't. I don't even know the content library that we own, but it's huge, so you get access to a huge library of content as a member. And then by embedding a certified SUCCESS® coach in the space, you've got somebody who actually has a vested interest in helping people succeed in there, not just sell them a desk or some some time, or, or, you know, or just make money from the cafe, etc. So, the idea is really that it kind of serves a whole bunch of different business prospects and franchise sales are going actually really well. You know, they've been coming together, we've got, you know, first ones, we'll be opening up mid late 2022. But we've already got, you know, a number of contracts signed, we've got spaces there least, and now it's just a matter of going through the build out and then and then helping these first franchisees get into business, but it's an amazing concept. And in my opinion, you know, for those people who always wanted to be in the co-working business and have an affinity to personal development. It's like the perfect intersection of having a co-working space, having something available to your local community and having something attached to know, as I said, personal development and being more successful.
Todd Foster 54:53
So you're looking to branch successfully even more things?
Glenn Sanford 54:57
It could be you know, I think it's And now a matter of sort of digesting what we've already expanded into, and then and then seeing if there's some additional adjacencies that we want to use the SUCCESS® brand in. But, you know, having, you know, the longest running personal development brand in existence outside of the Bible. Yeah, you know, it's, it's, it's pretty amazing what you can sort of think about the number of lives that can impact
Todd Foster 55:27
When you went public with eXp, did you have a goal as if it'd be great if we have a valuation of 500 million or a billion? Or has it exceeded your expectations? More than you thought?
Glenn Sanford 55:41
Yeah, so definitely exceeded my expectations when we went public initially, when, and we've done it through reverse merge of a of a, of a public shell. But at the time, I think we had 47 million shares, I think something like that. And we were about to have about 20 cents of shares when we did that. So we bought an I think, a $9.4 million valuation. And so, you know, and we knew, we believe that I think where I sort of thought about it, is that if we could get to a $5 valuation, that that would be pretty amazing. And that would have been a company valuation of 230 million or something like that. So so that was, that was a number that, you know, it was a pretty big number for me too, because that number, and I was, it was a kind of emotional day when we hit a $5 price target, because it pushed me and not that the the number was reason why I was doing it. But it pushed my personal net worth to something like $100 million, something like that. So it's like a crazy number. And I'm like, This is crazy money. Like I've never, never, ever, in my wildest imagination thought that I'd have even on paper. Because there's, there's a difference between paper money and real money. But even on paper, I'd never thought that I'd have a $100 million valuation. Personally, when we started eXp, or what have you, I thought, you know, I got 30 or 40 or $50 million. For me, that was a home run. And it's, you know, it's a home run for pretty much anybody. So then it's like, that's a big number, then, of course, curse now, it's added another zero to that. And then it's like, I don't even know what to think about that. Because I, you know, 90% of that is not money they'll probably ever use.
Todd Foster 57:41
When you look at that number. Does it feel real? And my second thing is, do you think differently about spending money? Or is it still thinking about that? Because I would think almost like $1,000 to a billionaire would be almost a penny. Right? So does your mindset completely change over? Or does it get your head? Holy cow, am I gonna do with this? Is it more stress or actually joy?
Glenn Sanford 58:05
Yeah, so certain things are different. For sure. I mean, you know, now what I, what I what I closed shop, I, I, you know, I really don't look at the price tag, like, like, it's not, you know, whether a pair of jeans costs $70 or $200 isn't as an is a non issue. So, you know, so that's kind of a, you know, so that's kind of a change. Debbie, of course, she's got a lot more fashion sense than I do. So she does get me some nice looking stuff. I was wearing some shoes the other day and I would never have been caught dead in these shoes like years ago. They're this sort of patchwork shoe. It's got all this. It looks like a patchwork quilt, but it's actually done on a shoe. So that's like okay, well I'll wear them. I guess I don't really want to work in public like in a normal setting because it's just a little bit like not not normal. But I do it. You know, I look at my credit card statement every month. I look at my you know, my personal spending hasn't hasn't increased that much. But you know, but you know, I do get to where I'm going. Sometimes traveling is a little nicer than I used to. And at the same time, like we were coming back from Las Vegas from eXp con and went to LA initially and so flew from LV to to LaX for $59 on Southwest So, and then, and then they just opened up southwest just opened up in Bellingham, Washington. And so we're gonna fly southwest today. So for you know, so flew Southwest from LAX connected and Oakland waited for a couple hours till the next plane, you know, for the plane changed and flew up. And you know, I could have done it private, but it would have been $10,000 versus $235. And it probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference to me from a lifestyle perspective, if any. But I still like to fly commercial, you know, a fair bit.
Todd Foster 1:00:35
I love that. Yeah, it's almost like when you hit the lottery, and you've always dreamt of it, and now you hit it. And now what happens and if you look at most lottery winners, it doesn't happen to turn out very well for them. And I always thought about the mindset, that of exactly how that feels. Because of my feelings, I think I almost become freaking out about it a little bit.
Glenn Sanford 1:00:55
Yeah, there's definitely, you know, one thing I've realized, is when somebody like me has a fairly giving nature, so if somebody asks for help, and you know, a chair, again, a lot of charities have made a few investments this year. And I've probably noticed this year specifically, that I'm not sure how, how solid A lot of those like the like, certainly the charitable giving. Makes sense, I would have done that anyway, I'm starting to sort of look at, you know, am I just investing in things because people are asking me to, or am I doing it because they're actually good investments. And I think one of the reasons why lottery winners to pro sports, you know, a lot of people, they end up kind of messing it up a bit, because they end up throwing money at a whole bunch of stuff. And then they end up there with a tax bill. Like, I'm even looking at my own personal tax bill. And it's gonna be substantial. I mean, we're talking, you know, an eight figure tax bill for this year. And, and, you know, so, you know, the, and I'm going, Okay, well, I've done all this stuff, and I'm like, going crap, where's my money for taxes. And so, you know, the end up, recognizing that, that you'll have to run your personal finances as if it's a business. And I think that's kind of my mindset, understanding this year, like, if I would have gone did a big exit, and taken all my money out, might have might have hurt me, in some respects, because it would have been like hitting the lottery. But you know, I've got a small amount, I'm selling like one and a half percent of my total eXp holdings every year. So very small percentage, but it's still a decent sized financial number, but it is teaching me a little bit about my own money, and how to make sure that, you know, at the end of the day, you know, I'm able to, you know, pass on some of that to my kids, as opposed to, you know, potentially blowing it like my my dad did.
Todd Foster 1:02:55
Do you have that in the back of your head that maybe this could all go away eventually, that fear? Well, I don't know that I actually don't think that but I do.
Glenn Sanford 1:03:05
I, I'm very good personally at watching what somebody does, and learning from it, especially if that was the wrong decision. Like a lot of times you don't learn as much from people when they make the right decisions. Because you don't, you know, by, you know, so if you see a whole bunch of people doing a lot of things there, when they make the right decisions, like, yeah, those are good decisions, but they were good decisions for a particular reason at that particular moment. Or when they make a bad decision, it really sort of crystallizes what works and what doesn't work better than then seeing what does work, because it's what does work usually only works for a finite period of time. What doesn't work tends to have some sort of recurring theme attached to it. And a lot of this comes from some of the economics, there was economics, that any time there's somebody, there's an economic benefit doing something, they'll always be competitors that will erode that economic benefit. So if I go in there and do the exact same thing, that doesn't mean that I'm destined for success, it means that, you know, that I'll probably have some success for a period of time, but you didn't do it for this for the right reason. You were doing it like so we would go back and look at you know, one company we're talking about earlier, they're doing it because they think there's an economic benefit to doing it for copying a company because there's so much benefit that we've enjoyed, but that doesn't mean that they're going to enjoy it. And, and, and, and they may end up you know, hitting their head on on a brick wall or something at the end of the day because, you know, they may not have the momentum, they're certainly not going to get all of the amazing leaders that we already have an eXp because for the most part, you know, once you're in the eXp ecosystem, you're now you're pretty much a lifer. You know, it's pretty, pretty hard to sort of unless we fundamentally do something more morally Irie, pencil but be hence reprehensible as a company, you know you're going to, you're going to want to stay with it. Because there's so many benefits that you you're enjoying at this point,
Alyssa Stanley 1:05:14
You know, I want to touch on something that I believe will keep eXp above competition all time because when we talked earlier about your vision of eXp and why you wanted to start it, there was so much heart and purpose behind it. It wasn't, you know, Glenn, at a younger age saying I want to be a millionaire and for so many years, I want to be a billionaire. And for so many years, you wanted to start this business because you're the ultimate problem solver. And, solving that problem, I don't ever want a family to lose all of their money because if brokerage goes down, like I want to affect people, generational wealth will make an impact in this world. And I think that will always set eXp above the competition. And now you've acquired SUCCESS® Magazine and SUCCESS® Coaching. So I'm curious if that vision copacetic Lee goes across the board or if you have a different vision for SUCCESS® Magazine and SUCCESS® Coaching?
Glenn Sanford 1:06:14
No, I think it's the same overall vision, you know, one thing many of you heard me say was said before. But I don't really want to have businesses that compete with the business. So 100% of everything that I do is in eXp world holdings. So in terms of what takes my mind share, now there may be a point in time when I retire and somebody takes the reins and runs the company, but at this point in time, everything that I do is here. And so like SUCCESS® Magazine, is something I had an opportunity to buy myself, in fact, technically I owned it for 30 days, myself before eXp actually became the the actual owner of the magazine and there was, was more from a logistical standpoint, I could move a lot faster, personally than the public company could do in terms of an acquisition, and there was a very short time fuse attached to the acquisition so so I did that. But the ultimate goal was to get into eXp World Holdings hands, because eXp is my long term vehicle for all good things. The other thing is, is that SUCCESS®, if you think about it as an agent, agents, good agents, great agents, maybe not good agents, but certainly great agents, they're all filling their mind with positive motivating content, they've probably got a coach, they probably you know, they probably got you know, they've got some sort of accountability system, they're also then filling their mind with positive content and SUCCESS® Magazine for me, as a, as a business professional, as a real estate professional, it was a magazine, I would pick up from time to time, grab the CD, I subscribe to it for a period of time etc. And for me, it was just naturally matched up with the mindset of a great agent. And when I was offered the opportunity to acquire it, it made sense to pull it in, there were a couple of reasons. One in eXp, we don't have a professional coaching and training now we do have a training arm of the company it is professional, but we don't we don't charge for and and and that was by design that was to some extent to sort of set side by side with other companies where they charge for their their training and their coaching. But then when we got the opportunity to buy SUCCESS®, it sort of created another platform where we could take it up a level and now say okay, here's where the premium staff were, where a coach won't come in and coach on a relative stipend. They do want and deserve to be paid something more akin to premium coaching, that's their livelihood, this is how they make a living. They've done the research they've spent countless years if not decades, honing their craft and they want a platform to actually get that out into the marketplace. And so you know SUCCESS® made total sense when you think about all the people. We’ve got the 125 year anniversary cover coming out and you got you know, whether it be the the Tony Robbins or the Mel Robbins or if you go back in time to Napoleon Hill to you know, to the original founding of the magazine, you see all these Perseids. If you were in personal development, helping people be great at what they do not just be good, but be great at what they do. Then you really wanted to, to to be, you know, involved with that, you know, magazine being SUCCESS®.
Alyssa Stanley 1:09:56
So I'm curious, do you have a coach? And who has been your most influential coach or leadership personnel in your life?
Glenn Sanford 1:10:07
I look at it kind of a couple of different ways. One, I've had some amazing mentors in, in business and so it was sort of on the job coaching. So my first when I became a stockbroker, in 87. I worked for a gentleman named Herman Gallic. And and so he was from New York, he really had a phenomenal work ethic, his big his daughter was a attorney, his son was a doctor, and this guy got up at five, he worked until like, nine or nine at night, before he went to bed, probably might have had one or two hours to sort of, you know, for whatever, some social activities, but he was just this complete workaholic. He was also my roommate in Las Vegas, which was probably not the best move on my part. But at the same time, it was probably the best thing that could happen to me. And so Herman was while I was taking the real estate, or not the real estate stockbroker exam, I was doing all the practice exams, and Herm would go in over the answers the next morning before I got up. So he's up at 5am, getting up at 5:30. But he would, if I missed questions I should have missed because I go stay for the exam. He literally woke up, probably the neighborhood with “Sanford, how the F Did you miss this question?” And that was, that's how I woke up for six months, I had him as my roommate. So I went from being a graduate high school with a 192, by the way, and I basically flunked out my first couple of years of university, so on at 86, I moved in with my parents at seven. I took this job as a stockbroker after being sort of a manager rebar and I was doing some community college stuff, but then I was with him for six months. And then I was a stockbroker back up home in the Pacific Northwest. But then I decided to go back to university, which only went for another year. And I wasn't really good at the whole university part. But when I went back, I went from flunking out to being on the Dean's honor roll. And kids did not even want me in their class because I was setting the curve in the class. And so so he really kind of created a huge, huge work ethic for me. So he was probably a big one. The other one was probably the other biggest influencer was a guy named Jerry Sahlberg, who's passed away now. But he was in the mid 90s, he had run a portion of Kerry Packer, Australian billionaire, part of his businesses, he ran. And he was just an amazing sort of business thought leader, engineer, CEO. And so I got to be not coached directly by him, but I was around him, you know. And so he really helped uplevel my thinking in a lot of different ways. And then I was also a coach, coaching thing, I was also always into sports, primarily judo. And at the same time, I'm listening to audios. So like I'm, I listen to all the Tom Hopkins stuff. So you know, so you got a chance maybe to see him a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas. But, you know, I listened to his stuff religiously. And I was practicing the scripts and dialogues. And I was always putting myself into uncomfortable situations, because I wanted to master the art of selling. But I never really, I did hire a couple coaches over the years. But I'm moving so fast that the coaches were having trouble keeping up with me. So it was kind of a little bit of a strange conundrum for them. By, you know, what I can tell you is I'm probably as well read as anyone out there as it comes to, you know, whether it be and read, well read and also really good at implementing so like seven habits of highly effective people was my Bible for years. And I would literally sort of operate with that. Now I'm using more of an OKR style. So you know, you may have seen the well, I know you guys have seen the SUCCESS® achievement system and the Trello boards and the way, that's all stuff that I've developed, because it worked for me and the teams I worked on, and the OKR systems. And so I'm always about reading something and implementing. And so I have zero fear of implementation, whereas I think a lot of people struggle with it. They read it now but they aren't confident enough in their own ability to go implement it. And so I think that's where the coaching is probably super impactful when somebody can really hold you accountable to actually put that new system in place, put that new strategy, develop that new habits, make sure that you're really sort of taking yourself to the next level. So, you know, eventually, if you don't have a coach, you can truly be self-sufficient in what you're doing.
Todd Foster 1:15:27
Oh, Glenn, we have a great coach for you at SUCCESS® Coaching.
Glenn Sanford 1:15:27
Kelley Skar 1:15:31
We actually have thrown this question to our coaches to see if they had any questions that they wanted to, you know, have us ask you and one that kind of continually sticks out at me here is, was was presented by Dago, he's one of our coaches, he said, undoubtedly, eXp is on its way to becoming the number one company in real estate, how is eXp positioning itself to continue to be the disruptor and not be disrupted in the future?
Glenn Sanford 1:16:01
Well, what is just to try to be a day one company. So you know, Jeff Bezos, I don't know if you guys know, he basically, you know, made headlines by saying that, you know, Bezos predicts that he will get disrupted. And if you think about it, you know, what companies have made it more than, like, 50 or 100 years, like, not many, I mean, they they may be, but they're sort of a, you know, some shell of their former existence inside of maybe another company. So sort of the longest running companies in the United States, you know, came out when there's electricity. So you got GE, you got IBM, you got, you know, you got a few companies that have sort of lasted long term. So, what I like about Jeff Bezos' comment about being a day one company, is that if you don't recognize the need to be a day one company, you might start to rest on the laurels of who you were. And, and, and I think that's, you know, if you think about, you know, in real estate, we've all been around, you know, Century 21, which used to be the largest real estate brokerage in the United States, at least, and maybe the world. And, and then I think, you know, RE/MAX was certainly one of the largest, the largest, and Coldwell Banker was the largest, if not the largest. And, and, and then now you have Keller Williams, you know, that became the largest and, you know, in my opinion by 2024, we’ll be larger than Keller. So, then that's sort of just looking at the math. And if the math holds true, then in 2024, it will be the largest single real estate brand in the world. And I think it's a, I think it cuts both ways, I think the size does have some, some challenges that come with it, you know, when I'm in there, with a small team running in my local marketplace, I can pivot really quickly. The larger you get, the less easy it is to pivot. And so I think we think about companies that have similar comp models to eXp’s. I mean, you know, there's, there's companies like, you know, Amway, is, you know, it's, it's still a very, very large company, but it's not the growing company, that that it was years ago, it still still provides a great opportunity for people who want to take advantage of it. And they want to build inside of that system. There's opportunities to do that. But it's not the opportunity that was, you know, in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and maybe even the 90s, it's, it's a different opportunity, but it's a safe opportunity. It's very systematic, it's very, very straightforward. The the, so then you think about, you know, what, what, disrupts us, obviously, you get to a certain size and you have a certain trappings of your model. Ours is rev share and equity. You know, maybe that may be the disruption, it has to do with crypto, you know, maybe you know, but we don't know what that next disruption is going to be. Then, you know, who knew? In in 1984, when, when Keller Williams started that the internet was going to change everything, you know, and by by the by 2020, there be zero reason to physically have to go and set up a physical office to run real estate brokerage, you can still do it, it still makes a decent living for people who do that. But the opportunity is way bigger for somebody if they're ambitious, in a model more like eXp than it would be to go, sort of we'll call the safe route of Keller, so when we become safe, I think that's when we're probably the most likely to face disruptive influences. And at that point in time, it'll be on us to figure out a way to pivot in the face of those disruptions. The one thing we have on our side, which is huge, I talked about earlier, is, we're not a franchise. So we actually do have the ability, through our, through our agreements with our agents, through all kinds of different things to actually be able to pivot as, as needed, if needed. And, and I, my, I don't know what that is or what that possibility could be. But we do have the ability to, to make various changes, to, to the model to adopt different things, and we can do it corporately, without having to go through a lot of bureaucracy that our franchise system creates.
Todd Foster 1:20:56
You stated in the past that the market crashed about every 10 years. Do you consider what the entire world went through last year as a crash? Or are you still looking for that crash? Because if you look at the financial housing crash, it's been, what, 12, 13 years ago? And if you do see something happening there, do you have a plan in place on the “what if” that does happen for eXp?
Glenn Sanford 1:21:21
Oh, yeah. So one thing, you know, we're right now we're really well positioned to weather a crash. So so it just, it just the way we've designed the model, it's, it's, I don't want to say it's real crash proof, but it's as close to crash proof as as, as we can say, so our Achilles heel right now, and but it's the Achilles heel of literally any modern day company, is if the internet goes down, like that's, that's our, that's our biggest risk by you think about, you know, what doesn't get disrupted? Like, if the internet goes down for long periods of time, like more than, say, two weeks? That goes on for like, six months? How do you run a business, that's all you know, where you have to have access to the internet like we do, we rely on cloud based services for pretty much everything that we do. Now, the internet's built in a way that it fundamentally shouldn't ever go down, because it's really just peer to peer connections. And I don't know exactly how the internet goes down, because there's no central internet authority that you can sort of take out, but, you know, maybe there's a virus that somehow infects every single, you know, network operation center in the country. So that would be somewhat problematic. But through, you know, if let's say that we definitely have higher inflation than we've seen in 35 years, right now, a lot of that has to do with the supply train chain constraints, not because of the over inflation of money, even though that creates some additional pressure. So we'll, we'll see some things kind of have issues because of that. But we could fundamentally still operate at 50% of our current national sales volumes, and probably still even be a profitable real estate brokerage. Now, not a given. But almost all of our costs are variable, not not fixed. So we're able to sort of scale down expenses as necessary.
Todd Foster 1:23:28
I see why eXp and everything that you have, is going great because of the person you are, and you are just a really, really nice guy.
Glenn Sanford 1:23:37
Thanks. And I, you know, everybody's got a different management style, but I think some of you, there's, there's reasons for each style. Like there's, there's certain parts of the organization that in the past, you know, my nice guy of style didn't work. So I had to bring somebody in, to not be so nice.
Todd Foster 1:23:59
Does anything upset you? And if you do get upset Glenn, how do you respond or react?
Glenn Sanford 1:24:03
Yeah, a lot of people don't know, you know, when I'm stressed out, but I do. Right now, I think things are so good for me personally, that I don't get too stressed out. I got a new app on my phone here recently, it’s called Humanity. It's kind of a paid app. It's kind of helpful to extend, extend your whole span or lifespan, supposedly, in terms of just your daily activities. And so it's got me, you know, meditating, probably 3040 minutes a day, and it's got me making sure I get my four to five mile running every day and it's got me you know, it's now got they just added the nutritional side. So it's kind of mapping my intermittent fasting and so it's got a lot of these sorts of things. So but I think, you know, I've got a kind of a meditative personality style and One of the things that if you do, are a meditator or have been or were thinking about, I think one of the benefits of meditating is that, you have to understand that a lot of the thoughts that you have in your head around that stress you out, are just to some extent made up, lots made up by somebody else made up by yourself, made up by whoever, whatever it is, and stuff, you'll start to just kind of just be able to learn to just breathe and just recognize that whatever it is, you know, it just is, and whatever the outcome is, is going to be outcome. And there's, there's, there's not a whole bunch you can do about it. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't stress or what have you. I've, I've stressed a lot over the years. But I've also recognized that they, like the CEO role in a company, is one of the roles that actually has one of the shortest longevity of individuals. So because of the stress of being a CEO. So one of the things if you recognize that you can also be proactive in trying to figure out ways to either not stress or, or de stress in ways that you'll help put your body back together.
Todd Foster 1:26:22
If I just had 1% of your calmness, my life would be completely different.
Glenn Sanford 1:26:27
But you seem pretty cool. You're doing you're doing great, Todd.
Kelley Skar 1:26:31
Yeah, he hides it very, very well.
Glenn Sanford 1:26:33
Well, I could be hiding it. This could be a whole, it could be a total illusion. Yeah. Just for this podcast.
Todd Foster 1:26:38
As a billionaire, do you have Mark Cuban calling you up asking if you want to go hang out?
Glenn Sanford 1:26:43
No, you know, ironically, you know, I think I was close to having not hit the sort of billionaire status. But somebody tried to connect me with with Mark Cuban. Mark is not the easiest guy to connect with. Like, he definitely has lots of lots of like, he wanted to know an agenda, what we're going to talk about, like, I just want to meet you. So. So I've not met I've not met Mark Cuban yet.
Todd Foster 1:27:13
Is there someone that you've met because of who you are now that you've always desired to meet?
Glenn Sanford 1:27:17
Um, well, that is not because of the billionaire status but just because of being in the real estate space. I was blown away when I got the LinkedIn request. This was three years ago or so when I got a LinkedIn request from Tom Hopkins. I was like,
Kelley Skar 1:27:32
I knew you were gonna say that. Yeah, that is cool. Yeah. Interesting.
Glenn Sanford 1:27:37
So I got this LinkedIn request. I'm, I'm, I'm in bed, I look at my phone. And I'm like, and Debbie's there, like, Oh, my God, Tom Hopkins just sent me a LinkedIn request. And so, so then I'm like, so I write back immediately. Like Tom Hopkins, I can't believe that you're, you're connecting with me. And so then I sent him an email. And this was probably somebody this probably wasn't Tom himself, but it probably somebody else. But anyway, two weeks later, I found myself having lunch with Tom Hopkins in Scottsdale, Arizona. And so that was kind of a really cool deal. Of course, you know, I got to meet here more recently, and build a relationship with Grant Cardone. And now, Glen, and Mindy Stearns, and so and the way I met Grant was through eXp, and then clubhouse, but he did that second season of undercover billionaire. And then while I was watching, we watched the first season, which is Glenn Stearns season, and then it's like, all man, really want to meet Glenn Stearns, and then meet him at Grant's house in our place in Miami. And now we've got SUCCESS® Lending. So we've got this new relationship. So I probably know now. Two or two maybe, actually do I know three billionaires now. So I didn't know any before I was a billionaire.
Alyssa Stanley 1:29:12
Yeah. So Glen, just so much kindness and very humble. I just and as the SUCCESS® coach, it humbles me to be able to talk to you because I'm not a real estate agent. And so I see what eXp does, and I've been around eXp, real estate agents, and I've seen the impact that you've made, but it is just to know that the man I'm essentially working for and with is as humble and kind as you are. makes me very happy. So thank you for everything.
Glenn Sanford 1:29:45
Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you. Appreciate it.
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