AI 'more disruptive' than lawsuits, Sanford tells eXp agents
New buyer agency agreements are coming (though agents don't have to use them), but the focus should be on relationships, eXp’s CEO said in a YouTube broadcast.
Leaders for eXp Realty expressed their strong support for appealing the recent Sitzer/Burnett verdict during a town hall-style event with their agents on Nov. 16.
What the presentation covered: During a State of the Union event broadcast on YouTube, eXp CEO and Founder Glenn Sanford, Chief Strategy Officer Leo Pareja and Chief Growth Officer Michael Valdes answered questions about the state of the industry, with the buyer commissions lawsuits as the main focus. eXp was not among the defendants in the Sitzer/Burnett suit, but the company was recently named as a defendant in two commissions lawsuits filed in the wake of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict: Gibson and Leeder/Batton 2.
Calling the lawsuits "ill-conceived," Sanford said eXp leadership is closely monitoring the situation, but he encouraged agents to remember that clients are not commission-sensitive, but relationship-sensitive. Focusing on the relationship-based aspect of the real estate business and showing their value are the best strategies for agents going forward, Sanford said.
Asked about the company's biggest concerns around the lawsuits, Pareja said military personnel will be one of the most negatively impacted groups of buyers. He urged eXp agents to start contacting legislators and letting them know what's on the line.
eXp leaders did not touch on allegations of sexual misconduct during the State of the Union, although they were asked about the allegations in the online chat. Sanford addressed the issue during the company's earnings call earlier this month.
Buyer agency agreements: Valdes announced that eXp will be sending out new buyer agency agreements next week in the wake of the verdict. Sanford said the agreements are not mandatory but are a tool that can be used.
A spokesperson for eXp emphasized that the updated agreements are not related to the lawsuit, and the company has "always encouraged agents to use buyer representation agreements."
Artificial intelligence: The leaders spent a fair amount of time discussing how important AI will become to agents. Predicting that it will be "more disruptive" to the industry than the commissions lawsuits, Sanford said real estate agents are well positioned to use AI to their advantage. He said it will simplify tasks for agents, allowing them to focus more on building relationships with consumers.
In the next few years, Sanford expects Americans will have their own AI "agent," and that companies like eXp need to be ready to adapt and pivot.