eXp Realty logo over an aerial view of suburban homes

eXp ‘expecting a whole lot of creativity’ in wake of NAR deal 

During a livestream with nearly 50,000 viewers, eXp leaders discussed NAR’s proposed settlement while agents flooded the chat with reactions.

March 18, 2024
4 minutes

Key points:

  • eXp Chief Strategy Officer Leo Pareja and VP of Brokerage Operations Holly Mabery told agents they should “breathe a sigh of relief” after NAR’s settlement.
  • They discussed changes to buyer agency and potential new business models and approaches to agent services.
  • Thousands of agents posted questions and comments in the live chat, expressing outrage at NAR, concern, and even some humor.

In the wake of the NAR settlement bombshell announced late last week, eXp hosted an online presentation this morning for its agents and industry watchers to hear more about the brokerage giant's response to proposed new rules which could go into effect in July

The virtual town hall attracted a viewership the size of a literal town — at one point, the livestream had over 48,000 concurrent viewers. 

During the presentation, Chief Strategy Officer Leo Pareja and VP of Brokerage Operations Holly Mabery discussed the news, what their agents needed to know, and other big changes ahead for eXp. 

eXp agents are off the hook, but the company is not

While NAR's settlement would mean the end of litigation for most brokerages, there are still nearly 100 firms that aren't protected — including eXp. However, Parejo was quick to dispel some confusion surrounding the news.

"You as individual agents are actually released from the settlement, but we as corporate are still litigating," he said. "But everyone should breathe a sigh of relief — those who are licensed and a dues-paying member of NAR."

Expect to see business models and services change

"Don't be surprised if we see a proliferation of people experimenting," Parejo explained. "You know, like a flat fee for opening a door. I'm fully expecting to see a whole lot of creativity. Just like today, there are high-end boutiques, full service, limited service [offerings] for all experiences."

Parejo later added that he expects to see agents employing other strategies such as dual or variable rate commissions. He explained that this is in preparation for "a world where someone is either fully represented, partially represented or not represented at all."

eXp's future with NAR? 'Just stay tuned' (or choose eXp Commercial)

At the start of the Q&A session, Parejo acknowledged that the "elephant in the room" and "number one question I got over email" this past weekend was if eXp would be leaving NAR — or if individual agents could leave NAR. 

Parejo's response? "We're going to do what's best for you and us," and later: "Just stay tuned."

Mabery, however, provided a more direct answer to agents, telling town hall participants that if they "feel passionately about not wanting to be a member of the National Association, we do have another brokerage which is eXp Commercial," that agents could work under. 

Parejo noted that continued membership in NAR — with its access to forms and the MLS — could allow agents to more easily do their jobs. 

Agent reactions: anger, fear, confusion, encouragement

The chat section of the livestream was inundated with thousands of questions and comments from agents reflecting a range of emotions — and uncertainty about what's ahead. 

Many agents posed questions about how commissions might work: "Can listing [agents] charge 6% and keep that all to ourselves now instead of giving half to the buyer agent?" one agent asked.

Another wondered if it were possible for a listing agent to get 6% and then "advertise that the broker will share that 6%."

There was also a litany of comments that ranged from anger toward NAR to renewed fear and doubt about the profession, to pragmatic realism and even some humor. 

"We should not have to pay NAR one more penny," said one agent. 

Another suggested NAR was not ultimately responsible for the situation: "For everyone slamming NAR… DOJ and the lawsuits are the reason for the changes. Agents behaved badly, and here we are," they said. 

"The only agents that will survive in this new wave are the ones who know their worth," said one agent, while another encouraged their colleagues, saying that "if you can learn how to hit this curveball, it will be an advantage to you over other agents."

"Let the weak leave now! Bigger $$$ to come," exclaimed one agent, while another expressed trepidation: "I am more concerned than ever about being fined or getting a lawsuit."

And some participants simply responded with humor: "That's it. I'm taking down my 'Live, Laugh, Love' sign in my bathroom," one agent joked.

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