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Okay. This is Buddy Blake, here in Wilmington, North Carolina. And we have been with eXp since February the 15th. That would be almost six weeks. We're almost six weeks in. We lost the first two weeks because COVID hit our family, my wife and me. So we had about as clunky a start as you could possibly have. I know a lot of what not to do, and I think that's been really helpful for other people when they're onboarding because we ended up having to do it quasi virtually, some people sick, shut down the office, et cetera, et cetera. So it was really clunky for us. But that was, I would say mostly our fault. Then the other thing is, I mean, to be honest with you, I think eXp is just going through such a rapid growth pattern. I read that they're doing eight, 900, to 1,000 new agents a week, which that's a pretty hefty pace to absorb and onboard.

So I think that it's just a lot going on right now. And plus the world is just crazy and everything's behind. It doesn't matter what it is. So everything's dragging and there's shortages and everything. But I thought what I would do is just kind of give a chronicle. That's what I started to outdo. Just do a little journal, and I'm doing it just on this Facebook page right here, which is kind of my... This page. So what I wanted to do is set it up so that I could look back on this and see how we're doing, because our goal at the beginning was to get everybody moved over, make sure the agents understood what all the stuff is, kind of why we're doing it. And I already did one video that talked about how I really didn't do a great job of rolling this out.

A lot of it was due to COVID and a lot of it is I just didn't really do it well. But you got to be careful to make sure that you roll it out and you got to make sure that you bring your agency in to be a part of it, so they understand what it is. And I didn't do a good job of that at all. I actually lost one good agent. The person said it wasn't anything to do with the eXp. They already had something else in the works. And I get that. But I feel like if I'd have done a better job with that, that it would have been better. So, anyway. The good news is we did not... All of our under contract stuff, we actually did not bring into the system. We went live on March 1st, writing contracts through eXp.

So that's about when we got everybody moved over. So I guess we've really only been doing this three weeks actively. I guess it's not really six weeks. What we did is we got moved over. We started writing contracts. Our team at that time, after we lost the person who actually never signed up, we had about 10 people in it. So we came over with that. And since then, we've already added some folks here locally to our team, as well as not on our team, that's come on board. They called and said, "Hey, we saw that you moved. Obviously, you're no dummy, Buddy. You've done real estate for a long time. And I didn't really think much of eXp, but when we saw that you had done it, we needed to at least take a look at it."

And that's exactly what happened to me. I laughed at this thing for years. You can talk to Curtis Johnson, Dan Beer, and Jay Kinder, who we've all been in these masterminds, something called this EO Group for a very long time together at different kinds of conferences, long before eXp rolled out. And I told them they're crazy. I'm not going to lie. I mean, it just looked like pie in the sky. But again, I thought KW was pie in the sky 15 years ago, too. When I rolled out and started opening RE/MAX offices 12 years ago, I guess. So I guess you got to really do the research. And I just didn't look at this. And finally, it kind of hit me. I went into a situation where we went from, I had owned, been co-owner of a number of RE/MAX offices in our area.

And I got to the end of our 10-year agreement on those. And I didn't want to keep doing that. So I sold/transferred/gave my ownership to the other partners and they're doing a great job. And the agents there love it. We do not conflict or compete with that or anything like that. They've got their thing. Because I think there is a place for everybody and plenty of business to go around. But so we rolled out independent. And of course, right when we rolled out independent, we moved into our office in February, March, the world shut down. And then we thought, oh no, what have we just done? But obviously, the world came up. Then the housing market is going nuts. We actually have gone through a buyer's market, a flat market. Now, a seller's market, all in one year.

I don't know what's next. But, anyway. My wife, who was actually, she used to be a bookkeeper at a big Coldwell Bank here years ago, a part-time book... I mean, not part-time, she was an assistant bookkeeper. And then she, when we did the RE/MAX thing, she rolled out and she started in the bookkeeping there and worked alongside for a time with the person that is now the co-owner. And honestly, the playmaker at the RE/MAX's I was at. And she's just awesome, that person. She is the key to all of it. But anyway, long story short, so my wife started off and we started Waypost Realty, an independent firm. We had no obligations to anybody except ourselves, our clients, and our landlord, and things like that. So we did that and we popped out and we went, in basically nine months, we went from zero to 310 transactions with only an average of about eight licenses, agent licenses, through that nine-month period.

So that was just an incredible run and a big ramp up. So my wife really got busy. And so we went from that. She had to build out the whole accounting system. We had to build out the commission disbursement, set up the banking, set up all of that. We had to go get SkySlope, set that up. We had to go get all these different accounts set up so that we could do all this stuff. But the issue we came to is, first off, I started looking around, saw some things going on and I saw some other people, some other owners that were buddies of mine when I was at RE/MAX, other RE/MAX owners, that had sold out or decided to do something different and they jumped on.

So I called them, "Why'd you do it? What'd you do?" Because obviously, you're smart. So the same conversation is being had over and over again. And what I did is we started sitting down, my wife and I, sit down and I said, "What do you think of this?" At first, I think Erin took it as a little bit of a slight because she thought I didn't have confidence in her to do the bookkeeping and everything. But our goal this year is to go to 500 sales this year. From 310 to 500. And it's going to be hard. I don't know if we're going to do it because we don't have the listing inventory. And we're usually a big listing side team and we operate that way. So we're going to have to work really hard to get back to where we were last year, to be honest. But we'll see. We're going to work really hard, I believe in big goals.

And if you miss them, you missed well. But, anyway. But the issue we started running into is my wife volunteers at a pregnancy center here in town. She's been volunteering there for years and she loves it. That is her passion. Okay. That is her passion. She does it for free. She did all that. Well, interestingly enough, and I believe God works this way, in many things. I'm a big believer in that. And he has a plan. We just don't know what it is all the time or any time. But anyway, so what happened was I decided to do this eXp thing. Now, what I should have done, I should have sat down with my team members and worked through it. But I didn't. And a lot of that was because of COVID, everything else because I didn't really have time, but the way it all played out. But I could've done a better job with that.

So I highly advise if you're thinking about changing to eXp or any change like that, you need to kind of wrap, everybody, in and make sure you get the buy-in. It doesn't mean they all have to agree, but at least go along with the process. So I could have done a much better job with that. But the next thing that I did was... So we made a decision to do this. And my wife, I think she took it a little personally. Not in a bad way. But just this week. I mean, I guess three weeks, four weeks after we started with eXp, she got offered a paid position with the very thing she was volunteering for, bookkeeping and things like that. So, I mean, I just think that's amazing. And so now she's going to be able to actually do something that she would do for free, but get paid for it.

Now, it's not a lot of money. But it's something that she loves doing. And doors just open. So now we would've had really a lot of trouble scaling up to 500 units because we would have had to hire a full-time bookkeeper, a full-time administrator, a business person to take care of that and just handle the systems because we were already broke our scale in our subscription base with a SkySlope. And then AppSumo, which... BrokerSumo, I'm sorry, which is what we use to keep up with the commission reports. Although, so we were already at the edge of breaking all those. So now this has allowed us to move and basically offload all the bookkeeping, all the stuff like that, certainly a tremendous amount of the liability. And we're able to offload that onto an engine that can scale up to unlimited. More than we ever need.

So now we can scale up as we need to. And then if the market were to ever shift big, which it will, at some point, we can constrict really quickly without having to fire people or let people go. Because now we can pay our agents a little more money. We can have more staff to... Like we immediately hired a full-time transaction coordinator for our team once we saw that we weren't going to have to pay Erin anymore or bring in a full-time business person. So now we've got somebody that's agent support. That basically, all our agents do is write contracts and work with the customer. And then Kate will take care of everything else. All things paperwork, all things contract, all things real estate commission, all things eXp. So, that's a big deal. In, I guess, six weeks, three weeks really of actively being with it.

But six weeks since starting the process, we've moved a long way. And we've sold a lot of houses. I think next week we've got one of our... It's going to be a strong closing, but we got 20 closings next week, which is a big week for us. And we've got our first round of eXp closings. Because like I said, we started March 1st. We got a number of closings next week with eXp. So it's going to be really exciting because the agents that are on those transactions are going to get their first sale with eXp and first sale of the year. So they're going to get some stock awards. So all of a sudden they're going to have a couple of hundred dollars worth of eXp stock that they earned through that. And so that's phenomenal. And of course, I'm their sponsor, since I'm the team leader. I will get a little bit of that too, something on that.

So it's a win-win for all of us. And I didn't do this with the thoughts of, I'm going to quit work and have revenue share and have stock and all this. Now, certainly, it's one of those things that feels yucky when people talk about it, but everybody that's thinking about it, you just say, "Okay. I'm not going to do it and depend on it, but it's possible to get something out of it." And I actually looked, and I hadn't looked at my little app that keeps up with all that stuff. And right now I haven't done anything and we've got my team, plus another 16 or 17 people, some in Wilmington, some outside of Wilmington, some in North Carolina, some in other states. And all of a sudden they just kind of came in, they called, and they said, "Hey, why'd you do it?"

I said, "Well, here it is. Ask me in a while longer and I'll tell you more about it." They said, "No. Blah, blah, blah." And we're able to kind of coach them through it. And now it's been really good because we're networking on a regular basis. Masterminding, not only the people that joined with me, my team but also people outside my team. But then I'm able to be working with people in California, Daniel Beer, Jay Kinder, who now lives in Puerto Rico. We have these masterminds now. And I didn't really put a value on that, but there's a big value on that. Especially, it's been really helpful now, because usually, the conversations in masterminds are about lead generation, profit centers, and things like that. Now the big conversation is how do we get an offer accepted?

I think we've all pretty much given up that we're just not going to be able to throw enough money at marketing to get a whole bunch of seller leads because it's just not that time right now. Those folks ain't biting. So now it's about how can we best position our buyer's offers and things like that to be able to get offers accepted. And because agents are burning out all around the country. They're working three, four, five times as hard, seven days a week. They're having to go on a moment's notice when something goes on the market. And for the same number of transactions. Having to go through the cycle three or four times with each buyer in some cases. Unfortunately, buyers don't see the real estate market the way we do, where you see an aggregate, you see a continuous trend. Buyers only see their life.

And they remember what happened three, four, five, six, seven years ago. And they don't understand the fact that the list price in many cases now is kind of the opening shot if you will. That's where the thing starts at. And they don't understand putting a lot of nonrefundable deposits down. They don't understand that process. They don't understand that sometimes sellers may or may not think about a VA loan now in this market, because there could be appraisal issues. Nobody's used the term appraisal gap in our market for a long time. Well, now everybody's talking about the appraisal gap. Who's going to pay the difference if it comes up short? Those are the conversations that we're able to pick up on in these masterminds. And we've picked up on some. Our agents have already, at my team, they've already used some of those to win some offers.

We're not talking about rocket science. We're just talking about little strategies, little ways that will work in any market, or any marketplace, to be able to get your buyer's offers accepted. And the value of that has been unbelievable. But for me, I run a team, and I've had people say, "Okay. You were independent. You weren't paying any kind of fees to anybody." And I said, "No, I wasn't." But what I was is I was paying my wife and actually getting ready to have to hire somebody else to take care of the business side of it and compliance side, which we weren't doing. And this isn't my wife's fault. This is my fault. We weren't doing the best job on that end. But boy, what I've learned about eXp, because they have one license in each state, they have to really, really be super compliant.

So now I didn't realize that we were getting our own basic private compliance officer in our package. So for what I'm paying them, it's not a lot of money. It's basically one really strong person's salary for what I'll pay them in a whole year for a whole team. But I get that. I get a compliance officer. I get liability relieved off of me, a tremendous amount of that. Because now they're our broker in charge. And then the other thing is I get them to take care of all the bookkeeping and it's completely unlimited scale now. Because of the way they work and their hours around... They got people around the country. I mean, they actually work longer hours than typically we would have somebody working. So that's really, really good. I didn't understand any of that stuff.

And you don't until you get it into it. The stock, I'll tell you more on that. I haven't bought any stock yet, because it went way up and now it's falling. And I know everybody else is wanting it to go up, but we got free stock coming, or stock awards coming. And I'm kind of hoping it goes down a bit more and that's probably the wrong way to think, but I hope that goes down for our agent's sake. Because we've got a whole bunch of closings coming up just in next week. So far it's been good. Onboarding was challenging. A lot of it was because of us. Some of it was because I think they're just overloaded right now. Not overloaded. They're growing too. I think they've grown from 10,000 agents to somewhere around 50,000 agents in just a matter of a year or 18 months or something.

I don't know the numbers. I don't really think much of the stock right now, because I don't have any. And I wasn't one of those that bought it at a dollar and then it went to 150 before it split. I wasn't one of those. So I don't really have a reference. I've never gotten any kind of ownership from any company I've been with. Even when I paid in seven figures over the years of royalty fees, I never got anything for that, that stayed with me. I mean, if the stock was worth a dollar, I'd have a lot of money from that right now. But I've never had that opportunity. So that's just a conversation point that's kind of unbelievable. My wife doesn't believe any of this stuff right now, revenue share, stock or things like that. But what happened was when we start getting their stock awards, I think she's going to believe it.

And then when I show her, I haven't shown her yet on my little app, and I'm not going to show an app, because it's not a big number. But I actually have some revenue share coming. So I don't understand when it gets paid, what all that looks like, but I'm going to show her that. And then the other thing is we are taking advantage of that 5% deal, where you can take 5% out of your closing. And I think most of my agents have opted in for that and they really like it. And then they buy the eXp stock for you at a 10% discount and you can immediately sell it like 30 days later. That's not vested, which is kind of cool. Anyway, we're still working through it. With the existing agents that came over with me, I had to... Obviously, had to adjust the splits and things like that so that they wouldn't feel any difference. Because I didn't think that since I made the decision, I didn't want them to feel any negativity.

So they're going to be made whole, no matter what. Plus, they're going to get the stock and things like that. And then of course, as we move forward, we improvise on that with folks that come on board. But anyway, it's been good. The market's strange. We're still focused on buying and selling houses every day. And then I try to spend about an hour or two trying to figure some of this eXp stuff out. I was actually in the eXp World. Their little video game thing today. That was kind of cool. I was able to get a question answered super quick. They've got this sprint contest, where if you bring in recruit, sponsor, whatever their terminology is, enough people, in March, which I didn't find out about this until about 10 days ago.

And then all of our folks came in before this. So you get like a trip to go to a conference in Washington. And for the first 50 people in each region... And you're not going to believe it. I just qualified today. Yesterday, the top already had been hit. The number that would do it. So I just missed it by a day. So I should have worked harder. And it's not the money. It's not anything like that. But I'm competitive. And I like that stuff. You do you miss that when you're independent, I will say, or own your own company. It's a little different. But I do like those kinds of things. And one of my agents on our team actually was trying to get into that. I think if we'd have known about it earlier, but that was our fault.

We weren't paying attention to it. I think we would have both got into it. But we're going to get it next time. All right. That's my six-week update. Since we signed, three weeks of really actively selling. So at the end of the day, we're still doing everything we did before. We're selling real estate. We're working really hard. We're going through the same things everybody else is. We're helping other people kind of learn the system. We're answering questions. I'm not calling agents and recruiting. That's just not my style. I didn't do that when I owned the RE/MAX's, part of the RE/MAX's. They kind of came to us. And if I get something through that, or if somebody feels that I'm of value to them, then you know what, great. If not, I get that too. We're still going to make our money selling houses. But there is the long-term setup where some of that can be there through stock.

We've got a couple of agents that are signing up for the healthcare thing, the options that eXp has set up with that Clearwater Insurance... Or not insurance, Clearwater something. Anyway, so that is really good. That's going to save them some money. It's actually cheaper than the United Health plan that we did have. And agents can get it, which is really good. So, that's it. We welcomed a new agent who just got her license. Emmy came in. We welcomed Kate. Let's see what else we got going in. We've got a couple more people coming on board in our team, in our agent on training program, which we have had fantastic results from. We've got Austin, who is in Wilmington. He's got his own team, him and Courtney, they're growing. They recently came on, but not in the process fully yet.

So I'll be having a more formal announcement. And looking forward to seeing what he does. And also all the other eXp's in our area, agents, I don't know them. But I'm really excited. I think we're going to try to have a get-together lunch in April and get to know each other because I don't really know them. Because it is a virtual world. And so I really like that. I want to know, so we can kind of share some intel with each other, which is kind of fun. Anyway, that's it. That's it for my six weeks. My wife and I's going for our anniversary. We're going to take a little trip to Hilton Head. So we're looking forward to that, for a few days. Because we haven't done anything without our children in a year. So we're looking forward to that.

We'll miss our kids though. And we got a new puppy coming. That's the other thing. That's not an eXp update. We have a new puppy coming on April 2nd. Good Friday. A little Cocker Spaniel. Anyway, guys, that's my six-week/three-week update with what's going on with our eXp journey so far. All good right now. Certainly, we'd love to be selling more houses right now, but there are just not enough listings out there. We've got tons of buyers. And it's just a matter of working really hard to get the current buyers that we're working with something. And we're doing some really neat things coming up to help our buyers that are going to be kind of cool. Some third-party partnerships we're going to be doing so. Our in-house mortgage guy, Waypost Mortgage, Paul Bowers, is doing fantastic. He's knocking out a lot of work and got some awesome values for people.

He does a phenomenal job. Heavy in communication. It's not like a national mortgage company where you can't talk to him. He does a great job. And I'm really pleased with that. And so are the customers that he's already closed with and working with. All right, that's it for now. If you have any questions about... If you want to talk about the real estate market kind of ideas and whatnot, what's going on, happy to jump on a Zoom or a phone call and talk with you there, because that's how we learn. And I've got time right now because it's just a weird market. We're hung up. We're busy, but we're hung up. If you want to learn more about eXp, I'm glad to talk about that. Whether you got somebody else you're working with to get ready to join with, that's fine. I'm happy to chat.

I talked with somebody today in South Carolina that was talking with me a little bit. And they've already got somebody they'll work with. But man, I'm all about relationships. And we're going to have some tough times coming up in the real estate. And I just want to be able to... We're going to need each other because there'll be a lot of people that fall out of the real estate, realtors, whenever the market shifts. Just like it always does. And the ones that are here are probably going to go... Is going to go through some tough times. But we're stronger together, no matter what flag you're flying. And I believe in that. So anyway, be glad to chat anyway you can. You can go to the link down there, realagentcareer.com. If you're thinking about getting on a team, you can look at what we offer there.

If you're thinking about you want to learn more about eXp, no matter where you are in the country, then you can go right there. And on the team part, if you're in North Carolina, we're looking to expand, which is another reason we went with eXp, so we can expand our geographic area. So if you want to be a virtual agent with our team, I'm happy to talk with you. We do all the marketing. We have all the systems. We take care of everything. And you just go out and sell property and list property. That makes it sound easy, doesn't it? But anyway, again, questions. There's always a link that says, "Talkwithbuddy.com." And that just goes right to my calendar, where you can schedule a time to talk, Zoom, have coffee, meet, whatever. Thanks a lot and I hope you found some value in this. Take care. Bye-bye.

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