It’s 8 AM and you stop to talk to one of your coworkers before a meeting, after the meeting you finish the rest of your work and call it a day. At this point, most people would have to drive back home, but at eXp Realty you simply log out of the virtual world where your avatar works and then resume your day as you normally would. There’s not a single office building associated with eXp Realty (with a few exceptions). Employees can bring potential clients to the virtual campus to conduct business, attend meetings there, and they’re even considering installing a bar. eXp Realty is the largest residential real estate brokerage by geography in North America and was ranked No. 12 in a list of best places to work among all small and medium business listed on Glassdoor.
To give you an idea of this company’s growth, they started out as a penny stock and were valued around 10 cents in 2014 – today they’re at $10 a share. Glenn Sanford, the founder and CEO of eXp, started the company with a small team after the financial collapse. He didn’t have the money to rent out office space so he figured using cloud-based collaborative applications would save time and money for the company and its employees. In 2015, they brought in VirBELA to create a virtual office space and about 9,000 of the 12,000 employees are using it every month. Technology like this is enabling businesses to save money on infrastructure while simultaneously providing a place in which the employees and employers can still “see” each other. We’re entering an age where we can project ourselves into our digital work, play, and educational space – finding a healthy balance between the virtual and real is going to be more important than ever. However, this is a future ripe with opportunity; as virtual land becomes more valuable, we may even see a lot of these virtual real estate agents turn into virtual virtual estate agents.