GENEVA – For nearly 30 years, Teresa Keenan of Geneva sold houses out of her brokerage, Stone Tower Properties, 325 South St., also in Geneva.
But after a colleague told her about eXp Realty – an office-less real estate brokerage in the cloud – she merged her company into theirs.
“I had 14 agents,” Keenan said. “I took all my 14 agents and moved them under the eXp umbrella. … They don’t have a brick and mortar office. We run everything through a great platform called eXp World.”
Keenan is targeting Jan. 31 as a launch date, as she is getting new signs for her building and her listing signs.
Her company’s merge started almost two years ago and is now completed, she said. Her 14 agents are now part of some 25,000 agents in a national company that has just now expanded to Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, Keenan said.
“Thousands of brokerages like myself have merged there.” Keenan said. “I don’t have to be a managing broker any more. I unloaded a lot of responsibility. … It really freeze me up.”
eXp has a single managing broker for all the agents and brokers in Illinois. Keenan said eXp has a single managing broker for each state.
“These other huge real estate offices pay huge rent. They’re paying secretaries and bookkeepers and dozens of printers and office furniture. It’s a lot of overhead,” Keenan said. “To me, it’s unnecessary. … If you have a cell phone and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere.”
The cloud-based realty brokerage was founded in 2009 by Glenn Sanford, its CEO.
“He had a real estate background but also a tech background,” Keenan said. “So he determined you don’t really need a brick and mortar office in order to do real estate.”
The company has over 700 employees who all work remotely, so all the affiliated brokerages like hers have access to their assistance or expertise, Keenan said.
“It’s like an Amazon or Zappos,” Keenan said. “Zappos shoe company does not have a single shoe store. You go to the web, get what you need and get excellent service.”
Because she owns the building, Keenan said she is keeping her brick-and-mortar office. She and her agents can use it, as do any other eXp agent from Chicago, Naperville, Oswego, if they need to meet clients.
“It’s my ‘home away from home,’ ” Keenan said. “In my opinion, it’s one of the best locations in all of the Fox Valley for real estate.”