The company earned $943 million in revenue between January and March of this year. However, by the end of the quarter, agent count was down to 85,780.

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Virtual juggernaut eXp World Holdings reported earnings Wednesday, sharing news of revenue and profit for the first three months of 2024.

But one number from the report stands out more than any other: agent count.

In total, the company revealed in its report that it had 85,780 agents on its platform as of the end of March. That number represents a 2 percent drop relative to one year ago. Notably, it’s also a dip compared to Q4 of 2023, the previous three-month period, when eXp had 87,515 agents.

The Q4 number was itself down from 89,156 agents in the preceding three-month period and gave eXp its first-ever quarter-over-quarter headcount dip.

These dips are significant because for years the company was among the fastest growing in real estate and because it has been open about its ambition to add hundreds of thousands more agents in the coming years.

Wednesday’s earnings report was consequently the first chance to see if the Q4 2023 agent count dip was a fluke or if it was the beginning of a trend. It appears to be the latter. The report says the headcount dips are generally being “driven by the exiting of non-productive agents.”

Glenn Sanford

CEO Glenn Sanford added in an investor call Wednesday afternoon that many of the agents who left were “behind on their fees and MLS dues and other things that are obligations and they weren’t selling any homes, so it was just natural that there was some attrition.”

In the report, Sanford also said the company continues “to provide our agents with the industry’s best platform for growth and the resources they need to navigate today’s dynamic real estate market.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, hours before eXp published earnings Wednesday it also announced new changes to its revenue-share program. The changes include a new bonus for agents who recruit peers, the ability to instantly withdraw revenue share proceeds, and modifications that are meant to accelerate agent earnings.

Presumably, the changes are meant to kickstart the company’s agent count growth amid significant headwinds — headwinds which have also impacted the wider industry and led to an overall drop in the number of U.S. Realtors.

During Wednesday’s investor call, Sanford said he believes the changes are “going to be helpful on the growth side.”

Also on the call, Leo Pareja — who just took over as CEO of subsidiary eXp Realty — said non-productive agents were “offboarded” late last year and early this year. He also said the company’s investments in agents should allow the brokerage to “capture growth as the market turns.”

Leo Pareja

“We’re really focused on building our agent base with the highest quality agents in the industry,” Pareja also said.

Aside from agent count numbers, eXp also revealed Wednesday that revenue in Q1 rose 11 percent year over year to $943 million. Wednesday’s earnings report attributes the improved performance to rising home prices and increased agent productivity, among other things.

Nevertheless, the company suffered a net loss of $15.6 million, a reversal from the $1.5 million in profit it earned in the first quarter of last year. The report notes that the Q1 loss included a $16 million “antitrust litigation contingency provision.”

Sales volume in Q1 was up 12 percent year over year, hitting $37 billion.

Sanford was ultimately optimistic in the report about the future, saying that under the leadership of Pareja, the company “will extend its leadership position in the coming years and continue to redefine what it means to be the most agent-centric real estate brokerage on the planet.”

Shares in eXp climbed slightly in the lead-up to Wednesday’s earnings report and were trading in the low $10 range in the late afternoon. That was up compared to a week ago, but down relative to the $16 shares were fetching at the beginning of the year.

Following the report’s publication Wednesday, shares fluctuated in after-hours trading but generally trended up.

Credit: Google

The company had a market cap of about $1.54 billion as of Wednesday afternoon.

EXp last reported earnings in February. At the time, the company revealed that its revenue climbed from $933 million during the final quarter of 2022 to $983 million during the last three months of 2023. However, revenue for all of 2023 was down 7 percent relative to 2022.

During Wednesday’s investor call, Sanford also weighed in on the many commission lawsuits that allege major companies and the National Association of Realtors have engaged in a conspiracy to keep prices high. NAR and other major companies have filed proposed settlements in the cases, but eXp, which Sanford said is named in about 10 different suits, has not. He also said eXp may be the “last of the large brokerages that haven’t settled yet and are presently not in a settlement discussion at the moment.”

Sanford went on to say that it could take years for eXp’s cases to make it to trial and that the company has “good arguments” in its favor. However, he also suggested the company would be open to a potential settlement.

“If there’s an opportunity,” Sanford said, “to settle for a number that makes sense for us we’ll take that opportunity.”

Update: This story was updated after publication with additional details from eXp’s earnings report, and with commentary from its investor call.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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