It’s a good time to be a virtual brokerage — and that’s not just because of coronavirus.
Virtual brokerage eXp Realty generated a record $980 million in 2019, up 96 percent from $500 million in 2018, parent company eXp World Holdings said Thursday.
For the first time since going public in May 2019, the company also reported a quarterly profit — generating $800,000 in net income during the fourth quarter, compared to a $5.2 million loss a year prior.
Overall, the Bellingham, Wash.-based company, whose agents work in a Sim City-style virtual world, still reported a net loss of $9.6 million for the full year, compared to a net loss of $22.4 million in 2018.
In a statement, chairman and CEO Glenn Sanford said the company was focusing on “strategic moves that enable growth and profitability of our portfolio businesses.”
EXp’s results come as real estate firms are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Realogy’s stock closed at $5.9 per share on Wednesday, down 54.75 percent from $13.04 on February 25.
In his statement, Sanford acknowledged the advantage of eXp World, the company’s immersive platform where agents and executives appear as avatars.
“One of our advantages in the current environment is our virtual working space that supports our seamless operations and rapid growth, and eliminates the need for brick-and-mortar offices,” he said.
In 2019, eXp’s sales volume rose 93 percent to $38.2 billion, up from $19.8 billion in 2019. During the fourth quarter, sales volume was up 85 percent to $11 billion.
The company finished the year with 25,423 agents, up 63 percent year over year.
In 2019, eXp expanded internationally, launching in Canada and the United Kingdom. In October, the company also launched a new iBuying platform called Express Offers.
CFO Jeff Whiteside was bullish on prospects for VirBELA, the software that powers its virtual world. The company licenses VirBELA, with clients in industries ranging from retail to government.
Whiteside said demand for VirBELA has “expanded dramatically recently, due to heightened interest in lowering the presence of employees in physical offices and co-working environments around the globe.”