By Matt Clevenger
For Miami Valley Today
TROY — Cloud-based real estate brokerage EXP Realty will open a new office in downtown Troy on Friday, June 21, offering tech-savvy clients a revolutionary new way of buying and selling real estate.
“We’re the first of our kind,” EXP realtor Derek Windle said. “This type of business model is going to change a lot of things.”
EXP Realty is a cloud-based brokerage, meaning that clients can do most of their business through a virtual office, available on laptops, tablets, phones and other mobile devices, rather than driving to a physical office location. EXP brokerages also offer a brick-and-mortar office, but most transactions can be completed online if clients prefer.
“That’s what’s cool about it; you don’t have to get in your car and drive somewhere,” Windle said. “I have it on my i-Pad. If you have this program downloaded, if you’re having a problem you can just be sitting down at Winans and say ‘hey look, can you help me out with this situation?’”
EXP Realty uses specialized software that allows clients to choose an avatar and interact with different office departments virtually through a video game-style interface. Home buyers and sellers can walk around this digital landscape, and even visit company officials in their “offices” to have conversations with them.
“They’ll talk to you and have a conversation,” Windle said. “These are people who are working from home. If you have a problem with a payment or a transaction, you can go in there and talk to these people and they’ll figure it out.”
“If you just want to talk to someone in general about your experience, you can go in here,” he said. “The founder, he’s upstairs; but they’re accessible, and you can go and talk to them when they’re in the office. You can even drive the boat if you want.”
Cloud-based brokerages are a relatively new concept, but EXP Realty has already experienced rapid growth and is currently looking to expand in the Miami Valley area. “When I started last year we were at around 7,000 agents,” Windle said. “Now we’re above 19,000. Our goal is to hit 35,000 by the end of the year.”
“There’s nothing like this,” he said. “We have the most cutting-edge technology, not only the cloud-based brokerage but our web sites and all of the resources we have literally at our fingertips.”
Windle is currently planning a grand opening celebration for the new office, which is located at 405 Public Square, suite 350 in Troy. More information can be found online at www.derekwindle.com or by calling 937-776-2022.
“We’re going to have a grand opening on Friday, June 21 at 5 pm, and it will be open to the public,” he said. “We’re going to do a ribbon-cutting with the chamber of commerce, and we’re going to invite our family, friends, past clients and anyone from the community to come and check it out. We’re going to have drinks and food.”
EXP Realty agents Evan Iles and Jennifer Begley will also be based in the new Troy office, and the company is currently looking to hire realtors and other employees. “For anyone who wants to join; we have office space, if that’s what’s holding you back from leaving your brokerage,” Windle said. “It’s not just real estate sales, as a company we are hiring; they’re work-from-home jobs outside of real estate sales.”
“Our founder, he’s just a really forward-thinking guy,” he said. “He was a real estate agent himself and saw that the way it was done before is just the way it was done. It worked for the time, but now it makes more sense to do it like this.”
It’s only a matter of time before you don’t need the offices,” Windle said. “We call ourselves disruptors, the same thing as Amazon, Netflix or Redbox. Why do you need to go to a physical building, when we have technology where we can talk to someone anywhere in the world?”