For those who haven't heard of it, eXp Realty is a real estate brokerage. Moreover, it is a real estate brokerage of some scale, as shown by the fact that it operates in a wide range of regions. With that said, what interests people most might be the fact that eXp Realty handles much of its intra-business operations through a virtual environment, which is rather unusual but nonetheless very interesting.
What Stands Out about eXp Realty?
In short, some people might be familiar with the concept of MMO games, which let a huge number of interested individuals play in a shared environment. However, it is interesting to note that the same tech that makes this kind of thing possible has been used to make similar but not quite the same concepts possible as well, with an excellent example being Second Life. Like its name suggests, Second Life is an entire online virtual world, meaning that while it can resemble a MMO game in many respects, it has many more uses because of its unstructured nature. Some examples include but are not limited to using it as a place to showcase art of various sorts, hold meetings for business as well as other purposes, and conduct a surprising amount of science made possible by its unique circumstances.
Regardless, while eXp Realty's online world was inspired by Second Life, it is designed for a much smaller set of potential uses than its source of inspiration. In its case, it is meant to facilitate a wide range of intra-business operations, with examples ranging from training sessions to internal business meetings. As a result, a lot of its features have been designed to facilitate said purpose. For example, its users can be overheard by other people in the vicinity when they talk with one another through microphones, though if they want, they can make conversations private by stepping into areas marked out by dotted lines. Likewise, while users can walk from place to place if that is their desire, they can also get about much more efficiently by just making use of the menu that is available to them.
Some people might see eXp Realty's online world as being rather frivolous. However, it is important to note that it has some interesting upsides as well. For example, it enables interested individuals to communicate with one another in an effective and efficient manner, much more so that if all of them had to gather in the same spot in real life each time that they wanted to speak. Theoretically, something like teleconferencing can serve a similar purpose, but it isn't as intuitive as making use of the online world, which can make very good use of visual presentations to serve various aims. Ultimately, eXp Realty's online world is rather gimmicky, but it is actually genuinely useful when it comes to its intended functions.
How Might eXp Realty Change the Real Estate Sector?
It remains to be seen whether eXp Realty's system will spread beyond its business. Certainly, it has shown that its system works for it, but that system is nonetheless a considerable investment of resources, meaning that other real estate brokerages probably won't be so eager to jump into it even if they possessed the theoretical capabilities needed to implement something similar. With that said, eXp Realty's online world is an interesting example of how a wide range of businesses are demanding more and more sophisticated telecommunication capabilities enabled by the Internet. Granted, most of its counterparts are nowhere near as flashy in nature, but it will be interesting to see whether eXp Realty's online world is an early example of a future trend or an evolutionary dead-end.
On a related note, it should be mentioned that eXp Realty's online world is just used for intra-business operations, meaning that its real estate agents are still responsible for handling their interactions with their clients in the real world. However, it isn't exactly difficult to imagine how it might be used for the customer side of things as well.
Currently, real estate agents are already showing real estate properties to interested individuals through virtual reality, which is seeing use because it helps out with two important considerations. First, interested individuals always need to get a good look at a property before they make a purchase because that can provide them with much more meaningful information than what a short write-up as well as a small selection of photos can manage. Second, interested individuals might not find it convenient to travel to the place where their property of interest is located, particularly if they are still on the "searching for a potential buy" stage rather than the "proceeding to the purchase" stage. Virtual reality showings strike a neat balance between these two considerations, thus enable interested individuals to get a good look at the property that they are interested in without actually needing them to head there in person. Granted, virtual reality showings aren't quite as good as the real thing at this point in time, but considering the speed at which the relevant techniques and technologies have been improving, it seems safe to say that they will be making progress by leaps and bounds in the time ahead.
Based on this, it is reasonable to speculate that something similar might happen through an online world in the future. For example, imagine being able to log into a real estate brokerage's online world through the Internet and then using it to check out virtual representations of the properties that have been put up for sale without needing to head out to each location to check them out in person. Better still, real estate agents would be present no more than a short virtual distance away, which should enable them to get all of the help that they want either as soon as they want it or almost as soon as they want it. Of course, there is no guarantee that this scenario will come to pass, but the increasing use of telecommunications to enhance business operations is nonetheless something that is very much happening in a wide range of sectors.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker