Well-known business coach Dave Ramsey and his company appear to have gone on the offensive against eXp Realty, telling company agents that they will no longer work with them unless they switch to another brokerage.
Agents began to learn that they would have to choose between their brokerage and their coach’s signature last week, according to several people who spoke with Inman. One such agent was Justin Ford, who leads an eXp team in Michigan and has been working with Ramsey’s company, Ramsey Solutions, for three years. Ford told Inman that during a call last week, his Ramsey coach said that the “eXp recruiting model takes away from the customer experience” and that the company would no longer work with any eXp agents.
Ford also recalled the trainer telling him that if he switched to another brokerage he could continue working with Ramsey Solutions.
Ford said it never received any documentation of Ramsey’s policy change, and all communication occurred on that phone call. Ford responded that it would not leave eXp and, shortly after, lost access to Ramsey’s digital assets.
“They immediately cut me off and deactivated my [customer relationship manager]”Ford said, adding:” I am quite surprised at how they are handling this. “
Inman contacted Ramsey Solutions multiple times over the past week, but never received a response to emails or voicemails seeking comment on the situation.
EXp and Dave Ramsey do not have a formal relationship, and the agents affected by the situation appear to have been the ones independently using Ramsey’s Supported Local Partner Program (ELP), which promises “quality referrals” for “quality referrals”. first level”. Among other things, Ramsey Solutions also claims on your website that agents using the ELP program perform “at least 3 times more closings than the average agent.”
Ford was an ELP user and said it was contributing “more than six figures a year in commission” to the program.
Robyn Heathcock, a Dallas-area agent who switched Keller williams to eXp just a few weeks ago, he also said that his coach told him last week in a call that he would no longer be able to work with Ramsey Solutions while he remained at eXp. According to Heathcock, his trainer pointed to eXp’s recruiting efforts, saying such a practice could “affect customer service” and meant the brokerage wasn’t focused enough on selling real estate. Heathcock received no further explanation despite asking for more information.
After the call ended, he received an email, which Inman reviewed, in which a vice president at Ramsey Solutions wrote: “We are sad that you are leaving.” The email goes on to state that Heathcock is still required to pay referral fees.
“Regarding clients and referrals, any potential clients you have received from us, whether you are serving them now or planning to do so in the future, will continue to be subject to the 30 percent referral fee at closing,” he says. the email.
Heathcock said his contract with the Ramsey firm requires him to pay referral fees for two more years, even if he is no longer a client of the company. However, despite being presented with an option, Heathcock told Inman that the episode “actually strengthened my resolve to stay on eXp.”
The EXp headquarters became aware of the conflict at the end of last week. Glenn sanford – company founder and CEO of parent company eXp World Holdings – told Inman that the situation “took us a bit by surprise.” And Sanford confirmed that numerous agents have been told “that unless they change the eXp brokerages they cannot continue to receive leads.”
Sanford said he “didn’t know how important Ramsey was” to some agents, but has since learned of cases where agents were making significant sums, including one person who reportedly generated $ 400,000 in commission income over the past year. from Ramsey references. As a result, conflict has become a significant and potentially costly problem for some eXp agents.
“This is a big problem,” Sanford said. “There is a lot of money here.”
Sanford said Ramsey has also not contacted eXp about the situation and the cause of the conflict remains unclear.
“There’s something else going on that we just don’t understand,” Sanford added.
The officers who spoke with Inman shared Sanford’s sense that there was a component to the situation that they did not understand.
“It didn’t make sense to me,” Heathcock said of his coach’s explanation.
Although it’s not entirely clear how many eXp agents were using the ELP program, an eXp spokesperson told Inman that as of Thursday about 150 had come forward to say they had been affected. The company also estimates that between 50 and 100 additional agents used the ELP program at some point in the past.
It’s not uncommon for both runners and agents to join featured coaches. Earlier this year, for example, eXp announced a new partnership with Grant Cardone. And Ramsey himself has partnered with other real estate giants, such as like when i speak in a RE / MAX conference earlier this year.
Sanford said his company’s attorneys are reviewing the situation, although eXp is not “aggressively” seeking a legal remedy. Instead, the company is trying to understand why Ramsey cut the eXp agents.
“If they are badmouthing us in the market, we want to know why,” Sanford added.
Meanwhile, the company is taking steps to compete with Ramsey. Sanford said that after eXp learned that Ramsey Solutions was disconnecting agents, eXp leadership spent the weekend working on a rival program that could serve as a replacement for Ramsey’s ELP. Since then, the new offering has been called “Experts in SUCCESS”And it’s building on the Success Magazine infrastructure, which eXp acquired last fall.
The new program works by placing advertisements on the Internet directed at consumers who have expressed an interest in real estate services. Although the show is only a few days old, a company spokesperson said the ads are already working.
Sanford went on to say that the new program will be available to the type of high-performing agents that Ramsey worked with, and that the eligibility “largely matches our Icon agents,” a reference to an elite status that agents can attain. in the company.
In general, agents seem to stick with eXp for now, and both Ford and Chuck Fazio, who leads an Arizona-based eXp team, say that most agents in their circles stay put.
But even so, the situation has produced a great disappointment. Fazio, for example, has personally worked with Ramsey and said he shares Ramsey’s Christian beliefs. But Fazio also believes that these latest movements go against that Christian message.
“What I’m doing is calling out the fact that the people that he’s hurting are his brothers and sisters in Christ,” Fazio said. “My problem with Dave is not, ‘Are you allowed to do this?’ Or, ‘Can you do this?’ It’s, ‘How do you give your brothers and sisters in Christ an ultimatum based on the mediation they’re in?’ “
Ford was also saddened by the conflict. He said he was a Ramsey fan even before joining the ELP program, but based on the way the situation has been handled, that’s no longer the case.
“It’s disheartening for sure,” he said, adding that on the call he told his coach: “You lost a fan on me.”
Email Jim Dalrymple II