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NYT Exposes Systemic Assault of Female Realty Agents at eXp – And Survivors Are Fighting Back

By December 21, 2023February 14th, 2024Sex Abuse

Multiple women real estate agents employed by the giant brokerage eXp Realty have filed lawsuits alleging they were drugged and sexually assaulted at eXp recruiting events, where, inside the ranks, it got excused and ignored. For so long as an agent is an influencer and recruits enough agents to their downline, the more those top agents and executives in their upline benefit financially. The bottom line: warm bodies equals dollar signs to top agents at eXp.

The Washington-based brokerage, valued at $2 billion, is built on the MLM (multi-level marketing) model, which means its success hinges on new recruits being brought in, who, in turn, are incentivized to bring in more recruits. Selling real estate is secondary to recruiting more people into their pyramid.

Women make up more than half of all U.S. realty agents – estimates speculate that, in fact, up to 66% of agents are women, while eXp employs 89,000 agents nationwide. If you do the math, that’s 58,740 women at eXp alone working in an industry that has fostered the good-old-boy mentality since women agents entered the picture in the 1970s.

Not only are female realtors at risk in the home as noted by the NYT on December 15, 2023, but they also face another danger, the Influencer agent with free reign to behave in a manner of their choosing, no matter the consequences, including getting away with assault. 

Who’s the watchdog here? Should it be the brokerage who offers sales materials, coaches, sponsors, and recruitment strategies?  In the past, eXp Realty has argued it is not their problem. Traditionally, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has taken responsibility for 100 years to implement policies designated to keep the industry and its workforce safe. NAR’s last president, however, “rock star” realtor Kenny Purcell, stepped down in August 2023 facing personal allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women. The new NAR president, Tracy Kasper, is notably a woman, but Purcell’s resignation was a clear indication of corruption at the top.

eXp is a Fast-Growing MLM Brokerage That Thrives on Power Imbalance.

Speaking of corruption at the top, late-2023 media coverage is focused on two sexual assault lawsuits facing eXp Realty, including charges against top agents, Michael Bjorkman, David Golden, and Michael Sherrard for committing the assaults, plus founder/CEO Glenn Sanford, and top recruiter Brent Gove for allegedly knowing about the pattern of misconduct and doing nothing to stop it.

They used financial incentives: coaching and networking to help them gain new recruits into their downline. Again, the more agents in a downline, the more Revenue Share received. 

Although eXp announced the men had been terminated, it seemed one was only put on leave after the lawsuit was filed despite years of complaints having been made against both. According to the complaint, eXp also continued to pay these “bad actors” revenue share and still may be doing so.

A Case for Women & Where We Come In.

We are a team of women, founded and run by women, who want to educate women (you) so you can reclaim your power through a civil lawsuit. It’s a way to jumpstart your career again, not to mention your life.

Speaking your truth can inspire dozens of other survivors who may be reluctant to speak. We encourage you to take a stand. You could be the one voice that tips the balance and shifts the tide for all working women, even beyond your industry.

Female realtors who are survivors of client and colleague assault in the real estate industry inherently express they initially felt too ashamed to come forward fearing they wouldn’t be believed because of the power imbalance with the attacker. Shame is a word we’d like to erase from this discussion. It isn’t your fault, and you are not alone. We’ve got you.