Laval Virtual World Joins Thousands in Private Virtual Campus
LA JOLLA, Calif., May 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world is in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, and businesses and organizations are under enormous pressure to find new ways to work and meet. To help provide continuation of business, VirBELA is helping people around the world communicate, collaborate and meet without travel or physical contact. VirBELA’s immersive technology platform for business, events and education connects people wherever they are located.
A recent Gartner CFO study points to a future reduction in physical workspace and an increase in remote work. Almost a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20 percent of their on-site employees to remote work permanently; 13 percent already have cut real estate expenses with another 9 percent planning cuts in the months to come.
VirBELA works with companies and organizations to create virtual spaces such as team suites, custom workspaces, entire campuses and event venues that provide cost savings as a result of higher productivity and no brick-and-mortar offices or commute hassles.
In the past three months, VirBELA sales grew by more than 600 percent and traffic to its Open Campus increased 450 percent. The company received strong interest from a variety of industries and organizations, including top global consulting firms, some of the largest banks in North America, universities, well-known hardware and software companies around the world as well as corporate departments such as events, human resources, recruiting, CIO management and sales.
VirBELA also has seen a sizable uptick in demand for large events seeking a virtual alternative. One organization that recently entrusted the VirBELA platform is Laval Virtual, a top event organizer for the augmented reality and virtual reality industry. More than 6,600 people from 110 countries attended Laval Virtual World 2020, which took place in their private event campus, hosting sessions, business meetings, an awards ceremony, as well as fun activities and challenges.
“Our partnership with VirBELA was born from a thorough research of all the existing platforms for remote events, and they had exactly what could meet all of our needs: a very accessible solution, fun and well-thought interactions, great conference and meeting configurations as well as significant possibilities of concurrent connections,” said Laurent Chrétien, CEO of Laval Virtual. “We look forward to doing more virtual events, and helping each other make communities thrive in these virtual environments.”
Companies are looking to the future and how they will operate and adjust when business continues. Virtual working offers an alternative for remote employees, giving them a sense of physical space and social interaction that is often missing when working remotely.
“VirBELA enables remote employees to work in a virtual office or people to gather in a virtual event space that allows casual interaction and the serendipitous meaningful collisions of a physical location, which are a huge driver of engagement,” said VirBELA President Alex Howland. “By developing a remote-first culture, companies give employees the benefit of working from home and making a positive impact on the environment, while companies reduce expenditures and are able to hire the most talented people regardless of physical location.”
The first cloud-based real estate brokerage, eXp Realty, partnered with VirBELA in April 2016 to provide an immersive, virtual experience for agents and staff to communicate and collaborate. eXp is now one of the fastest-growing, global residential real estate companies and was named the No. 1 independent real estate brokerage in the United States by REAL Trends in 2019.
“We are fortunate to have a tool like VirBELA that others also can use to continue their business,” said eXp Realty CEO Jason Gesing. “As a virtual brokerage, we don’t have physical offices and all the trappings that come along with that. VirBELA has allowed us to grow rapidly from 900 to more than 28,000 agents around the world in less than four years. VirBELA has allowed us to offer unparalleled earning, learning and growth opportunities to real estate professionals globally. Our agents and staff collaborate, build community and get support in our virtual office as well as tap into virtual tools to help agents serve their clients, which will help minimize person-to-person contact while still conducting business to keep transactions moving.”
Gesing added, “VirBELA extends well beyond real estate and into other service professions, whether in times of crisis such as COVID-19 or in the ordinary course of business, for forward-thinking organizations causing disruption in industries of their own.”
About VirBELA and eXp World Holdings
VirBELA is an eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI) company, which also owns eXp Realty.
VirBELA is an immersive technology platform for business, events and education. Its modern, cloud-based environment provides a virtual experience for workers, attendees, students and more to communicate, collaborate, meet and socialize. For more information, visit the company’s website at virbela.com.
eXp Realty, The Real Estate Cloud Brokerage, is the fastest-growing, global residential real estate company with more than 28,000 agents in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. As a subsidiary of a publicly traded company, eXp Realty uniquely offers real estate professionals within its ranks opportunities to earn eXp World Holdings stock for production and contributions to overall company growth.
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Raymond “RJ” Jones
Executive Vice President, finance and growth, eXp World Holdings
Chief Marketing Officer, eXp Realty
Carolyn Merchant brings nearly 20 years of marketing, brand and communications experience with a proven track record of driving business growth. Prior to joining eXp, Merchant led global brand and communications at Colliers. Earlier in her career, Merchant worked at Aimia, a marketing and loyalty analytics firm, as well as communications marketing agencies including Edelman where she delivered award-winning client campaigns.
Ms. Pelosi has more than 20 years of experience as a sales and network development professional and 15 years of experience as a corporate social responsibility and sustainability practitioner. Currently, Ms. Pelosi serves as the founding partner and strategic advisor of Orenda Social Purpose, positions she has held since September 2005. Since 2015, she has also served as the Executive Director of Innovators Alliance, a network of CEOs focused on sustainable and profitable growth through innovation. Prior to her career and academic work in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, Ms. Pelosi served as a member of USANA Health Sciences, Inc.'s (“USANA”) management team, first as Executive Director of Sales for Canada from 1999 until 2000 and then as Vice President of Network Development from 2000 until 2004. Since 2018, Ms. Pelosi has served as a member of USANA's Board of Directors and currently serves on USANA's Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Governance, Risk & Nominating Committee, and serves as Chair of the Sustainability Committee.
Ms. Pelosi has received a graduate diploma from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto in Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, and has completed the NACD Directorship Certification (NACD.CD) and the ESG Competent Boards Director Certification (GCB.D).
For over 25 years Mr. Miles has held senior leadership positions in global financial services, financial technology and investment banking companies. His extensive investment banking background at bulge bracket, regional and boutique firms advising financial services companies on strategic and financial needs has crossed many disciplines. Mr. Miles’ transactional and advisory experience is complemented by leadership of public and private equity backed financial technology, specialty finance and software companies including Chairman and CEO at LIONMTS where he was nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, CEO at Syngence Corporation, COO of AtlasBanc Holdings Corp. and CEO of Advantage Funding / NAFCO Holdings which grew to in excess of $1 billion. Mr. Miles is currently Managing Partner at SCM Capital Group, a global strategic and financial advisory firm and Senior Managing Director at Tigress Financial Partners, a full service institutional broker dealer where is he is head of Investment Banking.
Most recently, Mr. Miles served as Senior Managing Director, Head of FIG and COO, Investment Banking at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Mr. Miles has held senior leadership roles at Oppenheimer & Co., D.A. Davidson and & Co., The First Boston Corporation (Credit Suisse) Meridian Capital and Greenwich Capital Markets. Mr. Miles has broad public, private and nonprofit board experience and has been active for many years in leadership roles with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He presently serves on the boards of Kuity, Corp. and Posiba, Inc. as Vice Chairman and Chairman respectively. Mr. Miles holds a BBA from the University of Washington and holds FINRA licenses Series 7, 24, 63 and 79.
Mr. Reichheld has more than 45 years of experience as a leading expert on customer and employee loyalty. Mr. Reichheld joined Bain & Company, Inc., a global business consulting firm, in 1977, was elected to the partnership of Bain & Company, Inc. in 1982, and was elected as the first Bain Fellow in January 1999, a position he continues to hold currently.
Mr. Reichheld is the creator of the Net Promoter® system of management and founded Bain's Loyalty practice, which helps clients achieve superior results through improvements in customer, employee, partner and investor loyalty and has also served in a variety of other roles, including as a member of Bain & Company's Worldwide Management, Nominating, and Compensation Committees. Mr. Reichheld is a frequent speaker to major business forums and groups of CEOs and senior executives worldwide and has authored several books, including Winning on Purpose and The Ultimate Question 2.0.
Mr. Reichheld received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University and his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Monica is a top-producing eXp Realty agent who is dual-licensed in Ohio and Kentucky. She is a former member of the eXp Realty Agent Advisory Council and has a coaching business, “My Coach Monica.” She brings broad experience to the Board courtesy of an outstanding executive career in radio advertising. Prior to joining eXp in 2017, she was the team leader for a major brokerage in the Cincinnati area. A graduate of Denison University, Monica holds a degree in communications and psychology.
After serving as Controller for Texas Instruments, in 1984 Gene left the corporate world for a career in Real Estate. He first sold for two small companies that were bought out by Coldwell Banker. Three years later he joined Re/Max, and soared to become one of the Top 20 Realtors in Texas. In 1989, Gene started Phoenix-based Realty Executives in Dallas, TX. In 1994 he sold this franchise and hired on with Keller Williams in Dallas as one of the first 10 agents at the Dallas Preston Road Market Center.
Gene has extensive management experience in residential real estate. Prior to joining eXp Realty, LLC., and his appointment to the eXp Board of Directors, he had served over the past two decades in various management capacities at Keller Williams. Among his many accomplishments during his tenure with Keller Williams began when Gene and his wife, Susan, became Team Leaders of the Dallas Preston Road Market Center in 1999 -2006 and grew that office from 100 to 533 agents! Both Gene and Susan were installed into the Keller Williams Team Leader Hall of Fame in 2009.
Gene was the top Team Leader for Keller Williams in recruiting for 4 of the last 11 years, including 2005, 2006, 2012, and 2013. Gene served with Keller Williams most recently out of the Austin NW Market Center as Team Leader, where he grew the office from 320 agents to 641 in 4 years! Prior to that Gene was Regional Director of Keller Williams Virginia from 2007-2009 where he was #1 Nationally in franchise sales for 2007 and 2008.
Gene and Susan currently reside in Austin, Texas, have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren.
Dan has more than 10 years of experience managing public and private equity investments across a variety of industries. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Amherst Ave Capital. Previously, he was the portfolio manager at Long Light Capital and a member of the investment teams at Ziff Brothers Investments and Madrone Capital Partners. Dan began his career with Bain & Co., where he advised Fortune 500 and private equity clients on M&A, growth and efficiency initiatives.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, summa cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College and holds a Master of Business from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated with distinction.
Chief Operating Officer
Patrick is the Chief Operating Officer of eXp Realty. He brings more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of building and optimizing high-growth technology businesses.
Before joining eXp Realty, he was CTO for Xome, LLC a subsidiary of the Mr. Cooper Group. Prior to Xome, Patrick was SVP, Product Management for Travel Leaders Group. Earlier in his career, O’Neill was appointed COO of Guestlogix, Inc, and he held several senior positions at Sabre, Inc and Continental Airlines, Inc.
Founder, Chairman and CEO, eXp World Holdings
CEO, eXp Realty
Since early 2002, Glenn Sanford has been actively involved in the online real estate space. In early 2007, Glenn launched BuyerTours Realty, LLC which, using a combination of web and traditional bricks and mortar, grew to three offices and into two states. After the drop off of the market in late 2008, Glenn and his executive team went back and rewrote the entire business model in recognition of the “perfect storm” of lower revenues, fixed or rising overhead costs, and a consumer with more information and access than ever before. eXp Realty, LLC was launched in October 2009 as the first truly cloud-based national real estate brokerage which meant giving up the traditional bricks and mortar environment and moving to a fully-immersive 3D virtual office environment where agents, brokers and staff collaborate across borders while learning and transacting business from anywhere in the world. In 2013, eXp Realty became a subsidiary of eXp Realty International Corp.
From 2004 to 2007, Glenn ran a large mega-agent team and consulted to Keller Williams International as a member of the Agent Technology Council in the areas of online client acquisition, client conversion and technology. Glenn also was a significant contributor to Keller Williams Internet Lead Generation Masterminds.
Prior to real estate, Glenn was active at the executive level with a number of technology-related companies. In 1998, he founded and served as President for eShippers.com, an online e-commerce and logistics company.
Chief Growth Officer, eXp Realty
Michael Valdes brings more than 25 years of expertise in global real estate and finance to eXp Realty. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of Global Servicing for all Realogy Corporation brands, including Better Homes & Gardens, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, ERA and Sotheby’s International Realty. In his role, he oversaw the international servicing platform for all Realogy brands across more than 100 countries and opened more than 70 countries during his tenure.
President, U.S. Brokerage Operations eXp Realty
Stacey has more than 19 years of real estate industry experience, and also is a professional speaker, trainer and certified continuing education instructor. Most recently, she was a designated broker and regional manager at a national real estate brokerage, overseeing more than 2,500 agents.
At eXp Realty, Stacey is responsible for eXp Realty U.S. brokerage operations, including compliance, risk management and state license laws.
President, U.S. Growth eXp Realty
As Co-President, Dave leads the U.S. growth and onboarding teams. Dave has more than 18 years of experience in the real estate industry. He was an owner/partner of multiple Keller Williams Realty market centers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and led one of the regions to No. 1 in the company for growth within three years. He also was one of the top recruiters at the company for nine years. At Long & Foster Companies, Dave developed professional and leadership training for sales managers and agents.
Chief Industry Relations Officer, eXp World Holdings
Jason is Chief Industry Relations Officer for eXp World Holdings and a member of its Board of Directors. In this role he is focused on facilitating the company’s growth across key sectors, as well as industry relations, metaverse advisory and environment, social, governance (ESG) initiatives.
Since joining the company in 2010, Jason has been a critical part of eXp both as an executive leader and long-standing board member. During his tenure, most recently as CEO of eXp Realty, he helped establish eXp as one of the fastest-growing real estate companies.
President, eXp World Technologies
Alex founded VirBELA, a social virtual reality platform focused on education and team development with clients in various industries from government to retail. The VirBELA team developed eXp Realty’s cloud-based campus, called eXp World. eXp World Holdings, eXp Realty’s parent company, acquired VirBELA’s core group of products and services in November 2018.
As President of eXp World Technologies, an eXp World Holdings company, Alex leads the development of VirBELA’s products and services to expand the offering to agents, teams and others who could benefit from their own, always-available environments for collaboration.
In the development of VirBELA, Alex was awarded financial support from the Graduate Management Admissions Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation and the American Psychological Association to support some of innovations and research.
Alex has a bachelors in organization psychology from Providence College and a doctorate in philosophy from Alliant International University, San Diego Scripps Ranch.
Chief Accounting Officer, eXp World Holdings
Kent is responsible for leading and developing the organization’s global accounting, finance practices and procedures. He also ensures the preparation and analysis of all financial reports comply with all applicable regulations. These vital financial functions enable eXp to continue its rapid growth trajectory and quickly expand its international footprint. He has decades of finance expertise in global finance, accounting and information technology functions in large, complex and geographically dispersed multi-billion-dollar international businesses.
Chief Counsel and Corporate Secretary, eXp World Holdings
James Bramble is an authority in real estate law, a leader in the housing industry and advocate for acting with integrity. As eXp World Holdings Chief Legal Counsel, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, James oversees the company’s legal affairs, including corporate governance, litigation and compliance. James has over 20 years of international business experience and has transformed eXp’s legal and compliance functions to empower an agent-centric, globally-scaled organization. James champions eXtend a Hand, eXp’s charitable foundation and is an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and is a licensed real estate agent.
Chief Marketing Officer, eXp World Holdings
As Chief Marketing Officer, Courtney is responsible for amplifying the eXp World Holdings’ brands and overseeing all areas of marketing, including driving digital strategy for growth and enhancing eXp’s value proposition. A recognized thought leader in consumer lending, housing and digital transformation, Courtney was named a HousingWire Rising Star in 2016 and a Woman of Influence in 2019. Courtney has over two decades of marketing and innovation experience and has held various leadership roles at Roostify, CoreLogic and General Electric.
CIO, eXp World Holdings
Shoeb Ansari serves as eXp Holding’s Chief Information Officer, as an accomplished software executive with an exceptional track record of building large scale product delivery organizations including product management, engineering, information technology, and information security for SaaS for private equity-owned and publicly traded enterprise software companies.
CFO, Chief Collaboration Officer, eXp World Holdings
As the Chief Financial & Collaboration Officer, Jeff works closely with Glenn across EXPI and the teams in Realty, finance, technology, marketing, legal, human resources, new business development/M&A, international markets, investor relations, and VirBELA.
He has more than 30 years of experience in global finance and operational leadership including executive positions at General Electric, CommerceHub, Pitney Bowes Software, and RM Sotheby’s Auctions.