eXp Insider: Improving the Speed of Commission Payments

Some of you have heard about Operation Payment Express, eXp’s initiative to speed up commission payments to our agents and create standard payment procedures. But with so many new agents and others asking for an update, we talked to Kee Wah Chung, vice president of agent experience, and Patty Shaw, director of the transaction and payment team, to hear the latest.

Q: What’s Operation Payment Express and how does it help agents?
Kee Wah: Back in late May 2017, we started an initiative called Operation Payment Express, or OPE. It’s an ongoing initiative to improve the speed and accuracy of paying out commissions to agents on completed transactions. During the first phase of OPE, our goal was to initiate payment on 90 percent of all core transactions within one business day by June 30 — we exceeded our goal by June 20.

Today, we generally work on settlements and disbursement authorizations the same day — this is a HUGE WIN! This quick turnaround puts money in agent’s pockets faster and allows them to better manage their business finances.

Q: What does “initiate” payment mean?
Patty: Initiate is when eXp Realty electronically sends a commission payment to the agent’s bank account. Some financial institutions (e.g., credit unions) may take additional time to post a payment however we want to ensure we “initiate” a payment as quickly as possible.

Q: That is exciting news. How did you do it?
Patty: We focused on the key themes of people, process and technology. We increased the number of individuals focused on settlement and disbursement from one to eight team members. In addition, we streamlined our internal processes, and helped to expedite transactions and payments. Lastly, we leveraged technology that would manage all commission payment through a “ticketing system”. We saw a dramatic increase of payment velocity and visibility of transactions across the teams as a result. Currently, we are working with the Enterprise development team to add the entire transaction and payment workflow so only one tool is used to drive this process, further increasing efficiency and accuracy.

Q: How can we find out more?
Kee Wah: Since the beginning of June, we have held regular Operation Payment Express meetings. Aligning to our core values of transparency and collaboration, this is an internal meeting that we open up to all agents, brokers and staff who want to gain insight on the continuous improvements and efforts we are working on as part of OPE. These are held every Monday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Pacific in Meeting Room 6 in eXp World. You can be a fly on the wall and we never hold back on what is discussed. Often, there is additional time remaining and we ask for guidance on what we should focus on. Patty Shaw also provides regular updates at the weekly eXp Realty state administrative brokers’ meeting.

Q: Is Operation Payment Express complete?
Patty: No, we are looking to build upon our success. Operation Payment Express is an ongoing initiative to drive continuous improvement. For example, from time to time hiccups happen delaying a commission payment. This is generally because we are missing a signature, document or transaction-specific information we need to issue a commission payment. We organized the Transaction and Payment Teams so they all work more efficiently together to handle these one-off cases. In addition, we use these situations as learning experiences and opportunities to improve.

Q: What’s next?
Kee Wah: Based on feedback from agents, our next area of focus will be on rentals, referrals and leases. I’m positive we’ll be able to deliver the same level of success as we have during our first phase of OPE. We’d like to say “thank you” for partnering with our team as we continue to focus on making eXp Realty the best!