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eXp Realty Has International Appeal


It’s only fitting as eXp Realty officially open up for business in the Country of Canada and has gone public as eXp Realty International, that we take a minute to recognize those in eXp who have origins or backgrounds from outside of the U.S. As of Sept 2013, eXp Realty Canada is NOW open for business. Many thanks to Sid and Kat Johnson who diligently worked with the eXp team for many months to put eXp on the Map in Toronto, Ontario . This marks the first international office eXp will open in just barely 4 years of existence. eXp was built to be a global real estate company and so realizing the dream of truly being international in just 4 short years is quite remarkable.

The opening of eXp Realty Canada is not eXp’s only international appeal however. eXp is the home of many real estate professionals from all over the world. So, we wanted to take a minute to feature a few of the folks from around the globe who call eXp their home.

In keeping with the Canadian theme and since we ar e now open in Canada, I’ll first mention our CEO and Founder Glenn Sanford is also Canadian. Then with the rest of this article we will showcase all the other amazing eXpros we have inside of company who were born or spent some considerable time living outside of the U.S. So, lets take a look at and learn more about….

Glenn Sanford – eXp Realty International – Born: Peace River, Alberta

Glenn’s bio is long and accomplished, not only as a consummate entrepreneur and one who travels the world and the united states looking for opportunity and always building solid relationships, Glenn is also a black belt in the martial art of Judo and a marathon runner and father of two amazing daughters. He was recently named 100 most Influential in Real Estate by Inman and has eXp positioned to become one of the biggest and fastest growing Real Estate Company’s on the Globe. Because I can fill up 10 pages alone talking about Glenn To learn more about Glenn, you can go to his blog

Sid Johnson – eXp Canada (Broker) – Toronto, Ontario

In the summer of 1973 Sid became a Realtor in Toronto. Some 40 years later selling real estate is still his passion. Sid has owned and managed brokerages in Toronto and Florida.  Coming from a background in government affairs and running a non-profit organization in 2012, Kat joined Sid and helped form the “Spouses Selling Houses” team. We find that other agents sell just bricks and mortar, but we sell “The Essence of Life Here in Toronto!” Sharing passion and excitement in finding the perfect home for our clients in the Greater Toronto Area, our team has continued to grow. We are proud to be part of the expansion of eXp Realty into Canada.

Elizabeth Kelly (Wang Jen-Yee) – eXp Washington – Born: Taipei, Taiwan

Elizabeth Kelly (born Wang Jen-Yee) emigrated from Taipei, Taiwan at age 14.  Speaks Fluent Mandarin. Her Husband, Bob, came from the opposite direction (Kansas) and they met and married in the middle in Seattle.  Elizabeth serves the Chinese (Mandarin-speaking) community in the Greater Seattle area.  Her long, personal experience with self-managing rental properties has been very helpful to her clients.  Elizabeth is an accomplished pianist with a talent for playing by ear.  If you catch her at a piano, ask her to play the “garbage truck song”  – a Western classical piece broadcast by every garbage truck in Taiwan.

Sebnem Oden – eXp Washington – Born Istanbul, Turkey

Sebnem was raised in Istanbul, Turkey and rooted with strong values of honesty, integrity, compassion and working hard to help others succeed. She was taught to follow through to achieve results no matter what it takes and to create win-win for all parties…Sebnem lived in Montana, New York City and Seattle since 1984. She owns investment property near Capital Hill, Madrona, Lake Washington, Medina, Bellevue and Kirkland. Her passion is to travel the world and learn about other cultures. She integrates into other cultures easily since she has so much interest in other’s lives and dreams. She resides in Edmonds, WA.

Ana Festa – eXp Connecticut – Born: Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Ana was born in Portugal in a town called Montemor-o-Novo. It is about 45 minutes away from Lisbon. She came to the United States when she was 8 years old. Her parents sacrificed a lot to be able to give her brothers and herself a better life. Her mother was a social worker in Portugal and her father worked at town hall. When they immigrated, they worked in housekeeping at a hospital and cleaned doctor’s offices in the evenings for extra income to support the Festa family of five. Ana went to the University of Connecticut where she majored in French and minored in Spanish. She did her junior year abroad in France. As she says “This had to be one of the most rewarding and “self- growth” experience of my life.” Out of college Ana worked for American Airlines for almost 12 years in various non- management and management positions. Which afforded her many travel opportunities to see the world.  She has been a realtor for more than 17 years now,  married for 22 years, has three teenage children and live the” all American lifestyle” living in the suburbs. She always stresses to her children how important it is to have an open mind, embrace other cultures and customs and grow from those lessons. Ana has been the Connecticut broker for eXp Realty since March of 2013 and intends on helping grow our team and company so she can once again get back to traveling a bit more and bring her family along!

Amy Zender – eXp Washington – Raised: Stuggart Germany US Army Base

Amy was born in Opelika, Alabama, to a Southern mother and a career-Army father. They were stationed in southern Germany off and on for over 12 years. All her formative years were spent in charming Bamberg and historic Stuttgart, Germany. Because of our central location, she had the gift of traveling wherever a train could take them. To places like England, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Israel. She was exposed to a plethora of cultures growing up that I knew travel and international influences would need to pepper her life forever. Amy received a BA in German and International Relations and minored in Economics. International strategic consulting firm Booz|Allen & Hamilton hired her as a Consultant for their Space and Naval Warfare Systems Commands (SPAWAR) contract.She finally settled in the Northwest, as her husband is now an Alaska Airlines pilot, and she became one with our community and decided the best way to use her gift of marketing would be as a real estate broker. Over the year she has been able to use her German language skills in travel, with community members, and with clients. She says “I am an only child with a Secret Security Clearance!” She also speaks conversational Spanish, and is a gourmet cook and concert pianist. She recently launched another business serving the other side of brain – Amy Zender Photography, where she capture moments in between the breaths of life. Amy added “Because of my unique travel opportunities in life, I am actually known for doing great accent impressions!”

Trisha Roy – eXp Florida – Born: India

After growing up and gettings started in India and attending Kettering University, Trisha is fluent in Hindi after college she built a lengthy resume in business and life. Over the years Trisha has worn many hats and held many positions. Among them…she was a Research Assistant at the Darleeling Zoo in W Bengal India. Animal Welfare Officer on the Animal Welfare Board of India, A Vet Technician and Operations Manager at a travel comapny in Kolkata India, and as a VP at a Plasma Technology Company  Trisha is also a writer and has a background in feature writing for newspapers. She Says “ I love houses, and the many characteristics of individual homes that make them special. I also understand construction basics, what are the essentials of a home and what are obvious drawbacks of a property. I enjoy people, and reach out to help people all the time. I love to help people find their dream home, that place that is where they are most comfortable, no matter what their style.

Gertrude Otzen – eXp Oregon (State Broker) – Born: Aarhus, Denmark

Gertrude also has lived in the UK and Australia. She enjoys hiking and has fun exploring all kinds of beautiful places in the Pacific NW.Before she went in to real estate Gertrude spent a lot of years in College Publishing.

Dorella Caporale – eXp New York – Born: Reggio di Calabria, Italy

Dorella is from the Southern tip of Italy, The tip of the boot, she Speaks Fluent Italian and is a part of The Fritz Group

Werner Untrieser – eXp Florida – Born: Berlin, Germany

Was born and raised in Berlin Germany. His first language is German. Former Remax agent, Werner still has good connections in Germany and Austria. He feels that  If there was a chance to translate some of the eXp educational sessions in German, it would be very helpful to tap into that market.

Ria Benesova – eXp New York – Born:

Ariana has been working in real estate since 2004 and specialized in residential real estate in lower Fairfield County. Ariana is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has a certification At Home with Diversity® (serving culturally diverse buyers and sellers). Ariana also speaks fluently Spanish and Czech.  Expertise: first time home buyers, luxury properties, horse properties, investment, short sales and bank owned properties. Servicing: Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield and Trumbull. Ariana’s excellent negotiating skills and her effective marketing programs will give you the exposure and edge you need to sell your home quickly for a top dollar.

Richard Johnson – eXp Maryland (State Broker) Born: Classified – Top Secret 😉

Having Parents born in Kingston, Jamaica As an aviator in the Navy Rich spent most of his 10 year career living overseas. Mostly in Europe, South America and other areas such as Greenland and Keflavik, Iceland. His first overseas stop was in Rota, Spain where I spent time in Madrid and went to places like Palma demallorca. He says He “Learned to brush up on my spanish, sleep at siesta time in down time and developed an appreciation for running of the bulls. I also learned how to dance “latin style” without making a total fool of myself after about 6 months of lessons.” His second stop was in Lajes, Azores (Portugal) where he developed a liking for eating a 5 course meal each day for under $10 bucks and local family run “home cooked” restaurants. And yes, it included a bottle of red wine and local seafood appetizers of the day. From Portugal he spent small stints in Amsterdam; London, England; the Netherlands and Kinloss, Scotland. Rich said “Kinloss was my favorite place since while there I had the luxury of seeing the Highland Games – an annual event where grown men in skirts toss logs, drink beer and ride bicycles in competitive events that show their bravado. In addition to the Highland Games, Scotland had the most beautiful landscape and cleanest cities. I’d take pictures of the landscape from the air as we landed at the Royal Air Force bases after each mission. Another great thing about Scotland is the ability to access almost anywhere in Europe via train. “ After leaving Europe, his next extended home was in Keflavik, Iceland. Out of Keflavik he spent time in Thule, Greenland where the sun either took up 20 hours of the day (hence the black out shades in our rooms) or there was 20 hours of darkness depending upon the time of year. He also learned to fish in Ascension Islands (a small island on the north/west coast of africa) where he caught a “baby grouper” the size of my leg with a buck tail as bait from the local Navy Exchange. Rich says he “Has tons of stories – but those are the highlights of almost 3000 hours hunting submarines in the “Sky Pig” AKA the P-3C Orion before the soviets became our “friends” and put me out of work 🙂 It was then time for another career so I did what the rest of folks do that don’t know what to do with their careers – I went to law school :-)”

Greg Shepherd – eXp Texas – Born: England

As Greg puts it “I’m from “Far East Texas” … England…, married to a German, background in computer databases, brother #1 lives in New York, brother #2, somewhere in Europe running a triathlon, Dad lives in England. I grew up a small town 200 miles North of London (ie the good bit you Americans miss when you fly from London to Scotland to play golf) and my database consultancy took me to Ireland and Germany (7 years) before Dallas. Fun facts? Aside from nobody in America can spell my last name correctly (go on try it…see, you want to turn me into an Astronaut). I support a little known Soccer team, Bradford City, have a pet Lizard and we like Dallas because it has two airports to fly us to a beach! Career highlight: Joining eXp of course. No kidding, after almost 10 years of avoiding sitting for the real estate license my friends are intrigued as to why now? I’m here for the long run. Like I tell my indoor soccer team captains, the only way you’ll get rid of me is to change the location and not tell me. That’s why I like the cloud concept!

Ray Levin – eXp Arizona – Born: England

Ray has Lived in Canada and the US. and was integral in the establishing of eXp Canada by recruiting in Sid in Toronto. As far as Real Estate is concerned Ray has set up networks and/or sold /referred property US/Canada/England/Mexico/CostaRica/Bahamas/Panama/Belize/Nicaragua/Singapore/China/Thailand/Spain/Greece and France.

Coralee Quintana – eXp Washington

Coralee Quintana attended Tech de Monterrey, a prestigious Mexican University as part of her graduate studies in International Management at the University of New Mexico’s Robert O. Anderson School of Management, receiving her MBA as well as an MA in Latin American Economics. She speaks fluent Spanish and has traveled to Mexico often to visit friends and relatives primarily in Chihuahua City, Juarez, Mexico City, Vera Cruz, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. During her studies there she wrote business plans for businesses looking at the possibility of moving their production facilities to Mexico and the issues surrounding the move including intellectual property risks. She is now with eXp New Mexico focusing on commercial and residential investment properties including land.

Carina Kozaczuk – eXp Washington

lived in Paraguay for six years during her thirties.

Mike Freeman – eXp Nevada

Mike spent 10 years in Japan…Started 2 Network companies and enjoyed great success. Built up Las Vegas Help U Sell over a 5 year period to be a dominant force in the LV RE market. Retired USAF served as a Civil Engineer.

Patti Hall – eXp Arizona –

Patti has lived in Canada

Jim Bilbao – eXp Washington – Bellingham, WA

Jim has worked in 54 countries…yes let me repeat…54 countries, studied 5 languages and as he says “I can be polite in maybe 5 more.” Jim has lived in France in 1980. In France he lived in a house through which a WW II artillery shell fell without going off, the garden walls of the house had WWII bullet holes. He won a singing contest. He lived in Taiwan in 1983/84, 1990, In Taiwan he dined on fried grasshoppers with ginger and chilly peppers. His soccer team played a team with half the Taiwanese national team. It was a close game, but they won. He once rode a motorcycle home with 3 college age guys on it… something you did in that country. It was common to see a family of 5 all out for a ride on a Sunday together on their one motorcycle. He lived in Singapore 1990-1996. In Singapore the lightning would strike so close to the house…. the light switch wiring would smoke and all the cat’s fur would puff like a blow fish. They had monkeys in the back yard, too. All the phone lines were tapped by the government. Interesting to try to say something that would make it actually do something. Jim lived in China 1996 and found it interesting how local business evolved: one could see in downtown Beijing, a guy delivering bricks to construction sites, from a donkey pulled cart (nowhere near the quality one would see in Bonanza), talking on a cell phone. He once saw a guy taking a new full size refrigerator home, by himself, with it suspended on straps between two bicycles, one of which he was peddling. Career highlights: Through the 1990s, Jim’s students handled sales quotas between $2B and $5B depending on the year. He delivered a 2-day account management class in Beijing once translating the whole thing into Mandarin, French and English simultaneously for a multinational French company. and as Jim says “ I’ve been equally challenged to understand the local language in Egypt as Mississippi.”

As you can see, we have quite the growing list of international players. I have no doubt its these professionals and our appeal will propel eXp Realty around the Globe. If you were not mentioned on this list, it was because I didnt get your info back and feel free to email me an update and I can add it to the blog post.

Brian Culhane – eXp Realty’s Chief Cultural Officer

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eXp’s Cultural Corner with Brian Culhane

Path to the CloudAs we wrap up July I think a fitting theme to focus on is our independence. One of the big cultural concepts we talk a lot about internally at eXp is “Setting Us Free”. Freedom and independence are never more appreciated than when you are laying in a bed for 23.5 out of 24 hours a day with round-the-clock nurses, physical therapists, and family members helping you with the most mundane of tasks as you get through a very traumatic injury.

Well thats exactly where I found myself these last couple weeks as I underwent my final leg (no pun intended) of my 2 year Broken Hip Saga and got a hip replacement. For many of you who don’t know, I fell off my mountain bike 2 years ago, just going around the block and was unable to walk for 8 months as they tried to get my hip to grow back together 20 months later, it didn’t heal correctly and so, I had to go in for full hip replacement and go through another recovery period. Thankfully this one will be 10x’s shorter than the last time around, but it still left me with some deep thoughts about Life and Purpose and Family and Friends and being able to provide.

eXp Realty Rev Share is my Business Disaster Relief Fund

I can say without question, that had I not have grown an eXp Agent Network through attracting others to join our brokerage and had eXp not had a Revenue Sharing Plan, I don’t think I would have made it through these last 2 years unscathed or intact financially. As a commission based sales person normally you’re only as good as your last sale or what you can catch with your own two hands and feet. But at eXp we espouse setting ourselves free, not just free from antiquated systems or freedom from bad support, but ultimately setting us free financially. Freedom from that painful cycle of making money, spending money, being broke, and having to rinse and repeat endlessly until we can show no more or take on no more listings.

If I was not a part of eXp Realty and was not taking advantage of the most lucrative passive income opportunities in business, I would probably had to file for BK and most likely lost our home and had to displace my family. Thankfully, I had built up a strong eXp Agent Network and that Rev Share income was able to pay my monthly expenses and even some medical bills. Thankfully my Brokerage shared back with me that revenue otherwise my last 2 years would have been a very scary reality.

business-relief-fundI now refer to my eXp Rev Share as my Business Disaster Relief Fund because it provided my family and I with the freedom and independence to address my injury and long recovery the way it needed to be addressed, and it gave me relief to know that my family was going to be taken care of even though I couldn’t work the way I was used to.

Feel free to use my story and share my eXperience with others as you go forward in attracting others to our brokerage. I can say without question, that no other real estate company would have given me the tools of independence that eXp has given me and now I am back on the mend and able to focus on growing that opportunity unabated. Watch out world, here we come!

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