Transcription of Episode

Intro/Outro 0:04
Welcome to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Every week she will share valuable information that you need to know in order to successfully invest in real estate and other business endeavors in North America. We believe in helping clients invest, live, work, and play across borders. And now, your host, Lauren Cohen.

Lauren Cohen 0:26
Good morning everybody. This is Lauren Cohen, international legal and real estate expert. And I am here today with a very special guest Stephanie Gilezan and I will tell you about Stephanie in just a moment. But before I introduce her and she is just like, honestly, one of the most amazing rock stars that I have met. In my experience, in real estate and eXp, and just in general as a powerhouse woman, amazing entrepreneur, just a wonderful person to and because she’s become a good friend, which is amazing. In any event, I am here with as your podcast host with investing across borders, and we are sponsored by lendai, an international mortgage lending company that is housed in Israel and fund’s investment properties in the US, for Canadians, Israelis, Australians and Brits so far and more to come. It’s really amazing because Lendai offers solutions where solutions don’t exist for non owner occupied investment properties all over the US. So reach out and we’d love to connect you with the lendai team. Anyway, as I mentioned, I am here today on investing across borders with my lovely guest who had been waiting and when I saw her name pop up that she actually scheduled the podcast I was so excited. So I was like this was a long time coming. Stephanie is the director of commercial brokerage operations and oversees the whole US brokerage for exp commercial. She works closely with my good friend Jim Wong. And I originally met Stephanie in Washington DC in the summer. And since then, it’s just been a whirlwind. Actually, since she joined the eXp which is about a year ago when commercial really launched right. We’re actually at a perfect time to have this session.

Stephanie Gilezan 2:13
We’re coming up on the year when we said you know eXp commercial is going to be open for business. And of course prior to eXp commercial, I was part of eXp Realty on the corporate side and building and growing the company. But yeah, we’re coming up on that year. And you know, a year ago, November we had, like 13 states open and here we are, you know, we’ve got them all open now. We’re growing. We’re at a 248% growth rate Lauren.

Lauren Cohen 2:40
Is that all?

Stephanie Gilezan 2:41
I mean, is that all? 248%! You know, we knew when we opened, we were going to become the fastest growing commercial brokerage in history. We knew that right? But our goal Geminis goal is by this time next year, that we’re in the top five of largest commercial brokerages, and we’re going to do that as well, too, because it only makes sense. I mean, I know that your podcasts about, you know, international investments and all these things. But that’s exactly what this company is about. Here. There is no boundary, there is no lane, you have to stay in, there is no territory that you claim. It’s the entire globe. And whatever your passion is, and whatever, whoever you want to work with, and whatever country, in whatever state, we have that ability to do so. And now that people commercial practitioners are seeing that and they’re limited at their brokerages. That’s why they’re taking a look at us and ultimately, joining forces with us.

Lauren Cohen 3:37
Yeah, there’s such a level of portability at eXp commercial that just doesn’t exist elsewhere, and allows you to cross state lines without thinking twice. And just having a local presence in all of these states allows us the flexibility and freedom to do that. And it’s an amazing thing. It’s something that really is unprecedented. Stephanie, why don’t you give us rather than me boring people since you are so amazing. Tell us just a little bit about where you come from. What brought you to this amazing company and who you are.

Stephanie Gilezan 4:08
Absolutely. So I actually got into this industry right out of college in 1999. So real estate is all I’ve ever done. When I was in college, my path was lobbying political sciences, my degree, spent time in DC spent time at state levels, working for senators working for congress people and really learning. You know, how, if we’re able to, for example, I’m in Louisville, Kentucky, that’s where I’m from, but spent time all around the state of Kentucky and learning about counties and the meaning between a dry county and a wet County and how does that really affect the economics?

Lauren Cohen 4:47
Tell me what that means.

Stephanie Gilezan 4:49
So a dry county means there’s no alcohol sales. A wet county means there is and so like in that movie Footloose, right, yeah, You know, you rewind, you know, back in the 90s of Kentucky, and you look and you know, you saw the big cities, Louisville and Lexington and and Frankfort, and the northern part of Kentucky very wet. And that’s why they were flourishing. That’s why they were exploding. And then you could go 10 minutes outside of Louisville or 10 minutes outside of Lexington. And you would just see pure rural.

Lauren Cohen 5:25
10 minutes, that fast?

Stephanie Gilezan 5:27
Yeah, that fast. And so as the cities were scaling and more industry was coming into the state of Kentucky, and you know, we’ve got the horse industry, we’ve got the bourbon, we’re known for bourbon, but majority of our state was dry. Right. And so getting involved in that in college, I actually worked on a project as part of my undergrad to see how can we convince the population in some of these counties to go wet? And what would that mean for them? And so where I went to college, half the county was wet, and half the county was dry. And I said, Okay, so how do we get this side wet as well, and let’s see what happens. And then it exploded, right? You had all these chain restaurants wanting to come in, then you had developers coming in, because if the industry was coming in, then they got it, they had to build houses. And then you start seeing the strip centers come up, and you started seeing the hotels, you know, everything came to life, right. And not everything should be around alcohol. But it was just one thing that I got involved in, which inspired me to say, Okay, I see now the ability for all this land to turn into something and have this explosive growth. Let’s look at the real estate factors. So I started working with companies and corporations and industries in government to have you know, the tax credits to bring these people in, then I got involved in. Okay, let’s get a builder to come in. Because now we need multifamily now we need single family now we need. And so I really loved the fact of taking a blank canvas, and building the entire, like an urban planner based like an urban planner. And so that is really what got me interested in real estate. And so I think I had spent just enough time around government to know that they moved way too slow for me. And now I wanted to move at my pace, which is like lightning fast. You know, everybody that works with me, they say, you know, every day was 70, you run a marathon and most of the time you’re sprinting during that marathon, but we get stuff done. And that’s why you know, things happen. And so I got into real estate and I moved back to Louisville. And all I wanted to do was really dive into commercial real estate. Well, in the state of Kentucky, you had to have your sales license for two years with full time experience before you could ever get your broker’s license to be that principal broker Right? and own your own firm. So I went to a lot of the big guys, in you know, these different firms and nobody, they thought I had antennas coming out of my head. So I ended up going to putting my license with it. When I was in high school, I played a field hockey and I had a one of the girls was a year below me. The other one was a year older than me. I was sandwiched right in the middle of them. And I remember their dad was a real estate broker, but he was residential. So I picked up the phone and I called them. They’re like, Yeah, my dad would love to have you. So I went to work for this small independent broker who only did residential. And I’ll never forget, but the day that I walked into that office, he said, Look, you’re probably not going to make it in this industry. But if you want to park your license here,go for it.

Lauren Cohen 8:55
Oh, my God.

Stephanie Gilezan 8:57
And I tell you what, after being told no, by all these commercial brokerages, and then he telling me that, I thought I’m going to set this world on fire. I’m going to make more money than any of these people put together, because that’s what put the fire in my belly. And it still resides there today that fuels this passion and desire. I have to go pave our own way. Right. So I literally just started pounding the pavement. I started working with vacant land, bringing in industry getting it zoned for industrial or getting it sold commercial or maybe sometimes the land was better suited for residential. So I really got into not only real estate and representing clients and corporations, but I also ended up in that same pace becoming my own developer. As soon as I had enough money to be that.

Lauren Cohen 9:48
Right. And you used it, you used the income you had to apply to build your right. Yeah, it’s amazing because you had to like it was almost like the naysayers just like So many of us when they say no, you say hell yeah,

Stephanie Gilezan 10:04
Hell yeah. Hell yeah. And so anyway, you know, he this broker wasn’t doing anything for me, he actually got a little bit jealous of my success because I went out and landed like, not only industrial and commercial, but I was landing some of the larger developers. And you know, then I could start working with these track builders and different custom home builders to bring them in because some things we were repurposing, you know, like, all these closed down factories or high rises down in downtown Louisville. We’re just sitting there dilapidating and bacon. So we were repurposing for self storage. We were turning them into condo, luxury condo, we were bringing life back in. And so, you know, he had this jealousy factor of how in the heck are you doing this? And so there was a woman at that firm, who I found out, she didn’t do a lot of business. And she didn’t need to it was just kind of a hobby for her. But she had a broker’s license. And I said, Listen, Barbara, I have a deal for you. I want to own my own company. I don’t want to play on somebody else’s turf right now I know the path I want to go. But I’m not. I haven’t been in this industry long enough to go get my broker’s license and own my company and be that principal. And, but you’ve got a broker’s license, I want to give you some money. And I want to give you a small piece of everything I do. And you’ll be one of the wealthiest people for doing nothing. But I need you to open my company. And she did. And so I started my company I built.

Lauren Cohen 11:31
So you’re still weren’t licensed for two years yet at this point, because you weren’t able?

Stephanie Gilezan 11:35
No, it was only like three months, I was only three months in. Wow. So she became my principal broker for my company, the agreement the day that I was eligible to go and get my broker schooling and pass that test that she would step down, and it would be mine. And it ended up being the perfect plan. Because during that time, I also wasn’t just building my real estate career and developing and working with, you know, the city and different municipalities. But I was also building a real estate brokerage. And I did I built it up to 48 agents, it was so funny, because here I was 21 getting ready to turn 22. And the average agent that was working with me was like 4648 54 years old. It was like, all my parents were there, but they you know, but there was this this inspiring thing. I’m thinking how do these people trust this because at the, you know, 2122 it was the Fire of, here’s how we get shit done, here’s how we’re going to do it. And they were inspired by that. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since is, you know, and I love that piece of it is successful as I can build myself, I make sure that anyone that I work with anybody, I get to meet anyone that becomes just an association of mine, not even a friend, but just an association of mine, that I help them better their life. That’s what makes me feel good. You know, we can go out and make enough money and, you know, be as wealthy as can be. But if we’re not feeling fulfilled in every aspect, then that’s that’s not you know, that’s not enough for me, I love to make raving fans, out of everyone I meet because I truly care about the success of people. And I know what it’s like to always be doubted, and challenged on the aspect that we go, what the heck do you know, you know, my dad, I love my father. But he pushed me so hard growing up, I grew up on a farm. I mean, we did actual labor, you know, we planted potatoes, and we picked potatoes, and you know all of these things. And he would always just every day push, push, push, push push me to the point of my god quit calling me. You know, when I got into the business, he’s like, How much money are you gonna make this week? And I’m like, none of your business. And I told him, I said, listen, he owns a massive construction infrastructure company. So they put in roads and sewers and water lines and all that kind of stuff. So I grew up around dirt, which is what got me loving, you know, the fact of what I started doing in college, but I told him, I said, Listen, one day, I’m going to be your biggest client. So I suggest you back down and I did it. And I did it. You know, I’ve developed multiple neighborhoods office posing real and yes, and I’m his client. He’s he’s got to kiss my butt now.

Lauren Cohen 14:29
You go dad.

Stephanie Gilezan 14:32
So it’s just it’s interesting, but no, I mean, you know, and we still run into this Lord, we both I met a guy the other day, he’s like, who are you? And I go, well, actually, I own all this.

Lauren Cohen 14:44
So and they probably think because you’re married to Sam that you’re Sam’s wife.

Lauren Cohen 14:50
Yeah, yeah. excellently. Yeah. Yeah.

Lauren Cohen 14:55
So let’s briefly say so Stephanie is married to Sam Griffin. And Sam is the production side now because Stephanie is so much on the attraction and operations. And I mean, she is a huge undertaking and has really like the word for Stephanie that I use, without a doubt as a trailblazer to like to call myself, you know, we go against the odds, because the odds are not in our favor at the end of the day, right? And in commercial real estate, having been in the EB five space for so long, how many women did I see at the table over time? One in 20? Maybe?

Stephanie Gilezan 15:36
Yeah, probably. Well, you know, I just got back from being at C five conference in New York. Then I went to CCI M and Pittsburgh, then we went to SLR in Nashville. And you know, these are the top, you know, some of the top people in our industry, and there are women, but you can still see the, you know, there’s not as many. And it’s funny, because we instantly I love men don’t get me wrong, right? I mean, we love men, but it’s great to start to see that those numbers are climbing. And what else got me excited was that I see the young, you know, the young because so many people, you know, even you know, in their 20s. I talked to a gentleman yesterday, he’s like, look, I’m only 23. I said, So what I started at 21, you can do this, too, you know what I mean? Because so many people, you know, you look at your industries, and I’m, when I was a broker owner, for my own firm, you know, I always was getting offers to be bought out by national brands, and so forth. And the biggest reason why they were attracted to me was because I was one successful and knew what I was doing, but to my age, and then, you know, was so far below what their average Owner Broker was, you know, I’ll never forget REMAX really coming after me. And I said, you know, what’s your big attraction to me? And at the time I was 35 years old, they said, Look, our average Owner Broker in this area is 62. And we’re fearful. We’re fearful, right? That leadership, young talent in that they’re all going to retire at the same time. They’re not going to lose our brand in this market. And it was true. I mean, it’s still to this day that way. And so that’s, you know, but again, I mean, I don’t care what age somebody is, age doesn’t matter. It’s about whether you, you know, know how your know what you’re doing, obviously have the right mindset, but I still educate myself to this day. I mean, I learn it every single day.

Lauren Cohen 17:35
I think that that’s what it’s about us. Certainly current, but also interesting and interested. So you were rejecting all of these opportunities or saying no, or wasn’t the right fit or whatever the case may be? What made you say yes, to eXp?

Stephanie Gilezan 17:54
You know, it was funny, because the very first time I was ever reached out, I did not say yes, who I was,

Lauren Cohen 18:01
I don’t think any of us did. We all right. No, that’s not for me. Yeah.

Stephanie Gilezan 18:05
Yeah. And, and basically, I was kind of a, you know, I was still in my, I was in my late 30s, at that time, and I was busy, very, very busy. I had multiple developments going on, I had all these listings, you know, I’ve always pivoted in this industry, with the change of the times and the economy and all that different thing. But, you know, I came out of the economic downturn on a high note, because I really learned how to pivot and make money when everybody else was not everybody. But a lot of people were falling out of the business because they just didn’t know what to do.

Lauren Cohen 18:38
Right. They were giving up. They were Yeah, they weren’t pushing through them at all. They were defeating, letting it defeat them just like exactly COVID The same thing. Right?

Stephanie Gilezan 18:47
Exactly. And so when HP found me, I think that first initial call, I said, Look, everybody in their mother wants to purchase my company. As I said, I owned a franchise before. It was extremely successful. I started it when I was 24. And I sold it when I was 28, because I was the most unhappy 28 year old that anybody would have ever met. And I did.

Lauren Cohen 19:12
But the money was not what was driving you.

Stephanie Gilezan 19:14
Exactly. So February 14 2008, I sold a franchise market center that I owned and started with three other people, because I was simply unhappy and went back to being independent. And so I think that’s, you know, really what I told them, and probably among a few other words that we won’t repeat. But but but this guy was brilliant, because he understood and he said, You know, I just want to get some other people on the phone with you right to have other conversations because, you know, we need to have some sort of a relationship whether you come or not. And so over time, you know, I would take calls because here’s the thing that I’ve always learned in business, shop your competition, always shop your competition. If you have no interest and I had absolutely zero interest in ever joining exp at that moment, I still shocked it because I need to know and prepare myself for what’s going to happen in this industry. And so as more people were getting on the call, and coming, they actually came to Louisville multiple times, to sit with me face to face, we went through my financials, because I wanted to show them Lauren, you’re not talking to the average person, I’m not better than anybody else. But I’m not the average person

Lauren Cohen 20:33
No, not the average person.

Stephanie Gilezan 20:36
And I don’t mean that like, I’m sincerely don’t mean it, it was just I wasn’t the average person. Because, you know, I had built something that even if I got hit by the truck, it would still go on, it just wouldn’t be so successful. Right? And you know, somebody would have a figure it all out. But when I was shopping exp so that I was prepared for what exp was going to do, I started to digest the state of Kentucky, because that’s where I was. And I knew I built this massive brand and reputation. That was stellar. I knew that. And I thought, Okay, wait a minute, maybe, you know, because when you look at a real estate company, and what’s it really worth, without, when you take the star out of that, it’s not worth as much as you thought it would, because you can never sell somebody on your book of business, because that book of business worked with me because of me. And if I sell that, it’s never going to be that successful. And so that’s why every single person that wanted to buy my company, one of the walk me into it for 10 more years, and I didn’t want to build somebody else’s company, right. So shopping my competition in exp, I saw something in it that I was like, gosh, Stephanie, get out of your own way, because you are limiting your ability, you are so productive in Kentucky. But if you jump onto this platform, what could you be across the entire United States. And then Lauren, I started thinking about, you know, all these things that I had done. And my husband looked at me one day, and he said, you know why you get so bored. He goes, you master everything you touch. And he’s right. I may not know everything, but I do master my craft. And whether that craft is building a brokerage, whether that craft is doing a development, whether that craft is selling real estate, whether it is building a house, whether it is built the you know, whatever it will be i master it. And so something that I had never mastered in my entire career was, can I take what I know? And do it in more places than just Kentucky? I’m up for this challenge, can I truly build a footprint across the entire United States and additional countries. And so that’s what got me excited about exp, I just never realized how much bigger it would become than what I only was imagining at that moment. And so what happened, eXp had been in Kentucky for six years. And there was like six agents, there was no footprint. There was nothing. And so I thought, Okay, I’m going to and I’ll never forget, when they were trying to convince me, I said, Look, here’s my problem. The broker, great person, she was a great person. But we are two different people, and nothing wrong with her and the way she does business. But it’s not the way I do business and stuff the way I build. And so she was ready to step down. And they asked what I do, would I be that designated managing burger position for Kentucky? And I said, Absolutely, I will. But I’m only going to do it temporarily. And I’m not going to do it for very long, and Jason guessing, and at the time, Kathy Gordon, who’s our vice president, she retired, but she said, we just want you to get it to 100 agents in the next year. And they said, Oh, I’m gonna do that in three weeks. And they laughed. And I said, Oh, I’m going to do that in three weeks. And so I took the job, February 5 of 2018. And by February 28, we had 103 agents. And so then we kept scaling that and then we kept growing that and then I realized, okay, we can do this all over the place, but at the same time, let’s better the brokerage. Let’s look at all these, you know, tools and what better and so that’s where I only told them I would be staff for three months. But I fell in love with corporate world because this company listens to the agents. And I love the fact that Okay, here I brought on all these people in such a short time. I know I’m going to continue to bring on people and if we can, if I can be a part of the operational factor of it to making sure every single day that our shareholders, which is our agents, it’s awesome. You know, we are the owners of this company. If I can better that, then I want to be a part of it for that reason. Because back to day one, I’ve always had this servant’s heart. I love to make money. I love to be great at everything I do. But I love to serve people. I love it. It’s like this. I’m drawn into it. And so that’s what we’re doing now. And when it was time to stand up commercial, which only made sense because here we went from it was 6600 agents, the day I joined to, you know, 60,000 agents last year. And all the business that those agents are doing, it only made sense to Okay, now it’s time to really stand up commercial. And let’s change the way commercial real estate brokerages done. Let’s change the way it looks on calendar challenge. Let’s challenge all these companies that have been in their existence. There’s nothing wrong with them, and they’re phenomenal. But let’s show them that yes, can be the answer, versus who are you? You’re a 21 year old what? Right? So that’s what I want to do. I want to take the statistics because, you know, commercial real estate, I mean, there’s really nowhere to learn it. It’s hard to break into to it successfully without fumbling and really taking your time. I mean, a lot of people starve while they’re trying to make it. So what can we build to where anybody with a passion and drive like me back when I was 21 want to be in this industry? But then how can we utilize our exp Realty partners who are doing all this business and teach them a fourth revenue stream, which is called referral fees. And then we don’t have any boundaries. We honor the portability. We’re in these 20 countries. And let’s truly scale and grow it in a way that nobody has ever seen. You know, when you look at some of the largest commercial brokerages that exist, it took them 66 years to go global. Wow.

Lauren Cohen 27:11
Six, I mean, I also think it’s like for eXp the, you know, when I came in, we were only in four countries. And at that time, and I think the global team joined shortly after and started focusing on going global. And that’s one of the main distinguishing factors for exp one of many, but the global reach and the global aspects. And you mentioned referral fees. Well, you know, that that’s how I operate. I guess like I think 20 I just I’m about to send my 28 referral agreement out today to one of our commercial partners to find mobile home parks and self storage for one of my big real estate investor clients. And that’s how I operate. And I have a closing today, my first one through one of these referral agreements happening like now, actually literally, so it’s great because people don’t realize, I think Realtors look at business as local. Alright, we look at real real estate business as global. And exactly right. And really, even though that deal that we were working on, my team was working on in India didn’t end up happening, the fact that there was this billion multi billion dollar deal that we were even talking about in a country that I’ve never been to on the other side of the world that became a part of EXP through a global pandemic. You know, it’s just like, the story is amazing. And writing goes for the commercial side, like a year later, to have created the presence that has been created to have created the collaborative opportunities giving all of us on exp a chance to be in leadership. And people that like, you know, I’m not an experienced commercial agent, I’m experienced at doing commercial real estate, but I’m not experienced that the actual transactions, but to give all of us a place at the table to talk and collaborate and ask questions, and everybody is so willing to help and reach their handout like you, Stephanie. And I think that that’s also what separates you, because half the posts that I see you making are about mindset, and about, you know, bringing other people up and helping other people and giving always giving, not asking, but giving and it is a very big difference here because everybody wants to help each other because at the end of the day, it serves all of our interests. We are alright owners, it’s an agent centric model.

Stephanie Gilezan 29:38
And you know, Lauren, that was the big when I was really shopping my competition, which I thought was gonna be eXp the competition. That’s how I got so engaged and pulled into it because it wasn’t that mindset of they’re all in competition with each other. That’s not how we are and the other brand that I lost. I owned that I sold out of what made me so unhappy being the principal broker and one of the primary owners of that firm was that nobody wanted to help anybody. Nobody wanted to give back. Nobody wanted to educate. Nobody wanted to share what they knew to better anybody else. And at 28 years old, I was so disappointed at the fact that wait a minute, I stand up here every day, guys, give, give, give, give, give, help me give? Oh, no, we have no interest in that. But they were owners of the market center. And you know, and that’s why I had to leave that. But that’s why I knew that if being a part of another national brand meant just being in more competition with somebody else, that was never going to be a place for me. And that was when I truly discovered exp was the opposite. That’s what brought me in because it aligns exactly what the mindset that I’ve always had. And when you talk about these referrals, to have that collaboration, and we talk about the millions and billions of dollars of these, just give everyone an idea of these 28. I mean, you probably added it up, what is that? What is that amount of money?

Lauren Cohen 31:13
I mean, many of the deals have not yet come to fruition. But the opportunity is for at least I would say $100 million dollars in sales transactions, and then refer you know, you get a referral fee of the percentage. So it’s significant. It is it would definitely pave the path for anybody to be successful if if even a quarter of them come to fruition. Right. So, you know, it’s a tough market right now, certainly. But if you’re working with the right agent, you’re going to find an opportunity, both on the commercial and residential side. And that’s really important, because, you know, everybody is out to help each other. And that’s something you don’t see every day. I mean, I was telling Stephanie, at the beginning, my partner just got over $5 million dollar referral for a 1031 exchange. Now, that’s a big deal. I mean, that’s a big deal. And they doesn’t know the person. You know, another thing that’s interesting is with Stephanie and Jim, so here’s a good story. So I met Stephanie, before she met Jim Wong in person. And Stephanie and Jim had been probably working about as closely as any two people can work for the past year, and more. And, and you guys only met in person we had about a month and a half ago.

Stephanie Gilezan 32:35
Yeah, you know, I guess we met in Dallas for the very first time. And, you know, the we had met in February of 2020. It became official that he was joining as our president eXp commercial on July 30, of 2020, where we had our first not in the world meeting with all of leadership around, but he a nice first one on one via zoom. And we have many of these, you know, we’re on the phone all the time, but we’re working together. And but we physically didn’t meet until a year and one month later in person. And I had a gentleman the other day. And this is where we’re going to just go ahead and define what it is old school, okay. This gentleman the other day, he said, Look, I can’t work with someone unless I meet them face to face and look them in the eye. I said, that’s fine. But you’re limiting your ability, because let me tell you this story. And I told him about Jim and I, you know, working so I mean, Jim will tell and he’s done this on live webinars, we can go roll the footage, where he’s like, I can feel Stephanie kicking me under the table. And we’re not even in each other’s presence. But he talks about that all the time. But that’s how well we get to know one another in this company, whether we’re an avatar or looking at each other on Zoom, or picking up the phone and having the conversation. But you don’t need to be in each other’s presence to do a business deal. And he said, No, I need to meet you in person. And I said, Well, we’re probably not the model for you then because we move too fast. Yeah. And in the seven hours, it would take me to get to you. I can do so much more and I apologize. But this is what this looks like now. This is how we operate. I promise you you know you may not touch my skin unless you come to Vegas exp con or we see each other at some event but it’s not going to change how well you get to know me. Now. That’s the truth Lauren Rosie, even if we’ve never met in DC back in July, you still knew me?

Lauren Cohen 34:40
Oh, yes. Your energy, when you know not but not it doesn’t fit for everybody. It’s true. And as you’re talking I’m thinking to myself, we could have done this podcast in the XP world. We could have recorded it in the world. Put it on YouTube with our avatar since we have avatars and we are any eXp world running events. all the time, you know, I just did my commercial international investment event on Wednesday, and we’ve all the avatars coming and you know, sometimes there’s tech issues, but sometimes there’s tech issues on Zoom. And sometimes there’s tech issues in person, when the audio doesn’t work, or the video doesn’t work, or in fact, me, my throat doesn’t work because of this really long COVID thing. But you know, at the end of the day, I have found, it’s like the it’s like, who coined the phrase, we were built for this, I’m not sure if it was Glen, or who it was about exp from the beginning of COVID. When it said, we were built for this, and we really were, because it’s a tech company. It’s a cloud based tech company, even the strongest treated part of me. So if we didn’t miss a beat, we didn’t miss a beat. As a matter of fact, if anything, it expedited our ability to grow and scale and, and force people to realize that you have to be in the cloud, you have to be able to operate independent of in person meetings. And nowadays, like we’re having exp con, and it’s a hybrid, it’s in person, and it’s in the world. So if you can’t attend in person, or you choose not to, because of what’s going on, then you can join the same way in the EXP world and watch the whole program and participate and speak and do anything in the world that you can in person. Now, granted, face to face is always great. And it’s always lovely to meet somebody in person, but it’s just not always feasible. And I don’t know, for me, it’s been eye opening on many, many levels, you know, I created my whole how to immigrate through real estate model because of EXP and the push for me to get more involved in real estate. So it’s been amazing for me, and just knowing people like Stephanie, who I just said, this morning, I’m going to reach out to you because I need a little help with something. having mentors available to help you with pretty much anything with your first letter of intent with whatever it is you need. There is mentorship available and people willing to help and reach out their hand to help you be successful because we all want to be successful together. So and raving fans, I’m one of your raving fans,

Stephanie Gilezan 37:11
And I’m one of your raving fans, it goes both ways Lauren.

Lauren Cohen 37:16
Thank you. And, you know, it’s just really a pleasure to know you and to know your husband, you’re both incredible. I love Sam, he’s great. Just real true salt of the earth. people that care about other people want to be successful in their own right and our but also one we want everybody to be successful to to be successful. So Stephanie, I know how to reach you. But what about everybody else who wants to reach you? Because they want to learn about eXp commercial or they want to learn about how to be a successful woman in real estate and commercial real estate?

Stephanie Gilezan 37:50
LinkedIn, connect with me on LinkedIn, connect with me on Facebook, call me on my cell phone. That’s one thing. I mean, I think this whole entire company has my cell phone number, and I’m not scared of it. It’s on Google. You can Google it. But it’s 502-817-6484. You know, just like you Lauren, I mean, you have come into this company, you have taught so many people so much about international real estate investing. And, you know, that’s another thing that that we’re attracting is the clients, you’re attracting the clients because we have people like you, people like Sam, people like Jim Wong, who we know how to put the deals together, no matter where they’re located. That’s the beauty of this company. And so the referrals and the business that’s coming in also comes from the public because they need a company like eXp, approachable.

Lauren Cohen 38:45
Approachable, you’re approachable. I remember when I did my very first video, way back, my dad’s best friend, Alicia was a the top voiceover actor in Canada. Okay. He was in like, very famous guy. And he helped me with my first commercial. And he said, it’s, you’re approachable, you’re affordable, and you’re available. And I’m like, I don’t know, if I like all those three terms together. With us, like, that’s what people want. And it’s true, you know, there is a cost to being a part of this company. On the commercial side, the cost is higher, but you get so much so much value that is brought to you so many tools and so much software and learning all these different amazing programs and opportunities and CRMs and systems and I mean learning from Bernard, the marketing director. He’s been incredible, just wonderful resources and all of us willing to share with each other. Stephanie, I want to thank you. I know how valuable your time is, and I appreciate you, you know that I do and I love you and I really, I’m so glad we could have this time together today. I am Lauren Cohen thanking Lendai for sponsoring this amazing podcast investing across borders where we teach you how to invest in real estate and other deals, invest live, work and play across borders. I’m here with Stephanie Gilezan, the head of commercial operations for eXp commercial. And thank you so much again. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend. Thank you. Bye for now everybody.

Intro/Outro 40:25
Thanks for listening to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Make sure to check the show notes for any links and for guests contact information. If you have questions for Lauren, please reach out to her at If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.