• Michael Valdes

Alex Howland, "One World, Achieving Together"

Alex Howland is probably one of the smartest men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is an Organizational psychologist and a great entrepreneur who created VirBela, the virtual platform which is home to the eXp world.

The VirBela mission statement of "One World, Achieving Together" resonates now more than ever in the world we are living in. In this virtual world, we all live in harmony as avatars, and work is accomplished so effectively, that in this COVID world, there has been an explosive 1600% growth over the last three years. The majority of it's happening this calendar year.

In a recent blog on their website, it spoke about the five steps of managing a remote team which I asked him about:

1) Establish trust -- "You must be transparent about your mistakes. It's ok to be vulnerable. You must show you care".

2) Manage output, not time -- "I don't care when people are working so long as the work gets done. If you set the correct OKRs, everyone knows what they are doing."

3) Create a level playing field -- "The platform itself makes it a level playing field for everyone. There are no gatekeepers, and it naturally allows leaders to emerge".

4) Foster a friendly culture -- "This is a place that provides psychological safety. You can accomplish more together as a team."

5) Reinforce the vision of the company -- "Admittedly it was easier when there were 20 employees. Now that we have grown to over 100, you have to be intentional about it, but it's much more important now."

I can personally attest to the vision of the platform. For someone who has spent 25 years in a corporate environment, and now I operate in a "Virtual" world, it is amazing to me how interactive it is and how socially engaged you truly are. I have close friends that I have developed through the platform that I have yet to meet in real life.

This is without a doubt the future, not just in real estate but in many other sectors as well.

Alex Howland is a great leader and intellect who cares about the environment and people in general. It is a rare combination that explains the growth it has enjoyed.


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