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39 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Digital Marketing and how Real Estate Agents Can Generate More Leads to Earn More Deals with Nick Markman
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.TRANSCRIPT:Hi everyone. And welcome to another episode of brokerage insider. This is the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and real estate technology. My name is Britt Chester. I'm the host of today's episode. I'm also the director of client success here at TRIBUS.We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokerage technology to small, medium, and large brokerages all over the world today on the show, we're going to be talking about marketing and specifically digital marketing, and we're joined by Nick Markman.Principal product strategists at vocalize. Nick, welcome to the show. Hey, Britt. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me. I think digital marketing is a really exciting topic right now, as we enter this kind of like, I don't want to say post COVID, but this, this next phase. But before we get into it, Nick, tell us a little bit about a vocalize as well as a little bit about your.Yeah, absolutely. So a vocalize we're collaborative marketing platform. So we basically enable local, small and medium businesses to easily execute sophisticated digital marketing. And we do that by partnering with their, either their national brand, like their. Where we partner with technology platforms, you know, like try this or other CRM website providers.And through that collaboration of partnering with the what we call the sponsoring partner and the data that they have and, you know, getting a marketing platform, that's integrated with the tools that those agents and brokers are using. We're able to accomplish marketing outcomes on behalf of the, those users that they wouldn't be able to achieve with.That collaboration and also saved them a lot of time. You know, we'll talk about this, you know, I think throughout the conversation, but the reality is that, you know, local and small businesses some of them may be great marketers, certainly. But to be an expert in, in digital marketing, certainly requires a lot of time and resources to truly be an expert at.And a lot of those businesses that they just don't have that, right? If you're an agent or a broker, you're going to be spending most of your time selling houses and managing your relationships. So our ideas that we want to be that digital marketing easy button that allows them to still get all the performance that they want from digital marketing leads, revenue.But by spending a lot less time doing so. And doing so in a, in a really seamless way where they don't really need to set anything not bright. So by doing that, we've seen, for example, in real estate agents and brokers go from spending nine hours a week, marketing their business to nine minutes. And we've seen dramatic performance results as well, seeing 400% stronger performance than when they're doing it on.Yeah. I mean, I, I know real estate agents are there's, there's so much of an ask on a real estate agent today, right? Like there's so much expectation as to the service that they're, that they're meant to provide. And, and whenever I'm, you know, working one-on-one with either agents or brokerages, it's always a matter of looking at, you know, how much time do we have in the week and how.Can we really allocate to not just learning and understanding digital marketing, but also deploying that and seeing a solid return there. So I think, you know, tools, you know, I know at Tribus we've, we've partnered with a vocalize and I think that this partnership has been, you know, just in its infancy right now.One of our, one of our more exciting ones, just because it provides new opportunities for us. To, to put their face out there to put their name out there, to put their properties out there. So we'll, let's, we'll get into that here in a little bit. But before we do, I'd love to kind of jump back to the, the the, the benchmark, right?Like the mile marker in all of history right now that everyone talks about and looking at the trends pre. Right. Like what did digital marketing, what did that landscape kind of look like inside of real estate before? You know, the, the, the great, the great flattener. So Nick, from your view, and then from that of a vocalize, what were some of the trends that y'all were seeing and that y'all were kind of focusing on prior to this, this big change.Yeah, absolutely. I'd say, you know, there's certainly a thread there that is the same when you compare pre and post. And I totally hear you. It's safe to say we're post COVID. It's not, not accurate right beforehand. I think there was a lot less variety of. Marketing touch points, ways of communication. Honestly, I, you know, as I think about certainly real estate, that landscape pre COVID, it's really commoditize, you know, a lot of listing ads, which we still see, that's what, you know, bread and butter stuff, very important in the listing ads.But COVID, and you know, the shift from high. In-person touch points to primarily digital or online ways of communication really was a, I think, a forcing function and innovation in terms of how agents and how the industry was using digital marketing and just digital channels in general. So I, I think you, I think that was one big change is that, that lack of variety.Whereas now you see a lot more seller leads, home valuation you know, video ads, 3d tours. It was a little more stagnated is probably too severe, but it is a little more standardized, I think. So, so there was some good, certainly that, that, that came out just in terms of. But innovation of using some of these tools and services.Another thing that I, I would add there, you know, in this as both a kind of COVID theme, as well as just what we have seen in the. Real estate market. You, you know, when you take a look at things like the low inventory levels, that was starting to happen, certainly pre COVID, but was not where it is at certainly now.So it was a lot stronger focus. I think, you know, pre COVID on, on that buyer lead generation, we saw more of that. Whereas now it's a lot more blended or even a heavier focus or interest in seller leads. Yeah. Yeah. And I remember I was sitting I was at an IMiD connect event in January of. 2020. And I was interviewing all these agents and you know, marketing executives and admins, and I was attending all these you know, these sessions and listening to everybody make their predictions for 2020.And you know, I, I go back and I look at some of that footage and I look at some of those interviews and I think about those sessions and it was like, wow, we were all entirely blindsided. Right. I think like a real obvious comparison, like you said, that that humans touchpoint, right? Open houses you know, before we're a staple and now they're, they're almost like a, and I don't want to, I would never call an open house, like a novelty, but it's like, we've got a virtual tour, a port, a drone video.Everything had to get migrated very quickly to the internet, right? Like suddenly like everyone, is there, all of your, your internet traffic started spiking. I mean, I think we saw. So much just traffic there. So, so I guess kind of that, that leads perfectly into the next question. Like, you know, what did, what did COVID do to real estate marketing and like digital branding and how are we like, kind of like shifting with that because it's changing every single day.Right. And, and I, I love the innovation in this industry and I love the opportunities for interview innovation as well, but I guess, how are we kind of like shifting with that, with the agent marketing like that one-to-one. You know, what does, what does that transition kind of look like from, from your standard?Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think overall certainly from the marketing perspective whether it's digital or other channels, you know, COVID and some of the changes that came out of that I think were, were largely positive. I'll caveat that by saying this has been an incredibly tough time. So as I talk about that the upside or the positive that we results, we're saying by no means, are we saying it's been easy for agents right on the ground.Obviously this has been hard for everyone, but, but truly in terms of the innovation of ways to communicate with your customers that we've already talked about, and I'll go in a little deeper, but also just on the performance side it was unprecedented times in, in a positive way. I actually think as we reflect on the past, What year and a half to two years.So I'm just doubling down on, on again, what we mentioned, you know, it was real estate and especially agent interactions with clients has been such a heavy in-person form of communication. So that was immediately stripped away. So we saw these digital channels, especially things, you know, like Facebook, Instagram, Which are so visual and can be great channels for assets like videos via adoption and usage of those platforms really increased in innovative way.So we've already talked about, you know, 3d tools obviously was huge and you see that both from the platform side and the Zillows and the realtor dot coms of the world, and that reports all making a heavier focus on that kind of content. But we saw the best performing agents also. Pulling that through to how they market, even if it's just them recording a video of themselves, walking through a house, and then sending that out over email, posting that on, on Facebook, running a video ad or even doing, you know, market updates in that format.You know, we think of a lot of these channels that you can still have. Personal touch in terms of how your broadcasting you're communicating your brand, but also who you can target. Right. I can get in front of my customers pretty easily. I can target my local area with this message or this, this listing.So again, that, that forcing function of, of being innovative in how agents and brokers, they're talking to their customers. As one thing. And then on the performance side, you know from a vocalizes perspective we're, we're in a, you know, a lot of industries, real estate is, is, is certainly a key one for us.And so as soon as you know, COVID really started rewinding back to March, 2020, We wanted to start really looking at the data. Right. We have an interesting purview where we have, you know, millions of ads we can analyze and, and a lot of spend behind that. And so starting in March, we did monthly and quarterly updates, just looking at the performance going on in the industry and just some interesting things that, that all share that came out of that.I think the overall theme, as I mentioned, right. It was an unprecedented time in terms of strong performance in these channels. So just a few things, things that I'll share real quick here. So one thing that we noticed when you looked at 2019 to 2020 CPMs which that means cost per a thousand impressions, basically a metric of how much your need to pay for your Media.You can almost think of it as like a gasp. Or some degree for your food for your ads gets used so often. So thank you Pedics for that explanation. Yeah. Yeah, totally. It's definitely one of those, you know, maybe lesser known metrics, but basically just the call, you know, how expensive are your ads basically that decrease every 20% year over year 2019 to 2020.So just the ability for agents brokers to. In front of people, more affordably, get more eyes on their ads and their messages for, you know, fewer dollars. We saw a dramatic change there but then also on the intent and performance side, when we look at things like lead generation I think the most shocking thing that we saw and we saw this just to continue to increase month over month throughout COVID, but lead conversion rates.So if you think of someone that clicks on your. And then someone that submits a lead, what percentage of the people that click on your ad actually go to submit a lead that's the lead conversion rate that increased 658% from March, 2020 to March, 2021. So people that were interacting with these ads and digital formats.More than we'd ever seen in any of our data. We're submitting leads at an increasingly higher rate. So just was a sign of really strong consumer intent in terms of not just seeing an ad and clicking on it. But I actually, you know, I'm interested in this. I want to submit my information. I want to start this conversation.I'm in a relationship with. Yeah. And I think that's definitely reflected across the industry as well. Right? I mean, I think people who might've been shopping for homes you know, one year in advance in March, April and may of last year, they bought in June and July. And I think that's a direct result.Of of those ads and have that, like, you know, that, that increase in marketing and, and agents and brokerages kind of, you know, realizing like how quickly we have to shift. And we have to adapt this model. If we're not able to get in front of our agents face to face, we have to meet them where they are. And so I think that that was like, that's a very that's a pretty exciting metric because it, you know, it speaks exactly to what we're talking about, right?Like the, the value of marketing is to get in front of where your audiences and. That that is reflected in the stats. So it's the lead conversion rate increase 600, I think he said 658%. No, I think we can look at last year's sales. And you know, I think everyone was a little scared in March and April, but we saw a spike in real estate.You know, we saw more listings, home values increased across the country and, you know, everyone was selling it more people were buying. And so I think that's, you know a direct reflection of that. It also kind of makes me think about like, what is, and when we, when we, I say post COVID and I hate to say that because.It's more just like COVID acceptance at this point. And like, you know, like from there and then moving forward, but I wonder what is going to be like, what, what is the backside of this look like if we were at the top of that curve you know, what is the backside look like in the sense of like the next 3, 6, 9 months?Right. And, and how can we. And how can agents and how can brokerages really start to kind of prepare for, for what that's going to be? Because there are people that might've been in their pipeline that were looking one and two years down the road that bought last year, and now they're no longer in that pipeline.And so how can we or how can agents really start. You know, prepare for that. And what should their marketing plans kind of look like? Because, you know, we're seeing, I'm getting a lot of questions about, you know, SEO and you know, I want more, more traffic on the site and, you know, we, we could talk all day about SEO and SEO strategies.Really, I want to know, like, what can we do? You know, how can we prepare for this and how can we kind of get that strong foundation? Both with marketing, with our, and with our digital presence. So I guess, you know, Nick, from your view, and then from that of a vocalize, what, what are your kind of like best practices that we can kind of start to implement now?And what tools do we start using? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that the word, you know, foundation that you just threw out is, is super appropriate because we've been talking a lot about marketing and the marketing aspect of agent or real estate business successful agents and successful tools have that company.Deeply integrated with everything else that the agent or business is using to run their day to day. It's not on, on an island, right? So having your marketing and advertising, that's integrated with your CRM, that's connected to your website. That's set up in a way that you have that foundation, that infrastructure for driving your business so that marketing can actually.Help drive real business results in a way that is valuable to you, but also in a way that you're not spending tons of time, you know, downloading leads from Facebook or Google and manually uploading those to your CRM. You don't want to worry about that. Hassle as agents, we're already doing this, the best tools do this today.And that's what gets us so excited about. You know, our partnership with Tribus and the engage platform in particular is it does exactly that, right? Try this engage is integrated with, with your core products, there's CRM, is there, it has all your listings. It's easy to, to, to pop in there. And run your listing, automate your ads, have everything updated in real time, in a way that you know, saves you a ton of time and hassle, and you don't have to set up Facebook ad accounts and Google accounts and worry about that.Everything is, is deeply, deeply integrated. And we see that trajectory in the industry is increasing there's. There's already tools that do it today, but agents are going to start demanding that if they aren't. You know, no one likes meeting to use five different log-ins, you know, multiple different tools just to run their day to day.They want a one-stop shop. How can I manage my leads, manage my listings, advertise and promote my business. And, and we think of Tribus as being an awesome example of a tool that can. Yeah. I mean, and I think you, again, kind of jumping back to that word foundation and I liked what you said about like being deeply integrated.Because I, something I run into sometimes is that, you know, like you know, agents will be talking about marketing and we'll think like, You buy an ad and we're done, like, I washed my hands. I I've put the ad out there, but it's important that all of those things are working together. And so it's almost like, you know, the ad is, is a component of not just your, you know, not just your, your marketing or, or, you know, if we're pushing a past sale or if we're trying to find buyers, whatever the ad, whatever our goal of that ad is.But it has to be working with your CRM, with your website and all of that messaging kind of has to be cohesive. That's something that I, that I always encourage them. I'm a big proponent, you know, my background's in journalism. So I'm a big proponent for content creation whether it's blogging or social media organic and paid, you know, all of those things because to me those are, those are that's killing 2, 3, 4 birds with one stone.If you, if you write a blog or if you're, you know doing that content and you are putting it out organically and you're buying an ad like that, that just pays dividends so much down the road because. You can use it, your, your, your lift is the content creation, and then you're deploying it across your entire network.So you're sending it out to your CRM, you know, via email marketing. You're sending it out to your social networks organically you're paying and, and targeting audiences with those ads. And that kind of, you know, again brings us to that next point about like the value of, of an importance of those audiences.I think. A lot of, a lot of times we run into like, you know, we're, we're boosting these and promoting these on Facebook, but there's a difference between a boosting and promoting an ads. Can you kind of talk about, you know, what the difference is there? The value of...
47 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Talking "Time Limited Events" and Creating an Uneven Playing Field with RealtyHive CEO Wade T. Micoley
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.TRANSCRIPT: Welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host Britt Chester director of client success at Travis. And today we have veteran agent and broker Wade . McColey Wade. Thanks for joining us today. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.Wait, where are you? Where are you joining us from? Where are you based? We are located in green bay, Wisconsin. And how was the weather in green bay right now? Rainy. It's been very nice, but it is raining now, but we, we appreciate even the warm, rainy days after a few months of I can definitely imagine that wait, you've got quite the resume, you know, when we were just kind of talking a little bit, we'd got, got Realty high, you got cash certified.Tell me a little bit about your history getting into real estate and just kind of give our listeners and audience, you know, a little bit of your back. Sure. Well, I Fell in love with real estate pretty early on in my, in my, in my life. And one of the things that intrigued me so much about real estate is formerly before that I was in a rock band and Doing a little bit of small touring and realize that boy, this is a tough way to make a living.Cause we weren't, you're going to become the rolling stones by any means. And had a brother-in-law that was in real estate and kind of watched it and thought, okay, this looks interesting. And he approached me and I got into real estate fairly young when I was about 2021. And just absolutely fell in love with it and maybe a little bit for the wrong reason, but I thought houses were cool and really, really enjoy the fact when it, when the light bell went off for me light bulb went off for me.It was really about the fact that I didn't know anywhere where I could make. The kind of money that I wanted to make. And what I mean by that is in real estate, there's really no ceiling. I mean, you, you set your own ceiling and real estate, you can make as much or as little as you want by just, you know, getting really efficient, working hard, having good systems.So that's what launched me into it. I was, I started a couple of different real estate companies sold those was number three for close transactions for a major franchise. And just, that led me to all kinds of really cool opportunities. And that's another thing that I always loved about real estate was the opportunities that it can lead you into if you become really good and known as being really good.So that led me into. The banking industry, which I helped co-found Nikolay national bank and it's now publicly traded a $7 billion company. That's done extremely well, a lot of talent around that, that wasn't just me by any means. But then when the crash came in 2009, 2010, I saw really quickly that community banks and banks needed a system to help promote their properties in a new way globally.So fast forward through that, we worked with banks in 38 states. I'm always hiring local agents as our reps. We still do that work today. Then got a opportunity to work for the federal, with the federal government selling assets for the federal government and that morphed into. Realty I've been cash defied today.Yeah. And I was able to look around on Realty hive. I think, you know, one of the things, and we had mentioned this before you're licensed in nearly all 50 states. And, you know, again, that, that thing that stands out is, is that continuing ed continuing education and, and what all that takes. But can I talk about, you know, why, why you're licensed in so many places and then how that kind of speaks to Realty hive and, and the business.Yeah, what happens is it's, it's kind of a two-way street in this sense. Consumers come to us because they want utilization of our platform. In fact, When we have a consumer comes to us or an agent brings a property to us to help them with, we have an over 85% adoption rate. So what we have people really like and want.So it's a two-way street in that same. Meaning that agents will bring properties to us. And we will also bring properties to agents that still holds true in the banking industry. We do work with a number of banks all across the United States and we'll get a one-off property in Utah. The reason for the licensing is just from.A standpoint of making sure that we have all the basis covered. But if a call came in to us from Utah, we're licensed in Utah as an example we can answer a couple of quick questions for that particular buyer, but then that buyer. Quickly spun over to that local agent that we've hired to work on that asset for us.So it's just a protection thing more than anything we're using local agents everywhere that we work. Now, talk to me a little bit about the, the Realty hive platform. You say people come because they want that access to that platform. Can you kind of walk me through what the, what the model of Realty hive is?And really what the value is, both for agents coming to you as well as institutes. Yeah, the, and we have as an example entire companies that we partner with I'm thinking about office in beliefs that we just brought on and they have about 325 properties listed currently. And we're pretty, we can pretty much customize.How we work with a particular agent, but most, most usually a company and they need outreach into the United States and Canada. And we, we do that every day. So we provide that to them to find them more buyers on their properties, but what the real the real. DNA of Realty hive is, is back when we were doing a lot of work for the federal government and the banks, what we very quickly found out is an auction format is very successful in creating bias.There's, there's a couple things that are really bad about it. And, and I've seen him in full effect with doing some of the ballroom events we did for the FDAC, but most importantly, there's some really good parts. So when we create a Realty hive, what we did is created this high bred model to create the most activity.Keep the seller and the agent in control of the final sales price and not have to work towards a certain specific date. So by marketing the properties, marketing them in a very unique and specific way and putting them within this. Platform of a hybrid. We call it a time limited event, not an auction.What it does is just creates a lot more activity on properties and we have all kinds of samples of that properties that have been on the market seven, 800 days that we've come in, assisted an agent. And that agent got an accepted offer in a hundred days. Now being the new third agent in that transaction, there's multiple wins there for those.Particular people that utilize our platform. So as an example, and I'll just give you this specific case. This agency, young agent works for a great company. They, that great company has all kinds of tools, but the question got asked of the third agent, you know, fairly, fairly new to the business. Tell me what you're going to do that the last two agents didn't do well, that's a pretty tough question because.As agents, we can talk around that. And but you know, what I really like to do is dive into the details. And if, if I dive into those details, there's very little difference. And I don't mean to offend anybody when I say that, but there's very little difference of what they're doing from the standpoint of marketing and signage and MLS and et cetera.There's differences. There's no doubt. But in this case, this young agent said, Hey, I've got this affiliation with this global marketing platform. They do time limited events. Would you like to hear about it? And this particular seller said, yeah, let me, let me jump on the phone. So the agent gets one of our business development reps on the phone.We present to the city. Remember 85% plus adoption rate. The guy in the house says, I love it. I've never seen anything like this. I want to do it. Now. What happened there is really multifaceted. Okay. And what I mean by that is yes. The property came in. Yes. We marketed. We put it in a timeline of that property sold.Wonderful. But what really happened was that agent got a. That's what really happened because he had to show a differential. So agents are using us as a listing tool, so to speak, they will use us to extend a listing. So, you know, the hardest two conversations you got to have in real estate. We need to reduce your price and we need to extend your listing, the hard conversations, right?And in what we've developed with Realty hive is this way to work that into both of those conversations. So that either way the agent wins, right. If they're trying to get a price reduction, they can say, well, we typically would do a price reduction at this term and listing with this amount of activity, I would suggest we reduce the price to add.Or I want to give you another option, which is this time limited. So either way the agent wins, right. I just want to, sorry to interrupt time-limited event. Is that, is that different than calling it an auction? And is there a reason? I mean, because to me those, the two sound very, they sound the same, but I mean it's time limited event.Just kind of like change it in in its compliance or, or what is the kind of, what is the, the mindset there? Really good in-depth question. We have tested this four years running the same property under two different languages. They both get almost identical reaction. The difference is that when an agent has to go to a seller and bring up the word auction, it's usually a negative situation.So every seller is willing to say, you know what, for the certain amount of time I'm willing to, in a sense, kind of look at the marketplace and look at all of the offers available within the certain timeframe. Thai I E time limited. So when we switched from doing what I call old school auction formats and switched it to this new retail version, the acceptance rate from the everyday retail seller is off the charts.So buyers love auction. Sellers necessarily don't love auctions. The, the other part that came up with that is there were a lot of auctions back in the downturn that were done for financial institutions and secondary underwriter providers of, of mortgages. And there was a lot of negative connotation to that auction companies were cutting the agents out every chance they got.Approach the banking industry back then from the standpoint of why do we want to do that? A you're typically don't want to fire sell your product and B we want to be all inclusive. So the idea from day one was that we were not going to do this in a way that was against the real estate agents. We were welcoming the real estate agent.And it's proved very well for us. I mean, I, you know, auction in my experience, you know, which has been, you know, heavily focused. In residential real estate. You know, my exposure to auctions has been definitely more in the luxury sector, right. And, and the, you know, I think of a company like concierge auctions, they come to mind.And that's, you know, really where, where my kind of knowledge stops in these, in these time limited sales and in this auction kind of format, are you seeing that same kind of adoption at the. Kind of residential, you know, middle market level or is that a little bit more unique? And, and I asked just, you know, again, kind of going on the site, I see we've got a lot of international properties.There are some residential listings and kind of residential lands spots, but what's the, what's the adoption like, you know, just from the you know, from that, that residential, single family home level. Well, it's it's most of what we do. There are again, this is the best way to think about it as it's like a retail version of it.So a it's very inexpensive compared to some of the companies you spoke about. I'm a seller and there's a major difference in philosophy. And that philosophy is what's winning out with what we're doing with the consumers and the brokers. And what I mean by that is. If you take a high end property of $5 million and you tell a seller, they have to commit to taking $2 million or they have to commit to an absolute Ark.I'm assuming. And I'm going to assume that they don't have shell bitters in the audience, making sure that it doesn't, that it gets up to a certain point, but they. Then pay the agent 6%, 5%, whatever that may be. And then the auction company might take five or 10% now it's buyer's premium, but the problem is the sellers really still paying it in the price.So to, to have a an event that costs a seller 10 to 15%, let's just say is a big number and the ability. That most sellers can't agree to that that kind of strike price. Most people don't want to do that. Some can do it obviously. So when we did it, we wanted it to be very much all inclusive. So in our events, there is the seller has control over the price at all moments.And that's a very important aspect because. If on an on event day, you get X. If we sit for two more days, we might get a bigger number for that seller. So the sellers always in control of calling, when they're going to say that's, it let's take it. The other thing is we're charging only when the property sells and it's as low as 1%.For us to run the platform. So if you think about it, what we're doing is we're creating this art open architecture platform that agents and brokerages can come in and use when they want, when they see fit. So it's almost like they own their own time-limited event or auction company. It's not white paper because the recognition of our traffic is greater than me calling it.You know, Travis XYZ. So in that respect, that is that is proven out really well. And because of all those things it's been designed for that typical seller that's, you know, if you go in and list the house right now, and this is a really cool statistic, by the way. So we have the ability to pull in 90% of the MLS is and analyze the data.When we do that, we found that 18% of the properties that are residential only in the U S that are listed, have been on the market over double the average days on the model. So, what is that is telling you in the hottest real estate market ever, there is still stuff that is taking too long, and that could be just because of price.That could be because of marketing. That could be of exp exposure in that marketing, but by taking it and wrapping it into a new package, so to speak and promoting it in a different way, then you get really cool and different, exciting reasons. So it was, was Realty and I've launched. When was, when, when did you start Realty dive?Well, the premise of it, we started back in 2010 when we were working with the banks and after that a little bit, the federal government on a bunch of jobs and about two years ago, probably two and a half years ago now is when we, we kind of took it out of my name, so to speak and made it into a more branded, a generic name called Realty hive.So process has been going on for you know, 10, 11 years, but yeah. New or the launch of the company itself has been just for the last, let's just say two and a half to three. Okay. And then what kind of, you know, you're saying y'all have access to, you know, 90% of the MLS is, and then there's the, the, the, the thing that comes to mind for me right now is how hot this market is, right?Like days on market in I'm in Denver, Colorado, our days on market has pretty much halved. Our median home price has gone up a hundred thousand dollars, you know, year over year. So, you know, I'm immediately, you know, not skeptical. You know, I'm wondering like how that, that, that time limited format kind of fits into, into this market.And maybe it just, it doesn't right now, or maybe it does, like, how do you, how are you breaking into those markets that, you know, can't keep inventory on the shelf? Or is it kind of like using, like you said that as data back decisions to say, yes, there are, there are properties that are moving very quickly, but there are also properties that are not moving quickly and we provide that solution.Yeah, it's a little bit of both. And then what you have to do then is step back and look at it on a global scale. Right? So the U S is hot right now. There are lots of areas in the world that are. You know, as an example beliefs, the average days on the market and beliefs is over a year. We're very close with a particular major company in assisting them in Europe.And we're in conversations of that right now. And when you look at Europe, there are certain segments of Italy that are extremely hot, and there are certain segments that are certainly not in the same, and there's different markets that you can go into easier than others. And there's some language barriers and so forth.But even if you were to take Denver, I would challenge this. First of all, as a real estate agent we tend to. You know, gravitate towards what's happening and, and rightfully so, what I call that is buttering your bread, right? If you go out and you're looking at a medium price range, about $500,000 property, guess what?All the competition's there from the standpoint of a listing agent, this is coming from the, the aspect of looking at it as a real estate agent, all the competition there, there's probably downward pressure on commissions because of the competition. But there are other segments that I challenge anyone.If they take Denver and they run a report on the MLS in Denver, they include all the different types of real estate, commercial, vacant land, et cetera. They're going to find their properties that are on the market way longer than the average days on the market. So going back from the agent standpoint, where we fit in with this is on the first step is.If you want to go after that stuff, you need to have a tool where the tool, if you want to expand your business into different areas for sale by owners, expired listings, whatever that may be, you have to have a different conversation. Otherwise, the conversation typically becomes about commodity pricing commissions.That's why you see so many of these companies popping up right. We'll do it for 1%, 2%, whatever it may be. You have to have a tool that really makes you stand out. And then the other part. And so first of all is how does Denver is there are properties that are not moving in that market. And, and that's where you help.On the other side of that coin, we do have agents. We just had an agent come to us in Florida and it's like outside Disneyland. Immensely hot. The question that she proposed to us was let's put this property on your site. We think it's 300, I'm going from memory. So these numbers are rough. 300. But what we want to do is we want to put a list price on it of 3 25 and we'll have an opening of 300.So they thought it was worth 300, but put 3 25 on it. As our list price, we did...
36 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
Making the leap to real estate during a pandemic, and making real estate your own with MODUS broker associate Samantha Heyer
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.It's always exciting to learn how and why people choose to enter the real estate industry. For Samantha Heyer, a broker associate with MODUS Real Estate in Denver, Colorado, the decision came last year during one of the most transitional periods in history. Heyer entered real estate following a successful career in the communications and PR industry primarily focused in healthcare. This experience - managing brand exposure, media relations, public relations - gave Heyer the tools and network needed to hit the ground running in Denver's hot real estate market.On this episode of Brokerage Insider, Heyer talks about her decision to enter the real estate industry during the pandemic, and what it's like to navigate one of the most coveted markets right now.TRANSCRIPT: 📍 Welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interviewed the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host Britt Chester. And I'm the director of client success here at Travis. We're one of the largest independent PropTech companies in real estate and providers of technology to real estate companies around the world.Today, we're joined by Samantha, hire a realtor with modus real estate here in Denver and actually right down the street from where I live. Samantha, how are you doing today? Great. How are you excited to be here? I'm doing great. Thanks so much for joining us on brokerage insider. You know, I think one of the first things we just kind of like to start with is why don't you let our audience know you know, what you do at modus and give us a little bit of background, how you got into Realty.Yep. So I'm a broker associate at modus real estate. We're based in the Sunnyside neighborhood. So Northwest Denver I've been with modus about eight months. When I made a career change into real estate, I previously for 10 years worked for a PR agency based out of New York city, but we also had offices in other places.And so when my husband and I moved to Denver about six years ago, Kept that job and was working out of Denver remotely and supporting clients and teams sort of all over the country. So I had a lot of project management experience communications navigating, you know, crisis and issues and things of that nature.It was all based in the healthcare industry. So did a lot of more. Consumer health or science work. But the crux of it was really client service and I was ready for a change and I wanted to feel a part of. Our new home in Denver and Colorado, and really sort of, you know, in gross myself in the community here.And my twin sister, Catherine happens to be a realtor in New York city. And she's been doing that now about two years. And so we talk almost every day and you know, when the pandemic hit, I was, you know, spending a lot of time at home and it really got me thinking, okay, I'm ready for a change. And what could it be?And I decided that real estate would be a really exciting change and would definitely throw me into the community and make me feel a part of Denver. So she sort of gave me the extra push I needed to do it. And then her and I also partnered on sort of a related, but separate business, helping other entrepreneurs who want to start a business, then we help them start a business specifically in real estate and travel.Very cool. Well, that was definitely a lot. Let's kind of talk about, you know, what was your first kind of thoughts when you were approaching, you know, real estate as a possible career change? You know, I think there's a, there's a lot to take in there because everyone has a different experience and exposure to real estate.So. You know, when you, when you first started investigating it and researching it I imagine, you know, coming from a communications and PR background, your research process is probably pretty extensive. What were some of your, your first kind of impressions? And, and what were you kind of looking at first?Yeah, I think I was, you know, even before I thought of it as a career, I always just enjoyed real estate or, or renovations or, you know, home improvement. And and when we started looking at homes two years ago in Denver was when it sort of piqued my interest. You know, Denver is such a popular place to move.There's a lot of people moving from the east coast and the west coast. And so it's creating a lot of change which is really exciting. And so when we started looking at homes, I started even doing a little, you know, research then into the real estate market. And. Since then when I was actually, you know, diving into real estate school and starting to think about it as a career, I definitely, you know, was reading about the market in Denver, but just in general, sort of like how someone gets started.And I feel like, you know, a lot of what you read is sort of a little daunting. And I talked to you know friends of mine who are realtors. Our friends, realtors, who they used. I spoke to the realtor we use when we bought her home and everyone just sort of says like, listen, like be prepared to make no money for six months.Like you ready to get up every morning and, you know, pound your network and make sure you are putting yourself out there. And all of that hard work definitely pays off, but it's, you know, people will also throw stats at you about, you know, the number of realtors there are in Denver. The number of them who are successful and what it takes to be successful, which none of that really deterred me or freaked me out.Because I've been putting in a lot of challenging situations in my previous career whether there was a challenging client or, you know a crisis situation or something that we had to act on quickly, and I've been able to overcome challenges like that and problem solve. So. I was confident that, you know, I was ready for change and this was going to be something that I could really dig into, I could make my own.And you can sort of work as hard as you want, or as little as you want. I, my personality is to sort of dig in and be a hard worker. So I just make sure that I start every day with a list of things I need to do or and sort of have goals for that month so that I can keep myself. Accountable.Definitely. I mean, I think it's always really important to understand too. And this is something that I really love talking about, but how real estate agents are. It, you know, you are an independent contractor and therefore you are the CEO of a small business. Right. Like, you've got to be marketing. You are, you know, client care, client support.I mean, there's just so much that goes into it. So I'm always curious to know, like, how are you bringing and you, and you did to just touch on this, but how are you bringing some of that past experience into real estate? How are you kind of adapting those tools and those skills that you build up in that communications industry to real estate and to your clients?Yes. So I, you know, I was, I worked for the same PR agency for my entire career. So. A lot of their work styles sort of what's ingrained in me. And I was surrounded by a lot of super smart and great people. And I had great mentors and I feel like, you know, organization and time management were key and knowing when like you need help.Well then who are the people who can help? The only change now with real estate is I don't have help. It's just me. Which is fine. It's been a refreshing change to not have to keep track of necessarily like other people's to do lists or people I was managing. But now it's, you know, figuring out what do I need to tackle today and what can wait for another day.And I have become ingrained in using CRM. Those, which that was new to me. I did not use them in PR and PR everything was like based around my emails and just flagging emails and keeping a detailed to-do list. So now I just take a similar approach, but I'm keeping a database of clients and connections and setting reminders for myself so that I don't lose track of something.Six months out from buying a home while I'm focused on the people who are looking right now. But a big part of it for me is making sure that I'm responsive and I make every person feel like they're the most important person. And in that moment because you know, you could be juggling multiple clients in the same weekend.And so I just try to. Ahead of booking showings and giving people my availability and sort of working around schedules. I think the biggest thing for my PR career that I remember is you never wanna leave a client hanging and have, you know, a whole day go by and you're not responding to a simple email.So I really. Try to keep up with my emails, whether it's, you know, responding to things first thing in the morning, and then checking again later in the day to catch anything from while I was out at showing so that people feel like they can count on me and get ahold of me. And, you know, so it's just different, not being in front of a computer all day and sort of adding in the, on the go environment that real estate brings.What were some of the biggest and I'll say obstacles, but oh yeah. So, you know, replace that with challenges. So what were some of the challenges that you've encountered you know, entering this new career that you didn't really expect? What were some of the things I don't know, I don't, and I don't want to say curve balls.I'm thinking you're entering the industry to is an incredible time right now. You know, I I'll, I'll be excited. Maybe we can connect in a few years. And talk about how you came into real estate at the craziest time possible. What are some of the, you know, kind of the, the unknown challenges that you've experienced and how you worked through them and, and kind of grown and grow.Yeah. So I think, you know, when I first started my mentor at modus who supports me in a sort of like my right hand as I get up to speed you know, he suggested that I start to put together a list of everyone. I know doesn't necessarily just have to keep people I know in Denver, but people who I know who would be supportive of me in this change and would be able to think of me, refer people to me.Et cetera. So when I started pulling that together, became a little daunting that like, yes, I do know a lot of people, but like, how am I going to reach out to these people appropriately? Some of them were people I haven't spoken to in a long time. And you, and I don't want to know come off too salesy and make them feel like I'm only reaching out to them because I want to, you know, work with them and eventually get a paycheck from.And so navigating that was harder than I thought, but then, you know, twofold, you know, Also expect to a certain degree that your friends will give you a chance. And I don't expect that, you know, all of my friends are going to work with me just because now I'm in real estate, but I expect that they would give me the chance to like, have the coffee meetings, sit me down, ask me how I would handle it, what I would do for them and give me a shot to compete against someone else who maybe they're talking to, who has more years experience or they feel like is a better fit.So I think overcoming that or the expectation. You know, people I know who already know me would give me that shot. And I think now I just, you know, focus on what I can bring to the table and share the successes I have had as a way to sort of navigate those conversations. And then, you know, In addition to that, I think it's just always constantly finding people to meet and talk to, and it doesn't necessarily have to be because they're looking for a home, but I'm trying to create a community here for myself and sort of join meetups or clubs or things for activities that I enjoy I'm involved in as a way to widen my network because previously I wasn't working with anyone in Denver, so I haven't been exposed to.The community and in this way, yeah. Definitely. And, and I think that that networking part is incredibly important in real estate. And that's why, you know, I kind of looked back getting your, or getting into the industry, you know, eight months ago or even last year, it's like networking was primarily virtual last year.So so I think, you know, again, you you've entered it in a strange way. What's your, you know, kind of take, you know, within your first year of doing this, what's your take on the Denver market? You know, I think we've seen in, like you, you mentioned so many people are moving here, so we're seeing this massive influx of people we're seeing home prices increase at it at alarming rates.But what's your kind of take on the market right now. And then what's, you know, what kind of conversations are you having with your. Yeah. So when I started at the end of last year, things were definitely crazy, but I think when we hit 20, 21, it even got crazier and people who I had been talking to have worked in the industry, you know, eight, 15 years, 10 years, whatever it is, you know, have said that they've never been.Seen it this crazy, and they've never been writing contracts and the way they have to write them in order to win and even the best, you know, written contract or the most competitive contracts they've written are not winning there's someone who is stronger. And so it's definitely been challenging. I think when I was writing contracts for people in January, February, March, At least for the price point.And the areas that I was looking with people was more wild or there were more offers on the table then than there are when I'm writing offers now. And so I think since the Memorial day holiday, I've noticed a, like a little dip. And so I won't say it's drastic, but like a slight change, like definitely a drop in the number of showings, which will lead to less offers.So. Is a little bit less competition for buyers, but it's still is keeping the prices, you know, high or going above list in most cases for the seller side. But you know, the inventory is historically low at around 2000 homes, I think right now. And so it would need to at least triple to even right.And, you know, there isn't a sign yet that that's happening. I think it's like softening slightly, but we haven't seen like such an uptick in listings that would lead you to believe that I could start telling clients that, you know, if you wait a month, there might be more inventory for you to look at and things will even out because I, I don't think that that's, it's going to happen that quickly.In terms of, you know, when people keep talking about the bubble and are we in a bubble, I just, I think the market's going to stay pretty hot through the rest of this year. I don't like to necessarily predict or talk longer term than that. And you know, with rates still being pretty low, I mean, they'll probably go up, but in the grand scheme of things, they're still low.And so for people who. Hovering or thinking about it. Or they have a lease coming up in the next three or six months. Like I would encourage them to look and at least give it a try. Like you never know until you try or at least have a conversation with a mortgage lender and sort of understand at least where you would be at.The education is definitely key because I think people are hearing on the news or through friends that, you know, the inventory's low and the market's crazy. And so it keeps people sort of out of the game. I've been successful with, you know, several first-time home buyers who sort of got their feet wet, understood what they had to do.And they did it. And after a few tries, you know, we were able to go under contract. So I always sort of encouraged people to try to see the other side of thing or find the, find the positive. Like you could be spending, you know, a certain amount on rent every month. And you could spend that same amount on a home depending on what you're looking for in a way.And so sometimes when people look at it like that, they're like, okay, well maybe we should. Actually make the investments that, of just spending rent. Yeah, definitely. I mean, there's so much out there when, when, you know, if you're a prospective home buyer if you just go Google the process, I loved what, what you said.It just seems so daunting. One, because you're bombarded with so much information and too, you know, the possibility, you know, You know, a year ago, if you were looking in the 400 to $500,000 range and I'm speaking, you know, to Denver, well, those houses are in the 600 to $700,000 range and getting more simple cash offers with escalation clauses.And it just seems. That, you know, when you look at it and take it at face value, it seems like it's just not really a possibility, but again, like, like what you said, and I, and I love emphasizing this. It's like just meet with an agent, meet with a realtor and start that conversation. So you can begin to see that.Even though things are a little bit daunting. It's, it's not out of the realm of possibility. It might not be what you want it, you know, one year ago or two years ago or what was available, but that doesn't change the possibilities of it. And I think that's a really important tool. Exactly. And I think, you know, a lot of what's being put out right now from DMR and in the, all the stats is, you know, every month, the home that you could have afforded for $500,000 in the Denver Metro.Becomes not attainable the next month because of the new comps and the appreciation and all of the new homes that are closing. And so sometimes I try to show people those stats or information to show them that, you know, if they really do have enough money saved to do it now, but they're just sort of scared or unsure.That, you know, whatever you whatever's on your wishlist might not be affordable in six months if this keeps up. And so sometimes looking at it like that helps too, because, you know, no one expected a pandemic was going to come. And I think a lot of people who are in apartments and want to be in apartments anymore.And so mom knows we're not as popular. And people fled like the key downtown neighborhoods cause they wanted outdoor space. Now that's starting to. Sort of turnaround and I think there's more competition again on, you know, condos. So for people who are renting an apartment and, you know, really want to buy a house, cause they don't want to, I spend $400,000 on the condo or whatever it is, you know, I try to tell them like, maybe it's more worth buying the condo right now having the investment and worrying about the house later.I think. First time home buyers are very hung up on a certain picture where we want our forever home or whatever it is, but really your first home is just an investment. It's a starting point. And because the Denver market is so nuts right now in a good way. And the appreciation that you can have in just a couple of years, you could be out of the condo.So just trying to help people. Weigh options. I think a lot of people who are in...
40 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
Can Blimp Homes help you and your clients centralize the real estate process? CEO Matt Shaw explains
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.TRANSCRIPT: 📍 Hi everybody. And welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegemann and I'm the CEO of Travis. We're one of the largest independent property technology companies in real estate and provider accustom, brokerage technology to medium and large brokerages in the United States, Canada.And now even around the world. In addition, I'm the managing partner, Travis capital, a private equity fund focused on the property technology. On today's episode, we have Matt Shaw, the mats, the CEO of a property technology company called blimp homes. Blimp is a mobile only real estate tech company that helps agents connect their clients and other parties in the transaction.So, Matt, thanks for joining us today. Thanks very much. Great. Well, I'm excited to dig in and learn a little bit more about your company to be honest you know, until we, we chatted here about you coming on the show, I hadn't heard of you guys before, so I'm really interested in learning more about what you guys do.I did get a chance to play with your app. And so for all those folks listening, you know, feel free to jump into the app store either Google or Apple app stores. You're on both and you can go download the blimp homes app and play with it. But first let's talk a little bit about your history and how you got into real estate, because that's something I'm always very interested in.Now, when I, when I took a quick peak, it looks like you come from a history in the banking world, the the FinTech world. And then recently you kind of got into the blockchain world. So what, what caused you to have a jump into. Yes. Thanks very much. Well, my background, as you, as you rightly say, is a bit varied.And I, I started my career in investment banking. I was the best bank for over 20 years, but I was always very much involved on I would say the cutting edge side, you know, the innovation side. So I was very deeply involved for instance, in building the capital markets in the central and Eastern Europe.And that led me to, to, to, to down various avenues eventually into investing in real estate personally. Really that was probably my first foray into the real estate space. I mean, I guess growing up in London you know, everybody is slightly obsessed with property and you know, certainly, you know, my, my experience was trying to get on the property ladder at a young age.Going through a bit of a boom and bust and then, and then eventually sort of investing in other properties abroad you know, partly because of my banking background, I traveled around quite a bit. So I've lived in several countries and ended up, you know, buying properties and obviously UK, but also France, Cyprus, Switzerland, Canada, and, and also the U S and I think.My experience in the U S was one of the reasons where she really piqued my interest to, to get into this. Well, you know, obviously if you've, if you've done that level of investing in ownership of properties, I can see where, where you'd be interested. But do you, do you or anybody around you have any formal brokerage side of the business?Cause it, the reason I asked the question is that I, a lot of times, you know, people that start in this world, you usually have come from, they were an agent before a broker before a family member was an agent or a broker for before accepting. But from what you just said, it didn't sound like that was the case.So you were an investor and, and owned property and then decided to jump in and help solve a problem. Is that what I'm understanding? Yeah. So that's my personal experience, but of course other people in the team have got deep experience in this space. One of our co-founders Ben Clark was I think a member of the founding team very early on at Zillow, for instance, and has a long experience in the real estate data space.And some of our advisors have had the illustrious careers in real estate as well, but you're right. My main experience really is I suppose, really an interest in systems and, and problem solving. And then also as a consumer. And I think, you know, my, again, my experience in the U S was quite quite significant from, from, you know, its impact on me.I mean, I think that every country. Has its own quirks. I mean, the UK, for instance, you're buying a home in, in, in, in England is quite strange in some ways quite quirky. And you know, every country has its own nuances. And I think that what really got me interested in, in real estate on the technical tech technology side was was when I started buying a couple of homes in India.Gotcha. Well, you know, let's jump in and talk a little bit about blimp then. And how and what the problem is that you're solving, because it does seem to solve somewhat of a, of an issue in the industry, from what I saw. So tell us a little bit about blimp. Tell us about maybe how you got started on the specifics of solving the problem and w where you saw the problem and then a, about the company.Yeah. So so as I say, I initially bought a property in the U S and I was really surprised about the, you know, how much friction there is in buying real estate in the U S I guess my, my key takeaway was you know, being saved by an amazing realtor, you know, so a realtor really quarterback, quarterback the whole transaction.At the time I really was, you know, finding my feet and, you know, I, I, this is probably many people who have a similar experience, you know, you really rely on a great realtor, but I also noticed that some of the communication channels. Well you know, very legacy and you know, old fashioned. So I had an amazing realtor who went above and beyond, you know, any sort of call of duty to the point where I left him some keys and he coordinated, you know, some repairs and, you know, things which, you know, we shouldn't really ask a realtor to do, but but equally he communicated with me.Many different channels. So he would send me a bunch of links, which I would look at. And then I would then try to remember which of those links I liked. So I ended up clicking twice and then making handwritten notes. We would speak by phone. He would send me texts and so forth. So it was, it was quite a disparate communication channel.And I think that I, I sort of realized that maybe there is a, a way where the consumer could be guided through a transaction in a more logical fashion where they can understand, you know, all of the tasks in front of you, all the core services, which you need to engage and above all, perhaps finding all these core services in one place.I think there's some reasons why. Some of the legacy systems have a lot of friction for consumers is because, you know, you have different channels, you know, different core services competing for consumer attention, essentially. And so in some ways, you know, the consumer is getting dragged from one, you, you know you know, sales funnel to another in, you know, which doesn't enhance the consumer experience.So I think. What really struck me from my experience and what the problem, one of the key problems we're trying to solve is really helping the guide the consumer. It's truly the prime prime buying process in a way, which is, you know, logical. There are no surprises. So again, I'm a, I'm a, you know, a Brit living in Canada and I bought a home in, in the U S and I'll be really honest.I didn't actually know what title insurance was at that point. So that was, I sort of surprised at the end, but again, it was all smoothly navigated thanks to my thanks to my age. But I think the idea really is that the consumers can navigate this process in a more seamless way. It feels like one end to end transaction, not a series of, you know, sort of disparate transactions.You know, I need my mortgage now. I need my insurance. Now they might talk to the insurance and so forth. So it seems like a seamless end to end transaction. And equally for the, for the professionals, you have the consumer in one place where they're basically saying, well, I understand that this is at this point in the process, I really realize I do need to put in place insurance.So I do need to find an insurance solution as an example, so that you know, in this example, the, the consumer is a willing participant in, in actively seeking those services. So I think it really, the idea really is to solve those. Those friction points for the consumer, but equally solve some problems for the professionals in terms of how do you reach those reach those consumers.And then I think also overlaid onto this. There is an incentive and reward system to incentivize both professionals and Well, I think we'll get to that part and talking about the crypto side which is certainly an interesting part of what you're doing. And just a little bit, I have a number of questions for you about that, that portion of it.But I want to step back for a second because, you know, you said something kind of interesting. And, and if for frequent listeners of the show you'll know that we, we had a series of shows that we did about international real estate and how different it was to the United States and even in Canada As somebody who's not from the United States and is used to how things are done in other countries.What do you think are the biggest differences that are there between, you know, maybe purchasing a home in the United States versus in London? I know you mentioned the title insurance thing. Certainly we can start there, but, but what else have you seen? That's different. That's probably, yeah. You put your finger probably on one of the biggest differences, you know, in England, for instance, This is probably an example of, I think in the U S does it much better, but in, in, in England, you know, if you, if you find a house you'd like to buy and you, you basically reached an agreement with the seller.And by the way, the, in, in, typically in England, the, an agent only represents the seller. It's actually quite unusual to have an agent representing a buyer that's normally just sort of you know, pop styles or something like this, or people who are extremely busy hire an agent to help them find a home.So typically you just have an agent representing one side of the transaction, and let's just say you found a home, which you arranged to buy. And let's for the sake of argument, say it's a million pound home in London. Quite a small house, to be honest in London these days. And all parties are agreed.You then go through a process where the, the lawyers check back through the, the land registry to make sure they're in those sorts of strange aspects which could impact the title. And since a lot of these houses have very, very old, you know, I remember I bought a house in England, I think was built in 1850 or, and it had a previous condition on the land that you weren't allowed to graze sheep on the land as an example.So it goes really, really way, way back some of these items and, and other strange things about how, you know, you can't use the house for certain activities and things like this. But the key thing that takes typically takes about three weeks for the lawyer to check all these old covenants and rights of way to make sure that no one can walk across your land and things like this.And during that three week period somebody else could come along and just outbid you. So the there's a word in England in a new school cause something which just means that, you know, somebody just comes along in that three week closing period that says, well, 1.1 million and you've lost the you've lost the house.And in a, in a weak market buyers do the, do the opposite. You know, they, they, they, they reduce that bit at the last minute and, you know, quite often the person has no alternative, but to accept that low bid. So I think, you know, the title side is handled quite differently. You clear all the title You know, deficiency, deficiencies and do all the analysis during the closing process, but you haven't actually bought the home.So of course that's very, very different from the U S and I have to say, I think the U S is a much more satisfactory system, you know? So, you know obviously when, when somebody goes under contract here, you know, that does seem to be better. I I'm very glad in the United States and Canada, for that matter, we don't have dumping.And that's going to be a, maybe a new, a new word in my vernacular here of making sure you don't. Because dumped. But that, you know, that is a PR that does seem like a problem where you have almost no security in, in the deal. Because I know, you know, when, when I've purchased homes for example, I purchased a home last year and two weeks later I purchased it right at the beginning of the pandemic on purpose because I recognize the data that showed the real estate was going.Rebound very quickly. And I got a crazy deal and I definitely would've gotten gazumped because somebody else would have definitely come along. Had it been a different rule and seeing that the property was for sale made a higher bid because of the seller, you know, wanting to sell quickly worried about the pandemic.So definitely seems like a better model there also, you know, that what you said about buyer's agent. It's still shocking to me. I have a friend in Georgia, not the state, the country and he is has been actively going around to different countries, trying to essentially push the concept of the value of a buyer's agent in representing the buyer and making sure that they had, you know, somebody fighting for their behalf on their behalf.And it seems like that's not the way it is on a lot of places. So. You know, let's, let's you know, talk a little bit about the the, the, the app and what we're doing here, because in playing with it, it seems like the idea, the main idea is, is we're connecting up a number of, of Hardy stakeholders in the system.Right? So being the idea is I can go in. As an agent set up a transaction and then invite multiple people in. So, you know, it kind of begs the question of You know, is it, is the idea that there's this one place for all of communication, because I think today a lot of this is just done over text messages.You know, the agent goes in there, I messages app on their phone and texts the lender and said, Hey, what's the status? And then they click and text the, the buyer or the seller and just kind of give them an update on what's going on. So is the idea here to have more of a centralized location for that?Or, or what's the long-term goal? Maybe, maybe you've got something that you're working on. That's adding on to that that will provide more functional. Yeah, I think I mean, I think the idea of communicating through text, it, it, it definitely works to a certain, certain, a certain point, but here's an example.My daughters were looking for a house to rent actually in, in California you know, a year or two ago. And they were sharing, you know, properties with us, you know, do we think this is a good run or not? And they were, they were obviously sharing it with the other, the other. Students who are looking to live in the same house.So, you know, there's multiple people on this and literally people were saying, sending texts around, you know you know, and people are, people are pulling in listings from, you know, different, different you know, Zillow listings and so forth. And then people would say, well, What did you think of the one which I marked with an exclamation point or what do you think about the one I put a heart next to?So once you get into sort of multiple parties looking to look at properties and share their share their thoughts on the property, it actually gets complicated quite, quite quickly. And email doesn't solve it very well either. As I say, you know, if you get a series of links you know, somehow the human brain.Well, maybe it's just my brain, but if somebody sends me 10 links and open them all, and it's four houses, I'd quite like to see for some reason, I'm I sort of have to go back and remember which, which, what, which those were. So I think one of the, one of the. Key advantages of our, of our app is that people, even before they select a realtor, for instance, to help them, consumers could just simply share listings and exchange views.You can pull in listings from different sources and basically just chat about them. So it's a little bit, you know, a little bit like slack for real estate, if you like. And I think this is, this is, you know, a superior experience to. So texting, and then, then they can then invite the consumer can invite you know, the various professionals.They need to help them probably very likely guided by, you know, their realtor. So for instance, you know, they can then bring in you know, somebody on the mortgage side, somebody on the insurance insurance side and so forth, and then they can have, you know, multiple chance of course. Some of the communication is, is just in private chats.You know, what, what is discussed between the mortgage broker and the consumer would not be for instance, necessarily shown to the realtor. Although some, sometimes that's a very, very key sort of you know, communication channel with those three parties very often they're very cool to it, but there's some information which shouldn't be shared.So for instance, uploading documents or just sharing, sharing, more confidential things So it really puts the power back in the hands of the consumer in terms of they understand the transaction. They can look at lots of different puppet properties, share properties, discuss them. I mean, a very typical flow would be.You know, they would, they would have shared, you know, three or four properties among themselves. For instance, you know, if there's more than one party buying, then they bring a realtor into the, into the mix and say, look, these are the homes. This is the type of home I've been looking at. And and you know, probably these days let's say, and every time we looked at it, it's already gone, but this could you now help us.And then, and then the realtor would then say, well, here's 10 others, which we think you should take a look at. And then you start this you know, rich communication, which is, you know, very, very good for all parties. And I think on the task side, there's a task management side. Again, you know, I was the stupid Bret from Canada who didn't really understand, fully understand the process in the U S but if I'd had that tool, which basically said that at these stages, in the transaction, you're going to need these professionals to support you that have been very, very helpful.And you know, would, it would have led to less surprises on my side. So I think it's, it's really, it's very much trying to work with, with the industry, working with professionals sending that a good agent is really...
36 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Navigating New York Real Estate Through the Good Times and the Not-So-Good Times with Amy Herman Schechter
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.The real estate industry is effectively made up of hundreds of thousands of individual agents who are all, in a sense, their own small business managers. It takes tenacity, grit, marketing prowess and flexibility to make it in this industry, and that's especially true when you're talking about red hot, super competitive New York City. Amy Herman Schechter of SERHANT knows first-hand what it takes. She's built quite a name for herself, whether through navigating New York co-ops, or helping forever-New Yorkers land a brilliant investment property in the Hamptons -- she's done it all. You may have even seen her on an episode of Million Dollar Listing New York, which, coincidentally, is how she came to work with Ryan Serhant and the rest of the agents and brokers at his prestigious brokerage.On this episode of Brokerage Insider, Amy Herman Schechter talks about what it was like starting in real estate in a post-9/11 New York, and what she's bringing to the table now with 20 years under her belt and a wealth of industry insider knowledge.TRANSCRIPT: 📍 Hi, everyone. Welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interviewed the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host Britt Chester, and I'm the director of client success here at Travis. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and providers of custom real estate technology to real estate companies around the world.Today, we're joined by Amy Herman. Schechter one of team sear, haunts leading Manhattan realtors. And one has been named one of New York. City's top 100 real estate agents by the wall street journal. Amy. Thanks for doing my pleasure. Thank you for having me. I think to start, why don't you give our listeners a little bit of an introduction to yourself as well as how you got into real estate?You know, a little who, what, when, where and why. So I actually started in real estate back in 2002, which is now just about two decades ago. I came from a celebrity and tourism PR background. So I was working with celebrity clients as well as hotels restaurants. Sports heroes and I got into real estate when I was 24.And so now, you know, my age and at the time I was fascinated by the way, people, especially new Yorkers lived. I'm sure most people can remember. It was back in the days of gossip girl meets. Sex and the city life. And I was one of those girls running around town, checking out the latest restaurants dating, and I loved seeing how people live.And my father and actually the guy I was dating his father at the time said, you know, why don't you go into sales? You really should like get into sales. You're so persuasive. We feel like you could sell ice to Eskimos and maybe that would suit you in something like real estate. Cause they know I didn't really care to push a product.It wasn't really, that's not my jam. So The rest is kind of history. I took the exam. It was actually half as difficult in terms of the hours at the time. So you only needed 40 hours. I studied, I took the state exam and then I started in the business and I was like, how am I going to do this? How am I going to get clients?How am I even going to sell my first home? And it did take me a good 18 months to figure it all out. I started in the rental market and I realized rentals are not for me. I definitely was. You know, I think what happened was, is that rentals were, are a quick fix and you, you know, short, a quick job and you get paid quickly, but I actually really.Found that I thrived on figuring out where are people going to be for the long-term. How do you navigate this process? How do you get a mortgage who's agreed attorney to come with us along the way, design team to renovate. And I love all those aspects. And I started just really, as a buyer's agent.By the time I was 26 I moved offices to work underneath a person who actually specialized in purchasing and helping brokers thrive in like a buying environment, as opposed to the rental coach that I had had for the start of my career. And it was in the same company. I stayed there for 13 years.And then at some point in my career, I met a little guy named Ryan, sir hat, and we met on a huge transaction downtown and I represented the buyer. He represented the seller. We reenacted it for million dollar listing, New York, and the rest is kind of history. I'm with Ryan Everson. I think that speaks to a really good point.Number one, I think the state has changed a lot, probably in the last 20 years that you could probably provide a lot of insights there, air, but, but also how moving from rentals to really helping buyers and sellers navigate that process and building that relationship. I think that speaks to just how much real estate is still and always will be a relationship focused business.It it's, there's so much that goes into this transaction, but there's also. The part where, you know, you are helping them navigate a major, major purchase. New York being kind of a unique market in that. Some of them are going to be second home. Some are third but summer, you know, these, these, these people's forever homes.And so kind of talk about if you can, you know, if we're going to look back to 2002, maybe the 2008 know you've seen the rise of relationships, you know, Building those organically as well as building those online. And you know, I think the last 20 years has been a big part there. Can you just kind of talk about what that journey's been like, you know, what, what's it like, there's going to look back into that, that post 2000 post Y2K era to now, how has real estate really kind of like changed?And, and what, what keeps you in it? So that's actually a great question. We I've seen the ebb and flow. So right when I got into the business that was post nine 11, right. In 2001. And that was the crisis, obviously that New York was having at the time. And then we come upon 2007 and 2008, which was the financial crisis.And so I lived through these times where people were before Corona virus, where people were terrified. What's happening next with my job. Where am I with my assets? Do I need to sell and buy? Did I just make a mistake purchasing and do I need to resell this thing? I, I closed on on a Friday that following Monday, are they taking my job away?When they're merging these two companies? I had all of that in my. You know, 20 years experience. And some of it was very frightening because I mean, watching people, their quality of life shift, you know, in a moment with no notice kind of, I mean, there was obviously rumbling. Especially during the financial crisis, but, you know, especially starting with nine 11, when I actually lost my tourism clients and the hotels and the destinations were all bleeding.And the airline that I worked with, everyone said, oh my gosh, we're not traveling or we're not, you know, we're only doing business travel. And when that happens and I got jumped right into real estate, there were some great opportunities. Yes for people. And, but you need it to have the right real estate broker to navigate around and understand what the marketplace was doing.And there was really only a short it was a very abbreviated opportunity, right? Between like 2001 and 2003. And I was in there, but I was doing rentals. So it was like, I wasn't in that sort of, I'm able to coach this buyer or teach them this, you know, figure out how to navigate. Then when I, when I, the navigation of then to sales marketplace, between, like you said, 2003 and 2008 was all about the new development.All the new condos were coming into the marketplace. This city used to be 60, 70% co-op apartments, and now everything was changing. And you needed to know the developer that was creating the newest building you needed to walk through. You needed to sell people opportunities from a floor plan and make them believe this was the best opportunity they could ever have and tomorrow is going to be gone.And that was your job at the time. It wasn't walking through places. It wasn't even, you know, there, there were, there were a lot of times where you just needed to know, okay. This is the newest building, where this is happening, where the D you need it to actually even talk to the rep of the developer and have that inside track.And so I was really good at conjuring. People's inner sort of weaknesses of saying, okay, this is top secret information, but you can have it, but just don't give it to anyone else. Suffer, maybe a buyer. And, you know, obviously everyone's playing with everyone's sort of highs and lows, but the quality of life that people were having when they were feeling like they invest in this new building and then they turned it around and sold and created this empire for their, you know, a little child, it was an amazing thing you would buy for one to sell for one seven, that was the market.And then everything changed in 2007 and eight. And Lehman brothers. Of course, my brother actually worked for them at the time. So I was very familiar in the mortgage backed securities group. So I knew everything was happening as it was happening from his perspective, from the news perspective, from my client's perspective.And we had to change. That was a very scary time where we, as brokers were afraid, we were like, okay, Are we selling these people's assets? Is this like a mutual fund gone bad? Like, what are we doing? How are we anticipating the person's next move? How were we there as a partner and a friend? Because we want to be their lifelong realtor, as opposed to saying, sell, lose money, get out of Dodge.You, you lost your job or are we helping them through coaching them to get another job in this very difficult marketplace? So I became sort of like a Jack of all trades. I had to be a fixer. And that was one of those moments where you have to have your toolbox open with all your bag of tricks and be like, okay, this is for this.This is for that. And this is how we're going to make this work. And I actually had to figure out that I needed all people who were not getting mortgages to buy my client's properties that had just closed because the mortgage is the appraiser would go in and they would say it's worth X, Y, or Z. And I didn't really want that to be happening.If someone just was closing for one five, and they were trying to sell for one, five or one six to kind of try to break even I, and we were in a down-market. Viral. So I had to start figuring out how to do, okay. This can only be a cash purchase or, okay. This has to be remarketed as maybe a two bedroom. We have to put a wall up even though it's 1100 square feet.So it was all about the challenges and creating an excitement around something that was very, very challenging. So that was how sort of that ran. And I had a lot of bankers who entrusted their work with me, and that was a huge blessing. It was like one after another, after another. And that's actually how I kind of launched my larger part of my sales career was during that time coming to the rescue of a lot of these guys, I love that you kind of, you kind of talk about that getting that inside track with developers, and like you said, everyone's kind of, everyone's kind of playing that game with each other, but that goes back.It sounds like to your, to your PR days, right? Absolutely. This is secret information. We'll have this as you should make sure it works. And then of course, it's to their advantage that they gave you the information they're selling. It it's, it's all a sale, but it really is. Figuring out. What's what I'm figuring out.What's actually good information as your secret information. You know, and going from there, I worked in PR last year with real estate companies, like for a PR company and it was it was great, but it's also about like, you've got this, this valuable information. That's. Yeah, you have to know how to make it valuable.Right. You have to create that value. And you do that by contacting the right people and kind of like giving that, that information, a journey in a sense, but something else you talked about that I, maybe there's a little bit of a comparison there, like where the market that we're seeing maybe even outside of New York now you've dealt.I think you have some experience in both Miami as well as the Hamptons, is that correct? Yes. How did you expand out of New York into those markets? Those are, I think Miami in New York might have some comparisons. Hampton's obviously having a great connection there, but how did you kind of expand out and, and what, what kind of brought that up?Well, I have a great partner that once I saw people were navigating toward Florida, I basically picked up two or three contacts that I had as great contacts. Long-term life contacts when a great friend of my husband's and one, a friend of mine. Since growing up who have their Florida licenses. And I said, let's partner because I have a lot of people who are going to be coming your way to avoid the state tax and also to grab some sunshine, because especially in the time of COVID, a lot of people were wanting to have that outdoor lifestyle throughout and have.The freedom and flexibility of being able to still socialize and be with people when everything was kind of shutting down in various other colds, or, you know, more closed off cities where the, there was higher population density. So Miami Palm beach, all of those areas became sledded with my clients wanting second homes.And or relocating. So I said, I have to ride with the times, this is not like a moment to be like, oh, I don't have anybody in Miami or Palm beach to help me. Who's located there. It was more like, okay, who is the savvy person who can close everybody and let's work together and make this happen. Let's figure out where people want to be.Community-wise. And I had a couple of people that I had already moved down there, pre COVID and they were really happy. You know, whether it was in Boba or Northern Miami Aventura. And we, I understand the neighborhoods because I've been traveling myself to Miami often, since I'm a kid, it was the very first place I ever visited.The very first place we took my daughter. We spent, you know, four weeks in Miami when she was little, we used to go for a length of time. And I really, we stayed at the founds in blue. So I really love it out there. And I think, you know, I can survive there all year long, but I love the snowbirds and I love everybody wants a second home.And if you're relocating there, I want to be your person that you come to asking me for help. So that is how that happened. The Hamptons is actually even more, I guess, interesting because I grew up in long islands and I said, I'll never go back to Lynn islands. I won't even have anything to do with lung islands.I am done with long island. Since I was 18. However, I really love the beach and I love swimming and I have a little girl who's seven. And at this point in her life and our lives, we really wanted some extra space. It's hard sometimes in the city to, you know, get your contains. Everyone's sort of in their boxes.And if you're not in a box, You do have to have like 20 million and up, you know, net worth. So that said, we said, why don't we grab a little investment property? I'm very into investments and investment properties. We also own our place on the upper east side. And I said, let me put my money where my mouth is.And then just as a result of that, People started calling me actually crazy amount of phone calls and interest and incredible resources that I have working with Ryan. We said, let me start taking on all of these Hampton's clients. I'm licensed to New York, which obviously we're discussing right now.And yeah. Hamptons is New York. So why don't I work these deals? And that's when I started actually really building out my whole team and saying, okay, well, if I'm in the Hamptons, I need someone in New York. If I'm in New York, I need someone in the Hamptons. And it was, it's just been incredible. It's been an incredible 12 months that the last 12 months I thought we would have made lemonade out of lemons.And that's, that's what I was a great lead into the next question. Cause you mentioned like what it's like building those, those lifelong relationships with your clients. Right. And, and so it makes me wonder, like, how are you coaching them last year? You know, if they, were they coming to you and saying, you know, we want to sell or get out, or were you kind of looking at it?Like we want to, you want to hold this property for right now, this will pass. You know, it's obviously COVID was unprecedented, but but you know tragedy and catastrophe is not unprecedented. Historically. We, we we've been through it. It's it's we see it's going to be cyclical. If it goes down now we'll always come back up.How are you kind of coaching your clients last year? In, in their best interests, because I think everyone's interests are going to be different. Are you looking to, to really relocate full-time and not come back? Do you just want to take, to keep your properties here in New York and then, you know, look outside and you're.Maybe move to Florida for a little bit over six months and, you know, take advantage of the tax benefits there. What was some of the coaching tactics that you employed last year? So we had a lot of coaching that we were sharing as myself Ryan, my team members. We were really figuring out what people wanted.And a lot of people, this is the problem with last year. A lot of people didn't actually know what they wanted. They were confused. And a lot of their financial advisors were even saying, can you just wait please until 2021? So take any action because we need to sort of see where things. You know, fall. And I was definitely interested in the people who were leaving the city to basically help them sell their homes and do everything I could to get them resettled that I, every single one of them.And they will tell you this. I said, are we really losing you? And I actually gave them like my spiel of why they should stay in New York. And I said, are you really going to, like, not being able to walk outside to your nearest little bodega or to grab your favorite coffee, whether it's at Ralph's or via Cadrona or, or some rose.And you, you just want to like, have to get in your car and drive to like a local store. Starbucks, are you sure this is the lifestyle you're looking for and why are you thinking about this? And they'd be like, well, we're just like a free to go outside our apartment. We're this we're that we just don't have enough space.We're trapped in what we feel is a box. There's no way outside. We're leaving our home once a week. And I did look and see that my friends in Newport beach in Miami, everyone seems to be having a great time. Everyone's still living life. And we were like, it was. An unbelievably sad moment in New York where people
24 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
New Record # of Realtors - What Does It Mean? Plus LeadingRE Holds In Person Event
This week, CEO Eric Stegemann and Director of Client Success Britt Chester discuss the news of the week in real estate, including:The National Association of Realtors sets a new membership recordLeading Real Estate Companies of the World holds a large in-person event post COVID - are events back?iBuyer Data Junky, Mike DelPrete joins cash backed offer company Homeward
45 minutes | May 24, 2021
Back To the Office, Low Inventory, and Building Faster
This week, CEO Eric Stegemann and Director of Client Success, Britt Chester discuss:Returning your agents and staff to the office effectivelyBuilding culture back with your agents and staffLow inventory and what you can do about itGetting builders to build faster
41 minutes | May 17, 2021
Opendoor – Friend or Foe to Realtors and Brokerages – with Tyler Hixson
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.When it launched more than 5 years ago, Opendoor seemed like another rehash of HomeVestors of America - the Ug buys ugly houses company. With offers that were far off value, it was easy for Realtors to dismiss the company.However, over 5 years, Opendoor has dramatically increased their data and made their offers very competitive. In some markets, Opendoor is offering at or above market value and charging fees as low as 3% total.Does this mean doom and gloom? Not according to Tyler Hixson, Head of Growth and Strategy at Opendoor Brokerage. Tyler presents numerous ways that traditional brokerages can work directly with Opendoor to not only help their clients, but to get paid for doing it!
45 minutes | May 9, 2021
Million Dollar Listing New York Agent Kirsten Jordan Discusses Creating A Team and Douglas Elliman
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.How do you go about starting a team?What does it take to become a Manhattan mega agent?What are teams looking for in selecting a brokerage?Bravo's newest Million Dollar Listing New York cast member, Kirsten Jordan, joined the Brokerage Insider podcast to discuss how she went from being an expat, licensing graphics in Italy to becoming a mega agent in Manhattan real estate.Kirsten started her career as a team member at Douglas Elliman, then moved to Compass to be a partner on a team, and now has come back to Douglas Elliman, to start her own team while appearing on Million Dollar Listing New York.Listen in as she provides advice to other agents on how she rose through the ranks and what she would tell herself 13 years ago when she started in real estate.
45 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Personal Growth and the Expansion of EXIT Realty with CEO Tami Bonnell
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.The real estate industry has helped create some of the most successful business people in the world, but that's not the case for every agent and broker. Financial planning is important for everyone, but especially for the volatile nature of real estate professionals and the ebbs and flows of the business.Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty, breaks down the importance of long term planning in real estate and how thinking about tomorrow will help you make the right decisions today.TRANSCRIPTHi everybody. And welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegemann and I'm the CEO of TRIBUS. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokerage technology to medium and large sized brokerages in the United States, Canada, and even around the world.Now on this week's episode, we have Tammy Bucknell. Tammy is the CEO of EXIT Realty Corp International. Tammy started. With EXIT as a regional owner, then moved over into running things at EXIT as a VP, then president. And now she's been CEO since 2012. So Tammy, thanks for joining us today. I'm really happy to be here.So I'm really excited to chat because there's a few topics here that I know that are important to you. That I'd love to get your take on. But I want to step back for just a second, because one of the things that I've found in, in interviewing all of our guests for the show is they always have a really good story of how they got to where they got to.So why don't you tell me how you got to start in residential real estate and then how you went through those paths that I just mentioned, and now being the CEO of EXIT. Okay. Probably not that exciting of a story, but you know, I. Actually started my first business when I was 11 and I started cleaning houses.And I cleaned site for builders because I could be dropped off in a subdivision and go from house to house. And you know, work ethic was a real strong thing in our family. So every Saturday and Sunday, that's what I did. And I actually was scraping windows, sitting inside a window, scraping the windows from the paint and a realtor and a builder were in the house.With the buyers that were relocating and they were doing the final walkthrough and the wall between the kitchen and the dining room was actually supposed to be more of an open concept. And it wasn't. And so the buyers came in all upset that it was yelling and screaming. I'm sitting in the windows thing, please make me invisible.And But when they slammed their way out of the door, the builder put his fist through the wall. And I jumped through the window and said I think you broke your hand. And he said, drive me to the hospital. I had lied about my age and I drove him to the hospital and he did break his hand and he had a cast put on.And then when I was driving him back in, my dad was pulling back up to pick me up and I ended up grounded for driving and On the way back, he was just complaining about how realtors were never getting it right with new construction. And I was, how hard is it? You want White, you want off White, you paint a picture for somebody, you know, something pretty similar to that.And he said, you think you can sell houses? And I said, absolutely. And he said, good start Saturday. So I got $500 a house starting at 13 years old. And I looked older than my age. So I think that's what happened, but I thought real estate was really disorganized. And so I never really thought that I would be in it for a living and I focused on finance and I went to work for a company.In the South Merrill Lynch and it turned out to be those, both the timeframe that they were acquiring real estate companies. And I hated being locked up in a cubicle and turned out I had a knack for doing acquisitions and that's how I started. And then I was prior to coming to EXIT. I was instrumental in building three major brands.I taught. Mergers and acquisitions. I acquired real estate companies for them and I sold franchises for them. So really the majority of my career has been in the backroom or at least 30 plus years has been in the backroom focused on doing mergers and acquisitions, selling franchises, and helping those companies to grow.Well, that's a, I personally think that's a very interesting story of how you got started in the space, because what I find is that everybody has some sort of person personal connection. You know, we, we interviewed Joan doctor that the president of Fox & Roach realtors a few weeks back, and she had a really bad experience with the transaction and her buying her first house.And. And we ha we've had other people that have just had these exact same sorts of situations that have, would have got them into the industry. So I always love hearing, you know, a little about where you started and what was that first first kind of moment that said that you're there, because what I find is that, you know, true leaders in the space, they're kind of all what I refer to as real estate lifers.Right. So, so, you know, you have decades of experience in the space and now you're running EXIT. So, you know, let's talk about EXIT for just a second. Okay. What, you know, what's what is the brand or what does EXIT stand for? Well, you know, we were actually there's a very unique differentiator in our company in the fact that we have, we provide residual income.So kind of the Sam Walton theory that he rewarded people for the percentage of the company, they helped build. That is our theory. Sam created more millionaires than anyone in the history of businesses. From doing that. And we thought Sam was right, but in real estate, we don't sell lawnmowers and coffee pots.Right. We sell real estate. So the assets of a real estate company are their agents. And so if we treat the agents incredibly well, we'll do really well. This entire company was built on human potential, but the residual component is that unfair, competitive advantage of having the opportunity to every person that gets introduced into the company.They have to be it's by invitation only. So if I introduce an agent into this organization, I received the equivalent of 10% of the gross commission up to $10,000 a year, every year, for as long as that person is with the company, as good as that is when I retire benefits like real people with real jobs, I make 7% of that income, even in retirement.The other 3% goes to the broker because we want the broker to have a balanced and they even took it a step further and thought about my family. And when I die, my beneficiary. Half of that makes 5%. Even after I'm gone, the balance goes to the brokerage. So we've had opportunities now where people have gone into retirement for getting going on maternity leave and they've had steady, consistent income they've had.So they've been able to stay home longer. They've had hips replaced. They've been able to be with parents while they transitioned. It's convertible. So once they were through whatever they were going through, they can come back in. Once their seventh transactions passes up to eight, they can come back into the 10%.So it's convertible, it's portable. I relocate my significant other, gets a new job somewhere else. And I relocate with them. I go into an EXIT office there and my benefits follow me like real people with real jobs. So it gives people cash between paychecks. It gives them a vested interest in the company and that makes them feel like they have.Ownership. You know, if you and I went to a really nice restaurant for dinner tonight, and the waiter that waited on us had a vested interest in the restaurant, how much better does that serve us for sure. Much better. Right, right. And so that's really what ends up happening in the offices is we create this culture where everybody works better together as a team.It's now in my best interest, if I'm making $150,000 a year, it's in my best interest to teach you how to do better, because as you do better, I do better. And who learns more the teacher or the student. So I actually get better at my job by helping you. And we found that that's created an unbelievable family culture.But it's gone a lot further than that on human potential because people growing in an environment where they feel safe, where they feel trust. And so that has made them. Really grow within the boundaries of the office. And we have all the other things that, you know, other franchises and brands have.Number one, they want leadership. So we have boots on the ground, regional owners in each individual, state and province. And we're very selective about introducing brokerages into the company. Number two, they want education. So. We provide education from every single angle. Now I just got my license.What do I do all the way to the consummate professional, making millions of dollars, dollars webinars tech and I's live interactive, total immersion, so they can learn the best way that they learn. They want help with technology. So we actually have a technology specialist. My statement is always from Tony Robbins information without implementation equals poverty.Right. And that's the biggest problem in technology is user error. So. We have single entry and we have a technology specialist. She speaks English, Spanish and technology, and she teaches the brokers and the agents, not only how to utilize EXITs tools and how to monetize so that they can grow their business.But she always remembers that it's the human behind the transaction. It's the human behind the device. So. She teaches them how to utilize it, to maximize their business. Number four, they want help with the details. And that's why we have single entry, very user-friendly so that they can get that help, that they need.Number five, they want a marketing program they can track. So our technology is very intuitive. Number six, they want a good image. So are focused on image is that opportunity to. Really be the smartest company and having that image of everybody working in this together, right. That vested interest mentality and number seven, they want skin in the game.We interviewed people making $250,000 a year or better from all faiths. What do you like? What don't you like and what would you like to see? And that was the top seven things they wanted. And obviously that skin in the game of having a vested interest, it's kind of like that agent has their shoulder on the rock.Just like the broker so that they're working. It's not one in charge. They're working together as a team more than anything else. And that's worked very well for us as a. The foundation for our company. Yeah. It sure seems like it. And I think the technology person that you're referring to, I'm assuming that is that a net.And that Anthony, I love it. I've known her now for 10 plus years, I think. And, and she's just a phenomenal resource that you guys have over there and such a good connector and, and, and helping train and educate people. And so, you know, out of, out of all of those points that you just went over, obviously I think, you know, that one of the things that really.Is that, there's the point that I feel like EXIT has pushed for 20 years. And, and you know, I've, I've seen EXITs ads starting in a realtor magazine when I first started selling real estate 20 something years ago about these residuals. And so I guess that begs the follow up question is it as if you do the math in it, it seems like.The total payout that EXIT might have to make on a single transaction could potentially get over a hundred percent. Am I understanding that correctly? Or am I maybe missing something? No. The agent has the ability to earn more than a hundred percent by introducing people into the company because with whatever their, their split is.Right. If they're receiving the equivalent of 10% off the top, And they, you know, we teach them and have them focus on introducing three people a year into the company. There's some that do, you know, don't introduce anybody. They just want to listen to themselves. And there's some that introduced several people into the company.So it gives them the ability to earn more than a hundred percent. But it comes off the top that 10%, and it doesn't come out of the agent's portion and it gets sent up to EXIT International and then we pay it back. Down to the individual that introduced that person into the company. I mean, it seems like there's some people that EXIT that their sole focus is on recruiting.So inter do you guys ever have that problem? And I know I've heard this around exp a lot over the last two years is do you guys ever have that problem where people feel a little pushy, as far as the recruiting side of things go and you have to back them off because of how good your, your residuals are.You know what? We created this culture that it's people that really love helping other people, it's really a, a unique foundation. It's much more empathy oriented than ego driven. So I don't find very many of our people that are pushy. We teach them that it's about building a relationship. It's not hunting people down.Right. It's truly about building a relationship in the ordinary course of business. We're doing a transaction together and I love the way you work. And I think that you'll do better in our company because our broker has the uncanny knack of. Helping get more and better out of you. And it's really that kind of simple introduction.It's not hunting people down. We do have people that work solely as recruiters that work in individual real estate, state offices. But that would be the same in any company, right. That they have a manager or they have a recruiter. There are people that do that, and that helps them build on a faster pace.But most often it's. In the ordinary course of doing a transaction that they got along really well. You know, maybe the other agent mentioned that they're not satisfied where they are, or they're not getting any education where they are or something that. Gave them an opening to have a conversation, but I always tell them, it's just a conversation you want to make sure it's people that you really want to work with because that's a representation of who you are, right.If the people that are within your office but sure from time to time, there's a conversation that you should have with someone. If they get to that point, cause that's not really how this was built. It was built to build a relationship, just like the real estate industry as a whole, right. Is a relationship.Driven business. And the more you get to know that person for me personally, I've broken some world records in sales, and I can tell you that it's the number one reason is because I did more homework on the person than I even did on the product. Right. And. Giving somebody what they really want. And so I always say, I'm not even going out and selling anything today.I'm going and having a conversation. I'm going to go add value to people's lives. And if we find a common ground and our business philosophies match, then they'll end up being coming part of the company. But that doesn't happen every day. Right. It happens when those things match, but if I do enough homework, so I find out what's really important to you.I'm probably going to be in front of the right people more often than not. Yeah, that's, that's definitely the case. And, and, you know, I've to be very clear, I've never seen anybody complain about EXIT, getting too pushy with, with presenting the opportunity to join. And I know there's some places where exp agents, I, I feel like I get intimidated because I'm listed in the real estate industry.I still get. Probably, I don't know, in an average month, 10 or 15 people that are just randomly reaching out to me, based upon my licensing, based upon my LinkedIn profile that says I'm in real estate that say, Oh, you should come join us. And it, it can get a little overwhelming at times. And I I've told Glen their CEO that it, you know, at some point that you gotta be careful on this because it can present a negative connotation to the brand.If somebody gets a little too pushy and I don't feel like I've ever had that. At EXIT, although I have had people at EXIT reach out and suggest that I you know, that I, that I would put my license with them. And I still don't, I don't have it still to this day, but I did for a long time up until a couple of years ago.And, and. You know, I want to go back to something else you said that I think is so vital there, which is you're talking about. When you talk to the other agent that will, you'd be considered a recruiting you're, you're sitting there and asking them about what they're not getting at their brokerage.And one of the things you said there, and if you notice Tammy, didn't say a lot about the necessarily the commission. She talked about support and training and everything like that. And I tried this, we did a study two or three years ago now. And we found out the number one, two, and three things that an agent left a brokerage for, none of them were commissioned.In fact, number one was training and support. Number two is technology, which we'll get into in a second. But, but certainly training and support. So, you know, I know you're big on personal development and that's a big thing, and I'm going to, I definitely want to dive into that a little bit more with you.So what are some ways specifically that EXIT helps their agents get the best training and support? Well, we have trainers that are specific to EXITs. We have and they're called mindset trainers for a reason. And so it's everything from mindset, literally the power of your subconscious mind controlling what you think all the way to focusing on good health during the pandemic.We actually had people teaching accurate. Totally. You know, when we first launched accurate, totally teaching yoga ways for stress relief, but we have everything from. Truly with our trainers. I just got my license now, what do I do all the way to the content, but professional teaching them how to be more effective business people, right?Because they're, they get to a certain level. So we have International trainers that are part of our system. We actually have a partnership with the Fenian company so that they, we have a tremendous amount of our people that have been trained by the FINI, but our specific trainers that are. EXIT mindset trainers.A lot of them also coach and some of them coach specifically to agents and some of them coach specifically to brokers. And it really kind of depends on where their levels at. And we try and match up with where they're at, right? I've got to meet you where you are. And so that's why we have such a variety of mindset trainers that are specific to our company because we want to meet them where they are, whether that's.You know, just get me into the right habits. I just got my license or somebody that's, we just need to make them more effective with their time and more effective with their money and more effective with their marketing, more effective with their technology so that they are growing because people.Really loves the opportunity to grow and when they get stagnant, that's when they get that's when they get frustrated. So we put a tremendous amount of emphasis on training. We have webinars every single month for our broker owners, our agents,...
44 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
Encouraging Future Real Estate Brokerage Leaders with John L Scott VP Howard Chung
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.All too often, leadership in real estate brokerage, means family members, friends, or agents that weren't successful. Worse is that most brokerages do not provide any leadership training for agents.Howard Chung, the VP Of Franchise Development for John L Scott Real Estate, in the Northwest, joins Brokerage Insider to discuss what brokerages can do to encourage diversity and growth in their leadership.
46 minutes | Apr 4, 2021
How Sothebys Holds Brand Standards and is Consistently Profitable with CEO Philip White
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.With more than 40 years of experience in residential real estate, mostly at Sotheby's International Realty, Philip White has steered the company through major changes in the industry and expanded the brand to 75 countries and 1000 offices around the world. Through this process, Philip has led a company that holds the highest brand standards. Because of this, the organization is Realogy's most profitable organization. Listen in as he describes how Sotheby's has thrived.TRANSCRIPTION📍 Hi everybody. And welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegemann and I'm the CEO of TRIBUS. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokers technology to medium and large sized brokerages in the United States, Canada.And even around the world today, I am very pleased to say that we have Philip White Phillips, the president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty. Now you probably heard of Sotheby's International Realty before, but just in case you don't know much about them, they span nearly the entire globe. And they're focused obviously on luxury real estate, just like the auction house of their namesake.The company recently announced that it had did over $150 billion of sales in 2020, which was a 32% increase over 2019. In addition, the network has grown during that time and is now over a thousand offices in 75 different countries. Philip, thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you, Eric. It's great to be here.Now Philip obviously we always do lots of research on everybody that we're going to be interviewing for this podcast ahead of time. And I found this kind of consistent thing with people that we've interviewed recently, I had Joan doctor who's the. President of Fox & Roach realtors and like you she also is a real estate lifer or what I call a real estate lifer.You have 40 years of experience in this industry. So let's start with what got you started in becoming a residential real estate agent.Okay. Thanks Eric. So just, the short form, answer to that actually out of college I I went to the university of Virginia and I have a degree in finance.And so I was hired by a bank in Atlanta, Georgia, which is where I'm from SunTrust bank, because they've now changed their name. And it's in a, it's a great bank is a great bank today. But I had actually studied a bit in London. And I got to know the Sotheby's auction house through a friend of mine, a friend of mine's sister worked there and their French impressionist department.So I had a real fascination actually with Sotheby's the auction house. And then I moved back, went to work at the bank. And then later on I noticed that Sotheby's had started a real estate company. And so I was in New York on some business. I ended up kind of cold calling on the chief operating officer there.And us was in his office for about two hours actually. And he introduced me to the chairman and the president of the real estate company. And one thing led to another and they hired me and I moved to New York and got licensed there. And. We had a little bit different business model than we have today, but we worked with independent real estate companies and I actually handled New Jersey and Fairfield County, which is Southern Connecticut.We listed and sold luxury properties in the region. Then I moved to Palm beach and worked in our Palm beach office which was fascinating. And then, my career moved on from there. But that's how I ended up in real estate. It was a combination of, the Sotheby's brand and, I really saw a great opportunity that.That Sotheby's could bring to the real estate market. So that's how I ended up in the business area.And here you are, years later and still enjoying it it seems like which is great. It certainly helps them personally. I think you lead one of the most iconic brands in.Residential real estate and frankly from the auction house as well. And when I travel back when we could travel, but back when I traveled. We see agents all over the place where the brokerage brand has been entirely wiped away by the agent's own marketing, their teams, et cetera. And I use the example, a lot of KW, where if you look at KW agents, you almost have to play where's Waldo to try to find the KW logo on some of their marketing, but Sotheby's, isn't like that at all.And if you pay attention to Sotheby's agent branding, It's always focused on Sotheby's. And it seems like there's just inherent value in mentioning the brand name of Sotheby's. And so how have you been able to engender that value over your tenure at Sotheby's and hold firm to having agents be focused on the brand where other companies like KW have had to shy away from it?Eric does an excellent question. And. I think when we, we entered into a license agreement with Sotheby's auction house, what 17 years ago, 2004. And that's when I rejoined the, the, the, when we were starting it up. And so I always thought we had this, great responsibility.To obviously grow the business, any business you've got to grow it. But I was really felt like we had to grow it. In a qualitative way. And the worst thing we could do would be to dilute this 270 year old brand name. And so I had, I had a lot, I felt a big deep responsibility.And I shared that with our team, as we hired people, to protect the brand standards. Because over the years I heard Sotheby's is really just an, is a function of the brand name and really the people that work there. That's was always in my mind. And so when we started it, we create identity standards.Any franchise system has that. But the important thing is is you have to, make sure that people comply with those standards. So I'm the first to say to people, Hey, Sotheby's International Realty may not be right for you. We're, we're not necessarily all things to all people.I think. Part of that is, is that, I wanted the consumer and this is a pretty big point here, Eric. We'd we, when we decided, when we started this, we decided that our client. Was going to be the consumer. Obviously the real estate agent is in the center of the transaction. Certainly not minimizing that but we wanted the client, the buyer or the seller of the house.We wanted them to be our client. We wanted to resonate with them. We wanted our marketing to reach them. And the reason that we made that decision and I felt very strongly about it. Is that to the extent that we could I wanted to deliver to our agents and brokers, somewhat of a pre-sold brand. Now I'm not minimizing the competition out there, which is fierce, but if I could give our agents, and this is what I kept in mind, if I could give them, an edge, where that.Where they go in, make a competitive presentation and that client is somewhat predisposed to do business with Sotheby's International Realty and try to make their job a little bit easier. So I think that, coupled with, our diligence on making sure that the brand had consistency, the other thing we thought about.Is really that again, that tying it back to the buyer, the seller, and in my mind, I, I just visualized that we wanted them to have this same experience, whether they were buying a house in Sydney, Australia, or Auckland, New Zealand or Taiwan or Paris or London, or destined Florida or Orlando or Palm beach, we wanted them to.The see the same real estate sign, the same yard. We wanted them to see the same business card, the same format. So that's hard to do, when you have a business that, for us now with over 20,000 sales associates, many of them are independent contractors, certainly in the United States, that's the case.I think that. To whatever extent we've been successful. I think a lot of it is that consistency with the brand. And, I meet with the auction house. The, see I was with the CEO recently and, they're very complimentary of the business that we've developed and the brand standards.And so that gives me great pride that they have respect for what we've done.And you should and at the risk of being very effusive about the Sotheby's brand, I've always been very impressed. How Sotheby's International Realty has held firm on that. I use the example in a presentation that I do.It's called agents run a muck and I use examples of headshots and bad advertising that agents have done. And I have an example from many of the franchise brands that are out there. In fact, one of them the agent uses the phone number four, one six, punch me as their phone number.And I always cringe every time I see that yet. I've never cringed at that. Anything that I've ever seen from any Sotheby's agent because of those brand standards that I feel like you guys have set. But I think there was something else that you alluded to there that's really important. I'd like to dig in on I bought a house last year from a Scenic Sotheby's agent and her name was Sarah Timmons.Mentioned to me after we started working together that how rigid the recruiting is at Scenic Sotheby's, you don't pick up the phone and say, Hey, I want to be a Scenic Sotheby's agent. They have to call you and talk to you. And then there's many meetings that happen. Is it the brand.And the specifics that go along with that, that allows a brokerage like Scenic Sotheby's to be selective in who they pick or is there more to it?I think there's more to it, Eric. It's, and I talk about that because w was, back to the consumer, as I mentioned, the buyer or the seller and the notion that, It, at least in my mind, I've tried to, develop that, where the brand is.Pre-sold a certain level of clientele. And then therefore that whole process requires exceptional service. And that's. And I say that because the, that's what, people expect from Sotheby's International Realty, a client, they have an expectation that they're going to get exceptional service that holds true with the auction house as well.And that's, that's a big responsibility. And I talked to the companies before they join us, in my, my affiliate, my franchise business. And, it's one of the first things that I talked to them about. And I'll say to them, are there times where you actually may have to.Re you know, I'm not suggesting rebuilding your company, but you do have to really think about it because this is not just some franchise you're joining. This is something much different. And there may be some agents in your company. That might not understand it. And frankly may never understand it.And there may be times where you just have to part ways, so Eric, I could go through many companies that have joined us and they did have to disassociate some agents. And because we do have the requirements that you're talking about and not just the brand standards, the service and many of our companies are very focused on productivity, so per agent productivity.And I think, you can agree with. With me that, the agents that the industry suffers a little bit with, a lot of agents actually not doing, much business. That is a drain on our real estate company. So I think many of our companies really are very focused on.Not only having productive agents but hiring agents, like the one you just mentioned in Destin, I think Sarah Timmons is newer to the business. They want to invest their time and Sarah's time into making her as productive as she possibly can. I think it is part of our DNA.It's part of our culture. And so I, I do think it's intentional to your question.And that I think is part of it, I think. Yeah. All too often in any brokerage and franchise networks that are out there, the brand is almost just there as a thing. But it's more about the agents than it is about the overall network and the brands.Yeah. Cheers to you for holding firm and not only the Britt and standards, but the agent standards and the standards of. Practice and what's provided to the individual consumer cause I've never heard anything other than the best about Sotheby's,you know what's interesting about my job, Eric, along these lines is, and it's really quite surprising is that, from time to time, obviously I'm going to get a letter.Complaining about something. But I get more letters of appreciation about agents than I do complaints, which I think is probably quite unusual.Yeah, that's a, and that is definitely the case of listening, caring, getting back to them. But it's certainly seems that it's rare. I think anytime you run a business, you're going to have some percentage of people that are unhappy, no matter what or how hard you tried work. And certainly we've experienced that at TRIBUS.Sometimes it's. It's just doesn't work out for whatever reason, but some people youjust can't please is whatjuicy. Exactly. Exactly. Okay, so let's talk about the International side of Sotheby's International Realty. As I mentioned before, You guys have a presence around the globe, you're in 75 countries.And frankly you sell some of the most expensive real estate in the world. If you name a country, it seems like there's always a Sotheby's that's there. And frankly, like many Sotheby's agents I've actually taken my picture in front of a few Sotheby's offices around the world, including.The one in Monaco. I took my picture in front of back when you could travel a couple of years ago. I know you recently opened up in Oman as well now, obviously 2020 was a difficult year for lots of folks, but in real estate it was obviously a standout. How has it done around the world? Outside of just the United?Yeah.Eric, I talk about our international business, it's really been a labor of love for us. Just because, we, our first deal I don't. I think it was the, I think it was probably Western Canada is neck and neck, either France or Western Canada. And so our business model is we sell the rights.We have a long-term agreement. We sell the rights to either a country, part of a country or a province or territory. And we started that early on. We always. We built Sotheby's International Realty to be from the very beginning to be an international company. So it was not an afterthought.Everything we did, we thought about how it would resonate internationally. And there were a lot, there was a lot of extremely heavy lifting in the beginning particularly when we built our web, our global website and the taxonomy involved, which is location orientation. And, we had to go through so many different things, language translation.And so forth. That's why I say it was a labor of love because it was, it's very complex because real estate is practiced differently in all these different countries. And it's practiced differently even in different parts of the same country. We had to go through a bit of a learning curve ourselves.But in the same time we built this really strong global referral system. And I'm very proud of what we've accomplished. But in some ways what's interesting is we're just getting started with it. Because now we have this great opportunity to help our local companies, wherever they may be.We're now in a point where we can help them grow. Many of them are very, significant already. And then we've never had as strong of an International, we call servicing teams. So we've broken the world into three regions Europe, middle East, Africa, and India. Calla, which is the Caribbean, Latin America, Caribbean Bahamas, Bermuda.And then we have, Asia, the Pacific rim APAC as we call it. And we have a team dedicated to those. Affiliated companies in each of the three regions. So in country, if you will, and we have a designated marketing director, a head of region and an additional support people for each of the three regions.So that keeps us very close to the two. There are companies there, I think the other difference, Eric, and this is. Probably not something everybody realizes, but most other real estate companies operate what they call a sub frame. The companies are free to sell offices to, to whomever they choose.So back to your. Standards question. We actually don't allow that it's a, what we call direct franchise models. So we actually vet every owner of every office that's in our system. And I even, I meet I've met every, everybody. I was one asterisk. There's some people I haven't met in person because of COVID last year.But prior to that, I'd met every owner of every company internationally. I think that. You know that business and our referral business globally was up 42% year over year in 2020. And that's a function of having a thousand offices, literally in the best locations around the world you happen to have been in Monaco.And that's obviously, a very unique real estate environment as well. That's certainly a landmark office for us right there.And obviously let's talk about COVID for just a second. You mentioned that you hadn't had a chance to meet some folks that came into the network because of that.Obviously markets like Italy, Spain, France these were. Markets where you have operations in and were hurt extensively and have not recovered in the real estate market nearly as well at, or as fast as what the United States has. Do you think that when we get back to traveling again, do you think that we'll see recovery in those markets, particularly in the luxury, second, third, fourth home buyer market.Yeah. Eric, I, like we did do I'm not sure if it was a record or not, but we did our company in France did a 2020, did do a billion dollars and and euros. So that's about 1.2 billion in sales volume. Out of their 54 offices in 2020 1.2 billion USD. And Italy, given the wonderful markets that they're in there was a similar situation where people were, buying different properties, with space and the amenities that we were looking for.It's, it was not across the board. Slower to bounce back than the U S because we did have certainly some markets that, outperformed and even in Sydney we did a billion dollars in Australia, Australian dollars there in 2020 with some very high price point.Houses, I do X, I know your question here is what the expectation is. Going forward with, post vaccine, travel, coming back to some degree of normalcy. And I think we're already starting to see it with the year starting off strong even International Sierra International numbers are up pretty significantly through February year, over year.I do see it and I do expect that international travel back to the U S will be a positive, certainly in the real estate market as well. I think cities like New York will, I expect that they'll be, continued activity and speaking of New York, it's.Even though yet last year was a pretty tough year. I started seeing the market healing PO when the vaccine was introduced. And then the last eight weeks in a row, they've been 30 deals or more over $4 million in New York city. So that's coming back. And I think you'll start to see more international buyers coming back into the city as well.That was actually a,
40 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
New York Real Estate with HGAR CEO and OneKey MLS President
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors CEO Richard Haggerty knows New York real estate. He's been working with HGAR for over 30 years, bur has never seen a year like 2020. While the news narrative may hyped up the rental exodus, Richard testifies to the skills of NYC Realtors to adjust and refocus efforts on the suburb markets, which are growing and thriving. Listen as he explains how the NY state of mind helped real estate agents prosper, and how the need for a unified MLS will help everyone, but most importantly, the consumer. TRANSCRIPT:Welcome to Brokerage Insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology.I'm your host Britt Chester Director of Marketing Success at TRIBUS one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokerage technology to medium and large brokerages today on the show we are joined by Richard Haggerty. Richard is the CEO, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc, and president and chief strategic growth officer of One Key MLS.Richard, thanks for joining us today.It is my pleasure, Britt. You know, Richard, we spoke last year at Inman connect, New York and well, a lot has changed. Can you sort of take me through, let's start if we can even start at January of last year w you know, where we were a little bit more optimistic, things kind of changed after that and kind of give me your 30,000 foot view from the, from your members view, as well as the consumers in your area and the opportunities they were confronted with during this incredibly tumultuous year in real estate.Wow. You know, I've been in this business for 35 years. I have not ever seen anything like 20, 20 quite frankly. I hope I don't see anything like it again, it was, it was a tale of two years in one year. You had actually, you could make an argument with like three stages of the year. We were very optimistic in the first quarter of 2020.The sales were looking really, really strong. The market and our entire geography was looking really, really strong, and we've got a very diverse geography. We cover Manhattan. We actually merged with the Bronx in the middle of the pandemic in July all the way up to that, to the Valley.So four counties in the Hudson Valley, Westchester, Rockland, peppermint, orange, and all, all of that geography was just looking really strong. But then March happened and it was actually the middle of the third week of March, where literally within a week, everything shut down. I had to close my office.Fortunately, we kind of seen the writing on the wall and we were able to transition all of our staff to working from home seamlessly. But real estate for all intents and purposes was shut down. Agents could not show up visibly show properties. And it was scary. I mean, I live in the upper East side of Manhattan.And that became a ghost town very, very quickly. So yeah, I think everybody come that the end of that first quarter the end of March in the, for the most part, all of April, we were just really pretty much scared. Europe was really the epicenter. Our infection numbers were extremely high, the highest in the country early on in the pandemic.And everybody was just, you know, shut up in their homes. And a lot of folks, if they had a second homes, they headed to wherever the second homes were, whether it was out in the Hamptons, up in the Poconos they got out of town. You know, and I think part of that narrative we were seeing from the outside, looking in, in New York was this, this mass Exodus kind of like, you're talking about people where we're going to the second homes, but I think there was also a lot of people who didn't have second homes.And so they started to look to where they came from it and move out. And so that, you know, again, that, that narrative kind of painted by the news was this, this empty city, what was it like. Living there. And what were your members you know, part of the association, what were they going through and what were their thoughts and what were the concerns that they were bringing you to you and to your executive team there?Hudson gateway association of Realtors. Well, first off, I think everybody was in a state of shock initially because it happened so quickly. And especially in New York, it was a bit of an avalanche. So I think everybody was scared. Everybody was a little bit shell shocked and nobody really wanted to go show properties.We didn't have buyers who were comfortable going to view properties for the most part early on in the pandemic. So really I'm talking about April come may. I think that started to change with the spring, people were starting to get a little bit ancy We've got a better handle on what was going on with the COVID-19.How has, and it was handled pretty aggressively in New York, I think in the early days. And what we really had to do with some sensation was keep our members informed. What could they do? What couldn't they do so they could show homes virtually. And a lot of folks were already set up to be able to show them virtually.And that did happen to some degree. Closing started to take place because we had virtual notary memorization approved in the state. So those properties were in contract prior to the pandemic slowly but surely we're able to be closed, but for all intents and purposes, you know, that second quarter was wiped out.So. April through the middle of June was really, there was no business going on because of the activity curtailed by the governor's executive orders in New York which prohibited in-person showings. But that did change come the middle of June. I believe it was the second week of June where showings were allowed to happen again with safety protocols in place.And as I said, it was really the, the tail of. Two years, because all of a sudden, what was a non-existent work, it just took off. And that was actually in large part due to the fact that a lot of folks from the city were now buying in the suburbs and it was the Connecticut suburbs. It was the New York suburbs both Westchester County and long Island.And it was just a tremendous surge of buyer interest that occurred in that when then for the balance of 2020. And how did you navigate that? Cause again, you know, the seams, you know, I've said this a lot, it's this anomaly year of real estate you know, unprecedented on one hand, but also a completely unplanned.And I don't think anyone really knew how to handle that. How are you all kind of navigating that those opportunities and directing, you know, consumers and kind of guiding your clients in that way. From my expected what the association role on that was really, again, just being a conduit of accurate information and getting that information out as quickly as possible which we continue to do now.We're actually doing it with the eligibility for vaccines. It just went from 65 to 60 yesterday. So we've got that notice out to our members ASAP. So we still are fulfilling that role. But I think a big part of it had to do the resiliency of our members Realtors really bounced back in a very strong way.They did what they needed to do during that second quarter, when everybody basically had to hunker down and stay safe, keep their family safe and your consumer saying, okay. But then when we opened back up, they were there using safety protocols. To help the consumers, that they have relationships with find additional home.And, you know, sometimes it wasn't even folks selling in Manhattan and buying in the Hudson Valley or Wyland a lot of times it's just quite frankly, folks buying a second home. And so they have those options going forward. I think that it was the whole Exodus from New York city was a little bit overplayed.I do think that some folks who are. Starting families who were thinking about moving to the suburbs for whatever reason, because they wanted you know, green grass and schools in the suburbs, those folks have that decision making process feed it up because of the pandemic. So I don't think that necessarily led to an Exodus that you know, is going to continue.I think it just speeded up the process and folks who are already thinking of moving out to the suburbs, they've made that decision more quickly. And again, you know, when, when you and I spoke in June where you'd kind of teased One Key MLS, you know, it was, it was on the horizon at the time. And I think, you know, you all chose to do something pretty unique and you know, really, really present that wow factor with, with launching one MLS, I think, like you said, at the height of the pandemic, talk to me about kind of the decision, the decision to do that, and, you know, continue moving forward with that decision.And some of the unknown barriers that you might've encountered, you know, as with that launch and rollout. So to be honest, the reasons why we created One Key and One Key is a regional MLS it's owned by the Hudson gateway association of Realtors in the long Island board of Realtors was to really take advantage of the power of our geography for the benefit of our Realtor members.You have a lot of regional on the lessons, much larger than ours. You know, we've got a large one, we've got over 42,000 subscribers. We've got about 4,400 brokerage offices. But we hit, you know, their, their larger MLS is around the country and, you know, California you've got bright MLS on the East coast.But those are not really specific to geography per se, where we really wanted to. Focus on the New York city geography in the tri-state area, in terms of anywhere buses and trains go in and out of you know, New York city, we felt that there should be a regional MLS that takes advantage of that geography that I think is even more starkly obvious today than it was pre COVID-19.Because we truly have become a region. Especially with folks who are now working remotely, they're able to do so in counties where you can't even easily commute, it would be a multi hour commute. But now if you have a second home in Sullivan County and your business is in Manhattan, you can still effectively do business.So the power of region and the power of geography, I think has become even more apparent during this pandemic period. And we were positioned to take advantage of that. Did you, you know, New York I think is always in a international real estate Mecca, you know, with, with, with, with foreign buyers and foreign investors, did you see any kind of changes with that, with that sort of like traffic to the site or, or did you see any sort of changes with that sort of money kind of coming into the market?It's interesting. We launched Winky MLS in March of 2020. We launched our consumer facing MLS website onekeymls.com in the middle of June. And the traffic was high right off the bat, without question, because again, there was just a lot of interest in the geography that we cover. It's interesting because New York definitely took a much.A deeper dive in terms of just the, basically the bottom fell out in terms of sales in New York city. It is bounced back more quickly than I anticipated especially in the luxury market there's been, you're really now looking at the same kind of numbers this year, as we were looking prior to the pandemic last year.Part of that though, is there are. I think deals to be had. And I think especially with a new development developers are actually making deals that they might not have made pre pandemic. So there are a lot of opportunities. The rental market really took a hit and the rental market is still struggling.And that may take some time to come back, but I quite frankly, Libyan Manhattan. I, you know what I see in the streets today versus what I saw in the streets back in March and April of last year is night and day. I think that there really is a renewed interest in Manhattan because the perception of, you know, that there are deals to be had as well as in Brooklyn and as well as some of the other boroughs, I think the challenge quite frankly, is going to be the commercial market.The commercial market is going to take a little bit longer to find its feet. I think, you know, you've, you've heard a lot in the press that there probably is going to be some type of hybrid going forward, where some companies will say come into the office, you know, three days a week and work from home two days a week.I think especially in the next year or two, that probably will be the norm. But I do think the commercial market will get its feet within the next three to five years. That residential quite frankly, is coming back very strong, more quickly than I anticipated in New York city. You see any sort of kind of speaking to that hybrid model, something that came across the news here in Denver somebody was calling this place, a new developer.They called it a condo tale and it's it's, they're they're condos that I believe. And I, you know, I'm, I might be butchering this, but I believe there's zoned for like short term. And so people are, are, I guess, how they're marketing. These are two, two investors to do, like long-term and short-term Airbnbs.And it's just got me curious to know what. Maybe what you're thinking about that, that hybrid model in the commercial market, because there is so much real estate in New York that is, you know, I would say right for disruption right now. What do you kind of think about what that hybrid model looks like?Or, you know, do you have any, any thoughts on what that could look like? The only thing I can really predict with any clarity as people are going to have to be very creative, you know what we're going to end up with? I don't think we should be. No guessing too much. I think we just have to kind of get creative.And I think in terms of the hotels and that kind of creativity would match up well with what you just described. I've also heard a lot of folks saying, well, let's convert commercial buildings to affordable housing or residential housing. I think that's where problemat, you know, commercial buildings are just not designed nor plumbed that way.And I don't know, it just really makes a lot of sense. That you could convert commercial space, especially commercial space. That's older to residential housing, but I do think we've got to get creative and I do think we're still in the early days. I mean, New York, you know, the vaccines are definitely coming in now, the Jacob Javits center is this huge vaccine distribution center and the number of people who are getting vaccinated today.It's pretty staggering, at least in the urban areas of New York. And I think by may and June, that's really going to make a difference. And I think by the fall that's, especially hopefully by the fall, we'll have, you know, the theaters back open. We'll have all of the arts that have just continued to be shut down, which is such a drain on the New York economy.And the New York city economy will start to recover. That's what I think people will really start to use that creativity to figure out well, what's life gonna look like for this market and for this area going forward.We're coming up on the, I would say the one year anniversary. What would you say, you know, looking at, you're looking at your members and looking at, you know, even just kind of New York as a whole, from your view, like you said, you've, you've been with you've been in real estate here for over 35 years.What have you seen as. Being one of the most valuable kind of pivot points for agents. Cause I think, you know, the industry yeah. Had to shift and I think everybody's models have had to, whether that's through marketing plans just kind of their entire approach to real estate. Again, what have you seen as some of the really valuable pivots that agents have done and that you and the team have done it?HGA are. No, it's interesting. I've seen so much growth in this industry. In my tenure, when I first came to work for the association, I was 24 years old. I had been looking for a job in publishing and was offered a job to work. Then Westchester County board of Realtors. We had 1,400 members now, or over 12,000 members.You know, we've merged with several associations since then to create synergies that really, again, go along geographic lines. But I think the more things change, we forget that the more things stay the same and yes, technology has had a huge impact on us in this. It's going to continue to have a big impact on this industry, but it, from my perspective, that's still about the age.And it's still about the agents relationships with consumers at the end of the day, that was what it was 35 years ago. That's what it is today. I don't see that changing. You just have agents who are able to utilize technology in effective ways. So for example, during the pandemic, I think for very good reason, the whole concept of virtual tours really went up a notch.And I think that's going to continue to really improve that technology. But that's not going to replace agents all this discussion about, you know, agents are going to go away. I never bought it and I still don't buy it. So I still think at the end of the day, how do we provide better tools for agents?And as an association, we've got to be careful because we also don't want to step on the toes of the brokers. We don't want to interfere with their value proposition and what they offer to their agents. But there are basic building blocks like education, and certainly we offer a lot more tech education focused on technology than we used to, but we've got to offer those building blocks for agents to succeed in their communities and in their business that has not changed.That's not going to change. I agree. And, you know, TRIBUS, last year we launched design studio, which was a, kind of like a, a one-stop shop to be able to connect, you know, agents with their clients, through, you know, kind of new flyers and, and creating an easier process there. And I've seen. You know, I think you see more investment in email marketing and you see more investment in you know, digital, digital marketing, whether yeah.It's in social media or, or Google in ways like that. How have you at One Key MLS sort of like pivoted your marketing efforts both to, to engage your, your Realtors and help them like empower them to reach their consumers and clients. Social media, you know, that that has had a huge impact on our industry.It's going to continue to have an impact on already has a huge impact on our lives. Let's be honest. And that's a space where I think when can you, that it's been effective, but we've got to give them the better as well as the association. And that's the one area where I think we've got to help our members step up their game.Social media is going to continue to be a huge conduit communication with consumers. And it's also going to be a conduit of communication between our members. We used to rely on email though. It's interesting. One of the things that we launched very early on in the...
46 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
How COVID Changed Open Houses and Real Estate Marketing with HomeSpotter CEO
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.At the nexus of brokerage mobile apps, real estate marketing, and open houses sits HomeSpotter's CEO. The company offers branded apps for brokerages and agents, automated listing marketing, and the number one open house registration app, Spacio.Aaron had a front row seat to what would go from the shut down of the real estate industry, to it's holding up the rest of the economy. We ask him about this and he provides some tricks that brokerages can use for their apps and marketing.TRANSCRIPTHi everybody. And welcome to Brokerage Insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegemann and I'm the CEO of TRIBUS. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokerage technology to medium and large sized brokerages in the United States and Canada.Today on the show, I'm looking to have my friend Aaron Kardell. Aaron is the founder and CEO of HomeSpotter. HomeSpotter started out. As the premier provider of branded apps for brokerages and agents, but the company has recently branched out over the past few years into other options as well. And we'll dive into some of those when we talk to Aaron today.So Aaron, thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for having me, Eric. Great to be here. Good to talk to you. In fact, right before we started recording here, we were talking about how it's the, as we're recording this today on March the ninth, 2021, I think it's the oneumyear anniversary of the last time we all saw each other at the leading area conference in Las Vegas, right?It's a, it's been quite a year. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And, and, with what you guys do, it'll be interesting to hear some of the data, that you have of what you've seen over the past year. Cause you're kind of a leading edge. in some regards for, for that data. So I'm excited to dig in. but before we do that, I just want to understand a little bit about your background.let's start out by, you know, you're obviously a technical founder, so what got you started to doing software development and then later starting your own company. Yeah, thanks, Eric. well, real simply, I grew up in a rural community in Nebraska. and this was, back in the days when, computers were still.Lunchables as they called them at the time they were briefcases. and, my parents were entrepreneurs and my mom, happened to be an accountant at the firm that they had founded. And so she would. Drag this, briefcase home, with her each evening. And, at a very young age, I picked up a book about, basic, programming and, learned, programming at a very early age that way.And just, you know, I think was really excited by the concept of. you know, you put in a program and, minutes later, what, what you wrote is, is working and, you know, over time, There was kind of that personal joy in, in learning programming, but having parents who were entrepreneurs as well, led me down a path where, you know, as soon I started exploring, what does it look like to combine these two things to, potentially start a business, that, that was also within the, the rental of software.And so by, Time. I was in high school. I, started my first, mini little software company that was selling, what, was referred to it at. The time has shareware, over the internet. it was a windows program. And, you know, as I say, sometimes it was, you know, not a ton of money as far as, tech startups go nowadays.But, compared to, working at the local dairy queen. It was a pretty good, pretty good living for a, high school kid. No, I have not heard the term shareware in a very long time, but it brought lots of memories back of the software of the month club discs that I used to get. Yeah, I have to ask you, what was the, what was the shareware app that you built?It's so random. I got to tell you, the name of the, windows app was called easy zip self extractor pro. and there was only a pro edition of course, but, you know, the idea was, and this sounds, almost insane in retrospect is a lot of people didn't know how to open a zip file, back in the day.And so. These, programs like the one I created allowed you to convert a zip file into a exe file, you know, something you'd run. And so people could transform their zip file into a program that they could send to somebody else. And at the time people would just, Trust that and run what they were sent.but, yeah, so it was a, it was a good little business in, a certain niche. So WinZip was your big competitor then, right? They were, yeah, WinZip was a, you know, more kind of the full suite of, being able to manage those zip files. And they, they did have their own little, self extractor program.but yeah, they were, they were our big competitors. That's so funny. I think some people listening into this, that's gonna, it's going to bring back a lot of memories thinking about both shareware and WinZip, and, and the old ways of zipping files where it wasn't just a right click. Like it is today.There was a lot more complicated, 20 something years ago, folks. so, but that begs the question. How do we go from zipping files, to real estate software development. Yeah, well, between that and, founding, what's now HomeSpotter, I had a few, other startups along the way, spent a fair amount of time in Kum12 education.had, Company that had a student information system that was sold to a Pearson education. And I worked there for awhile. and, it was a lot, a lot of great time. and, then, you know, right around 2009 after I had left Pearson, I had just gotten into iPhone development personally and, was something I was personally excited with.And I had an experience where my wife and I were looking for the next house, where we wanted to live. And driving around on the weekends, just felt like a very empty experience on an iPhone at the time. couldn't figure out, you know, why can't I see what open houses are open right now. and you know, I certainly had the experience on some brokerage websites prior to that of a good experience on the desktop.but there just wasn't. A good moral equivalent of that on, on the phone and yeah, and even in 2009, at least when this idea really got started, this was before, realtor.com or Zillow or others like it, even had an iPhone app yet. And so really just, you know, out of a personal experience, a need, that's what led to starting what was at the time, mobile Realty apps and is now rebranded HomeSpotter.And I. Real quick. very, very quickly learned that, kind of the way into the industry was through, IDs rules, which I learned about and partnering with brokerage firms. And that's what led us down a path of a white labeled app business for, brokerage firms, that they could basically have a mobile app to compliment their, their website.Well, yeah. And, it's now. I think the number one provider of those, after, another company that was out there got acquired a couple of years ago. You're you're the, you're the big dog now, right? Yeah, we, we are now in the market leading position in, in that, space. Yes, that's great. but the, you know, obviously there's the concern that, that brokers have.And, and I take calls like this from concerned brokers, saying, you know, Oh, well just everybody uses Redfin or everybody uses Zillow. Why do I need. an app they might say, or, or in the calls that I take it's why do I need IDX on my website? you know, everybody just goes to Redfin. Anyways, what would you say to, to brokers that, that are having those thoughts?You know, I think the big thing I would say Eric is, there can be different tools for different stages of the transaction. And, one of the, one of the biggest things that we found is that, our apps have been a great way for agents to really, nurture many of the relationships that they have and, convert maybe some of the ones that are only.passively looking into more of an actively buying mode. And we do find a number of scenarios even where agents might be, buying leads from the likes of Zillow, where ultimately they get, one of our apps in there. now client's hands. It, it's a great means for, collaboration, during the transaction.And it's also a kind of a great way to stay in touch even in those times where. that a potential buyer isn't yet in an actively buying mode. we've also found that, brokerages that have a lot of traffic on their IDX websites, are. Really in the best position, if they want to use our apps as a primary means of lead generation, not just for that nurturing that they can, use their, mobile web traffic, which they've already got a great presence with, to, to push downloads of the app as well.And that makes a lot of sense. It's, it's almost like the, the positioning, isn't the discovery, it's the connection side of it with, with the, with the agent. Right. so you know, something that I've been really interested in and paying a lot more attention to recently is, is push notifications. And, you know, for the brokers out there that are listening, if you're not aware of what TCPA is.You should probably look into the telephone consumer protection act because there's all sorts of rules around your agents and your responsibilities with regard to sending text messages to folks, particularly when it comes to marketing text messages, if they haven't opted in, but, but push notifications are kind of the wild West.there's no restrictions behind the, because it's a sheer data connection. It's not going over the telephone network. how important have you seen. Those push notifications be to create a engagement with your apps. Yeah, I can, I can say that it's an area we've done a lot more in over the last, year or so and building in, prompts to, deliver push notifications around things like, listing alerts, say when you've saved a property, if the price changes or, if you've got to save search, letting the consumer know that there are matching properties.or, you know, another way we've used push notifications for a long time is really with this built in messaging and collaboration component to, foster communication. And when somebody sends someone else a message to, send a push notification to get them back into the app. And it's a, it's a huge driver.we've seen, Over the last year, really a 25% year over year increase in, something that we track called the Dow Mau ratio and Damo is a daily active users to, monthly active users. And, you know, we've seen a 25% lift over the last year in that down mal ratio. too. Very high levels.And a lot of that is really driven by these push notifications. That's phenomenal. I mean, in the app world, Dow and Mao is, is, is everything. it's out. If you're a mobile app developer, it's how your entire app gets valued is based upon daily active users and monthly active users. And, obviously from a brokerage perspective, being able to push those numbers up to their apps, with little things like this that may not even have costs associated with them from the broker standpoint.it, it seems like it's everything. It's, what's going to connect them with their agent versus going over and using that Redfin app, that they don't have a personalized connection with. Right. Indeed indeed to yeah. Great way to continue that engagement over time. Yeah, for sure. For sure. You constantly stay on their phone.I mean, I mean, I know a broker who has an app and they're not only pushing out through push notifications, you know, updates to their, to the listings that somebody may be subscribed to, but also general information about, buying a home, selling a home, almost using it like a, Like a, a drip message.That's in a push notification and they're seeing great engagement with that. also their mortgage division is using the app to push out notifications saying, Hey, now, you know, you, you bought a home from us last year. and your rate was 3.125. We can now refi you and do a courtesy refi because you're a client of.Of this brokerage for 2.75, you know, we act now before rates go up and that inumhouse mortgage operation is, is printing money, from being able to leverage those text messages. Right? Absolutely. And that's a, that's a great point, Eric. We've seen, you know, that's another way we've, we've seen, I'm sure you see it across the board too, is, Those those brokerages that have those, affiliated or inumhouse, mortgage businesses, the, the opportunities, whether it's with the apps that we power or otherwise for coumbranding and really driving opportunities across the business is, pretty, pretty deep and pretty important.For sure. For sure. so let's, you know, let's dig into the general app space inside of real estate a little bit more. Obviously we talked about Redfin and Zillow being the two kind of primary apps and maybe realtor.com is right there. with them considering how much money they spend on trying to get people to download their app, too.But in the brokerage app space, there's been, you know, some things that have changed with it over the past few years. And obviously, like you said, you're the dominant player, but before then, you know, 10 years ago, everybody kind of knew of this other company, smarter agent, who I'm going to guess you consider to be your closest competitor for a long time.And that company was bought by KW. And just shut down. you know, if you, if you don't, if you're not a KW person, you can't use, the, the smarter agent app anymore. And I know there was franchises and, and relegate had much of their entire app strategy built around smarter agent. So what have you seen brands, brokerages franchises.Do have they been moving over to you? Have they been abandoning app strategies? What's what's the look going forward now that KW is shutting us all down. You know, it's, it's really a mixed bag. Eric, and, also I just gotta say, you know, Brad and, and Eric at smarter agent were absolutely, pioneers in the space.And so it was, glad to see that they had a good outcome at a Keller Williams. but in terms of what brands and brokerages are doing and in light of, the decision to, stop offering the service to other brokerages. we we've seen, parties take, a few different paths. you know, some, are, taking this as an opportunity to revisit their strategy and determine, do we want to keep, and app, moving forward?others are, you know, the particularly. Big brokerages. I think there are, or especially at the franchise level, those are, some parties that are looking to bring some of those efforts in house. although I gotta say, having done this for 10 years, it's, certainly a lot of work in a big lift.we do see a few parties doing that. And, you know, you mentioned, Realty is one example. They, have a firm that they partnered with, that, you know, helps them out in that capacity. But, you know, we are seeing a number of brokerages that, are choosing to, move to companies like ours and also in, in, so doing, maybe revisiting their app strategy and seeing, do we want to take this from maybe more of a, Hey, we're checking the box that we've got a mobile app.And we can tell our agents, we have an app, but we're really not going to think about it a whole lot to one where they, they really want to have it as an integral part of their business. And, those are a number of the conversations that we're having right now. And they're, they're exciting. We've, I think over the last quarter, signed a more, more new, brokerage app deals than we have in, in some time.And it's, good to see the, Continued excitement and the space. That's great. Cause it's, you know, I, I'm a, I, I hate that concept. The brokers, have sneaking around in their brain right now that they've lost the, the search or, to Zillow, Redfin, realtor, comics, cetera. You know, I, I think that having those types of apps or having an IDX, website, having that capability there, you know, w while it may not be the number one item on Google, when somebody does a search for their website or, or, you know, they may not be their broker jet may not be the number one thing when somebody searches real estate inside of the app store.but it's there and it serves a major purpose. And so it's good to hear that. that you're not seeing them abandon it, regardless of whether they build it inumhouse or not. It's probably good for HomeSpotter that people are still seeing a reason to invest in this space. Right. Definitely definitely.And, and, three quick tips, I'll give you, regardless of whether you work with us, build your own work with somebody else. you know, the best ways to drive app downloads really are threefold. you want to make sure that you've got a banner or similar on your website that, pushes, your, your mobile traffic and then encourages, that mobile traffic to, download the app.really want to make sure you train your agents well, and that, the app that you adopt has a. Agent branding component to it so that when agents, give out their app agents, you know, have some certitude that they're giving out their version of the app and that weeds are going to come back to them.we see that some of the more successful brokerages, have really engaged their agents really well at, distributing the app. and then the third thing is while it's, it's certainly hard to compete. On a national level, on search, if, if you buy ads in the, search ads interface for Apple, for example, you can still buy, keywords and do it only limited to specific, geography.So, You can, certainly advertise and promote, your, your real estate app as kind of the primary app that people will see when they search in the app store and just limit that to the, MSA or, or the state or, area that you're in. And he can drive a lot of success that way as well. I had no idea that you could advertise in the app store to, or to a particular, locality.I thought it was just country specific. So you're saying if you're in Minneapolis, like you are, you, you can run an ad for your app downloads just in Minneapolis. Absolutely. Oh, that's great. I had, I had no idea. , let's talk about your ad program now for a second. in 2018, Homespotter, we launched, a division called boost, and that's an easy way to automate listing advertising.And there's been, it seems like just a, a, an avalanche, of push in this space recently. but 2018 was probably on their early tail, of that. So what, what made you go in that direction back in 2018? Yeah. You know, it was, kind of a confluence of factors, Eric. You know, first, first things first, you know, we had had a tremendous growth in our first, five years at, what was then, um HomeSpotter but, but we also knew that, You know, if, if we really wanted to continue to grow as a business, we were going to need to give some serious thought to, is there a, a second, product, that we want to bring to market?And so, as we, went through that exercise, we really looked at, where did we see the current gaps, within residential real estate tech. And, in interviewing different customers, were there opportunities where we could match up, gaps in the industry to actual customer needs? And so in the, fall of 2016, I believe it was, we, started to, You know, really do a lot of these customer interviews, which led to, early pilot programs.And, we, we did test out a number of different, potential approaches in the ad space. but the, you know, some of the concepts that really, came to the forefront as part of those, tests was while there certainly were others in the industry...
54 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
How to Market Your Niche with Stephanie Kroll of MidModern Dream Homes
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.There are riches in the niches - particularly when it comes to real estate sales. By finding and more importantly focusing on her niche, Realtor Stephanie Kroll has built a following for her speciality MidCentury Modern Homes in Denver.Transcription:Welcome to brokerage insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host Britt Chester Director of Marketing Success at TRIBUS, one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and provider of custom brokerage technology to medium and large brokerages today on the show we have Stephanie Kroll, a broker associate with Mile High Modern Denver's definitive resource for modern architectural property. New developments in classical collection homes, Stephanie's expertise and Denver's real estate market is remarkable.I'm excited for this discussion, Stephanie, how are you doing today? I'm great. How are you doing well? Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us on brokerage insider. Oh, of course. I'm happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me. I, I think I was able to provide a little bit of an introduction, but, uh, if you would, for our listeners, just kind of talk about, uh, talk about who you are and where you're at and what your kind of specialty is right now.Yeah. So I am a real estate broker with Mile High Modern. I started in the real estate business a few years ago after a very tumultuous first-time home buying experience of my own on a personal level. and I'm also a Denver native. My family has owned properties in the Denver area since the 1970s. And. we've, you know, everybody is here in different pockets of the Denver Metro.You know, and we've been here for multiple generations now. So I like to think that I'm an expert in the Denver Metro area, because we've lived here for so long , but yeah, I, I really focus on most of my energy on properties of architectural merit, specifically mid century modern homes. I've found a lot of success in.Niching out within that particular architecture type. especially because our market just has a lot of them. but also because I have a passion for the design itself and yeah. Does that answer your question? That's perfect. Let's talk about how you got into real estate and kind of what you were doing before and your journey into this as a career choice.I know a little bit of it, but I'd love to hear it from you. Yeah. So, okay. Well, I mean, I did a bunch of different things. you know, within my entire professional career, but I, my background is in marketing. I got a business marketing degree from CU Boulder and my first like big time job was out in LA.I worked for Hulu for a few years, in marketing and an ad operations. And, my experience in Los Angeles was great, but I was like, I could only handle it for so long and I really miss Denver. So I ended up coming back about two years later. And when I did that, I was kind of like getting my hands into some other marketing jobs.And I specifically took on a job working for, a string of different event venues and marketing or sorry, music. Sorry. Wow. Music venues in the golden triangle. And, just, I was the marketing director for them was pretty much tasked with really revamping the entire marketing department there because what I had walked into, I didn't have a whole lot to work with and they really didn't have a lot of like preexisting systems or anything like that.And so I kind of had to build a team to support all of their venues. And in doing that, I was, not only exposed to a lot of the different partners on the golden triangle board of directors, like the Denver art muse and sort of Cerner Conservancy, but then also, one of the venues that we worked with was the church.And I just was like, so fascinated by, as I was doing all this historic research on the building. I mean, it's this amazing, incredible church, on the corner. Of things like 12th and chairman or 12th and Lincoln, that has just like stood the test of time. It's been converted into a music venue, but it was just a really special space to me.And as I was doing more research, I like learning about what you had to do to preserve the building. And there was just a lot that came like. With the documentation of that building. And as I was doing more research on it for basically just like marketing material. So I became like infatuated with like the concept of preserving historic buildings.And that really translated. I mean, that was kind of a piece of it. Right. But the mid-century thing also stemmed from. My time living in Los Angeles, it was very much a big deal. They're very much a part of the culture. There's like amazing vintage stores all over central Los Angeles. And of course it's like the Mecca of mid century modern architecture.And then when I was working with SoCo, I also bought my first home in Harvey park, which is also like a Mecca of mid-century the modern designer architecture. and it's like, I was just like blown away. Like the cliff may homes where I was obsessed with them. I like, and even like the Carrie holiday homes, like all of them were just so cool to me.And I was like, I don't know. I was just hooked. Like I would, I was already pretty into it, but I was like, just seeing how much architecture we have here and how many homes we had to work with here that were of that design. really like blew my mind. And as I started doing more. For historical research, it was just like incredible to see what presence we have here and how many, we got really lucky with some incredible, architects that were, you know, they traveled here after world war two and they were in Boulder and the Denver Metro, and they just designed some incredibly unique properties.And so. I just became fascinated by that and I feel sick visits around, which is crazy. Let's talk, let's talk about that. You had mentioned that first time home buying experience. not, not being, I wouldn't want to say ideal, uh, first off, when did you buy it? So I bought my house in 2018. I've actually synced sold it actually too, because some homes are lessons they're not meant to be enjoyed, but, I had it for probably about a year and a half.I. So, I mean, and I think that this story will resonate with a lot of people who are purchasing now, because I think that the market conditions are similar, if not more intense, right. Especially on the buy side. So I think that's like why I'm actually really, I mean, I'm good on both sides of the business, but I w I think I've been a particularly strong buyer's agent for my clients and finding the deal and making sure they get what they need because of my own experience and like, Just making sure that they're guided properly.Right. Because I don't know that I necessarily was. there's so the tricky part about my situation was that my dad was my real estate broker. It's just like hardworking and family and real estate in general. It doesn't really matter how that works, whether you're like your family's a client or whatever.Like it's always tricky. Right? Like the whole dynamic was tricky and I looked at homes for over a year and a half. pretty consistently actually, and I looked at over 150 properties, which was a lot. Wow. Yeah. All over Denver or, I mean, how are you, how did you kind of, what was your first time buying process?Like, did you have a list of wants and, and list of needs or what was that kind of like. I mean, it wasn't really guided to do that. I do that now with my clients, I have them come up with a top three wants, needs and deal breakers list. Every single time I have like an initial conversation, but, I didn't have that.So I was just kind of like, at that point, I just was like, I just want a house. Right. And I was like, ended up in some random things and I'm like, so glad that didn't work out. I fell in love with this amazing home in like a different neighborhood where again, I wouldn't have like, had the path that I. I'm on now had I like ended up in some of these different neighborhoods, but there was an incredible deal and I missed out on it.And now the house is worth like literally three times what it is. I was looking at it. Right. Or like, just like random neighborhoods. Like I almost wonder to contract a house in like Lowery, which is so like now I'm like, I'm never on the East side would have been like terrible for my lifestyle. Like, I'm so glad that none of these things worked out because my criteria was just like, I just think I was like, so desperate to get into a house that they didn't really have.Like, this is like awful to say, but I just was like wanting to get in the game. Like, I didn't really have like high standards. I was like, okay, well, if it looks okay, I'm in, like, I'll just write an offer. I kind of like it. And truthfully, a lot of the stuff that I was seeing was just like, so rough, like major structural problems, you know, like.It was a bit scary. Like this is a really rough neighborhood or like, I saw so many homes and it became basically like a part-time job for me. Over such a long period of time. And I was like, I could totally do this as a business, you know? so then when I found, I mean, I looked at so many houses I put in over 25 offers and I was, I was just tired.It's back in 2018 too, which is nothing like even the market is now, but it was still pretty hot, you know, three years ago, wires are still submitting some times in this market, like 10 offers. And I mean, like, I'm sure people feel similarly, right? Like don't you just have to like. Keep playing the game until you get into the house.Right. So I was kind of in a similar position and I kind of found this house, that in that market, I mean, still things were going like wildfire. And I found this place that had like, it was off market, had been under contract, like once or twice and then got back on. And I was like, well, maybe there's just, I just needed like an opportunity, like someone who was going to like hear out my case and just be like, all right, Sweet.Like, because I just like lost out so many times. and like, you know, again, I think I can attribute some of that to just like the team I had around me for, I mean, it was really important on the buy-side side to have like a really strong lender or a really strong broker, a really strong inspector and like across the board, like, I really didn't feel like I had any of them.Well, I had a great, I had to fire my first lender and get another lender like across the board. I really ha I, when I started the process, I did not have. Any of those things, you know, and it's important to have like an ATM all the time. So again, that's another thing I like to bring into my buy-side process.But so when I found this house, it seems like a major opportunity to me. So I was like, all right, we're just going to go for it. Like, whatever. Right. So I write an offer, they counter me and I like negotiate it down in like a crazy market. So.And even the counter was like below asking. And so I was like, sweet. I got an office, an awesome opportunity here. And so we went under contracts and I thought it was really weird because they didn't change the status and MLS for like four or five days. I was like, Oh, okay. Like we're under contract. Right.Like I don't really know. And they kept it on the market through the weekend, basically. Technically they did. Cause they didn't change the status. So. They need to feel more offers maybe. Yeah, I think that was the point, but they, I mean, it was totally like sketch, like the whole thing was not everything about this whole situation with sketch from the beginning.I should have seen it as a RIS, but anyway, so, we go into contract, they, they must've gotten a ton of backup offers above asking cause. All of a sudden on Monday, they're like we have to submit earnest money and like the tune kind of changes a little bit. Right. And so they're like, Oh, Hey, just so you know, there's a lien on the title and we didn't pay a contractor because the house had been like flipping before I bought it.Well, we'll put it that way. Yeah, for sure. And they were like, yeah, like there's a lien on the title. You can't actually buy this house. And so. I was like kind of calling a bluff. I was like, I don't believe you because you've been under contract twice. You almost close twice. People would have seen this before.I don't know why this would've come up right now. And like, it just seems like a ploy to kind of get me to terminate and. I was like, well, I'm just going to wait for the title work to come through and just see what's on the title work. And I had all of this writing. I mean, technically I probably had some sort of grounds to like legally go after the seller at this point.But like, because what happened was the title where it came back clean. Right. So I was right called their bluff. And at the time also my inspection deadline for like very fast. And the advice that was given to me was don't pay for an inspection. If the title work isn't going to come back clean anyways.So I don't get an inspection in time and I missed my inspection. Objection, deadline. And it doesn't get moved out. I'm a first time home buyer. I have no idea what this is about. Like, I, I I'm like, I don't think this is the right thing to do, but like, Okay. I trust you. You're my dad. Right? basically the tower comes back clean and so I'm like, well, I need to get in spectral on his house.Right. And I do, and it's really, really, really rough, right? Like pretty bad. Like it was everything that had been done to the house was all cosmetic. It needed a new roof. It needed. There were like a bunch of extra furnaces, just like old furnaces and the crawlspace that needed to be like cut into little pieces and taken out.My inspector also missed a ton of stuff. There were like galvanized steel pipes, corroded water. That was a raccoon living in the fireplace. There was like, it was like, seriously, like your worst nightmare, but inspection. It was like my inspection, like nature system, like needed to be replaced. But at this point I'd missed my inspection, termination deadline.So you can't terminate. Cause like, then you're not acting in good faith and you lose your earnest money. Right. Right. So I'm like, okay, well I guess I have to like move forward with buying this house. I don't really have much of a choice. Right. Sounds like an absolute nightmare scenario, but a great starting point.Right? It's only, it only can go get, get better from here. It was just crazy. Like the whole thing was crazy. Anyways, I buy the house. The first week is a total trip. It was like so hard to live in that place. They put all this money into it right away to just start fixing all these issues. Cause it was like just so rough.And then my neighbor even like committed suicide a week into me living in the house. Sorry to hear that it was crazy, like crazy things happened in that house. And I'm just glad. Yeah. So were you, were you working, were you still working with those, the venues? while you're kind of going through this process, I get the whole process and I was like, no buyer should go through this process.And have to experience the things that I experienced. Like it should never be this bad. The seller was rough. The listing agent was rough. The buyer's agent didn't like properly represent me. And I was like, this was a train wreck. And I had just seen so many agents like do bad things in my process that I was like, There.I know there's other good ones out there. And I've seen that now, of course. Right. But at the time I was like, this sucks. Like there needs to be better representation for people out there. And I truly believe that I'm the person to do it. And at this time I'm also like trying to figure it out. I want to do a career change.I'm like, maybe I'll be a therapist. I love psychology and like h an behavior. And of course, I mean, What is basically more like therapy than real estate. It's like, you see every single person's personality. Right. And like, you really see their true colors come out in the middle of the most stressful transaction of their lives.Right. Or like, not even stressful, just expensive. So, yeah. Yeah. So I felt truly called to be like a leader. Sure. And like do this differently and do right by the people who were my clients. And, I mean, I think sometimes from pain comes a lot of like joy, right? Like you have to go through some really hard things too.I ended up in a really good place sometimes. And that just so happened to be my situation. But, yeah, it's kind of what, like filled me to get into the business, but I just was like, I just like hit the ground running from there. I was so excited and I loved the whole industry and I had so much passion behind it.And like the design for me was just like all of the creativity that goes into like interiors and. Especially the mid-century thing. I just think it's so cool. Like I'm like fascinated by modernism. And so it just really like fueled me in so many different ways to like want to help other people, you know?So when did you get, when did you get your license? I technically got my license in 2019. So, I mean, I'm still like relatively newer to the business kind of, but like, I don't really feel that way. Like I feel like you've been through so many transactions at this point. You know what I mean? I've done everything from like dealing with mountain property that has like Wells and like septic tanks, which is like a whole different type of offer.Right. To like, I mean, I've, I've truly did everything like new construction condos, like you name it. Like I've, it's, it's interesting, right? Because I niche out in mid century modern and a lot of people will come. Through the mid-March door, be like really interested in that. Right. And then it's very fascinating to see how people sometimes pivot.It's like, we'll be starting to look at mid-century modern. And sometimes they just only care about good designs. Then we're looking at like tutors in park Hill. Like it's a totally people sometimes pivot and that's fine. And I want them to know that like, I will work with them regardless of what they end up in.Like, I don't really care. I just like. I do think that I have an eye for good design. And so if a client wants to work with me, Typically, I like to think that I can usually find them the most beautiful home regardless of the style, but there are a lot of people too, who work with me who like want to be in specific neighborhoods.And I do everything I can to get them into that neighborhood. Even if there's no inventory, I'm pretty connected in the mid century, modern neighborhoods at this point. And I have eyes and ears on the ground from Littleton to Arapahoe acres in Inglewood to Harvey park, see Virginia village, like you name it.I like kind of have people in all sorts of different pockets. And they'll tell me about. Stuff going on in their neighborhood and what they're seeing. And so it's really great. Cause I have, I have a lot of Intel that I think a lot of other people don't have access to. Yeah. Insider knowledge. Yeah. I felt really grateful for that.And I think I attribute that to the fact that like when you meet people, it's really important to me and to develop like an authentic and real relationship with them, if they're like a client
48 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
The Politics of Running A Realtor Association with Denver Realtor CEO Nobu Hata
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.Nobu Hata is a real estate lifer. He's sold, his wife runs a large team in Chicago, he's helped create YPN chapters of Realtor Associations, worked for NAR, and now runs the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR). Listen to what Nobu has to say about the politics of running an association. What he's doing to help Denver Realtors and the Denver housing shortage.TRANSCRIPTHi, everybody. Welcome to Brokerage Insider the podcast where we interviewed the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegemann and I'm the CEO of TRIBUS. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate. And we're providers of custom real estate brokerage technology to medium and large brokerages in the United States.And even throughout the world today on the show. We have Nobu Hata and Nobu is the CEO of the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. I've actually known Nobu for over 10 years now. And you know what Nobu liked me as a real estate lifer. He actually started in the real estate industry more than 20 years ago as an agent in Alaska, and then moved to sell real estate in Minneapolis, where he helped found the YPN chapter there.After his time selling, Nobu moved to Chicago and he accepted a role at the National Association of Realtors. He was most recently the director of industry outreach and engagement strategy there at the same time, while in Chicago, Nobu's wife, Shea became a Realtor and built an incredibly successful team where she still sells Nobu has traveled all around the U S and even around the world to various speaking engagements.And so we're very lucky to have him on the show today. So Nate Nobu thank you very much for joining us. Thanks for having me, Eric. I'm excited to dig in a, as a friend of mine and be in your new role as the CEO of of DMR. And so I want to kick it off and ask you a little bit about your past. So what originally got you into real estate?I, you know, I think it, I think it's just like most people yeah. We'll get into real estate, like get, get into it by accident. I started out working for my father who was a former Xerox guy owned a, like a Kinko's before it was a Kinko's right. And one day I had gotten into a fight with my brothers.And my my, my dad went to me and said, you need to use your powers for some good. Why don't you go work for this brokerage there, everything's starting to go online. And I think you can at least make some money this summer doing it. And man, everything just kind of rolled from there. I did a lot of design work and then I got into the sales end of things and it was just, the rest is history.So, you know, you said the rest is history. What what's kept you in the business this long? What is it about real estate that just keeps drawing you back into it? Oh man. You know, I think other than the fact that it's like the mob, once you're in you're you can never really leave. I think the big thing is I've never.I've never been a part of, of a business where the more good you do for people, the more profitable you're going to be. And, and, and when you think about, especially now with the way businesses in general there really isn't the case, right? But here in real estate, man, you, you, you, you serve people.Well, you differentiate. You make them happy and you, and you make relationships. God, you know, it, it, it just keeps snowballing from there. So it's, you know, try to get out once it didn't really work. That's how I got back into mint into real estate Minneapolis, but man, it was, it's one of those things where I think it's just, it's it feel good thing.And I don't think I'm unemployable outside of real estate anyways. That's you know, Rob Hahn our, our friend, Rob once once said the concept that we're part of this unemployables group and you know, we only work in real estate and, and can only do certain functions. But that's what we're best at.It's our highest and best use. Right. Totally. Totally agree with Rob. So now here's the thing. If I want to trace back your history just a little bit. So currently Denver, previously, Chicago. Yep. Previously Minneapolis. Yup. Previously Alaska. Yeah, up and down the West coast. So yeah, it was, you know, when you're 20 something going up and down the West coast doing real estate thing during kind of the height of the post economic downturn thing, we're pre economic downturn thing.Yeah, it was, it was a lot of fun. Just kind of seeing real estate from all over the country from that angle. But, but it seems like it's always cold weather environments. Tell me about it. So, so why the move to Denver and sticking with the cold weather, a process here? Yeah, it is I to NAR and it, it, I had a couple choices for jobs, you know, and it w it was, it was a nice position to be in.I think it was just time anyways, to, to. To leave any are I've got that seven year itch. What I love about this market, not only the quality of life, which is fantastic, I got to get back into skiing and all the other outdoor sports stuff. And you know, I've got the family thing and, you know, Shane Oliver, but what I love about this market is that it's kind of at the nexus of all the change that is happening in the industry, right?So you've got Realtors, you got licensees, you've got, you got technology companies, buying houses. And, and you've got the socioeconomic issues, right? One in one in four Denverites, only one in four Denverites can afford one in four renters in Denver can own can't afford to buy a home, which is a staggering number.And it was, it was kind of like that challenge that interested me the most in spite of the weather, it's it's been great here and the challenges have been fantastic to deal with. So let's dig into that one a little bit. I actually have a number of questions for you in that in that same, same part of the conversation here and that, you know, like at Travis, we obviously have a big base in Denver, in fact too, it's actually where the majority of our employees are based at.And you know, in talking to them, we have employees that, that are there that are. Making great money. I'm talking software developers and leaders of teams and, and you know, directors and VP roles that are in Denver. And I'm starting to hear from them that they don't see themselves being able to buy a house, even though they're making great money there.And they're seeing. They kind of were San Francisco was 10 years ago. What do you think Denver can do to encourage more maybe development or, or more ability for those people? Like what you're talking about to be able to be homeowners? Yeah. And that's one of the things that I am really looking forward to doing here.And I'm in Denver is teaming up with and reaching out to developers here. Cause the one thing, you know, coming from Chicago where you can't develop, unless you want to drive an hour, hour and a half outside of the city coming here where you can drive 15 minutes and go to develop a land. It is one of the great challenges to be able to talk to those folks and talk about what is actually needed right now and get some of these developers to think more think beyond kind of the, the that bang for your buck.Because they can build these six, seven, $800,000 houses and get really good returns on that investment, but teaming up with them on what smart development looks like. Both out in the burbs in here closer to the city is a fantastic challenge. It's one of those things where I'm very cognizant of, I fully agree with your staff or is it, you know, Denver is looking like what San Francisco, you know, Eric, when we first met at an inbound conference even 10, 15 years ago was fairly affordable then, but it's skyrocket out of control.Although, it's gotten a very interesting the Bay area here. I just want to be part of that, of that solution for people like your staff so that they don't leave. Right. And they don't go to places that are that are a little more affordable. And then they stay here. We don't have that brain drain.That that is definitely happening right now. Kind of these major Metro areas. Yeah. And obviously from our end, we, we want to have sustainable workforce that doesn't need to move all the time. In fact, the reason we opened an office in Denver was five years ago. We saw it as the, the place to be where developers wanted to go to, to get away from the high prices of San Francisco.And you know, we were having a hard time just like you in Chicago for that hiring a hard time, getting developers to come to Chicago or want to move to Chicago. They weren't already there. So the developer pool was small, but at Denver it seemed like every single person that was moving here or excuse me, every person that was applying for a job, I was looking to move here.So, you know, you're, you're talking about developers building and like you said, if you don't know the developer, the Denver market. You can drive 15 minutes to the, to the East and essentially be in wide open land. You know, particularly from where both of our offices are at, you don't have to get very far and be in wide open land over there.What are things, what are specific things that DMR that either you're doing or that you thought about doing that would convince somebody like Lindar to build three, four or $500,000 houses, as opposed to the eight, $9 million houses? Yeah, where I've already enlisted my government affairs directors too.So DMR is, is the only local association here in the Denver Metro or in Colorado. That's got a full-time government affairs director. And that guy has relationships with with local regulators and legislators. It's amazing. And, and, and it's, it's bringing those worlds together that we're working on right now.And, and breaking down a lot of the regulatory issues. To build, which is, which is the, that's going to be the first issue that many developers were cited as a reason for building up and, and more expensive homes rather than the more affordable ones along with bringing in kind of smart. Again, like I mentioned earlier, the smart idea, smart development, which is.Integral for building within the city. Now, no one wants to have, you know, strip malls and, and ugliness kind of going throughout especially the urban areas of, of the Denver Metro area. With so many areas have got so much character is it's, it's teaming up with not only the regulators and the builders, but also the locals.And the community where you know, you know, Brits on this, maybe he can echo this, but I've never seen a more siloed neighborhood ideal, right? Where you've got people who will worry about their four by four square block block radius, and only that four by a floor for a block square radius, but bringing in smart development with these folks who are fiercely, fiercely protective of.Of of their communities and what the community will be and teaming up with those guys in a very smart way. The, the beginning of this is the politics and you know, it was one of the things that I, as a former non Realtor, going into the Realtor world, I was, I was a convert too. But that world is one of those worlds of right now is, is, is evolving.Getting a lot more human. And if I can bring a little more of the Realtor and real estate flavor to that so that we can team up better, better on better developments. We will have not only a short-term, but a midterm and a long-term road to to home ownership for folks like your staff, no matter where they want to live.Now, I don't want to sit there and say, Hey, to move to Aurora. I moved to Parker. There, there there's opportunity everywhere. As long as we partner up correctly and we're setting the the ground rules for that right now. And I think, you know, if you, you can go to Aurora and you can go to Parker of what's there, but in, in the environment.And I think our employees would be happy to do that, but the, the environment that we're in, it's kind of being two different things. Number one is those houses that come up for sale in an error and our Parker. The numbers we're starting to see, and I still own, I own property in, in Colorado and actually in Parker.And, you know, I've got an offer. For 10% more than the same offer I received in November of last year. So I just recently pulled an offer here in February and that same offer was 10% more. So the first, the first issue with development or a first issue with affordable housing, it certainly seems like, you know, the demand is so high beyond what's there.That in the immediate future, there's no good way to solve it tomorrow. And am I wrong in seeing that? And that's why that these are 10% increases or do you, do you see something else? No, I've been watching the stats as well. They are alarming. What's been interesting is seeing, you know, as you know, my wife sells in Chicago, you know, getting a hundred thousand dollars over list over list price.Multiple offer situation is not uncommon even in Chicago right now for million dollar properties. But when I hear a story about that happening with that, Five or $600,000 property. That's when it's like, wow. You know, I don't know how I don't know how first time home buyers are doing it right. First time home buyers, frankly, who are in that price point now, right?Who are competing heavily with folks who are not only coming into the Denver Metro area, but that folks who are from what I've been hearing from my mortgage entitled people here they're land rich folks who are locals, who are selling off their land and making a lot of money and then turning around and buying homes where they, they.But never considered before. Right. As either the, their primary residence or even an investment property. So it is it, is it, is there a sign of it? Waning off? I don't see it right now. I think we'll take it year by year. I think this next year is just going to be more of the same with less inventory.What, what I'm watching are things like Google stats, I'm watching things like you know, search queries. I'm watching things like a census census numbers. When those things come out to see if there's any, any end in sight so that I can help prepare my members and their clients for for what will be an even more competitive market.But we'll hopefully a little more limited. Yeah, for sure. And that really yields to the second. The second part of the problem is. You know, what Nobu Nobu was, was alluding to in terms of building and, and the politics and everything like that. There's more than just even politics of getting approval. Like what you're talking about in Colorado, there's this problem of the water rights and you know, building a single lot.Can mean a $25,000 tap fee to, to connect up initially to get water rights. So $25,000 of a builder's cost of building the home can be involved in, in the price that they pay to connect up to city water that's there. And so it seems like there's something has to be done about that. And I don't know how sustainable that is over time because of the water problems that Denver has.Right. Yeah. And what happens is, is that you know, shit, cause we are in actually in touch with, with those, with the various waterboards around the Metro area, which been, that's been a very interesting conversation if that's a new one to me and it's been super cool to actually have. But any movement with those guys creates problems in another regulatory areas, including taxes, right?So you know, we're, we're watching all of that to, to help guide not only policy for today, but policy for tomorrow as this. Metro area evolves and grow. So we can, as we can all be part of what this community is going to look like in five years, for sure. And you know, getting in just for a second more on this hyper Denver specific topic obviously I'm interested in it.You know, the, the numbers that you're seeing of people move there. I know. The last number I saw was that Denver essentially doubled in population over a 10, 10 year period. But is that, are you still seeing that's happening and particularly with the pandemic, are you still seeing, or getting anecdotes of those numbers holding up or even moving higher than the word before?Oh yeah, I it's. They're going to, they're going to more affordable areas too. You mentioned Parker that that area is one of the fastest growing zip codes in the country. Right. So, yeah, I mean, it, I think people are realizing the Denver Metro area is massive. It's almost like St. Chicago land. Right.Except for, you know, we've got an airport to the East instead of a big old freaking Lake. But here, you know, yeah. You're seeing, you're seeing folks migrate out to areas. They probably wouldn't even considered now that they know that, that you know, You've got you got Parker, which is what, five minutes away, 15 minutes away from the DTC.And I was in castle rock today. Same exact thing. Right? So it's, it's filling in that areas between castle rock, rocket Parker with the the Denver Metro area that we'll be watching closely. But man, is it a crazy time here or what. For sure, for sure. It's a good time to be an owner. It's a very tough time to be a current renter or somebody who wants to purchase at one point.And it's something I'm very concerned about in terms of my employees, because I want them to have somewhere sustainable that they want to be at and build a family and have that American dream. That's the same reason you and I got into this business. You know, you, you talked about starting about bringing happiness and, and, and putting that into people's lives and helping them achieve these dreams.And. You know, something I'm always worried about is my people that I consider, like family to me you know, worrying about them, building wealth over time with the idea of home ownership for the industry that we're in, we're in. And I hear them make these statements to me. And it obviously makes me very nervous and, and I w I'm always interested in what can be done about these things.So it's great to hear somebody like you. That's in charge of the association, there is thinking about it, working on it, and I can't wait to see 'em. More specifics, come out over time of things that you guys are, are able to work on, both from the political side and from the building side to get them to do that.So moving on, let's talk about let's talk about running an association because that involves politics. So, you know, how much of your daily life in being the CEO of DMR? How much of that is. Maybe about politics and dealing with brokers and dealing with agents and, and their process. Or maybe even talking about from dealing with literally politicians as we traditionally think about them versus a day-to-day running of an organization that, that a CEO typically does.What is the D what does a day in Nobu life look like? You know a lot of it is, it's almost like what, you're, what you're talking about. Right. And I, I'm trying to run a business here and that's the way I think about it. And that being said, politics is rampant everywhere. What's different about this.This market is how fiercely protective people are. And, and as you mentioned earlier, I've been to. All 50 States, you know, and I grew up in Alaska, one of the, the most fiercely independent markets out there, period. But here I've never experienced people who are like, I don't go East of East of , you know, I don't go out and...
60 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
CoStar, Zillow, and Teams – What Fox & Roach President Joan Docktor Thinks
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.Joan Docktor, the well known president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox and Roach Realtors, sits down with TRIBUS CEO Eric Stegemann to discuss the changes in the real estate industry. CoStar bought HomeSnap and now is nearing an acquisition of CoStar to consolidate into the largest owner of real estate data in the world. Zillow bought ShowingTime and now has the available data for over 1/3 of all showings in the entire United States. Compass is getting ready to go public.What should large brokerages be thinking about right now?TRANSCRIPTHi, everybody. Welcome to Brokerage Insider the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host, Eric Stegman. And I'm the CEO of TRIBUS. We're one of the largest independent prop tech companies in real estate and providers of custom brokerage technology to medium and large sized brokerages all throughout the United States, Canada, Canada, and even around the world.Now today on the show, I have the most sincere pleasure of having as my guests. Joan. Now Joan is the president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox and Roach Realtors. It's a division of HomeServices of America and one of the largest brokerages on its own in the entire country. On top of being part of home services, the largest brokerage in the entire country.Fox & Roach has more than 5,500 sales professionals in 75 offices in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Joan was recently named to the RIS Media Newsmakers Hall of Fame, along with other very prestigious folks like Sherry, Chris Allen Dalton, and the enforcement. Joan, thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy, busy schedule to join us here today.Thank you so much, Eric. I really I'm pleased to be with you today and look forward to our conversation. Me too. Me too. So, you know, first I want to start with your background. You buck the trend of the average agent today, and that is you started your real estate career at Fox and Roach, right?Yes, I did. I did. And I've never, ever left. We've just changed names many times and I've gone along for the ride that, yeah, for sure. Amazing. And if, if without going into specific numbers, you've been at Fox and Roach now for over 30 years, correct? Correct. Yes. And I could have gone anywhere. Sure.Yeah. For sure. With your, with your pedigree now, now when you. Okay. Now I was going to say most agents have many choices and that that's, that's that's a great thing about real estate. We have so many choices and, and I remember when I joined, I was told, you know, if real estate, wasn't my thing, we had mortgage title insurance.I could try out one of those businesses. For sure. I I've actually long joked about the the real estate industry. And one of my favorite things about it is that you could sell the same home three times and it would be different each time, right? Yes. Yes, it would. So it's, I, I listened to a different podcast and I could hear your passion for the business still after 30 something years in the industry, I could still feel your passion as I was listening to you on this other podcast.And one of my favorite things about this business too, is that every person that enters this business, it seems like they're so positive. And more importantly, it seems like they're willing to bet their paycheck on the fact that they can wake up tomorrow and make a sale. What was it specifically that made you decide to go get your real estate license and starting the business?Well, like many other agents we all buy and buy houses eventually, and we either have a great experience or we might not have such a good experience. And depending on where we are in our lives. And I was at a place in my life where I was not so happy with my current career bought a house. I had a pretty bad experience.And I envisioned myself in the place of that realtor thinking that I could do much, much better for people. So that's kind of what started me off if that makes sense to you. And, and I, I had been a teacher, which many people know that about me and which I did enjoy. And I was a special education teacher and I taught emotionally disturbed boys.So, what I really liked about that was the way I could help them in their personal lives, as well as educating them. However at the time that I decided to get into real estate, I was at a really a point of frustration in that these, these guys, these kids, they were 16 to 19 years old. Would learn a lot in class and, and we, we do group sessions and they would seem to move along emotionally, but they went home and they went home to really upsetting environments environments that caused them to be somewhat the way they were.And I started to become frustrated that every day. I was, we were backtracking and not moving forward and I always liked to see progress. So I became frustrated. And at that very same time, you know, happened to buy a home and think, Hmm, maybe, maybe I could do this. Well, it sure seems like you did it. You know, and so.How did you have that issue when you started selling real estate that so many agents do where it's, it's tough to get your first sale or did you start out and just, you know, it just came to you naturally and maybe within your first month or so you got your first closing. No, like most agents, you, you really have to work at this.It doesn't just come to you. It's something you work at now. I got into the market in a very good, there were lots of buyers similar to market today, not many sellers, lots of buyers. And so I had and I had a sphere of influence. My kids. Friend's parents and various people who would come, came to me over the first few months that they were, you know, they had a plan that maybe they'd like to move.And I had marketed myself. I had sent out announcements. I did what I needed to do. But it took a while. I worked open houses. I, I sat floor time at the time. I did everything that you can do to try to find buyers which. Which I did in the first year and obviously finding sellers and representing sellers is a little bit more difficult because you need to have a track record, but when you're representing a buyer, you know, you've, you really can move forward without a whole lot of experience and use your company experience as your experience.So I worked buyers and actually I never had my first settlement for six months. And I was really frustrated by that. I think I sold a house within four months, but there was a two months, 60 day closing and then I sold another. So I had two settlements after six months. However the next six months per progress beautifully.And I ended up being the rookie of the year, that year. So I think I did 3 million and in those days I wasn't selling a $500,000 houses. They were, you know, in the mid one hundreds or 200,000. So it was a lot of houses. And I knew from the very beginning, how much I really had passion for what I was doing, because for the first time, in a long time, I was working with people who actually wanted to be with me.And I felt that finally I had, I, I came into my own and I found a career where that I appreciated as much as I was appreciated, which meant a lot. Yeah, for sure, for sure. And that is that warm and fuzzy feeling. I always felt like when you have a good client and when they think you did a great job, a plus when they see that first house or that, you know, whatever a number of house it was that they saw and they walk in and they just love it.And you're the person that opened up. That, that figurative and literal door for them. There's just something magical that happens in that moment. And I, one of the things, one of the things that I found, because there was such a scarcity of inventory, I would stay up hours and hours and we had to have MLS books at the time.We didn't have a computer and I would, I would search for a needle in a haystack. Because I knew right then from, from my experience in the past, in my other career, that just because somebody was asking you for something, you might be able to help them with something slightly different and you could deliver something a little bit different, maybe a little bit outside of the area.They requested maybe a house with another bedroom or one less bedroom, and that you could satisfy that buyer. With and be a little bit creative when doing so. Yeah, that's funny that you say that I actually used to train all of my agents and, and in my brokerage, I called it the 85% principle. And I said, if you can find 85% of what a client looks for that last 15% is always flexible.You just got to hit all of the needs. And most of the wants and if you can get 85% of the way there, sometimes you can find people, things that they really weren't thinking of or in different neighborhoods or, or new construction that they weren't thinking about. Absolutely. It's that, that last 15% is where it's all at in this business.I think looked at it. I hadn't looked at it that way. So you know, now we, here you are. 30 something years later and, and you're running the largest Berkshire Hathaway and, and you have 5,500 sales associates across the entire company in multiple States and in large region. But one of the things that I happen to know about you is you're very big on staying current.Nick did with agents and your staff and everything like that. And they. Love it because you, it seems like you really care about them. Now I know one of the ways you do that is you reach out to some of them or maybe all of them on their birthdays, on their anniversaries of joining the company. How do you stay on top of that with 5,500 folks?Well, let me say this. One of the ways that I stay in touch is I decided to do this actually during the pandemic. But I decided that that video has become so important and people seeing you and during the pandemic, we aren't able to be together. So I started to do a Monday morning video that I do every Monday morning.No matter what, and it's just a short message, maybe a three minute video where they can see that I'm there during the pandemic. You know, I was. Giving some mental health advice advice at times, talk about our training, talk about the convention coming up, whatever. Maybe, you know, just some things that I hear from agents where they might say, you know, Joan, I'm really frustrated my best friend bought from another realtor.How could they have done this to me? So we, we talk about how those things might happen and what to do about it and how to move on. And. Pick yourself up and brush yourself off and keep going. So we do that right at this point, as far as birthdays, as far as anniversaries, you have to have systems. So I have I have notifications in my phone that come up.I and I also have some, some automatic systems. To be honest because with 5,500 people, if you didn't, it wouldn't get done. So I use technology to my advantage. In some of those cases, I make sure that I attend as many events as I possibly can to be in front of agents. I mean, to me, The agents give me my inspiration.They make me want to wake up in the morning I admire. So what they do, I've done it. I know how hard it is. I know how passionate they are. And one of the things that I was a little bit apprehensive of when I went from being an agent to going into management was would I lose that passion? How would I recreate that passion?And what I found very quickly was that. Being a sales office leader is similar to being an agent in that it's a relationship business. And so I was able to find that passion in my agents that I had found in my clients to help them. So now I could help many, many more people buy a home. Working through my agents and help my agents to have a better life, which I'm very passionate about.So staying in front of them is, is kind of the fuel for my fire and whatever way I can do it. That's, that's what I do. That's great. So in, in. You know, 30 years of this, obviously there's been changes. You talked about just having systems in place. And, and obviously 30 years ago there wasn't systems.Like we consider them today in terms of being able to track things, there was a Rolodex and, and post-it notes and, and by the way, too many agents still use post-it notes as their systems today, they're a system. If they were that's true works. If you can keep track of it, then that's great.But. You know, in your experience over that period of time, what do you think the biggest change that's happened in the industry has been, Oh my goodness. There's been so many first off, you know, the internet came to be when I was in the business. And when before, I guess when I first managed there was no internet, so we right.We were the gatekeeper. And how that has changed. We are, you know, we, we stopped being the gatekeeper in 2000 and the consumer had the information. So we always needed to be the trusted advisor for the consumer, but more than ever after the customer had the information, we certainly had to do that. And we had to create our value and our value and our expertise.Was what was going to attract people to us, not the information. So that was, that's been a huge, huge change after that, you know, it it's, it's just been one change after another, you know, with these, the social media, and I'm sure I'm skipping a lot of years getting from the internet, Ben to social media, but certainly the way that people can You know, in the way that people can be with other people without having to leave their home, even before the pandemic really changed our business, the use of social media and letting people know that you, you know, that you, their kids want a soccer game and you applaud them or whatever, you don't have to be out and about as much to be as social as you might want to be.So that's a big change. And I think over time you know, it used to be a market for brokers. When I got into the business, the broker was King. Then, then the agent was King. Then the consumer was King. The consumer is still King, but the agents are right up there behind them and they have so many choices and it's hard to decipher you know, which, which brokers best for them.And oftentimes they're told things that don't come to be. And so I think it's harder for an agent today. As far as the consumer, there's so much information, so much on the internet and they really need the best agent they can find to decipher, you know, what their needs are and, and what will be best for them.So, Lots of changes for sure. For sure. And one of the things you mentioned, you know, there was a sociologist, Robin Dunbar, have you ever heard of Dunbar's number before? Hmm, I think maybe, but I'm not familiar essentially. He came up with the concept that that the average person can only keep track of 150 relationships in their head and and have real meaningful relationships with them.And of course, social media brought us to a position where. You know, you, you can still have a, a semi at least semi meaningful relationship with a whole lot more than 150 folks by just doing that applaud or, or, or staying connected in those ways, or, or certainly now in terms of using systems to keep track like a CRM of all of your clients and keeping track and, and touching base with them on a regular basis that has empowered us to grow.And that's how you get to these. I think these mega teams and, and agents that are doing so much business. Not only are they great agents hopefully for the most part, but they're, they're also just very good at these systems and being able to grow that sphere of people that they can communicate with or stay in touch with on a regular basis.So you, you bring up a good point because back when I started, there were no such thing as teams, right. That was a small broker in his office that, you know, we, we, as a company have have promoted teams since 2000. Incident that's, co-ed coincidentally with the beginning of the internet. Right. But we have really embraced teams from the beginning and we feel like they're a business within a business, but they have been able to grow in ways that are amazing since then.And it used to be that a sales office leader sales office manager would have had enough experience to lead people. And maybe they did, you know, 7 million, 10 million, whatever. And now you have teams doing a hundred million and they look at their sales office manager, not necessarily as the, the content expert, because they never did as much business as this team is doing.So that's a whole nother change in our industry. And, and so being a good coach is so important for our managers because You can, you can be a great coach without having actually done the same amount of business, for sure. And actually, if you don't mind, I'd love to dig into the teams concept with you for just a second.Rob Hahn was on our podcast not too long ago. And Rob said that the biggest single threat. To the brokerage business is not, I buyers, it's not compass. It's not exp it's actually teams. First of all, do you agree or disagree with that? I don't agree. I think they're not a threat. That, I guess it depends on the way you look at it.However, I think that a broker that doesn't embrace teams is threatened. Because teams are they work well for the consumer and they work well for the agents on the team and the team. So I think as a company, you've got to embrace teams and help them be a better team. So for instance, a lot of the team leaders are great sales agents, but they don't have that management experience and they need the help.Have a great manager, a great company to help them and counsel them and coach them to be a manager, to a certain extent, to lead their people, to retain their people. So in my mind, as, as our job, as a brokerage is to help these teams and consult with these teams to help them to grow and to retain their best people.And then you become an invaluable to them because you're helping them also with just not just the recruiting side and the retention side, but also the operation side. And that, that's actually something that I dug into with Rob of saying, you know, Hey, a lot of teams don't want to deal with this. But then his counter.Point to me on that more or less was. Yeah, but even if they're paying 7% or, or some very low commission split percentage to the broker, that's still ends up to be a lot of money when you're selling $200 million a year, a real estate. So do you, do you think that the systems and the tools that can be provided by a brokerage?Maybe not today, but let's say in five years from now, do you think the systems and the tools and the, the coaching, like you're talking about. And the recruiting and the retention capabilities for keeping people on teams. Do you think that's enough in five years from now to keep a mega team at a big broker?Well, here's what I think about that. I don't think the systems and the tools are necessarily what will keep a team at a brokerage. I do think the relationship and the The counseling and the coaching is very important. They, the team are usually entrepreneurial and they want to differentiate themselves and they may not want to use any of the systems that you have because they don't want to look like another team or an, or another agent in your company.They want to look very, very different. Now they may use...
41 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Focusing On Your Real Estate Brokerage’s Agents with Erinn Nobel of Real
TRANSCRIPTKatie Ragusa: Welcome to Brokerage Insider, the podcast where we interview the leaders in real estate and technology. I'm your host. Katie Ragusa, the VP of product at TRIBUS, is a brokerage software vendor. Today I'm joined by Erinn Noble, the chief culture officer at Real, which, as you learn from today's podcast, is an extremely innovative brokerage company Erinn. Thanks so much for joining me today. I'm super happy to be here.Erinn Noble: I'm super happy to be here. Katie, thank you for having me.Katie Ragusa: So as I was thinking back, I think the last time we actually chatted, we were on stage at Inman. And looking back on that now, so much has changed since we were doing events in person.Erinn Noble: Yes. Fond memories of that. Absolutely. We got in those days.Katie Ragusa: Me too. So can you start by just tell me a little bit about real.Erinn Noble: Oh, absolutely, yeah, Real is a national brokerage model founded in twenty fourteen by that time, your colleague that is in New York City in fact, and we are currently open in twenty three states and just over fourteen hundred agents. And we're looking to grow and align with other agents like really align with our business model.Katie Ragusa: Lots of growth very quickly. So 2014 you said is when you started, right.Erinn Noble Yeah.Katie Ragusa: The company. So I think I might have read this from LinkedIn, but you called it and I want to get this right. So I'm looking at a quote, a simple, lean and brilliant real estate model. And I don't hear the word brilliant thrown around very often. So what was it specifically about the company that aligned with you?Erinn Noble: First and foremost, it was the people, the leadership team at the top that that has been here, boots on ground with some amazing, brilliant visions around how to kind of reinvent the traditional business as we know it, where we're incorporating a lot more of what the consumer needs, the end user, the buyer and seller, the people that are actually conducting the transactions with the state agents. People understand exactly. Yeah. And streamlining that business and really addressing a lot of the pain points in the industry where we as agents, brokers, brokerages, kind of seem to fall short.Katie Ragusa: What do you think is missing or in other brokerages or where are they really falling short or getting it wrong?Erinn Noble: I think ultimately we know the consumer is a you know, that is the biggest component of what we're doing. Right. That's why we're in the business. It's we're here to serve our consumers. We're here to help people buy and sell houses and hopefully do it elegantly with some creative skill. For the most part, it's such a fractured industry. You know, we've got title escrow in some states. We've got attorney states. We've got the lender involved, we've got the inspector involved. And there's not one cohesive platform that involves everybody. So it's it's really that understanding of where am I? Where's the menu tracker? You order something and you want to see it. It's almost like a flight tracker. Are we you know, are we getting ready to land? Are we getting ready to take off in escrow?And even the terminology can be foreign to buyers and sellers. What does that mean? What does title do? What does an inspector do? Think the most common, common things that I had working with especially new buyers, they thought an inspection and an appraisal was the same thing. So it's really getting down to the root of the basic understanding of what these systems are, what we're doing in place to create a really cohesive and elegant experience for the buying and selling process and the leading alleviating a lot of those pain points.Katie Ragusa: I love even the words you use like an elegant process. And just so full transparency. I was on the other side of the transaction earlier this year. I bought a home and I know the business. I had a lovely Realtor, a wonderful lender, and it's still confusing because I was actually buying in a new state. So as a consumer, you're still wondering, should I be paying for this extra inspection insurance?What's the right choice of those optional items and someone just to think through things for you that you didn't miss anything because this is a major move. So when you're providing that transparency to the consumer, you're in twenty three states. I think it was that you sent twenty three. So is it region or location dependent to on top of that, or do you have the same model that works for everybody? Practically speaking, how do you guys actually deliver?(05:00)Erinn Noble: Sure. No, really great question. Powerful question. Now we are a national real estate platform right now, us based. We've got visions on a lot of growth, potentially global growth. It is a platform that's designed. It is sort of one size fits all. And we can deliver that because of our technology. But we also understand hyper localism. We understand that things look right here.And for instance, Bellingham, Washington, don't really resound with people in Manhattan.In New York City, we've got different practices, different rules and regulations around things. And that's where having our local brokers or compliance brokers in charge of things, they're teaching local courses, they're teaching best practices, teaching about form. All of those against the hyper local best practices on how to best do business in your area. That's where things really come in to the specifics as you drill down on that specific market area that.Katie Ragusa: you a Realtor, be that expert locally.Erinn Noble: Absolutely. Absolutely, 100 percent.Katie Ragusa: So let's talk about the agents a little bit more then, because they're the the other side of all of this. And I think the vision behind real I'm not sure if this is like the main tag line, but I when I was reading up on them, make agents lives better, really stand out in that statement. So what does that mean to you at real what are you doing to differentiate yourselves to to fulfill that statement?Erinn Noble: Yes, sure. That was the statement that it's kind of a fun story. Some of it back up a little bit when we were exploring opportunities, but real. We flew out to the office for small office in New York City in the Chelsea district last February, right before the whole pandemic started. You know, exactly when we could fly and we could meet with people in the subways and all that stuff. But for us, we wanted to the sniff test and meet with the team. But that was one of the first things that my eyeballs landed on. So we're talking about a small office with about maybe eight or 10 desks and their total. And the purpose statement was written on the wall, which was making agents like that better. Gosh, this is really fantastic. This is a true purpose, value written on the wall for everybody to see, everybody to live on a daily basis.And that had been the company's purpose for multiple years. They had been doing that through support, through leadership, through training. And they've done a really fantastic job as a very clean team of about 11 people on staff supporting right around a thousand agents.So it's just an incredible task to take on. And that's a lot of agents, a lot of different agent counts within, you know, ranges of needs as well and different expectations. But it was remarkable. Since then, I've taken the company through a different culture workshop to really define what is our purpose and how can we embrace our clients twofold. So we understand that really we have to subsequence. We have our agents clients and we have our consumer clients.So how do we embrace that together and how do we redefine what our purposes? And then kind of twofold. So what we came up with as a company and this is an entire company collaboration from our agents and our leadership team and all of our brokers is building your future together. And it just folds in what we want to do. We want to build a future together. We want to create success for everyone.Katie Ragusa: You guys have had so much experience building, growing, you were obviously recruited somewhat recently to come to real on the corporate side, the staff side.So let's talk for a minute about how you guys have approach agents for recruiting, because obviously you've grown in a tremendous way since you started. So how is your recruiting strategy different? There's a few financial things that stick out to me.Erinn Noble: Sure, we do it a lot differently for us. First and foremost, we are a real estate brokerage. We are going to be in the real estate business. We don't have any other direction other than being in the real estate business. And we approached our agents very simply, it's through relationships and I said we want to attract agents that we know, like and trust and we want to share a better model with them, just a better, simpler, leaner, cleaner model and a better way of doing real estate. And that's that's it. It's all through relationships.(10: 00)Katie Ragusa: And I think you offer agents an opportunity to gain equity in the company, too, right?Erinn Noble: We do. We did. We actually became a publicly traded company for traded on the Otis's, as are the experts. We were listed on the ATC June eight. So this is a new thing for us. We're super excited about it and really excited to be able to share some opportunities and equity sharing within the company for our agents that we do.Katie Ragusa: I'm glad you mentioned that not not every brokerage company has that experience. So I think beyond the equity, there's also a rev share model there, too. Right. So lots of different financial strategies. So how is your model different than companies like Keller Williams are? Erinn Noble: That sets you apart to Gary Keller, the brilliant strategist with us, and he created the profit share model, which works great, a different market sectors, brilliant system, great way to help agents build another strategy for income, especially when we're all commission based. And sometimes we have those commission gaps or a sale fails and something doesn't close in them. Oh, boy, how are you going to pay your mortgage? So I think Gary really was brilliant and forward thinking and visionary and creating that profit sharing model. Glenn came along and kind of redefined the way of how to do it, of profit, share out some of the revenue from the company and just keep it all revenue based. And we came along and it's a very similar model. We adapted the revenue share model that we streamlined it and kind of dumped it down a bit.So it's very, very simple for agents to be rewarded for attracting agents, that they have relationships with agents that real are rewarded on their front level at the very top tier, five percent for agents that they know, like and trust and feel that would benefit from being aligned with the company. And then, of course, when we're talking about revenue, you can't forget commissions in a real estate, right? So I don't think this would be a real estate podcast without asking a market related question.So you guys have such a wide spread coverage with those twenty three states that you're represented in. And this is a very strange year. And in prior years, I think a lot of markets had experienced really slow to to nothing going on throughout the winter months. So what are you guys experiencing right now?Hypergrowth, in fact, with my conversations with agents across the nation. They've had their best year ever, but they've also been able to kind of take a pause, take some time, re-evaluate who they're in business with, re-evaluate what they're paying for with their overhead is especially right now. I mean, we're back in lock down in Washington state, some brokerages can only allow up to twenty five percent of their agents into the brokerage right now.So pretty much everybody still working virtually. So it's given agents a breather to really re-evaluate their way of doing business. And this has been quite a niche market for us.Katie Ragusa: It is such a crazy winter market, I'm seeing that everywhere to everybody that I'm talking to, it's so refreshing to hear that, you know, not everything's bad, the time to reset good, the time to see family. A lot of brokers have taken to their technology. And you mentioned that a couple times, and especially in Peter's background with the the spinal cord, I think you called it. So how has the impact of technology in a brokerage grown and evolved over the years? So not just this year of change, but you've been in this industry for since, what did you say, the late 90s, 1999? OK, so what have you seen, especially being so close to it?Erinn Noble: It's funny that you ask because I just moved offices over the weekend and I heard some archaic relic from the old days. And we actually do rent space in the richest office because we live out in the county on 15 acres and we've got three kids at home and the class meetings every day. And we just don't quite have the bandwidth to get out of the house because there is no room for exactly. That's exactly it. So we have a little breather by renting some space and the regional office. But I found some of my old lockboxes that are the kind of look like a bike lock and my old M.O.s book from nineteen ninety nine. But it's very similar to a real estate book and a telephone book. But it's just so funny to look back things like this right here in Bellingham. We used to just drive around looking for listings, looking for new signs that went up and we would read to our MLS books that were published twice a year or twice or twice a month. And we would show these MLS books with our different clients, but we'd have to kind of break up the MLS book price range and then hand them out to our different clients. Of course, we weren't allowed to do that technically, but there was no other way to share new listings coming on the market because it wasn't such a thing. Nevertheless. Or a sort of old shogi player, sort of like nothing, I mean, we would go out and take our own pictures and we have to send the pictures to print for wait a week to pick them up and post them manually. So we hardly even use cell phones back then.(15: 00)And this is just 1999. So to look back and think, OK, wow. So then come the two thousand and tons of new technology and we go through the downturn, two thousand seven, eight, nine. Then I think after that is when things really picked up focus for agents because we had out of town ires clients calling in, not calling the brokerage per say, not calling for specific agent, but just calling and inquiring about listing. And we try to figure out where they are getting this information. Are they finding it online now through websites to search areas? And they didn't care who the agent was or for the brokerage. They just want information about the listing.So that's where technology for me really turned my head and I thought, wow, I need to be part of the scam or I'm going to be quickly, quickly left behind. So I started looking at different technology systems, CRM. That was a new thing for me as well. Online lead generation. What was that? To learn all about that and educate myself. But that's when I started seeing a brokerage that offered more technology to me. And that's why I left my previous profession and joined EXP that that all of that to the agents. What we're doing now is basically streamlining that experience and making it simpler and cleaner and leaner for both the consumer and the agent to communicate, search, find listings and just have collaboration around the entire buying and selling lifecycle of real estate.Katie Ragusa: So I think looking back, just seeing that evolution happen, and it's great to actually find those relics of when they still look books and how we used to do business, I found my old super cute cleaning out a house.It is just a blast from the past and you realize how you used to do your business the day to day and how that changed, I think really sticks with at least me looking back. So do you think taking things that used to be a manual process and being out in the field, taking photos yourself, all of that stuff like the agents very involved to the evolution of technology and where we are today, is their job easier? Is it harder? Because now they have to learn all this new tech. What do you think? That means to an agent who maybe hasn't seen how things were in ninety nine. Erinn Noble: Ultimately, it depends on the technology and this is where I. An agent who maybe hasn't seen how things were in ninety nine and ultimately it depends on the technology and this is where I have a very present voice with the company because I'm very passionate about how technology should feel to an agent. I don't want it to be overly cumbersome. We don't need we've got so much technology. Push this every day and I'm a total squirrel. I will definitely chase that shiny object, the hundred percent. I'm always looking for the next best thing, but sometimes the next best thing isn't the best solution. It's about empowering agents with just very clean. And again, I love saying elegant, but that's truly who we are, a clean and elegant and simple solution. It's all about kind of just. Taking a pause, stepping back, really looking at the core of what matters here, what do agents truly need? They need support.(20:00) They need to be in compliance, and they need some tools that really empower them to do their business more efficiently.So for us, it's being able to do that through our real app. Everything is accessed via mobile phone. You can be in your car and it can be totally Tomago up chained to a desktop. You don't need to go into an office. In fact, you don't even need a laptop to operate every single aspect of your business. And all of that can be done on your phone these days and a lot of what you mentioned that agents need, you mentioned compliance.Katie Ragusa: That's a great one. And a lot of what they need isn't necessarily what they know to ask for. And I think that's where a lot of innovation it really stands, apart from run of the mill technology that you can tell is just checking a box of what we need a CRM and we need this. So and you're really looking at user experience, not just in a software way, but it's the peace of mind of the consumer, knowing how the transactions, transactions going, you know, are we going to close? And just that stress relief of having that in an app or a website so real has built proprietary tack. Right? Is it correct? And not many brokerages that at...
35 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
How Do You Average 24 Transactions Per Agent With 1400+ Agents?
What does it take to average 24 transactions per agent? How about being up by double digits during the pandemic? How do you create a culture of success in your real estate brokerage? How important is your real estate brokerage CRM?Listen in as Brenda Tushaus joins our VP of Product to discuss these questions and more!TRANSCRIPTKatie Ragusa: Welcome. Hi, Brenda. So for the whole group, just a little bit of background on Brenda and what we're going to be talking about today, she is the CEO of Minnesota based Re/max Results. They have 42 offices and over 1200 throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. She became the CEO of the company in twenty eighteen and has been in real estate for twenty four years. So she's got a huge background based on the 2020 Real Trends, 500 report, Re/max results of the country's largest Re/max franchise and the 13th largest brokerage for total transactions. So lots of big stats there. Hopefully I got everything right, Brenda. Anything I missed. All right. OK. Quite a profile. So you represent a major company. So what we're going to talk about today is getting into growing a company, recruiting good people and not just bringing them on, but keeping them around. So thanks for being with us today and sharing what you know now.Brenda Tushaus: Thanks for having me!Katie Ragusa: So let's kind of go backwards in time a little bit. And you guys are forty two offices. Yeah, we just we just grew to about forty two and we'll talk more about that from forty one to forty two. But so when you started with the company it was three offices I think. So looking back, what are the foundational pieces that makes Re/max results who you are that have stayed the course through all of those years.Brenda Tushaus: So we yeah. When I started I've been at the company now 19 years. We had one hundred and fifty agents or so and three offices. And I've obviously held a variety of roles through the years. And I was just looking at our stats just recently and in the last 19 years we've done 15 acquisitions. So that's been a part, a major part of our growth. Obviously recruiting is just as important, but the acquisitions, that chunky growth, that that helps as well.So as far as I will tell you, one thing that I discovered when I was looking at some of this recently is most of the acquisitions we had one big one when I was about two or three years into the role that doubled the size of the brokerage. It brought on about three hundred associates. But since then, our acquisitions have been really small, chunky growth. They've been anywhere from 20 to 50 associates that we that we add each time. So very small, small acquisitions and is not more intentional.Katie Ragusa: Like what would your advice be to those who want to get big, fast and double in size? Triple in size, really?Brenda Tushaus: Well, it depends on what you can afford. So it just depends on what, what you're looking to acquire and how much you can pay. And so the small the smaller ones through the years have worked for us. We did have a year. It was I think it was twenty seventeen where we added we did about six or seven acquisitions that year and those were a bunch of small ones than we did one in twenty, eighteen, twenty nineteen.We had to just kind of catch our breath and now we're back in twenty in full on growth mode again. Right. So yet another broker and market that's booming in these times. So that's really great to see. Katie Ragusa: And inspiring. So you just had the 15th acquisition literally just it earlier this week or last week of that. What was that like? Can you tell us more about that process? Brenda Tushaus: Yeah. So that we acquired another Re/max franchise was Re/max first choice in the La Crosse, Wisconsin market. They have three offices and thirty two associates that we acquired with that recent transaction. And and I'll tell you one thing, and we announced this when we did the all company meeting and we did the the acquisition on Tuesday is we told everyone in the room they are the highest per agent productivity acquisition we've ever done. They average about thirty five sides per agent. So I was small but very, very productive company. And, you know, our history and that productivity number is really important to us. So that just helps make us, you know, I mean, we're we're we're known for that now. We just added an acquisition that that improved upon that. So it went well. The meeting, it's always a surprise to everyone in the room. And but we've done this, the dog and pony show, I guess you could call it so many times that were those of us on my team are pretty comfortable with it.And nobody got up and walked out of the room in tears and and there were some applause. And they were happy that they know us. And they knew that their former broker owners were looking to retire in coming years. And so everyone it was we were really welcomed in. And I'll tell you the other thing is we kept on the staff. We kept on the broker owners. And that's really important in every acquisition is that we we don't change a lot.We don't change economics. We don't change traditions or office culture or whatever is important. And we always try to keep on those those former broker owners and some sort of a capacity in this case, one up them staying on as a managing broker for us.Katie Ragusa: So they've built trust with that company and you're not going to shake everything up. And RACT recruited them or acquired them for a reason. That's something good going. So everybody left that. Thirty five sides for Agent Sinkin. So that brings me to the question of you can't do that part time. So tell me about on whether it's an acquisition or recruiting a specific person and sales executive. What kind of time are they putting into their real estate career for you to even consider?Brenda Tushaus: Well, definitely full time. You know, we always say we don't we don't hire part time. We don't hire part time sales executives. Now, I will have a few Re/max results associates that come to me and say I only work X number of hours a week. Yet somehow they're still killing it in real estate sales. But we don't when you come to work at Re/max results, you don't have another job full time or part time job.You come to work at our company and you are a full time real estate agent. That's really important. And we do have minimum expectations as far as our sales executives performance. Do people fall below those minimum expectations? Of course they do. Do we fire them if they fall below those? Not typically. We work with them and get them into coaching or accountability groups. We're never going to say, hey, it's time for you to move on.If we don't see them trying, we don't see them working to get their production up.Katie Ragusa: So I would imagine that those metrics aren't secret, that you're just standing by and watching them like they're recruited for a reason. They were in a player, top producer. They know what they're expected to come in and do it, right?Brenda Tushaus: Yeah. And it's it's funny, you know, we have several people at the company that do our recruiting. And sometimes they do encounter conversations when they're talking to sales executives at other brokerages. There's that perception like, well, am I good enough to join Re/max result? I secretly I love that. But I also don't want people to think like, well, I could never go work there because I don't sell enough real estate. Really, it's we have to prove to them, like, no, you can't work for Re/max results and you will sell more real estate and we'll show you how so and just that environment of being around other people with the same philosophy.Katie Ragusa: It's not like you're carrying the brokerage for sales volume and all the rankings that you get. Everybody is contributing towards that goal. So, I mean, as an agent, I can only imagine what that's like to work in that environment. So you've got a lot of acquisitions under your belt on, a lot of recruiting going on. You guys are a large brokerage. So how do you manage this? Who on your staff handles recruiting? Who handles and sources acquisitions? can you describe those different pieces and who's managing what?Brenda Tushaus: So our executive team at Re/max Results is it's myself. I have a CEO, a CFO and a general manager. That's the four of us. And then the general manager oversees a team of six regional managers or managing brokers. And the regional managers are managing brokers then are the ones that oversee three to four offices in their wing, depending on how many agents are in those offices. And it's the managing brokers slash regional managers. We have two different titles that are the ones that are responsible for well, all of us are responsible for retention, but recruiting and retention and of course, sales while transactional support. So a typical regional manager would say they have three or four offices as their territory. They might have three or four offices and anywhere from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty agents. And 80 percent of their time is expected to be spent on recruiting and retention, kind of split 50/50. So 40 percent of their time recruiting, 40 percent retention relationships, customer service. So that 80 percent on that and then 20 percent on just general support, sales support, answering questions, helping with transactions, coaching, training.Katie Ragusa: You've got a great team that you trust and everybody knows their role. So a lot of this, you said 40 percent or so out of 80 percent of their time, about 40, 40, half and half recruiting retention is it is one harder than the other?Brenda Tushaus: About recruiting is really hard. It's really hard. And I used to be I don't know how many years ago, but I was once director of recruiting at Re/max Results and in and a really good year for me. I recruited about forty, forty five agents. That's really hard. We like to see our regional managers recruit about twenty four or more. That's kind of a goal. We say if you can recruit two people a month, sometimes it's more than that, sometimes it's less. But recruiting is hard and it's getting harder.It's getting harder, I would say within the last oh probably within the last three years. Just there's just always new competition, new business models and retention is just as hard.Katie Ragusa: So you have to it's difficult to invest the time both places. It sounds like that number twenty four to a month might be like your sweet spot, your number, because I think that's also where your typical agent follows in transactions, right? Yep.Look, easy metrics or so, and that's where you guys keep these rankings is everybody has those metrics in mind. You're hitting those monthly, you know, are you behind are you on track or are you ahead? So you mentioned you're not going to fire somebody if they're a little bit behind, you're going to coach them up and intervene. So when do you intervene? Like, what is that time? Is it after the year closes and you're looking back on their previous year? Is it midway through?Brenda Tushaus: We you know, I wish I would I wish honestly, I could say that we had like this end of quarter review. We try to do these quarterly reviews of production. It doesn't happen calendar quarter. It's not an exact science. But we do pull reports for we do the we meaning executive team and people in our sales accounting department pull reports and produce those for the regional managers. We actually don't make the regional managers do that, although most regional managers already have a pulse in their offices is might be struggling, but we pull those reports and we say, hey, you've got a couple of people here that it looks like their performance is down in the last 12 months or in the last X amount of time. So work with them, reach out to them, see what you can do to help them. And so, yeah, and again, it's there's so many factors that go into it. There's so many, you know, twenty, twenty alone. It's just been a crazy year, you know. So, you know, that was, that's one thing. But, you know, you never know what's going on in someone's life. So they're sensitive when Approach and sometimes we offer to put them into a coaching program. We're pretty coach neutral. We like all coaching programs and we'll do that on our dime. We'll even offer to pay for because let's say we have someone that's worked for us for 10, 15 years and they've been a solid producer for years, but they're just having an off year for whatever reason. We just we reinvest in them. So we do that. So I don't know.Does that answer the question?Katie Ragusa: Yeah, for sure. I'm just hearing firsthand how you're managing all of this and keeping everybody on top. I know you personally have face time or maybe some time these days, not with many of your recruits and agents and office visits and you're all over the place. So with twelve hundred people and growing, how do you manage that time and keep everybody feeling connected?Brenda Tushaus: Well, I do I'm coming to you from my desk in Eden Prairie, that's our headquarters, and I'm lucky if I'm here once a week. I'm everywhere. I work from all of our offices as far as our outer markets. So we've got three offices in the Duluth Superior Market and we've got two down in Rochester Market. Now we've got the cross market, St. Cloud and so besides all the offices that are here in the Minneapolis St Paul in the Twin Cities area, I try to get to the other markets once a month and I'm pretty good at it. So I whether I have appointments with sales executives or whether I just go and I spend a couple of days and the Duluth superior market and I just make my way through the three offices, I'll camp out in a conference room, I'll walk around the offices.I talk to everyone. I know them all. When someone new joins the company, I reach out with a private with just a personal BombBomb, welcoming them, introducing myself. It's not prerecorded. I do a custom video sometimes I'm doing a lot of videos and just say, hey, welcome aboard.I circle in with their regional manager before I reach out to them and I ask some questions like if there's anything I need to know about them. And I might mention that on a video just to say, hey, I heard you joined this team or, you know, I heard something unique about you. And so I try to connect with them in that video and I generally get responses. And so I'm creating connections that way. But I I used to say I mean, years ago, I would say I, I knew 90 percent of our agents, but that's because I was I was once director of I.T. and then I was director of recruiting.I've held so many roles that I've worked so closely with sort of all of our agents. I know it's kind of a weird combination. And now that I'm in the CEO role, as I have been for a couple of years, it's a little bit harder to connect and I feel like fewer reach out to me because they are scared of being the CEO.Yeah, I'm super approachable, but I feel like I'm you know, when I give out my cell phone number at a company meeting, they're like, what are you nuts? But people don't abuse that. They respect your time. So got it.Katie Ragusa: Yeah. And I think that culture or that precedent figure setting a baseline and personalization and setting up on the person, get to know them, send them a custom bomb message that probably shines through to your agents and their communication with their customers because they're getting it straight from the top, right?Brenda Tushaus: Yeah.Katie Ragusa: So what about you have a lot of long term sales executives that have been with your company and you have a lot of staff that's been around for a while, too, including yourself.So how do you keep good people once you find them?Brenda Tushaus: Well, as far as staff goes, that's one of the things at this recent acquisition, for example, we have a lot of our key employees that will travel down and we'll all attend the this all company meeting where we announce the acquisition and we go around the room and we introduce ourselves and we say what we do and how long we've been at the company. And everyone is.We introduce ourselves and we say what we do and how long we've been at the company and everyone is always like, wow, 11 years, 17 years, twenty two years. So we just you know, we I think we hire. Right. First of all, we hire happy people. We hire team players. We look for that kind of that, if that makes sense, that customer service mentality. Have you ever been in a restaurant and you get a waiter or waitress that's just like amazing and you want to take away employee? My life is with Chick fil A. Yes, yes. Yes. So we hire people that just get it. You know the difference. You know, when there's someone who's negative that just doesn't get that customer service mentality.So I'm here to collect a paycheck rather than care about you. And so those people are generally also just happier people. You know, all we also run. We allow our employees have just autonomy in their roles, they know what their job duty is, but they have just freedom to just do their job and we leave them alone. We don't micromanage.Katie Ragusa: So not a lot of approvals needed. You trust their judgment because you picked them for a reason? Yeah. Taking away that barrier and allowing people to just shine can really help. And for the customer or the agent on the other side of that who's waiting for that approval, it makes a big difference to them to you know, we've had staff and sales executives who have left the company and a large majority of them return.Brenda Tushaus: So, you know, when it comes to sales executives, if a sales executive leaves, we make it as as peaceful as an exit as we possibly can. Of course, we don't want them to leave, but we never want to burn any bridges because a lot of times I'm talking within six to 12 months they come back. And sometimes it isn't always greener, so you need to realize that, you know, on their own.Katie Ragusa: so and that is a less comfortable part to talk about. Running a business is people leaving. So how do you keep that relationship from souring? Do you hand them their data? Like, what is it about you guys that makes that easy?Brenda Tushaus: Or pay for your pain. How do we make a painless if they leave? Yeah, well, we don't. We don't. If someone's leaving, we don't hold. We don't hold on to their listings. We let them technically, the listings belong to the broker, but we don't think they have those those files because those customers want to work with them. And so we don't we allow them to cancel listings and take listings with them, that sort of thing. That's always been a policy of ours. If they had any pending...
32 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Zillow Becomes A Real Estate Brokerage What Does Rob Hahn Think?
Enjoying Brokerage Insider? Please Subscribe Using Your Favorite Podcast Player.Rob Hahn is the prognosticator of the real estate industry. A few weeks back on Brokerage Insider, he discussed how teams are the biggest threat to the brokerage industry. This week Rob discussed the big news that Zillow decided to become a real estate brokerage AND that they will stop accepting feeds and instead just get IDX data from MLSs. Listen to what Rob thinks.TRANSCRIPTIONOr in the explode virtual conference on Thursday, September 24th. We look forward to returning to our regular schedule program soon, but until then, enjoy this session. In this episode, I interview Rob Hahn, managing partner of 7DS and Associates and prognosticator of the real estate industry. Eric Stegemann: And so, you know, Rob, I actually wrote up a whole bunch of questions before yesterday morning to talk to you about. Sure. And I kind of threw them in the trash can and started after the Zellers news. Yeah, after the big announcement. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, and I mentioned this morning when we talked to David Gulper, and I'll just reiterate it for anybody that was not in the track this morning, but to announce that they are starting a brokerage officially, even though they had real estate licenses for a while, their official start markets are in Tucson, Phoenix and Atlanta. And so they're going to start up a brokerage, but particularly two things of note. Number one is they're going to focus their brokerage on just their home buying process. And number two is they're moving away from fees where they accept fees and going straight to index data directly from all of your analysis. So let's talk about Zillow homes for just a second. They are going to have salary based agents. Right. And, you know, on a scale of one to 10, considering last time one of our big topics when we talked on the last show of Brokerage Insider, so we talked about it and you said Zillow is not the biggest threat to brokerages. Let me first ask you, do you think that's changed at all? Like if you had to give a scale of one to 10, where did you think they were before yesterday and where do you think they are now? I'd say probably before yesterday.Rob Hahn: They're probably three. And today there are three. I don't I don't think anything has changed, you know, and I think I made this point in my latest post about this, you know, that I just put up yesterday as a reaction. People are like Zillow is a competitor and yadda, yadda. I'm like, look, unless you've got a couple billion dollars of investor money and they don't care about losing it for 10 years, you're not a competitor. Like, that's not you know, that's not what their business is. And I guess the way I look at it is I mean, for because this is a brokerage group like do you think open doors, a competitor. Because this is the same thing, right? They have billions of dollars, they're going to go in and pay cash for a house they're using, they're in house employee agents to do it. So if you don't think they're open doors a competitor, then you probably shouldn't think that those competitors, if you did think they're open those competitors, I guess I'd like to know how, like, do you have billions of dollars? And again, their brokers who have started Ibai are at odds. Right. And I'm like, look, that's great. But do those investors expect a return for their money? If the answer is yes, you're not a competitor because neither Zillow nor Open Door their investors aren't expecting a return. They're expecting to lose money for a good long time. And they have real deep pockets and they don't care because they're all about kind of changing the world and, you know, that sort of thing.So that's how I'm looking at it. I understand there's probably a different perspective on that, but I just want to hear the reasoning. Like I'm not saying I'm right and everyone's wrong, but I just this how I think about it. I'm curious what other people think about it, too.Eric Stegemann: So, I mean, I think, you know, we talked about this over the last time, too. I think that I buyers like open door. I definitely change the dynamics. And it could be and it's yet to be seen. And I think it goes back to does it increase the number of transactions in the market? Right. So open doors, big push and statement has been we're not negative towards brokers because we will increase liquidity. And when you any time in the history of time that you've increased liquidity in a capital market like real estate, you've seen all boats rise more.And so from that perspective, if that's really the case, if they're increasing the number of total transactions and I texted Rob this earlier this week, that we're actually on pace, that it's six million transactions. That's right near the top of any recorded year, maybe not the top or near the top of any recorded year that there's been, then I think that could be the case. But, you know, if it isn't, then it doesn't. It seem like they're taking transactions out, transaction sites out of the mix in terms of at least listings.Rob Hahn: I suppose, you know, I suppose and I guess the secondary follow up question, though, is, are brokers really making is that really what a brokerage business is today? You know, and that's what you and I talked about on the podcast. Right. Because if the idea is that brokerages are actually in the business of buying and selling homes, then yeah, but I don't think brokerages are. I think brokerage today are in the business of recruiting and retaining agents.Agents might be in the business of buying and selling homes, but then we get a whole other discussion, right? So from that standpoint, I'm not sure. And again, I would actually love to hear from brokers themselves, like how they see it, like, am I completely misinterpreting this? But so to your point, it's like if they take out some of the transactions, that's possible. So out of the, you know, 10 to 11 million or to your point, if it's six million a year, it's 12 million sides, you know, OpenDoor and Zillow going to take some percentage of it off the market, I guess.I guess, you know, but to me, that's sort of like that's the world changing, you know.Eric Stegemann: Like, so does that make them a threat? I suppose that's one way to look at it, but this is a world changing and it's just a matter of, OK, so how are we going to deal with it that consumer behavior is changing? You know, how do we deal with that? But do you think that the step that Zillow has made that already encroached upon something they said they would never do? Sure. Do you think that that's a slippery slope? Do you I mean, in your post, you kind of say no, unless brokers force it right and or the world forces. Yeah, yeah. I think at so everybody should totally read. Rob's most recent post called Don't Forcillo into a Corner. Yeah, but do you think that's really the case or do you think somebody at Zillow is sitting there thinking, hey, this is our first step into making everybody feel comfortable and it's like putting the frog into the pot where you are growing up slowly instead of real fast.Rob Hahn: Sure. And that's obviously kind of been the the interpretation of the industry. And I saw it coming from I mean, when I first heard about this, like, really, you guys what that long ago when, like, Spencer was on stage swearing up and down that this would never happen. The problem is like. You know, it's like if the world changes, the world changes, right? So what do you what are you supposed to do with that? The world has changed. Consumers want something else. Are you supposed to then say, screw that, hell with what the consumer wants? I'm not changing. Like, that's idiotic. Like, nobody does that. Brokerage wouldn't do that. So I just record a podcast with Greg Robertson this morning about it.And the thing I pointed out was, you know, brokers are and MLS is and the whole industry is swearing up and down. You know, we are all about cooperation and compensation and that's the pillar and so on. Well, here's the thing. There's a lawsuit going on right now to make that difficult or impossible to do away with commission sharing. If five years from now that lawsuit wins and the Supreme Court says you are no longer allowed to share commission or we going to say we don't give a crap, we're not going to change, of course we're going to change.The world has changed. We have to change. So that's one part. The second part I'm saying, listen, the thing that I'm more concerned about is that we as an industry would do something just irrational and stupid, which then forces those guys into doing something that's not good for anybody. It's not making anybody any money. And yet we're going to do it because they have to. Right. So maybe the way to think about it is this and this.Just my interpretation of how to understand Zillow pivot. I actually think it really has to do with the fact that I'm saying we're a market maker now, but we're still you think of Zillow as an advertising vehicle and they sell leads to agents and that's their business to me. When I look at what this pivot means, is that really kind of saying we're no longer that we're a market maker and I buy this. Our business going forward is buying homes for three hundred thousand and selling it for three hundred and three.And in order to do that, they actually need to cut as much cost out of it as possible, and they have to make that process, that transaction experience better. And I think what they're finding is open door had the lead on that. They had the edge because open door use their own in-house agents. So if I'm a seller, I say, hey, give me an offer. It's one point of contact with Zillow. And this is what I said, right? It's like, OK, I talk to somebody on Zillow and then I get handed off to some local agent and then that local agent maybe hands me off to people on their team. And it was very disjointed. So I think what they're saying, OK, if our business is buying and selling homes, we need to improve that. We need to bring this in-house. The second part that follows, if we bring this in-house, we know that the Indians are going to cut off the data feed to us.We know that for a fact. How do we get around that? Let's join the MLS. Right. So it's not I don't know. I have trouble seeing it as like this evil conspiracy plan and all of that and slowly boiling the frog inside because, again, these guys are worth.We know that for a fact, how do we get around that, let's join the MLS, right. So it's not I don't know, I have trouble seeing it as like this evil conspiracy plan and all of that and slowly boiling the frog inside, because, again, these guys are worth twenty two billion. They have two billion in cash. Their stock is worth like ninety eight dollars a share, whatever. I mean, if these guys wanted to become brokers, if they wanted to, you know, really screw with the industry, then it's not that hard for them.Eric Stegemann: Right. That's. It's really easy, actually, and I think that's what most brokers are sitting there worried and nervous about, is I think most of them recognize that Zillow has more or less won the consumers zero moment of truth to when they're starting to search. At least Zillow owns the space of starting the home, the place where people start their search. Right. And they have they out a two hundred million unique views.And all of this stuff that they have, and I think that's where brokers are most nervous, is to say, look, if if if Zillow wanted to tomorrow, they could certainly get into the agent's space. And if they discover, hey, I can go higher salaried based agents and I can go just hire one hundred agents and and kill it in the market and then have team members and assistants and things like that to process the transaction, I'm going to execute on their vision, which is to make the consumer process. That's that's what they care about right there. Consumer prices better, simpler. And what I think that makes brokers most nervous is less expensive. Right. So sure, you go use a Zillow agent to list your home and they could say, well, we'll represent you to buy a home for free or something along those lines. You know, that's that's cutting out a chunk of commission out of that transaction would have happened that might have otherwise gone to a to a broker.So I think the the bridge is not too far. The leap is quite small between point A and B. Whether they want to do it or not is a different question. But it would be very easy because they own the consumer in so many cases.Rob Hahn: Sure, sure. But, you know, I think the way I look at that is, again, so I'm a I'm a strategy consultant for living my day job. So let's just imagine that a broker is a client of mine. The first question I would be asking the broker is, how do you make your money? How do you make your money, because I know brokers at one hundred shops, so way they make their money is a monthly membership fee and a transaction fee. Right. So for those clients, one of the things I've said to them is we should not care about what the price of the home is because you don't get paid on the on the value of the home. Right. You get paid on the transaction. So whether the agent is doing a hundred thousand dollars sale or a million dollar sale, you're getting paid for ninety five. If that's your business, then it changes everything that you should care about.Right, if, on the other hand, you're a, you know, 70, 30 split, then it's a different thing. So the first question I think is as a brokerage, how do you make your money? And here's what I do know. And we talked about this in a podcast. Most brokerages in North America are really struggling with profitability, right? Three percent right. On average, which means that half of them are below that. So then you could say, OK, where where you actually really making your profits? And it's like, well, title, escarole, mortgage, et cetera. Well well, if that's the case, then we've got to think about in those terms. Right. Why do you care about Zillow? Is this, that and the other thing? And, you know, if that's your business, then you should do things to support your business, getting involved with all this stuff about home prices. And Commissioner Masek, why does it matter if you're not making any money from it?Eric Stegemann: This I think. Oh, doesn't the money flow? What I mean by that is if you're collecting four hundred dollars per transaction. Right. And there's companies like Fathom Realty that are now free to companies that do exactly that. Yeah. And so when they have that, they still need the transaction to happen to begin with. Correct. But correct.Rob Hahn: But they don't need the commission amount to be whatever. Right. In other words, if the commission amount drops to one percent on average, but we still have 11 million transactions or 12 million transactions, that will be fine. They don't care what the commission amount is. They just care about are their transactions happening and will my agents pay me? So that's what I'm talking about. So it's it's hard to just kind of broadly say brokers should be paranoid about this. Brokers should be paid. I'm just saying. Well, tell me what your business is. Right. Because here's the other thing. Red fin is a brokerage, right. But as you and I have talked about, I don't actually look at Red fin as a brokerage. I look at them as a really big giant agent team. If you're an agent team, then maybe you care more about it, because now your business is actually, you know, helping a consumer buy and sell homes and you're taking a big chunk of the commission and then you're actually splitting it out or you have W2 employees, so you have your expenses. That's a different business model. And if that's the case, I would think about things very differently, you know? So that's the first point. The second point, I think it's like I said, having said all of that, it does seem clear to me that most brokerages in the industry today are in the recruiting and retention business. And if that's true, then I think the question is Zillow now says they're going to bring in buying and house. They are now going to join the MLS. My question is, how does that affect your recruiting and retention business? And as yet, I haven't gotten a clear answer to that, so maybe you have a thought. I mean, how does that affect recruiting and retention, having buyers or.Eric Stegemann: Yeah, OK is now in the MLS.Rob Hahn: How does that affect the ability of Re/max results to recruit in Asia? Well, I will.Eric Stegemann: We're having Brendan on shortly, actually, and also in about 30 minutes. So you can you can ask her that question. Yeah, but I think, you know, I think I won't speak for Brenda particularly, but when I will speak from is I think it is about recruiting retention. And if a broker can go to Zillow and have, you know, an even Redfin and salary plus commissions. Right. But if there's a dwindling number of transactions that happen, even if you're averaging a high number of transactions and Brenda's company averages twenty three transactions per agent, per agent, and they have over 12 hundred agents. Right. And so, you know, from the the the proofing of your business, the Zillow proofing of your business, I think that's about as strong as you could possibly get that's out there. But I think at the same point, if I was sitting there and and I was the CEO of one of those types of companies, I would certainly look at it like there is likely to be a dwindling number of transactions. And every time my agents make less money, that means I can charge them less, whether that's in a desk fee, a transaction fee, a month or whatever it happens to be. Also, any model that's reliant on volume in terms of agents, you know, if you're an XP realty and you're, you know, getting everybody out there into the network and getting the transactions that go through, I think you're going to dwindle over time if there's more players in the market and there's not more transactions because of that.Rob Hahn: Right. Sure. Yeah, I mean, I see that I see kids so close up, it's like if you're a software company, a big software company I'm not talking about.Or Apple, you're also in the recruiting and retention business. I think if you ask a lot like Google, what they do now, it's their product is pretty stable. It's more like we just need good talent to keep building upon what we're building on. And I think their big problem or their big concern that they have every day is making sure they're getting the best talent possible to come work for them. But there's more people drawing from that talent. There's less to come to Google.And if there's more people drawing from the Minnesota Minneapolis real estate market of the top tier talent and Zillow says, hey, top agent, I'll pay you five hundred grand a year salary to come work for me. And that way in a bad year, you're even like you're still going to make 500...
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