024 – Chris Avery of Updater – America’s Favorite Moving App

Updater

UpdaterWhy influential real estate companies offer an invite-only moving app from Updater to clients, delivering huge value during a stressful time…

Chris Avery, VP of Real Estate for Updater (Updater‘s moving app is the smartest and safest way to reserve a moving company, connect TV and internet, update accounts, forward mail, transfer utilities, etc.), joins Thomas Kutzman and guest host Marc Raco in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • How Updater is solving a logistical problem
  • Relocation tech
  • Buyers, sellers, renters, branded experience through real estate partners, brands, multi family companies, realtors
  • Automate all moving and related tasks that are all part of a painful experienceUpdater
  • Forwarding mail, subscriptions, and utilities
  • Fostering partnerships, teams of industry experts
  • Doing new things vs. creating new experiences
  • How Updater is paid for, and it doesn’t affect the consumer (free), and the broker or property management company pays for it, as an invite-only platform
  • How the app catalogues everything that moves and event the condition of property
  • Testing new ways to keep consumers engaged in platform even post moveUpdater
  • Providing moving offers with discounts, helpful info etc., coupons
  • Giving the consumer a complete view of a market, not recommending specific purchases, created competition on the platform including ratings and scores
  • Last year nearly 20% of all household moves were processed though Updater
  • A lot of A/B testing and measuring consumer behavior
  • How Updater works to get brokers on board
  • Setting an expectation with the consumer that this is what they should expect of brokers, a kind of seal of approval
  • Incredible donuts that are an Updater favorite
  • How the process works for an agent, and how Updater only works with real estate brokerages that work with one of the tech partners they integrate with
  • Agents/brokers as independent contractors, brokerages don’t require people to use it, running behind the scenes so agent can just decline it
  • Once an agent signs up they don’t have to do anythingUpdater
  • Updater is seamless for the agent, easy deployment, training, and engagement process
  • The ability to stay connected, keeping consumers engaged, bringing value, platform stays open for this reason
  • When Updater decided to IPO on ASX, as the smallest tech company to IPO there, and ultimately one of the most successful to do so
  • Building community with brokers, looking beyond being a mere mechanism to their success
  • Early moving memories, playing The Oregon Trail on early computers, and Seattle

 

022 – Naman Desai of Quo – Enabling Collaboration and Engagement

Real estate agent + client collaboration platform…

Naman Desai, Co-Founder at Quo (which simplifies real estate agent + client collaboration via a platform and mobile app) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • A customer engagement tool that empowered brokers, allowing them to work closer with clients, increasing efficiency
  • How the app allows agents and clients to search and share listings together in one place, as a neat and organized way to keep track of properties they view, with the ability to take notes and store photos, better streamlining the process to make better decisions more quickly
  • Allowing the app to maintain a place as preferred place to engage and track real estate opportunities and clients
  • How Quo gives brokers an app to put in their clients’ hands, positioning the broker as more tech-forward
  • How Quo can help speed up process of scheduling a viewing, with automation, and reduces time lag
  • More feedback opportunities for the client, providing a good data and analytics resource
  • Building out algorithms to suggest properties actively
  • Obvious use case in New York City, but why in Cleveland?
  • Looking to integrate CSS, zero lag time
  • Is the tool more vertical vs. suburban?
  • Markets with a lot of buyer and seller activity
  • How Quo started as a concierge service for renters looking for new apartments
  • How the co-founders realized a lot of people had a similar knack for helping people in the real estate space to help with real estate process; and, as the company grew and looked to scale, it started doing focus groups and one was people helping with what worked for them — and the biggest was when they had a friend that helped them
  • Agents wanted the communication platform, not the concierge service
  • Pivoting to the communication tool
  • Data in which people said what they wanted and so Quo followed it
  • Not so stuck on idea that they wouldn’t listen, letting customers guide where they go
  • Getting consensus on a change in company direction, and how the co-founders were married to solving a problem — not on the way to solve it
  • The importance of continuing focus groups
  • The pushback from brokers — overcoming friction in getting clients to download the app
  • A must-have feature was a team collaboration piece
  • Being comfortable with changes in business, such as pivoting in his previous business ClassPass
  • Real estate as learned behavior vs. in the blood, etc?
  • Taking risk in business and startups
  • How finding one’s passion brings the opportunity to make more than anywhere else by doing what one thinks is right
  • Fear of missing out

015 – Steven Abd El Hamid of LiveWith – Real Roommate Collaboration

LiveWith

Collaborative roommate and apartment finder app…

LiveWithProblem: Most roommate opportunities are short-term sublets of additional rooms. This can lead to unstable situations with people with whom one might not be the right fit — fitting a circumstance instead of the perfect match, bad for renters and landlords alike. What if one could connect with someone on their same wavelength on one’s search — together. Real roommate collaboration. The demands exists and is resonating so well, there is a surge of early adopters and brand partners.

LiveWithSteven Abd El Hamid, Co-Founder and CEO of LiveWith (a roommate and apartment finder app like no other, which makes it easy to find ideal roommate matches, chat, schedule and collaboratively rent an apartment together – all within one app) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Abd El Hamid reveals how 88% of Millennials are living with roommates, and have 4% less wealth than preceding generations, not as just a matter of choice or preference, but a necessity in most urban areas in the US and in Europe
  • How those Millennials require a mechanism to find a stable and desirable roommate situations as a matter of importance
  • The traditional process of finding roommates for many was relying on other agents talking to people like the person seeking a roommate situation, hoping that he/she was looking in same location, same budget, and same interests
  • LiveWithAbd El Hamid shares how he was co-owner of a real estate brokerage which matched roommates from Craigslist into situations, how they decided how to automate that process, and how they were looking at the most efficient ways to do that in the midst of carrying out a rental
  • How LiveWith is like date-matching tech mixed with the trend for everything to be available and transacted online, with the added impact of being able to consummate the entire rental through the product without having to leave the product
  • Why more companies don’t take this path – the technology exists but some of the powers that be have not had an incentive to build it out
  • Prospective roommates can chat via the LiveWith app and search all properties that fit preferencesLiveWith
  • How LiveWith uses general first-tier compatibility matching questions along with machine learning
  • The way LiveWith is referring business to various apartment providers, at a cost-per-click
  • What drove people to adopt LiveWith early on, and how most options are sublet-based
  • Societal and macro economic changes are driving symbiotic micro economic trends
  • Co-living situations, and “dorms for adults”
  • Sweden vs. USA, Abd El Hamid’s difficulty in transitioning from on Visa to another
  • How Abd El Hamid found his co-founder through an acquaintance
  • How vision plus effort can lead to success, and reaching for the sky as a an entrepreneur

009 – Thomas Kutzman of Prevu – On a Mission to Save Homebuyers Money

Prevu

Smart online brokerage enable commission rebates via an end-to-end Platform…

PrevuThomas Kutzman, Co-Founder of Prevu (a smart online brokerage focused on saving people money) and host of “Real Estate Is Your Business” podcast, joins Scott Pollack and Pavan Bahl in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Better Technology. Better Service. Best Commission Rebates.

PrevuKutzman touches on how commission rates too high in real estate, with rates in the US/NYC being double and triple than other developed countries, and how his experiences along with his co-founder Chase Marsh led to creating a solution with Prevu. He continues that in New York City the average real estate price is $1.5-2 Million with high commissions, and how it really is not free to be represented by buyer’s agent because it’s built into the price because of commission split with buyer’s agent. How Prevu gets up to two-thirds back on commissions of buyer’s side to the customer, receiving money back as a commission rebate check. It is not because of a lesser service, instead using technology for better experience for buyers and to make agents more efficient, plus a lower internal cost structure. Controlling the consumer experience and the quality of service and interaction. Despite some 30,000 licensed agents in NYC, 10% of them are doing 90% of work. The Prevu brand acquires leads and customers digitally, and provides more stability and experience/activity for Prevu agents. Plus, why it is a scalable model, and best for major markets.

Engineering a smarter buying experience

PrevuHow Kutzman has been looking at it through the lens of other industries have changed like travel and financial, changing the way agents com into the industry and their expectations of stability, and why you’ll never learn a profession doing it part time. Prevu’s compelling value proposition, the impact of the new tax reform on real estate, and why it won’t impact most people. And, making use of a commission rebate, and expanding to other markets.

Charitable giving, learning, and treating people well

Personal questions cover giving back, a focus on charitable giving, Children’s International, and Code2College which encourages STEM careers at a high school level for underprivileged and minority teens, and how encouraging tech careers at earlier ages leads to greater success. The NYU Violets, how Kutzman was encouraged to save and buy a property instead of having cancelled rent checks, making sure if you didn’t know something, go take a class to learn it. How there are a lot of great real estate people, and a lot of great technology people, but few have a lens on both areas. As time goes on, more people will know both. The meaning of success, a great mentor, treating people the right way serving you well, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, and “Principles”.