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

004 – Harley Courts of Nooklyn – Beyond Brooklyn

Taking the friction out of rentals and roommates with tech…

Harley Courts, CEO at Nooklyn ( Brooklyn-based tech start-up fixing the experience of finding apartments and roommates) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

From skateboarding to real estate, data as a core asset, and why brokers are here to stay

Courts discusses the impact that the company’s atypical management and structure has contributed to its success, what he took from running a skateboard company, leadership, building a collaborative, mission driven team, how his skateboard company failing led to becoming the super of a building, then meeting numerous real estate brokers and realizing he can do that, starting Nooklyn as a blog, and having so much success that he had to hire agents. How when giving listing data away you have nothing, as it’s a core asset. How Nooklyn is giving renters control over process, plucking away at removing friction for renters, the majority of the country is still on Craigslist for rentals, and why the highly regulated nature of the real estate industry, and the fact that this is the largest purchase most people will make, means brokers will remain.

Taking on Manhattan, fixing the experience, and growing quickly

A spectrum of vegan offerings make for a dynamic snack. Court reveals how Nooklyn is growing beyond Brooklyn, and being on a mission to fix the experience for renters, and to take on a new market, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Why 200 listing number is a magic number to make progress, how Nooklyn offers an advantage for landlords, getting into shared housing on the platform, and the ability to facilitate transactions. Why with currently 250 agents Nooklyn is trying to hire 375 more agents in the next year. And how more than half the deals are split between at least two agents, who often contribute different skills sets and resources.

The skateboarding business, a police offer and a party animal, and eating vegan

Personal questions cover missing skateboarding, a broken elbow, a daughter (also) named Harley, learning the skateboarding industry in detail, seven layers of wood, difficulty in competing in the skateboarding business, a bad experience moving in with a police officer and a party animal who both stopped paying rent immediately, and how Court has personally gone through many challenges of rentals and roommates and what’s driven him to make the process better. Plus, a roommate platform built into the site, and favorite Vegan restaurants in Brooklyn.

002 – David Walker of Triplemint – Empowering Value and Engineering a Positive Customer Experience

Creating the best possible client experience when buying, selling, or renting a home…

David Walker, Co-Founder and CEO of Triplemint (a high tech real estate brokerage) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

Pushing the envelope, a shift in the industry, and a major pre-market value proposition

Walker discusses why there’s room for so many new players, how despite the Internet and technology in other industries, the real estate industry lags 10 years behind, and in the last few years a transformation has begun. How the modern buyer and seller are smarter and looking for tech forward brands in all they do, how Triplemint is pushing the envelope, consumers are leading the charge, how more can be offered than just the agent, and the right equation of offering fantastic humans plus tools. There is a similar shift in real estate as in financial services, what’s changed is a demand for tech, an ease of actual transaction, speed to close, managing properties seen, and transparency of data. And, how to show more properties to buyers than they can see anywhere else, using predictive analytics. One major value prop is understanding trends and patterns and the data to determine someone is likely to list their home, adding a new value prop pre-market that’s fair for the consumer to have, earlier in the value chain. It’s not about convincing people to sell. Adding more data to the pricing picture. Plus, diligence to fiduciary responsibility,

A high NPS score, acquisition sources, and the impact of great agents

Customer service satisfaction survey measuring chance of referring business in the form of a Net Promoter Score (NPS), evaluating agents, and competing against established firms for that talent. How it used to be about highest splits and nicest offices, and now about the value a company can provide to the agent to do business and to the buyers and sellers. Two-thirds of transactions are acquired digitally by Triplemint, acquisition via agents and platform, and how it is one thing to get customers and another thing to offer more value and close transactions and get referrals. Triplemint’s off-the-charts NPS score of 91, with an average survey of 9.7/10 and a testament to the team. Triplemint boasts success due to fantastic agents, great and powerful technology, and empowering value.

Expansion, the future of agents, and working with a friend

Looking ahead at expansion beyond NY, how the consumer is getting smarter, and wanting to empower them to do so. Will the need for agents dissipate or is the consumer seeking agents who provide real value? And personal questions cover a surprising mobile app, The New Classics, Fantasy Football, working with a college friend and rowing teammate, an Iron Man, overcoming disagreements, working real estate, and teaching English.