Mercedes Santiago, Marketing Coordinator at MoxiWorks | March 24, 2020
It’s a time of global uncertainty, due to COVID-19, the epidemic that has disrupted the world. We’ve seen the anxiety-inducing statistics on job uncertainty, food scarcity, deaths, and more. The combination of it all is showing us the true magnitude of the current state of our world. While we’re not sure of what’s to come for certain, we know as a community we must jump in and help where we can.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
– Coretta Scott King
Real estate brokers are an integral part of their communities and experts in the residents, businesses, and structures that make a neighborhood ‘home.’ As such, brokers and their agents are poised to be great community leaders and supporters during this time. We’ve put together a list of recommendations and want to hear from you as well!
1. Support local restaurants
Seattle streets are much quieter these days for obvious reasons, with one of them being the empty tables in restaurants — a trend fast occurring across the country. We know we can’t dine-in, but don’t forget that many restaurants are offering take out, and it’s essential to their survival. Support your community by ordering takeout.
Fun idea: Virtually cater for your agents! Let all agents order lunch on you for company moral! Share your support on social media to encourage others to follow in your footsteps! Not only can you promote positivity and camaraderie amongst your company, you continue to support your market’s economy.
2. Check in with your neighbors
These times are difficult for many, physically and mentally. You could be struggling personally to care for someone who’s been infected with COVID-19. Or, perhaps you’ve upended your day-to-day routine and are now working from home. Especially difficult, maybe you’re self-isolating due to a pre-existing condition and feel uncertain about your safety. While we shouldn’t be physically close to each other, with technology we have the ability to all stay connected. Even from miles away, what you post online has the ability to shift someone’s mindset on the situation. Let’s keep content optimistic, light-hearted, and inspiring to keep our mental states up high.
Fun idea: check-in with your partner businesses like mortgage lenders, moving companies, or home repair persons and share each other’s stories.
3. Reach out to nonprofits
Many nonprofits around your city are constantly providing shelter, food, and support for members of your community — even during pandemics that close other public places. Call around to local nonprofits and decide who needs what most. In our current situation, these groups are running out of food to distribute. Feeding our community and staying healthy is important for us to move past this.
4. Help seniors who are most at risk
It’s a fact that older people and people with pre-existing health conditions are most vulnerable to COVID-19. There are multiple things we can do to keep this group of people healthy and safe.
- Grab groceries for those who are at risk or those that are shut-in. Drop the groceries off at their door to keep your distance.
- Facetime self-quarantined individuals to keep them socialized and less lonely
- No tech? Start a letter-writing campaign to individuals in nursing facilities who can’t visit their friends and loved-ones face to face currently.
Now is the time to think outside your office walls and see how you can help your community.
Together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.
Real estate leaders, what do we do now?
It’s a wave we have to ride out, but we don’t have to do it alone. Every industry is being driven into mass-tech-adoption at a rapid speed due to social distancing and isolation. Real estate is no exception, but the key difference is we’re already able to handle this.
I had the pleasure of wrapping up the LeadingRE Annual Conference in Las Vegas last week with a presentation on why every real estate brokerage is a tech-enabled brokerage — a claim that some companies are trying to use as differentiation and value-position to compete for talent. But honestly, do you have a cell phone, perhaps you’re even reading this article on your phone right now? You, as a human, are tech-enabled and therefore so is your business.
And if you’re tech-enabled, you’re also a virtual brokerage. Perhaps you won’t want to operate as a virtual brokerage forever, but you are capable of pivoting temporarily to best serve your agents and their clients. Fear in the face of disruption can cause us to fall back into old habits, ruts of non-productivity, or drive us to seek control in the minutia around us.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.
Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.”
– Marie Curie
A strong woman with wise words, Marie Curie’s quote can remind us that by focusing on the truth we will get through this and recover. As I always say, data tells the truth and data sets you free. In this article, I want to focus on a quick look at our industry’s economic history, what industry leaders need to be doing right now, and my 3 B’s for the time-being: Be Optimistic, Be Supportive, Be Productive.
Going Virtual Brings Us Together
On a ship over rough water, a captain can’t stay silent. At no point during this situation is it possible for brokers to over-communicate with their agents. No one has all the answers but talking it through always helps build confidence and trust.
Everyone is leaning into video communication. We still get to see each other’s smiling faces while preserving our goal of safety. Brokers, leaders, reach out to your sphere with one-on-one video calls. It’s 2020, we’re all capable of having a video chat, and it bridges one more gap that a standard phone call can’t provide. We’re telling agents to keep in contact with their clients, their sphere, their community. Practice what you preach, right? Call your agents, call your staff, call your partners.
Remote work employees have been facing the hurdle of building camaraderie without physical closeness in the workplace for years. At MoxiWorks, we have moxians and partners across the country bridging the gap. Now, we all have gotten a taste of that world — sitting in your house trying to have a meeting as the dog howls at a bird or your children forget their inside voices. The silver lining is this gives us all an opportunity to be sympathetic and supportive of each other.
We’re living this at MoxiWorks for several weeks now, with the entire company working remotely without any service interruption. We have the obvious advantage of being a technology company which helps, but we face the same cultural challenges that you. That’s why I’m saying that over-communication is so important. It’s human nature to fill in a void with the worst possible scenario and without communication, that’s exactly what your stakeholders will do. Don’t let there be a communication void – fill it with honest, transparent, supportive but optimistic communication. It’s not about having all the answers because none of us have them right now, it’s about being present as a leader.
Real Estate’s Response in Bear Markets
While the United States hasn’t entered a bear market due to viral outbreak before, it can be comforting to look at how we’ve bounced back from drops in the past. The good news? Event-driven drops (like our current situation around COVID-19) in the market are typically acute and recover much faster than structural drops (think 2007 Great Recession).
Goldman Sachs sent out a report on looking at severe declines, length in a down market, and time to recover/stabilize.
Make no mistake, this is an unprecedented time in history for everyone, but this is a storm we can weather in the real estate industry. MoxiWorks is proud to work with the strongest partners and clients, companies that survived through the housing bubble bursting and are going to pivot, survive and thrive again.
Real Estate Leaders, here’s what we do.
With that said, this isn’t a time to sit still. This is the time to link arms and lift each other up. In our MoxiWorks Town Hall we held virtually this week, I told all of our moxians: Be Optimistic, Be Supportive, and Be Productive. I’ll give you that very same advice.
- Be optimistic that local markets will bounce back, that your pipeline clients will still be ready when bans and restrictions lift. Be optimistic that your agents are solvent and with time, will help your business flourish again.
- Be supportive of each other, we are all humans in this together. Everyone needs time to reflect, to understand, to acclimate — but the speed we are moving at is going to be fast, so we need to help each other. This is a great time for fostering collaboration.
- Be productive no matter what. Give yourself a few seconds to catch your breath, then get back to work. Work on your sphere, evaluate your data, clean up your business and keep moving forward. We’ve got this. We’ve got moxie.
Competition, new players, technology — every disruptor you’ve faced before has trained you for this whether you knew it or not. Don’t let fear bring you to a crushing halt. Business has always been about inertia: an object in motion stays in motion. Like Marie Curie said, now is the time to learn more so we can fear less.
Let’s do this together,
P.S. On that note, at Moxi we’re going to go above-and-beyond to bring continued content for our clients and the industry. We’re kicking this content release off with a guide on how to host an ‘open house’ virtually using our MoxiPresent / M Present product. Check it out.
By York Baur | March 9, 2020
Mike DelPrete put it best at ICNY 2020: “The industry is moving very slow, but it’s never moved this fast.”
Franchisors are building their own technology at record rates. New proptech companies are popping up everywhere. Acquisitions and consolidations are becoming more common. There’s an electricity in our industry that’s been simmering for the last few years.
And, it’s exciting.
But it’s also been a time of uncertainty and, quite frankly, fear. Especially for the brokerages and agents all of this surrounds. I know there has been frustration, agents shuffling, lots of money changing hands, among other concerns. But, the best piece of advice I have during this age of transformative innovation and perceived disruption is simple:
Stop using the disruptors as a benchmark for your success.
Sure, they’re flashy. Sure, they’re mainstays in the news and claiming data that may or may not be true. But comparing your brokerage to their definition of success isn’t the way to measure your success.
Every brokerage is a tech-enabled brokerage
It’s true. Every brokerage is a tech-enabled brokerage, whether you build your own technology or not. And brokerages, both traditional and new, who are leveraging data and embracing the fact that they’re tech-enabled are seeing the benefits. We took a deeper dive into our data by looking at 10 of our largest client brokerages representing over 50,000 agents. We found that, on average, agents with a high usage of MoxiEngage CRM increased their transactions by 85.3% from 2018 to 2019. Even agents with a lower usage of MoxiEngage still increased their transaction count by 41.2% during the same time period. And while we believe our products are best in class, the reality is using whatever tools you have will make you better whether they’re from MoxiWorks or not.
Everything you need to be a “tech-enabled brokerage” already exists in the marketplace and agents at any brokerage with leading technology will see an impact on their business, even if your brokerage isn’t one of the “disruptors.”
A case for the mistaken market share
Market share is of course another way to reflect on your brokerages’ success, but make sure the data you are comparing it to is apples to apples and not apples to grapefruits.
For example, it’s easy to claim impressive market share to scare the competition when the sample size of that share is disproportionate. Compass made claims at the end of 2019 towards their 20/20 by 2020 vision that a number of their markets are close to 20%. But, 21.3% market share of Malibu, CA is certainly not the same as only 6.6% of LA county. And 33% in the concentrated D.C. market is not the same as only 7.3% in the DC metro area, just like 17.8% in Downtown Dallas is not the same as only 2.9% in the Dallas metro area.
While a lofty goal, there is still more than enough market share being held by other brokerages and to that we say keep it going. Instead of letting the disruptors distract you, focus on things that truly reflect success in your business. Focus on your team and your success.
The pomp and flash won’t last. Just remember, the data doesn’t lie. Big signing bonuses and other carrots being dangled in front of agents are sometimes tough to combat, but you should really be more concerned with yours and their retention rates, instead of recruitment rates.
Why? Because agents who left Compass in 2019 were only there for an average of 295 days, so less than one year. In the 2019 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile report, they found that the median tenure for REALTORS® with their current firm was four years.
So focus on what you’re doing to recruit and retain your agents. If the industry average is indeed four years of tenure at a company, take a look at your data and see how long your agents are sticking around to determine whether you might need to make some adjustments to continue to have your agents remain at your brokerage. And remember that using technology to increase agent productivity can solve your recruiting and retention problems: productive agents are happy agents who stay at your brokerage and recruit others to it.
The road ahead
The quote written above my office from Marshall Goldsmith is a reminder to us every day and it should also be a reminder to you:
“What got you here won’t get you there.”
While I believe you have everything you need at your fingertips, I also believe you need to be proactive and provide an environment of ‘Training + Systems + Coaching’ to retain your agents and help them continue to succeed through the age of disruption.
And look, we have to give Compass credit. They set a lofty goal, and good on them for doing that. Every company should. Creating that mission, that rallying cry is a great way to not only motivate their teams but gives them something to measure.
So, instead of letting them distract you from your goals, take it to heart instead. What are your goals?
Their goal doesn’t say anything about anyone else, so think deeply about your brokerages’ goals for the company and for your agents and use that goal to measure your success.
And don’t stop there. Announce it to the team, bring it up in meetings with your team and with your stakeholders. Develop leading indicators of your progress and measure them routinely with a scorecard. Hold yourself accountable for the goals you set and what you are trying to achieve. We do this at MoxiWorks and I promise you that you will see better results by doing so as well.
There will always be disruptors. Don’t let them derail your focus. Instead, stay lasered in on your success metrics and your goals and continue to help your agents thrive with your brokerage as their home.
York Baur, CEO
Software solutions for real estate brokerages abound. As you look at your options, initial price and implementation are likely top of mind. But these factors only tell part of the story — you’ll want to understand your total cost of ownership (TCO) before you decide on the right solution for your business. Be sure to get answers to questions in these six critical areas before you sign on.
6 Big Questions to Ask Every Real Estate Technology Vendor About TCO.
6 Big Questions to Ask Every Real Estate Technology Vendor About
- Will this software grow with my company’s goals?
- Does the software come with usage limitations, and how do the limitations work?
- How easy is the software to use?
- What should we plan for in terms of in-house maintenance requirements?
- What kind of technical support will we need in order to use the software every day?
- How secure is our data, and what happens in the case of a disaster or downtime where we can’t access our software?
1. Will this software grow with my company’s goals?
Now that Software as a Service (SaaS) dominates in most industries, you are less likely to run into a purchase becoming outdated. However, does the software provider know their future intentions? Or, does this product seem like a quick-fix, a bandage, for your existing problem?
What questions should you ask about the “expected lifetime” of the software?
- Is this a new product, or has it been on the market for quite some time?
- What new products does the vendor have in the pipeline that might replace the one you are considering?
- How long do they plan to support the existing product?
2. Does the software come with usage limitations, and how do the limitations work?
If you don’t plan ahead there can come a point in your average daily usage that you find a limitation in the software. What does “typical” usage look like, and what are the costs if we exceed usage limitations?
- How many users can I have per license?
- How many devices can run the software at the same time?
- Can we access the software from both the desktop and mobile?
- Is there a limit to the amount of data storage?
3. How easy is the software to use?
Questions about ease of use apply to many aspects of how your brokerage will implement a new solution and they are important to ask ahead of time. This will help you better frame how your staff and agents will continue to embrace it over time. Be sure to understand the nitty-gritty about customization, data migration, implementation, adoption, initial and ongoing training, and expected timelines for each of these pieces. These items could affect the actual cost of the software as well as the enthusiasm of your agents and administrative staff. You want happy, engaged team members who can readily put the new tools to work.
Here are the questions you should ask about the software’s ease of use:
- How easy is it to onboard?
- What is the average time it takes for new clients to implement and start using the software?
- What is the time investment for the initial training?
- How much ongoing training is included?
- How difficult is data migration?
- How long does data migration take?
4. What should we plan for in terms of in-house maintenance requirements?
When considering the total cost of ownership, you need to look at how you will handle the inevitable upgrades over time.
Questions you should ask regarding ongoing maintenance:
- Do we need to have a dedicated in-house maintenance person?
- How hard will it be to maintain our software?
- Do we pay more for software updates or bug patches?
- At what point would we need to upgrade our licenses?
5. What kind of technical support will we need in order to use the software every day?
Even with the most user-friendly software, glitches, frozen screens, and technical issues happen. And let’s face it — real estate agents exist all over the tech-savviness spectrum. You’ll want to understand what’s promised for basic support and troubleshooting and whether you’ll need to make an additional investment to assure broad-based usage.
Questions you should ask about support and troubleshooting:
- What type of support is offered with our license?
- Is there a time frame or a limited number of support hours we get with our package?
- What happens if an agent has trouble with the software? Are we charged per call?
- How easy is it to reach a support person? What hours is support available?
6. How secure is our data, and what happens in the case of a disaster or downtime where we can’t access our software?
What safeguards does the software vendor have in place to help you keep your business safe, secure, and operational through any situation? The real estate industry is fast becoming a high-risk target in identity theft and wire-fraud schemes. You want to ensure you’re aligning with partners that take security seriously.
Questions you should ask about security, disasters, and potential downtime:
- What kind of security is included with our licensing?
- Are automatic backups included?
- Do we need to purchase additional external or cloud storage?
- Will we need to hire an additional security service provider for our software?
- Will we be able to access our data during a natural disaster?
- Software downtime affects our efficiency and agent productivity; what assurances do we have about software connectivity?
Ask these questions about any real estate software solution you are seriously considering. You’ll get important answers, and you’ll also help the vendor you eventually choose support you more constructively. And when you ask the vendor about data responsibilities, support, troubleshooting, ease of use, maintenance, and expected lifetime, you can better estimate the TCO of your new software. If a vendor doesn’t have an answer, you may want to go with a provider who already has these processes — and more — covered.
As seen in RISMedia’s online magazine.
By Jameson Doris
As principal broker/owner of Mississippi-based eAgent Realty, Justin Allen is intimately aware of the main problems agents regularly face in this ever-changing real estate landscape. Being in the industry for some 17 years, those issues have changed, but Allen notes three main struggles agents are facing today.
The first two are that the 6% commission is on the chopping block since the listing agent’s tasks can now be largely automated with new options for sellers arriving every day, and the fact that developing your own brand as an agent is harder than ever.
Thirdly, many agents have to do double data entry since the technology on the brokerage level is often subpar and not integrated. In order to be more efficient, many agents end up purchasing their own tools for lead generation, CRM, CMAs, websites, transaction management—the list goes on and on.
These unwanted expenses all add up, which led Allen to take a step back. After much consideration, he determined that what the industry needed was a much more efficient model where the agent could strike out on their own and develop their own brand without the burdensome costs associated with doing so.
“Within a short period of time we had this new model figured out, but needed a software company to help build the intranet that it would take to roll out this new, non-traditional partnership between ourselves and entrepreneurial-minded agents,” says Allen.
That’s when he found MoxiWorks, a company that already had an excellent handle on the integration issue that many agents face. Thanks to the MoxiCloud, real estate professionals are able to integrate various tech partners so all of their tools seamlessly work together. This also lets folks use a single sign-on (SSO) for access, saving time and limiting double data entry.
“The service from MoxiWorks was amazing and in just a few short months, we had an intranet that could act like a network where we could easily connect different vendors,” says Allen. “Having a weekly conference call with our dedicated account manager from MoxiWorks made it easy to stay on task and get a lot accomplished.”
With MoxiWorks on board, Allen was able to face the other two issues agents deal with head on. Allen repurposed his office into what he calls a “Synergy Office” where other brokers have access for a low monthly fee—which took care of the need for their own office space. And for branding, to remove the guesswork, he came up with two different branding options that brokers can choose from.
“Incorporating a partner like MoxiWorks gave us the ability to create something new for the industry and launch an evolution for the next generation of entrepreneurs who have staked their claim in this new world we call Real Estate 2.0,” Allen says. “More importantly, our new partnership with MoxiWorks has changed the team dynamic within our new evolved office.”
He adds that the support his office has received from MoxiWorks through regular phone calls and webinars for the entire brokerage with his local account manager, Melissa Anderson, has been integral to his brokerage’s innovation, enthusiasm and overall growth.
“MoxiWorks has not only exceeded our needs and expectations, but was the only company we could find that even came close to being able to assist us in achieving our vision,” says Allen.
For more information, please visit www.moxiworks.com.
By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
There are too many headlines about real estate agents feeling unsafe in their jobs. By the nature of the job, real estate agents are often alone, in unfamiliar areas, in public, and on-the-go. Unfortunately, there is a constant stream of stories of agents being targets of violence or harassment.
There are many steps you can take to ensure you’re safe while going about your daily grind, such as:
- Taking self-defense lessons
- The buddy system
- Safety technology
- Use your brokerage office for meetings with new clients
- Only show properties before dark
When you’re going into a vacant home, when you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood, when you’re meeting with somebody new, or when you’re walking alone at night. Whether the situation is perfectly safe or not, it’s important to have peace of mind.
Everything MoxiWorks does is powered by the drive to make real estate a prosperous business to be in, from integrating all of a brokerage’s technology to reduce hassle, to helping you agents manage their database and taking the pain out of Facebook advertising. MoxiWorks is committed to making real estate agents more successful, and that means enabling you to do your everyday job with more ease. Feeling safe in your job and in your everyday life is not a perk, but a necessity.
So, we set out to find a way to help. Even though we aren’t experts in the field of physical safety, we knew those experts were out there and we knew there had to be something we could do. We partnered up with Revolar, an innovative safety device company, to help extend peace of mind to as many real estate agents across the U.S. as possible.
Through the end of April, you can get 45% off your Revolar Instinct purchase by using the promo code “moxiworks” at checkout.
Disclaimer: MoxiWorks is not making a dime off this partnership. It is not an affiliate marketing trap, or a perk for us, but truly an effort to give back to the community in which we operate, and it turns out Revolar wanted to do the same.
Revolar creates personal safety devices that connect you to emergency contacts with the click of a button. It’s a small piece of wearable technology syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. The simple 1-2-3 click alert system makes it easy to check in or request help in situations where you might not have the time to fish for your phone to call or text. The three types of alerts, each with a customizable message, is sent to your emergency contacts when you click the safety button. Whether it’s a check-in, an uneasy feeling, or an emergency, your designated contacts will receive your pre-set message via text, along with your GPS location so they can ensure you make it to your destination safely.
While we hope you never have to use it, we do hope that it gives you peace of mind and comfort as you go to work every day with the comfort of knowing you can reach someone for help if you need to. Take advantage of this promotion, stay safe, and know that MoxiWorks has your back.
By Nathan Losch, Tech Support Team Lead
What does a dream vacation look like to you? In the summer of 2016, I took my dream vacation, traveling all over Spain for three months. I saw La Alhambra in Granada, the Prado Museum in Madrid, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, hiked along the coast line, and ate delicious meals while conversing with fantastic people. It was an amazing trip, with just one exception.
Being an impromptu type of person, I did not plan my hotel arrangements ahead of time. There were days where I didn’t know where I would be sleeping that night. This led to a wide variety of hotels, hostels, and host families gracing me with their hospitality. Many of them were amazing, but there were a few that I would not choose to go back to.
I wasn’t completely lazy in choosing my accommodations. I looked at the pictures of the places online and made sure all of the basic requirements for what I needed were included. Looking back on my experience, the places I enjoyed vs the places I disliked were similar in many ways. The one major difference was that the good ones had better service.
My favorite accommodation from the trip was in Madrid. Not only did I get a bed, breakfast, and somebody to give me a key at my arrival, but the hostel provided other services as well. Every morning, one of the employees gave a free guided walking tour of the city. This helped me so much with understanding Madrid, with its labyrinthian layout and its fascinating history. This paved the way for me to better enjoy the statues I saw around town, the artwork in museums, and many of the conversational references made by the locals. Without this guided tour, my overall Madrid experience wouldn’t have been as strong.
Contrast that experience with my experience in San Sebastian. I arrived at the hostel, got my key and a map, and was told “Welcome to San Sebastian!” I didn’t have any context of the town’s history or its layout, and wandered around aimlessly. San Sebastian was pretty, but I didn’t enjoy myself there nearly as much as I did in Madrid, especially after the initial novelty of exploration wore off.
You may be asking, “Okay Nathan, you went to Spain. Good for you. Why does this matter?” The answer is that getting good service and quality assistance can drastically improve your experience with something, whether it be traveling in a foreign country or working with real estate technology. Just as I rave to all my friends about Madrid in large part due to the service provided by the hostel, MoxiWorks’ customers rave about MoxiWorks in large part because of the service our Support team provides.
One of the metrics we track at MoxiWorks is the Net Promoter score. The NPS score asks, “How likely are you to recommend MoxiWorks to a friend or colleague?” Responses are sorted into three categories: promoter, neutral, and detractor. The percentage of detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters, and that gives you your NPS score. Anything above 50 is seen as outstanding, and MoxiWorks has been consistently sitting at an NPS score of 60.
How have we managed this? Sure our products look nice and are useful for agents, but we also are equipped to help out when needed. Are your listings appearing out of order on your presentation? Our support team can help you out! Do you need help setting up Neighborhood News or Listing Announcements? We’re eager to assist! Having trouble getting your custom domain to redirect to your website? We’re pros at getting this turned around!
I maximized my experience traveling in Madrid by having access to a local expert who could show me the ins and outs of the town. Agents can maximize their experience within MoxiWorks by using our local experts, the MoxiWorks support team.
I have to call you out on your boastful approach to an industry that we all know and love. While we agree that there’s a great opportunity to employ technology in ways to make both the consumer and agent experience better, we don’t think you need to resort to the trash-talking and grandstanding that we’ve heard from you – you’re better than that, and frankly we don’t want you to tarnish an industry that has funded the creation of the very technologies you now claim credit for.
You claim to have started the tech talk in real estate. In your recent LinkedIn post titled Before Compass, Technology Was Barely Mentioned in Real Estate you said: “As it relates to technology, Compass truly revolutionized an industry that had become complacent and had fallen behind terribly.” In just a few words, you risk losing your credibility. The first wave of brokerage tech took place in the 1990’s. For instance, Windermere Real Estate, just one example of many, launched Windermere.com in 1995, creating the first known brokerage website, and added a complete suite of agent tools by 2000.
Since then, Windermere, Long & Foster and Howard Hanna have funded MoxiWorks, whose platform and tools now help make 60 brokerages and 110,000 agents better at what they do. Other obvious examples of innovative technology use in real estate include Zillow (founded in 2006), Redfin (2004), and the long list of startups that have been hard at work for decades, funded by hundreds of millions in capital that was invested prior to your founding.
And stated by your head of product Eytan Seidman in his recent Built In Chicago interview, Compass claims to be “the first and only company to bring engineers together with agents under one roof.” Yet Windermere, Long & Foster, Howard Hanna and countless other leading brokerages have had software engineers and agents working side-by-side in their brokerages to evolve real estate technology since the mid-1990s, developing the technologies, data exchange mechanisms, and standards you now rely on.
You claim to create all your own technology. And speaking of untruths, your CEO Robert Reffkin has publicly stated, “We build everything in house, and all the tools and support is in house.” But anyone can look at the websites you run and see that they’re licensed from MoPro, that you’ve licensed MailChimp as your email marketing tool, and that you licensed Honey for your internal social network. These are all fine choices, but you don’t “build everything in house,” so why the distortion?
Your CEO Robert Reffkin recently claimed in a live interview on CNBC that Compass “just launched Seattle five weeks ago and we already have 5% market share.” We took it upon ourselves to do a deep dive into the data – the Moxi Cloud Open Platform now contains the data for 90% of the home sale footprint of the United States, so like everyone out there with access to MLS data, we can calculate your actual market share in any of your markets. For example, that data shows that for the Seattle metro area, the best you could claim is 0.7% of transactions where Compass was either the listing or selling agent. That’s a far cry from the 5% you claimed. Your CEO Reffkin also said Compass “is the only company empowering agents.” That’s not credible, so why say it other than to antagonize the industry you’re clearly a part of, and in business with on the other side of many of your transactions?
You say that your goal is to “improve the lives of agents.” You pay six figure signing bonuses “to less than 10% of your agents” and claim 98% retention, yet notable agents flee to their former brokerage as soon as the contract is up. We did a deep dive into that data too. For agents that joined Compass any time after January 1, 2016 and have left Compass since, the average tenure was only 245 days.
Bottom line. The tech stack you tout is something every other brokerage can quite literally replicate on the open market – many already have. Compass may not be a brokerage that is great at building technology (that has yet to be seen), but you are a brokerage that is great at integrating the technology you buy, and you happen to build some of your own tools too. That sounds like Windermere, Long & Foster and others before they recognized that choosing the best mix of tools from the vendors that use the $1B of capital invested annually into real estate technology was a better strategy.
Side note to all the brokerages out there: You are investing in tech. Keep your independence. If you haven’t already, choose a platform, whether that’s from MoxiWorks or from any one of our worthy competitors and mix the unique set of agent tools that match your brokerage value proposition and business style. That’s all that Compass has done, only their platform isn’t open, which means they don’t have the flexibility you’ll have.
Compass’ strength of integration is one MoxiWorks has already built and established – nothing new here. The Moxi Cloud has been available to our customers for exactly this purpose for three years and has over 40 partner companies whose products work with it, sharing and contributing to the broker and agent data in the platform for the benefit of all. And we’re not the only ones – many of our competitors have similar abilities, and brokerages are mixing their unique blend of technology to support their value propositions just like you are.
We set out to better the industry, not terrify it or antagonize it. Consider this open letter an invitation. Consider it an opportunity for you to set the record straight.
York Baur, CEO of MoxiWorks
Checkout more of the data at moxiworks.com/compass.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Blockchain, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies…what’s the difference? Why does it matter? What does it mean for our future? It feels like the topic of the year regardless of the industry you’re in. Earlier in the year we wrote an article on cryptocurrencies in the real estate world; buying homes and paying rent with digital currency. While some are splitting up a transaction to use some cryptocurrencies, others are doing the entire transaction via cryptocurrency. There’s even a “Blockchain real estate platform” called ShelterZoom that just announced their application is live in over 10 states.
It’s all happening very quickly, but it’s important to make sure we’re all caught up on the basics. Let’s start here:
Cryptocurrency: Digital currency, exchanged and traded over the internet. They’re designed to create a more secure route for trading, and more secure documentation of who traded what, when.
Bitcoin: A decentralized cryptocurrency, that works without a central bank, allowing for less restrictions. It’s the most well-known cryptocurrency.
Blockchain: The network and ecosystem in which bitcoin sends and transfers money on. It’s the foundation that powers Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies.
The gist, is that this network is public and can be used to transact anywhere in the world without a bank or “middleman.” It’s also cheaper to do the transaction on Blockchain compared to the traditional way. Our favorite way description of how it all works:
“Imagine that you and your best friend Bob are standing on a stage in an auditorium, and there are 1,000 people in the audience. In front of these 1,000 people, you hand your car keys to Bob, and Bob hands you his Rolex. You declare, “Bob, you now own my car.”
Bob declares back to you, “You now own my Rolex.” There are 1,000 witnesses who can each declare, without doubt, that your car now belongs to Bob, and the Rolex belongs to you. If anyone in the audience later tells a conflicting account of who owns the car or the Rolex, the other 999 people will refute it. And, if you take a spare set of your keys and try to give that same car to someone else, the 1,000 audience members will confirm that Bob owns the car, as each of them witnessed the “transaction.”’ (Forbes, 2018)
While some may say they don’t feel comfortable using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, or don’t trust the network Blockchain itself, others will swear by its innovation in security. The thing is, if you buy a house with bitcoin, you’re technically still buying it in cash, it’s just being converted into a cryptocurrency first. So, how will Blockchain affect the industry as we know it?
Before you write it off, real estate transactions could get a whole lot easier. Not only that, but they could get a lot more secure as well. With accurate data and efficiency as its strengths, Blockchain will eliminate the need for a third party; no more waiting for bank wires and checks to clear. On Blockchain, every user has a unique identity via cryptocurrency, meaning financial info can be shared securely to other parties, making the Escrow process a walk in the park.
As we all know, the MLSs across the nation are tremendously scattered and fragmented. Each one has different restrictions, making it hard to compare data and find trends. While others in the industry, such as Upstream, are trying to solve this issue, Blockchain technology could be the single point of truth that fixes the MLS problem. Secure, nationwide data, with real-time access to property information, what’s not to love?
Titles can be hard to access. Blockchain is starting to change this, with its ability to be a record-keeper for any kind of transaction out there. Smart contracts, personal records and credit history, trademarks, elections, titles – you name it. That means it could also provide a central database for all property titles, saying goodbye to paper titles for good.
In the future where Blockchain rules the land, real estate professionals will actually thrive in it. This technology will only improve the industry and lives of those in it; it’s not a technology you need to be afraid of. We say, learn as much as you can on the topic, stay up-to-date, and get involved hands-on as early as you can. For every one person who is against a decentralized currency, there are two more who are about to hop on the bandwagon.
By Tiana Baur
The Swanepoel Mega 1000 just came out and we are thrilled to see so many of our amazing clients on it! Of course, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give everyone a special shout out (and we mean everyone). After all, 45 of our 55 clients made the list!
For those of you who may not be familiar, this is the annual analysis of brokerages, franchisors and real estate holding companies that Swanepoel kicks out – and because of that, it’s kind of a big deal. So, without further ado… here are our lovely clients that made the Swanepoel Mega 1000 this year.
For the Top 20 Franchisors category, four (20%) are our clients, including:
– Windermere Real Estate
– Realty ONE Group
– Howard Hanna Real Estate
In the Top 20 Holding Companies category, eight (40%) are our clients, including:
– Windermere Real Estate Services
– HomeServices of America
– Realogy Holdings Corp
– Realty ONE Group
– Hanna Holdings
– Pacific Union International
– William Raveis Real Estate
In the top 150 of the Mega 1000, 22 (40%) of our 55 clients made the list, including:
2. HomeServices of America
3. Howard Hanna Real Estate
4. Realty ONE Group
5. Pacific Union International
6. William Raveis Real Estate
8. Crye-Leike Realtors
9. Sereno Group
10. Watson Realty
11. Daniel Gale Sotheby’s Realty
12. Lyon Real Estate
13. Michael Saunders & Company
14. Realty Austin
15. J. Rockcliff Realtors
16. Zephyr Real Estate
17. Paragon Real Estate Group
18. Century 21 M&M and Associates
19. Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty
20. Michael Bean Group
21. Carrington Real Estate Services
22. Gibson Sotheby’s Realty
And included in the Mega 1000 in total, 45 (82%) of our 55 clients made the list!
23. Better Homes & Gardens Reliance Partners
24. RE/MAX of Boulder
25. Berkshire Hathaway HS Verani Realty
26. Chase International Real Estate
27. Willis Allen Real Estate
28. McGuire Real Estate
29. J.B. Goodwin
30. Podley Properties
31. RE/MAX Metro
32. John Greene Enterprises
33. Realty ONE Group Complete
34. Keller Williams Sacramento
35. Berkshire Hathaway HS Verani Realty
36. Keller Williams Santa Rosa
37. Four Seasons Sotheby’s Realty
38. Jim Maloof
39. Kinlin Grover, Page Taft, & Randall Realtors
40. Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
41. Phyllis Browning Company
42. Weidel Real Estate
43. Cressy & Everett
44. RE/MAX Direct
45. Terra Firma Global Partners
Congrats to all of these amazing companies! It’s a pleasure to work with you and evolve real estate technology together. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for each and every one of you!