By Marc Chouaniere, VP of Marketing, MoxiWorks
It’s no accident that three of the largest and most successful regional real estate brokerages in the U.S. use MoxiWorks – which we extend to help 72 other independent brokerages as well. We pride ourselves on providing best-in-class tools and services to our clients, but what does that mean? Best-in-Class is a set of superior solutions (an entire toolbox) for a given market vs Best-of Breed which is a single tool (a hammer).
While I’m still learning about the intricacies of the real estate industry (I come from a fairly diverse software background), I am very familiar with best-in-class or best-of-breed technology solutions. Best-in-class simply means; Your product or service is what your customers revere as superior and the standard by which all others aspire to. You are the highest level of quality, the benchmark of top performance, the best of the best. Often you are the first to innovate and continually lead in your respective category. I was fortunate to have had worked at Microsoft early in my career to engrain a solid sense of high standards in building and maintaining best-in-class discipline in product execution and team leadership. However, small companies can also quickly catapult themselves to best-of-breed, as is the case with my recent experience at Icertis in the enterprise contract management space. Getting to this level takes deep focus and commitment but staying at the top can be equally as challenging. MoxiWorks was built by agents and brokers that live and breathe real estate every day to deliver one thing; best-in-class.
How we became best-in-class
Best-of-class can be achieved in many ways. At MoxiWorks, our recipe for success comes from a deep connection to real estate (being born out of Windermere), a passion for improving the experience for our agent and broker customers, and a focus on thinking about what’s the next innovation we can bring to our products. This, coupled with a leadership team that hires and nurtures the best talent with the insight to know how to shape the right course or to get out of the way when people need the freedom to push the boundaries of convention. Additionally, we think about the whole market. We align with select partners that benefit the entire ecosystem since we know that no company that is best-in-class can be a solution island.
It’s also several other unique things, like the wonderful depth of collaboration we have. I sit right next to the support desk and hear every day how we can evolve and become better. On my other side I have the development team, who regularly bounces ideas off my team to gain a perspective on how customers might receive a new feature or a change to a current product. Having the entire team under one roof is so valuable when needing to be extremely agile to create the best solutions in the market.
As with my joining MoxiWorks, we have recently been bringing different people onboard with diverse experiences to think outside the box and learn how other industries have brought innovation to their business.
What “best-in-class” means for your agents
Due to constantly having to change out old technology for new technology, agents now have major tool fatigue. Because of this they are ultra-sensitive to new tools, so they need to be thoughtfully integrated in a way that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort (or another password to remember) on their part. When it comes to technology, a brokerage’s value proposition needs to be centered around helping them grow their business and making their lives easier, putting more time and money back in their pockets. Therefore, picking the best tools and services for the type of business that your agents do and the style of your unique brokerage, while minimizing the hassle factor, is essential.
Best-in-class helps you accomplish this. Because we have a strict vetting process, you can rest assured that the Moxi Cloud tools and services are truly best-in-class and choosing amongst them will minimize the need for changing them out in the future, making tool fatigue a thing of the past.
This is all thanks to MoxiWorks having an Open Platform which allows technology and service companies to integrate and share data. Without an Open Platform you would lose a system that makes it easy to find and know when to use the various best-in-class tools and services provided, SSO (single-sign-on), and the data sharing that eliminates the need for data reentry.
Best-in-class doesn’t just mean superior tools for your agents, it means an entire ecosystem seamlessly working together, driving your agents’ success and making their day-to-day life more efficient and rewarding.
By Ring Nishioka, VP of Operations at MoxiWorks
I joined MoxiWorks about 18 months ago and when I joined, the company had just under 50 employees and an office space of about 5000 square feet. The Little Engine that could has come a long way in the past 18 months. The doubling of our agent count has included 25 new employees and the doubling of our office space square footage.
As one of the HR folks in the company, it has been my responsibility to hire these last 25 employees along with our HR Specialist, Emily “HRSavage” Sherwood. We have hired 13 employees since the beginning of 2018 and we’re not looking to slow it down anytime soon.
MoxiWorks is based in Seattle, Washington and the market for technology talent is very similar to the real estate market – there are more buyers than there are sellers/inventory. All of the large tech companies have created more job openings than there are candidates. So recruiting quality candidates can be tough.
In the same way that the market has driven up the price of homes in Seattle, the market has driven the starting salaries for technologists through the roof. Graduates from good schools with computer science degrees and zero experience are making more than their parents. While that might sound absurd, it’s the truth. Supply and demand at its finest.
The multiple offices of Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and the numerous startups including Uber, Lyft, and CHEF, to name just a few of the more recognizable names, is putting a squeeze on the little engine MoxiWorks.
So, what is a non-Microsoft sized tech company to do when it needs to fill openings? Like most brokerages, we try to entice candidates by creating a cool place to work and creating a strong brand in the marketplace, but the best thing we have done to recruit new talent is the use of our employee referral program and the use of social media.
Like most companies, we offer a referral bounty for employee referrals. We pay this bounty on the first day of the new hires employment. We don’t ask the employee who made the referral to wait three months before we pay out because it was the hiring manager and the interview loop that made the hiring decision.
Our bounty is $1500.00, which is modest by Seattle standards. We don’t want Moxians to quit their day jobs because the bounty on a referral is too high. We want to say “thank you” with a token of appreciation. Why do we want referrals so badly? We want referrals because our employees feel this is a great place to work and want to share the experience. Make the referral $10-$20K (yes, it is a thing) and folks will throw random candidates against the wall in the hopes of getting lucky.
Our employees are MoxiWorks BEST source of referrals and leveraged with Social media, we can make a serious dent in the list of open positions. And the same could be said for new agent recruits. Moxi employees know what our culture is, they know what success looks like, and they know the hiring managers. As an HR guy, what I like the most about employee referrals is that new hires that are referred by a current employee have a friend, ally, mentor and big brother / sister to watch their back. We know this is typical for brand new agents just getting into the real estate world. We all need someone to show us the ropes. These employees put their reputations on the line and are motivated to make sure their referral is successful.
To give you some perspective, the last three months at MoxiWorks looked like this:
- Our Test Engineer referred TWO technologists.
- Our Marketing Automation Manager referred our VP of Marketing
- A new hire developer liked the interview process so much, he referred his developer friend BEFORE HIS FIRST DAY OF EMPLOYMENT.
- Our CEO referred our CFO
If we went through a hiring agency using outside recruiters, we would have spent close to $170,000.00 in agency fees. We also would NOT have had organic relationships with these new hires.
We create a job posting and then our Content Marketing Manager, Tiana Baur, creates links that the employees can post on their persona LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
And just like that, we’re swimming in plenty of quality referrals from our employees we know and trust.
Yes, we are hiring, and currently looking for:
If you’re not currently a Moxian and want to refer a candidate that we hire, we would like to say “thank you” with a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Hit me up at Ring@moxiworks.com.
By Tiana Baur
We recently announced the launch of Moxi Talent, our new tool for managers and recruiters, to help them do their jobs more efficiently, providing them with much more information right at their fingertips. It’s designed to execute based on goal-setting, automation, and a consistent methodology to attract and hire agents.
Built on Moxi Engage
Moxi Talent guides recruiters and managers through the recruiting process not unlike a CRM. In fact, Moxi Talent was built on the core of Moxi Engage, our CRM and productivity tool. Moxi Talent requires managers and recruiters to set their goals before taking any other action. The goals are used by the system to keep managers focused on a disciplined methodology, despite the noise of daily office life, especially for those with an open-door policy.
Engage, it’s foundation, increases agent production by an average of 38%, so the outlook for Moxi Talent is extremely promising. The task manager helps managers and recruiters take the correct action at the correct time. The tasks include anything from posting to the target agent’s LinkedIn profile or taking the time to attend a few more broker’s opens each month. For users that also have Moxi Present, it might suggest sending the agent an interactive CMA to show them the power of the tools your agents have access to, to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
Identify who to recruit
Not only does Talent walk you through successfully getting an all-star agent into your office, but it also tells you who these agents are, and which ones will help you reach your goals. It also prioritizes your tasks, so you’re focusing on the ones that could really count vs. ones you’d like to have in the fold.
And in the very near future, you can get even better insights. Let’s say you have a goal of $1M more in sales volume this year for your office. You’ll be able to see sales volume for the agents you’re going after, making it obvious who will get the job done.
Retain your existing agents
Recruiting is important, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Retention is just as important (as you know) for your brokerage as recruiting is. Moxi Talent will help you connect with all of your existing agents, making sure they’re happy and not looking elsewhere.
Although Moxi Talent is currently in Beta, you can get your brokerage signed up to be part of the early bird program here.
By Tiana Baur
We recently launched a brand-new tool! It’s called Publish and it’s beautiful.
Publish lets you and your offices create eye-catching presentations for your agents to send to their clients. Newsletters, holiday wishes, and everything else, now as a vital touchpoint.
It happens to be a feature within MoxiPresent, so every brokerage out there with MoxiPresent already has access to Publish capabilities! MoxiEngage can augment this experience as well, which we’ll talk about below.
Publish leverages the brokerage’s biggest asset, without any additional cost. That asset is your agents’ spheres. Think about the number of agents you have in your brokerage for a moment. On average, agents have 400 people in their spheres. So, you would potentially be reaching hundreds or thousands, if not millions of contacts, staying relevant and within your local footprint.
Publish helps in numerous ways, the most important being:
- Brokerages and office managers can create content
- Clients get interactive, responsive, branded content from their agents.
- Helps agents stay in flow without them having to lift a finger
Brokers and brokerage marketing departments can now create and distribute high quality, branded content to their agents through Publish. Brokerages can add value to their agents by providing content while maintaining brand standards and quality.
For Office Managers
The content created at the company level can be passed to the office level, where the office admins or managers can add hyper-local content to the company presentations. This gives the office admins/managers the opportunity to add value for their agents with a brokerage benefit. After all, hyper local content is the essence of all good marketing these days.
Agents now have a host of new materials at their fingertips to use to keep their SOI in flow. The agent didn’t have to take time to build it themselves, and the automation through Engage allows agents to stay top-of-mind with very little effort.
MoxiEngage + MoxiPresent
For the brokerages that are MoxiEngage AND MoxiPresent users, the experience also allows for automated delivery of published presentations to pre-set groups or sphere members in an agent’s MoxiEngage CRM account.
Why’d we choose to build it on the MoxiPresent CMA tool? Because it is infinitely editable and doesn’t even need listing data for it to work. Add any dynamic, interactive content you want like graphs, any type of virtual experience like Matterport, videos, and it will be responsive to mobile devices, which is where we find consumers.
Want to learn how many impressions your brokerage could be receiving with Publish? Contact your the dedicated Account Manager for your brokerage to learn more.
By JoDee Aspin, Database Developer at Moxi Works
I started working for Moxi Works in 2012. At the time, the Moxi Fund had existed, but wasn’t being treated as the priority I felt it should. There was about $4,000 sitting in the fund, mostly from donations that staff made over the years. No one was overseeing the fund or guiding it along to a prosperous future. Fortunately, that soon changed.
Mark Carlson, VP of Software Engineering, knew I had interest in the Windermere Foundation, which has always been extremely visible to Moxi Works since our founding roots are in the Windermere Real Estate brokerage. Because of that, Mark asked if I wanted to take control of it and as you can imagine, I jumped at the opportunity! In fact, it’s one of the reasons I said yes to taking the job at Moxi.
The fact that people on staff had donated money that was just sitting in a pot and not getting to the people it was intended for, bothered me to no end. Under the Executive Director of the Windermere Foundation’s guidance, I formed a team and we began troubleshooting ways to generate more donations to the Moxi Fund.
Initially our team included Tom Harnett, Jillian Igarashi and Jeff DeMelle. We determined that we really had two main goals, first, to continually promote awareness about the Moxi Fund within the organization, and second to generate enough interest that the entire staff thought of new ways to fundraise and help in growing the pot. I think we were all surprised at how quickly this took hold. We started to generate more and more interest and thus our funds began to grow little by little. It really kicked off once our CEO, York Baur got behind it (whom at the time had just joined Moxi Works). From that point on, there was only up. In fact, the Moxi Fund has raised more than $80,000 for charities in our community.
The Moxi Fund is a win for our entire company, and one that makes me proud of each person that gives to it, whether through volunteering for the Moxi Fund team, donating funds, or participating in the activities around it. More than that, it makes me proud to work for a company that promotes and fosters programs that give back to the wider community. So many took ownership and it was so lovely to see and be a part of. Today, because of logistics, I am no longer there with the team, in fact there are many new people involved, but my heart is there and always will be. The growth of the Moxi Fund is my proudest moment at the company (one of many I might add). Can’t wait to see how the Moxi Fund continues to grow in the years to come!
The Moxi Fund is an integral part of what we do here at Moxi Works. Our staff contributes directly to it from every paycheck. Since 2014, the Moxi Fund has raised over $80,000 for local Seattle charities benefitting children and families in need.
The team here at Moxi that oversees the Moxi Fund, plans ingenious fundraisers and is responsible for the consistent growth and giving of the funds. Here’s a look at all the Moxi Fund was able to accomplish in 2017:
Pike Place Market Foundation
“Cut the Pie”
In May, several Moxians had the honor to attend the Pike Place Market Foundation’s “Cut the Pie” event! This event is held every year to distribute grant money—partly funded by the donations from Moxi employees—to deserving, impactful services in the market community. Our attendees were blown away by the depth of health care, housing, and nutritional services operate right next door to us, and all the recipients commented on how “now more than ever” these services are needed and how Pike Market Foundation is an invaluable resource to the needy.
Pike Place Giving Tree
The Pike Place Giving Tree is a favorite at Moxi Works. During a time when everyone is trying to budget for their own family’s vacations, feasts, and gifts, it’s even more important to not forget about those that need it more than we do around the holidays. We put up a tree in the office and hung tags for specific items a local family had asked for. Employees could grab a tag from the tree and come back with said item. We wrapped ‘em all up and delivered them to the folks at the Pike Place Market Foundation. They let us know that all these gifts went to a relocated family in Seattle to make them feel loved in their new home.
Community Service Day
Every year, all of Moxi Works closes its doors for an entire day to give back to the local community. In 2017, we volunteered at Ryther. Founded in 1885, Ryther is a nonprofit organization serving vulnerable children and their families. They serve children and youth who are struggling with mental illness, substance use, Autism, and/or trauma. Here’s a look at what we were able to accomplish as a Moxi team that day.
Another way we like to raise money at Moxi Works is to race! And by race, we mean to an exciting destination like
Disney World or Washington D.C…basically the further it is, the better. We did two Moxi Races this year to encourage good health and raise money for the Moxi Fund. For each race, competitors contribute $25 to the Moxi Fund and logs their steps.
Race 1 stats: We had a grand total of 19,401,064.32 steps across all 5 teams that participated (9186.11 miles)
Race 2 stats: This race is currently still on. We are sitting at 14,229,135.36 steps across all 7 teams taking part this time around (6737.28 miles)
These races really are a win-win. We get to raise money for our beloved Moxi Fund, while at the same time doing something to better our health!
In 2017, we also did four pub trivia sessions. Because who doesn’t love trivia? Everyone who participates donates $5 to the Moxi Fund as entry to the competition. Every little bit helps!
Moxi Works’ employees also donated 911 pounds of food to Northwest Harvest in 2017 – our biggest food donation yet!
Stay tuned for what the Moxi Fund is able to accomplish in 2018!
By Regina Kelley, Senior Manager, PMO & Quality Assurance
I love what I do here at Moxi! I have been a Moxian for almost five years and have had the opportunity to wear many different hats in that time. My role has morphed and changed, year over year thanks to my amazing and supportive manager, Mark Carlson, who continues to believe in me, challenge me, and give me the opportunity to do what I love – being a leader at Moxi Works.
My proudest moment being a leader here at Moxi has been helping a fellow Moxian grow his own career and watching him become a strong and successful leader. Andy’s journey these past nine months is worth sharing and could perhaps inspire others to grow their own careers as well!
Be an expert or demonstrate knowledge
Andy started his career as a summer intern while he was still in college and rocked the testing world right out of the gate. His performance and attitude earned him a full-time position when he graduated, and over the next six years Andy expanded his knowledge and perfected his craft. He worked hard to grow his testing and technical skills, quickly becoming our team’s go-to-guy!
Find a path, make a plan
In the first quarter of 2017, we were beginning our Quarterly Review Cycle and were talking about his goals and what was next. Our discussion lead me to ask Andy what he enjoyed most about his job and what he does daily here at Moxi. His answer came fast: He enjoyed the technical aspects of testing! He also mentioned enjoying helping his fellow teammates… So we went with it!
I approached our VP of Technology and pitched the idea of this new role on the testing team and after getting the thumbs up we created a new role just for Andy to drive and work toward – a technical lead.
The testing team had never had a lead before, so I asked Andy to do some research and define this new role and with that, a path was created. He created a plan and off he went to work toward achieving this new goal. I am a big believer in employees taking control of their own careers and this is a great example of how to get started. Find a path, and make a plan!
Create opportunities for growth
In order to grow on this new path, to become this new Technical Lead, I had to create new opportunities for him to step up. The more responsibility Andy took on and succeeded at, the more his passion grew for what he was doing, so much so that he even began creating his own opportunities for growth. It didn’t take long for Andy to reach that goal and we had ourselves a Lead.
He was doing so well and gaining so much momentum in his new role, I started asking, what’s next? How do you feel about Leadership and Management? Again, with the quick answer – I’m not interested in that, I like the technical side. But I could see that he did enjoy helping his fellow teammates and mentoring – and he was natural at it! So, I suggested to him a new growth opportunity – to mentor/ manage an intern. Although reluctant at first, he jumped in with both feet.
After that our weekly check-in meeting dynamic began to change. As the weeks went by it shifted from strictly a test status update to more focused conversations about leading and mentoring on the team. We talked about the best ways to get things done, how to grow his mentee and help others on the team continue their growth. Every week Andy walked away with new objectives and opportunities for him to stretch himself in a different way, a non-technical way.
After a couple months went by I asked Andy how he was feeling about his mentorship, and his answer didn’t come quite as quickly as before – surprisingly, he was really enjoying it! I could see the great leadership potential Andy had, he just needed to see it in himself.
Strengthen what you love
Andy and I will continue to rock the testing world here at Moxi together, and we will continue to push him and give him new opportunities to try different things – even things he may not know he will enjoy.
If you take one thing away from this story, know that you can do this too. Start by asking yourself what you love most about what you do every day, and go with it! Share that with your manager or mentor and look for new opportunities to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and take chances. You won’t know until you try, and you may find a new passion you didn’t even know you had!
A brokerage intranet is the glue that keeps everything together and the filing cabinet that keeps it all sorted. They increase efficiency, boost productivity, reduce information overload, enable true mobility, and drive engagement.
Moxi Works Hub is the ultimate brokerage intranet. With over 1.5 million agent sessions, brokerages use it as a center for announcements, multi-media, documents; the one stop shop for all of their communications.
Quickly find the agents, staff, documents, and client presentations with one search box. That’s right, through keywords, Hub is able to pull up all the relevant information from the agent’s search. No more time wasted searching for something you could find in ten seconds. Sounds like a productivity booster!
Every document within your brokerage is organized within the hub and is searchable in one central location. Set permissions for each document, ensuring the right people see the right information and documents. This helps when you want your managers and higher-ups to have different information than your agents.
Sure, it’s nice to have a place to store all of your documents, but what about your multi-media? Your videos, photos, and other brokerage collateral you’ve spent precious time on. The Hub is your communications center for it all. Have a new TV commercial coming out or an online ad campaign running? Give your agents a sneak peek inside the Hub!
Find contact information for every agent and staff member within your brokerage. The roster allows collaboration among agents and staff. It even makes referrals within a brokerage very simple.
Tools & services
All the tools and services your brokerage provides are found in one place. Everything from marketing to transaction management to your MLS. This is the power of the Moxi Cloud, integrating everything a brokerage needs in one place, with Single-Sign On (SSO). Provide links to tools and services that agents use every day, so they have to click around less.
Post announcements you’d like all your agents to see or remind them of ones they’ve received in email form. Notify when upcoming events are around the corner or when their taxes are due. Your brokerage value proposition can get a lot more attractive when an agent only needs to log into one place to see it all.
Want to learn more about Moxi Works Hub? Click here and watch the video below.
York Baur – CEO, Moxi Works
Redfin went public last week, raising well over $100M at a valuation of $1.5B. That’s what all the media is focused on, but what does it mean to you the brokerage owner?
The bad news is that you should be concerned. Redfin has deep pockets, deep technology, and now has access to the public markets to raise more capital as needed to grow further. They invest tens of millions of dollars in their technology annually, have a great website, and spend lots of time and money driving traffic to it. Like it or not, they’ll be a factor, and they’re going to put pressure on you to deliver better technology and a slicker experience for both your agents and their consumers.
The good news is that you have everything you need available to you to compete successfully. How can I be so sure? Because Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate has had Redfin operating in its home market of Seattle for 12 years with $200M of capital, and despite all the hype, tech and money, Redfin still has only 2.6% market share compared to Windermere’s 21%. Even more important, Windermere did 38% more transactions last year than 5 years ago in the tightest inventory market we’ve seen in a long time.
How can Windermere continue to dominate in the face of Redfin? And Zillow for that matter (also based in Seattle’s tech-centric market), supposedly siphoning away business by selling leads to the highest bidder? And how can you do what they’re doing? The answer is:
- Continue to focus on agent’s sphere of influence – the people that already know, like, and trust their agents. Sound obvious? It is, but I’ll bet you’re not doing it enough. We talk to brokerages across the country every day who are distracted by chasing a lead generation battle that they can’t win. How are you seriously going to compete with the billions of dollars of capital that Redfin, Zillow, and Realtor.com spend every year driving consumers to their sites? You can’t. Period. Lead gen will continue to be a small piece of your business, but that’s it – a small piece. The biggest piece of your business is the core business, which is transactions coming from consumers an agent already has a trust relationship with.
- Quit focusing on buyer leads. Every realtor and broker wants a seller, not a buyer if they have the choice. Redfin generates buyer leads. Zillow generates buyer leads. What’s the overwhelming source of seller leads? It’s an agent’s sphere. Control the inventory in your market by concentrating agents on their sphere, and you make money. There are only around five million homes transacted every year no matter how many buyer leads are generated – don’t you want to control the seller side of that equation?
- Control and centralize your data. Windermere decided years ago to put an open platform in place. It’s like a power strip where they can plug in all their agent tools and have them work together. How? By putting all their property data, agent and brokerage data, and consumer data in one place. Windermere currently has over 2.6M consumer names in that platform, allowing agents and the brokerage to market to those consumers to generate listings, using dozens of tools in various markets to do so. Do you have a centralized database of your agent’s contacts? What are you doing to help them stay in front of their sphere of influence?
- Quit creating islands of data and technology. Windermere has taken the platform concept to heart, and has solved the problems of tools that don’t work together, redundant data entry, and not being able to get a comprehensive view of their business. A technology platform allows them to save millions of dollars annually in office staff time, custom software development, and management overhead. This is in sharp contrast to most brokers, who don’t have a technology strategy. They buy the latest shiny technology object, and don’t even ask the question of how it works with the other technology they have now or might use in the future. Agents are demanding a better experience, and that means not having to start over from scratch with every new tool you provide them, upload their database for the 17th time, or having to rekey data.
- Training, coaching and sales discipline. Redfin has made much out of the fact that they hire agents and support staff as full-time employees, not contractors. But that’s not the big difference – we hire contractors in the tech world all the time, and they contribute just as much as our employees do. So what’s the difference? It’s not the person, it’s how they’re trained, coached, and held to a standard of how to do business. That means having a training program, providing good coaching (which means training your coaches), and having a technology (specifically a CRM system) that reinforces the sales discipline every day as agents do business. Windermere has trained over two-thirds of their agents in the Windermere sales discipline (heavily influenced by Larry Kendall’s Ninja Selling), puts an emphasis on managers doing agent coaching, and has built their discipline into their CRM to provide ongoing reinforcement.
With Redfin beating its chest on Wall Street, you need a response for your agents and your consumers – now. Do nothing and you’ll lose agents, because they won’t tolerate inaction. And don’t forget the Millennial agent who isn’t just comfortable with tech, they demand it as a necessary tool for doing business. But despite all the hype and money spent, Windermere did eight times as many transactions in the greater Seattle market last year than Redfin did. With performance like that, we’d all be well served to look at what they’re doing right.
Find out more about brokerage open platforms and how they work by clicking here.