By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
There are a few common pain points for brokerages throughout the industry: they’re having trouble keeping their tech stack updated, agents are experiencing tool fatigue, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain agents. Brokers are being challenged to think ahead, putting systems in place that will ensure their relevancy and competitiveness in the future. Change is hard in any situation, but it’s particularly challenging when the future is uncertain.
New technology is being developed rapidly, making the vetting and onboarding of new tools daunting. Yet, maintaining a winning tech stack is how you’re going to recruit and keep the best performing team of agents.
Integration is vital to a brokerage’s ability to future-proof its business. If you’re able to plug and play tools and services as needed, without completely starting over or losing data, you gain the ability to easily change along with the market. When brokerages have an open platform, they’re able to do this, because their data lives in the cloud and tools can be swapped out on an as-needed basis.
What is an open platform? It’s the system that connects all of your brokerage technology solutions. All of your tech tools and services live in the MoxiCloud, where they integrate and share data. Flexibility will be vital to your success moving forward. The market is transforming so quickly, we have to be adaptive to changes in client expectations and available technology.
When you have an open platform in place, this data integration makes it easy to plug and play different tools as needed, offering flexibility as your business grows. It’s not only about the ability to plug and play, but the speed as well. With a sophisticated open platform, new tools and services can be up and running in no time. For example, we have an entire partner program filled with 40+ technology solutions that are integrated with the MoxiCloud. Brokerages can pick and choose which ones they want and it’s as easy as flipping a switch. It removes the burden of managing manual integrations and messy databases. Instead, everything is already there and available and it’s up to the brokerage to identify which tools work best for their business. Additionally, agents are looking to work for brokerages that offer holistic, simple solutions where they can find everything they need quickly and easily.
In February, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World announced our partnership – if you haven’t heard, they launched the LeadingRE Cloud, powered by MoxiWorks. The LeadingRE Cloud offers LeadingRE brokerages the opportunity to benefit from cloud technology no matter their in-house technology solutions.
Our partnership with LeadingRE was born out of innovation. Both organizations strive to progress the real estate industry forward, enabling brokerages to remain competitive in a quickly advancing industry. Offering the LeadingRE Cloud as a member benefit, LeadingRE has truly shown its commitment to technology and we’re ecstatic to be a part of it.
By Nick Van Valkenberg, Director of Business Development, MoxiWorks
When lost, a compass is used to help you find your way, but what is a compass used for when you are already on the path to success? Could a compass force you to look in the wrong direction? Is there a need for a compass when you already know the terrain and have the map? While in the field I have been having a number of conversations about the “lion coming over the hill” that is Compass. Massively funded, technology forward, and making waves. It is hard not to look in their direction and wonder if the moat you have built around your brokerage will last.
Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Influence
To summarize Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, habit one says to be proactive. A great way to becoming self-aware is to separate your Circle of Concern and your Circle of Influence.
You do not have control over your Circle of Concern – it’s filled with topics like: what Compass is doing in regard to raising capital, building technology, or whether they move to your market or not. You can worry about these until your face turns blue, but you cannot control the outcomes.
Your Circle of Influence you can control, and this is where you should be spending your time and energy. Topics include: educating your agents on not only the negatives, but also the positives of Compass (you would be naive to portray all as negative), finding technology to compete with what they are building, recruiting new agents, and actively recruiting your current team members to raise retention within your brokerage.
Now that we have cleared the air, know where to focus and what can be controlled, let me tell you our (MoxiWorks) take on the situation. Technology is a big topic and a key point to Compass’ recruiting efforts. To compete with the technology that Compass is building you may need an upgrade. Now I’m not suggesting that you go and build your own, I’m suggesting that you look at a platform that is already being used by some of the nation’s top brokerages.
Compass says that their technology will: have a CRM that combines listing information, client information, and transaction information. Compass’ technology is said to be in “one place,” combining all tools, giving power of integration, offering insights, and easy to launch digital social marketing. At MoxiWorks we would recommend researching our open platform that encompasses (pun intended) these aspects and more.
Recruiting is another part of your Circle of Influence that you can control. The discussion of recruiting generally invokes the thought of trying to increase your agent count or better yet, maintain your agent count as attrition is part of the business. In the fourth quarter of 2017, MoxiWorks built an agent recruiting tool called Moxi Talent. Moxi Talent uses a two-pronged approach: recruiting new agents to your brokerage and recruiting your current agents. Trust me when I say if you are not congratulating your current agents, someone else is and that style of interaction will win them over.
In summary, the only thing that stays the same is change and those that do not adapt to the times will be left behind. The best option is to partner with a technology company known for innovating to future-proof brokerages. If any of this has resonated with you I suggest that you reach out to our team and at least do yourself the service to learn how we are paving the way. I, or one of my colleagues, would be more than happy to look at your current technology stack to show you how we can connect your current systems and upgrade others. Do yourself a favor and be proactive; now is not the time to take a reactive approach.
By Tiana Baur
Finding the right solution can be tough. Sometimes it feels utterly impossible when you’ve tried tool after tool for your brokerage, only to find that yet again it wasn’t the right fit. The issue is, one solution for one brokerage does not make for the perfect solution at another brokerage. Every business is so unique that a one size fits all approach is begging to crumble and leave your brokerage feeling more fatigue than increased productivity. Getting any flashbacks? There’s a way around it.
We don’t want to be your only brokerage solution. We want to help you build it.
We were founded by a brokerage after years of them feeling the same desperation for the right tools, so we understand where you’re coming from and how detrimental it can be to your business. It’s also why we want to help you find the perfect solution for your brokerage, not tell you what it needs to be. The Moxi Cloud, our open platform, has over 40 tools and services that you can pick and choose from to build the power strip your brokerage has always craved. Think of it as the foundation to build your dream scenario.
Plug-in, plug-out. With an open platform it’s as easy as plugging your new printer in and unplugging your old one.
What’s great about an open platform is you don’t have to toss out all of your tools. Chances are, you like at least one of your tools and you’ve invested precious time and money into it. When you use the Moxi Cloud as your foundation, you can bring over the existing tools you know and love to retain your investment. And if a tool your eyeballing isn’t in our list of 40+ tools and services, we’ll add it to the Moxi Cloud for you! We’ll plug it in.
We don’t force you to do anything that isn’t in the spirit of making your brokerage the best it can be.
A lot of real estate platforms might say that you HAVE to use their websites in order to get their other tools. Not with the Moxi Cloud. And shame on those that force you to do otherwise. We have a website tool too, (and we will probably try to sell you on it because what kind of business would we be if we didn’t?!) but if you have one that your agents love and already know how to use, then maybe you should keep it! In that case, you’re probably looking for a new CRM or interactive presentation tool and maybe you are also in need of a transaction management tool or gifting service – and we can totally help you with that.
The options are endless. But it starts with you.
Change can be scary and bad. It can also be really, really good. MoxiWorks hasn’t gotten to over 60 brokerage clients, over 110,000 agents, and powering the LeadingRE Cloud without doing something right. We genuinely want to help. We want to make your brokerage everything you envision it to be. All we need is a place to start.
Curious what your brokerage solution could look like? Check out the variety of tools and services we have on our open platform and instead of daydreaming about the possibilities, pick up the phone (contact below) and call us! We’re happy to help. Always.
By Tiana Baur
eXp Realty is an agent-owned cloud brokerage. It is quoted as one of the “most innovative real estate companies in the world” by Inman News. At eXp, there are no desk fees, no royalty fees, and agents get to keep somewhere around 80-100% of their commissions. What’s more is they offer every single agent the opportunity to buy into the business and become a shareholder. A “we’re in it together” mentality, surely leaning towards trying to make traditional brokerages look bad. Never heard of them? They’re kind of a big deal. They’re listing agents for properties like these, so you can bet their agents know what they’re doing.
And they’re probably plucking some of your agents (or trying to).
eXp Realty is growing – and fast. Currently in 46 states across the country, they are further proof that clouds are winning. The company increased the number of agents and brokers on the eXp Realty platform by 171 percent to 6,511 agents in 2017, compared to their 2,401 agents in 2016. A 171 percent increase year over year is impressive and it’s alarming. How are traditional brokerages meant to combat this?
Time to get a cloud.
A cloud, or an “open platform” is what it takes to get on the same level as eXp and other cloud brokerages alike. An open platform uses the cloud to connect all of your brokerage systems. This means saying goodbye to tool fatigue and no freedom to change. With an open platform, you get to choose whichever tools you want and they work together – seamlessly, with one sign-in. What’s more is you can change the tools whenever you please, no pain involved. Think of it like a power strip where you can plug-and-play the tools and services you want, and unplug tools and services you aren’t happy with anymore. It’s simple, it’s the future, it’s what you need for your brokerage technology so you don’t end up with a bunch of tangled cords.
“Stop talking to me about clouds.”
You’re tired of hearing the term “cloud” and “brokerage platform,” we get it. While you’re annoyed with the technology industry and having to change and “disrupt” your brokerage, the rest of the world is wondering why the real estate industry is so incredibly far behind. Technology adoption in the industry has historically been depressingly slow, and there is no “tortoise and the hare” analogy that works here because the slow-to-adopt brokerages certainly have not won the race. In fact, many of them have shriveled up and died or are currently clinging on for dear life, losing their agents to cloud brokerages like Compass, eXp, and Keller Williams with the Keller Cloud.
“My brokerage is fine. It’s been fine the last 30 years and it will be fine the next 30.” Answer: We’ll look you up someday in the archaeology archives.
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!
By Tiana Baur
To recap quite possibly the most significant announcement of 2017 for our industry, Softbank invested a whopping $450 million into the new, shiny tech brokerage: Compass. Emphasis on the brokerage, emphasis on that dollar amount since it’s the largest investment into real estate technology ever, from the world’s largest technology investment fund. They basically did a mic drop to cap off an already crazy real estate tech announcement year. Needless to say, our CEO had some words.
So, Compass is now valued at $2.2 billion. Casual pocket change, am I right? On a serious note though, they aren’t just planning and raising money, they are doing and achieving. That alone makes this all the scarier.
A few months ago, CEO Robert Reffkin announced a 2020 by 2020 plan. Which meant they are going to expand into 10 new markets in the U.S. by 2020, and grab 20 percent of the market share in the 20 largest U.S. cities. The cities they’re expanding to being Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Only a couple exasperated brokerage breaths later, they announced they had ALREADY expanded to Chicago, rapidly growing from a team of 20 top tier agents they plucked from the competition. If that doesn’t make you want to vomit in your own shoes then I don’t know what will. This is real, and it’s terrifying for most brokerages out there.
How on earth do you compete with that?!
Chances are, you’re not going to get Softbank to invest millions upon millions into your brokerage. But that’s okay, because there is another way to survive and even become a stronger, more productive brokerage than you ever thought was possible.
The not-so-secret ingredient: an open platform. In fact, it’s not just an ingredient, it’s THE ingredient for brokerage success. Ever tried baking a cake without some type of flour? Pretty. Freaking. Awful. Think of an open platform as your brokerage’s flour. It provides the structure and strength, holding everything together, in one tasty package. You can add in nuts, chocolate chips, even peanut butter. The options are endless and it’s up to you to decide what is going to taste the best.
Take the Moxi Cloud open platform for example. We have over 40 tools and services – DocuSign, Imprev, Intuit, Buyside, Offrs, Flipt – to name a few. Our brokerage clients get to pick any and all they wish to, and all their data and tools and services are put together, working seamlessly with their roster, brokerage assets, CRM contacts, MLS data, and more.
Compass might be trying to make all their own software, but you don’t have to in order to provide your agents with the tools and services they’re craving. An open platform delivers higher flexibility, efficiency, and profitability to your brokerage and agents.
An open platform is the only way to future-proof your brokerage against the rapidly-evolving technology space. It’s the Compass killer. What are you waiting for? A Compass announcement in your neck of the woods?
By Maddie Jostol
Many technology companies are calling themselves a platform. It’s becoming a loosely used buzzword, but what makes a true platform is a technology that serves as the base for all of your technology solutions. It’s the hub of your company’s technology.
As a brokerage owner, what should you be looking for when considering a platform for your business? Below are a few of the key things you absolutely must consider when vetting these technologies.
Make sure it’s open
An open platform is quite different from a closed platform. What makes a platform “open” is an open API, which allows other technologies to plug into the platform, integrating and sharing data. Asking whether or not a platform is truly open is key to knowing what potential the technology has in integrating your business. A closed platform limits your ability to leverage data, and doesn’t help your agents run their business.
Find a reliable partner
When it comes to onboarding a platform for your brokerage, you’ll want to work with a provider who serves as a true technology partner. A platform is the technology backbone of your business, it isn’t just some add-on tool. Because of this, your platform provider should serve as a trusted advisor, guiding you to the strongest technology ecosystem that effectively runs your business.
The beauty of an open platform is that you can make it your own – our brokerage clients have varying technology ecosystems based on which integrated tool and service providers they’ve decided to provide to their brokerage. Work with people who can guide you through this process, selecting the best technology services for your business. This brings us to our next tip…
Own your data
Data is more powerful than you might think. What kind of data are we talking about? MLS data, consumer data, agent data, and more. All of it should live in your brokerage platform, where it’s accessible and useful. Data can power other tools, lend valuable insights, improve productivity, and more. It’s time for all brokerages to own their data.
The value of integration
Integration adds value to your business, smoothing operations and increasing productivity. Agents don’t have to switch back and forth between technologies, attempting to remember dozens of passwords. It also gets rid of manual data entry. When data is shared across your tools, including your MLS, it negates manual data entry and the inevitable errors that comes with it.
Selecting and onboarding an open platform for your business can feel complicated, but it’s vital to staying ahead in this competitive market. Your brokerage needs an integrated technology ecosystem that offers flexibility, connects your business, and helps you be more profitable.
To learn more about the Moxi Cloud open platform and what sets it apart, click here.
By Tiana Baur
2017 was a BIG year for us Moxians. We added heaps of amazing partners to our Moxi Cloud open platform that now has well over 30 different tools and services. We also hit over 100,000 agents this year that use these tools and services! Because we’re always looking to provide the best-in-class to our brokerages, we’re constantly on the lookout for new tools and services to add to the Moxi Cloud. Here’s a glance at the tools and services already in the Moxi Cloud:
Joining the Moxi Cloud Open Platform
If you’re a technology or service provider in real estate, how do you work with us? There are two ways to integrate with our Moxi Cloud open platform:
The single sign-on (SSO) integration allows partners to use Moxi Works to grant access to the partner applications. This allows you to avoid managing end-user accounts and to provide a more seamless integration between Moxi Works sites and partner tools.
The Moxi Works API allows partner developers to access Moxi Works data, product features, and functions to enhance the user experience in the partner application and streamline interactions between systems.
We’re proud of the ease of integration we’ve built and the partnerships that have allowed us to offer brokerages best-in-class tools. Here’s feedback from some of our amazing partners:
“The team at SnapNHD really enjoyed working with the Moxi Team and API. Their API is undoubtedly the most well documented API in the real estate industry enabling our team to integrate within a week. Among my favorite features is Moxi’s ability to turn on new brokerages at the flip of a switch.” – Will Caldwell, Founder, SnapNHD & Dizzle
“We’re thrilled to partner with MoxiWorks to create a great experience for our clients. We recently launched a powerful integration between Imprev and MoxiWorks for a few large brokerage customers. Through the integration, the MoxiWorks REST API exchanges data with the Imprev platform to sync agent, listing, and contact data real-time—making agents’ lives much simpler. The MoxiWorks team was awesome to work with throughout the entire development process; thanks to MoxiWorks’ agility and support, we were able to solve challenges quickly and deliver outstanding solutions to our clients.” – Paul Cooley, CTO, Imprev
If you’re still curious what it is like to work with us, watch this video of Melissa Kwan over at Spacio (also below) – we think it will illuminate what the partnership will look like!
Interested in joining the Moxi Cloud? Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll be in touch!
By Tiana Baur
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. An API is the messenger that delivers the request you make to the provider you’re requesting it from, and then delivers the response back to you. It’s what moves your data from point A to point B. MuleSoft compares an API to a waiter or waitress at a restaurant. When you sit down, you are presented with a menu with a variety of options and variations. You place your order with the waiter who then delivers your choices to the kitchen and brings the food and drinks back to your table.
An API is what allows a brokerage platform to be truly open. And an open platform is what allows brokerages to have a choice in every tool and service they want to use. Here’s a look at the difference:
Open Platform: An open platform has an open API that allows brokerages to plug and play tools and services from multiple vendors, including multiple vendors per category (such as marketing, transaction management, advertising, gifting vendors, etc.), as they see fit.
Closed Platform: With a closed platform, brokerages are required to take the tools and services from one vendor and a very short list of partners, limiting choice and flexibility. Many will say that the brokerage has to use their website in order to get the “platform” with it. This means brokerages don’t get to keep the investment they’ve made into their current tools and services when they change them out for new ones. It means they have to start over.
The thing many brokerages don’t realize, is that data isn’t just a list of numbers. Data is what integration is literally made of. Brokerage data is the soul of the brokerage business that keeps its heart beating and its legs moving. This data is useless if it doesn’t work flawlessly together and isn’t stored in a shared environment. Without data, brokerages will cease to exist.
The Moxi Works API gives our approved partners an easy way to integrate with our open platform and helps provide a seamless solution to our brokerage customers, making them more profitable, and their agents more productive. Having all of their data in one center of truth, speaking to their unique variation of tools and services they’re plugging into their power strip, means they’ve future-proofed themselves for any and all technology changes to come. Why? Because they retain control of all their data.
The five core data components that the open platform has are:
1. Property data
2. Brokerage and agent data
3. Consumer data
4. Integration with the cloud environment with Microsoft and Google
5. An API allowing other companies to integrate
If a brokerage doesn’t use a powerful API to connect all of their tools and services, there is anarchy amongst them. A lack of integration gives agents and brokerages tool fatigue. The Moxi Cloud open platform and Moxi Works API work together to store and exchange data, and above all else, means brokerages can take the investment in their existing tools and services and integrate them using our open platform and API.
Want to know what our Moxi Works API is like? Here’s an idea of what our partners are saying about their experience with us.