20 Questions with Georgia Perez, VP of Business Development and Product Evangelism at MoxiWorks
Our MoxiWorks Business Development Team is led by an insanely brilliant and vivacious women, Georgia Perez. With 10 years and counting as a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Manager, and more than 25 years in the land of tech, she couldn’t be a more perfect fit for her role. Her understanding of what it takes to be successful in the real estate world, combined with profound technical acumen, give her unique insights into the needs and challenges of our brokerage clients. She is a vital piece in the creation of our products and we can without a doubt say MoxiWorks wouldn’t be where it is today without her!
Want to find out more about Georgia? You’re in luck because we got her to sit down for a 20 questions session!
1. How long have you been at MoxiWorks?
Six plus years.
2. How many employees do you manage?
I have a team of 4 at the moment but am excited to announce we’ll be growing by several (so let me know if you know someone wonderful who should join us!).
3. What has been your favorite product and why?
That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child! MoxiPresent launched the company and is without question the “best in class” CMA and presentation platform in the industry (we were voted so by an independent review and not just our clients!). There is so much you can do with it; I still get excited about it every day. MoxiEngage is my favorite for accelerating our brokerage and agent’s business by huge leaps, by giving them the road map to success, and coaching them, and their company on how to get them to their goals. I wish I had had something like it when I was building my Real Estate career.
Recently, we’ve added MoxiTalent, and having been a manager – I never had such an outstanding system to help me in recruiting and retention, offering a plan developed by 20+ of the leading recruiters in the nation, combined with the data to track performance, and suggest best matches for your recruiting. Before MoxiTalent, I had to go get a giant data dump from the MLS, or other expensive data products, and then try to read the tea leaves on who to talk to; now, the system tells me who is a high match to my needs, and takes me step-by-step through a sophisticated recruiting plan, while also helping me “re-recruit” my existing agents every day. All of these products are mobile ready, so I can do my job from whatever device I am using in the moment.
SEE – it’s impossible to choose!
4. What makes you feel accomplished?
I’ll let you know when I get there, lol. Seriously, I am super hard on myself, and very driven; I don’t ever feel I have arrived – I just keep moving the goal out. That said, I feel amazing when I see our clients, and their agents truly succeed with us! Living up to our promises every day is a worthy accomplishment!
5. Window seat or aisle seat?
Window. Mostly because I don’t want people hitting me with their bags as they go down the aisle. I typically fly around 100,000 miles a year – so these things matter!
6. What’s your favorite thing about MoxiWorks?
It sounds so trite, but honestly, everything! I love our mission, our culture, and I work with some of the best and brightest people in the industry! I feel lucky everyday (even the hard days)!
7. How long have you held your real estate license?
10 years and counting!
8. What energizes you and brings you excitement?
Professionally: I love being in the field with our clients, or speaking at industry events, helping to shed light on what’s going on with technology, and firing up their businesses.
Personally: I am a Disney nut, so I get excited when I can step into a Disney park and have a little time in the “happiest place on earth!”
9. If you could be famous for anything, what would it be?
To be remembered for being a kind person, that helped others in their lifetime. I have a favorite song by Nicole Nordeman that says, “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough?” I think that is more important than “fame.”
10. What keeps you at MoxiWorks?
It comes back to the people. It’s called “work” for a reason; when you can do it with people you enjoy and respect, and you are growing every day, it is so worth it. I also really believe in what we are doing for brokerages and their agents. Our systems really do work – so it can literally change the lives of our clients, by helping them make a great living, and achieve their goals! What’s not to love about that?!
11. Who is your favorite Disney character?
It’s like that favorite child question again! I love Mickey, always – but Tinkerbell is also a fav (though my hubbie would say that it is because her color is green, and it’s my favorite color)!
12. What is your most used emoji?
Smiley face for the rest of the world, but for my husband the heart eyes or the kissy one!
13. What was your first job?
Other than the typical babysitting I did as an early teen, my first formal job was at Prospero Mushroom Market in Santa Cruz, California. It was a vegetable market with a delicatessen and ice cream parlor. My job was the ice cream scooper and deli clerk. The owners were friends of our family, and it was a great first experience! My brothers best friend worked in the veggie market side and kept an eye on me (this was all before I was old enough to drive).
14. What interested you about MoxiWorks in the first place?
I felt this was meant for me. I had been in tech for more than 20 years, and for personal reasons changed my career to become a Realtor at Windermere Real Estate. Several years later, after building a successful RE biz, I learned they were launching an independent tech company, building real estate technology. It just seemed like my two careers came uniquely together! I have deep respect and understanding of the Real Estate Industry, and deep roots in the tech industry.
15. What do you do when you’re not working?
Sometimes it seems I am never not working; except for when I’m sleeping, (and even then, I think I dream of Moxi)! That said, my husband and I are actively involved in our church and social causes. On occasion, you can also find me at a Disney Park, and at least twice a year I run in Disney races, and also, when travel allows, dozens of other races throughout the year.
16. Did you choose this career path, or did it choose you?
It definitely chose me. I could never have foreseen that my strange hop from tech to real estate would have opened the door for a Real Estate Tech career.
17. What advice would you give to other real estate agents?
Seek help and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. The real estate business is wonderful but can be hard. Being self-employed is not for everyone, and if you have never run your own business, can get you out over your skis pretty quickly. As humans, we are naturally resistant to change, so even when we go take classes, attend a conference and get all jazzed up about new ideas – as soon as we have to implement, people tend to revert to “old habits” pretty quickly.
I read a blog from Seth Godin today (love him!), it said:
Just because you don’t understand it:
- Doesn’t mean it isn’t true
- Doesn’t mean it isn’t important
- If we spend our days ignoring the things we don’t understand (because they must not be true and they must not be important) all we’re left with is explored territory with little chance of improvement
Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, without allowing yourself to quit! It’s like going to the gym, and starting to work out for the first time. It may feel awkward (heck it might even make you sore for a bit!), but when you start to see results, it’s easier to build upon that success, and keep growing!
Keep in mind, the only one you hurt when you don’t seek to learn and implement great systems, is yourself. It’s your business, your income, and your life! Seek experts who can guide you on the right path.
18. How would you describe your management style?
Intense, but loving, lol. My role in the company is driving revenue. It’s not something one can afford to fail at; our clients, co-workers and investors are counting on me and my team. I take that commitment very seriously, and I do drive to results. That said, my philosophy is to be the “wind in the sails” of my team. All boats rise together, and we are a team (along with the rest of the Moxi team). I truly want better for my team than I want for myself. We work long hours together, so it’s great when we can genuinely enjoy, respect, and support one another.
19. What do you feel is the biggest barrier to agent tech adoption?
A few things:
- Being overwhelmed! Self-employment is no joke, and agents are very busy taking care of their clients, while simultaneously needing to do everything required to build a consistent business, and take care of all of the things people who have a steady paycheck, vacation pay and benefits take for granted. Pausing long enough to learn anything new, can feel impossible to squeeze in.
- Fear – fear of change, fear of the unknown, even fear of tech. Many agents look a lot like me (a middle-aged woman!), they tell themselves they won’t be able to figure it out. I know, at least with Moxi technology, you can’t break it! So, come on in, the water is fine. You don’t have to jump into the deep end, you can wade in, and gradually find your swim lane.
- Disappointed expectations. Many think that tech, in and of itself, is the proverbial “eat all you want and stay slim pill.” The tech is going to do it all for you, and business will just magically pour in and happen. While technology can definitely automate a lot of functions, contribute to lead generation, and keep you focused on the right things, Real Estate is a relationship business, and there will still be work you must do to build genuine relationships. Our sphere is the greatest asset we have, and some focus and effort here will pay off in big ways – but it requires tech and work.
20. What is one of your 2019 goals for MoxiWorks?
Continued growth and continuing to be thought leaders in the industry – by helping to make the businesses and lives of our brokerages and agents better. I want to accomplish something so big, that we can celebrate with something crazy, like a company trip to Disney!
Want to chat with Georgia about your brokerage 2019 goals? No prob. She’s happy to chat with you!
By Mavis Chi, Staff Accountant
I was an intern at MoxiWorks 10 months ago and recently became a full-time employee. I landed an internship here through a presentation that York Baur, the CEO, gave at my finance class at University of Washington Bothell. At the beginning of his presentation, I wasn’t interested in the real estate industry and hardly remember what was on the PowerPoint. My primary focus was York’s personality as a CEO; he was funny, friendly, and approachable. I thought it would be fun to work for a company that provides a relaxing and flexible environment, yet always encouraging its employees to take a step further.
So, I approached York at the end of his presentation and earned an internship with Moxi. Also, who doesn’t want to work for a company that has a motto “Get shit done,” right? But this isn’t one of the stories where I tell you how awesome it is to work at Moxi even though it is pretty awesome. This is my story of how I was a non-English speaking immigrant who became a first-generation college graduate and landed an entry level position as a Staff Accountant.
Do you remember the last time you achieved a long-term goal? Do you remember that incredible force that over-pumped your endorphins that made you jump up and down and shout out, “I did it?” Well, you may only see that reaction in a 21-year-old or younger, but you get my point. I had a similar feeling a month ago at my first college graduation. For some people, a bachelor’s degree may not be a phenomenal achievement but rather a necessity, an expectation because everything is planned for. For others, like me, achieving a bachelor’s degree is almost as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. It’s not because of the lack of intelligence but the lack of encouragement.
I was raised in a traditional Vietnamese culture, where boys are more valuable than girls. My mother was forced to quit school when she was 13 years old to get into the workforce – yes, child labor was not regulated in Vietnam – to help finance for my uncles/her brothers’ tuitions. All my older female’s cousins quit school after high school because they didn’t think they could make it through college. When I first came to the United States seven years ago, my primary drive was to get a college degree. A close relative told me that, “You hardly speak any English, it will be a waste of time and money trying to catch up with other people your age. I think you’d be better off marrying someone here, so you are taken care of.” As wrong as it sounded, he was right about my English ability. I pushed my goal aside and focused on improving my English. During that period, my “English instructors” were the customers that came into my cousin’s nail salon, movies with subtitles, newspapers; I even sacrificed my chances to make friends who are from my country so that I could practice English with the native speakers.
Six months later, I moved to Kentucky to stay with my brother hoping that he could help me get into a local community college. I was staying with my sister-in-law and her family at that time, they didn’t like the idea of me going to college because they wanted me to work for them in return for my free stay, and I couldn’t afford the tuition on my own. My brother doesn’t have a say in his immediate family, so I had to hold off my college again. After a few months of working 10 hours a day scrubbing people’s feet and other chores at my sister-in-law’s nails salon, I discovered the tuition reimbursement program at UPS from a regular customer at the salon. I applied and was hired as a warehouse loader working from 10pm to 3am (Mon – Fri) – it was the only shift that qualifies for tuition reimbursement program. With the benefits that I received from UPS, I finally applied to a few English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at a local community college.
Growing up in a city (Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam) makes it difficult for me to adapt to the country living, so I moved to Seattle once I completed my ESL classes. Seattle opened a new path for my education journey. I discovered a local college (Bellevue College) where it accepted my high school transcript from Vietnam and converted the classes into usable college credits. With the result from the assessment test, I only needed two more English classes to start taking courses for an Associate degree in Business Administration. Pell grant Financial Aids and scholarship helped me get through the AA’s program, but the living standard in Seattle prolonged the process. With the high cost of living, I couldn’t be a full-time student and worker, so I had to take one or two classes at a time in the first two years of college. After four years of on and off with courses, I finally finished my AA with a 3.79 GPA and applied to a business school at UW Bothell and got accepted. One and a half years later, I become the first generation in my family to graduate from college.
The feeling of an accomplishment that I described at the beginning isn’t just over-pumped endorphins. It is my pride for overcoming the discouragement and standing up for what I believe in. My story is only one of many stories where people encounter difficult obstacles that prevent them from achieving their dream, yet they conquer their hardships and punch the impossible in the face. One of my classmates that graduated with me was a lady who is 60+ years old, her story is that she had to push her education aside for her husband and children. Whenever in doubt, always remember: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
You are probably thinking why is this relevant to the blog? And why is this girl talking about herself? Because I’m a Moxian and we have a saying that goes, “What got you here won’t get you there.” At Moxi, everyone is always evolving and pushing themselves to go above and beyond to create better products to benefit our customers. This is who we are! We “get shit done!”
Interested in a career at Moxi? We’re hiring.
By Tom Shively
What attracted me to MoxiWorks was the level of collaboration that’s expected from every department. Upon first starting, I was asked how I felt about working with many, if not all, of the other teams here and if working as a part of a dynamic fast-paced team was something I could excel at doing. Fast forward two years and I can honestly say this experience has lived up to the promise.
One of the greatest parts about working at Moxi is if you have a fun, creative idea, it is encouraged you run with it. I have been at a number of tech companies and nowhere else has had an atmosphere of not only collaboration, but encouragement to think outside the box, outside the building, and outside your comfort zone.
It had been about five months after I started as Moxi’s trainer that I was sent across the country to host a series of talks teaching agents about our products. The event went spectacularly well, in no small part because of the teamwork our office has. On this trip I was joined by Senior Account Manager, Daniel Bailey, and our Manager of Product, Jillian Igarashi and the strengths of these two became obvious very quickly. Daniel can talk to anyone, about anything, at any time, and Jillian has an encyclopedic knowledge of our products and what’s coming! It was because of these two that this conference went so well.
Before I left I realized many people don’t know what happens when we travel into the field to present. So, I decided to bring my camera and film what happened, so I could create a recap video for the rest of the office to see what we accomplished. While on the trip I filmed all the different aspects of a Real Estate conference from our booth to the classes we taught and the travel from coast to coast. When I got home, I was able to piece together a story I thought would be interesting for the rest of the company to see.
The response I got was nothing like I could have imagined. I first sent the video to the executive team who asked if they could show it at our “All Hands” meeting later that day so the whole company could see it. The rest of the company seemed excited to see what happens when we go into the field and the response the industry has to our products. It was because of this positive response, I have continued to create videos for the company.
You see, our company has a mantra. “Think outside the building,” and nowhere is this more apparent than our community service day each year. Moxi shuts down for an entire day, takes all 70 techies and rolls up our collective sleeves to help Ryther. Before we made our way over, I was asked if I could bring my camera to capture some of the day. I agreed without hesitation and began shooting the moment we got there. Being able to speak with the staff and tour the facility to see what impact Moxi can make in helping the lives of the people in our community can only be described as extraordinary.
Making the video for this day was one of the most rewarding projects I have had the pleasure of creating. None of this would be possible without the support of Moxi as a whole, and the ability to accept a mentality that doesn’t just focus on what comes across your desk but is limited only by your creativity. Moxi empowers its employees to do better, follow your goals, and think outside the building, where ever that may be.
Watch Tom’s Community Service Day video below!
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.