Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Listing Bits Episode 75: Get Your Time Back with Automated Webinars – with Melissa Kwan of eWebinar

Listing Bits is back!

If your role in real estate involves sales demos or any kind of training, you’re likely familiar with the frustration of delivering the same webinar over and over again. 

Or worse, preparing a webinar that is either poorly attended or no one shows up.

But what if you could do 100 or even 1,000 webinars a month—without getting in front of a camera?

Melissa Kwan is Cofounder and CEO of eWebinar, a platform that saves people from repeatedly delivering the same webinar by turning videos into automated, interactive webinars. 

Prior to eWebinar, Melissa founded and successfully exited the real estate tech startup Spacio, a check-in app for open houses.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Melissa shares her journey as a proptech entrepreneur, describing how she developed her mad sales skills and why she was ready for a new challenge after Spacio.

Melissa discusses how her experience with onboarding and training for Spacio inspired the creation of eWebinar and explains what differentiates the platform from Zoom, YouTube videos and webinar replays.

Listen in for insight around Melissa’s intentional approach to life and learn how your real estate business might leverage eWebinar to get your time back and spend it on things you enjoy!

What’s Discussed:  

The initial idea for Spacio and how it evolved into a check-in app for open houses

How Melissa developed her hustle and sales ability out of necessity

Melissa’s successful exit from Spacio after 4 years of running the business

The real estate leadership dinner that launched Melissa’s career as an entrepreneur

What differentiates eWebinar from YouTube, Zoom and webinar replays

How Melissa’s experience with training for Spacio inspired the creation of eWebinar

How brokerages and real estate teams are using eWebinar to qualify leads

The benefit of using eWebinar in terms of video quality and availability of content

eWebinar’s use cases for sales demos, onboarding and training

How Melissa runs eWebinar to reflect her work less, enjoy more philosophy of life

Connect with Melissa:

eWebinar

Melissa on LinkedIn

ProfitLed Podcast

Resources: 

Spacio

Inman Connect

Greg’s Post on Melissa in Vendor Alley

Pocket

SAP

HomeSpotter

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

RE/MAX shuts down “booj”, announces layoffs

RE/MAX to shutter tech platform booj, lay off workers by end of 2022

“RE/MAX first acquired first acquired booj, then a tech startup, in 2018. About a year and a half later, RE/MAX launched its booj platform, which was meant to be an end-to-end solution that would streamline the experience of its agents. At the time of the launch, then-CEO Adam Contos described it as “a landmark moment in the long history of our company.”

We are now seeing the consequences of the “we’re a technology company” rhetoric in the broker/franchisor space. What many brokers, franchisors, and MLS organizations are beginning to realize, this shit is hard.

REXIT?

Has REX Homes finally ceased operations?

“Numerous staff reached out to us directly to indicate the company’s last day was Tuesdayand that a companywide call on Friday outlined the end of REX Homes. While the entity of the brokerage still exists, we are told there are no longer offices, staff, leadership, or agents.

Staff at the Austin, TX and Woodland Hills, CA offices (both in Texas) have confirmed that as of today, the doors are literally closed. It is unclear what REX’s plans are for wrapping up any current contracts that haven’t closed.”

As litigious as REX has been in the past something tells me this story is far from over.

The Avatar vs. The Mustache

From Marian McPherson at Inman News….

Former Keller Williams CEO Mark Willis poised to jump to eXp Realty amid legal dispute

Former Keller Williams CEO Mark Willis is poised to join eXp Realty in an undisclosed executive role, a major revelation from an 11-page bombshell countermotion eXp World Holdings filed on Monday to dissolve Keller Williams’ temporary restraining order against Willis. Willis helped grow the Texas-based behemoth from a regional firm in 1991 to a worldwide force with more than 112,000 at the time of his departure in 2014.

I tweeted about this being a possibility but to be honest the “Mark” I thought was jumping name ended with a “c”, not a “k”.

But the story is still crazy good and has everything. It’s almost like a Greek drama. Student outshining the master. Jealousy. Payback. Grudges. Betrayal. And lots, and lots of money.

Love this tidbit…

“Sanford and Keller’s relationship allegedly turned sour in the early 2000s when Keller reportedly snubbed Sanford, then a top-producing team leader, by not including him in an elite company group. The tension between the two remained in the background until 2018, when Keller dismissed Sanford’s earlier praise of his leadership.

“Love it, great. Good for him,” Keller told Inman Founder Brad Inman onstage. “I don’t care.”

“I’ll show them” has gotta be the single best motivator in anyone’s life.

And this…

“A source familiar with the matter backed up eXp’s claims and told Inman kwx Founder Gary Keller “went ballistic” when Willis, who’d spent 25 years helping KW rise to the top of the industry, said he wanted to sell his interests and join eXp.

Despite Keller’s personal feelings, eXp said Keller Williams’ interference in its recruitment of Willis is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, as Keller Williams hired former eXp President of Operations Stacey Onnen on Feb. 4.

Et tu, Willis?

This is going to be fun to watch.

My interview with Jimmy Kelly, CEO of Lone Wolf

The first 4 months at Lone Wolf have been an awesome learning experience for me. Lone Wolf and W+R Studios have always had mutual customers, and I was always aware of the forms and transaction management business but now I’m getting a full immersion course. What I’m learning the most is this, at scale, it’s a tough business. I know that competition is starting to rise in this space, I would only say to them, be careful what you wish for.

With that in mind, I sat down to talk with Lone Wolf’s CEO, Jimmy Kelly. I was surprised but not surprised that he agreed to do this interview with me. I don’t think we made any edits or cut anything out, it’s about 30 mins long and worth the watch. Jimmy answered all my questions, even the tough ones (check out the timeline), and I still have a job!

Hope you enjoy and see how running a form business during the beginning of a worldwide pandemic is a little like Lucy and Ethel working at the chocolate factory.

Timeline:

:40 – Introduction to Jimmy, and history in software industry

4:20 – Greg and Jimmy discuss forms changes and frequency of requests

5:15 – Looking back on pandemic, COVID requests, and response from Lone Wolf

9:30 – Greg asks about product outages, instability. Jimmy discusses what’s going on at Lone Wolf.

12:00 – Greg: What do you say to customers who’ve heard that before?

16:05 – Jimmy discusses future of Back Office. 

17:45 – Greg: Are Transactions (zipForm Edition) and Transactions (TransactionDesk Edition) eventually going to merge? 

20:00 – Greg: What do you say to customers who want you to focus on current issues rather than innovating/buying companies? 

23:45 – Jimmy previews what he’s most excited about coming soon from Lone Wolf

29:00 – Greg: What can you share about Stone Point Capital acquiring CoreLogic? 

31:30 – Is Greg a thorn in Jimmy’s side?

Listing Bits Episode 64: An IT Geek Turned Broker’s Take on Tech – with Georgia Purpura of Urban Nest Realty

What can technology vendors do to better connect with the agents and brokers we hope to serve? And what can we learn from the perspective of a computer engineer turned REALTOR about how to approach real estate professionals and what kind of tech solutions they need?

Georgia Purpura is Managing Broker at Urban Nest Realty, a mid-size independent brokerage out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where she specializes in helping agents grow their business. She is also very involved in the local association, most recently serving as Chair of the MLS. Georgia has been a licensed agent for 12 years, acting as broker for Keller-Williams Southwest before joining Urban Nest in 2018. Prior to real estate, she earned her degree in business and information technology and spent eight years working as a computer engineer.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Georgia discusses how her background in IT has served her well in real estate, explaining how she evaluates technology solutions and what vendors can do to market their software more effectively. She offers advice for vendors and brokers on creating a business model that mitigates agent churn, challenging us to focus on producers rather than subscribers—casting a deeper net as opposed to a wider one. Listen in for Georgia’s insight on how modern agents learn about technology tools (and how that’s evolved over the years) and get her take on the top technology needs in the real estate space.

What’s Discussed:  

Georgia’s background in computer engineering and how that tech experience has served her well in real estate

How Georgia learned about tech tools early in her career from sales meetings and through the local association

How modern agents learn about tech tools through word-of-mouth on social media

Georgia’s advice for vendors around marketing to top producers who can create influence for you

Why vendors should lead with the problem they’re solving for in pitching agents and brokers

How Georgia evaluates tech based on its potential to shorten the sales cycle and save time or money

Georgia’s criticism of how brokers have gone about increasing profitability by having the biggest army (rather than the best)

How real estate brokerages and software vendors can build a business model that mitigates agent churn

The top technology needs Georgia sees in the real estate space

–Integration among tech solutions (strategic alliances)

–Agent retention and engagement tool for brokers

Connect with Georgia:

Urban Nest Realty

Email georgiapurpura [at] gmail [dot] com

Resources:

David J. Tina

Top Producer

Inman News

Realtor.com

Realtor Magazine

Vendor Alley

Rob Hahn

Joe Versus the Volcano

Our Sponsor: 

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Guessing the end game

Jeff Corbett the XBroker on Divorcing Real Estate Commissions

Second, the three class-action suits ostensibly have an end game in mind: Divorcing real estate commissions,meaning that a home seller should negotiate listing commissions with a listing agent while a home buyer should negotiate buy-side commissions directly with a buyer’s agent. While this seems like an awfully commonsensical thing to do, the implications for the real estate sales industry would facilitate more transformative change than any technology-based innovation. “

If you’re like me you read about these lawsuits and you’re not sure if you should be overly concerned or not. Jeff does an excellent job of walking us down the path of what may or may not be the future in a world where buy-side commission rates are brought into the sunlight. SPF 2.5 anyone?

Susan Yannaccone named Realogy’s President and CEO

Susan Yannaccone

Susan Yannaccone Becomes First Woman to be Named President and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group

Yannaccone joined Realogy in 2015, and in her new role, she will oversee the franchise operations of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21® and ERA®, as well as the franchise and owned operations of Sotheby’s International Realty® and Corcoran®. Yannaccone will report to Ryan Schneider, Realogy’s chief executive officer and president.


“Sue is an exceptional leader who brings deep expertise running both franchise and brokerage businesses at Realogy and within the industry over the past 20 years,” said Schneider. “I am incredibly excited to work with Sue and our brand leaders to further grow our powerful brands for our franchise owners and affiliated agents.”

Always great to hear good news about someone you know. Congrats Susan!

Glenn’s Choice

Is Redfin’s job to make money or create positive change?

Back to Redfin and this fair housing lawsuit: Glenn Kelman, Redfin president and CEO, is on the record showing strong support for equal rights and being opposed to housing discrimination. Redfin is arguably one of the industry leaders in this matter. 


As Kelman said in the very blog post he penned in reaction to this lawsuit, “Every business has to balance employee and customer needs.” And a tricky balancing act that is. Compounding that difficulty is the need for “corporate citizenry” and “social responsibility.” 


This lawsuit will likely take months, maybe years, to resolve. If you think it only affects Redfin, think again. Agents target luxury buyers all the time. They advertise based on ZIP codes. Entire brokerages cater to the needs, wants and desires of certain income levels, certain locations and certain cities. This lawsuit has the potential to impact everyone in this industry. 

Great perspective from Jay Thompson.

Leadership and structure changes at KW

Gary Keller steps back from CEO role in massive leadership shuffle at KW

Keller Williams is naming Carl Liebert, a retail, financial services and industrial services veteran, as CEO of the newly created KWx, a holding company that encompasses all of the Keller Williams brands, including, Keller Williams Realty, Keller Williams Worldwide, Keller Mortgage, Keller Covered and Keller Offers.
As part of this large-scale leadership facelift, current CEO and co-founder Gary Keller will shift from CEO to the role of executive chairman of KWx. Josh Team — who previously led KW Labs as chief innovation officer prior to being named president — will stay on as president of Keller Williams Realty, the senior-most role of the franchise business, which will no longer have a CEO. Keller’s CEO duties of the franchisor arm will be transferred to Team.

Some are reading a lot of drama into this. But my guess is they are simply preparing for an IPO. I’ve always been super curious about their revenue makeup and if they go public all this information with be accessible.

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