Q: Tim, our readers are more on the investment side of the market, but offrs has been making a lot of waves as a technology innovator and some are saying that industry leaders like offrs are disrupting the real estate transaction itself. Is this a good thing (this kind of rapid disruption)?
Yes. That’s the short answer. But let me back that up a bit by saying that offrs’ role is that of providing tools to navigate the change happening all around us. The push for more and more online relationships and the general trend of moving further away from offline or real-world relationships was inevitable – that was something happening to real estate professionals when we entered into the market so many years ago. It’s just too easy to browse property listings from the comfort of your home and these sorts of tools will never be given up voluntarily by the consumer market. They’re a permanent fixture for our industry. So where do we go now, what do we learn from everything we’re seeing? That’s really what it comes down to. Is change good, yes. It’s the nature of things. But you need the tools to adjust and those tools themselves need to be sharpened over time in order to remain relevant and effective.
Q: Do you think that there will be an intersection with all of these tools that will make the process too simple? By that, I mean how much of being a real estate professional requires unique insight that only the home buyer’s or owner’s local service provider can provide?
It’s important to remember that we always place the agent first in line. In fact, it’s probably the single-most important stat we can share as to why the agent needs to act and act fast on leads… 75% of homeowners will go with the first agent that shows up (despite saying they already have another agent they plan on working with). It just comes down to who’s actually there in front of them. But even when we tell them up to 12 months in advance, who in their farm is likely going to list their home in the near future, it has to be the agent that makes the move. Not to over-simplify it, but offrs is a tool, like a compass or a flashlight in the dark. We can highlight the path ahead, and even provide insight on how to go about approaching any opportunities on the path, but agents will need to take those steps themselves. Even with our enterprise solutions like AutoPilot, which automates agent outbound marketing, the agent is always encouraged to customize the messaging to fit their own brand or their exclusive territory’s needs and wants.
Q: Let’s talk a little about you, Tim. You’re the National Sales Director for offrs, but from our offline conversations, you mentioned moving into sales from support. Do you think that your time helping offrs clients motivated you to make the leap into the sales side of the fence?
Somewhat. I loved being on the support side. They’re a great crew and we’ve got a great product. I’m proud to have helped our customers early on as they grew familiar with the offrs solution and how it would expand their business in uncertain times, but really, I’m lucky to have been there as they helped us grow to what we’ve become today. Look, it’s tough for any company to be where we are now. With as many industry-changing innovations that we’ve put out over the last few years, let alone the ones we’re working on for 2019, it can be tough work. But in the end, it’s all about building relationships all across the board. There’s certainly a connection between the relationships we help our agents forge with their farm and the relationships we ultimately build with our own customers.
Q: Having both of these areas covered has got to give you some perspective on the industry. Can you share some of what you’ve seen as far as patterns – something that might help our readers?
Sure. Well, technology has matured, but the agents using it have too. When we first brought predictive analytics into the real estate market so many years back, I think we all thought that it would be the end-all solution. Afterall, with predictive analytics highlighting which homeowners were most likely to list in their neighborhood up to 12 months in advance, it was like we brought the first super-magnet hovering over the haystack. But for many of our agents, what we saw over time, was that this huge influx of seller leads was a lot to handle and they didn’t really have the systems in place to process them. So in addition to lead-generating tool sets, we’ve also been collecting best practices for lead conversion – specifically best practices while using modern tool sets like ours. So, the technology has grown, but so too have we all.
Q: So, the shifting sands have been around approaches to lead generation?
Well, yes. Lead generation, but more specifically, multi-channel lead gen. It’s not enough any more to own a channel – and that’s assuming that you do own it. If you’re not gathering leads from sources all around you and putting them to use in your business, you’re falling behind. And that’s a dangerous place to be these days. We license our lead data by exclusive territories, so I’m just not sure how agents not employing our services plan to survive the next ten years in their markets.
Q: Multi-channel marketing is not a new concept, of course, but you seem fairly passionate about making sure it’s a part of your coaching mindset.
I should be clear that I’m not a coach (by any means), just an advocate for agent success – we all are. But yes, I am passionate about marketing inflow. Ultimately, you work with what you’ve got and if you’re not getting quantitative leads from multiple sources, then it’s your job to find them. This is where offrs comes into the picture. offrs is sometimes seen as a data provisioner, a predictive analytics solution, a mass communication toolset or even a light CRM, but for me, it’s all about multi-channel lead gen and best practices in farming (or long term conversion over time).
Q: Would you say that this is the defining feature of your service (multi-channel lead gen)?
It just depends on the agent, their farm, their region, the market and so on. Going back to the start of our conversation, as an industry, we have to adjust our thinking a bit and become flexible, nimble and adaptive to change. offrs tools are designed to expand the professionals’ capabilities – to seemingly be in multiple places at the same time, working all leads and all angles. While thousands of agents are using our platform to exclusively dominate their territories, they do so in differing ways. So I don’t think that there’ll be a single, dominant feature for everyone across the board. That’s why we continue to innovate for our agents… the market shifts and we roll out a new toolset to maximize the opportunities in their favor.
Q: Again, most of our readers will be interested in how you all have changed and continue to change the market itself, but for those real estate professionals out there looking at offrs as a possible solution for their needs, is there any advice you’d give?
Yes, call me [laughs]. Look, there’s no cost for meeting with our team to go over what we can do for you. But going another year in this competitive market under the assumption that data is data and leads are leads – you’re risking a lot. Sounds familiar though, right? Every real estate professional out there is making the same case to homeowners and interested homebuyers as we speak. The same is true here… what you don’t know can hurt your business. There are a lot of amazing services out there in the market right now, services that can help you navigate the changing waters, help spot new or better opportunities or save you time in numerous ways – time better spent building relationships with your farm. If spending 15 minutes getting coffee this morning was more important, then there you go. If you’re serious about growing your business this year, then you’re going to want to look into offrs.com. I’ll help answer any questions you’ve got.
Tim, thank you for your time today.