Beyond the Box – Season 1 – Episode 7 – Bill Andrews – Regional Sales Director at Black Knight Financial Services

Beyond the Box – Season 1 – Episode 7 – Featuring Bill Andrews – Regional Sales Director at Black Knight Financial Services.

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This week we have the extremely intelligent and seasoned tech expert Bill Andrews. Lynette Keyowski sits with him to discuss the history of technology in the real estate space and what the future may hold. 

“And it occurred to me, I thought that it was illegal, I said “why are they allowed to do their own stuff?” and they said, “there’s nothing stopping them. You have to go compete and go for it.”  And I realized okay, so that’s a game-changer. There’s never going to be a time where you rest on your laurels, and it’s going to be changing forever more and that’s exactly how it’s been and what happened.”

Full Transcript of the Show

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: I’m so happy to be
back for another episode of Beyond the Box, where we are really interested in
talking about the intersection between real estate technology and capital. And
I couldn’t think of a better person who has touched all of those points over a
very colourful and pretty successful career in the real estate sector, Mr. Bill
Andrews. So, thank you for joining us today, Bill, so happy to have you with

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Thank
you for the invite. I am most happy to speak with you and we have known each
other for a long time. And it’s an amazing business and I’m constantly
reinventing myself. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host:  I love that
you positioned it that way because it’s exactly why I wanted to invite you
going to the podcast, because this is one of those industries where it does
evolve, depending on where you are. Sometimes it feels like it’s not moving at
all and in some ways it’s moving at warp speed and I think you know we’re at a
period in time where we’re going to see you know some shifts happening, and
what I love is, is you know you have gone through some shifts in the
past.  You’ve had to reinvent yourself based on some of these things and
we just love to have some of your perspective on what that has looked like and
maybe what this current situation might look like for you going forward. So,
first of all just weave out a little bit of your origin story and what your
trajectory has been through this crazy industry over the last 20 ish years? 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yeah,
20 ish years, or something like that. So, yeah, it all happened by mistake. I
was working in the cell phone industry early. I had no idea what I was doing
and it was magnificent, we made all kinds of money. Back then we used to make
money on the usage and Pactel cellular had not spun off yet, it was still
Pactel running a mobile division. And we had those bag phones, do you remember
those bag phones? And that was my first foray into what I would call
technology. And I was also part of the first sales force in the United States,
maybe even in the world, that was outfitted with an IBM laptop, a Motorola flip
phone and all of the components to do business from my car on the road. So,
that was normal for me back in 1990… I would say ‘94. I would be on my
laptop, and I hate to say this but I’d be driving and I’d be typing. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: It was okay then
Bill, it was all okay then.

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: It was
natural back then, it was what you did. But, what I would be doing is I would
be getting mobile numbers back, running credit on people, and then we would
have phones in our trunk and we’d program them.  And so that was really
the beginning of my foray into technology. And the first instance I had a
really realizing that there’s a never-ending search to, to use it is we were
all the top reps, probably in the country coming out of my office there in
Woodland Hills California; It was the business division. And we were always,
when I go look at the list, I was always somewhere in every month in the top 5
reps somewhere in California and the country, top 10. And then one crazy month
I looked up there and I saw out of the top 10 there were about six names that I
didn’t even recognize. So, we’ve just done hiring and it was all these young
people in the office, young guys and gals. And what happened was they came with
their own laptops, while all of the veterans were waiting for all our material
to be printed and for the person that does that to put our name on the
flyers.  And these people have done their own, and they hit the market
early and they got all the low-hanging fruit. And it occurred to me, I thought
that it was illegal, I said “why are they allowed to do their own stuff?” and
they said, “there’s nothing stopping them. You have to go compete and go for
it.”  And I realized okay, so that’s a game-changer. There’s never going
to be a time where you rest on your laurels, and it’s going to be changing
forever more and that’s exactly how it’s been and what happened. And then from
there, I left that career, because I could see that the money and the ability
for me to really structure and corner my own market was leaving and it was,
well, the way I put it, was you were going to be able to get a free cell phone
if you bought a big gulp at 7-Eleven. And I said, that’s probably a bad sign, I
should probably be leaving by now, and I did.  I went to work for iPicks
and iPicks was the first virtual tour company that we actually were selling the
cameras and the software and then the broker, or the agent would have to take
the pictures, two 180’s and then stitch it to a 360.  That’s how I got
into this business, and I thought that was amazing. And I thought that’s how
some people were going to buy homes, because they told me that Will Smith did
it, so I figured everybody else would. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: If Will does it,
everybody will do it. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: It was
a great tease to get you; it became… and here’s the funny thing.  That
technology never really worked for people to, to use the virtual tour to buy a
home, but what we figured out, was that we would put a virtual tour on a floppy
disk with an agent’s name on it and then they would use the floppy disk to do a
listing presentation and because the technology would wow the listing, the
customers, they would choose them for that listing. And they’d say, “wow you’re
doing something no one else has,” and that lasted for a long time so the
wrestler by the wayside. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host:  So, virtual
tours. That description of a virtual tour I think does not at all align with
what the industry thinks of as a virtual tour today, right. Because at the time
that we’re recording this, you know we’re what, four or six weeks into the
Covid experience. And one of the things we’ve seen really take off is the
increased use of virtual tours, but also platforms in tech companies evolving
in a much different way to facilitate what you tried to accomplish back then.
Back then, it was more of a marketing scheme, a marketing tool.

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yeah,
it always boils down to this. My job was to sell virtual tours. And I found out
when I’d go do presentations at broker’s offices, the virtual tour was great
and you’re supposed to use it to let people view the home. But because I was
selling virtual tours, my job was, how do I get them to buy virtual tours.
Well, by putting their name on a floppy disk and saying if you buy these today,
we’ll take care of this for you and even if you don’t know the technology you
take this into your listing presentation, and there you go. And so, of course
the tour took off, and it grew legs of their own, but that’s how I sold it.
That’s how I figured out how to move this forward? Otherwise, without that, I
want to say greed factor or the factor of making an agent understand, how does
this work for me, how do I get business from this? That’s what my job was. So,
virtual tours worked, but unless we move this forward, you know it’s going to
do nothing. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: So, I love that. I
love that you wouve out sort of that baseline of how you entered the space that
you had. I mean you and I have known each other in a very different capacity. I
mean you’ve moved through a couple of different organizations since you and
I’ve known one another. So, from there, what was the next trajectory to where
you are now?  And I’ve purposely kind of left that for you to weave out. I
don’t want to be a spoiler here, because you’ve made another relatively recent

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yeah.
You know, I’ve always been… I realized that some people look at me but I
don’t want to settle in and get bored.  I want to be making decisions and
I want to be in the front end of things that are exciting. And I’m deciding how
those things move forward and how my life does. From there, I went to a company
called Crescenda. It stood for customers receiving and sending data. I was
unintentionally, I had the first MLS. I was responsible for… I had a Palm Pilot
with a modem. And it was ridiculous, because they each had a charger and I
think the modem took 6 hours to charge and the Palm Pilot took  2 hours to
charge. And you put the two together and it was in black and white with a
little stylus pen.  But, I convinced Rappitoni to put their MLS on that. So,
I sold the very first device, that held the MLS on a device that was cellular,
and handheld and it was two pieces.  And that was what launched me into
Rappitoni, because when they didn’t get the rest of the funding, the idea was
there, the seed was planted that it could be done, and that you could get an
MLS on a device, which had not been done and no one was willing to do it on the
other MLS’s. It all of a sudden became natural, and Rappitoni actually called
me and said I want you to start selling my internet based MLS, it’s brand new
come on over here and let’s move. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Very cool. So,
you’ve been at the bleeding edge of what I would say the real estate sector, in
terms of the realtors on the ground, known as the MLS system. You were at the
Forefront of marketing those systems, from an internet based way into the hands
of the market.

Bill Andrews, Regional
Sales Director, Black Knight:
Unintentionally, but I was lucky because
I saw how things played out and how people had the wrong idea. I had a call one
day when this was all playing out and it was all the major carriers: AT&T,
T-Mobile, all of those and they were all talking amongst each other about how
much they were going to charge us, and how much we had to pay them, and I said,
“You guys have completely missed the point. We won’t pay you a dime. This is
going to happen whether you like it or not, because it’s going to happen over
the internet and this is just a device that people can use to access the

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Right, right. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: “So,
good luck with all of this,” and they really didn’t understand. They weren’t
seeing the big picture because they were looking at it from their small corner
of the world, when in fact it was a game-changer and it was going to be a

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Cool,  so that
took you to Rapattoni, and then just really quickly, you’ve had a few other
stops that you’ve had along the way. Just let us know kind of what those stops
are, what kind of product you were selling, because it’s always been in tech,

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yes.

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: You know, kind of
where you’re at now. And then I’d love to pivot to some of the experiences that
you have had for your trajectory. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Sure,
so the main points were rapattoni and I was there for eight or nine years. And
we really stormed the market, and we took a really big market share and we were
doing incredibly well with the internet based MLS. Then I met my favourite guys
in the business, Brian Shepard and Sean. And I’ll tell you, it was the best
time, and maybe the most fun time because they have the spirit of having fun
and technology and being kind of bold and brazen and just having a lot of fun
in the process. And I love that and I went there and we won some major, major
accounts and it was wonderful because our support team in our group was another
piece that moved the MLS forward. It was incredibly fast,  lightning fast,
and then without any knowledge, all of a sudden we were purchased, well, those
guys did, but we were purchased by CoreLogic. And then there was another foray
into it because I was really the only guy that knew matrix, so a lot of my
positions were going and doing all the demos for us. And some of the
interesting times there, some of the things that I said and did to win
business, but I’ve always been honest and transparent and so that didn’t work
for somebody, you know, fine, you can show me the door or I’ll hit the door on
my own. And then, I got a little bit bored there after a while. I was taking
care of most of the major accounts, CRMLS and MLS Listings, and some great
people that I’ve gone over the years, and I decided to take the position with
Zillow because they wanted me for the API. I thought that, that would be the
next level of technology that was going to help vendors getting to the market.
And allow for data to move faster and safer.  And I did that, and I had a
lot of fun. And then, they pivoted to more of Bridge67 which was some of the
listing input. And at that point, I decided that I’ve done a lot of
vendors  and I was excited about that technology and that’s where I met
the guys at Remine, Limedesk, Rate My Agent.  A bunch of really good
vendors, with good products. And I did that as a consultant, and then, of
course I took a position with Remine, who wanted me to spend more time with
them just in a directional position of the MLS and the business and in
understanding that. And then most recently, as you know, again I pivoted and I
went over the Black Knight with some great folks that I’ve known for many years
and respected. And I just thought with everything I’ve done, and everything
I’ve been involved in, the MLS has always been my knowledge center, my
cornerstone, my comfort zone, and so I decided to be with Black Knight that was
most recently to do it again. And I’ve never cared about what anyone says. I
always say, jokingly that I just can’t hold a job, but the truth is, sometimes
I don’t want to hold a job. I know when my time is ready, when it’s time to
move on because I don’t want to be a guy that hangs on and looks for a safe
spot. That’s just no way for me to go through life. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: I so appreciate
that about you Bill, and one of the things that I absolutely love, and for
those that are either watching this or will be listening to this; I’ve come to
know you as probably the most genuine person. End stop. And then I can also add
in the real estate sector, but you, it’s your approach I think that has just
provided… I love when you say, you know, I’ve never wanted to hold a job
because that’s the ethos that you kind of give out. This isn’t a job for me, I
do this because I love it. And the other piece that I will say, is just how
deep your relationships are in this industry. And it’s really been about, you
know, I’m hoping that a good number of people that are listening to this
podcast have had the opportunity to experience a Bill Andrews curated dinner
because it is an experience second to none. I mean, it’s always at a great
place, so yes the drink and the food is excellent, but it’s more than that.
It’s the people that you bring together. You know, I’ve had the privilege of
being invited to a few of those, and what I’ve always appreciated is, you know,
I don’t even know the people that are at the table with me, you have simply
just curated an opportunity for people to get one know one another,  that
really whether or not it serves your business objectives, is not the root of
the invitation and neither is it the nature of the conversation. And you know,
there is nobody that I have come across in this industry, who has nothing but
the highest level of appreciation and admiration for you as a human being. And
I think that’s the piece that I’d like to get some of your thoughts around in
terms of, you said something a bit earlier, and I jotted a note, and it was,
“you know, my job was always to figure out how to get it there.” And you know,
I can’t help but believe that “the figuring it out” was exactly through that
channel and you know the relationships that you built, and how you built those.
So, I’d love to hear a little bit about that, you know the intersection between
real estate and technology and even capital, to a certain degree, has another
element in there that is none of those, and it’s the unique piece that you
bring to the equation. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Well,
first thing, thank you so much for saying that. Those are some really kind

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host:  All very

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: But
that is one of the pleasures that we all have in this business, is taking the
time to be with each other and not selling there, just getting to know people.
And I think the most important thing that anybody in our business can know is
to be a  problem solver. There’s lots of problems. And in order to be a
problem solver, you have to be a good listener. But there’s a time and a place
for that.  And at dinner, I’m really just trying to break bread and have
fun, creating an environment where someone wants to talk to you, wants to tell
you  what issues are and that it’s an honest conversation. Sometimes you
can’t solve their problems, and sometimes you don’t have the right product, and
you have to be ready to accept that, because otherwise you will chill any
goodwill that you have, because relationships are everything in this business.
If they weren’t then I couldn’t go from company to company and be able to still
pick up the phone and call someone because, I think they know when I call them
that I’m not trying to sell them something. I’m just trying to tell them, “I’m
here now, here’s what I’m doing. Here’s what we have, if you find something in
this product line that works for you, give me a call. I’ll be honest with
you.”  That’s the way I want it. And so I’ve done this, and as I’ve gone
through this, it’s the relationships that have always carried me through and
always allowed me to do business with people. So much so,  and I love it
so much, you know I brought my three sons into this business. I said, “Listen,
I can’t teach you much, but I can teach you if you’re interested in this
business, how it works and I love the people in it, and I love what we do.” And
I love the fact that such a technology based business now but it is still human
to human, and it’s still all about contacts.  So, you have to find a way
to make any new and emerging technology. You have to know your audience, and
you have to figure out how this is going to help somebody. How is this going to
solve a problem for somebody. And that’s fun! 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Yeah, and I love
that you just wove that thread all the way through because I think a lot of
people often ask, or one of the questions that I hear often is well, things are
changing. Things are going to change and evolve and that’s just a truism of
life, right?  The only thing that doesn’t change is that everything
changes, right? And so, one of the questions I was going to ask you, is in your
experience how things have changed and I’d be interested to hear it. But I
think your last answer almost kind of says, “it doesn’t matter because what you
know, the one constant thread is those relationships.” And just really being
willing to understand people’s issues so that you can create a path to a
solution, even if you don’t have the solution. But I would love to hear you
know your perspectives on how this space has changed and how do you think it
might change further?

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: That’s
really an interesting question and here’s where it really changed. When I first
got into the business, and I started asking, I would go to a top broker, or a
top agent. And one of the questions I would ask her in the process was, “May I
get your email so that I can get something for you.” And they would often say,
“Well, one second, let me get my assistant. Hey Betty, what is my email again?”
In the early days, they were still using, if they were a Coldwell Banker agent,
they were using their Coldwell Banker, whatever they were. But they quickly
learned that hey, I want to have my own email, so I realized number one, they
don’t know their own email. So the changes are they’re not reading their email,
so that’s probably not a good idea. And then secondly, I think the biggest
swing in the business, and this shows you how things can change so dramatically
but still be the same.  In the old days, and I’m talking old days probably
2000. That was still when people, public did not have access to listings, it
wasn’t available. An agent, quite frankly could be playing golf or be lazy or
doing nothing, and still hold someone hostage because they were waiting for
what homes can we go look at.  And so they had no ability to challenge you
to find something without you. And like all of us, I mean those things sharpen
your blade; the fact that you know someone might find something before you. And
at first because they weren’t accepting change, they were angry about the data
being out there. So, the Zillow’s and the’s and all of the sites
that could start showing data made people mad. Instead of embracing that,
“Okay, well now, I can actually figure out who’s my real interested buyers,
because if we’re talking, and they’re doing a lot of searching I’ve got a real
hot prospect.” But, that’s the positive view. The negative view is, “this
sucks. I don’t have control anymore. And I want control.” But,  those who
embrace the fact that, okay, the horses out of the barn. What’s the next thing?
Maybe I should be a horse wrangler!  Because the barn’s not doing me any good
anymore, when the horse is out of it.  And so, it really was the first
change, but bottom line is, even today with people searching on their own and
having all the technology, and all the capabilities, they still need someone
that can have some of the hard conversations regarding the property, that can
advise of them legally or that can advise them in terms of pricing in the
market and what’s happened in the neighbourhood. And that’s the relationship
builder, the searching part never was. You know, that was just an easy way to
knock down the sale. So, now if I am an agent, I understand one thing. And I’ve
known this throughout business, but when you have an easy process with
something, you have little chance of building relationships. When there are
instances where there are some difficulties or some challenging things, when
you work through that with someone, whether that’s buying a house, or selling a
house, it does build a relationship and it builds trust, because you are
working through the issue, you’re not ducking it. You’re asking the hard
questions, and you’re doing the hard things and that’s the true gold in it.
That’s where you become and that’s where you find your value, because your
knowledge and your confidence grows every time you do that. You learn not to
run away from something. And I’ve got a really, really interesting story. Just
a few days ago, I’ll say that it’s a person I know that’s very close to me,
called me and presented me with a problem. Their company wanted something, the
customer wasn’t going to allow something else and there seemed to be a big
divide and my first question was, “Have you called that person in charge, that
CEO and have you presented him with this issue?”  and he said, “No, I
think it’s going to be an issue.” And I said, “No, nothing is going to get
solved unless you go to the source, and say, “We have an issue and I need to
talk with you, and I need some options, and we need to talk about some options
so I can serve you.” And within 10 minutes of him making a call, everything got
solved. And they said, “It’s okay, I understand, we;re going to make an
exception in this case and move forward. Because we put a lot of effort into
this and I think you’re right, we can do this.” But the initial answer was, “No
way, not going to happen.” But that’s how you work through those things. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: You know, there’s
so much to unpack of what you just said Bill, and it’s really the Crux of what
I was, you know, the genesis of this conversation and what I was hoping we
could tackle, but you know just a couple of nuggets  that I want to pull
out of that, and you just shred with us. First and foremost technology, if it
makes it easier it, doesn’t make it better, because you’ve eliminated that
opportunity to really understand where the friction is. So, I love your point
around, “if there are bumps in the road, you’re not growing and learning, but
you may not also be serving your client, or whoever your ultimate customer is
very well either” because they haven’t really understood what their needs are
right? So, I love that.  I love that, you know, it’s a piece of the
psychology in the industry, and you said it earlier, like, “I want to control
change”  so it’s been like, well I don’t want to accept any change,
because then I’m out of that control, right? But here’s the thing, if you
accept the fact that things will change, but also understand that the
relationship and the interaction is still the most important component, then
the change isn’t scary. Because you have just evolved to meet that need, right
and I think it just elevates the degree to which you’re needed in that
transaction. So, I love that piece and then your story is amazing because it
does highlight sometimes, it’s eating that frog, just do it. You kinda just
have to do it.

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yes, haha.
That’s well said! 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: You just have to
pick up the phone!  BUt it’s a hard thing to do, and so, I guess one of
the things that I’d love to hear from you is, over your career, given all of
those as the basic foundations, what have you found, because you mostly you
have sold into MLS’s but although, you’ve had a lot of interface with brokers
and agents. Because it helps MLS’s in terms of transition to new technology.
What have been some of the most timeless strategies that you have employed that
you found regardless of who you were working with, what technology you were
representing. What are those kinds of tools in the toolbox that you find most

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Well,
I think you know, you have to number one, you have to know your audience. And
you have to understand their business. And in our business, in most cases data
is crucial. Data is king. So you have to understand, where is the data, who
controls it,  how do I get it. What are the factors in becoming a vendor
that has access to the data. So, my product is animated, it’s alive. And that’s
what data does for software. It’s dead until the data’s in there, then it’s

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: I love that, great

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: And
it’s what changes business. And it’s how every person looks at a piece of software
and they assess how they can use it. It’s one piece, but because people are
individuals, and because people are creative, they find the means that work for
them. So, I would say, for a vendor coming into this market, we’ll start there.
Look at your products, figure out who’s going to be using it. And when I say
know your audience, it is known that a great number of agents are not looking
to do a lot of business. There are some that are retired, they used to maybe be
a school teacher, or a fireman, or a policeman. And they’ve got a pension and
so they’ve got some source of income, but nobody wants to sit around the house.
They want a life and they want the ability to still generate money and have a
social life and that propels a lot of people into real estate, because you work
for yourself, there’s really not a lot of pressure unless you put it on
yourself. And in many cases, and some cases there are. And so, you have to
assess how much does this person want to spend and what are their goals, as opposed
to. So, you have to understand if this product is driven for brokers, what are
broker challenges? Those have changed over the years, you know, they used to
get a desk fee. And so they would want to have a lot of people sitting there so
they could charge for a phone, and these things. ANd then people started
working out of their home. And so, there’s that shift again and you just have
to know your audience, data is always going to be key whenever you’re there.
And it’s really having an honest appraisal and assessment of “how do I move it
onto the market, and  who’s going to get.” And sometimes the way that
happens is… there’s a company that I was working with, and you know them. And
when they called me, they had no idea I had been working in the United States
for I think three or four years, and buying data from sources that didn’t work.
And I said, “Well let’s just go jump on the road, let’s go talk to some MLS’s I
can hook you up with, and let’s ask them what they think of your product. Let’s
ask them if they think this is scary for brokers. Let’s really get their
opinion.” And  for the most part, we got pretty positive feedback although
some felt that it might compete with brokers, but that’s always going to be
there. So, you can’t let that dissuade you. You have to go and do your research
and do some honest appraisal and go right to the source, you know, don’t be
afraid. Just like I said when there was an issue, just call the person that can
make a change for you, and explain why this has to be done to be successful.
And find a work around. And I think it’s the same trying to get into the market
with a product, you just have to do some homework and know your audience. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: I love that. It’s
amazing advice Bill, because I think that’s what we see so many times and you
and I have both seen a lot of tech, come and go right. Which means that’s a lot
of companies and a lot of people that have kind of come and gone. Some have
tried to recycle a few times right? And I think in the absence of figuring that
equation out,  ultimately it doesn’t matter how great your solution is. If
you don’t figure out what you’ve built, who your audience is,  you need
something to make that product come to life right? And I would agree with you,
it’s generally data. And then, really understanding, understanding,
what the needs are. You can have the greatest piece of tech, but if nobody buys
it, it’s just a piece of tech, right. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: In the
end, you have to find where the value is in it. It’s different in all products,
and I want to say this,  I think you know, the one problem I see with our
industry is a lot of people want to pick and choose winners and losers. And I
think there needs to be more timestamps because, you know, it wasn’t so much
so, when I first got in the business, there was no one allowed from the
outside, it was very closed. And so, a vendor would really go through hell to
try and get in the door, but now people are more accepting of meeting vendors
in technology. But there’s not enough time set aside to evaluate it and to, to
give opportunities and to really look at it. And I think that’s because
everyone’s a little bit rushed and judgemental. But the other thing I’ve tried
to do all my life is to not have an opinion when I see a piece of software or a
business model. When I used to work at Rapattoni, we would talk to a lot of
vendors. And I made sure that I kept one day a week open to just listen,
because you might hear 50 pitches, and then you might find an absolute gem.
Something that you see a visions for and you can say, “I think this is going to
make it,” immediately and this is the approach I’d take and you know, “how can
we help you,” because this is going to be great for us to offer our users and
for you to, to flourish in this market. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: And I think you’re
absolutely right, it’s so much of what we have seen, isn’t it, over the last
few years is just how companies… how the space I guess is maybe a bit more
collaborative, rather than as competitive. So, much more open and welcoming for
new solutions and new companies to come forward, but also more collaborative. I
would even say with the incumbents in terms of working with and integrating
with some of this new tech. So, I’m hopeful that this is a sign for a lot of
additional innovation in the space. So, I’m just conscious of time here and
know we need to wrap up, but again we’re recording this a little bit during
this period of time, where there’s a lot of turmoil. I think a lot of vendors
are probably wondering how this piece of time is going to impact them. Probably
a lot of you know requests for deferral of payments, and maybe some renewals
that aren’t happening. Given everything we’ve talked about over the last 30
minutes or so, in terms of the approach of really selling technology into this
space, I want to start here. Where do you see the opportunity in this period of
time for the real estate sector, especially with technology?

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Well,
I think what’s going to happen here is that we’ve seen everything kind of come
to a halt. Now, I’m a believer that  human nature over the, whether you
want to believe, the hundreds of thousands or thousands or millions of years,
you can’t just change it over one virus. It’s going to somehow be back to
people are going to travel, people are going to eat out, people are going to…
you know I always like this too, you know, painful times where you say this
will never happen again. But, the further you move away from the pain, the less
you remember it. And so when we moved away from this, I do think there’s a gem
in here. This kind of leveled the playing field. So you have agents that are
top agents, agents who don’t do much business, and they all found themselves in
the same place. And this is a good time to reinvent yourself, because when you
hit a point where you’re all in the same boat, and the same thing is happening
across the board. And it’s affecting people buying homes or selling homes, you
have a chance to see, okay here’s the time to reset. What is my goal, what do I
want to do, what do I need to do to reach that. Let me go look at some
technology and there’s some really good stuff out there. To me, anything that
you can use that, number one, promotes you, keeps you connected; I think the
biggest issue I’ve seen over the years is once an agent sells a home for
someone or helps someone buy a home, there’s been a lack of the ability to stay
close to that person.  So, you’ve built this relationship but they may not
need you for another 8 or 9 years. So,  you have to figure out for another
8 or 9 years,  what can I bring to this person that’s ov value. And that
can be, constant monitoring of the value of their home, of their neighbourhood,
of things that you can do to help them. You know, you have to say in front of
them. They need to remember what you did, and that you’re there, and that you
become someone who is familiar to them through the whole process. So, anything
that helps you to do that, and then anything that helps you to be able to use
technology and gather it in one place. So, if you pick three or four or five
products, you want the ability to integrate those products, so look for
software like that. Things that will help you more efficiently. You can’t log
in or log out of  8 or 10 systems a day, you have to have the ability to
log into something and find your scope of what’s important to do over the next
hour, as opposed to what’s important to do in your next 8 hours or a

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Right. I love that,
that’s such a great insight Bill, and I think again, in terms of the companies
and the technology that we see as part of the REACH program and evaluating
companies that are already in the market. Those are the ones that are starting
to percolate to the top, right. Those are the ones that are enhancing the
relationship almost as opposed to disintermediating the process, right. I think
that’s definitely something that I’ve heard loud and clear through our
conversation is that’s an important component in this industry. But because of
the nature of real estate, real estate is a very personal purchase, it’s a very
infrequent purchase and therefore the relationship is a very important
component. I love that. So, just to wrap it up, I have two last questions for
you. First one, and I suspect it’s not the one on the back or on the wall
behind you, but when’s the last time you were on your surfboard?

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Oh,
about 2 weeks ago!

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Oh, did you get

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Yeah,
but they closed most of the beaches, it’s hard to get access and it’s also been
red tide out here, which is a condition that in this case has been so severe,
that the water is brown, and at night you can see of course, the glow on the
water but during the day it’s brown. So, it’s been a little bit stinky and
brown and beaches are pretty weird because lifeguards are on bullhorns telling
you to keep moving. It’s been a couple of weeks, so I’m  just waiting for
things to get back to normal.

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Cool! That’s cool.
Well, I still am looking forward to the day when I get to come down and get a
surf lesson from Bill Andrews, so that’s still on my bucket list. But here’s
the last questions I have for you.  What’s the next event you think that
you and I are going to be able to enjoy dinner together?

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: I’m
thinking… I’m hopeful, I think we might be able to see November NAR. I think
there’s a good chance that we’ll all be at that.  I can see some of the
travel coming back a little bit. Very limited, but I think by then we’ll have
something figured out if they have some of the fixes in place. For example,
like a vaccine or things that they found that are… I think people will be
more confident about travelling and not having severity and weigh the risks of,
“how long do I stay here, and how long do I stay holed up” as opposed to. Our
industry is very reliant on relationships and seeing each other,
eyeball-to-eyeball with most things. And I look forward to it, because  I
think this will be an especially sweet one, because I think people will be very
happy to see each other and to all be back and so I think I’ll see you in
November and we’ll see what happens! 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Well, I certainly
hope so, and whether it’s November or whether it’s sometime in 2021, I
definitely look forward to the next time you and I get to hang out because it’s
always such a pleasure. And I really appreciate you agreeing to do this today,
it was so great to see you. So great to chat with you and I wish you all the
best with your new gig!

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Well,
thanks. I’m honored and I wish you the best as well, I know your background and
your level of dollars in the business is going to help all those vendors out
there in Canada. And I hope they’re listening, because this is an opportunity
for them to glean something off what you’re doing, and I wish you the best of
luck in that. 

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: Thank you so much.
Really appreciate you, my friend. 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Thanks,

Lynette Keyowski – Beyond the Box Host: I look forward to
the next time we chat. Take care! 

Bill Andrews, Regional Sales Director, Black Knight: Bye-bye! 

— End of Podcast — 

Beyond the Box: Conversations with real estate executives, venture capital partners and technologists on what lays ahead for the real estate industry in a world after COVID-19.

Beyond the Box Podcast Hosts

Lynette Keyowski
Beyond the Box Host: Lynette Keyowski – Managing Director at REACH Canada

Mike McAra Headshot


Beyond the Box Host: Mike McAra – Director at REACH Canada