Beyond the Box – Season 1 – Episode 9 – Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS.
Episode 9 of Beyond the Box is out now!! Mike McAra talks with Tom Rossiter, CEO of RESAAS to get his diverse perspective on what Canada is bringing to the table with regards to technology in the real estate landscape.
“… the Canadian investor market is more predisposed to the idea of investing in companies that go public that have the opportunity to be huge. They’re more open to the venture mindset. If you think about Canadian investment over the years, it’s been around mining and oil and gas and resource, where there’s an idea and there’s a possibility of a huge return… that risk tolerance for venture type companies in the public markets is very strong in Canada and it’s been here for decades.”
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: So, I have Tom Rossiter,
CEO of RESAAS joining us here on Beyond the Box. So, thanks so much Tom for
coming on the show.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Oh, no problem. Good morning
Mike, how are you doing?
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: I am doing fantastic it’s
a nice sunny day here. It looks kind of Sunny where you are, so that’s good
too. Maybe not, I don’t know. Where are you Tom? Whereabouts are you?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: We’re in Vancouver.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Oh, so it’s actually
would be rare that it’s sunny.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Yeah, it’s usually
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Anyways, so obviously
these are interesting times and we have lots to talk about with the way that
the world kind of shaping out here, especially when it comes to the real estate
technology landscape. But before we jump into that, I would love to get a
little bit of a background of who is Tom and how did you become the CEO of
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Sure. Well thanks for having me,
first of all. I’m a big fan of what you’re doing at REACH and REACH in Canada.
So, yeah, we’re in Vancouver. RESAAS is a platform for real estate agents and
it was really born out of the concept, that real estate agents are one of the
most social groups of professionals that exist in the industry today. And that
was really apparent to myself, when I moved here from the UK in 2007. My
background prior to that was in the marketing, advertising and ad agency world.
And so, when I came here and in the first few people, because I knew no one,
were these really friendly, really socially forward, groups of professionals
that were well-dressed and they smile all the time, and they were just
interesting people. And they were realtors. And as I started to hang out with
them, I realized that actually very social people and when you witness them
kind of face to face and in groups and in person, the collaboration’s
incredible. And so that was really the “aha” moment to kick off RESAAS. Prior
to that, my background was in technology in the agency world. And what brought
me to Canada was the lifestyle, the mountains. And what’s being cool is, being
here for the past thirteen years I’ve got to see the technology landscape
change. So, Vancouver they referred to as Silicon Valley North. We could get
into this a little bit later, but there’s a tremendous amount of incentives for
tech companies to be in Canada and specifically in BC. So, yeah, fascinating
time to be in Canada in the tech landscape. Real estate has changed an awful
lot in the time that I’ve been involved with that, over the past decade or so.
And so, yeah, it’s a really fascinating time and I think is you will see from
your side of the lens Mike, there’s a lot of change happening, and I think it’s
all for the good.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Yeah, totally. So,
that’s very interesting how that all came to be. So, explain this to me; so
you’re almost you’re kind of an industry outsider and you’re a national
outsider too. So you’ve moved countries, you coming in from the marketing
perspective and I’m going to start a company in real estate technology? How
does that… talk me through the genesis idea of that and how all of that comes
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: When you see registered agents
in real life collaborate at the brokerage office, or at the golf club, or you
know, at the bar, or specifically at industry events, the quality of the
content, the value that they get from talking to each other is second to none.
And what was apparent to us when we started to research like, “how does this
work really and how does it work at scale?” was… there was no scale story.
Okay, so, the principal was we take that incredible social interaction that
agents have in real life and gives them a way to do that, where it’s not just
local, it’s more national and perhaps global. And so, the way that we did that
was building what we originally called the real estate social network. So,
remember when Facebook was everything, you know, 10 years ago?
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Yeah, the good old
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: The good old days. We thought,
let’s create a foundation for agents to be as social as they are in real life,
but online. Keep it industry only, so that the quality of the conversation, the
data of the contents all has to do with referrals and leads and listings and
valuable content. And if we do that, then we give agents and perhaps their
brokerages a way to generate more leads, generate more business and share more
information. And that was what was missing before.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Gotcha.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: So, that was really the genesis
for it, and what was interesting for us, is you know, that was our idea and we
just kind of spun it up and threw it at the wall and see what stuck. And it
really caught fire quite quickly and it was very apparent to us, the agents
were looking for a platform to broadcast who they were little bit wider afield
than their local market. And more than that, at more of an industry level, from
a brokerage and a brand standpoint, there’s a lot of those organizations that
have a big footprint physically but they didn’t have the means to really unite
their membership properly. And that was really, you know, a big part of what we
were doing, is if we can bring agents together, first of all it
strengthens the industry, but secondly, it’s great for the brands, great for
the brokerages, it’s great for the organizations within real estate.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: So, okay. That’s awesome.
So, you got the idea, obviously let’s create a LinkedIn meets Facebook industry
specific, but also a referral like aggregation national presence. So, that’s
the idea. So, what is RESAAS today?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Well, RESAAS is really been born
out of the activity the agents have used it for. So, our idea was, let’s create
a world just for licensed agents. Let’s just digitize NAR, really. Let’s create
a digital version of all agents. It went global really quick, because as you
know, as well as I do, real estate is a global business. So, fast-forward to
today, we’ve got 485,000 agents that use our platform in 161 countries. Now,
the majority of our usage is in the US, because that’s where we focus, and
that’s where I think there’s the biggest problem that we solve, and perhaps the
most inefficiency in the way that organized real estate is structured. But what
we saw pretty early on Mike, was that agents really use RESAAS for a couple of
main thing. It was a lot of collaboration, a lot of discussion, a lot of
low-grade content-sharing. But the two standouts were on a local level
listings, as in “I just caught a listing and I’ve signed it this morning on a
Thursday morning.” It’s going to take a week to ready for the market, but I’m
going to share it with my peer group now, so we saw a lot of pre-market
listings hit our system first.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: “Coming soons” if you
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: “Pre-coming soon.” So, we’ll get
into that later. And then more of a national and global scale, we saw a lot of
referrals, because I think that notion of, you know, I’m an agent with a client
and they’re moving somewhere else and searching for them on Google or trying to
find an agent through looking them up in the directory, it didn’t always
yield the best results. And so, if you think about it, when we’ve got this is
network of agents that was thriving, so it became a community, suddenly you
give agents the great ability to find the right agent to refer their client to.
And so, our two standout trends like, pretty early on that we built a lot of
our business on around now, is the high temper, real-time nature of hot
listings especially in seller’s market and referrals at a national and
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Very cool. And so, when
it comes to the referrals, your platform facilitates that end to end process,
from sending the referral, to tracking it through, making sure that
connections… So, if I’m an agent, it really broadens that opportunity for me
to refer up my client base.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Completely. Yeah, and you know,
we’ve become, obviously brands like to refer business within their own
brokerage, right. They want to keep it on both my side and the seller
side. And we facilitate that. So, a big platform has agents only
but we have every major brokerage represented, it’s a complete mix of all the
different brokers that exist because you know as well as I do, that it doesn’t
really matter which brokerage you’re with. If I’ve got a requirement, and
you can fill it, it’s Mike the agent I’m dealing with, not Mike the agent with
a certain brand. And so, we do a lot of work with brokerages. We have an
Enterprise division that sells white-labelled versions of RESAAS to the big
brands and we create a private world just for their agents inside our big
ecosystem. But the real beauty is that you can start internally, you can start
privately within a company, within a firm, within a brokerage and try and do
the referral that way. If it doesn’t work, perhaps there are agents in that
market you’re referring to you can click a switch inside RESAAS and then open
up to the whole community of all agents that we have and get the referral done
that way. So, we’ve become very very popular, certainly in a nationwide
referrals and increasingly in global referrals as well.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Gotcha. And so, when it
comes down to the agents that are utilizing your platform, is it kind of every
agent, is it normally the team leads, is it, you know, more established agents?
Like, really who, or is it everybody?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: It’s certainly top agents using
RESAAS and we see that very clearly with the markets that we focus on a lot.
And we’ve worked really hard Mike, to make sure that our product and our
experience on our mobile apps are very suited to the industry. Okay, so it’s
widely known that the average age of a real estate agent is your late fifties,
and we found them, we heard them, and I think it’s widely known that a
lot of technology that exists within real estate isn’t a designed to be used by
people that were a little bit older. And so, we’ve worked hard to make sure
that our interface, our product, our technology is very clear, very simple and
very efficient. And so, we end up with a really good spectrum of agents that
use our product. You know, we have the top producing agents, the tech forward
ones, the guys that have assistants and teams that run things for them, and
they do very well using RESAAS. We also have agents that have been around a
while, maybe they do less transactions, but they make up part of the market.
And I think they’re relieved and perhaps excited to find a product in a
technology that they can use and they enjoy making the most of and they get
business and referrals from.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Gotcha. And so, when it
comes to the agents, how do most of them hear about you? Is it through these
larger deals that you have with the major franchises or is it they come about
you through, you know, I’m actually looking for referrals and they find you
online. Like, how are your clients finding you guys the most?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Yeah, both of those things you
said. Certainly when we work with organizations and that can be as big as
international franchises, like Remax is one of our clients, and we power their
global referral exchange. All the way through large brokerage’s, small
independent brokerages and teams. We work a lot with local real estate
associations and MLS’s. So, those are more of the enterprise type of deals that
we do where we create a private world just for those members. So, all agents
that are a part of that organization can share the same data. That’s a big part
of where agents come from. We also have agents that join organically.
Whether being invited by another agent, or just discovering us through word of
mouth. So, an example of that is, of our 485,000 agents, we got 18,000 agents
in Canada. Yet, we haven’t focused on Canada at all. So, they’ve just joined I
think from, you know, being invited by other agents or perhaps learning and
reading about the volume of referrals that we do.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: That’s, you know, 20
percent of the market, basically.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: It is, yeah, and as you know,
about 1/3 to 1/2 of the market aren’t really that active anyway, so we
definitely have the sharp end of the agents that are in this business.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: That’s a good business
model right there. We’re not going to market here, but yet what we get
customers here. It’s one of the holy grails. So, that’s really cool. So
now, changing gears, we’re obviously in a new, I don’t even want to say a
“new normal.” We’re in a new world where online communities, digitization of
processes, exchanging of information is becoming more of a norm and people are
adopting new technology more and more. How have you guys seen Covid possibly
things with the way that your agents are interacting on the platform? Or, how
has it shifted your lens with respect to today with RESAAS and then also the
future as your kind of playing it out?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Well, Covid has forced every
industry to change. We’ve all had to adapt. I think real estate is one of the
prime victims of that, if you will. And I think real estate in general is sometimes
slow to adopt change. And we’ve been saying for many years technology can help
real estate agents do better. And those that adopt it, we see it all the time,
do really well. And those are a little bit in a shy to move forward, they’re
missing out. What Covid has done specifically in real estate is it’s forced
agents, almost overnight to have to use technology more than they were before.
Real estate is such a social, such an in-person industry, and when you can’t do
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Belly to belly.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Belly to belly, right. And when
you can’t do that, then you have to find alternatives, right? It’s, how do you
do an open house when you can’t have people in it? So, it’s all of these
examples where agents have to kind of scratch their head and reinvent have been
doing things for a number of years. And honestly Mike, RESAAS has never been
busier. You know, our platform has been built for this. It’s the idea is, you
can be an agent, you still operate how you do now, but you use RESAAS as a
technology extension to your business and from doing that, things become a lot
more efficient and you’re ending up with more business from doing so. So, it’s
been fascinating for us to look at how this is really affected the industry.
We’re fortunate in that we have a macro view of things, right. We work with all
of these agents from around the world, specifically America with all of these
brokerages represented, and we get to see these really interesting trends and
the data that we gather which is often unique, shows us really interesting
pieces of information. So, for example, the number of listings that we’ve been
seeing in the last 3 months is unsurprisingly down. But, the time that the
listings are out there before they close, is also down. It’s actually faster.
So, what does that tells us? It tells us that there’s a supply shortage. Right?
Because people aren’t listing their homes.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Don’t come into my home
right now. I don’t want you to come through.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Totally. But it also tells us
that, if you are an agent and you win a listing and you’re the selling agent,
you’ll probably sell it the same, if not more quickly than you would do
normally. As long as obviously it’s priced correctly. So, it tells us this is
something where agents look at these trends within RESAAS and use it to
reinvent and refined their business model. If you’re out there and you’re
pitching and you’re trying to win listings and you win that listing, the
changes are you’ll be okay and it will sell well and you’ll do a deal. These
are the kind of things that we see from our kind of vantage point going above
the local market, so you can see things at a macro-level. The trends, the data,
it’s really fascinating and the agents that use RESAAS benefits from
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Right, so tell me more
about that. So, you’re a user of the platform, you get these benefits, but
obviously you’ve been more active, or, have it, more active I think is what you
said with your customers. But you guys, it looks like you are extremely active
in the development side. I was going through your press releases, and it was
integration here, integration here, you got YouTube, you’ve got Uber, you’ve
got new coaches coming in. It’s all of these different things. So, maybe speak
to that. Like, what does that, other than the value of referrals, what else are
the other value-adds within RESAAS for the agents?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Yeah, so here’s the thing. So,
we felt when we began RESAAS, we felt there wasn’t much trust within real
estate. And so, our premise was, let’s build a network and bring all the agents
into one place and let them work as a collective, as an industry at large, to
create more opportunity within themselves. And as that caught on, and we got
more bands and seeds, and we grew our numbers, and that networking effect
kicked it, then the conversations, the content, the data, the interactions
turned the network into a community. So, it’s thriving and it’s really
exciting, it’s very vibrant and in our case, it’s vertically focused on real
estate all around getting business. So, it’s great for agents to use. What
happened off the the back of that, is a number of larger organizations said,
“Hey wait a sec, this is really fascinating. We would love this same thing, but
privately for our own company.” So, we started working more in a brokerage, in
a franchise and then later on in the local associations space. The byproduct of
that, is the a lot of those organizations have infrastructure in place already,
whether it be CRM tools, or e-signature partners, or even email providers. And
so, what we found is, because RESAAS is a place where data often originates
before anywhere else, agents would use RESAAS as part of their daily rhythm.
And what we wanted to do, was make sure that all of the data that we helped agents
discover that’s unique,that we can root that, we can funnel that, we can
send that to the other tools, or the services, or the products that they use.
So, an example of that would be DocuSign. So, we don’t want to build an
e-signature platform. That’s not my business. We’re a platform for the industry
and we have a ton of unique data. But, we like to make sure that, that
data ends up in the places that are helpful. So, part of our plan and where we
are going with this business, is morphing not just from a network to a
community, but from a community into a platform. And as you know Mike from your
background, a platform is a very overused word in the world of tech. But, we
believe that we’ve really created one, because we provide a foundation for the
industry. And we do like to integrate with what we believe is best to breed of
the services. So, if we can plug into an e-signature platform like DocuSign, or
a CRM platform like Salesforce, or you mentioned Uber, YouTube, Vimeo. There’s
a lot of different products and companies that we see good agents use. And if
we can plug into them and use these integrations that allow our data to flow in
the right way that helps agents and help the industry, then that’s what we’re
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Love it. Love it. It’s just
that whole trend where people are realizing that they need to deliver more
value, and so what’s the easiest way, and well that’s the integrations. But you
gotta be smart with the integrations, right? Because if you add too many, it
doesn’t end up adding any value, and then you’re burdening your tech team. Then
you build up that technical debt. So, it’s that fine line, but when you have so
many users giving you that feedback, it’s like, well, this is what we need to
do. And Compass is famous for this right, they just say, “Hey agents, tell us
what you need,” and then they just upload it. So, you’ve got more agents at
Compass telling you the exact same thing, so really I’m it helps streamline
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: It does and there’s a real
pattern. The top agents, regardless of which market their in in the world,
certainly in the US, they often positioned themselves and market themselves in
a certain fashion. And so, part of what we like to do, is look at what the top
agents are doing in different markets and then educate the rest of our platform
on what they can do to be the same. Real estate is such an aspirational
industry, and you see it locally, you know if you’re in Calgary like you are,
you know who the top agents are you see that face everywhere. And as an agent,
you try and mirror what they doing, and work like they have worked to be a
successful as they are. In our position, as kind of overseeing the whole of,
well, not the world in its entirety, but certainly the US, we can see
what the top agents in New York or LA or Austin, or Miami or Seattle are doing,
and we can let other agents learn from that and mirror how they run their
business. Then, we can help elevate the professionalism in real estate.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Gotcha. Okay, so building
on that, can you give an example of some of the top trends that you’re seeing
top agents right now with Covid that you guys are saying, “Okay, we need to
help empower this or where we’ve already helped it at work with that one?” What
would be a good one?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Well, so a couple of things. So,
Covid, if you didn’t like your home before Covid,a you’ve just spend the last
three months of living in it, chances are you going to want to move pretty
soon. So, it’s going to be… there’s a lot of talk around the surge that
is coming. So, it’s really about making sure as an agent that you position
yourself to capitalize on that. That’s a fairly widely known standout
opportunity that exists. The other piece to it, when it comes to where people
live. And for number of years we’ve seen more and more of the population
migrate into the cities because of work. And what we’ve all experienced over
the last two or three months, is that it’s okay to work from home and maybe,
and we see it in the news all the time increasingly now, companies are okay
with people working remote full-time. So, it’s not just even work from home
now, it’s work from anywhere is a new trend we’re seeing. What’s really
interesting from our standpoint when it comes to real estate is and ***red
Mike***, we’re seeing referrals from cities out to the suburbs and actually
sometimes beyond that from beyond the suburbs, out to the countryside because
people realized, well, okay we’re allowed to work remotely. It’s actually going
really well, they’re still efficient and they don’t need to spend all that
money on housing in a city that’s expensive for not much space. They can use
that to get a much bigger place out in the ****.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Well we’ve got Shopify,
Canada’s largest company by market cap, is now digital by default. That followed
on the back of Square, and Twitter doing the exact same thing the week prior.
And so, now you have the ability to go and make Silicon Valley dollars but you
know conceivably from the Canadian perspective, you could go live your country
fantasy life and pay $50,000 for a beautiful acreage. Why not? Yeah it’s so
interesting that you’re already seen those trends, but I’m going to come back
to that in a minute, but I want to switch gears quickly because one of the
interesting things about RESAAS is very, very counterintuitive to most people
in the tech space. You guys went the public route. So, you’ve IPO’d so you’re
publicly traded on the Venture exchange, I believe. So the Toronto Stock
Exchange. Talk to me about the thought process and why you chose to go to the
public route, instead of the more standard VC, Series ABCD and then IPO when
you’re further down the line.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Well, we’re in Canada, okay, and
the Canadian investor market is more predisposed to the idea of investing in
companies that go public that have the opportunity to be huge. They’re more
open to the venture mindset. If you think about Canadian investment over the
years, it’s been around mining and oil and gas and resource, where there’s an
idea and there’s a possibility of a huge return. Invest in this vehicle and it
may be something that’s huge. And that risk tolerance for venture type
companies in the public markets is very strong in Canada and it’s been here for
decades. In the US, it’s the opposite. And, as we’ve travelled and given that
all of our customers are in the United States, often when they learn that we’re
publicly traded their eyebrows shoot off of their forehead, and they’re like,
what? Because it’s just not done in the States, right, they often go the
private route. We chose to go public because we felt that to build a platform
to support an industry as big as real estate, that we would need we would need
runway. We’d need time. And we felt that in a private route, and raising some
money from the standard VC options, that there’d be pressure to after 6 months
or so, launch a product, get it out, the typical VC route. But quite honestly,
if we were build an app, or some cute little tool, that would be fine. But to
build a platform that had a shot at helping an industry’s biggest real estate
that’s right out there beside travel for size, we knew it would take a while.
And so, we went public early, not just pre-revenue, but really pre-product. And
we raised enough money to give us the runway, to let us get the talent to build
out this robust, scalable multilingual platform that we created.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: So, talk to me about that
for a minute. So, you know, if I want to start tech company, I have a really
great idea. I’ve got a team of people. How did you go and do that? How do you
go and IPO with a prospectus, really? Did you go do road shows? How did you
raise that initial capital for the IPO?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Yeah, there’s been a lot of
travel, certainly that’s the case. And you know, I thin in the new world, that
means a lot of Zoom calls. But yeah, it was more about the commitment and the
vision, and the opportunity. And we realized early on, that there was a gap
within real estate. That there wasn’t a foundation to bring the industry
together. It was very fragmented, it was very siloed. But if we bring this
principle of foundation to an industry, of what’s become a platform and if we
do that, and we can stand a shot at bring together the best agents with the
best brokerages and the best infrastructure in technology and tools and vendors
into one place, then we’ve created a huge a valuable company. And that was
really the principle of the early message. There was a prototype that we had,
but raising money through the public markets early on, allowed us to hire the
right talent. We would closely with Microsoft in the early days, and spent a
lot of time at their campus in Redmond, just down across the boarder here.
Building out a platform. So, all of our technology is all of our own. It’s
proven to scale. And like I said, it gave us the ability to raise enough
capital to fund the company to do it the right way.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Gotcha. So, going forward
though, as a public-co, and I mean every company has reporting requirements,
whether they be legal or to their to their investors, but as a public-co,
you’re under an additional level of scrutiny. Have you found that, that is an
additional burden or it’s just “part of doing business” and that’s just given
the vision, the way that you have to go? That’s just a necessary evil for lack
of a better word?
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: Yeah, I mean, you’re right.
There’s an overhead to running a public company, that’s certainly the case. And
it certainly feels in many occasions, that you’re running a business and you’re
running a public company and they’re sometimes separate. But, you look at the risk-reward,
it was only something that has been good to us, it was worth and it is still
worth the overhead in terms of filing and disclosure requirements. But we’ve
raised 32 million dollars through the public market since we IPO’d. And from
doing that, we managed to become known across Canada, and are known in the US
for a lot of different reasons, for a lot of great industry opportunities, and
from investment opportunities too. It’s certainly surprising to Americans, but
it’s great, because provide a way for investors that understand the
opportunity, hopefully understand the space that they’re going to invest in, to
come in and and be part of the company as it grows. And obviously, being public
there;s liquidity. So it’s not like, putting money to a private company, where
you may or may not see that come back, and you’re going to have to wait for
their IPO. With a public company, if you believe in the management team and you
believe in their vision and you see proof and traction and the liquidity
piece is a fantastic piece of mind, that you can put some money in as it goes
up, take some off the table and reinvest those elsewhere if you choose to. Or,
double down. So, it’s a great vehicle for savvy investors to actually benefit
from the voice of the company.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: It’s so interesting cuz
nobody does it, right? And perhaps that’s just simply as you said, this is the
difference in the two markets with the American; that’s just the American
mindset is, to do a tech startup you have to go private. Where as in Canada,
you know, having our mining, and our oil and gas roots, it just seems to be
more palatable, in oil and gas I suppose on the Canadian side. So, I
guess the question on my head and it’s just something for a future thought is,
I wonder if that will be an emerging trend of the Canadian side. A they look to
RESAAS and say, “hey these guys did it, why should we go to the Venture
Exchange Route?” It seems like it made a lot of sense, like, why why couldn’t
we do that the same? Especially, when you say that you have 32 million dollars
raised. Like that’s a number that makes headlines.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: It certainly is, and we IPO’d
and we raised another 1.5 million dollars at the IPO and then raised another
two million dollars about a month later and then raise another two million
dollars later that year. So, it’s one of those things, that you do it at the
right time with the right valuation so it’s respectful to invest as much
from a dilution standpoint. But it’s been good to us, and it’s allowed us to
build-out the platform in accordance to our vision, which it certainly has been
a long road, but it’s been a high road. And it means, that with these news
releases that you were doing your homework with, that we finally got a number
of leading companies, leading brands, leading technology providers that now see
the value in the platform that RESAAS has created. And the fact that they want
to be part of our ecosystem and they want to integrate. So, we’ve certainly
taken the time to do it the right way, and now it’s paying dividends.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Love it. Love it. Okay,
so that all is so interesting. I know that there’s going to be tons of founders
watching this being like, I wonder if we should have gone to seed route or the
series a. So, taking away interesting tid-bits. Going back to some of the
things you said before, based on what the emerging trends are that you’re
seeing within your platform. These things that a lot of people probably
don’t know. Maybe maybe speak to sort of the top three and then, tell me based
on those trends, a year from now, what you would be speaking to you as a
keynote speaker at say the NAR Annual Conference or a Innman Connect
Conference. Based on what you’re seeing within the data in the platform.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: There’s a number of trends. And
as a technology company, we capture all of that data and probably more data
than we know what to do with at the time, but we’ve got it then to look at and
analyze. So, RESAAS is really popular in big, hot markets. So, seller’s
markets. Typically, right now we’re seeing that to be places like Austin,
Denver, Nashville, Seattle, obviously California, Northern California is pretty
consistent. Though, despite a bit of a drop in just the number of listings
coming onto the market for sale, the temper is still there. So, as I said a bit
earlier, from an industry standpoint, from an agent standpoint perspective. Be
there, be present, knock on some doors, go win those listings, because if you
do, you’ll be just fine. So that’s one. Two, we talked about that
migration. Relocation is a thing, it certainly seems to be picking up
already, and we’re only two-and-a-half 3 months into this whole new world
that we’re all still adapting to. And we’re already seeing those trends, Mike.
So, it would seem logical to us that there’s going to be a big ‘ol wave coming
off the back of that, as people react more over time. Like, it’s still early in
the cycle and we’re already seeing those movements. So, I think as an
agent, you want to position yourself as being in the business of referrals and
certainly receiving referrals. Because, as you know, a referral from
another agent is about the best kind to get. And we’re seeing that from more
and more agents on our platform. We have a premium product that sends agents an
instant alert to their phone when there’s a referral land in their market. And
the number of agents that are signing up to that so that they do get an alert,
and increase their chance of winning that referral has certainly gone up in the
last 2 or 3 months, which is fantastic. And then, *** interest industry
at large from a headcount standpoint. So, NAR says they have 1.4 million
members right now. On average there’s what, 5 million home transactions
happening in the year, in the US? I think, talking to Lawrence Yan who’s the
Chief Economist at NAR, that’s going to be more like three and a half maybe
four million this year. So, four million transactions, 1.4 million realtors in
the US, the ratio of deals per head is not great. And so, I think what’s going
to happen is, there’s going to be a natural adjustment, a natural correction in
the size of professionals in real estate. I think it’ll be a lower number. I
think those that treat it professionally and seriously and are active, will end
up better off because there will be more deals to go around. So, it’s one of
those times to, if you’re an agent and you’re treating this seriously, double
down in your business. Invest in making yourself known and popular and in
position for success. And I think if agents do that, then they’ll be here for
the long run and ultimately be better off.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Love it, Tom. And I think
there couldn’t be a better time to have a referral platform like yourself with
RESAAS being one element of it. Obviously, with people thinking where they can
go now with this freedom and flexibility. I personally have friends that have
already, already started renting, which is the precursor to moving, in
Satellite communities in the mountains or are close to the mountains. And
they’ve left the city because they don’t have to commute daily and they’re
working from the mountains. And so, I’m already see personal anecdotes from
that. But clearly, a very interesting time. I can’t thank you enough for coming
on the show, and in breathing in some insight into RESAAS as well as in
taking the public route. Really appreciate it, Tom and thanks so much for
coming on the show.
Tom Rossiter, CEO, RESAAS: You’re welcome. Anytime.
— 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.