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.”
Full Transcript of the Show
Mike: 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: Oh, no problem. Good morning Mike, how are you doing?
Mike: 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: We’re in Vancouver.
Mike: Oh, so it’s actually would be rare that it’s sunny.
Tom: Yeah, it’s usually raining.
Mike: 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 RESAAS?
Tom: 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: 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 together.
Tom: 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: Yeah, the good old days.
Tom: 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.
Tom: 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: 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: 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: “Coming soons” if you will.
Tom: “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 international level.
Mike: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: That’s, you know, 20 percent of the market, basically.
Tom: 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: 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: 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 that…
Mike: Belly to belly.
Tom: 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: Don’t come into my home right now. I don’t want you to come through.
Tom: 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 that.
Mike: 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: 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 all about.
Mike: 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 that.
Tom: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.