We kicked off our Geek Estate founding member interviews with Jennifer Kjellgren a few weeks ago, and followed it up with Sep Niakan’s last week. The interviews are meant to give you a taste of current business priorities, products and trends to watch in 2018, and what they enjoy about being a member.
Our 3rd founding member interview is with Eileen Romito, the operations manager for Truepad. I first met her in San Francisco while attending Inman, and have always been a fan of their focus on delivering the “best valued homes”.
Without further ado…
What’s your most significant business focus for 2018?
2018 will be a big year for Truepad as we push out some major releases on the agent-facing side of our platform, to allow agents to use the unique data we’ve collected and encourage them to engage with Truepad. One of our main focuses at the moment, and likely for the next few months, is our Client Activity Feed, which allows agents to give their sellers a nicely-designed, mobile-friendly, automatically updated feed of information about activity on their own listing as well as about similar homes on the market. Using this feed, agents are able to automatically keep their sellers apprised of what they’re doing to sell the client’s home and of what’s going on in the market, peppering it with the beyond-the-MLS data that we’ve crowdsourced from the agent community. In the near future, we intend to expand this Activity Feed to incorporate information relevant for buyer clients, enabling agents to automatically engage with their client’s online home search process, while harnessing the shared expertise of the agent community.
We also are currently working on back-end and front-end updates that will allow us to expand beyond our current territory of Cook County (which is Chicago, and immediate nearby suburbs). We’re looking forward to ensuring that agents in other areas in Illinois (and eventually beyond Illinois) have the ability to use Truepad.
What real estate technology trend or product are your most excited about?
“Excited” wouldn’t be the best word; “interested” might be better… but, I think the shift to an on-demand culture is going to have a major impact on how real estate agents do business, and there is a lot of technology being developed right now to support that. With consumers expecting the answer to everything at their fingertips, and immediate delivery of goods they desire, it’s not a surprise to see that expectation pour over into the home buying and selling arena.
However, as we know, real estate is unique in several ways, first and most obviously: there is a usually person living in the desired home that can’t always just clear out for a showing on the drop of a dime. Virtual reality allows the homebuyer a peek into the property, and give the seller that extra day needed to clean up the kids toys before an in-person showing. iBuyer models are taking a completely different route in that they’re holding the homes on their own books and offering on-demand showings of already-vacant properties. Secondly, real estate agents, believe it or not, actually do need sleep (and the occasional vacation) and therefore need systems in place to ensure leads are followed up with immediately, even if it’s 4am on Christmas morning. Chat bots and autoresponders are getting better and better at getting that initial conversation going and can often be tied into the agent’s CRM so that they’re reminded to follow up live once they’re actually available. The list goes on, but essentially, a lot of what is being developed right now will allow agents to respond to the on-demand culture shift, and I think it’s all pretty cool stuff.
What do you like about being a Geek Estate member?
It’s valuable to be part of a group of people with such diverse experiences in real estate brokerage, real estate tech, and startups. You can ask a question in the group and get a nice set of intelligent responses backed by real-life experiences, without having to sort through a bunch of social media noise and trolls. Already, I’ve made a few connections that could blossom into partnerships, geo-expansion opportunities, etc.
Thank you Eileen for being a founding member!
Geek Estate Membership