VIDEO: RESAAS CEO Tom Rossiter Talks About Their New Platform for Filling a Need in Real Estate
RESAAS Services Inc. (CNSX:RSS) (OTCMKTS:RSASF) (FRA:0RS) is a cloud-based social business platform for the real estate services industry. CEO Tom Rossiter talks about RESAAS tools and functionality that are made available exclusively to owners of real estate brokerage firms and brokers, licensed real estate agents, and Realtors® and are designed to increase user productivity through better communication and collaboration between users.
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James West: Tom, thanks for joining us today.
Tom Rossiter: Thanks for having me.
James West: Tom, let’s start off: what is it that RESAAS does?
Tom Rossiter: James, we built a technology platform for the real estate industry. What does that mean? We’ve got Realtors, real estate brokerages, executives from the real estate boards that govern each market, and representatives from each franchise, the big brands in the space, all on one platform, sharing data in a way that’s way more real time and current than anything else around.
James West: So it sounds like Blockchain for real estate.
Tom Rossiter: [Laughs]
James West: Is that a fair analogy?
Tom Rossiter: People have been saying that. So we’ve done what people said couldn’t be done. We’ve got competing brands at the same table. We’ve got brands from franchises, brokerages, associations, Realtors, assistants, all these people at one round table. It’s like Knights of the Round Table. And we’ve managed to facilitate discussions in almost like a Swiss manner, where we can have people that have differing opinions and alternative views, in one place.
What does that mean? It lets us start to make changes. So if we decide that perhaps Blockchain technology is the future of real estate, and we want to elicit some change, we’ve got the right audience to do it. Some people have said real estate is one of the best candidates for Blockchain technology.
James West: Sure.
Tom Rossiter: If you think about it, a house gets built, the first owner goes in, there’s paperwork and agreements and so on, and then they live in there, and then there’s the next owner, and more paperwork, and so on, and so on, and so on. So that’s a chain for that property.
James West: Sure.
Tom Rossiter: Then think about the homeowner. They may be renting their first place when they move out, with some agreements and paperwork, then they maybe buy their first place, and move, and move, and move, and then buy an investment property. That’s another chain. And then think about how chains intersect when someone moves into a certain property.
Now, we’re actively working in the Bitcoin space right now, because some of our clients have a global footprint, and Bitcoin makes sense in markets where currencies are a bit more fluctuating and not quite so stable. But Blockchain makes sense, and we’ve got the right protagonists at the table to help make that change.
James West: Okay. So right now, how does RESAAS make money?
Tom Rossiter: We’ve got clients that span Realtors, brokerages, franchises and real estate boards. So I’ll give you an example: real estate boards, their job is to track market trends. And what we’ve found, especially in sellers’ markets where there’s limited inventory and big demand, is that oftentimes listings sell before they hit the MLS. That’s a big deal for associations and boards, whose job is to report on all the transactions and report an accurate market data trends and analysis. We provide a really simple way for agents to use our technology to share listings, to share information, to share data, in advance of the MLS, for up to 30 days before it hits the market.
James West: I see. So then, taking a wild leap of faith, I’m assuming RESAAS stands for Real Estate Software As A Service?
Tom Rossiter: Correct.
James West: And you generate your revenue from charging participants fees, and probably in a graduated manner depending on their level of usage?
Tom Rossiter: Exactly. It’s a SAAS model. It’s recurring revenue, it’s technology in the Cloud, it’s easily available, it’s mobile first, and we’ve got tremendous adoption from agents all the way through the industry up to the real estate boards themselves.
James West: Okay. So at this point, what percentage of the North American real estate market is on your platform?
Tom Rossiter: Well, the stats are this: we have 433,000 agents that use our technology; there’s 1.2 million realtors in the US, so you can do the math with that.
James West: Sure.
Tom Rossiter: We’ve got a global footprint, too. Our technology is in 20 languages, we support 45 currencies, multiple units like square feet and square meters. So although we’re in overseas countries as well, and we have usage there, the majority of our technology and our agents are in North America.
James West: Okay. So is RESAAS a profitable entity at this point?
Tom Rossiter: We are changing from a ‘freemium’ model, which we ran for a period of time, to gather data and track agents and work out what it was the industry was missing, into a paid-for model now. So 2017, this is our breakout year; we can take it to market and start to monetize the company.
James West: So from an investment perspective, now is the time, 2017 is the year?
Tom Rossiter: It’s a big change this year. Focus on sales.
James West: Wow. Okay. So what are the roadblocks, what are the hiccups, what’s keeping you awake at night?
Tom Rossiter: Well, the interesting thing is, there’s not really anyone else competing in our space. We’re replacing unorganized methods for communication, so things like group text messages, email distribution lists or white boards, and they’re not efficient. So really, we’re entering into conversation with clients and prospects where there’s no precedent. It’s really a scalability story now. We’ve got a team, we’ve got a sales team, but it’s small; we want to grow it in as much of the US as we can.
James West: So tell me how do your participants use this software and platform?
Tom Rossiter: So as you said, we’re a SAAS company, so we measure how often people use it – engagement, content, that kind of thing. And what’s fascinating is, when we meet with new clients, we talk to them and say hey, what does success look like? What will make you happy? And you know what? Technology and real estate, if we see about 8 percent of our membership using it, we’ll be happy. If we see 10 percent, we’ll be thrilled!
What we’ve found with the more recent clients in sellers’ markets, which are really hot markets where, again, there’s more demand than inventory, we see up to 60 percent, and sometimes more than that, of the membership using the platform every single month.
James West: Well, that’s great. Okay, well, that’s a great introductory interview, Tom. Thanks for joining us. We’ll come back to you in a couple quarters’ time and see how you’re making out.
Tom Rossiter: Great. Thanks, James.
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