Russ: Welcome back to The BusinessMakers Show, my guest today Rina Camhi, Founder of 10MinRealty; Rina welcome to The BusinessMakers.
Rina: Thank you; thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about 10MinRealty.
Rina: Well, 10MinRealty is a mobile platform that has emerged this year that allows a consumer driving a neighborhood to request a showing instantly in front of the home that they want to see. So somebody driving the neighborhood is in the market to buy or lease a home can meet an agent face to face within minutes.
Russ: Cool. So when you say it’s emerged it’s emerged because you put it in business, right?
Russ: Okay, cool. So it kind of sounds to me like man, you’re right in the sweet spot of a perspective home buyer who’s in the neighborhood they want to live in, is driving down the street, sees a sign and goes we want to see that And they can use your mobile app to request a showing.
Russ: Now, I mean, you know, before you came out you could call a phone number, maybe leave a message and maybe hear back in a few days and maybe see it, but even with a mobile app are they going to actually come soon to show you the home?
Rina: Well the way we have it set up we have to honor the listing agent because they know the most about that property.
Rina: So we allow them to get the alert first. When it goes out if they’re not available then it will go out through a tiered system which is customizable to any brokerage.
Russ: Okay, and are you implying that therefore, theoretically that perspective home buyer will get to see the home pretty soon?
Rina: Within minutes (Russ: oh wow). It works very similar to Uber; so I’m the Uber of real estate for showings.
Russ: I’ve spent a little time in that industry, both as a buyer and seller but also as a business person and there was never kind of anything addressing the sense of urgency of a real buyer wanting to see it now. I mean there were some listing agents that I think were real responsive but a lot weren’t (Rina: right); so you’re addressing that?
Rina: We’re absolutely addressing it. It’s the number one call that associations get across the country is that consumers don’t get responded to quickly enough. They get responded to, but on the realtor’s time which could be 24 to 48 hours and we know what the consumer wants today, instant gratification.
Russ: And it seems like there could be a lot more instances where that interested buyer actually makes an offer on that home if they see it while it’s hot, while it’s in their mind (Rina: absolutely) and where they go home and they might forget about it even.
Rina: Yes and in our Beta testing that we did last year that’s what we found. We put deals under contract the first week we were in business.
Russ: Okay, so I’ve got the mobile app, I see the phone; I kind of do whatever you do to request a viewing. At first it goes to that listing agent (Rina: correct) and that listing agent might call me back and say ok, I’ll meet you there shortly?
Rina: No, they would accept (Russ: okay, all right) the request. And then – it’s a great consumer experience because they’ll actually be looking at a map watching their agent arrive.
Russ: Oh wow, that’s pretty interesting.
Rina: Very real time.
Russ: Okay, so if the listing agent doesn’t respond then there’s other agents who are willing to be buyer agents – to represent buyers – who it goes to next?
Rina: And it works – and it works like on a schedule. So whatever time you agree to work the tool, you set your schedule, you set it once and forget it. And you can adjust it, if you’re walking into a meeting you can turn it off temporarily, so it works very similar to the way Uber does. You’re on or you’re off and if you’re on then you have the ability to meet a customer and create a relationship.
Russ: Okay, so in that example right there, whether you’re on or off, you’re talking about the buyer agent; that they get the request?
Russ: Okay, really interesting; wow. So how is the industry receiving it?
Rina: We spent the first year travelling the country because I needed to make sure that the realtor community was going to accept this; it’s a new way of doing business. So we had tremendous overwhelming response. So we have all types of agents signed on with our product from teams to independents to – a variety.
Russ: Ok, that’s really impressive. So what’s really the status of the company today? I mean, you’re already doing business?
Rina: Yes. We’re in Houston – we’re in the Metro area in Houston – and we’re slowly expanding into other cities as well.
Russ: Okay. Have you been funded or did you start this as a bootstrapping endeavor?
Rina: Yes. So we’ve been self-funded to date and we are bootstrapped and self-funding to date and we are – we are fund raising now heavily.
Russ: So it just seems like a great idea, it’s hard to understand why nobody else had it before, but what triggered the idea for you to do this?
Rina: So I’ve been a broker in the business for 15 years and within the walls of my office I would have an average for 5 to 30 listings at any given time and because I had those I would have calls in my office all the time; either from the signs or online. And what I was finding was a trend; a trend among the consumer that if I couldn’t meet them that day to show them the home they moved on because their time is precious. And I’m an over-qualified broker; I’m an attorney, I’m a Certified Negotiating Expert – I’m a Master Certified Negotiating Expert – I have it all and it didn’t matter to the consumer. Their time is precious so if I can make something easy for them, connect them face to face with the realtor, what better way to do it.
Russ: Yeah, I used to say this when I was in the business: They’re looking for a home to buy. They’re not looking for a realtor, they’re not really looking for a website; they’re just looking for a home to buy and my goodness when they’re out driving the neighborhoods and they see one that’s really a strong indicator. Wow, so what’s the biggest challenge right now?
Rina: Well the biggest challenge has been essentially getting the word out; the marketing, making ourselves loud, that we’re here. So we just got back from Inman Technology Conference in San Francisco which went fantastic, got tremendous reception. And so now we’re just doing all the follow up on that, which is the hard part, right?
Russ: Yeah, absolutely.
Rina: The phone calls and the follow up, but you know, when you’re passionate about what you do it doesn’t feel like work and that’s where I’m at.
Russ: Okay, but I’m curious from a business perspective – you know we have a business audience here and they’re always looking well how does this business work, so I’m curious how you monetize it – are you selling it to realtor associations or to brokerages? Or maybe to individual realtors?
Rina: A little bit of everything; we do offer it to associations. The broker is the model that is our bread and butter; we offer it to an office and let them customize how they want to use it on their listings. And then we also can offer it to independent agents. So there may be times when there’s nobody available in that office to meet the consumer wanting to see the home, so I have a third tier of agents that are available that are independents.
Russ: Where would you like to be a year from now?
Rina: We want to be in at least 10 markets by the end of the year and I think it’s very feasible.
Russ: Well I wish you good luck.
Rina: Thank you.
Russ: And I thank you for sharing your story with us.
Rina: Thank you very much.
Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with Rina Camhi, Founder of 10MinRealty. And this is The BusinessMakers Show.
brought to you by