Joe Skousen is the founder and president of Inside Real Estate, where he directly oversees customer growth and business management for the company.
In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Skousen initiated a Customer Empowerment Program to support the real estate tech firm’s client base of more than 250,000 brokers, agents and teams.
Here, Skousen discusses what it means to be an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—and how he keeps his sights on the future of real estate technology for agents and brokers.
Jordan Grice: How does it feel to be named in the Influencer category for our 2021 Newsmakers?
Joe Skousen: I’m honored to be recognized by RISMedia alongside other thought-leaders from around the space.
The key, for me, is the windshield, not the rearview mirror. It’s continuing to look forward and understand the strategic opportunities, risks and trends that will impact the space and ensure that our key partners and customers are well-equipped to take advantage of those.
JG: Tell us about Inside Real Estate’s Customer Empowerment Program and the results that yielded for your clients?
JS: When COVID first hit, we could see this was going to have some significant impacts. We acted quickly and decisively and decided to double down and invest in a large number of resources in a three-pronged initiative that included:
– Financial relief for our existing and new customers
– Major investment in our Virtual Training Summit
– Committing millions of dollars to additional technology, including virtual showing tools
In the end, we were just pleased to demonstrate our partnership to our clients, partners and incredible professionals in the space at a time when everyone needed it most.
JG: How do you stay ahead of the curve as the industry embraces tech as a tool?
JS: Our mission has been to be the best technology partner to real estate brokerages and build solutions purposely designed to drive results for their teams and agents. For us, this results in some very serious principles, like having the best possible team in the space and merging that with a clear strategy that is forward-looking and resources that truly power each brokerage’s strategy and equip them for the challenges of tomorrow.
JG: What tech trends have you noticed that may be essential to growing an agent or broker’s business.
JS: The last few years have been about brokerages figuring out what tech platform they can build their unique business on and around. It must be robust enough to drive results across the board but flexibly sufficient to differentiate and power their strategies.
Another trend we see emerging is the battle of tomorrow and whether brokers will be able to truly own the lifetime consumer homeownership experience. Big companies with massive resources are moving in and competing directly with brokerages to own the consumer. We will always center our strategy on the brokerage, teams and agents that power this industry.
JG: What role do you think tech will play in how real professionals conduct business in the coming years?
JS: Historically, it’s been about brokerages and tech companies trying to “force” agents and consumers to use things—i.e., people working for tech.
Today, and in the future, it’s about tech working for agents and brokerages. More intelligence—not taking the role of an agent, but allowing agents and brokerages to easily offer new, unique and ultra-local insights. This will happen only when technology is viewed as an essential part of the strategy and not an afterthought or add-on.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.