Todd Callow leads the rental, owner and senior housing categories for Move (across realtor.com and Doorsteps.com), and will speak during the session, “Product update: What’s new at Facebook, Zillow, Google and realtor.com,” at Hacker Connect on Monday, January 22, 2018, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
We’re really excited to have you joining us as a speaker for Inman Connect New York, but tell us a little more about yourself. How did you arrive in your current role?
I took a pretty varied path into my current role — both career-wise as well as inside the company. After working as a consultant with Arthur Andersen, I spent time at a telecom startup in Los Angeles, and then joined realtor.com in 2001, and stayed for a decade.
I branched out again and spent time in business management roles for a couple of years, at Intuit and in the start-up world, then rejoined realtor.com and have been here for the last five years.
During my time, I’ve served in nearly every functional organization at Move, and had the great honor of getting to learn and explore a large part of our business.
It’s getting to be a joke around here because I’ve served on so many teams, but it’s also been incredibly useful in my current role of a product manager, because I can draw on lessons in finance, operations, account management, sales and business development to help me contribute to our product development team.
Tell us a little more about your session, what kinds of things will you be talking about in January?
I’m sharing an overview of what we’re working on at realtor.com and where we’re focused. This year we’re continuing to improve the experience across many audience categories.
We recently launched My Home to serve our realtor.com audiences beyond the search experience. My Home empowers homeowners to manage their home as an investment, with features like a personal dashboard to manage and track mortgage information and equity options, and a renovation idea sourcebook for remodeling and design enthusiasts.
It’s about becoming an indispensable resource to homeowners throughout their ownership journey.
On Android, we’ve launched Street Peek, which we previewed last year at Inman, and it’s become an important app feature in the service of developing experiences for real estate that speak to how people use technology in their daily lives.
On the professional side, we launched the beta user group for Realsuite, our new all-in-one solution to help real estate professionals manage their business and convert leads to clients. This answers the call for a single solution that leverages technology to handle many of the day-to-day tasks efficiently and effectively, and frees up time for agents to do what they do best — provide their irreplaceable, personalized service to their clients.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m currently realtor.com’s one and only Montana-based employee, with my teams split between New York and Santa Clara, so my work life includes a lot of video conferences and a fair number of flights that take me outside the friendly confines of Bozeman.
But I’m also lucky to sneak in some great moments with my family as they live their lives on the other side of my office door (in our house, a hat on the office door means that daddy is in an important work meeting and needs peace and quiet, and plenty of internet bandwidth).
With bicoastal teams, I try to spend my first hour catching up on reading and email, then align my morning toward New York and my afternoons more toward California.
I inevitably mix them up and ping people before breakfast or after dinner, but the team is pretty forgiving. From dinner until around 10 p.m., I flip from my home office to the kitchen/family room and spend time with my wife and kids until things wind down, but I usually sneak one more pass through my inbox before turning in for the night.
What do you think the biggest challenges facing the real estate industry are at the moment?
I look at this from the filter of engineering design and business development. We all are trying to solve the same problem — how to take this complicated, complex journey and make it simpler and easier and more productive for everyone involved.
For our part, we have spent a lot of time researching and thinking about our audiences — what they are looking for, how they behave on our sites, how they use technology outside of the real estate category, and what lessons we can bring in.
And then it’s about leveraging all of that information and the insights that we can learn through technology and machine learning to build an experience that becomes indispensable for our users, because it is so simple, so convenient and so useful.
2018’s shaping up to be a really exciting year, and as we look ahead, what are your hopes for the next twelve months, and what will you be working on?
We’re continuing in this trajectory of building out our experiences — taking them feature by feature and looking at the way they’re designed and determining better ways to deliver on that solution.
We’ll be adding new tools for My Home, we’ll be launching components of Realsuite, continuing to enhance our customer dashboard and agent profiles, and leveraging more and more of our behavior analytics and machine learning seamlessly into our offerings for the most simple, elegant experience.