Jerry Modes has built an amazing career on using tech to solve problems and elevate the customer experience.
Modes is an IT/data visionary who co-founded two wildly successful startups: Teradata, which was later acquired by AT&T, and HyperParallel, a platform that touches almost all shoppers. Having joined RE/MAX, LLC in November 2018 as SVP of Technology, these days he is focused on real estate…
Once part of the CitiCorp team that invented the ATM, Modes is leading a technology transformation at RE/MAX. It’s anchored by the upcoming launch of the first RE/MAX products developed by booj, the tech company RE/MAX acquired last year — such as a CRM, agent websites and marketing tools. But Modes’ vision goes much further than that.
Here are his thoughts on developing technology with the power to change everything.
Don’t build technology. Build an experience.
Consumers don’t care how something works. They just want a better experience. That’s the biggest lesson I learned from launching the ATM: you have to divorce technology from the user experience.
But while the ATM solved a problem — people could access their money when the bank was closed — I don’t see an equivalent of an ATM finding its way into the real estate industry. I believe real estate agents will always have a role in home-buying or selling, the largest financial transaction in most people’s lives.
So instead of removing the human element, we’re improving the human element. We’re looking at leveraging technology to make working with our agents even more impactful, creating a seamless experience from search to purchase to homeownership and beyond.
Turn data into direction.
Irrelevant sales pitches are a waste of time for consumers and for the salespeople. Instead, we can use technology to not only determine if someone is ready for contact but also to guide them along the way until they are.
For example, through a specific feature in our new booj platform, we can nurture a relationship through email until the consumers reach the point when they want to speak to an agent. The system notifies the agent when the customers are ready, and the agent now has a real reason to reach out. Technology is effectively helping us kill the cold call — a practice no one likes. Now the agent is more informed on the customers’ wants and needs, and the customers are more open to receiving the call. The entire experience is more enjoyable for all. Everybody wins.
Make it sticky.
In today’s world, 74% of buyers say they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others (Source: NAR). In reality, 17% of a Realtor’s business comes through client referrals and only 13% from repeat clients. (Source: NAR).
RE/MAX agents want buyers and sellers as lifetime clients, and we think technology can help achieve that. But first, the tech has to be sticky. To make that happen, real estate professionals have to think bigger. What if a website or app continued to deliver value well beyond buying or selling a home? What if it assisted you throughout the homeownership experience? That’s where we’re going, keeping clients engaged long after the move is complete. It’s using a RE/MAX agent and RE/MAX tools and technology to acquire anything related to a home, easily and safely. Now that’s sticky.