Matt Kuchar the founder of Showami goes back to the beginning of his career in real estate and what was it like to start a career in this field in early 2000s. Matt describes how he came up with the idea for Showami and what Showami is. Next, Matt talks about the importance of showings and what agents can learn from that experience. Last, DJ and Matt discuss how much technology has changed in the last couple of decades and where do they see it heading.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Matt Kuchar can be reached at (303) 710-3810.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by show Ami. Show AMI is the fastest, easiest and most reliable way to get buyers into homes without you being the one to show it. Now we’ve all had situations where clients wanted to see properties at the most inconvenient time or in a location that was difficult for us to show. Now there’s an easy way to find another licensed agent who will show the home on your behalf for a small fee. You keep the client you keep the commission, you keep your commitments. Now show AMI is truly the Uber for realtors connecting busy Realtors with local agents who have time to show your clients the properties they want without taking any part of your commission. And if you’d like to be one of show armies featured agents that realtors can hire to have you help with their showings, you can sign up on their website at no cost. So whether you’re an agent who wants some help with showings, or you’re an agent that wants to make some money helping doing showings, show AMI is the app to use install show AMI on Apple or Android devices or simply visit their website at show ami.com That’s sh O W A mi.com SHOW a mi.com to learn more. And now on to our episode.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris, and I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Matt Kutcher from show Ami. Before we get to Matt, just a couple of quick reminders first, as always, we say thank you to our listeners and viewers for continuing to support our show. And please not only support our show, but support our sponsors who help keep the show going. And if you want to help keep the show going. The best way you can help us is by telling a friend I think of one other realtor that you know that could benefit from hearing from top producers and industry disruptors like Matt Kutcher and send them a link to our show, you can send them right over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done, can be streamed and if you’re part of our Facebook page, which is facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. Now every single episode we’ve ever produced is in its own category. Right at the top of the page, you’ll see a navigation menu that says episodes if you click on that you can go through all 300 episodes we’ve ever done and listen to them right inside of Facebook as well. So again, you can find us on firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash keeping it real pod. If you are heading to the National Association of Realtors Conference this fall in San Diego, I will be there walking around attending, so let me know and I’d always be happy to meet one of our listener and I guess we don’t shake hands anymore. We could elbow bump or fist bump or air high five but I will be there walking around saying hello so please let us know if you if you’re gonna be there and we’ll say hi. All right now on to our episode an interview with Matt Kutcher.
Today on the show we have Matthew char which is he’s the founder of show AMI, which is an on demand service that hires agents to do your showings when you’re not available without having to give up any part of your commission. But first, let me tell you about Matt. Matt has been a licensed real estate broker since 2000. He has also been responsible for over 700 residential real estate transactions. He’s also managed offices and real estate teams throughout his years and has his GRI certification. Let me tell you about a few of his accomplishments. He was named Keller Williams executives top producing agent 2011. He’s also been listed in the top 100 agents in Colorado by volume in 2015. And he founded show AMI in 2016. Now please everyone listening go visit Swamis online at their website show ami.com And I’m going to spell that it’s s h OWAMI. Again, s howami.com To learn more about their agent showing service and we’re gonna be talking about it today. Anyway, but Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Kuchar 4:39
Oh, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
D.J. Paris 4:43
We are really excited to have you Matt and I were talking just beforehand about you know, sort of what we’d be discussing today. And I just love people that come along and build a better mousetrap and I will just before we get to your whole story, I just want to the reason I got so excited added is here at our company, we have just under 800 agents here in Chicago, which sounds like a lot, I guess it is technically. But we run into this exact issue all the time, which is, hey, I’m going out of town can one of the other agents do a showing, and I’ll give them, you know, X amount of dollars to do that. And we actually do all of that through we have like a private Facebook group for our brokers. But you guys have a whole platform built to exactly solve this exact issue. So I’m super excited to talk about that, because we’re gonna use it because we need it for our company as well. But before we get to that, Matt, tell us a little bit about you know, you’ve been in the business now 22 years, or 21 or 22 years. I’d love to hear about how you got started and why real estate and then why show AMI and just talk tell us that you tell us your
Matt Kuchar 5:46
story? Sure, sure. I like to tell people I got into real estate by cheating on a test.
My father in law was selling manufactured homes for this big conglomerate. And so he got me this interview. So I go to this, this office, and they give you this personality test, right that says, you know, you know, all these different questions, and I’m in this room all by myself, no one and no one in me. And I started answering the questions, and I look over one table over and I see this, I don’t know, what do you call it, the guide, you know, the thing, they score the sheet on, round to the right to left, no one’s in there. So you know, again, I’m I’m like 19 years old. So please forgive me, this is not who I am today. But I grabbed that thing and stuck it underneath my piece of paper. And I on every one I scored as high as I could possibly score stuff back under, you know, did my interview and went home. And when I got back to my, you know, my home at that time they had, you know, the answering machines in there was like, please give us a call. You know, it’s like, oh my god, this is just amazing candidate we’ve at first, this guy’s got to hire this guy that guy did. That’s what he said. He’s like no one has ever scored so high on the on this test. And so we’ve got to give you the job. And of course, my father in law was already working for the company. So I kind of had an in. But that’s how I launched my real estate career. I cheated on a test. I love it. I love that. And so, you know, back in the early 2000s, when you started it was kind of a best of times. And then kind of a worst of times scenario. I mean, the markets just about to crash in 2000. Right? And so yep, and then one then of course, and then there was like interest only loans. And so then people started buying places like crazy. And and so to talk a little bit about that, what was it like to start back in 2000? I mean, we were using classified ads. So the first thing that I did was I like you know, and you could get him for like five bucks. So you could, you know, you could do a bunch of classified ads, like and I would borrow everybody’s listings, Hey, can I tell people about your home? So I just started marketing right from the get go and, and people would call me and I’d go out, you know, and they’re like, you’re a real estate agent. You’re like, 19 years old, you know. But, you know, that’s kind of how I got started. And eventually, it just kind of snowballed. And, you know, you’re talking about the, you know, at that time how the market was totally changing.
You know, we had not gotten into short sales, yet the market was just going up like 35% a year, you know, we’re like, oh, my gosh, I’d never seen anything but real estate appreciate. I didn’t know it could go down, right? It only goes in one direction. You buy real estate, it goes up in value. And I remember, you know, that was kind of what it was like it was this it was Florida. So it was retirement. A lot of people were coming down here. So yeah, it was it was a great time.
D.J. Paris 8:43
And, and so classified ads. Wow. That’s you know, but But that’s really, people are doing versions of that today with social media. I mean, that was the social media in a sense for back then. And people did, you know, peruse the classifieds? And so that makes sense. It’s so funny how, you know, then sort of Craigslist took that and put it online and I feel like I must be old because I was now I moved to sell a couple pieces of furniture because I just replaced some things and and I said well, I guess I’ll put it on Facebook and my girlfriend’s like, nobody looks at Facebook, you know? So I said, Well, we’ll put it on there anyway, she’s like, we can put it on but you won’t get it she’s like, we have to go to Facebook marketplace. You know, it’s just funny how things how things shift. And now agents of course, are promoting all their stuff on Facebook marketplace as well and everywhere else online. But let’s let’s really I want to really dive into this company that you created show on me because I think what you guys are doing is really, really important and such a cool service and not just because it’s convenient. And it’s easy and it works but because I think it helps agents really shift their their thought process about how do I and I know this is a part of the reason why you’re so passionate about it, is that it really helps people to Think about this more as a business owner. You know, this is my real estate business, and I need to work in the business. But I also need to work on the business. And I think this is a really cool solution to working on your business, to maybe give you some more time that realtors are always complaining about not having enough of so tell us about what show AMI is.
Matt Kuchar 10:22
Yes. So maybe I can start by telling you how I came up with the idea. Yeah. So I was busy agent in Denver, doing about 60 to 70 deals a year. And I was doing them on myself. Like I at one point, I had a big team. But I also felt responsible for all of those members of the team, right? I’m like, I’m making sure that they all have their they’re supporting their families. And I actually grew it to the point where, like, I wasn’t making any money. So eventually, I let everybody go went down to be a single agent with a transaction coordinator, and just started to automate as much as I could. So but at that point, I was also burned out 60 to 70 deals a year. So a lot. I’m like, Ah, so I take a day and I go skiing right now me and my buddy Ed were up on the slopes. And I literally was about to get on the gondola and a past client call and says, Hey, this home in this neighborhood downtown just came available, we gotta go see it. I’m like, Really, I’m out on the slopes. And they’re like, I’m like, here, let me call some agents. I’ll I’ll get somebody to show you the home. So I did what any other agent would do. I was at Keller Williams at the time, and I started calling all my fellow Keller Williams agents and texting and stuff like that. And it took it took about half hour 45 minutes. And Laura finally kind of, you know, said, Hey, you know, I could do it, you know, and it was a big ask, right? It was five o’clock on a Friday, who wants to go to downtown Denver at five o’clock on a Friday, you’re looking at an hour one way in, which is normally a half an hour drive. So anyway, she sees she agrees. But then we had this awkward conversation like, am I paying you right trading off? are we sharing the client? Or do I get a part of the commission? What if they buy what they don’t? I mean, it was like, and so I was like, Hey, why don’t I just give you 100 bucks. And, you know, she’s like, great, no problem. And I would do the same thing for her. You know, if it were in Highlands Ranch, we wouldn’t have you been charged each other. So anyway, I later I was having a beer with Ed and I’m like, we got to come up with a better way. So you know, you always hear about those stories of the people in the bar with a napkin, we were literally in a bar with a napkin, you know, drawing the Uber for real estate, and and, you know, hired a developer. And, you know, it’s like anything, when you when you start something, you’re like, This is the greatest idea, like it’s the new sliced bread. And, you know, you launch it, and nothing happens, right? Nobody uses it. They’re all like, Oh, that’s a good idea. I’m not really sure I get it. And then, you know, it just slowly trickle that, you know, pretty soon we were five transactions a month, and we got to 20. And we’re like, oh, we’re rockstars you know, and but it took forever to grow until like Ari Colorado, which was the big MLS picked us up and they said, hey, we’ll promote you. So like, within a day, we had 150 new agents that were on. And then over time, you know, people started telling each other and the word of mouth really spread. And you know, now we’re up to over 20,000 agents throughout the United States. And, you know, we’re doing 1000s of transactions a month.
D.J. Paris 13:37
It’s incredible. And it’s really something that every one of our listeners could use and probably have been in a situation where they either have to tell the client Sorry, can’t do it. Because maybe they don’t have a network like you had, you know, when you’re maybe they’re new to the maybe they’re new and they go well call my managing broker and the manager brokers out because it’s Friday at five o’clock, and and just not available. And they’re like, I don’t even know who to call and, and then they freak out. And they have to tell their clients. Sorry, we’ll have to do it at another time. And especially in this market right now. You know, those Those minutes are real precious with, oh, they
Matt Kuchar 14:14
miss out on one. They’re mad, like, hey, we didn’t get in there. And that thing went pending. You’re rude. They’re like, Oh, that’s that’s not good. You know. And I think that it’s something we’ve always done, right? Agents have always helped each other out when they were unavailable. I’ve I’ve done this for hundreds of other agents, and they’ve done it for me, but it’s often inefficient, right? There’s no clear terms like, am I gonna get paid? Am I not gonna get paid or we share in the community? You know, the end, it’s never equal, right? There’s always one guy who does more showings than the other guy, you know, who’s always needs the help. It’s just it’s the nature of the business that that’s how it works. And you know, and it’s asking somebody who’s in one area of town to go Oh, to a different area of town, it’s, again, it’s, it would be better to have somebody in downtown Denver show that home than my guy that was out in in Highlands Ranch. It just was. So there’s a lot of efficiencies. And also it’s just faster, easier. It’s more reliable, you know? So, yeah, and
D.J. Paris 15:19
let’s talk about what show me. So you call you had called it just a few minutes ago, the Uber of real estate, right. And I hadn’t thought of that. And it’s absolutely like a perfect analogy, because essentially, what it is, is a live network of agents who say, Hey, I’m free, I can do this. Or, or maybe, you know, I’ll take a look and see if I’m available at that time. But people who say I want to help out, I’m willing to do it for a fixed price. But But tell me tell me more about about what you want me actually is?
Matt Kuchar 15:47
Yeah, sure. I kind of tell you how it works. So at this point, it’s just real estate agents. It’s a real estate agent to real estate agent, right. And you would go on create a profile, we verify that you’re actively license. And then you could enter in the date time location of the home that you need shown the buyer name. And then that goes out to those agents in that area, in the first one to pick it up, much like Uber is the one who gets it. So like the average pickup time is two minutes. It’s pretty efficient. Yeah, like you’re gonna know really quickly, you know, and that’s the average, the one in a major metro areas that get picked up in a minute or less. In the more rural areas where you’ve got maybe fewer agents, it’s a little bit more of a challenge to get picked up, or it’s not as fast as it is. But that
D.J. Paris 16:40
same same thing with Uber in rural areas. Yeah, I think we all can understand. Yeah. And also, as your user base continues to grow, you know, that will those those times will come down, even in those rural areas.
Matt Kuchar 16:51
Yep. So then that agent gets the information, and you have their number, and they have yours. And either they will schedule the showing, there’s a box in there that says I already have the code, you know, here, here’s the information, Go show the home. Or if you need them to show it, there’s a box that you check in, they will actually go schedule the showing through showing time or the listing agent, whatever. And then they’ll there’s a confirmation. So you schedule it, somebody accepts it, then they confirm it, once we got permission from the seller to show, they meet the client out there show the home, you then have the option to give them a tip, you can write reviews, we do peer reviews, peer to peer, and that agent gets paid to show the home and you just paid that money, but they do a procuring cause waiver. So and they agree not to steal the client or solicit them or talk to the age the the buyer after the showing is over with. And that’s kind of how it works. And what happens is, once you start doing this a few times, you build up the people you trust and you know, right, so you can, you can ask for your preferred agent over and over again, you know, and they build these relationships, it’s it real estate’s a relationship business, and this just kind of facilitates that.
D.J. Paris 18:08
It sure does. And it also really like this idea of building relationships with these, some of these, we’ll call them, you know, almost gig economy sort of work. And by the way, you know, gig economy stuff is so prevalent right now in our sort of business world, because everything’s global. And what I mean by that is, I now have an assistant, who isn’t like a traditional assistant, but she’s helping me with my daily to dues personal and work. And I pay her hourly, she lives in the Philippines, and she manages that part of my business, and I pay her, you know, a specific amount of money for that. And it’s very reasonable. And the service you offer is similar, where it’s like, Hey, there’s this one thing that either I can’t do, because I’m on the slopes and about to hit a black diamond or something, or I just don’t, it’s not, it doesn’t work with my schedule right now, or I’m just busy, or I just don’t want to do it. And I think I’m curious on what your thoughts are about the client experience. So I imagine, you know, I think we understand how the app works. You go on, say, I need to showing people you know, you people bid for that or not bid for that, but they say they’re available. You maybe look at reviews, if you don’t know the people see who you like, obviously, you just send it over to them. What do you recommend as far as making sure the customer knows, or telling the the agent who should be doing the showing? Or can’t do the showing? How should they be communicating with their client to say, Hey, by the way, I’ve got someone else helping out on this one.
Matt Kuchar 19:41
Yeah, so that’s a it’s a good hit. You got to hand off to some extent, and you just say, Look, I have a team of showing agents that occasionally. It’s it’s part of your interview process right from the get go with your clients. You know, it’s great. I I instead of it going like I’m not always gonna be there, you know? always get me, you got to say, you know, I have invested in a team of showing agents that when I’m not available, we’re still going to get you in the home when you want to on your schedule. And you know, if I’m not available, they’re going to do it on my behalf. So they’re just an extension of you to some extent, just to open the door. And I love
D.J. Paris 20:22
I love saying that upfront, too. That’s such a smart idea. Because then you’re not really blindsiding the customer with it. That’s such a such a smart thing is to say at the beginning, hey, especially if our if everyone who’s listening, the people, our listeners are thinking, Well, I do most of my showings. So that would be a great conversation to have, say, hey, great, I am likely going to be available for most of our showings, but there may be times where I have other obligations, and I guarantee I have a team in place, I’m going to you know, make sure that you know, you get in, like you said to the property. And that way, when you know that comes up, you can just make a quick call to the client. I love that. And and also the peer to peer review is really important. And this comes up to a lot with with referrals. Right? So, you know, I have, let’s say you have a client that’s retiring to another. In your case, you’re you’re down in Fort Myers, Florida right now. And of course, a lot of people go down there and retire. And, you know, it would it would certainly would behoove anyone who has customers who retire down to Florida to start thinking about, Oh, where do my clients move to? And retire to? And then I should probably build some relationships with those agents, and you know, in that area, and you’re just doing it in a more localized sort of way. And I bet it, I bet it, it also probably helps establish those relationships with other agents. And you might find out that the person who did the showing for you for this nominal price might be a really good agent. And also you could start develop, like actual referrals. I bet that happens all the time on your system.
Matt Kuchar 21:55
It does, it does and we’re at that’s in development is a referral network, you know, that you can you can look at their ratings, you can kind of, hey, I’d love to refer to this person. But let me let me give you another scenario that I didn’t even you know, it’s funny, you create something and you don’t think of all the uses up front, in one was in in Denver, I would, you know, I’d work anything in the Denver Metro area, right? But Fort Collins or Colorado Springs, were there about an hour and 15 minutes away, and I would consistently get referrals to those areas. Well, now instead of referring them, I just show AMI it, they’re in my state, I can see everything. And I just paid for the fee, you know, the the showing fee, 3944 $49 a piece. And I still I write the the contract, I do everything. And we all have the tools, right? You can market analysis, it’s good to get appraised Anyway, you’ve got your inspectors, you got everything. You can ye refer that out, keep it.
D.J. Paris 23:03
Boy, you know, it’s funny, you said that didn’t occur to you when you were building it, that didn’t occur to me until you just said it either. And that is absolutely true. So what Matt just said, is quite quite profound, which is, you know, instead of thinking, Well, I don’t service that area, or it’s too far for me to travel. But it’s still within my you know, my local market or my close enough market, I can still do everything. I just don’t want to drive an hour and a half each way. Or I don’t you know, it’s just not really my I don’t really know those neighborhoods as well. So it’s probably better to have someone who can actually navigate those those neighborhoods. And probably you can even scheduled multiple showings with either that same person or your team, if there’s other people, and why that is so smart. And then you’re not paying that referral fee. So
Matt Kuchar 23:52
well. It’s like the guy who was at that was on your podcast a couple of weeks ago that he he never leaves his house, and he sells like all these homes. I was like I was listening on like, I liked that guy. He’s like, he’s pretty smart. You know, he’s
D.J. Paris 24:05
he. So what he’s referring to as an agent that was is licensed in Texas and sort of figured out like thinking about this from a business owner perspective, which is exactly how Matt is encouraging everyone to think about their real estate business, which of course it is a business. So you should think of it that way. And this guy said, you know, I’m moving to Colorado because I like to ski and hike and do fun things. And there’s not as much of that in Texas as there is in Colorado. And so he said, How can I continue to do my Texas business? I don’t even I’m not even sure if he’s licensed in Colorado. That’s the funny part. And because he’s like, I never want to leave my house I other than to go do these fun things. And so he essentially is doing exactly what what Matt has mentioned, which is to say that he doesn’t even live in his local market anymore. He does zoom meetings to have first appointment meetings, which everyone’s already used to doing by now with, certainly with how you know COVID has made us more or webinar friendly. But now He just has a team of people in Texas that does everything for him. And I can’t remember if he pays them a nominal fee or how it all works. But but it’s basically the same idea. And so that’s a really smart play. Let’s talk about you mentioned the cost. So how does it work? Just to real quickly, kind of explain how that works for our audience.
Matt Kuchar 25:18
Yes. So the average showing is $44. And of that, show me keeps 16 and pays out 28. So that’s, that’s the Our business model is we make a little bit of money on every transaction, we don’t charge setup fees, we’re not charging annual fees, it’s just a pay as you go get paid as you show type thing. And so the showing agent, you know, one of the things that the agents have realized is that there’s more than just the payment, right, they get showing experience, they build a network of agents, a lot of them will go out. And while they’re showing the homes, it’s not their client, necessarily. They don’t show the client, but they take picture of themselves to put on Instagram, hey, out showing homes today. Oh, that’s another good point. So they’re sitting there, you know, it looks like they’re busy looking busy. For a new agent, it doesn’t have a lot of clients or, you know, things might be a little bit slower. The more you get out there in our in your market, you’re learning your market, you’re telling people you’re out in the market, I’m in real estate, I’m in real estate, the more successful you’re going to be, you know, as
D.J. Paris 26:25
I was here for a second, you’re also going to be making money as you’re doing it. Yes. Right. So so it’s not going to make you rich, but hey, at least you’re getting out and you’re doing I mean, I guess if you do enough of them, it could but but this idea of I’m getting normally what people do is they you know, join a team and say, Can I please do some of your showings, they do totally for free, because there’s no payment usually in there, but the experience is worth it. So what Matt is saying is we’ll give you the experience, and we’ll also give a throw a few bucks your way and to make it you know, pay for the gas and, and your time. And you just said again, this idea of being able to show if you are promoting yourself on Instagram, Facebook, wherever you now have some cool video or pictures to take. And again, appear that you’re in. But beyond just appearances, you are actually learning about how to do showings. Point I love that. How often do you think the I mean, assuming it’s an agent and into an agent that maybe just aren’t familiar with each other? You know, the the agent who is who is needs the showing is is just looking maybe at reviews and says hey, that wasn’t that person looks great. I don’t know them personally, how often are they communicating? How often does it happen where that person says, hey, just so you know, I’m going to tell you a little bit about this client, just so you have a little bit of an understanding. I imagine that happens quite a bit.
Matt Kuchar 27:46
Yeah, absolutely. And they can message through the through the app through you know, so we have a you know, you can send your messages through it. Or a lot of them just pick up the phone and call the most successful transactions and showings are the ones where the buyer’s agent and the showing agent are in great communication. You know, it doesn’t really work to just click it and forget it. Yeah, you got to be able to communicate, you got to communicate with your client communicate with the showing agent that even the listing agent, hey, my person was there, you know, and Sally showed it for me, you know, just be professional. It’s, it’s as simple as that for sure.
D.J. Paris 28:29
Yeah, it’s such a cool service. Actually, I’m going to pause for just a quick moment to talk about our episode sponsor. And then I want to talk to Matt more about how we can think about treating this like a business and how this frees up time. Because, you know, there’s so many inefficiencies in this business where we’re really transactional. I mean, it’s we know, we’re transactional, we’re trading hours for dollars. And this really helps, you know, create an additional stream of income, you know, for somebody who’s starting out but also frees up that time for the person who’s like, Oh, my God, I’m like you were doing 60 to 70 deals a year, which is incredible, but also, you know, sacrificing a lot of your free time. But before we get to that, I want to pause for a moment talk about our sponsor, our awesome sponsor that we love so much follow up boss. After interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. You know what CRM is used more than any other by our guests, or at least the ones that they tell me it of course is follow a boss and let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your business to the next level. Follow up boss will help drive more leads to you in less time with less effort. Don’t take my word for it. Robert slack, who runs the number one real estate team in the United States uses follow up boss and he’s built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. ballot box integrates with over 250 different systems so you can keep your current tools. You can keep your current lead sources. They have seven day a week support so you’ll get the help you need when you need it. Get this follow up boss is so sure you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial that’s twice as much time as they give everyone else. And oh yet no credit card required. But only if you use the special link which is follow up boss.com forward slash real, that’s follow up boss.com forward slash real for your free 30 day trial. Follow up like a boss with follow up boss, man, let’s, let’s talk about just the idea of where you know how technology has really changed, you know, over the last 21 years and and sort of where you see it heading to help make, you know, these kinds of things efficient, you’re talking about, you know, adding referral option to, to show AMI as well. So obviously, you see that as something that that will be more and more important. I imagine, as we’ve seen with with coat with the COVID crisis, a lot of people are still working remotely, a lot of them are now, you know, realizing I can work wherever I want to, I can maybe I’ll move. And now that that agent agent sort of referral network is probably more important than it’s ever been.
Matt Kuchar 31:16
Yep. I think one of the biggest things that we’ve seen grow both on our platform, and just in general, our virtual showings the two reasons One is, well, more than two one is, there’s a certain urgency, right. So I could even if I can’t be there, what we’re seeing even on Chawanmushi is agents hiring other agents to go out to do a virtual showing. So now what they’re just they’re walking through with the video camera. And they’ve got both the agent and the buyer on the phone. And they’re just kind of zooming through, and they’re telling them what to do. So I think virtual showings and think about the reasons the urgency is one, we’re seeing a lot of people transitioning from different areas. You know, if I’m in California, and I’m looking for a home in Chicago, I might not be in Chicago, I have to look at this thing virtually. And people are not afraid to write an offer by home without physically going into the home anymore. It’s it’s a common place. When I first got into real estate, I remember I had a guy from Hawaii call me and say, hey, you know, and remember how you would send pictures through email, or they’re taking pictures. And I’m emailing him, like, you know, so people bought homes, they’ve always bought homes without physically seeing them. And this guy’s you know, came back love to my home, it’s on the water. It was great. You know, now, that’s commonplace, you know, so you’re in and there’s also the people because of COVID. They’re, they’re afraid to meet in person, they would rather you be virtual. So I think that’s one area of technology in and I’ll kind of go through this. I mean, if you think about showing time, I was around when showing time kind of got started before showing time. Every agent, either called their listing their listing and said, hey, you know, Sally’s gonna come see the home tomorrow at three is that okay? You know, or they had somebody in their office that was doing it. And I can remember the fear at that time. Well, if I don’t call my client, I’m gonna lose connection, right? I’m not, they’re not gonna like me anymore. They’re gonna think I’m lazy. But now we don’t none of us call our clients and go, Hey, you got to show up at three o’clock. I mean, unless you got I mean, I won’t say nobody. But it’s, it’s their right come up with an automated way to do it. I when I first got into the business, only teams had TCS or transaction coordinators, right? The bigger super busy agents are, and they would take care of four or five different agents. But now like, I couldn’t imagine doing a transaction without a transaction coordinator. When when I my business used to be like this, it was I would sell four or five homes and a month, six homes, and then the next month it would crash because I’m trying to close those things, right? Oh,
D.J. Paris 34:09
I don’t think signatures Yeah, all of that.
Matt Kuchar 34:14
It’s inefficient, you know. So now you can hire a transaction coordinator. And they take that stuff. So you can keep marketing, you can keep networking, doing the things that you like to do the parts of your business that are effective, and you’ve offloaded that. I mean, how many of us take our own professional photos? Nobody. Everything is kind of segmented out inspections, all of that stuff. That’s one of the other things that we’re looking at is even having agents some companies are starting to there’s a company called inspect to fire the relatively new but they’re using agents to get the access to the homes for the inspector. You know, sense it makes sense. What is that the best use of your time to go sit there at a house. And, you know, in fact, I was talking with an agent today who said their broker told them, they are not to be at the inspection. Because the liability, you could say something that could get us into trouble hot smart mix. That was that was their broker. You No, but
D.J. Paris 35:19
I understand that that that philosophy is is not unsound. Yeah,
Matt Kuchar 35:23
yep, yep. So an open houses, we’re working on an open house to where you could hire an agent to do an open house, you don’t have to necessarily be there. I think there’s, the business is becoming more and more segmented, you’re right. And we can take the bits and pieces that we like, and work to our strengths. And the parts that we’re not necessarily good at or are inefficient. We have other other people do that for us.
D.J. Paris 35:51
When I’m just thinking to back to what you said of everything you said I loved. But I was really thinking about from a customer perspective, how great it would have been for me now I’m I’m a broker, I don’t practice real estate myself. But I represented myself on a transaction recently. And I just got very lucky with the first place, I saw that I purchased a place, it just happened to be the right place. So I got very, very lucky. But I would have been even though I should be excited to go see 20 Homes And Get, I would have been like, Oh my God, I don’t have time, I don’t want to do that. I just My first thought is go to the virtual, or go to the, you know, the take a look at the photos, look at the video, see, you know, see if there is a mater port or something where I can, you know, do a little video tour. But I just thought you know, wow, how awesome would that be? I would think most and I don’t know, I get I don’t have any data to back this up. But I would think a good percentage of the public because you talked about doing virtual showings. I mean, I’m thinking if I’m an agent, and I’m working with buyers, and I can hire somebody for you know what, under $50, let’s say or $50, at most, to another agent to go do a virtual showing and save my client the time to say, hey, I want you to just take a quick look, maybe they scheduled five of those. So what that’d be like $250. Think about what your time is worth per hour. And that might think God $250, I’m already, you know, having to spend other money for other, it’s like, that’s a good use of money, in my opinion. And you know that people love looking at virtual tours. And so the idea that they’re going to be doing it live, you know, via FaceTime, or zoom, they go in, they immediately they’re going to know within five minutes, you’ve saved them time. And they’re gonna go, Hey, I do want to go see that. And that case, the agent goes, Great, I’ll get you back to your agent, he’ll take care of it, you know, or maybe that person will do the real showing later, whatever. So I wonder how I bet you have some agents who use your platform to just schedule a bunch of virtual showings and say, let me know. And it’s, it’s so worth it. To spend that money just like it’s worth it to spend a few $100 on professional photography, sure, you could do it yourself, and maybe you’re good at it. But it’s certainly going to take you a couple an hour or two. And then you have to edit photos. And maybe it’s or transaction coordinator that’s, you know, I don’t know, three $400? Well, gosh, you know, I would sure not like to have to chase you know, that kind of stuff, Chase paperwork. So you’re really onto something huge. And you’ve been around for some time. And I love the fact that it’s gaining momentum and steam. I’m a big, big fan of this, this platform. So I do want to ask because I always forget to do this. We always ask our guests to, you know, send us some like interesting stories they’ve had in real estate that are kind of unrelated to what we’re talking about. But just to sort of break up, you know, and have some fun. You got to tell me the story. And I know this is kind of a big, long story, but it’s a good one. I want to hear about the sort of the fraudulent scenario that that’s why this is an amazing story. Please share it if you’re willing to.
Matt Kuchar 39:04
Sure, sure. So I was my I was doing a lot of advertising and in Florida, and the lady who was selling me the advertising came to me one day and said, Hey, I’ve got three homes for you to sell. Like oh, great. She’s like, the only thing is that are there underwater. I’m like, okay, you know, she’s like, Yeah, I just bought them. And she kind of told me the story that this this this guy had come to her as a mortgage broker investor, and he found six for sale by owners. He he basically sold her this package where she bought all six homes. And you know, he padded in the downpayment, this was back when we had no money down and stuff like that interest only loans. Yeah, he fished them to six different lenders he closed the he had the closing scheduled between Christmas and New Years. So there was there wasn’t going to be any, you know, big oversight or, you know, upper level management really watching these things. So what this lady had done is, you know, she got kind of caught up what I thought she got caught up in this scam. And so he in each one, and I was able to look at them later. Well, what he Well, let me tell you what He had promised her, I’ll manage these, I’m gonna put renters in them, you’re gonna make lots of money and all this stuff. And so he he she closed on all four during all six of them during that time. And repped both sides of the deal. He ran both sides of the deal. No other real estate agents were involved at all. They were for sale by owner and it was, you know, this lady, right? So totally. Nobody knew what this guy was doing. Then what he does is he gets renters in there, it gets their security deposits, they start paying rent, he never pays the mortgage or does anything he keeps all of the money keeps the rent keeps their security deposit. And six months later, he basically skips out of town. And all of a sudden she could she never made a single payment. And they’re all foreclosing otter. So I felt bad for the group. I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is terrible. You totally got scammed and all this stuff. And so we were able to short sale three of them and the other three ended up getting foreclosed. Dude, like a year later, I see her picture in the newspaper where she had been arrested for fraud. She was part of the deal the whole time. I mean, I was like line and sinker thinking like I’m helping this poor lady out and you know, and all this stuff. She was part of it.
D.J. Paris 41:42
Wow, that’s yeah, they were they were in cahoots. But you but you. There’s one part that Matt didn’t mention, but he had written us to it. I just want to mention this. This is even crazier. So solar six homes, Matt figured out, because he was a mortgage broker. And he was representing, you know, the real estate transaction on both sides. It was about $60,000 of commission on each sale.
Matt Kuchar 42:06
On every single one. He had fees he had the mortgage was maxed the real estate commissions were like 15%. I mean, it was
Unknown Speaker 42:14
oh my gosh, that is saying, wow, it had just passed only it probably,
D.J. Paris 42:21
you know, she wasn’t paying that. Well, she was in on it, I guess to some degree as well. But that is oh my gosh, that is an unbelievable story. Yeah. Well, those, hopefully those days are long over where? And you said What’s great is I guess not great. But what’s what’s sort of smart about it is he did it between Christmas and New Year where there isn’t as much oversight. And he did it with what six different lenders. So the lenders, they didn’t know what was going on at the
Matt Kuchar 42:49
no, none of the sellers knew each other. Right? They’re all different sellers. the only the only the buyer was one buyer, right? And that’s probably what kicked off the FBI, you know, that she was in on it. You know, it’s like, okay, but I mean, there was there was a time when you could buy five homes down here for $5,000. You know, put $1,000 down on each one and you’d own a million dollars worth of real estate. Oh, is. That’s why it crashed in 2006. You know, it was
D.J. Paris 43:17
it was? What what? So she ended up? Did they ever catch him? And then did she ever end up going to okay, they
Matt Kuchar 43:24
caught you went to jail? I don’t think she got as much time as he did. He went to like, big, big boy prison. But I would imagine, I think she just got like a year or something like that and off on probation and six months. But yeah, I saw that. And I’m like, Oh, okay. But yeah, I had no idea. I’m just helping this lady short sale, some homes, but it was it was mortgage fraud. And at a big scale. That’s it. And he and well, he had he had done this not only in Fort Myers, but he had done it in Tampa he had Oh sure, like four or five other places. So he banked a couple million dollars, but in the end, he paid for it.
D.J. Paris 44:00
Yeah, if you’re gonna if you’re gonna run that kind of scam, I think you gotta like just leave the country, change your identity, and never say, you know, basically say goodbye to your family and say, I’m just gonna live somewhere in a foreign country that you’ll never know where and but that is, that is an unbelievable story. Well, I’m glad that that, that that didn’t, you know, in any way reflect on you, of course, because you wouldn’t have known anything. And it’s funny too, because agents do get, you know, those kinds of scenarios happen where all of a sudden, you know, like the other agent will run off with the earnest money or, I mean, it happens and it’s so bizarre and you think gosh, I mean, maybe with this guy you sort of understand why he banked a couple million dollars I guess, you know, not a bad score. If you’re if you’re a thief, but if you’re just you know, pulling 10 grand out if someone’s you know, earnest money and running away it’s like that’s, that seems like a really bad decision for a little bit of money. But But yeah, back to back to show me not not to end on such a To goofy note, but, but Xiaomi is such a cool service. So for anyone out there who’s listening, who maybe wants some more experience, doing showings and make a few dollars along the way, like, this is a great opportunity and not just gave you a bunch of good reasons to sign up. And the money, of course, is nice, but also just being able to get experience and also be able to create content for social media, and just learn how to talk to people and learn how to listen to them, especially as they’re going through and, and I think it is such a great opportunity. So if there are agents that want to either sign up to be, you know, the show, or or, or the person who wants to hire these kinds of agents, where do they go just show on me.com? Or they can download also the app on the App Store, the Apple App Store as well as Google Play?
Matt Kuchar 45:51
Yep, it’s on all it’s on all three. And we have a lot of agents who do both that yeah, sometimes they need help. Sometimes they help others. You know, it’s, it’s, I mean, that’s how I am like, I still will dabble and do a couple of deals with friends and relatives, and people at church. But that’s, you know, that’s what I do. I’ll I’ll sometimes I’ll still pick up a shot, because I want I want to experience what everybody else is going through, right? I want to know, the glitches, I want to know the bugs, you know, and but no, it’s it’s been, it’s been wonderful. It’s been the growth has been incredible. And so we’re really, really encouraged. And it’s mostly word of mouth. And when we do a little bit of advertising, but, you know, it’s mostly one agent going like, Hey, why are you posting this on our Facebook page? What just go to mommy, you know,
D.J. Paris 46:39
yeah, it’s really great. And I encourage all of our listeners, this is a perfect thing to do on a day off, too, when you’re just like, you know, I have nothing going on today, I’m going to, you know, check show up, I’m going to sign up and make sure I’m available and and check to see if there’s anyone that needs my help. Because, gosh, you know, we know in this business, when you’re not working, you’re probably not earning income. And so this is a great way to earn some income, get experience, and just stay busy. staying busy is so important. So I absolutely am a huge fan. And I really support you guys. And I’m excited to watch you continue to grow. And I’m going to introduce it to our 800 agents who absolutely need it, because we’re doing it through a pretty inefficient way as well, which is agent goes to our Facebook group, which is just for our brokers and says, Hey, I need a blah, blah, blah, I need a showing. And here’s what I’m willing to pay. And, and yeah, people do respond usually. But you know, it might take a couple hours, it might take a few moments, a few minutes. It’s not predictable. And it’s not really all that reliable. Because how many people are really going in and checking a certain Facebook group all day every day. I mean, I don’t even check our Facebook group several times a day, and I’m one of the administrators on it. And so I know if I’m not doing it, our agents are living and dying by our Facebook group either. But that’s the best way they know to communicate with our agents right now. And so this is a really a great alternative that allows you just more flexibility, you can get things done faster. And for a really super reasonable price. I love it. So everyone got
Matt Kuchar 48:10
it, we got a brokerage solution, too. So what basically the brokerage solution within it is we created a group write much like you have your Facebook group, and all the requests go to people within that group, before it would go out to the general public. So we give them a 10 minute lead, before it would go out to any other agents. And if somebody’s like, hey, I want to keep mine just totally closed, we can do that. But it works best. We’ve got some really big brokerages that are doing this in Denver down in Miami, in Tennessee, that, you know, their whole office has signed up on it. And you know, it makes it a little bit more efficient. But if nobody picks it up, it still gets picked up by somebody. And that’s really what you want. And that’s
D.J. Paris 48:53
really smart too. Because if you did say, Well, I want you know, I want to find somebody that will do the showing. But ideally, it would be somebody from my own office, which just helps with continuity and makes a little bit easier to explain to a customer. So there are brokerage solutions. And so if you are a managing broker, or if you have a firm, and you have a lot of agents where this stuff comes up, and if you have more than I would say 50 agents, this is something that you probably need, or maybe even less than that I just picked that number out of random but I know we have 800 and agents and we definitely need it so we’ll be reaching out to to learn that it’s free everyone, it’s
Matt Kuchar 49:28
gonna charge you anything for it. Yes.
D.J. Paris 49:32
Wonderful. Well, we know we’re big, we’re big fans and and so everyone go out and check out show me that’s sh o w ami.com. We support it. We love it. We love anything that you basically you build a better mousetrap. And I love people who go out and do that. And you know this. This is an industry where there’s a million different technology providers all competing in various spaces, and I haven’t yet seen this particular solution and I I always love seeing people, innovators who come up with like a really cool idea. It’s something that I wish I would have come up with. But you did. And I applaud you for it. So everyone, go visit Swami. And I want to thank our Matt on behalf of our audience for spending time with us today, talking about Swami and just sort of how to think about your real estate business as a business. Think of it as a CEO. Because you’re, you’re a worker bee most of the time in this business, and that’s okay. But you know, think about how do I remove some of the worker bee status from my my official title so that I can do more with the business and show me a good good help with that. So thanks, Matt. And on behalf of Matt and myself, we want to thank our audience for continuing to listen and support our show. Easiest way to help us continue to grow. Just tell one friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing from this, but interviews like the one we just did, right when we just did with Matt, and send them a link to our website. best, easiest way to listen to our show. It’s keeping it real pod.com. This is anyone who’s maybe not even a podcast listener, they can stream every episode right there. Or if they are a podcast listener, just have them pull up a podcast app and search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. Matt, thank you so so much, and we will see everybody on the next episode.