Down market may call for smarter marketing, OJO exec says – Inman

Chris Heller and Inman
Chris Heller talks about the tech opportunities brokerages are overlooking ahead of his upcoming appearance at Inman Connect New York next month.
Inman Connect
New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here.
Chris Heller’s no stranger to scoping out a changing market and taking bold steps to stay ahead.
Once the co-CEO of Keller Williams, Heller departed the real estate franchise giant in 2017 and took the reins of LoanDepot’s mellohome product. In 2019, he left that role and joined OJO, a startup that develops products for brokerages using artificial intelligence technology, as its chief real estate officer.
From the stage at Inman Connect New York next month, Heller will share his thoughts on what data real estate businesses should pay attention to in order to protect their business during the bumpy economic times ahead. He’ll be joined by Denee Evans, CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, as well as Erin Sykes, chief economist and real estate adviser for Nest Seekers International.
Heller took the time to answer a few of Inman’s questions by email ahead of the conference. His written responses, edited lightly for clarity, are below.
Inman: Without giving away too much of what you plan to discuss on stage at Inman Connect, do you think most brokerages are doing enough to leverage data and technology to help them prepare for tough markets ahead?
Heller: Brokerages can always do more to help their agents, especially when it comes to data and technology that can give insights into consumers with a higher proclivity to transact. For example, instead of just mass marketing to consumers, being able to actually target their marketing better.
There are companies and pieces of technology out there that can help agents enrich the data they already have in their database. They can be appending that information with data on things like how many properties people own, where they own properties, how much equity they have and how long they’ve owned those properties. That will help agents be smarter about who the people are in their database and who they’re marketing to.
What are some specific ways agents and brokers can use data in this market that will get them the biggest return on their time?
Leveraging smart marketing platforms will not only allow agents and brokers to target but re-target consumers with smart marketing. That means using data to send collateral that’s relevant to them. Typically when agents send out marketing, it’s a message that goes out to everyone. But with smart marketing technology and better data, an agent can target the landlords in their database with marketing about buying investment properties. The same thing goes for people in the move-up, downsize or retirement market.
Does OJO have any big plans in the works for 2023? What should we keep our eyes on as the year progresses?
While we have nothing specific ready to share at this time, by the nature of who we are, we always have big plans. We see 2023 as a really big year of opportunities and we’ll be actively pursuing those opportunities.
Email Daniel Houston
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