The Silicon Review
Looking for a home is not easy. In the present day, supply is low, and everyone is looking at the same properties listed for sale or rent. Until now, very little has changed to open the market to every property, giving buyers and renters options beyond what’s listed. To make this happen, Susan Joynt founded RuListing in 2015. A networking platform for real estate, RuListing connects buyers, renters and sellers together with over 40,000 registered users and growing. It starts with people posting where and what they’re looking for, giving property owners a platform to view demand for their neighborhood and directly message buyers and renters before listing. A simple concept with big innovation.
We interviewed Susan to get an insight into the real estate industry and to understand how RuListing is revolutionizing it.
Q. Why is real estate one of the last industries to innovate their sales process?
One of the greatest obstacles to innovation is a mindset that is fixed on traditional models, anchored by the extent to which an industry’s revenue and survival depend on sustaining conventional structures. Barriers and defensive walls, characterized by legal challenges, lobbying and legislation are telltale signs that an industry is striving to hold on to what was. Real estate, its products and services, is one such industry that is deeply entwined in tradition.
The industry supports over 1.3 million agents, brokerages, associations and service providers. Real estate is one of the last industries whose ecosystem depends on sustaining a traditional sales commission-based model. It’s this defensive posturing that distracts the real estate industry from looking externally to the market, assessing today’s consumers’ wants and needs, innovating and building new models to meet what the market is calling for.
Q. How do you help the buyers identify the right property for them?
RuListing helps buyers by opening the market to every property, creating a whole new market beyond the supply of homes-listed for sale. By posting their profile, buyers cast a wide net to every home across an entire neighborhood.
In fact, this is central to how RuListing first got started. As the Founder, back in 2015, I was looking for an investment property in a specific neighborhood and nothing was available for sale. I got out of the car, knocked on doors and left notes, and then figured there must be a better way – an app for me to post my profile of where and what I was looking for, so property owners could message me directly if they were even beginning to consider selling.
Over 90% of buyers turn to the internet first, to educate themselves on the market. They are much more educated than ever before. They know where they want to live and the right property for their family’s wants, needs and budget. The problem is no longer about helping the buyer identify the right property, rather the core problem is the short supply and solving it by delivering online tools that can help increase market fluidity, enticing property owners to sell and putting more supply on the market. RuListing helps with just that, as property owners can see demand for their neighborhood, view profiles and message buyers, dramatically reducing the uncertainty associated with listing a home and encouraging owners to come to market sooner.
Q. How do you break through digital noise and drive market awareness in an expensive and competitive digital marketplace?
Building a digital presence across any industry, takes perseverance in optimizing GTM digital strategies and campaigns. It requires an open mind to testing creative entry points that navigate consumers to your platform.
Digital traction behind innovation, amidst a traditional and competitive digital marketplace, is a challenge as people do not search for new, unfamiliar platforms online. As a Founder with a brand marketing lens, I am naturally inclined toward marketing strategies, diving deep into digital channels including Paid, SEO, SMM, PR and tracking GA, data analytics, keywords, audience metrics and user behavior.
Twenty years ago, digital innovation was scarce, and apps were a novelty. In today’s crowded digital marketplace with millions of apps, and screen time as the barrier, the traditional “build it and the people will come” approach is no longer enough. Today, innovation requires a market-first approach, identifying mass market gaps and consumer wants and needs and assessing the competitive digital strength and database powerhouse of industry competitors.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
For agents and real estate service providers, we’re set to release Sponsored InMail Messaging. This new service opens the door to industry, as a lead generation and networking opportunity that helps qualify buyers before meeting in-person and touring a property.
We are also ready to launch multi-property advertising enabling iBuyer-owned properties, pre-construction and residential developments to market their properties to buyers and renters who are looking nearby.
Our Phase 2 development roadmap includes the build out of a Business Manager portal that enables advertisers to schedule geo-targeted, direct-to-buyer advertising within RuListing’s interface. Phase 2 prepares RuListing’s database for geo-demand forecasting and reporting tools, AI and homes-you-may-like-to-buy predictive analytics.
Q. What does the growth trajectory look like for RuListing?
We are focused on global growth, establishing RuListing as the go-to site for real estate. RuListing’s real estate networking model is transforming the traditional sales process, generating demand datasets and innovating a highly structured industry.
RuListing is uniquely positioned in the real estate industry, as a global application that opens direct messaging to the worldwide community. Buyers in Hong Kong, for example, can post their profile on a neighborhood in the U.S., and message and qualify properties before travelling in-country. With Sponsored InMail Messaging, agents now have access to message international buyers and renters who are looking in their neighborhood.
Global functionality positions RuListing for international growth, offering multiple partnerships, investor and acquisition opportunities. I am interested in exploring all creative options toward RuListing’s growth and success and am preparing for an investment round. As the Founder, I am excited for the next five years. The future direction of innovation is clear and RuListing is well-positioned for next-generation business models and technology.
Susan Joynt, Founder and CEO: Susan has had an impressive entrepreneurial career that has centered on Real Estate. She comes from a CPG brand marketing background and believes that innovation today requires a market-first focus with Market Product Fit (MPF). Her depth across all functional streams of business development has been instrumental in leading RuListing’s success. She is the author of “The Wise Renovator”.