by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO
Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.
This week, we clinked glasses with a hearty “Cheers!” with Bill Boyer from Commissions, Inc., in a frank discussion about RESO’s popular Pain Points conference session, real estate CRM systems and beer. Enjoy!
Q1: Sometimes it seems like RESO’s Pain Points conference session was created just for you. You are not afraid to share your opinions, but you always do it in a good-natured way and with the right intentions of improvement. What is a pain point that you are most passionate about right now, and do you think that RESO can actually solve it?
Bill: When RESO CEO Sam DeBord rolled out the Pain Points session, no one wanted to speak up, so I did. Hence, I became the guy known for being active in Pain points.
For me, it’s been the Web API. It may have been rolled out too soon, because the problems of the past are still not resolved. Every vendor acquires the data differently. Like for the $expand function that the Transport Workgroup has been trying to resolve, you either support it or you don’t. Don’t make it optional, make it part of the standard. [Note: $expand is part of the next standard for Web API Core 2.1.0 based on member feedback. It is a MAY (optional) feature for servers, therefore clients that want to interact with every kind of standards-based servers MUST implement that capability.]
As an example, let’s consider media, or photos. What we have to do when we write code is write specifically for the vendor. It sucks, but the truth is, certain data-consuming companies in this industry are big enough to handle this unfortunate reality. I like to say that we embrace “the suck.” [Web API Add/Edit business cases for media will be discussed in multiple sessions this coming week at RESO’s Spring Conference in San Antonio.]
Q2: Lead generation and customer relationship management (CRM) are critical aspects of the real estate industry, which means the field is crowded with players. What can you say from a technology standpoint has helped your organization thrive in this busy space?
Bill: Within our tech stack, we believe in constant innovation. Our product team participates in ongoing client discovery solutions to help us further understand the problems that real estate teams are facing. These one-on-one interviews allow us to innovate further and provide a competitive tech stack in an ever-changing market.
Q3: Beer. You make it, you drink it, you judge it and you are an active and interesting participant on the Untappd beer check-in app. Is there anything beyond it being delicious that appeals to you about beer and what are some excellent beers that readers should be trying right now if they can get their hands on it?
Bill: I’m a developer, so I am intrigued by the dev side of beer. I enjoy the process, science and experimentation of brewing. Even when I go out and try beers, I want to taste different styles.
I make my own award-winning beer, mead and ciders. Winning over 200 medals for my beers has been personally rewarding, especially given that last year was my first year of regularly competing.
RESO: Would you ever consider starting your own brewery?
Bill: I have owned my own business before, and I’m not trying to go down that route again right now. I will continue to enjoy what I’m doing now – making interesting beverages and entering them in contests. I’m actually doing a collaboration with a brewer in Nebraska, and that’s exciting for me.
As for beers to drink, I would say Zombie Dust from 3 Floyds in Indiana and Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company in California are two all-timers.
Burnt Hickory Brewing in Georgia is close to my heart, because they are who convinced me to do more home brewing. Their Quad, Charred Walls of the Damned, is a winner.