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’s interview is with Rick Herrera, Vice President of Research & Development and Data Services at Constellation1. Rick has worked in PropTech for over 20 years and has been part of RESO for almost that long! We chatted about RESO adoption, longevity and how bookselling can turn into a cloud powerhouse. Enjoy!
Q1: As the chair of the RESO Data Consumers Subgroup, you have managed to find yourself at the head of the class for the delivery of every pain point in real estate technology. How has the support of Constellation1 played into this role, and what could they stand to gain from it?
Rick: Constellation1 has been exceptionally supportive. We are absolutely all in, and it comes from the very top. When I was hired for this role, my long-standing connection to RESO was part of that conversation from day one. Our RESO sponsorships have grown because they find great value in RESO membership, topics and conferences. It’s a wonderful mix of technology and MLS, and they have been super strong advocates.
Our systems fully adopt RESO. When we onboard a client, we direct them to the RESO Data Dictionary Wiki; that is our schema. The Data Dictionary Workgroup and its chair, Rob Larson, have done an amazing job. I don’t have to redo it.
Q2: Twenty-plus years at one company is practically unheard of in the 21st century, yet you managed to have a long career arc at realtor.com prior to your current role. What can you say in general about the merits of building a career through one company vs. sampling different places in the work-from-anywhere age?
Rick: I tend to grow roots. I still live in the same town I lived in when I was 4 years old, Simi Valley, California. I loved my team at realtor.com. It was just like family. We did great stuff together, we battled together. Hard times, good times. I still go to lunch once a month with people I worked with there. We are still friends.
My career grew tremendously at realtor.com as an engineer, supervisor, manager and director. It provided the opportunity to learn all about real estate technologies and products. The networking and travel exposure was outstanding. I have nothing but nice things to say about my experience there, and I want to believe it has helped forge the path I am on today.
Q3: You are an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Data Pipeline Architect. How did an online bookseller become the top cloud solution in the world so quickly?
Rick: AWS was created to serve the book business. Jeff Bezos understood the value of the platform. If you have a strong platform, you can build great services, you can be nimble and you can expand.
As a technologist, the platform is the foundation of technology services and is absolutely critical. Constellation1 offered me a chance to build a brand new real estate data platform in AWS, and I’m very proud of what we’ve built.