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 dug into measurement, metrics, data and process with Rebecca Pearson, Director of Marketing and Communications at Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), an exceptional bridger of gaps between the business and technical side of our industry. Enjoy!
Q1: I have been lucky to have a working relationship with MRED for more than a decade. In that time, I have noticed that the approach you guys have to customer service is, in a word, driven. That culture has carried through multiple executive, MLS and marketing leaders over my time of observance. Where does that determination come from and what can other MLSs pick up from your approach?
Rebecca: I would say that the Chicagoland area is a hardy, diverse crowd. There are various levels of sophistication and a wide variety of business models, and when you look at the landscape of inventory and what we’re covering, it is vast. We’re talking land, rural, suburban, metro and everything in between.
I think that MRED has an eclectic approach, in a way, but it’s about making sure that each of those lanes and voices is heard and understood. We take that into consideration for how the market works and how we can best serve everyone’s needs.
And not just MLSs, but any business can learn from MRED’s approach. We regularly take honest feedback from our subscribers. We have our Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, which is a national way to track customer experience metrics. We do a two-question quiz:
- Would you recommend us to your peers?
- What more could we be doing for you?
Thanks to the efforts of our Customer Experience team, we read every single one. The last survey had over 6,500 open-ended responses. We are truly listening to the field. The real-time feedback and suggestions help MRED address pain points, improve communication and fuel innovation.
My role coming into MRED was just that. Our outreach strategy was to build relationships to gain a deeper understanding of the layered customer needs and to use this information to enhance our products and services.
Q2: You spent a portion of your career in the automotive industry. Are there any key similarities in marketing between automotive and real estate services?
Rebecca: My experience in automotive helped me get up and running quickly in the MLS industry. Data is gold – in both auto remarketing and real estate. To have an accurate Condition Report of a car, it is imperative that you are working with good information. The data gathered on the auction block, from buy/sell angles, is important to the future marketing of the make/model of the car. That data comes from many places and impacts the downstream consumer.
The automotive industry is a fun, fast-paced, promotional environment with a wide variety of entrepreneurs. Both industries are full of sales personalities who are focused on marketing and are too busy to read. Sound familiar? They also depend on good data to market to their target audiences.
To tie this back to any marketing principle, you need to understand the different business models which correlate with the customer segments to drive product adoption and improve services. Data helps develop both proprietary products and vendor products in both automotive and real estate.
There is also an association component to the auto remarketing industry which certainly translates to the real estate industry. And, in my experience, developing relationships are vital to success in any business.
Q3: You have roots in wide open spaces like Idaho, Wyoming and Utah and yet you find yourself in one of the most crowded metropolitan areas in the nation, Chicago. How are you adjusting to these vastly different environments?
Rebecca: Right now, I really am where Michigan Avenue meets the mountains of the west.
I’m overwhelmed and amazed by the beauty of the architecture while walking around downtown Chicago. I thoroughly love a fancy lunch in fancy shoes in a fancy ambiance.
However, my soul is full when I’m outdoors, connecting with nature and getting lost in the beauty of the mountains. Growing up in Southeast Idaho did somewhat prepare me for the Chicago winter. When I was a kid, we got out of school if it was more than 20 degrees below zero.
I love people and building relationships. Having a genuine curiosity about the customer and finding ways to meet their needs keeps my job interesting.