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 Katie Ragusa, VP Product Development at TRIBUS, which provides brokerages with custom websites, intranet, email marketing, transaction management and CRM systems. Through their open API, their system connects brokerages’ listing, agent and consumer data with more than 100 other tools (e.g., marketing, back office, accounting, lead generation).
Q1: We have talked to TRIBUS in the past about how data standards help you do business faster. You’re even in a video on our website! At this point, it is well known that standards matter. What is the next big step RESO should take to help data consumers do business harder, better, faster, stronger?
Katie: Brokers opening their eyes to data standards is the new thing. When I do screen shares with clients, I pull up the Data Dictionary and show them. Brokers have lots of requests for different kinds of data they’d like to display on their website or search by, and oftentimes their MLS data feed just doesn’t support what they want the end user to see.
Instead of just saying “no, we can’t do that,” we show them what’s possible with their MLS data feed and encourage them to get involved with their local MLS if changes are needed.
The Data Dictionary – and standards in general – can also ease their mind to know that a group of industry professionals are thinking through problems and making decisions on behalf of the whole industry to hopefully make everyone’s lives easier in the future.
They say it’s like a light bulb moment or that no other vendor has brought them behind the curtain. If you take the time to explain it, they get the concept of the Data Dictionary and look beyond their own local MLS and relate to the importance of having standards. That’s the kind of connection that we need RESO to keep creating for the industry.
Q2: Brand question… Why is TRIBUS shouting? Is it in order to be heard alongside REALTORS®?
Katie: This is what we cover on Day One at TRIBUS while training new employees. We go in depth into what our name means, the branding, why we exist and how we’re different. We feel strongly about brand compliance and built it into our tools – for our own brand and for how our CRM and other tools do the same for our brokerages. When we searched for a name to trademark, we felt that ALL CAPS was more recognizable, and it happened to be easier for us to trademark.
Q3: Sometimes we do work that is important to us because we believe in a product, its outcomes, its usefulness to our customer base and our ability to execute, even if we don’t always mesh well with our coworkers. Do you get along with TRIBUS CEO, Eric Stegemann?
Katie: Yes. Personally and professionally. We’re celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary in April.