I think the team at Buildout is onto something important and sustainable. They have two really great things working in their favor that I think every startup can learn from…1) They are focused on helping brokers become more efficient. They are helping them, not replacing them. And 2) they are very focused on educating their target audience via Ebooks and similar tactics.
Our sister site, Real Estate Tech News is proud to have partnered with them on their latest Ebook initiative. It is full of many great insights and ideas. As I look out onto the entire CRE tech landscape, I do think that “empowering” brokers and other professionals is the theme that has significant traction in the market. If you look at the sites that are growing and succeeding the most, they all seem to share that core philosophy.
I had the privilege to chat briefly with Vishu Ramanathan, CEO of Buildout to discuss this new Ebook as well as their overall site, strategy and future plans.
Michael: How was Buildout born?
Vishu: Buildout was born out of a need for efficiency in brokerage’s daily tasks. We built Buildout around the ways the brokerage works. When we first started we did all the brokerage’s marketing work ourselves. We were listing properties online, creating emails, and making brochures, proposals and OMs. That let us learn and understand the work before we built the tools to make it more efficient. Instead of disrupting our user’s workday with a new piece of technology, Buildout fits right into their daily lives. It enables our customers to save time, showcase their brand, and focus on closing deals and growing their business.
M: Can you tell us about the new ebook?
V: We wanted to educate CRE brokers on the benefits of using technology to their advantage. We partnered with Real Estate Tech News to write and publish this piece, because we felt that they embrace the essence of how technology can benefit the CRE industry.
The ebook focuses on how marketing technology can really foster brokers’ relationships and enable them to close more deals. And how they can use it to develop strong proposals that win listings and promote client properties.
Michael : What are the main challenges Buildout is trying to solve for real estate brokers?
V: Efficiency in marketing CRE listings and showcasing a brokerage’s brand. Buildout is a marketing software built specifically for CRE brokerages. We automated the document creation process, so brokers and support staff can create fully branded documents like brochures, OMs, and proposals in minutes.
We also streamlined the listing process--instantly post listing on different listing sites, send full HTML marketing emails, and automatically add listing to your company site, where you can track leads and execute electronic CAs.
The platform was built around the ways our customers actually work. Instead of disrupting their workday with a new piece of technology, Buildout fits right into their daily lives. It enables our customers to save time and focus on closing deals and growing their business.
M: What are some of the most effective marketing strategies you recommend for brokers to enhance their marketing efforts?
V: Develop and showcase your brand. David Ogilvy called a brand “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” More than just your name, logo, messaging and color scheme, your brokerage’s brand is how people feel when they walk into your office, interact with your employees or respond to your materials. The sum of your brokerage’s attributes—every single interaction people have with your company—speaks volumes about the services you provide.
Brands are necessary for brokers to be successful in their work. A consistent brand makes a broker’s job easier from a marketing perspective, as it provides them with a foundation to leverage when building relationships and working to close deals. That’s why we think investing in your brand should be a top marketing strategy for any brokerage.
M: How’s business and what’s next for Buildout?
V: We set our direction by focusing on fundamentals, not trying to predict the future. For us that means actually working with customers: looking at how business actually operates, finding ways to be useful, and providing awesome service. We want to be the premier software provider for Commercial Real Estate - the company you think of when you think of amazing tools you depend on every day. And we’ll get there by continuing to follow this fundamental, practical approach.