EP. 27: Interview with Howard Tager
Tager, currently the CEO/Founder of Ylopo, considers himself a serial entrepreneur/ business-owner and real estate investor. He got his start two years out of college when knew he wanted to be his own boss and valued autonomy and creativity. He was already on his way to success in financial and strategy consulting, but found an emptiness there. Feeling it was easy to walk away from consulting, he worked with his partner to scrap together a few thousand dollars to get a new business going. They developed a system of SAT/ACT prep, which excelled to the point of being acquired by Sylvan. He was excited for a business that was good for himself, his employees, and his clients, and felt a sense of “greater good.” It was profitable, but it was time to move on to something else.
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After a few years of searching for something that would match the importance of his previous business, a programmer approached him and brought up the idea of an all-in-one system for Realtors. The programmer had already developed the product and was using it in his market in Michigan. Howard researched for one month and saw there was a great need, so he launched this technology in all markets in 2007. Because of the climate of technology at the time for realtors, the space was wide open and results were astronomic. Shortly after, Realtor.com acquired the business.
“The most successful business people I’ve seen are those who can look around the corner.”
Howard relays when he is able to step out of every-day issues and look at what is going on in the real estate industry as a whole, he is able to spend time working through what he can do for his clients. He notes technology products are stepping into real estate rather than the other way around, the way it should be. His clients are busy running their businesses, so they need the best technology to be working on their behalf.
Agents aren’t just salespeople, they’re navigating through documents and rules on behalf of their clients having a successful transaction, the largest transaction(s) of their life. Agents shouldn’t worry about being decimated by technology because real estate will arguably always be a face-to-face business. Tager agrees social media is about being in front of the right audience and having the opportunity to say the things they will want to hear and learn about; if we give them something of value, they will keep coming back.
Where does he see the future leading? Facebook is full of constant updates, Pinterest includes real-estate related searches, and LinkedIn is an up-and-coming interest.
Grant and Howard strongly agree together the term “lead” is a gross understatement of the value of the information agents are receiving. A lead is a person with dreams and intentions, who a Realtor could be forging a new relationship with. Howard says his best advice is realizing old leads are the most valuable asset a Realtor has!
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Or In Person: Chicago at Explode Event Sept 20th and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale at Explode Workshops the next week, Club Wealth Event in Nov in Anaheim, National Association of Hispanic Realtors Event in Redondo Beach Nov