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A Serial Entrepreneur’s Journey in Real Estate Tech: Cloud CMA CEO Greg Robertson (Part 7)

Posted on Sunday, Aug 2nd 2020

Greg Robertson: We usually sell about the seven-year mark. We had a hit product called Cloud CMA, our flagship product. There are about 1.3 million realtors in the United States. We have site license of about 500,000. Those subscribers trade over 260,000 CMAs a month.

To put that in perspective, about 5.5 million homes are sold in the country every year and so far they’ve generated close to 16 million reports. It’s been a great ride. At seven years, we kept going and now we’re at this different phase than where we started .

It’s now 2020. We’re completely bootstrapped. The only money we put into it was the $2,500 initial check and we’ll probably be close to $10 million this year. 

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. What customer acquisition strategy really worked for you?

Greg Robertson: For us, it was important for us to have a two-channel strategy. We like enterprise business. The largest MOS organization has 100,000 members, so when we site licensed Cloud CMA to them, they got a substantial discount.

Let’s say, it’s $39 a month if an agent just went to the site to buy it. The nice thing is that the MOS spenders take over all the support for it. We just support the MOS support staff. It’s a per member per month so it grows and rises with that MOS membership and there’s no cost to sell anymore. There’s no churn really. Those are nice to have.

We still thought it was important to have a direct business as well where if the MOS didn’t want to site license it, they could still sell it directly to a broker or agent with your traditional fast model of 30 days free.

As for acquisition, I didn’t want to become just an enterprise vendor. I wanted to be able to exercise both muscles and learn from that because even if a MOS agent would buy one of our products, they didn’t buy them all so we still had an opportunity to upsell within that channel. We might have given them a huge discount, but we knew we could make money in upsell later. 

Sramana Mitra: You said that around the seven-year mark, you tend to sell your companies, but you are still going with this one. What is your analysis of the market?

Greg Robertson: Real estate is hot. The whole PropTech sector is really going off. We just have not found the right match. We’ve seen what it’s like to sell our company and then what happens after where you are not in control anymore. We both make a great living.

We have this independence that we would never have had working for somebody else. We live comfortably. We have a great reputation. It would be really great to get one big check, but we’re having a good time. 

Sramana Mitra: You want to keep on building. If you are an entrepreneur and you want to keep on working, it’s easier to work on something that is already validated and has found its market than start over again with something not really validated. 

Greg Robertson: Right. I’ve got an 11-year-old with eight or nine years to college, so I still have to work here a bit. Both Dan and I are pretty realistic. We both enjoy what we do. I don’t know how people do it alone. If I didn’t have Dan, I could never do this. Having a 50/50 co-founder has been one of the big reasons that we are successful.

Sramana Mitra: That’s your experience. There’re a lot people who go at it alone as well and just do just fine. We have plenty of case studies of people doing  it alone as well. I think the trick is to hire a good team that can work with you and do the long haul with you and it does take time.

Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 7 in the series : A Serial Entrepreneur’s Journey in Real Estate Tech: Cloud CMA CEO Greg Robertson
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