Marketing Darwinism had the Opportunity to Meet Up with Jeremy McCarty, Co-Founder and CEO of Valligent Technologies.
Marketing Darwinism: Jeremy, the Real Estate Technology/PropTech space is, simply put, “on fire” as of the last few years. Can you comment on this and on Valligent’s place in the mix?
Jeremy: Indeed, Real Estate as a sector and RE Tech specifically are buoyant and exciting. It is important to remember that residential real estate is the largest “industry” in the country. US homes in aggregate are worth upwards of $35 Trillion collectively and this year almost 7 Million houses will be bought and sold. The application of technology to this space is key to its future and we’re fortunate at Valligent Technologies to be at the heart of this. While our valuation an appraisal business has been healthy for years, we saw huge potential in virtual appraisals and low-touch valuations and skated to where that puck was going. We now have the most innovative virtual appraisal offering in the industry and the regulatory environment has made massive scale possible in this space. All in all, we don’t feel like we have a ring-side seat; instead we feel like we are on the field playing the game!
Marketing Darwinism: Tell us more about the changes you see in the space?
Jeremy: There are so many changes, manifesting daily. Some of these changes are “disruptive” and others are just natural extensions or evolutions of what existed. On the former side, take the notion of house appraisals. House appraisals are very much about the verification of valuation. In the home buying process- still a lengthy procedure—the valuation of the house is the centerpiece. From what loan you get all the way to the cost of insurance, the valuation pops up a dozen times at least in the process. Now imagine being able to get an accurate valuation with technology, in less than an hour. No long waits for appraisers and white-knuckling the results. No costly and repetitive services to be subjected to. Now, imagine further. Of the circa 7M houses that will sell this year, 40% of so are eligible for waivers on the standard appraisal. Enter virtual appraisals. Such speed and scale are a sea-change in what is otherwise a slow moving industry.
Marketing Darwinism: We see a lot of VC, PE, SPAC, and other investment dollars going into this space. Is there a bubble here?
Jeremy: As in all spaces, this one will have winners and losers. There is a certain amount of rhetoric and exaggeration in the space, especially with regard to “dressing up” old business models with new “language.” We see technology buzzwords abounding but when it comes down to it, many companies still rely on analog and traditional methods to transact. We understood this and have partnered with leading technology players like Quantarium and have developed cutting-edge tech capacity of our own. So, yes, there are bubble aspects but in reality we are just beginning to see this industry transformed by the combination of technology, regulatory change, innovation in business process, and highly capable and educated consumers.
Marketing Darwinism: Tell us about your Marketing work? After all, we do care a LOT about Marketing!
Jeremy: Marketing is key to Valligent’s success. We are big believers in participating in the industry community and in doing our part to promote the industry as a whole. We have been pleased to receive multiple awards in the space and that notoriety has helped create a flywheel of engagement, advocacy, referral, and growth. Marketing is and will always be core to our company and we feel very strongly that we back up our messaging with a product and solution platform nonpareil.
Marketing Darwinism: Any parting thoughts?
Jeremy: We continue to be excited about Valligent’s growth in the new world of Real Estate and about the space in general. We believe that top talent will be drawn to RE Tech and that the addition of smart, driven, and innovative people will help the industry mature into a fully tech-enabled and dynamic part of the economy. It’s already the biggest part of the economy but we want it to be seen as cutting edge.