Alvaro Erize is an entrepreneur and Operator with a passion for developing companies that add value to the world. He believes success comes from forming amazing teams, leading from the front line, and deploying operational excellence.
Brian and Alvaro discuss Alvaro’s background before CINC, industry changes during COVID-19, CINC’s quick growth and vision for the future, and some personal questions that you’ll enjoy!
In this episode, we talk about…
- 1:55 – Alvaro dives into his professional background and how the investment industry wasn’t his first choice.
- 6:43 – CINC, how this powerhouse came to be, and its story behind its success.
- 10:01 – What the experience was like for Alvaro & CINC to go through the Fidelity Acquisition process.
- 16:27 – These are the main benefits that set CINC’s CRM apart from everyone else.
- 22:37 – Alvaro answers a must-know question: How CINC has grown so fast in a competitive industry?
- 26:04 – With COVID-19 changing world, Alvaro discusses his thoughts on how the industry will change in going forward.
- 35:56 – Here is the vision for CINC in the next 5 years.
Brian Charlesworth 0:35
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Grit podcast where we like to dig in with entrepreneurs and business leaders on what makes them successful. I’m Brian Charlesworth. I’m the founder of Sisu, the fast Real Estate growth automation software and your host of the show. Today we are here with Alvaro Erize. I don’t know if I butchered that.
Alvaro Erize 1:00
That’s really good!
Brian Charlesworth 1:01
That’s as good as I can do with my Spanish. So anyway, thankful to have you on the show today. How you doing?
Alvaro Erize 1:08
Very well, thank you for having me on the show, Brian. It’s a pleasure to be here talking to you. And happy to get to know some of your podcasters too.
Brian Charlesworth 1:19
So, today, let me just give a little bit of your background and I’ll let you dive into that deeper. But I mean, you’re still super young compared to me. You graduated from Stanford in 2011. Looks like so as a Stanford grad, looks like you had a vision to be in the investment world. You went to Bain & Company and then you went to Serent Capital, where the private equity company that actually acquired CINC and that’s how you joined CINC. So anyway, give them give me a little more background on your background.
Alvaro Erize 1:55
Indeed, and I’d say a little bit different even though. I actually never wanted to be in the investment world. I’ve always been an an operator if, actually, if you think about it, my first business when I was, I think 16 years old, I started a comic book importation business from the US into Argentina. So that was a business I ran. Selling comic books across across Argentina and in my retail store. And then after that, I actually after college where I studied civil engineering, I went to work for Toyota Auto Parts manufacturer and installed their first factory in Argentina, a company called View Tech. So from very young, I’ve always been an operator. I’ve always loved to start and see grow great companies that add value to the world. And that led me to the US and in 2008 when the world crashed a little bit. We did pretty well and in our world little corner of the world not in Argentina, which horribly as it usually does, but in our factory. But it was clear at that moment that I wanted to expand beyond the frontiers of what we were doing. And I did come to Stanford then. So I was there in 2009 to 211. But out of Stanford, when I joined Bain, I actually joined Bain & Company, not Bain Capital. So that’s the consulting arm of it. Yeah. Which was pretty cool because it allowed me to advise and explore a lot of different companies on a very tactical way helping them grow. But of course, these were big companies. The bigger hats of the world and stuff. And so when I joined Serent and it was actually not although I like the investment side of things. I like to look at companies and see whether I believe that they are true value. The truth is I came to him to Serent as an Operating Partner. So When that comes to help their companies grow. And of course, we do partake on the investment side because when a private equity company wants to buy a company, it asks the operators whether they think it can grow. But my main role was to go and advise, which is specifically how I came into contact with CINC.
Brian Charlesworth 4:19
Okay, so, CINC is a great company, obviously, you guys shortly after you joined, CINC, I think it was two years later, you guys got acquired, which was what, four years ago now? Is that right?
Alvaro Erize 4:35
Yeah, more or less. I joined beginning of 2015 and middle of 2016. We were acquired by fidelity.
Brian Charlesworth 4:43
So how did you make that happen? I mean, I would say make Alvaro my operating partner. So we can make that same transaction happen (jokingly).
Alvaro Erize 4:55
No, I think I can’t take credit for it. I think We like CINC was was built already in great values and the CINC founder, Duane LeGate, started with a true service model of being there for a group that was not as clear that back then as it is now so that the team leader, the Rainmaker, the person that when someone comes from outside of real estate as I came six years ago, you think, well, there’s the brokers and there’s the agent, and you don’t really understand that the true most important people in this industry are in between those two things. Yeah. And there are these amazing coaches and team leaders who might be a broker might not be a broker, but they’re tactical and they have their people that they guide into this industry. And Duane did discover that I think before it became such a big trend, so that’s how CINC started and when I came when I came in contact with it, as we were looking at it from Sarah I was amazed at a company that was truly product driven and that had a lot of opportunity. I hopefully I helped. Yes, I joined. And we did a couple of things. I think we, of course, had a very good year and a half where we solidified what was a very promising and fast growing company into a very professional and very capable long term company. And I think that picked the attention of fidelity. If you think about fidelity, it’s a company that depends on the relationship between their title reps and the agents and they’re very much dedicated for the to the agents. Yeah, and I think they got attracted as for a company that that were had a true service model and great product that they could share with agents and and participate a little bit of that relationship.
Brian Charlesworth 6:53
Great. So let’s talk a little bit about more about CINC. So when you got involved with CINC when how big wasn’t so bad man names. I mean, for those of you who don’t know, most of our listeners are team owners. But for those of you who don’t know, I mean, these team owners, these these guys know how to build businesses, they they’re not like your typical broker who’s more around just making sure you’re doing things correctly from a documents perspective, but they’re really focused on growing businesses, right. So these are some powerful leaders in there. So
Alvaro Erize 7:29
Absolutely, I tell you around I’ve been around the block, I’ve advised super big companies and I’ve started small companies myself, and the admiration that I that I have for our mutual clients and Francis is huge and I don’t just say that it’s a very scary world to run a real estate team and you can be making a million dollars in profit a year and you can be broke the next year if you if you because you’re going I remember a friend of mine told me While I’m unemployed every time I sell a home, because I need to start searching for my next home that I’m going to sell. And it is very true, it’s a business, that it’s, it’s not a recurring it is recurring if you do things right, but but in its nature, it’s not and, and so I have huge admiration for the people that that go into it with with the courage to, to bring other realtors in and and coach them and guide them through what it takes. And so for CINC Back then, I think in 2015 I think we had the team our team was something like 30 or 40 people at the time. And I would say from from a size we were probably five or six times smaller than then we are today. We’re today I think, again, it’s difficult to always Measure but today we’re over 200 people at CINC. And and I think it’s where I guess that we are probably the biggest company serving teams specifically through through an integrated platform. So, it has been quite a ride. And and yeah, I’m pretty sure that that five x or four x, we were in size back then.
Brian Charlesworth 9:27
So I’m not sure the size you guys are, but I think you have over 3000 teams on your platform, right?
Alvaro Erize 9:34
For sure, yes. And that, for me says, and of course, it depends on how you see the market of what is a team. And so by some by some metrics, you could say there’s 10,000 teams and by some metrics, you could say there’s 20,000 teams, but but in any scenario, I do believe that we have gotten to be the solution of choice but for the best teams North America.
Brian Charlesworth 10:01
Yeah, awesome. So congratulations on that. By the way, I know we have a lot of common customers, not nearly as many as I’d like to have. We will have more hopefully we can make that change. Yeah. Um, so talk to me about I think every entrepreneur has that dream of I’m going to build this business and I’m going to take it public, or I’m going to sell it. So you got to be on the Well, let’s the private equity side, you weren’t really an acquire but more an investor and then stepped in as the operating partner. But talk to us about that experience to go through what was that like going through that fidelity acquisition?
Alvaro Erize 10:44
It was harsh, not not because of fidelity, but because it was actually so what happened back then, was seront capital and then I’m, I’m a huge admirer of Sarah and I I’m part of them still in my soul. Because I like how they invest in small businesses and really put for their best of themselves to help them grow. But Serent at the time was trying to, I think, rise raise their their next fund. And even though CINC was very young investment, if you think about it a year and a half in the lifecycle of private equity is very, very young. They did think that, that we were very well positioned to give them the boost, if they did an exit with CINC that would allow a very, very strong race of their third fund. And so we actually did did a broth a process and and in that process, it was it was grueling, yeah, running running a company while you’re having 30 or 40 management presentations and there was for some reason, there was a lot of demand for for we had a lot of people showing up to be interested interested in CINC. And we wanted to cast a relatively wide net. So I’d say it was doing management meetings in the afternoon and running the company in the morning. It can be rough. But yeah, but it it got to a good place. I’ve seen so many of those processes either fall apart through the process, or shortly after the acquisition where the companies are not a great fit. And, and honestly, three years later, I’m still here and happy and running the company which, which shows that that it was a very good fit.
Brian Charlesworth 12:34
Yeah, I love that about fidelity. I’ve seen that with you guys. I’ve seen that with Sky Slope. And I know they’ve acquired a number of other businesses. I have another friend that actually runs one of their businesses on the on the mortgage side. And so anyway, yeah, they’ve, they’ve just, that seems to be who they are. So I think it’s a great company to sell your business to in that aspect.
And I guess Brian, a question to you or to your listeners it is depends on what you want as an entreprenuer. Because when one says, well, the dream is an IPO or selling a company, but the world doesn’t end there and your life will continue. And and it’s it’s a little bit of what you think defines yourself and your business. And in the case of CINC, we knew that we did not want to get sold or acquired by someone who was not customer centric. And there’s different ways of running businesses. It’s not the only way but but we wanted very much that approach to be to be the one and and so for us, like I suppose I wanted to say names, but if you think against, like a big board hole that we could have been impossible to acquire for us. It’s a different kind of relationship. We’re a company that is more selling leads or selling advertising. That’s a more transactional relationship, right? Well, fidelity has a very belly to belly deeper relationship between title rep and agent which is very similar to, to what we do in the sense of, we don’t just provide software, we provide a lot of training, we provide almost business coaching sometimes. Yeah, it is a very, very close relationship that we have with our clients. And the biggest win was finding a company that that resonated with with that approach.
Yeah, and I’m glad you brought that up. Because I think that’s so important as you – for those of you who are entrepreneurs out there building businesses, a lot of times we think, Hey, I’m gonna sell this and then my life is right and, and the fact is, if you’re looking to retire, you’re not going to have fun, you’re not going to enjoy life. So there’s not retirement, I’ve sold businesses where the next day I was out, right, I sold businesses where I needed to stay in for a couple of years. And, and I think the way you’ve set that up is is phenomenal because if you Have something you’re super passionate about, which I know like me and see. So I’m super passionate about taking this to a level where it’s just groundbreaking changing the world of real estate. And like for me to jump out of that it’s not something I would want to do. So, as you’re talking to people about that kind of thing, know that depending on who acquires that business, you may be starting over building a new career, right?
Absolutely, or worse, you may be stuck there in an environment that you hate.
Alvaro Erize 15:34
I’ve seen it from both sides. Right. And, and the worst thing anyone wants is someone that is not happy with the place that they’re at. And, and for me, I started when I was in private equity. You want a passionate CEO that is excited about their company, but about your company too, because now it’s one and if not, you should be changing your CEO. And I think from my point of view, I knew that Fidelity as any normal acquire would require me and my time has gone I’m, I’ve been free for a while and I’m still very happy here so but for me, I wouldn’t spend a single year in a place that I don’t like my life is too short. And I only have one of it so so for me it was very important to find a place where where I would enjoy working that X ray or not, not no amount of money will replace that.
Brian Charlesworth 16:27
Absolutely. So congratulations on all of that moving forward. So what sets you guys apart as a CRM I something you just talked about is business coaching, and I found that we are doing a lot of business coaching as well. But talk to us about is what sets you guys apart from from the rest of the industry.
Alvaro Erize 16:48
Yes. So I’ll tell you a little bit of what are my favorite things that when I decided to join, CINC make difference to me because I was very like I was elated. Private Equity, I could have stayed there, there was no need for me to jump into into CINC as Duane asked me at the time to do. But it was truly both the team and the product that that brought me over. And so I would start from the team and the service. I think the it is true that CINC is at a high price point. And the reason is that that allows a true White Glove service that I think most of this industry cannot provide. Because they The reason that that’s important is unfortunately, what we do what real estate does is not easy. And if you want to have the best tools, and we try to simplify them and I love we’ll talk about Cisco hopefully you know that but but I love anything that is easy to use and easy to understand. But that still requires doing online lead generation in general, is already a leap for a lot of people if you’re not used to cold calling that is very different from your referral business that a lot of people Start from. And so it’s not just enough to have a technology that is very easy to use. You also need to bring around it the support system of Okay, what do I do with this? And so for me that the the huge emphasis on client service, live training, all of those things that we’re able to do and saying that I think most no one can do really set us apart. And then from the product point of view, which is my mind, said, my heart because I think everything starts in an engine product is I think I’ll talk in two parts. So one is on the website itself. I think a lot of these systems when they were born, they were just born to capture leads, and the websites were just as good as needed to capture lovely ones. They gave you that information as yours is done right. And even some of the systems for which you paid big amounts of money to for on a yearly basis. They may be high intent leads. But once the lead comes to you is done. Like you have that information and it’s a dead lead, it could be a, it could be a very actively but you’re not going to get more information on that lead, right? The difference with a CRM that is linked to a website is that lead continues to be alive for a long time and even leads that come from someone else. Once you have them in your system. If you get them coming back to your website, you’re constantly getting information in those leads, you know what they’re looking at, you know, when they’re active, if they want to go dormant for six months, six months later, you’ll know when they’re suddenly starting to look again. But there’s a big butt there, which is for all that to be true. Your website actually needs to be attractive and I don’t mean nice with a video in the background. I mean, search the search experience in your website needs to be superior to Zillow, Redfin and realtor.com. If it’s not, you’ll still get the lead. So there’s a lot of other systems out there that have that Same ID search, you go once because you liked the picture in Google ads that you liked. And you click there you gave your information, you’re never coming back, never coming back. What CINC has is if you just go to any four sites, and you just search, my brother is searching for a house. I think he just found out here in Atlanta. And it’s such a pleasure to use the website. And in that the what that translates into is a lower cost per lead, because people are more willing to put their information in but more important, higher return rate and higher return rate leads into conversion because as they come back to the site, you get more information, you can act on that information and you can learn so that for me is number one from a product point of view. I don’t think that any system out there has an IDX search website that is superior to Zillow and Redfin where people to search on an ongoing basis, of course that with our mobile app, that that is a search and A native search experience and and I think that’s the way that people want to search houses for today. And you cannot have just a site that is responsive, you need a native app. And so I’m very proud of that. That’s one half of the equation. The other half of the equation, of course, is the CRM. And there, there’s a lot of options out there. And, and I understand and there’s a lot of shiny objects. Our focus is on results. We are maniacal, maniacally obsessed with conversion, and everything that we do or we burn in and out of our system. The question is, will this increase conversion? Will this make money for our clients? If it doesn’t, I don’t want it even if it sounds good, even if a client is asking for it and in school right now, because anything that is not good is bad, because you know it better than anyone as you’re deciding what’s in your dashboards, anything that doesn’t need to be there cannot be there. Right? So I think that’s where we differentiate ourselves in that everything I’ve seen has been built towards conversion and towards ROI. But I will say one of the things that we are trying to invest in now is into better partner and that’s why I love talking to you right now is better partner with specific technologies that in one area of the world are the absolute best in class, and trying to make that almost a part of our platform if we can. So that’s, that’s a little bit of where we’re going to.
Brian Charlesworth 22:37
Great. I will dig in. We’ll dig into that in just a minute a little bit further. You guys have grown so fast is like there is a lot of competition in the real estate CRM IDX space. So how have you guys grown so fast?
Alvaro Erize 22:56
Make people money.
Brian Charlesworth 22:58
Okay. So focused on those things that are making, I guess the ultimate client consumer happy, right?
Alvaro Erize 23:05
Exactly. So for me, we’re in a service business, right. And the agents make money if they if they successfully serve customers. And the issue. If you think about technology, fire, stop me if I ramble a little bit, but if you think about technology 10 years ago, most systems were built to serve the big brokerages. Right? And they were built to, to win an RFP, oh, I have this feature. I have this feature I have this feature. So I went into the broker has said he can say to his agents, when he’s recruiting, I have this feature this feature this feature that no one uses it. Now when you have 20% usage, no one cares. Everyone got there when the company is getting paid, the broker can recruit, the agent goes like I’m so busy, who cares, whatever. And, and, and that is the world that still exists today in the background and we even have had competitors direct competitors of ours that went outside of the team were a little bit into the broker world. And and that is because it is hard to serve the teams. Why? Because I was a little bit in the restaurant industry as a consultant. And when cash flow is king, you cannot hide anywhere. And if your solution is not making money, you’re out and in for us. That’s why I measure everything in there. Right now the problem in real estate is things take time. I know that a client will have to stay with us for a year and a half or two years to really get the best of our system. But I know that if I get them to that point, they’re not going anywhere. Which also, sometimes when we talk about price, people are like, Well, you know, there’s a solution that has 80% of what you do or 70% of your of what you do, and it’s half the price. Right? Yeah. Okay. So to someone that is making $20,000 a month on our system. If they lose 20% of that they’re lost. They’re losing $4,000 a month. To what to say $500. If the relationship is once a system like ours, or like any system, if you’re using it Well, once you’ve gone into it, and you’ve made it part of your business, and you’re scaling it up, it’s making you so much money, that cost ceases to be an issue. Cost is an issue at first year when you’re trying to get there and you’re making an investment and you’re waiting for those cycle times of the leads to come through and convert. So, to your original question, I think what’s happened because we’re certainly not graded marketing people know that they’re smaller companies that ask that are much well known, better known and, and have better videos out there. But we focus absolutely on making them money. And once that happens, that gets you referrals. And that gets clients that are sticking for life.
Brian Charlesworth 26:04
Great. Okay, I love I love your focus there. The industry is changing so much every day right now. I mean, if you look, there’s been companies trying to put the agents out of business. You’re pro agent, we’re pro agent. But there are a lot of companies out there that are saying agents don’t need to exist. And now, I think people have realized they need to exist. And so those companies are now hiring agents. That being said, though, like the world is changing with the COVID 19 pandemic. I mean, you’re in your house today. I’m in my house today. Where do you see this industry going? How are things changing? What do you see happening over the next few years in this industry?
Alvaro Erize 26:51
Well, I’ll answer that in two parts. The first one, I think easier about this particular model. is yes, you’re in your house. I’m in my house. My brother’s just buying a house. That doesn’t change. I did. I did a webinar the last week of March, when a lot of people thought that the world was ending. And we’re in a very different world today than we were four weeks ago. And I took I took what I think was a little bit of risk. And I said, Look, I strongly believe that this year we are going to sell at least 90% of the number of homes that we sold last year, I don’t think that the drop is going to be more than 10%. Why? Because supply and demand of real estate is inelastic. If you think about the things that lead someone to buy or sell a home, you’re getting married, you’re getting divorced, you’re having kids, your kids are moving away, or you’re changing jobs, right. Those things didn’t stop happening for dependents. You were getting divorced. Two rounds of quarantine certainly gets you there. You’re getting married. You’re you didn’t stop that if your kids are going to college that still there. to happen. And so there was a delay for sure of a month or and a half of people waiting a little bit. But I think that the the dependent man is coming up. And so I don’t think that the COVID pandemic, yeah, it changes the ways that we’re going to live. But that might mean also more like people moving more to the countryside or people that change jobs situations and have to right size their their home, there’s a lot of triggers into actual work that’s gonna happen. So I’m not one my thought is, this year 20 or 30% of agents may go out of business, but those are all the agents that didn’t really count in the first place. Yeah. All of the people that know what they’re doing, are probably going to do at least as much volume as they did last year.
Brian Charlesworth 28:47
Totally agree with that. If you guys seen that the IDX. You guys are getting more web searches with what’s going on right now. I’ve heard that that’s actually increased.Has that been the case for you guys?
Alvaro Erize 28:59
Absolutely. This month, this particular month just finished me is the absolute record and CINC’s history forever since we started in the lowest cost per lead, and the biggest number of leads, we generated 330,000 leads in May, which is we’ve never before generated more than 300,000. So the search ends if you if you if you measure lead quality by the ability to get into real conversation, all conversion rates to appointment, or at least to quality conversation have gone through the roof because people have been more open to conversations. So So from an online search point of view, it’s on fire, it’s on fire. We’re seeing it we have people trying to increase their their their ad spends a lot of people doing investments. Of course, there was a delay in closings closings went down but now they’re coming back up. But But yeah, I’d say we did a webinar. If you look at after our CINC YouTube channel, we did one with my head of lead gen damn lot, which I don’t know if you met Brian but…
Brian Charlesworth 30:09
No, I’m not.
Alvaro Erize 30:10
We went through state by state showing all the trends from from cost per lead, and hours because we’re adjusting to time of day and day of week we’re doing all the best adjustments do to maximize return for our agents. But I’ll tell you it’s it’s better than it’s ever been, which is really surprising.
Brian Charlesworth 30:34
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Alvaro Erize 30:36
You did have one separate question on on the what is happening with the industry in general, not pandemic related, but where where is real estate going? I’ll give you my thought there. Yes, I joined a company that I come from Silicon Valley, where everyone is trying to take the agent out or at least was And everyone was like, Oh, this shouldn’t exist. That’s a job that makes no sense. And everyone that doesn’t really understand real estate. That’s an easy thing to say. Right? And, and if you think about it, they gave, in my opinion, the exact opposite example of what they should be thinking. So everyone in Silicon Valley would say, this is like over, it’s done. Like the agents are not their taxi drivers. Okay. When we think about it for a second. What, let me ask you, Brian, what is the most important reason that you use Uber instead of a taxi?
Brian Charlesworth 31:32
Alvaro Erize 31:33
And what do you mean inconvenience, the app?
Brian Charlesworth 31:37
Yeah, well, yeah, just not having to I for me, the convenience is paying. That’s why I use Uber. I can just my credit cards in there. I’m done. Come get me.
Alvaro Erize 31:46
But there are taxicab apps that have it too.
Brian Charlesworth 31:48
Alvaro Erize 31:50
But don’t you see a total difference in service level once you’re in that car? When you take a taxi now from the airport?
Brian Charlesworth 31:56
Right, right. You take a taxi. It’s always horrible. experience, right? Always. That’s a great, that’s a great point. In addition to that, they never have water bottles for me in a taxi they do in an Uber. Right?
Alvaro Erize 32:10
Why do you think that Uber has it and the taxi doesn’t?
Brian Charlesworth 32:14
Because the Uber driver actually cares.
Alvaro Erize 32:16
Brian Charlesworth 32:18
He’s making money based on your riding with him where a taxi driver, I think they’re, they have different motivations.
Alvaro Erize 32:26
Because an Uber driver is an owner in a taxicab driver is an employee. Correct? Yeah. So if you think about Uber, the app is what get them famous. But what Uber did is to change an industry of employees into an industry of owners. And that makes all the difference in the world, the clean cars, the ball of waters, then of course, you have the review system, but but when you make an industry of owners, you win. And if you think about real estate, real estate was born as an industry of owners, the agents Is their own boss and they work for a broker that but but they’re not they it’s their commission is their relationships it is an individual contractor.
Brian Charlesworth 33:09
And so that’s a great point, Alvaro, because those who tried to put the agent out of business, they are now hiring employees, not business owners. They’re hiring employees to be their agents, which you’re not getting that same level of service.
Alvaro Erize 33:25
You’re not because they’re going against the world. The world is going to trend to a world and as of course, I’m a libertarian, which which influences my way of thinking but the technology is evolving the world towards individual ownership. And these companies that think that they’re using technology to step ahead, they’re trying to use technology to step back. And that is just fundamentally wrong. And so for me, this industry, real estate, requires a level of care between the real estate agent and The consumer that cannot be provided by employee, you need that person I was looking for a house, this house that I’m here now and I’m so glad for my agent that got me that house a few years because I wouldn’t want to be in my two bedroom apartment in in San Francisco right now. And he was my agent. And when I was buying this house, and I found out my mother had pancreatic cancer while I was doing this, and my world came crashing down, and I was trying to see if I could bring my mother to the US and doing all of these things. And I was calling him on a Sunday night from a plane flying to Argentina. an employee’s not going to pick up the phone, an owner will and an owner that will have a relationship with you for life. I’ve just given him my brother as a referral and he’s closer to this hopefully a very good business with this.
Brian Charlesworth 34:53
It’s the best comparison I’ve heard in the industry. So and I haven’t heard it before. So thank you for sharing that.
Alvaro Erize 35:00
Yeah, that’s what I believe. I don’t think the agent is going anywhere the transaction is complex, you need a trusted adviser. In my opinion, a lot of things can be replaced improved. Let me tell you one thing that I do think has improved this industry a lot. Portals like Zillow, Redfin, US have because they moved a task that didn’t need to be done by the agent. Searching for the house didn’t need to be done by the agent, it’s much more efficient to be done by me or my wife. We’re going to look to 300 houses, and it allows the agent to spend their time where they need to and it allows an agent to serve many more clients much more efficiently. So what can be done?
Brian Charlesworth 35:37
Yeah, to your point, a homebuyer can see hundreds of homes virtually, and narrow it down to three to five homes that they need to go see instead of having to go see 30 homes now.
Alvaro Erize 35:50
I saw 30 home, sorry (jokes). Online I saw 3000.
Brian Charlesworth 35:59
So Anyway, well said, Alvaro, thank you for thank you for sharing that. So what’s your vision of CINC for the next five years you mentioned this, you know, partnering with best of class companies. You You brought up Sisu but I mean, for the next 1,2,3-5 years, what what really do you see happening at CINC? And what’s your vision for the future?
Alvaro Erize 36:22
So my vision for CINC is this, I in some ways, we’ve arrived in the sense that I believe that today we hold biggest chunk of the best clients in the industry, I would want more, but I don’t need that to be three times the content I have today. We have the best clients will keep getting more will some some will leave the industry. And so I’m happy with that. But I do believe that as this industry evolves, less agents are going to make more business. The amateur agent is on its way out. The my uncle is a real tourist. I’ll use them that doesn’t exist today we’ll look at reviews to buy a TV, we won’t look reviews to see who helps us get our house. So in my opinion, we need to do more for the agents that we have, we need to let them they’re going to be making more money because they’re going to be gaining more business proportionally, with or without us. We need to be that horse that they can ride to get there. And I do think that the top 20% of agents will be making more like 95% of the business in the in the 510 years to come. We need to enable them to do that. The difference between the philosophy that maybe during the game the founder of the company had and then that I have today was he really did believe. And back then it could be true that the one-stop-shop was was the way to go. And that CINC could be the best at everything. And we could be that one platform that that you use for everything. He was coming from a world where people were using 20 pieces of technology and were insanely frustrated by it and had 20 different passwords. And a world where integrations didn’t really work very well. So that position was true and good at the time. As we’ve evolved, I think that CINC needs to be the absolute best at certain things. And then it also needs to make sure to have long term partnerships with the absolute best in very specialized niches. And so for me, if I think core competencies of CINC the first one is it needs to be the platform where you run your business, so the conversion engine that you’re using to run to run all your leads to get in contact to them to follow up the true functions of a CRM is absolutely a core competency. And not less important is the the search website. Again, a lot of companies out there, dismiss it or just concentrate on words cute or not. It has the E Row imager, this, it has nothing to do. This is math. This is you need to convince people to come and search on your site. Why? Because it makes your CRM more powerful. There’s a lot of very good CRM that because they’re not intrinsically linked to a website, they’re they’re not an alarm clock. Yeah, a CRM without a website. It’s an alarm clock. You tell him this is a type a likely you need to tell me three times a week when I need to do this, and it tells you and they could be very good at that. But the information is coming from you. You’re feeding the alarm clock, at what time do you want to wake up and the alarm clock wakes you up? The integrated CRM to a website what it does is the alarm clock is operated by the consumer not by the consumer tells you when you want to speak with them, you know what medium they like, you know what times they’re like, but that is only powerful. So that is why you need a CRM link to a website. But that is only as powerful as how attractive your website is for people to search. If they’re going to use it once and then they’re going to go back to Redfin. I’m sorry, but you You’ve lost them and you’re sending or if when they go on on their phone because you don’t have a native app, they are going to Redfin or Zillow on the phone, then you’re I don’t know if you get referrals from Redfin, if they send you a check or something, but you’re sending them clients, right? So you need to have an awesome website, where people want to come and search with a mobile solution that is equally good. So for me, if CINC is the absolute best of those two things, and of course, lead gen. So I do believe that we are the absolute best lead generation and getting you the most cost effective leads. But a lot of that depends on the website being attractive for people to come in. The other part of it is that we are masters at Google and Facebook, we’re very good. We have great partnerships with them, we have a team. Again, if someone goes and sees that video and in our YouTube channel, you will see physically what I’m telling you. You’ll see the people that are behind this science. They’ll see things being the best at Legion having the best search website and having a true powerful CRM are the core And then there are other things where we need to have, we need to be able to partner with the best in the market to be able to provide that at the level that our client, our clients have the best. And so they expect the best. It’s not enough to say, I’m the best of these three things, and then I’ll give you this shorter solution on the fourth. And so that’s where we look for long term partnerships that we’re trying to put into effect.
Brian Charlesworth 41:24
Okay, awesome. Great, what, what would be the one piece of advice that you would share with most of our listeners are likely, I mean, team owners, possibly broker owners, agents? What what would be just one piece of advice that you’d want to share with all of them? It doesn’t have to be business advice, but it can be whatever whatever you want to share.
Alvaro Erize 41:48
The question, I don’t have an immediate answer. Let me think for a second.
Brian Charlesworth 41:51
We can come back to that that’ll that might come to you. So what’s your What’s your favorite book? What’s the book that’s made the biggest impact on your business career?
Alvaro Erize 42:00
So I don’t usually read a lot of business books. I am a big history buff. I love I love history and so I don’t know if this is a random recommendation but if you ever want to read the best book from the historic novels by Alexander The Great, I would recommend gisbert hives and and if you ever and a different kind of historic novels, Bernard Cornwell does a great well actually last Kingdom Have you seen the TV series last kingdom? I have not No, no, it’s the equivalent of Vikings but seen from the Saxon side and and I it’s a great series and it’s a great series of books from from Bernard Cornwell. And if you like that TV series, and you want to book this, actually go and buy his Arthur books called the warlord Chronicles, so for any history nerds out there, I’ve given a recommendation.
Brian Charlesworth 43:00
I thought with your business background going way, way back, you might recommend some comic books.
Alvaro Erize 43:05
comic books. Well, that is a whole different podcast. Yes. If I had to say one Return Of The Dark Knight by Frank Miller. Best Batman comic book ever, it’s basically Batman coming back old after the world has come into into some mutations and actually, this is not a bad moment to look at it. I’d say look it up. Return of Dark Knight.
Brian Charlesworth 43:34
Well, wasn’t the Dark Knight also the best Batman movie?
I do think yes, probably. Although I’m still the original Batman. I like not that. Adam West has another place but Batman one I still like with Michael Keaton, but yeah, I do think Batman is a great.
So what what’s your favorite place? You’re from Argentina. You’ve lived in Silicon Valley. You live in Georgia. What’s your favorite place to visit?
Alvaro Erize 44:02
I like going back to Argentina. I I’m actually putting together a group for next year with some clients thinking of going to Sioux Falls, which is in the north of Argentina. Beautiful, beautiful place. I haven’t been to Niagara Falls, but I’m sure this gives us a run for its money and and just when Osiris is just awesome food, great nightlife music, like if you want a cosmopolitan city, it’s like it’s like New York and it’s space but but with a very European feeling. And so I love going there and then for living, I did live in Amsterdam for a year and a half and fell in love with it. No, you know, cars, only bikes and boats. It’s a very, very, very different life. So I might end up there someday.
Brian Charlesworth 44:52
Yeah, nice. So Argentina, obviously that’s a place you love what what took you away from there?
Alvaro Erize 45:01
That’s another podcast I it’s a lot of stuff. I think, I’m a libertarian in a country that was strongly socialist and I came from a from a very political family and I used to to fight a lot and at some point I had to make a decision of whether I wanted to be in politics for life and and do that or have a successful hopefully business career before someday going back and ruining my life by going into politics in order to do so that might still happen but my wife and mother at the time convinced me goes up to different people.
Brian Charlesworth 45:43
I hope you go back to Amsterdam after hearing that I hate for you to end up in that political world.
Alvaro Erize 45:51
Well, we’ll see we’ll see it’s there’s a lot of good that needs to be done to but again, for now, I love I love where I am at I love the company. I love the people that work with me. And, and I didn’t expect to be so happy at a company that has a reasonable size by now. So I’m not in a rush to go anywhere but someday gardena is going to be back in the books.
Brian Charlesworth 46:18
Okay, so this is the last personal question just what’s your thing to do?
Alvaro Erize 46:25
I’m a gamer.
Brian Charlesworth 46:27
Are you a gamer?
Alvaro Erize 46:28
I am a gamer.
Brian Charlesworth 46:32
where do you spend your time? What’s the current game?
Alvaro Erize 46:35
So I love… So I’ve been out of video gaming for a while for just time constraints. I used to be a big League of Legends fan there. Then I play I play a lot of more games. And and so I play the highly strategic very complex six hour board games but I also love 30 minute game I’ll recommend one king Domino. So 30 minute game you can play with with your spouse with your kids. It’s fun. It’s very strategic but very simple at the same time. I also play war games if you know what they are like miniature games and uh…
Brian Charlesworth 47:19
the game you recommended that was King Domino? Okay, I’m gonna go get that you check that out.
Alvaro Erize 47:26
Very simple game you will pick it up immediately. It’s one of those games that it’s easy to learn hard to master. It’s a great game.
Brian Charlesworth 47:33
Okay, so last but not least, how do people get ahold of you?
Alvaro Erize 47:40
Oh, it’s very easy. My email is alvaroerizecincpro.com. Or if you look me up in Facebook, Alvaro Erize CINC and Facebook Messenger for me is almost my CRM. So both out there. Easy to get ahold of me. By the way, my business book. I recently went through Jordan Peterson’s book, entrepreneurial leadership. What I like about it, I’m usually not big into grandiloquent teachings. It’s very tactical, and it’s systematic. This is how he sees it. And he’s like, Okay, let’s go. How do you build trust? How do you do this? And it’s very step by step. So I recommended as I think it’s a reasonably quick read, that doesn’t get to another word in English, grandiloquent again, so it’s very practical of like, Hey, this is what worked for me. And this is the steps in which I did it.
Brian Charlesworth 48:40
Okay, great. Well, thank you for being on the show today. It’s been fun getting to know you a lot better. I mean, we’ve been looking at doing this work together, but now I’ve really got to know who you are. So I really enjoyed that. For those of you who are listeners, don’t forget to go out and give us a review that allows us to bring more high level people like Alavro onto the show. So thank you so much for joining today, and we’ll see you next week.
Alvaro Erize 49:10
Thank you, Brian. Thank you for everything.