Podcast

Episode 108: The Healthy Side of an Economic Downturn with York Baur

Economic recessions are part of the business cycle. And as depressing as that may sound, recessions have an effect that the economy can benefit from. Just like how clearing the forest gives way for new growth.

Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth

Chairman & CEO

Brian is an entrepreneur and business builder. He has built and sold companies in the software, telecommunications, and franchise space. He’s passionate about technology and focused on changing lives through driving technology forward.

 

Economic recessions are part of the business cycle.  And as depressing as that may sound, recessions have an effect that the economy can benefit from.  Just like how clearing the forest gives way for new growth.

 

That is why finding your grit is extremely crucial especially during a crisis such as market crashes or downturns.  Because it allows us to confront challenges, pivot as needed, and keep moving forward. 

 

Brian Charlesworth joins York Baur, CEO at MoxiWorks, as they share insights on what it takes to survive and thrive in a downturn, the role that the real estate industry has to play for its consumer, and why it takes an ecosystem of products that come together to provide the best customer experience.



Top Takeaways:

 

(03:01) The importance of having grit

(05:34) York’s advice for real estate business owners during these uncertain times

(13:11) Why the real estate industry needs thought leaders for the consumer 

(14:34) Why you need to be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy

(21:59) One of the biggest challenges that the real estate industry faces

(23:33) The genesis of MoxiWorks

(25:51) Why building technology for your own brokerage is a bad idea

(29:17) The value of providing an open platform to bring the industry together

(30:50) Why you should not confuse strategy with tactics and execution

(35:48) What the real estate industry can learn from a Harley motorcycle

 

Connect with York Baur

Email: York@MoxiWorks.com 



About the guest:

 

York Baur has a degree in computer science and has been a technologist for most of his career.  He has helped exploit technology for the betterment of businesses.  Throughout the years, he has developed a strong passion for the science and automation that could complement the human element of selling and marketing. He believes that the key to a successful tech product is to have computers do what computers are good at so that the human can do the thing that only a human can do.

 

In 2012, York joined MoxiWorks, an open real estate platform for brokerages. Since then, he has grown the company 10X and expanded to over 800 brokerage clients and growing, serving over 400,000 agents that makeup approximately 40% of all residential real estate transactions in the U.S.



Podcast Transcript



Brian Charlesworth  00:35

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Grit Podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth. I'm the founder of Sisu. And your host of the show. And super excited about today I have York Baur with me, York is the CEO of MoxiWorks. And York, my understanding is that you're kind of a hired gun. So you've probably been at Moxi longer than you anticipated when you made the move and came in there. So York has an extensive background in the software industry. I believe you were at Microsoft and Salesforce, if I'm not mistaken, two of the biggest software companies in the world, and have done a phenomenal job and taking MoxiWorks to over 400,000 users, which is as big as I know of any company in the real estate space, having that many users so congratulations on that one you work. And we'll dive in a little bit more. But is there anything else you want to share?

 

York Baur  01:30

Yeah, well, first off, Brian, thanks for having me. I appreciate the kind words and howdy to everybody out there. I actually didn't work directly for Salesforce. I worked for a company called the task group which was a Salesforce partner. But your comment about you know I've been at Moxi a while maybe longer than I thought. It's kind of funny. I love to joke about Moxi being the overnight success that took 10 years. But I think there's a lesson in that I think good things take time. And in particular, I love, love, love the name of your podcast that the Grit word big in my world. It's one of our core values that Moxi. And as you I'm sure are aware, maybe you've even talked about it with your viewers. The Angela Duckworth definition is kind of the one I gravitate to, which is the persistence and passion for achieving long-term goals. And that's why I've stayed at Moxi for that seemingly, you know, long time, it's because I am very passionate about the mission that we're on, which is to help this industry, sell more homes and our role of providing some technology to hopefully help them that. So I don't see it as a long time, I guess, Brian, to respond to that specifically. And I get up every morning because I'm still passionate about what we're trying to accomplish. I don't think we'll ever be done. Not just Moxi. I'm talking about as an industry, we'll never be done improving how we accomplish that. So there you go.

 

Brian Charlesworth  01:31

Yeah, so I'm glad you brought up Grit because there's a reason that that's the name of this. And in my opinion, every entrepreneur, if they're successful, they have Grit. Absolutely. And if, you know, if they don't have the Grit, they're no longer in the business, right? Because they gave up a long time ago. So

 

York Baur  03:15

no question. I think we're about to go through a Darwinistic cycle on that yet again, as the economy does, you know, their expansion periods where stuff looks easy and probably is too easy. But it's the people with Grit that not only survive but thrive in a downturn that calls out the people without Grit. So, you know, I'm not a fan of economic downturns anymore than anyone else is. But I do think they're healthy. It's almost like fire in the forest. You know, it leads to new growth. It's part of the natural cycle. And, and I feel like we're heading into a period like that, that for those of us with Grit is going to actually be a positive.

 

Brian Charlesworth  03:56

Yeah. In my opinion, this is when really the strong people gain market share. And a lot of the weaker people disappear.

 

York Baur  04:05

Bingo. Absolutely. At all levels. I agree.

 

Brian Charlesworth  04:08

Yeah. Yeah. So it's gonna be interesting, you know, as we look at this real estate market 2008 We all know was a devastating time for the real estate market, in the United States. And I had just purchased Housemaster Home Inspections at that time. So I was indirectly affected by owning one of the largest home inspection companies in the United States and North America. And I think as I look back in time, real estate cycles have typically been about eight years so back in 2016, everyone was like oh the markets gonna crash markets gonna turn, or just because of the timing, you know, winter is coming. Everyone was saying Right. So you know, Tony Robbins rays, right, winter is coming. So but now here we are in 2020 to six years later than that, and probably sick Some of the biggest years ever in the history of our country in real estate, and now all of a sudden, you know, I think even a year ago, everyone's like, Oh, it's not gonna slow, it's not gonna slow, too much, you know, supply and demand, demand’s too high, there are not enough houses. And now all of a sudden, I've seen it go to where very quickly, my wife runs a real estate team of 60 agents that will do 1000 transactions this year, assuming, you know, they keep at the pace they're on. And it's really interesting, though, for me to see that now, with interest rates rising. Obviously, there are a lot of concerns. There are a lot of questions, a lot of questions out there. And I think a lot of people saying what should I be doing? And York, you're probably closer to anybody to a lot of brokerages, a lot of broker-owners, but like, what advice would you have for any business owner in this industry at this time?

 

York Baur  05:56

Yeah, no. And by the way, great summary of how we got here, we all live through that I started at Moxie, by the way in 2012. So immediately post the period you're talking about, but certainly learned a lot about the downturn. So the first thing I would say to your comment is that interest rates and inflation are gravity for the economy. And gravity is pervasive, right, when inflation and interest rates go up. It affects every part of the economy. So I think we have to be realistic about that. So that's sort of the bad news if you will. The good news is, in my opinion, in contrast to the 2008-9-0 housing downturn, the dynamics are far different. We all talk about the amount of equity people have in their homes, but I think the key driver for why there's a softer landing in housing this time is the result of the last crisis was a decade-long building of housing. Right, we've normally in a decade, we were building about 20 million homes in the last decades, 10 million. So, you know, we just under build for the demand that's there. I don't think we as an industry should be glib about that. We're gonna go through some turbulence here. But I don't believe it's going to be cataclysmic, and I don't believe it's going to be at the depth that it was certainly in 2008, 9, and 10. So to me, that's the good news, if you will, as an industry is people still need to move. And I'll remind everybody to that, you know, I'm a data-driven guy, we look at data all the time, even in the depths of that crisis, we still as an industry transacted four and a half million homes. So the industry never grinds to a halt just as you know, up and down. And I think it'd be hard to make an argument that hasn't been overheated to your point in recent years. So what does all this mean, if you're a brokerage owner, or leader, or were even at the team level? And granted, I'm going to be preaching from the book of Moxie here at Pitt. But we had a premise when we develop their product strategy a decade ago, and that is that the overwhelming bulk of business for the vast majority of agents comes from the people in their sphere of influence, and people that know like, and trust them. That's the primary source of transactions and in particular, of listings. And so how does that affect where we are today? Well, in an economic downturn, if you're dependent on lead generation as your overwhelming source of business, which is true for some, there's risk in that because you're spending cash upfront to get demand, you know, inbound, which you then try to convert the risk that I see for people that are out of balance. And by the way, I'm not here to say that lead generation, you know, cold lead generation is not a part of the business it is. But if you're out of balance, either as an individual agent, a team, or if you're as a brokerage, you're not counseling and guiding your, your agents in this way, then what you're going to have, I think, is certain agents and certain teams that are going to chase the spiral down, meaning oh, gosh, my transactions are down, my volume is down, I better cut my ad spending, oh, wait, I've got less business. So I gotta cut more, I got less. And it just becomes this sort of race to the bottom. We're all along with the average agent in our sphere. As you mentioned earlier, we have 400,000 of them. So this isn't some little anecdote, it's across this huge part of the market. And I would argue also the quality end of the market, by the way, this is the roughly 25% agents on our platform do approaching 40% of the actual transactions. So we're on the quality end of it, the average agent has 400 people in their sphere of influence. So that is a great database, if you will, from which to generate business and if we know that people are moving every 10 years still roughly that means of those 400 that you know 40 of them are going to do something this year. And if you simply do the work of marketing to stay relevant, particularly doing things like an annual property valuation when the easiest things to do that that no one does. If you're doing those things, and half of those 40 people that are going to do something that's your pick you that's 20 sides, that's a great living, right? So, if you look back the benefit of history, you know, from a decade ago, those agents because we went from 1.4 million to 900,000 agents in that period, but those that stuck with it, and did the right things, actually thrived and came out very strongly, primarily on the basis of working their spheres, because there's no hard dollar cost there. Yeah, just do the work. And use the systems like your company provides like my company provides others out there, obviously, just do that work, you don't have to spend a bunch of money, particularly going into an economically uncertain period.

 

Brian Charlesworth  10:46

It's interesting to me how quickly interest rates have risen, but I don't think anybody ever thought that we were going to get down to 2%. So, you know, we are up to 5%. But I can reflect back. And I can remember, this was over a decade ago, but I can remember refinancing a home at 6%. And thought it was the best thing ever. And now we've been so spoiled. And people I think, in my opinion, people have been buying homes, not based on the price of the home, but based on the amount of the payment. And now all of a sudden, that's changing. And that payment for what, you know, if I was buying a million-dollar home, and that payment was going to be $5,000. That payment might be you know, seven or 8000 today. So I've actually seen people have to get re-qualified to go buy a home, and now they can't afford the home they can afford three months ago. And I mean, that's just a three-month window. So like how does this affect what's going to happen in the industry?

 

York Baur  11:46

Well, I think there's a human effect, that if you buy Coke for $1, and then it goes to 50 cents, you're like, Wow, that's great. It's 50 cents now. And it's way cheaper. And then a little time goes on it goes to 75 cents and everyone's incense-like, oh my god, it went up 50% and 75 cents. Yeah, but it was $1. Right. So I think what's happening here is human psychology, all these numbers you're talking about right on like the 5% interest rate is a good example. All we're talking about here is a reversion to mean. In other words, if you go back and look at the charts, basically you have a bubble of things that took place low-interest rates, pricing bubbles up, etc. You know you pump trillions into the economy, you're going to have some effects. So I think what's happening now is simply us getting back on the average line from a long period of time. And so I think our role first off the statement I would make and Matthew Ferrara has a good set of content on this if you want to go check that out. But you know, we need to be not the fraidy-cats and the people with the sensational headlines right now as an industry, we need to be helping consumers understand what I just said, which is all we're doing here is kind of getting back to what was a normal market. And by the way, inventory goes up again, a little bit, and days on market go up again a little bit, that's actually a good thing because that leads to a healthier, more sustainable market. So I guess the first thing I would say is our role has to be the thought leaders for the consumer. Because the media isn't doing a great job of this, you know, the broader media doesn't concentrate on housing, and they don't have the nuanced experience that we in our industry have. So we have to be the ones supplying that, and by the way, that comes back to helping someone who owns a home, which is most of the people that an agent knows. Having them understand these dynamics, understand what their house is now worth, understand if they didn't want to transact, what that would mean and how it could go. So I feel like we have to finally step up and be the thought leaders that I believe we all are, and just take on that mantle and be the positive voice for what's happening. And what's going to happen from here.

 

Brian Charlesworth  13:53

I mean, it reminds me of Warren Buffett, you know, everybody the market crashes. If you look at where the stock market is today, like people where they were a year ago versus where they are today if they held that stock. They're not real happy today. But Warren Buffett looks at that a little bit differently. Right? He looks at, hey, you know what, this is now the opportunity for me to double down on all of those stocks. Because I want to buy it when it's low.

 

York Baur  14:19

Totally.

 

Brian Charlesworth  14:19

And I think that's the opposite of how most people think about the stock market which is I better get out while I still have something.

 

York Baur  14:27

Oh, yeah. And that's the mistake. Yeah, no question. I mean, the quote that I love if he is which is the one you're referring to, I think is, be greedy when others are fearful be fearful when others are greedy. And then guys so right on, by the way, it happens in businesses too. Can you talk about the stock market I worked for a public internet search company in the early 2000s? And that company

 

Brian Charlesworth  14:49

Which one?

 

York Baur  14:50

It was called Infospace.

 

Brian Charlesworth  14:52

Oh, yeah, I was gonna guess Infospace. It's so funny. Infospace actually almost acquired. They wanted to acquire my business at the time. which was Talk2 Technology.

 

York Baur  15:01

Oh yeah, there you go. Yeah, well, so I witnessed that company going because it was public, I witnessed that company being worth 300 billion for the B in the 2000s, at the beginning of 2000, and within 12 months being worth 150 million, so 300 billion, 250 million, same company, the whole time, revenues, stable cash in the bank. So I feel like that is perhaps the most egregious example that I've personally been involved with of the effect you're talking about. But I think that's where I'm going back to all of us, as in particular, as agents, but also brokerages in the content we put out, we have to be the voice of reason, and the voice of perspective, and the voice of the long term thinking here, because a housing decision is a long term decision, no matter how you slice it, right, at least for the average consumer investors, perhaps different but for a consumer, they have to have a long term perspective, that's hard as a consumer to have when you're reading headlines of all kinds of crazy things. So that's, I think, our roles, we have to be the balancing point for the conversation.

 

Brian Charlesworth  16:16

Yeah, and I'm glad you bring that up. Because I'm seeing at this point, I'm involved with a lot of teams and a lot of agents and I'm seeing where some people are now losing their confidence, they're slowing down, and others are sharing with the consumers or the clients, why now is a great time. And their business is accelerating. And so I mean, it's really up to you, it's up to your mindset. And are you getting your mindset from yourself and the industry? Are you getting it from the news? Right. So I feel like we do have a duty to actually share that with our clients. So I appreciate you bringing that up. Because I think it's something that maybe a lot of us don't think about and don't feel we have an obligation to really do that. I want to shift gears a little bit, want to talk a little bit about entrepreneurship. And I want to share an experience with you that as I watch what you've done, and you've been in this hired gun, and I want to hear in a minute, how did you actually end up coming to Moxi, I want to hear that story. Because I know when I was in franchise companies, I found myself actually having to step in and run a few of these companies. And you know, I had been an entrepreneur and a founder and a startup guy. And now all of a sudden, that's where I'm back to in my world today. Right? I'm building something that I'm extremely passionate about. But I had a time over an eight-year stint there where I was buying companies and I had to step into two of those companies and run those businesses. And I honestly wasn't that passionate about it. And so I didn't have that much fun. Now I can tell you have a major passion for what you're doing at Moxi. So I want to know, like, how did you come in? And how did you get a big passion for this industry? Because I don't know if coming in from Microsoft in the world you came in from that? You know, would this really have excited me? I don't know. But yeah, it's a story on that.

 

York Baur  18:13

That's an astute question to ask. Because you're right, I think it's very difficult to I would argue just do just about anything if you don't have a passion for it, but particularly running a company. I mean, you're the role of leadership. One of the many asks or demands, I think of leadership is to be the sort of person at the head of the boat, meaning you have to be willing and able to articulate the direction and so on. And if you don't have a passion for that yourself, it's just very difficult to do to your point it feels like hard work, Brian, as you pointed out in those businesses you had to step into, and I would have the same thing. By the way, if, depending on the nature of the business, I'd be asked to run, It would be an uphill battle for me if I didn't have a passion for it. So to answer your question about how I came to Moxie and why, you know, the why behind why I came to Moxi. My career… I have a computer science degree from way back. So I am a technologist, but most of my career was spent helping businesses exploit technology for the betterment of that business. And Moxi is the 13th company that I've worked for all of which have been technology companies prior to that, by the way, with one exception, I actually ran Sales and Marketing for the Space Needle for a year in there. As a Seattle native, you know, that's, that's an honor. I was there for the 50th anniversary. So that was a big deal, a passion project for me for different reasons. But my point is my entire career has been in technology. And if you look back and I won't, you know, enumerate the entire thing, but if I look back across it, there were essentially I was either a consumer of sales enablement and digital marketing technologies because I was a CMO for a number of those roles over my career or actually was a producer of it. That's where I've referenced the two As a group, the Salesforce partner in the introduction, our job there was sales methodology software as an add-in to salesforce.com systems. So my point is I developed a strong passion for the science and automation that could complement the human element of selling and marketing. And what I saw in Moxi, besides the ownership because we ultimately spun out of Windermere real estate here in the Northwest, more than a decade ago, and the Jacobi family that founded what is now Moxi is an awesome industry family here. So that was important to me, you know, you want to work with people you respect. But the interest of the what we're doing, it was to me all about trying to generate some of the same effects that I'd seen work so successfully across many industries, in the form of, you know, the products we call them are things like CRM, and presentation and so on, of course, but what it really is, is about having the computer do the things that computers are good at so that the human can do the thing that only a human can do. And I think one of the industry problems we have, by the way, is a number of voices in our industry in real estate tech specifically. And even some of the tech-forward brokerages are committing the sin in my opinion, which is the myth that you can replace the human relationship interaction with technology, and I just don't buy it. I've seen it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  21:29

Does anyone buy that? Now? I mean, I know there was a decade spent trying to prove that that agent could be replaced. But does anybody buy that today? I don't know that people do.

 

York Baur  21:39

I hope not, to be honest. But I still think there are people on the fringes of you know, this chatbot and that other thing out there and AI this and machine learning that I mean, I'm a technologist, as I said, I've got a computer science degree I, I was writing Lisp AI programs in the 80s. Right, so I have a keen personal sort of academic appreciation for it. But I think one of the biggest challenges we have as an industry is the MIS application of technology. We keep trying to have the computer do what the humans doing and the humans trying to do what the computer should be doing. I mean, computers are fundamentally good at two things, keeping track of stuff, and reminding humans to do things, right. Think of your phone. And if you want my sort of pithy state of AI, just go talk to your Alexa. And I'm not you know, I think the Alexa technology is fascinating and very practical for certain things, but you can't have a conversation, you have a free form conversation with your Alexa, where you can try but it's not gonna go very far.

 

Brian Charlesworth  22:38

Yeah. My last tip, my last two questions. Right. Right.

 

York Baur  22:41

So that's, that's all I would say is, you know, I think people that are looking for a technological Silver Bullet are, are barking up the wrong tree, and especially as we enter this, this economically more challenging time, just do the basics, right? The best CRM is the one you actually use, use your CRM, use your digital marketing products to their fullest. So,

 

Brian Charlesworth  23:03

Yeah, I think it's great advice. I mean, obviously, you know, we're focused on streamlining and automating this industry, but that's all to empower the real estate team owner, real estate broker-owner and their agents, right. So

 

York Baur  23:15

Bingo, that's it. Yeah.

 

Brian Charlesworth  23:26

Okay, so how big was Moxie when you joined? Was it just kind of an idea just spinning off of Windermere?

 

York Baur  23:32

Pretty much. I mean, when I joined in 2012, Windermere, it was the only customer at that time, and we had about 30 Some folks that had basically it was a technology unit within the brokerage that got spun out to create what is now Moxi and I have to give full credit to the Jacobi family and OB Jacobi and then that a lot of people recognize from Windermere on this because OB foresaw this coming phase. Because keep in mind, that Seattle is not only a tech-forward market, but it's also where Zillow and Redfin, and now many others but those two companies started here in the Seattle area around 2007. And so what OB foresaw was that making that technology was going to play an increasingly important role in our industry, which has obviously been proven right. But specifically that you had to have a software company not try to be part of a brokerage because brokerage number one doesn't really understand how to develop software, just like software companies don't understand how to run a brokerage, as well, right. And secondly, you could make better products become way better, faster if you amortize that across a whole industry of good ideas and interactions. And so that was really the genesis of how the decision was made to spin that department out to become Moxi.

 

Brian Charlesworth  24:52

So I think that is so self-aware. I'm actually very impressed by that because if you look at the number of brokerages that have attempted to become technology companies

 

York Baur  25:04

and still are

 

Brian Charlesworth  25:05

since then, and still are, but now are wondering if it was the right move or not?

 

York Baur  25:11

Absolutely and I have to say, I think, oh,

 

Brian Charlesworth  25:13

That was like a really, really, really forward-thinking, self-aware, smart move to make in my

 

York Baur  25:21

I, I couldn't agree more. I think OB is one of the quiet giants in our industry. And I wish that the people would pay more attention to the news that Windermere makes this being one of them. Because I couldn't agree more. It was very in, keep in mind that the decision got made in the midst of the downturn we talked about. But the decision to do that was 2010. The entity was spun out in early 2011. And I came in at 12. So yes, very, very forward-thinking and has proven itself out. And I think we'll still see more, dare I say, wreckage around that for brokerages that have mistakenly thought that they can and should build their own technology for their own internal purpose. Yeah, it was a bad idea then, it's a bad idea now.

 

Brian Charlesworth  26:06

Obviously, Sisu is not a CRM. We are everything but a CRM in the real estate space. And also not an E signature platform. But when I look at the industry, I really see two CRMs, you being one of the two that are focused on brokerages, and then I see about a dozen CRMs that are focused on real estate teams. So you have really capitalized on this and congratulations on going out to these brokerages. And I think I think I said you have 400,000 agents, obviously, 400,000 is a very round number. I don't know how many agents you guys have on your platform, but somewhere in that neighborhood. And then you have 290 Moxi-nions, which I think is a really fun name that you gave your team members there. So like from that idea to where you guys are today. Congratulations. Where are you going now? What is your next move, York, as you look at like what the industry is doing?

 

York Baur  27:03

Yeah. Well, thank you for the kind words. Yeah, it's been a road. But we've had some good success. And it's been also with the ongoing support and input from our customers, the brokerages, and the agents that we serve. So it takes a village, I don't think any one company has the answer to everything you were important, can build everything. So to answer your question about where things are headed from here, we want to do more of what we've been doing, and serve even more as a true platform for our customers and for the industry. And let me define that. So in terms of doing more of what we're doing, we recently acquired ActivePipe is a good example of this, one of the premier lead nurturing technologies. So you'll see us continue to build our own as well as acquire certain selective products, but really to me, and your you guys are great example is Brian at Sisu. And you've done this for some time, which is to participate in the Moxie cloud partner programs. Our view is, and I think it's it's not something that I invented personally, it's from my experiences over my career, Salesforce. And we talked about Microsoft even before that. Even IBM, I didn't work for IBM, I worked for IBM partners in the 80s. You know, no one of these hugely successful companies can produce everything and the best of everything. And even if they could, that isn't necessarily going to be the best for every individual customer out there. And so it takes a village, it takes an ecosystem of products that can come together. And you guys are a great example of this. As you said, you're not a CRM, we're a CRM, but we don't have the capabilities you have. So it's a sort of you got chocolate in my peanut butter thing from the old Reese's ads, right? It's, it's the combination of the two that again, offers 100% of customers. But for a large swath of customers, they're going to be able to combine what you have with what we have in a way that is magical for their business. So we have over 150 companies like yours now that are part of this program, the MoxiWorks Partner Program that integrates the data and the workflows that exist. And so I really feel like that's kind of the next phase. We talk a lot as an industry about the end-to-end consumer experience. Well, what that is for a given consumer in a given market at a given brokerage, with a given set of other services around it for mortgage title insurance, right, there's no one template for how all that's going to work. So I feel like having a truly open platform and us serving not as the only participant in that but certainly a strong voice in helping the industry come together helping our customers understand the power of what's there in this ecosystem already, and how that will grow over time. To me, that's what we all have to get on with as an industry because the consumer expectation is rising. You know, Zillow talks about a super app, for example, but it's the same concept really, of bringing together the right IT technologies and the right services behind those technologies to produce a better consumer experience. And I think that's, to me, what I see is the next piece. And no, it's not a fad. I mean, we started with the MoxiCloud, opening it up and creating this ecosystem five years ago. So it's taken us a while to get those 150 partner companies. And again, I give you credit, because you saw this early on and became a partner very early on in our program. But it's really the industry coming together around that I think is going to define the next phase.

 

Brian Charlesworth  30:26

Yeah, I totally agree. I think it's critical that every system in the space is open API and allows the user to use whatever platforms they want to build what's best for them. All right, any last words of advice? On the real estate side, before we jump into some personal questions for you?

 

York Baur  30:47

The only thing I would say is don't confuse strategy with tactics and execution. If you haven't defined your strategy, and I've talked in my own little video segments and stuff about having a strategy map is a common mechanism. You can Google that and figure out a strategy map as one of several mechanisms. It's helpful here, but the point is this, have a plan for your business, you know, plan the work and work the plan. And of course, the only thing you know about a plan, the day you finish it is that it's wrong. Because you know, the world is gonna change and stuffs gonna happen. But I feel like so many. And this is not just true in real estate, by the way, I think so many businesses, and particularly small businesses, which many real estate businesses are in the small business category, that drive off the cliff, avoiding the pothole. And so I would just encourage everybody to redouble your understanding of your definition of your own strategy for your own business, even if it's an individual agent, right, you should have a strategy for what you're trying to accomplish. And then stay true to that. And bob and weave with the market and all this stuff going on. But don't, don't write it down, put it in the drawer, right and paste it to your monitor or you have it on your phone because it's in turbulent times strategy becomes that much more important.

 

Brian Charlesworth  32:05

Yeah, well said, I love the way you said that, you know, your plan is wrong as soon as you get it done. And, and it reminded me of failure like so many people are afraid to fail, but honestly, failure, everyone fails. And failure is just an opportunity to learn, right, and shift and change. And I would say that's true for your plan as well. Like, soon as you get it done, the industry is changing, and you're going to have to modify your plan on an ongoing basis. And if you're not, that's when true failure happens is the day you stop because it's all about execution and changing and updating that plan. So, thanks for that advice. I hear that you and I have some similar hobbies. So I'd love to hear about your hobbies and what you'd like to do in your free time.

 

York Baur  32:50

Well, I'm a Motorhead have the worst order if it's got a motor, I'm probably about it. Never been a big team sports guy, for example, I respect and appreciate how many people love that genre of things. It's just not my deal. So I'm a big car guy. But more importantly, I'm a big motorcycle guy. And of all kinds, I've got it a disease and an understanding wife, and also small aircraft pilot, I enjoy the I guess I find that too similar. I think they both require a level of skill and focus that is for me therapeutic. It's kind of the rest of the world disappears when you're either writing or flying for me because you have to be so concentrated on the task at hand. But it also gives my mind a great sense of freedom that I personally appreciate. You know, you've probably seen the shirt or the bumper sticker that says you never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office. Yeah. To me, it's the combination of the freedom and the focus that it requires. That is very personally freeing, I guess.

 

Brian Charlesworth  33:57

Okay, so I am not yet a pilot. We'll see if that happens. I don't know.

 

York Baur  34:02

I encourage it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  34:03

But I am a huge fan of dirt bikes, street bikes, and especially cars. So huge Porsche fan, a huge Harley fan, and their bikes. And so like, specifically, you're a car lover, what is your passion?

 

York Baur  34:18

I'm kind of dual track and I'm a big Chevy muscle car guy. But I'm also a BMW fan. I just my dad was from Munich. And I also just appreciate when we talked earlier about Grit and specifically the passion component of Grit. I feel like BMWs history is rife with that. I mean, this week is actually the 50th anniversary of the BMW M brand. You know, they originally, their motorsport brand, but now, of course, comes a whole part of the company. So you looked at 50 years of refine, refine, refine, back to strategy, stay true to the core principles. I just have a tremendous appreciation for that. And since you're a Harley guy, I would encourage, and you'll know this, but I think for the audience, even if you have no connection to motorcycling or the Harley brand, go look at how that brand and the products under it have been curated because I think there are some great lessons of branding and marketing that we can adopt. For our own businesses here in real estate. It's very, very much not about the products, and everything about how the product makes you feel, how it accomplishes the aspirations and supports the aspirations that you have for adventure for connection to your family members and your friends. And a group you might be a part of, you know, all this, Brian, but I'm just saying, I think even if you have no interest in motorcycles, go look at Harley's go read their mission statements, their history, how they talk about what they accomplished, it's not about here's the horsepower on the motorcycle, it's all about how the results that it creates for people. And I feel like we can learn a lot as an industry from that, because it really we're in the same game, we're trying to help people fulfill their dreams as it regards housing. Yeah, what about, you know, the interest rate? And the thing? Yes, that's a part of it. But it's not about those things.

 

Brian Charlesworth  36:21

Yeah, I have so much respect for those companies. And I would say Harley and Porsche and BMW, they probably all have people that have tattoos of their brand on their body. So you know, when our customers or when our team members talk about how much they love Sisu, I'm always like, you know, I'll know we're at that level, as soon as I start seeing these tattoos on people's bodies.

 

York Baur  36:45

And in the other lesson in it, I've said it before, but you're right about Porsche is probably arguably the best example of this, which is staying true to a principle and then just refining it forever. And the 911, you know, the Porsche that when you think of Porsche is, you know, for those of you that are less familiar with the brand, and 911 is the Porsche that everyone thinks that car was introduced in the mid-60s. So and it's still a recognizable shape today. So after literally decades of refinement, it's been honed into this incredible product, but still harkens back to its original strategy, back to strategy. Yeah. And I think they're just great lessons for all of us in that.

 

Brian Charlesworth  37:26

And just like BMW honing in on the M series, they've honed in on the GT, right, so yeah, it's in the naturally aspirated motors that you know, won't exist much longer. So that's, I think that's part of my passion there. So what is your favorite place to visit York, if you're gonna go on vacation?

 

York Baur  37:47

Well, I kind of already alluded to it. I'm a huge fan of Bavaria specifically as a city goes at least Munich, but that part of the world because my mom was also Swiss, which adjoins Bavaria there. And I just love the combination of the engineering mindset, these passionate companies, and products and for doing things, right, but yet also, the relatively at least within the scheme of Germany, the relaxed you know, it's where Oktoberfest takes place. It's more agrarian beautiful countryside. I love it. Here in the US. There's a town actually, in our state here in Washington State because I live in the Seattle area, about two hours east and on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountain Range here. There's a town called Leavenworth, which is a sort of a tourist town facsimile of a Bavarian town, and it's pretty cool. And so I love spending time there too, in particular, riding motorcycles to get from here to there through the mountains. Definitely, that's kind of a utopian thing. I don't feel the need when I have free time to necessarily get on an airplane, by the way. I mean, we do go to Munich to see family, but I think we live almost anywhere in the US. We have such access to amazing everything, you know, explore your own backyard. That's what I encourage people to do. And I would argue get on a motorcycle because there's no finer way you know, this prime is you'll find a way to explore that on a motorcycle.

 

Brian Charlesworth  39:08

Yeah, great. I love it. It's interesting. Utah actually has a little town called Midway that is all Swiss. So Swiss people, Swiss names. Zermatt, you know all the stuff,

 

York Baur  39:21

Nice, I'll be right over

 

Brian Charlesworth  39:22

Anyway,

 

York Baur  39:23

That's cool.

 

Brian Charlesworth  39:24

I get to take my family. We're gonna hit Europe this summer again. And thankfully now that COVID is to the point where we can do that. And I'll be in Switzerland again in a few weeks. One of my favorite places in the world.

 

York Baur  39:34

Oh, wonderful. Well, yeah, we're headed over in September. So we'll, that's awesome. Good for you. I'm glad you're doing that.

 

Brian Charlesworth  39:40

Yeah. So anyway, York, thank you so much for being on the show today. It's been a lot of fun. And it's fun talking to you as always and learning from you. And if somebody wants to reach you and ask questions for you, what's the best way for them to reach out?  

 

York Baur  39:54

Sure. Well, before I say that, though, thank you, Brian. You do a lot for our industry and hosting events like, or podcasts like this is a key piece of that. So thank you. I'm honored to be a part of your program here. The best place to reach me is really simple. It's York@MoxiWorks.com There's no E and MoxiWorks. So people will feel free to email me there. And I attend a lot of our industry events, I'll be at Inman, I'll be at gallery yields real shortly. So, you know, always happy to connect in person. And thankfully, we're able to do that again. So happy to do that.

 

Brian Charlesworth  40:27

Yeah, yeah. Awesome, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the show again this week. I hope you enjoyed today as much as I did, and we'll catch you next week again on the Grit podcast.

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