Work From Home — Day 45
Pace and Execution
Meaningful life business lessons about pace and execution were tested during my tour at LoopNet.com starting in Spring 1998. I had pace and execution at my core from athletics, but the intensity was again to be tested Spring 1998.
I received a call from an executive recruiter in early April 1998 about a key executive role at LoopNet.com. My commercial real estate leadership roles included running national accounts and sales managers for 10,000 commercial brokers.
At the time, the newspapers were filled with stories of lucrative stock-options. The call from the recruiter got my attention. We scheduled an interview with Dennis DeAndre, founder LoopNet.com. I took the interview in Burlingame, CA on my way to SFO for the annual ICSC conference in Las Vegas.
Amazing hour with Dennis – he is a badass. Off to the airport. Landed in Las Vegas four hours after leaving Dennis’ office and my phone rings. Dennis says, “I have time set up for your interview with a LoopNet Board Member.” My thought, “That’s fast.”
Fourteen days after my interview was my first day as VP Sales at LoopNet.com. Our office was on Potrero Hill in San Francisco [14th and York] in a former butter factory. In my first week, Dennis says “What are you up to this afternoon?” “Working” was my response. He said, “Let’s jump in the car and go raise some capital in Silicon Valley.” So many details left unsaid here but, “OK Dennis, just tell me what you don’t want me to say and I am good filling any role in the conversations.”
Serious fast forward we raised $20 million within 90 days – not simple. Dennis was gifted, but we did raise the capital very quickly. That was easy compared to the next test.
Shortly after our strategic $20 million raise, two other companies, RealtyIQ and PropertyFirst, raised $100 million each to put LoopNet.com out of business. Our $20 million which I thought was overkill vs. their $100 million each which was massive.
I had a quick “Come to Jesus” with Dennis. What’s next? What projections did you give the Board pre- $100 million announcements? His response was “Our business plan is to win.” My responses, “OK then we will need to out-execute our well-funded competitors.”
We focused and moved at an intense pace. Two examples that remain relevant today:
- Sitting in a conference room (in our former butter factory – picture that) people are leaning on me for my national brokerage experience, I listen to the challenge and suggest, “OK let me think about it for a day or two.” Steely eye stares hit me like a ton of bricks. Their reaction was, “No we need your opinion now as we are launching a new product this afternoon!” If you get something wrong in a .com business, you get immediate feedback so act quickly and react accordingly.
- Same conference room a few weeks later. Market share is king – this is a “land grab!” Team wants to go a mile wide and an inch deep. I said no, we need to go a mile deep and an inch wide to own share in critical markets. We changed focus that day to the NFL cities – top 30 in the USA.
- We out-executed both of our $100 million competitors. We ultimately merged with one competitor that was long on cash and short on market share. We were long on market share having executed exceptionally well.
The combination produced LoopNet.com as a NASDAQ IPO in 2006. LoopNet was later acquired by CoStar Group.
So many stories in life repeat themselves. Never underestimate the power of pace and execution.
Today’s Closing Bell will have insights into May 2020. Tomorrow morning’s writing will be about punching through real estate’s glass ceilings as a rising star.
This is Where We Are Now.
Mark A McLaughlin
Work From Home — Day 45 – Closing Bell
Pending, Closings and New Escrows
We have a changing landscape in our May 2020 outlook. We have added a chart for both NorCal and SoCal.
Our outlook is very positive from our initial SIP forecast from March 31, 2020, largely due to 1) homes that were ready for market pre-SIP and 2) recent relaxations in our ability to show homes as an “essential service.”
June has been dialed back in both NorCal and SoCal due to the time required to prepare a home for sale. Everybody is busy. We expect the June outlook to improve in the next two weeks. Monday, we will publish a revised outlook for year-end 2020.
Highlights are as follows:
- 17 of 326 escrows still yet to close.
- Cancellations peaked seven weeks ago – durable escrows.
- May moved up from 150 projected closings to 309.
- June moved from 431 down to 376.
- 24 of 202 escrows still yet to close.
- Cancellations peaked four weeks ago – durable escrows.
- May moved up from 92 projected closings to 175.
- June moved from 259 down to 221.
- Chartwell Escrow had a great week as well.
While these forecasted results are SIP positive, they are approximately fifty percent of our 2020 budget.
This is Where We Are Now.
Mark A McLaughlin