First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nico Jodin: Thanks for asking. My family and I are doing good, all things considered.
Let’s be honest; collectively, it’s a very unique time of our lives. Staying in lockdown this long, 24/7… it’s a first for me. Despite the darkness of this situation, I was able to spend a lot more time with my wife and son. This family time has been incredible. We’re actually about to have our lives brightened with the imminent arrival of a new family member!
I’m so grateful that my family is safe, and everyone is healthy.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Beycome.
Nico Jodin: In France, I was the co-founder of two eCommerce companies. I met my wife back in 2006, in Miami actually, and she was pushing for me to come back to the US… gentleman, what the wife wants– the husband does!
Arriving from my native France, and being a previous homeowner myself, I remember contacting agents who were listed on Zillow and quickly discovered that most of these agents were simply “open door” agents with no real knowledge about the property itself. They were paying Zillow to gain me as a lead, that’s it. I was always waiting for showing requests, and when someone finally did schedule a showing, it was never at a convenient time. I was expecting more from someone making a 6% commission on my sale.
At one point, I had enough and decided to get access to the MLS directly. Fortunately, my father-in-law was in the real estate business and had MLS access. I was able to deal directly with the listing agent and even, in some cases, with the homeowner. What I discovered was that no one knows a property better than the homeowner, which makes them the best real estate agent. Because I was dealing directly with the homeowner, the 3% commission that would normally go to the buyer’s agent ended up in my pocket, and I saved a lot.
I thought to myself, “As one of the longest-standing industries in every country, why has there been virtually no innovation in the decades? And it’s a strong industry with no signs of slowing down. Well, saving all of this money was nice but was all the work worth it?”
And then I brainstormed, “Well, hmm… how can I make this process a win-win situation for the seller and the buyer so that they still get the whole commission fee without having to split it with an agent, while doing little to no work?” Thus, beycome was formed.
How does Beycome innovate?
Nico Jodin: The real estate industry is slow to adopt new technology. However, beycome™️ has found a way to fully digitize the real estate industry with a deep focus on the main actors of the transaction: the seller and the buyer. This digitization was no small or easy feat. We’re in the #1 industry in 49 states that generate $1.6 trillion per year– we have to be on our game.
We know that 89% of potential buyers start their search online, using traditional websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, and more. But after that? What happens? They go to a real estate agent for them to run the same searches… and then you give them a 6% commission out of your (the buyer’s) closing costs? Something had to be done, so we created beycome™️. We believe that the best real estate agent for your property is… yourself. We give you the tools, you do the job with us, and you save the commission. 100% online available 7/24.
In 2020, this is how real estate should be.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nico Jodin: It gave us an opportunity to step back and reassess our business. It forced us to think outside the box and find new ways to generate additional revenue to compensate for the market decline. This actually led to the inception of our new Title company.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nico Jodin: Stay focused on what matters. As long as we continue to provide value to our customers, they will come back—pandemic or not.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Beycome in the future?
Nico Jodin: Eating right, exercising, and trying to get my full 8 hours of sleep. It sounds cliche, but it works for me. There is nothing more stress-relieving than having good habits that lead to a healthy, productive life. I enjoy mental breaks, too, with some deep meditation and breathwork, followed by some unwinding in a good book. I try to live this way for my son– spending quality time with him is the ultimate de-stressor. I believe the future is only as bright as we believe, and I try to instill these values in my son so he can have the tools needed to succeed in his future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nico Jodin: The real question should be– “how do our competitors plan to stay in the game?” Haha, only kidding. Our competitive landscape consists of traditional realtors and FSBO websites. Some of these websites are actually much larger than beycome– however, what we lack in size we gain in maneuverability.
There are also a lot of advantages to our DIY real estate solution that you wouldn’t find on these websites or when taking the traditional route with a realtor. We can implement policy and procedural change not only quickly but efficiently too. This swiftness allows us to better serve our customers’ needs. We like to leverage technology to see what is working, scale that, and automate whatever is too time-consuming or takes up a lot of resources. This kind of thinking has led the team to where we are today as a company and individuals.
Your final thoughts?
Nico Jodin: This pandemic has thrown us all a curveball. New challenges to navigate, day after day. I’ve found that leaning into these situations– by accepting them as they are (forces we can’t change) and moving forward– helps not only mitigate the damage caused but also provides a new perspective and opportunities that would have never arisen prior.
On that note, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a business I am so passionate about with your audience and yourself. Stay safe, everyone!