RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1146817

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Page 63 of 118

RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2019 59 Ben Caballero: Breaking Records in the Builder Segment It's not often that you see the name of a real estate pro in "The Guinness Book of World Records," but Ben Caballero, founder and CEO of HomesUSA.com, is in there for being "the most productive real estate agent in the world." Caballero is not a typi- cal broker. He invented the HomesUSA.com platform, an online technology for builders, which enables him to achieve such remark- able sales numbers, and, as such, has be- come one of America's top-ranked brokers. To what do you owe your success? BEN CABALLERO: I work with homebuilders and not individuals. We're open seven days a week, just like builders are, and we take care of them without delay, so they're all really happy. You only sell new-con- struction residential prop- erties and only work with volume builders. Why did you choose that strategy? BC: I was a homebuilder for 18 years, and during that time, I was also li- censed to broker. When I would put my homes on the MLS, I noticed that it was real spotty. I transi- tioned out of that business and started listing homes for builders, but it was still spotty because there was no real system. By the time I got up to a couple thousand homes a year, it was unmanageable. That's when I decided to create an online process, which we launched in 2007, and continue to improve. Yours is a unique plat- form. Why do you feel it works? BC: We have a team of developers who are con- stantly working to make it better. It's designed for production builders. Someone who builds five to 10 homes a year doesn't need us because they can manage it. When they're listing several hun- dred homes a year—and we even have one builder who has several thousand homes—there's no way they can manage that with just spreadsheets. Our model works well because we have a very sophisti- cated platform. It's been designed specifically for a particular type of client, and everything it does is for them. What sort of staff do you have in place? BC: I have a support staff and a team of developers who keep the system up to date. We have customer service people who receive the data, review it and up- load it into the MLS. And if a client has a question, we have online chats with people who can answer any requests they have. You only deal in Texas properties. Are there plans to expand to other states? BC: Our platform is scal- able, and we're working hard to scale into other markets. The builders in other markets are the same as those here, and we can certainly do for them what we do here. What are you seeing in the Texas market? How has it fared in 2019? BC: We're kind of flat compared to last year, but 2018 was one of the best years we've had in a long time. I'll be happy with a stable, flat year this year. We also hit a little bump around the last quarter of 2018 that spilled into the first quarter of this year with interest rates. That caused the market to hesitate, and we're seeing the impact of that. But it does appear to be coming back. At our worst month, we were down about 20 percent. What is your relationship with traditional brokers and agents? BC: If REALTORS® see HomesUSA on an MLS list- ing, they know it's going to be good information, and they'll be more inclined to take their clients out to the home. RE VITALS: HomesUSA.com Years in business: 12 Regions served: Texas 2018 sales volume: $2.2 billion 2018 transactions: 5,801 www.HOMESusa.com "Our model works well because we have a very sophisticated platform. It's been designed VSHFLÀFDOO\IRUD particular type of client, and everything it does is for them." – Ben Caballero Founder & CEO, HomesUSA.com

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