Bill Harney on keeping agents current on market shifts
Today’s HousingWire Daily episode features an interview with Bill Harney, the CEO of Keeping Current Matters. In this episode, Harney gives listeners an inside look into the world of real estate publishing.
Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Alcynna Lloyd: The pandemic has indirectly spurred an uptick in housing demand that has truly transformed the market. As this demand continues, how important is it for agents to have a pulse on the market and how does KCM ensure this?
Bill Harney: Yeah, I think there is never going to come a day when an agent should not have an educated market opinion. That being said, there are days and seasons of this industry where that becomes a requirement versus a competitive advantage. I think today is absolutely one of those days. If you’re an agent in the business right now and you don’t have an educated marketing team, and don’t know what’s going on and when somebody asks you a question, you can not only give them the quick answer, but the full answer, and be able to simply and effectively communicate that, I don’t know if you’re in business. At KCM, every day that’s what we’re striving to provide. You know, again, whether you’re a member or not, there’s a lot that we provide to our readers. But our first focus is on how we can help the industry through the toughest times, and the last 18 months have been one of the toughest times any of us have experienced. So, you know, having that relevant market opinion, being educated on what’s going on in the market will always be important. There are times when it’s most important. I think we’re in one of those right now. I don’t see when that will become less important anytime soon.
HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsroom that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Victoria Jones.
Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:
Alcynna Lloyd: Hello, HousingWire listeners. Today, I have a treat for you guys. We’re recording live from the HousingWire headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Today, I’m interviewing Bill Harney, the CEO of Keeping Current Matters, and he’ll be giving us an inside look into the world of real estate publishing. Bill, it’s so nice to have you not only on our show, but live at HousingWire today. Thanks for joining us.
Bill Harney: Thank you so much for having me. This is a total honor to be invited here, and hope I can share some good information with your audience.
Alcynna Lloyd: I’m sure you can. I’m very excited. It’s our first in-person interview in a while, so very excited to get this started. Bill, I gave our listeners some background on your title, but before we dive in, can you let the audience know more about you? Was the housing market something you were always interested in?
Bill Harney: Yeah, sure. So, I got into the housing industry through KCM. My father started this organization in 2005 and 2006, and navigated it through the recession of ’07, ’08, and ’09. But he was in real estate his whole life, so I grew up in the industry, but never really realized that housing would be in my future, but had the opportunity to join Dad as he was looking to grow the business, dove in. I’ve learned a ton about the housing area, more than I ever thought I would know, but I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed these last 12 year…I just celebrated my 12-year anniversary, KCM, earlier this week.
Alcynna Lloyd: Congratulations.
Bill Harney: Thank you.
Alcynna Lloyd: Today, you’re perfect for what we’re talking about, which is all about your business. Thank you for letting us know more about you. Let’s switch gears and discuss your business. The company, which is geared towards both real estate professionals, with the ultimate goal of serving consumers, provides personalized marketing content that’s powered by the latest housing market insights. Can you tell me more about the company’s inception, and what type of content you often provide for your readers or members?
Bill Harney: Sure. So, we started in 2007, 2008 as I was mentioning earlier, and really, with the sole focus of trying to help the end consumer really understand what’s going on in the market, so that they can make the best decisions for themselves, and realized that the best way to be able to do that is by partnering with the best agents in the country, to empower them to be able to provide that type of information, and ultimately to provide that confidence that we wanted families and consumers to be able to have. So, over the years, that’s looked different as we’ve grown and we’ve innovated. But that core focus has always been a part of KCM’s mission. So, right on our wall in our office, we have a big placard, you know, talking about “we.” We believe every family should feel confident when buying and selling a home, and that is the guise through which we make every decision that we do at KCM.
So, started with doing a lot of events, training agents, a lot of agent training. Did a lot of webinars back in the day. Created a blog, and today, we focus on the tools that agents can use to not only become the expert in the real estate market, what’s happening right now and why that’s important, but also how do they stand out from a marketing perspective, and they have the tools that they need to be able to communicate that, as well as continue to go on from there.
So, things of blogs, videos, buyers’ and sellers’ guides, so, any kind of collateral that you would possibly want to have as an agent, to be able to communicate the impact on the market, that’s what we’re gonna try to provide.
Alcynna Lloyd: See, this takes me to my next question, because while I was prepping for this interview, I did some research of my own. I saw on your site some of the neat things that you do offer to members, including guides on how to succeed in a shifting market, steps to winning expired listings, and so on. Let’s say I’m a Realtor or an agent. Why would these products be beneficial for me, especially right now?
Bill Harney: Yeah. So, it’s a great question. I think that at the end of the day, where…our belief in education is paramount for everything that we do. So, while most of our business is focused on what’s going on in the housing market, not the housing industry as much, but what are the industry trends happening, what are the market trends, and what agents need to know about that, because ultimately, what do consumers need to know? We also believe that a more educated agent will be able to better provide the right type of service for their customer. So, we’ll provide a lot of educational resources, and things that just help an agent think about the business maybe a little bit differently, or prepare them for what’s coming next. Our job is to be out in front. And we want to make sure that any agent that engages with us, whether they’re a member of ours or not, that they have the opportunity to be able to have that leg up, and to really know what’s coming next.
Alcynna Lloyd: All right. See, that’s perfect for right now, and it takes me to my next question, which is the large elephant in the room, which is COVID-19. Pandemic has indirectly spurred an uptick in housing demand that has truly transformed the market. As this demand continues, how important is it for agents to have a pulse on the market, and how does KCM ensure this?Bill Harney: Yeah, I think the… There’s never gonna come a day where an agent should not have a educated market opinion. But there are days and there are seasons of this industry where that becomes a requirement, versus a competitive advantage, and I think that today is absolutely one of those days. I think that if you’re an agent in the business right now, if you don’t have an educated market, and if you don’t know what’s going on, and when somebody asks you a question, you can not only give them the quick answer, but the full answer, and be able to simply and effectively communicate that, I don’t know if you’re in business right now. And I think that at KCM, every day that’s what we’re striving to provide, is, you know, again, whether you’re a member or not, and, you know, there’s a lot that we provide for our members, but our first focus is on how do we help the industry through the toughest