Joe Killinger: ‘Successful agents will be adaptable to the ever-changing needs of their clients’
Tech CEO talks Asimov, power and public speaking fears
Inman Jul 1, 2015
Joe Killinger is the CEO of theRRD.com.
Describe what you do in one sentence: As CEO of theRRD.com, which offers a suite of market-leading solutions for the real estate services industry, my focal point is on affiliate relationships and business development opportunities.
Location: We have offices in Dallas and Los Angeles, and I spend my time between the two cities.
Joe Killinger on his horse.
What’s your favorite activity outside of work and why?
Being outdoors — it’s my meditation and a chance for me to clear my mind.
What’s your favorite classic piece of literature and why?
“I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov. I find that good science fiction in general really stimulates the mind and opens up ideas as to what is possible, as well as the possible negative ramifications of what we attempt to create if it’s not well thought out.
Are you the first entrepreneur in your family?
I grew up with entrepreneurs. As farmers in central Nebraska, my parents showed our family what hard work and dedication can accomplish. Later in life, they transitioned into becoming a successful auction business.
Why’d you decide to join your company?
I am a partner in a holding company that creates startup businesses. I took on the role of CEO to create a company that can make a positive impact in the real estate industry.
Describe a time when you felt particularly insecure about the future of your company. How did you bounce back?
Early on, we had an issue with a Web developer that created a real mess for the entire company, and it made using the site almost impossible. This created severe financial hardships for us, but we ended up taking a step back, regrouping and bringing in a new development team to rearchitect the entire system.
What would you describe as your company’s biggest victory since you joined it?
Creating the Instant Tenant Screening product — this feature allows landlords, real estate agents and small investors to legally pull summarized credit and criminal reporting on potential tenants … this one’s a game changer!
Joe Killinger’s office.
What’s been the biggest obstacle your business has encountered, and how have you dealt with it?
Our biggest obstacle has been explaining the value and benefit of our site. We’ve overcome this by utilizing exceptional customer service and engaging our current client base for references.
What puzzles you most about the industry?
The fact that many landlords do not screen potential renters or require renters insurance.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about building a business?
Don’t give up.
What’s the most overrated real estate technology?
I think that our industry has yet to really capitalize on current technology and can benefit from pushing that envelope further.
How will the role of the real estate agent change over the next five years?
I believe the successful agents will be adaptable to the ever-changing needs of their clients and embrace new technology to become more efficient.
What motivates you more: power or money?
Power, in the sense that we are trying to empower our clients to utilize new methods for real estate services.
What is your biggest professional fear?
Failure in that I have several good people and their families relying on my decisions and do not want to let them down.
What is your biggest personal fear?
Who do you respect most in the industry?
Alan Long. He built a residential real estate company in Los Angeles; the attitude of the entire company was something as close to a team mentality as you could find. Agents supported each other in a way I had previously never seen in any type of company. I believe that is why the company was so successful.
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