Real EstateTechnology

Mosaik CEO Sheila Reddy on tackling fragmented technology

Her team is leveraging hard-won experience from the healthcare sector

HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler sat down with Sheila Reddy, CEO at Mosaik, to talk about how the company is leveraging their experience building technology solutions for healthcare to benefit real estate agents and homebuyers.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Sarah Wheeler: What differentiates Mosaik’s technology?

Sheila Reddy: There are two things that set us apart. The first is that Mosaik is designed to be an agent/client collaboration platform so we can serve agents from an operational standpoint, help them increase their productivity, streamline their operations, and also empower them to deliver just a better digital experience to their clients. I think a lot of tech in the industry has historically either been client-facing in a way that somewhat displaces the agent from the transaction and from the relationship, or it’s very agent-centric, to the point that it doesn’t really serve the needs of the consumer.

It was really important to us to find the happy medium between the two where we can really serve both sides of the equation. As we built Mosaik, it seemed like every pain point we tried to solve for, whether it was an agent-specific pain point or client-specific pain point, it was just two sides of the same coin. So everything’s really designed with both of those viewpoints in mind.

With a lot of our team coming from a healthcare background, specifically the hospital world, we found that it’s very similar to what real estate is going through today. Not just from a technology perspective, but the regulatory changes, compensation, compression and changing consumer sentiment. These are all things that we were facing in the healthcare industry starting about a decade or so ago. One of the challenges we had was just how fragmented the technology was, so I think we’ve been able to tackle the integration challenge in real estate through a viewpoint where we’ve already learned a lot of lessons preemptively.

SW: Given the environment for agents now in the wake of the commission lawsuits and the settlements, how does Mosaik fits into the new world order that we’re seeing?

SR: In many ways, a lot of what we’re doing was really designed for this new world order. We’ve always built Mosaik with two strong notions. One is that the value you deliver to the consumer is one of the most important things that solidifies the industry and an agent’s individual standing within the industry. Mosaik being very client-centric helps support that.

And then the other piece is that you really need tight operations. In the healthcare world, we learned how to do more with less. Patient expectations were increasing while reimbursement was going down and regulatory impact was making the job harder to do. Right now, real estate professionals are asking: How do we deliver on these increased requirements and expectations while there’s maybe less commission to be had and less deals to be done? From an operational perspective, Mosaik has been focused on increasing agent productivity and delivering personalization at scale since day one.

SW: How do you think about personalization for consumers?

SR: I think there are multiple areas where you can personalize the experience for consumers. Property search, for example. Property search hasn’t changed a whole lot in the past decade or so. Whether it’s a public portal, like Zillow or Redfin, or whether it’s an MLS search, you hop on and you set some criteria using filters. But a lot of the stuff that happens around the actual decision-making and the analysis of the properties is something that consumers are either doing on their own or that the agent is trying to do. But that’s sometimes very difficult to do at scale.

So we created our own proprietary wish-list-based search. As an example, I bought a condo a few years ago. And the property itself did not come up on my agents’ MLS search for me because the monthly HOA fee was a few dollars more per month than what he had set as the max on the search. So even though the listing price was favorable and it had everything else I was looking for, because of that one attribute it just didn’t pop up at all. I ended up finding it myself on Zillow and sending him the link, which I think is a very common occurrence because you are either over-filtering or under-filtering.

With our wish-list-based search, we’re comparing that wish list against each property that comes to the MLS, referencing a number of data points, but also analyzing the images to understand things like if the property has a view, what type of flooring it has. We’re also looking at location-based information. So we’re taking things that clients are often having to manually keep track of in their head, or if they’re really organized, maybe some spreadsheets, and injecting that into the process so that they’re having a more personalized experience as delivered to them by the agent. And the agent is able to have much more detailed conversations with them because that preliminary analysis is done for them at scale.

We also do this on the client retention side as well. It’s not so much about the touch points, but about the value points: how many times are you really giving them something valuable? There’s so much that goes into owning a home. Maintenance, but also preemptively understanding how you can maximize the equity in your home. It’s really a win-win for everybody when agents can offer that kind of a value to a client throughout the lifecycle.

SW: How do you approach buy versus build?

SR: For the most part, we take a build approach. There are certain things like data sets where we will partner with other companies, but in terms of our core workflows and functionality, we tend to go build over buy.

As we were building Mosaik and started touching different verticals like property search and transaction management, we tried to make sure that whatever came into our platform,  we were solving for a client or an agent pain point — and in most cases, both.

Building some of that from scratch so that the parts were designed to talk to each other was one of our lessons learned from the healthcare world — you just create more transparency that way and have less points of failure. When you have your transaction management system, for example, in the same place as your property search, you can now see analytics in Mosaik that you might not otherwise be able to if they were two separate systems.

So, if you have a buyer that’s closing in seven days, and their search activity suddenly spikes like double or triple what it was before and they’re looking for homes frantically a few days before closing — we can now identify like those signs of cold feet or something happening that could potentially impact the transaction.

SW: How are you leveraging artificial intelligence?

We use AI in a few different ways and this is always changing because there’s something new coming out every day! On the property side, we use a lot of computer vision models to essentially look at listing images and understand the different attributes about the home, especially things that may not be consistently inputted into the MLS, but that might be important to buyers. So things like hardwood flooring, what color the kitchen cabinets are, etc.

We use a lot of machine learning behind the scenes to look for patterns and analyze things. So back to the previous example, if a buyer is normally very engaged and suddenly stops engaging on a transaction, or someone started searching more frequently, we were able to look for those patterns in a very nuanced way. Because if someone looks at their home value every month, it may not necessarily mean a whole lot that they looked at it again this month. But if they look at it three times this month or they’re searching for bigger homes as well, there’s a lot of correlations we can draw just across the different areas that Mosaik touches.

SW: What keeps you up at night?

SR: Always thinking about how we can improve what we have! What can we do better?

SW: What makes you optimistic as you look at the rest of 2024?

SR: Our north star has always been how do we deliver more value to agents, and how do we empower them to deliver more value to their clients? And if we’re doing that, then, and this may sound a little naive, but if we’re doing that, we feel like the rest works itself out. Even with all the changes that are happening in the industry, people are still going to be transacting, people still need somewhere to live.

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