Catch Bobby Bryant on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:18
It's a beautiful day for the #PirateBroadcast™ and we’ve got another pirate in the house. We're going to be talking a little bit about real estate, a little bit about lifestyle, a little bit about nerding out and also loving people and enjoying a good conversation. Bobby, welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™. Thank you for being a pirate today and joining me on this journey that I'm taking for #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings.
Bobby Bryant 0:48
hey, Russ, man, thank you for having me, brother.
Russ Johns 0:50
It's been a minute since we saw each other. I was in Houston and heck, we go back, wow, six years at least. You've done so much. You're just a master of your industry in some of the things you've accomplished. It’s just inspiring to watch and see you continue to grow. So, share with us what you're doing right now and how you got there.
Bobby Bryant 1:19
Wow. So, I'm the co-founder of DOSS. People say, well, Bobby what is DOSS? DOSS is a digital real estate marketplace that connects all the dots and makes it feel like you have a realtor in your pocket. In other words, people will be able to think Alexa, but exclusively for real estate where you could pull out your mobile device, go to your desktop, and ask any question about any property to get accurate, easy and instant answers. How this started was pretty interesting. Back in 2011, I saw IBM Watson playing the two winningest players on Jeopardy. Rest In Peace to Alex. When I saw this intelligent assistant, playing these two guys, one I was like, wow, that's interesting. But then a few months later, Apple introduced the world to Siri. I was an early adopter and I had my iPhone, and I still have my iPhone, just got the new version. Whenever they would talk to it, the idea hitting my head was like, what if we could do this for real estate? What if I could pull my phone out and ask these questions? hey, DOSS, show me properties for sale in Arizona, that's between three and $400,000 in this neighborhood, with natural light wood floors, and a cul-de-sac with an inground pool and zone two exemplary middle schools. It pulls up. I could get away from the long rectangular graphical user interfaces that I see on the other search sites, input an MLS NUMBER, input an address, click these boxes, we wanted to get away from clicking boxes with pre filtered results. But make searching for homes and getting data. We're able to humanize it and mobilize it like it's never been done before. That's the goal we've been obsessed with at DOSS.
Russ Johns 3:27
Well, I know that you have been a master and you've been an anchor in Houston for years and doing some great work in training and being involved in the real estate industry. Just popping off that idea and thinking, hey, DOSS, find me a home. Just being able to make those connections and make those introductions. I know, from a tech background, application development isn't necessarily the easiest process to go through. As soon as you get it to a certain level, then all of a sudden, there's some new features, and there's a new code that you can actually apply. So, it’s a journey. Really, it's a journey is what it's about. So, I just wanted to kind of put that out there. Where are you on the path of your imagination versus reality?
Bobby Bryant 4:27
Yeah, so great question. Back in 2017, it took us just short of a year in 2017. We built it out. Next thing, we launched it, we wanted to see market fit in the tech world. We wanted to understand would people use this? It was stratospheric. It was amazing. We launched it for 45 days, a month and a half. People were downloading it like crazy. It scared the industry. It scared people, but at the same time, it was refreshing. It was entertaining, and it was informative, which is the combination of what we want with it. To be able to wow people and allow them to get information. So, we launched that for 45 days. We learned a lot from it, which is exactly the formula of what you're supposed to do. Then, we brought it down. Then we sat back. We went back into the laboratory and started saying, okay, how can we make this thing better? What did we learn? What was horrible? That’s the process. Well, fast forward, what has happened is, the business model side has evolved. Technology since 2017, has improved, data has improved, new companies have come on the scene that provides more data and hyperlocal data. I brought in two whiz kids from IBM Watson that used to work there. Here it is, I see it on IBM Watson and I'm fortunate enough to get two guys from IBM Watson. I'm extremely lucky.
Russ Johns 6:22
Oh, man. Yeah,
Bobby Bryant 6:23
The next thing, these guys come on board. They're like, yeah, we're taking all that shit down and we're starting over.
Russ Johns 6:31
Sometimes, after the experiment has taken place, you've got a lot of feedback. Then, sometimes the feedback doesn't fit the tech that you have in place.
Bobby Bryant 6:45
Russ Johns 6:46
It sounds like that might be the case. Because I've invested in startups and some of these applications and things like that, and invest a lot of time and effort and energy in some of these experiments that end up not necessarily going as far as you want them to. However, there's so much feedback when you're looking at an industry like real estate. I remember when Zillow came out, and kind of what a disruption that was to a lot of brokers. People are thinking, oh woe is me and what it's actually done is provide more tools to the realtors that are out there, making sure that they can help people find it there.
Bobby Bryant 7:28
Exactly. It's that initial knee jerk reaction of anybody. Oh, sh- was about to happen, right? That's what we experienced when we initially launched it, but to be able to come back out now, with a more comprehensive solution that actually, just in comparison to the first development, it's night and day. Now, we're able to infuse image recognition, we're able to really have the machine learning component, a lot of hyper local data, like, show me a quiet street and, again, natural light. There is so much data locked into pictures that none of our competitors really use image recognition to read and pull data out of the pictures. Well, what that does for us, and for our consumers that are using DOSS, it gives additional features in search criteria that allow that search to feel more human as though you're there or actually talking to a realtor.
Russ Johns 8:34
Have you started utilizing geocoding or anything like, neighborhoods, like you mentioned, give me a quiet street?
Bobby Bryant 8:42
Russ Johns 8:42
So, there's some auditory feedback. There's visual feedback and now with Siri and all of the other voice activated services.
Bobby Bryant 8:55
Exactly and a lot of those intelligent assistants don't necessarily use the technologies that we're using. They're generalists. DOSS is a domain specific, intelligent assistant. So even if you're in an area and you say, hey, DOSS, tell me about this neighborhood. Yeah, it sees your location and, okay, he used to live in Houston. Okay, he's in River Oaks, without having to say River Oaks. River Oaks is a neighborhood that was established in 1938 by a gentleman blah, blah, blah, and we’ll give you that history. So again, the thing…
Russ Johns 9:34
That blows my mind, by the way, Bobby.
Bobby Bryant 9:36
Yeah, I mean, the things that a human just doesn't have the capacity to do or retrieve. If I'm trying to make the best educated decision right now, and in a market that's like right now, this shortage of inventory, it's a race and whoever can do the due diligence the fastest is going to be the winner of that property.
Russ Johns 9:58
Yeah. Well, and I know that time is money, especially when houses come on the market. It's a challenged market. You say inventory is low, you really have to be able to quickly decide where the houses are going to be that you're going to show your client, identify for yourself, even if you're just out there shopping and looking for opportunities. Also, even for people selling homes, there's an opportunity where you can actually maybe check out the market before you decide to pull the trigger on that. That's a tool.
Bobby Bryant 10:38
Exactly. You're right. Even to add to that, Russ, we wanted to really live up to the promise of technology. I'm glad to hear about your background. I didn't know that about you. But I know now, but we want to live up to the promise of technology, which is two things. You just said one of them, which is to save people time and money. With DOSS, if our goal is to automate that process, if you ever ordered a pizza from Domino's Pizza, you can track that pizza from, your pizza is being made, your pizza has just been boxed. Now it's on the way, and you can see it all the way that your pizza will be there in three minutes. Why can't we do that? Why hasn't anybody done that with the real estate transaction? It is the most stressful experience. Even if it goes perfect, it's stressful as hell. Also, I want you to think about…do you know what Uber did for everybody? You used to order a cab and you’d just have to stay there and wait. You didn't know how close it was and you’re like, oh my gosh, I got to be there in five. But, you know what they did? They get the car and now they just show you, it's turning, it's coming. You know what that does for you now? Because psychologically, you could see it on its way. That user interface was profound and it’s nothing more than a GPS. We were tracking things, hey, your appraisal has been done, blah, blah, blah. It shows you where you're at because we're able to automate that risk, we lower the cost to buy and sell homes, we don't charge sellers a 1% listing fee, and provide above standard marketing for that property. For our buyers, we give them a 1% rebate to lower their closing costs. That's why our mission statement is to develop the best technology to make homeownership in America more affordable.
Russ Johns 12:34
Yeah. Well, hats off to you for doing this because I understand what it takes to create something from nothing. From your imagination and bring it to fruition. I've created a lot of things, Bobby, that it's like really great stuff until you go to sell it. Yeah, it’s like, I love your idea of it, but I'm not willing to pay for it. That’s the truth in the in the theory. Also, the thing about what you're doing right now that I love, and just really excites me, is for more people, in more diverse markets, to be able to identify when an opportunity pops up. Because buying a home, like you said, is one of the most stressful things in the world. I've been in and out of work. I grew up in commercial construction, I built homes, I've had property, I've developed property. These things are not necessarily an easy process. So anything you can do from the tech side to kind of break that out and remove the mystery out of it, I guess is the best way of putting it and just make it plain and simple and easy to access is going to provide a roadmap for individuals that had never considered buying a home in the past, an opportunity.
Bobby Bryant 14:07
Yeah, you're exactly right. Half the battle these days, if we continue, is about the amount of data that goes into Google every day. Just like it's so much data, how do I even have the discernment to decide what's true or not, if I'm a consumer? But if I could pick up my phone or go to my device and say, hey, DOSS, can you tell me the difference between the conventional loan and FHA? How much would I have to put down? What are the rates today, and to be able to get that information without having to scroll through Google and say, which is the most accurate? Who do I believe? I did have to look on the dates of it. Oh, that was in 2016. That can’t be true in 2020. Maybe not, but to be able to give people actionable information and be able to mobilize it in a different way, so you right people can be more educated in an unbiased way.
Russ Johns 15:10
The other thing about it, that it just kind of struck me was the idea that this also affords you the opportunity to train individuals in the real estate market in a slightly different way. It is an evolution as much as Uber has disrupted cabs and transportation, you are disrupting the real estate industry in the same kind of way. If you look at how AI and intelligent machine learning and those types of technologies, all of that should be used first, to remove the mundane...
Bobby Bryant 15:58
Russ Johns 16:00
...the minutia from our lives. Let's make that so we don't have to think about how I calculate this long formula out into an actual result. So, I really applaud you for doing that. The idea is that all of a sudden, we have tools at our disposal, that we can quickly make decisions and move forward and make a difference in the world.
Bobby Bryant 16:25
You’re exactly right. I mean, you're right, you said it earlier, time is money. But also time could be the difference between you getting that dream home that you want and somebody else beating you to it. We want to assist people in all walks of life, with the tools that they can have in the palm of their hand. That can inform them like never before, done at the edge of their voice. Later on, in 2021, after we launch, even Spanish, even Mandarin, when you start talking about speaking in your native language, because when you deal with people where English is a second language, it's not that they can't speak English, they just comprehend better in their native tongue. So, we have to make this very humanistic and have empathy and really take this. I'm going to explain it to you like a fifth grader type of regime to to make sure that people are okay, I get it.
Russ Johns 17:34
Yeah. Hats off to you. I support you. I want to go back, you've been in the market, you've been a big mover in the industry, and you've been training people. You’ve put out more quality products than most people that I know. Howard Kaufman says, how did you get connected with Brian Tracy?
Bobby Bryant 18:04
Wow, so years ago, I’ve wrote some books and he had an opportunity to co-author, so I hired an agent out of Florida. They were putting together a team of potential authors to work with Brian, in writing a piece called the Ultimate Success Guide. At that time, I submitted my piece and I was selected to be one of the authors, which is pretty cool. The title of my chapter was Evolve or Die because that was in ’08,when we were dealing with the recession. So, what a great title, evolving or die. I just talked about my experience and what it felt like going through being somebody who had a million dollar house and a Galleria, with all the toys, and it was like, somebody just walked up and turned the lights off to my life financially. So I had to evolve, or pretty much die. That, truth be told is where I started my whole journey of progressive real estate. What's the future gonna look like? But, that's how I came in contact with Brian Tracy. That book went bestseller. That was a pretty exciting moment.
Russ Johns 19:33
That an awesome story. I don't know if you know this, but I moved to…I was actually working for an organization in 2010. I worked my way up the corporate ladder, and then the corporate office happened to be in Houston. I was in Seattle. That's when I arrived in Houston. They paid for me to move there. My two sons followed me down, set up shop, getting all involved. I lived right off Washington and Studimont there.
Bobby Bryant 20:03
Russ Johns 20:04
A good life and everything looking good. Six months later, a new CEO came in the organization and changed the structure and my job was limited.
Bobby Bryant 20:15
Russ Johns 20:16
So that's when, if you recall, I think we met through Mainstreet chamber.
Bobby Bryant 20:20
Russ Johns 20:21
So, I just started networking my butt off. Meeting and greeting and doing whatever I could to make things happen. As the market wasn't exactly user friendly at that point.
Bobby Bryant 20:37
I like that, user friendly.
Russ Johns 20:40
I had to hustle a lot. So, it took me a little while to get my feet under me. It’s really a heartwarming story, when you have to evolve or die. It’s really true. It's like, okay, we didn't wake up to be average, we woke up to be above average. Yes, average is way too crowded, like you said before the show.
Bobby Bryant 21:04
Yep, and if I had to rewrite that chapter today, I would put to word continuously evolve or die.
Russ Johns 21:08
Right. I look at life as chapters in the book of life. I’ve gone through several chapters, and not all happy chapters, either. So we really have to appreciate what we have; friendship, like you, and knowing people that can actually understand and appreciate what you're going through is a huge, monumental push. Being able to tell your story and share your messages is also key to really thriving. Having that safety feature of knowing who can you contact and reach out to and talk about ideas that may not be safe in all areas of the world. Some of those people are looking at you like, Bobby’s doing it again. How do you handle and how do you manage through that? How do you navigate those days where you're thinking and stretching your imagination and seeing how far you can push the boundaries? How do you navigate through that?
Bobby Bryant 22:24
You ask that question and I’m reminded by a statement my military father said, who was a high-ranking officer in the military. I was always this kid…I was a 15, 16, 18-year-old, why, why why. I never shook the four-year-old, why? Why question, right? The way I would talk, I was really like,from Alabama, but I was just like, and my dad said, hey, I need you to understand something. You're a smart kid. But rocket scientists? When they talk, only other rocket scientists can understand them. You need to talk like a truck driver, everybody could understand that guy, including the rocket scientists. What he was saying to me was, is that the task is yours, to be understood. Nobody owes it to you to understand you, that task is yours to be understood. I say all that to come full circle back to there has been a ton of great ideas. But a lot of times the guys who have these ideas are so brainy and smart to where their messaging is anorexic. What I actually had to learn and I think when DOSS even itself, got really started getting traction, is that we had to figure out how do we explain this thing to where the average Joe and Jane can get it? Because we were losing people. Great idea, but the messaging wasn't. So, it took a lot of sitting down, having conversations, and watching a ton of Steve Jobs, who's a gifted genius, a 1000 songs in your pocket. And I'm like, it's like having a realtor in your pocket. All of these ideas and looking back at history and saying, how did these awesome technologies get adopted? What were the people saying, so I had to go back again, to being the nerd I am and I was like, I got to research. How and why did these phenomena happen and people adopted stuff that they've never seen before? A lot of it had to do with timing, like even the pandemic, think about it, bro. QR codes were dead. Now, that's all you see in restaurants for menus. On the deathbed and now all of a sudden you go to the restaurants that scan for the menu, and it just brought them back.
Russ Johns 25:10
You have a menu on your phone.
Bobby Bryant 25:12
Just like that, right? So, it's the universe sometimes, most of the time. But the part we can control is trying to figure out how do I articulate this in a very simple and stupid way?
Russ Johns 25:36
I really love that idea. I love that conversation because I suffer from that, being the marketing nerd that I am. Also, the creative person that I love to imagine I am, is this that some people don't really get it. It’s like, okay, my messaging is anorexic. On the opposite side, it's like, less is more. You can say it in one, like music in your pocket. It's simple, it's clean, it's concise. It's very clear. If you can break it down to the simple common denominator of its essence, then that's when you can make the magic happen in messaging.
Bobby Bryant 26:28
That's when just that idea of a statement, and it makes people say, hmm, I get that. Then, just like Simon Sinek says, you have to go from the what to the how to the why. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So, it's like having 1000 songs in your pocket. You don't necessarily get to the how. How do you get 1000 songs in your pocket? Glad you asked, right? it just evolves and grows, but you’ve got to get that simple and stupid statement that makes people say, ah, ha.
Russ Johns 27:05
It's like, okay, ask open ended questions. Allow the conversation to take place and evolve where it's gonna go. This is why I love the #PirateBroadcast™. The conversations like this is like, we never know what's gonna take place when we allow ourselves to open up the dialogue. Oh, yeah, I really think, more than any other time in history, we need to continue to open up the dialogue, have conversations, find out where the common thread is, pull on that thread, find out what we can do together, and make sure that we #makeitmatter. Bobby, it's so important and I'm so glad that you had the opportunity to join me today on the #PirateBroadcast™. I'm doing some work in Houston, today actually. The API, Petroleum Institute has a big event. I'm live streaming that today and producing that show. I know the real estate market is going to continue to grow and evolve and if there's anything I can do to help you out and move that along, let me know. I’d be more than happy to have that conversation with you. I just really appreciate all the time, effort and energy and I understand what it takes to put stuff out into the world.
Bobby Bryant 28:30
It's torture, you feel really sensitive and vulnerable about it because you want people to love it as you did, and as you envisioned. Thank you so much, man for having me. I greatly appreciate it. I look forward to seeing you again. Let's grab a beer or coffee the next time you're in Houston.
Russ Johns 28:52
Absolutely. I want to just give a shout out to some of the individuals that have joined us here today. Thomas, thank you have a good day. Take care. Hiett is passing through. Charles is here. Good stuff, Russ. Angie is here. Morning, y'all. Nick says real estate scares me. Well talk to Bob. He makes it easy. He makes it simple. Angie says, human connection is amazing. That's cool. Gabriel's here. Great conversation. By the way, Russ. Howard says how did you get to connect with Brian Tracy? We covered that. Howard's an entrepreneur here in Phoenix that has done a great product line with ORL, it's a CBD based, organic, just amazing, mouthwash, mouth care system. Great conversation. Warren says, hello you guys. Self-declared nerds I am telling you both this info is needed. That's cool. So, Bobby on messaging and articulation, meaningful. So, you got a fan, you've got a fan base here already, Bobby. So next time I'm in town I'll definitely look you up, connect and make sure that we make time to sit down and enjoy a coffee or a beer sounds really good.
Bobby Bryant 30:19
Hey, I'm an IPA guy, brother. So, looking forward to introducing you.
Russ Johns 30:24
Love it, love it. Well, keep swinging for the fences, and we'll see you when I get to town. As always everyone, like, comment and share. This is important that we continue to pursue this show, we’re coming up on 300 episodes. I know there's a lot of pirates out there in the pirate community that enjoy the conversation that don't always get to join live. So the podcast, the transcription, and the show can all be found on RussJohns.com. So, go there, also leave a comment on Apple or iTunes or anything like that to help out and subscribe on YouTube. Go over there and subscribe on YouTube as well. So, help grow the community. So, Bobby, all the best in the world. Thank you and wishing you all the best in your adventures going forward and look forward to the next time we can connect in person.
Bobby Bryant 31:19
You got it, sir, thank you so much for having me.
Russ Johns 31:21
Hey, and as everyone knows, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoythe day. Take care. Thanks.
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