An interview with Jen Macias DeMeyer, Vice President of Growth at Homebase
We sit down with Jen Macias DeMeyer, Vice President of Growth at Homebase. Homebase smart building platform enables building-wide wifi connectivity, smart access control and other smart building systems as a 24/7/365 managed service.
How did you end up at Homebase and what problem does Homebase solve for its clients?
The second half of my career has been spent mostly in the commercial real estate space, specifically multifamily where I started as a leasing agent. I met Homebase founder, Blake Miller, when he was living at one of the properties I was managing. Incidentally, that was also where he developed the groundwork for the Homebase property technology. Our software integrates with trusted smart locks and common property management software to seamlessly connect building access to lease management through wifi connectivity which allows property managers to do more with less people and in less time.
As the Vice President of Growth, what are your main responsibilities at Homebase?
As the Vice President of Growth, my primary responsibility is to drive the growth strategy for the company. This involves identifying internal and external opportunities and initiatives that can help increase the company's user base, revenue, and market share.
How do you lead your team to organize and improve the marketing-sales process to increase sales and enhance the customer experience?
I am a strong advocate for talking to strangers. I encourage my team to not only focus on industry networking opportunities but to find something philanthropic that they're interested in and dive in. Prospects and clients are everywhere and in my experience, volunteerism is one of the most underused tools to expanding your referral sources and network. And the bonus is that you're still giving back to the community. In addition, I instruct them to write things down. Whether it be electronically or the old-fashioned pen to paper, I've found that unless your write it down, substantial growth won't happen. Taking a few notes also gives an indicator to the other person that you're interested in what they have to say. Finally, I'm also a big believer in solving versus selling. It's human nature to run from a salesperson but it's different when that person already knows the pain and has a solution to fix it. Do a little research, and be prepared to know not only something about the prospect's company but perhaps something about them personally. In today's environment, no one is surprised when you admit to doing a little social media browsing.
At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' Marketing and Advertising strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the overarching revenue-focused strategy of Homebase, and what key elements does it encompass?
Homebase is in start-up mode and as such, we are still figuring out what really works the best. But for now, it's a little bit of everything until the data says otherwise. Our content creators push out relevant and easy to consume blogs, emails, videos and social media posts that serve as thoughtful insights our sales team can use when contacting prospects directly. In-person relationship building activities seem to source the stickiest clients but take more time to get that first sale. Cold-calling, lead-gen, and social media outreach will often yield a quicker sale but might not be as long term as the relationship builder. The common thread is really to meet our clients and prospects where they are. By creating quality content, we strive to set Homebase as an expert in the proptech industry and offer real advice without needing to give a hard sell.
What is an efficient marketing technique that you've implemented at Homebase or previous companies, which you believe is underutilized by most management teams - and why do you think that is?
I know I mentioned this earlier, but philanthropic participation and sponsorship is a key way to set the company up as not only an expert in the field, but as a company that cares about the community. That human touch is too often missed in marketing & sales pitches. I believe it's often underutilized because it can be seen as a waste of company resources. The truth is that it creates another layer to the company that isn't typically promoted in campaigns or on the website but does offer an opportunity to speak with decision makers who are like-minded and often endeared to a company with the same interests in giving back.
Has your Growth team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?
We have definitely experimented with cold outbound strategies, mostly in the form of email and phone calls. These strategies have been difficult because we all know how bombarded our inboxes get so we've found the best way to increase our open rates is through personalization. But figuring out how to scale that has been the biggest challenge.