In a sea of technology providers, CINC rises to the top for many indisputable reasons. The firm’s ability to scale lead generation and conversion, and the resources and connectivity of parent company Fidelity National Financial (FNF), are just two of them. Formed in 2011 and acquired by FNF in 2016, CINC has evolved from its previous identity as Commissions Inc to part of a “cradle-to-grave” tech solution that helps real estate professionals go from lead to client for life. “We don’t make it about technology. We make it about growing your business,” says CINC SVP and Chief Revenue Officer David Camp. Here, Camp details why the company is not just another here-today-gone-tomorrow tech player, but rather, a long-term partner for real estate professionals of the future.
Maria Patterson: David, you’re a tech veteran in real estate. Let’s start by bringing folks up to speed on how you landed at CINC.
David Camp: Previously in my career, I was involved with FNF’s tech initiatives and investments. I started with FNIS in 2002 and left in 2007 to start another company, which was sold to Real Estate Digital (RED). In 2016, Fidelity made the decision to purchase what most people knew as Commissions Inc and what would eventually evolve to CINC. With the FNF acquisition of CINC, I came in as SVP and chief revenue officer in 2017.
Maria: CINC is part of a larger investment by FNF, correct?
David: Yes, FNF investments also include RealGeeks (CRM) and SkySlope (transaction management). The FNF vision and mission, which is to create a system that’s truly end-to-end—from generating a lead to supporting clients at the point of engagement, all the way to closing and beyond—motivated my return to the company. The FNF mission is to provide technology that not only makes the entire process seamless, but allows our customers to monetize more. Today, as commission pressure continues to increase, it’s more difficult for brokers/agents/teams to extract revenue from the real estate process. CINC is committed to overcoming these challenges by providing practical technology solutions, and supporting our clients by implementing revenue-generating solutions.
FNF as an organization is vested in the success of the real estate agent and the real estate broker more so than anyone in this space. We see the changes happening in the industry that threaten the business of the agent and broker. From FNF’s perspective, it’s critical to align in a variety of ways with the agent, broker and teams because we have the resources to help them contend with the stresses that exist in the marketplace.
Maria: Tell us about the company name branding as CINC…
David: Our rebrand and subsequent renaming underscore almost a decade of rapid growth and brand evolution within the ever-changing real estate industry. Rebranding as CINC is truly reflective of the ways in which we simplify our clients’ lives, and aligns with our vision to remain a leader in the industry. We previously refreshed our logo and brand identity, and now, we’re making it official with a redesigned website and domain, www.cincpro.com, and a full product suite to include CINC Pro Agent, CINC Pro Broker, CINC Pro Lender, and more.
Maria: I know that CINC offers a lot to real estate professionals, but how would you describe your primary service?
David: The mission for CINC is our ability to generate leads at scale and to provide technology and services that allow those leads to be segmented and converted. Everything we do across all segments is about driving leads and lead conversion, and the ability to do that at scale.
Maria: Can you quantify your ability to deliver leads?
David: CINC is a Google Premier Partner, delivering well north of 3 million leads to our clients in 2018, and we’re managing close to 4 million keywords for our clients. On a single client account, we do 40,000 to 50,000 changes per month on keyword modifications. CINC is on a mission to generate exclusive leads at scale and reduce cost-per-lead. For example, we have decreased cost-per-lead by 24 percent year-over-year, while we increased the number of CINC clients.
Maria: So what segments of the real estate industry do you service?
David: The core group we service is elite real estate teams. We work with over 3,000 top-producing teams comprised of 50,000-plus agents. From a production perspective, we’re working with the elite of the elite, meaning that typically, someone using our software service is doing 30 or more transactions a year. The median number of transactions exceeds 100. The origin of the business was built around meeting the needs of elite teams and was specifically designed to help teams not just with lead generation, but lead conversion. As a result, we also offer clients our CINC Xchange service, which is a call center managing more than 20,000 leads a month, and that number continues to grow.
Maria: So, you built the product with teams in mind. But then you expanded…
David: Yes, in 2018, we expanded our product offering to top-producing agents by introducing our CINC Pro Agent solution for elite solo agents. In 2018, we also launched CINC Pro Lender, specifically to help drive new purchase business. More and more consumers are starting the home-buying process by getting pre-approved, and we have the ability to connect our lender partners with top-producing REALTORS® in the marketplace who can ensure that clients are taken care of and not bifurcate the lender from the process. Finally, this year, we’ve launched an enterprise solution designed to service brokers and franchises: CINC Pro Broker and CINC Enterprise. We now have a family of products to support a franchise, brokers, teams, individual agents and lenders, all within the umbrella of the CINC brand.
Maria: That’s a broad and comprehensive value proposition. How are you helping customers in all segments grow their business...and contend with increasing competition on many fronts?
David: With the ability to generate exclusive leads from new sources. There’s concern over competing with a variety of lead sources in the market. Most new clients come to us having made significant investments with large aggregators. CINC is helping our clients drive these exclusive leads from new digital sources.
In addition, CINC is generating leads that are early in the real estate decision-making process. Given the early lead engagement, CINC has developed not only the technology that allows the relationship to be managed, but also provided add-on services, where many of our clients are deficient or can’t scale. One example is the CINC Xchange call center. Many clients can’t make timely phone calls or properly size-up the opportunity. There is a struggle to identify a “now” opportunity or a “long-term” opportunity. Our solutions support this segmenting process, and we are making investments to scale this area. The final component involves helping to move clients into the transactional stage. We’re helping our real estate clients more effectively engage the consumer during the transaction process. As such, we are committed to developing an integrated experience starting with lead engagement, and continuing throughout the life of the client relationship.
Maria: Real estate technology is evolving so rapidly, and so many new models are constantly hitting the market. How does CINC handle this ongoing challenge?
David: We have aligned with the premier real estate practitioners and coaches in the industry. Our community proactively collaborates with specific coaches and thought leaders to address obstacles that arise in a shifting market, devising strategies and tactics for how our clients can contend with the obstacles they’re facing, whether they’re specific to a market or a global issue.
Maria: Can you give us an example?
David: Sure. Consider the iBuyers movement. There was a fear factor surrounding iBuyers, so we worked with one of our coaching partners, Metrix Consulting, and developed a plan that we shared with all of our clients for how to connect and align with iBuyers. As a result, our clients were able to create new listing opportunities. This type of training and collaboration sets us apart. In this way, CINC goes beyond being a technology provider. CINC is constantly evaluating how we can close the gap and support our clients’ need for education and coaching so that they can contend with a rapidly changing landscape.
Maria: How do you structure education and coaching for clients?
David: We have a training program called CINC University with locations in Atlanta and Phoenix. Training and events take place monthly. In 2019, CINC University also launched regional events called CINC 2U. Our training experts and coaching partners will be teaching practical application of the software, and then also hosting invitation-only mastermind events where elite real estate practitioners will come together and create solutions for their most significant challenges. Finally, each year, we host our annual CINC client summit, where over 600 CINC clients come together to share best practices. This year, we expect over 1,000 CINC clients to join us in Orlando.
Maria: That’s a big commitment to education...
David: That’s because we believe the problem isn’t the availability of technology; it’s the application of technology. Beyond providing the technology tools, the CINC community is committed to training and coaching our clients on the proven application that drives results.
Maria: There are a lot of tech companies who have entered the lead generation and conversion space within real estate. What ultimately makes CINC different?
David: CINC provides best-in-class technology to elite agents and teams with a proven unique ability to generate leads on scale. We also stand out because of the training we provide on the application of our software, and our ability to close the gap where real estate professionals have deficiencies. When our team engages with clients, we’re looking for ways to help them succeed. Beyond technology, CINC aligns clients with a variety of opportunities, such as referral networks and investor resources...we help them connect the dots and create new sources of revenue. That’s the advantage of being part of FNF. FNF has reach and access that most of the competition doesn’t possess. Others may be able to provide technology, but our network is unmatched.
Maria: What would your advice be to brokers and agents trying to make decisions about technology in an increasingly crowded tech space?
David: The real distinction is that when you align with CINC, you’re aligning with a partner that has sustainability and staying power through all the real estate cycles. Too often, franchises, brokers or agents make technology investments, and two years later, their tech partner has lost funding, or profit margins aren’t what they think they should be, and the solutions become obsolete. What we bring to bear, and why CINC chose to align with FNF, is sustainability in the marketplace. Our ability to help any one of the market segments to grow their business is far superior to the competition. As a partner, CINC is focused on helping clients grow their business and navigate a shifting market. CINC provides staying power, capital and resources to help clients grow their business in a variety of ways and to stay ahead of the curve technologically.
Maria: Finally, David, what’s up next for CINC?
David: This year, CINC will continue to focus on improving our clients’ experience by continuing to invest in our clients’ training and our technology. In addition, we’re going to continue our expansion into the lender segment and real estate enterprise market. Both are real growth areas for us. We’re going to continue to invest in new lead and referral sources and potentially acquire to fill gaps and expand our efforts to help create marketplace revenue for our clients beyond the transaction.