MooveGuru and Relocator are both companies that aim to help moving consumers connect utilities and ease the burdens of moving that have been dominating their respective markets for the better part of a decade. Today, the companies have merged together, as MooveGuru has acquired Relocator. With MooveGuru operating as the lead or parent company, Relocator will become a functionality of MooveGuru, alongside other operations acquired, such as HomeKeepr.
The business deal offers exciting opportunities for all parties involved, including a new call center based out of Fargo, ND. I spoke with Scott Oakley, CEO of MooveGuru, and Andy Solheim and Mark Johnson, CEOs and co-founders of Relocator. Together, we discussed the merger between MooveGuru and Relocator, their ambitious goals moving forward as one, what this merger brings to Fargo, and more.
Did You Know?
The process of moving from one home to another is ranked as the third most stressful life event for Americans. The top two are death and divorce, while losing a job ranks fourth.”-The National Association of Realtors
Companies MooveGuru and Relocator have been healthy competitors for upwards of six years now, according to Oakley. Both companies have always aimed to help real estate agents, mortgage loan officers, title representatives, and home inspectors support their clients through their moving journey.
Oakley shared how the process behind their company’s technology works. While marketed towards real estate agents and other prominent figures in the industry, this technology can be revolutionary to anyone moving in the future.
“Moving is a pain and we aim to help the consumer through that process. We streamline that process and take away a lot of their anxiety by helping them connect utilities, including electric, gas, water, phone, internet, television, home security, homeowners insurance, and even garbage and recycling. What would usually take the consumer 6 hours to complete will take us 45 minutes to help price compare those utilities,” Oakley said.
“Once we have an address, our system can identify every supplier for each category. We’ll show the different opportunities available for that address and give a comparison, including speed, pricing, and other details. You may see one for $69, which may be a great deal, but it might only be at 200 megabytes of speed. That’s where you have to take into consideration how many household members there are and if they’re streaming games or television, or using more data.”
If a customer is in search of homeowners insurance, which most people need in order to close on a home, the company can compare homeowners insurance between 50 different carriers according to Oakley. Their process assists the consumer through a stressful time. Furthermore, Oakley states that this is being done on behalf of the realtor loan officer, so it’s at no additional cost to the homeowner.
What is HomeKeepr?
HomeKeepr is a platform designed to connect homeowners and real estate professionals. HomeKeepr showcases valuations, home services, finances, utilities, and more on the platform. Oakley has described the acquisition of HomeKeepr as the “all-encompassing piece” that MooveGuru remains focused on improving with Solheim, Johnson, and others.
MooveGuru and Relocator have both been assisting people in the real estate industry for years, finding their own success and excelling in markets that were similar, yet unique from one another. According to Oakley, Relocator was known for its self-service platform, where the client has the ability to connect everything on their own, directly from their phone.
On the other hand, MooveGuru was “more of a full-service consignor,” according to Oakley, with a sales center and fully staffed office in Atlanta that connected customers to utilities all day long. MooveGuru has also acquired HomeKeepr, a home ownership portal that gives consumers a portal to manage every aspect of their home.
“It was just such an obvious match between the two companies. Around six months ago, Andy, Mark, and I noticed that and got on the phone and asked if everyone was interested. From there, the rest is history,” Oakley said.
Relocator will become a piece of technology implemented within the parent company, MooveGuru, with the Relocator brand being phased out.
“Essentially, MooveGuru will be the parent company to Relocator and the others, and HomeKeepr is going to be the brand or company underneath that we’re going to focus on, as it’s the all-encompassing piece,” Oakley said.
As exciting acquisitions are underway for the company to push MooveGuru to new heights, expansion is also being pushed physically with new centers coming close to our home.
With a new call center planned for Fargo, Andy Solheim and Mark Johnson, the leading charge behind Relocator, are excited to take this new deal and bring its expansion to the Fargo-Moorhead area. Both Solheim and Johnson have significant ties to North Dakota, as their wives and some family are from Bismarck and Minot, respectively.
Another big part of their expansion to North Dakota is the availability of programs that can be used to their advantage. As a tech platform, while expansion is key for nearly any company, a collaborative environment isn’t always necessary in their industry.
Did You Know?
According to Oakley, the average real estate agent has around 250 contacts that can be analyzed, while the average mortgage loan officer will have around 500 contacts!
“Another big part was the availability of programs in the state with the North Dakota Development Fund. The access to capital in North Dakota offers a really good discount for startups in the state. We also think that there’s a really good labor pool in Fargo with a great work ethic, which is another great reason for expanding this way,” Solheim said.
“To jump off that, most of MooveGuru’s executives are strategically located around the country. We’re a tech platform, so it’s all online and doesn’t really matter where you are outside of the call center. We meet very often, but it’s mainly through Zoom or another portal. As a tech company, you don’t really need to be in the same building all the time,” Johnson said. With the merger underway and a call center in development for Fargo, the three behind the operation are looking forward to bringing this merger to life. Moving forward together, they can focus on maximizing their potential and impact across the industry.
“From our standpoint, we’ve had a lot of success, but we can get a lot more done when we bring these platforms together, like we did with HomeKeepr,” Johnson said. “The beauty is that these standalone products all work together. What we added was great for the moving experience, as we can bring value to the realtors, lenders, and moving companies that we work with. What Scott and his team have built, along with the other companies that he’s purchased, there’s this all-encompassing group of products that aren’t like anything I’ve seen.”
“We’re very excited and committed to opening up a sales center in Fargo. We want to bring our open jobs to Fargo and the North Dakota Business Development Center has been very supportive and fantastic to work with. We’re looking for space right now and plan to start off with 10 employees and grow together along the way,” Solheim said.
One feature that will boost the potential behind this merger is MooveGuru’s “revolutionary, sophisticated” artificial intelligence that they use. This AI analyzes a consumer’s likelihood of buying or selling their home based on an algorithm implemented by MooveGuru.
“If you’re a real estate agent or loan officer insurance agent, you’re kind of at the whim of the consumer and when they decide to move. There is something that we call the five D’s, which are the main reasons why anyone buys or sells a home in America. The five D’s are diapers, death, diamonds, divorce, and diplomas.
“This AI is happening on a daily basis, but it was a feature that was missing in our industry. Everyone’s talked about something and seen an advertisement for it on their phone 10 minutes later. This happens to us every single day with our Alexas and other devices. We use the same kind of technology and tweaked it for the real estate and mortgage industry.”
Talk About Growth!
Prior to [the merger], our utility segment alone had been blowing away estimates. We’ve grown the utility connection side of our business by 300% year over year. We fully expect that that trend will accelerate and we expect to increase by about 500% over the next 12 months, which means that the 10 people that we’re hiring for our Fargo center will probably be more like 20 or 30 in a year from now. For a small company of our size, we’re hoping to make quite an impact on the area.-Scott Oakley, CEO of MooveGuru
How MooveGuru’s AI Works
“Our AI takes all of an agent’s contacts and brings them into our system. The AI then analyzes every single one of those contacts for predictive behaviors that lead to someone buying or selling. We scan every one of those contacts’ social media accounts for over 2,000 keywords that relate to the five D’s, then we go into public records data to look for marriage and divorce certificates, spending habits, and more.
After putting that information into our AI system, we deliver the agent a score between 1 and 100 which shows how likely they are to buy or sell a home in the next 30 days to 6 months. The higher the score gets, the more likely they are to buy or sell a home, and 60 to 95 is the sweet spot for loan officers and insurance agents to concentrate on.
Everybody has a database, but very few are doing anything productive with it, aside from maybe a birthday email. This is a way to both stay in front of past clients, as well as getting in front of future prospects. It allows us to plant those seeds and get in front of everybody well in advance to ensure that they get that business.”
Did You Know?
We have one of the largest networks of home pro contractors in the country that people can schedule with. If someone needs to find an electrician, they can go into their homeownership portal and search for an electrician in their zip code. Every agent and loan officer gets one of these portals for free for each of their clients. It’s similar to Carfax, but for your house!”-Scott Oakley, CEO of MooveGuru
While this merger is a milestone accomplishment to recognize, this is far from the end of these companies’ ambitious plans ahead. One aspect of MooveGuru’s plan is Oakley’s unique franchise model program that has been put in place.
Rather than raising millions to create a sales force all over the country, Oakley’s team instead created a system to sell off franchises, with the majority being sold off to mortgage and real estate brokers. These franchises can be sold off in the Bismarck-Mandan community and further other areas of our state, as well as on a national scale.
While the merger is likely to heavily impact real estate agents, mortgage loan officers, and more across the area within the industry, it’s also likely to impact the everyday consumer and potential mover in a unique way. From a consumer standpoint, one of the largest benefits of this merger and acquisition, as well as the implementation of AI through MooveGuru, is the homeownership portals available to the consumer at no additional cost.
“We bring all public records data on their home, including maps, floodplain information, the year the home was built, square footage, and more into their portal, and the consumer can go in and manage it with receipts for repairs and maintenance. A home is the largest expense that anyone has in their lifetime, with the average consumer spending three to four percent of the home value on maintenance every year,” Oakley said.
“This tool is to not only budget for that maintenance but also find the right people to do that maintenance. Everything including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, paint colors, swatches, and any sort of construction project can be kept track of with receipts in this portal, then transferred to the next homeowner. It’s like a digital filing cabinet or wallet for your home.
”While much of this technology may sound radically new and different from what past movers have expected to face, Oakley stressed the benefits of MooveGuru’s process and efficiencies that his team brings to the table for consumers, as well as agents and lenders in the industry.
“People will say that they never want to move again after finishing, but they do it again seven or eight years later and it’s even worse for them. The beauty of this is if you’ve done this before, then you see the value in what we’re trying to do. Get on the phone, spend 45 minutes with us and you’ll get everything done without stress. The impact that this has on making agents and lenders look good is really what it comes down to,” Oakley said.
“We’re not there for us; we’re there on behalf of their agent or lender, making them look good, taking stuff off their plate, and bringing value to them. Hopefully, those good experiences will lead to more referrals and word-of-mouth promotion for us. It’s easy for anyone involved, whether or not this is your first time buying a home. First-time homebuyers that may miss a step can be walked through the whole process very easily, as there’s a professional guide to make sure everything gets done correctly.” Nearly through the merger and acquisition phase, the team is moving forward with sights and standards set high with a focused approach to their future in the industry. With the leader’s heads held high and confident on the new path, there’s no shortage of reasons to consider MooveGuru’s easy process.
As Oakley discusses the future of the business following this merger, he states that customer expansion is anticipated, as Relocator brought a new segment of the industry that was barely touched by MooveGuru, which primarily consists of larger mortgage companies.
“Some of these companies have 600 or 700 locations, with loan officers in each location. With MooveGuru and Relocator together, we have the scope and ability to go out and work with companies that have a national footprint. Growth, both in revenue and customer base, is our primary focus. We’re going after new customer acquisition and getting deeper into the customers that we already have, and leveraging that to bring in more revenue for the Fargo sales center,” Oakley said.
As MooveGuru and Relocator merge, the leaders remain focused on positively changing the moving process for real estate agents, consumers, and everyone else involved. “We’re making sure that we’re delivering the best product to the consumer that we’ve both done,” Solheim said.