Our team of dedicated experts work hard to support the GeoWarehouse solution and help bring you the most robust and authoritative property research, data and analytics tool in Ontario. In this series, we will be featuring a new team member each month to shine the light on who they are and how they support you in your business through Teranet GeoWarehouse’s platform.
This month, we spoke with our Senior Manager of Business Development, Chris Butler, to discuss his experience at Teranet and how he and his team continue to find innovative and collaborative solutions to not only better serve the evolving needs of the consumer, but also map out the path to bring the real estate industry and technology closer together.
Q: Tell us a bit about your career path and how you came to hold your current position.
A: After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, I began my path pursuing my interests in sales and marketing. Looking back, that path has been consistent for me throughout my career with roles primarily within the data and technology sectors. I initially worked in sales within construction data solutions and insights, then shifted into an account management role with a global leader in hardware and software technology, then after a short stint back in construction data services I found my way to Teranet almost 20 years ago.
I began my career at Teranet as a Professional Services Group member primarily providing training and support services to a variety of real estate and financial institution clients. I then moved into an account management and training role with the GeoWarehouse team servicing the land professional, law enforcement, builder/developer and commercial markets. I then spent a few years managing sales in the government and public sector markets, before taking over the account management responsibilities for the Real Estate vertical back in 2008. I took on the sales and training responsibilities for the Ontario Real Estate Boards and over the years have built out my portfolio to manage our custom data solutions portfolio and now manage a team of sales and training professionals.
My time at Teranet and the evolution of my roles have allowed me to learn the value and importance of land registry data as it relates to the due diligence and property research demands of such a vast array of land professionals. I am most proud of the evolution of our organization to better serve the evolving needs of Ontario Real Estate professionals and maximize the value that a REALTOR® provides to both the home buyer and seller.
Q: How has your role changed over time?
A: My current role has evolved over several years, as I took it upon myself to develop a much closer relationship with the Ontario Real Estate community, to better understand how our data and solutions are used in a real estate sales professional’s daily workflow but also to commit to compiling volumes of insights from our real estate clients to influence the development and evolution of our flagship GeoWarehouse application going forward.
I have been so proud of the evolution that our Teranet organization has taken to better understand the needs and voice of our customers and then to be able to show how their feedback has led to clear and measurable development innovation in the rollout of new iterations and versions of GeoWarehouse over the last 14 years. I began as a training professional initially, but that focus on support and education has been at the forefront of my account management responsibilities over the years.
I am so glad that Teranet has been able to deliver solutions based on customer suggestions and recommendations, which has really helped solidify our position as a trusted partner in the Real Estate ecosystem.
Q: How does your role tie into the modernization and innovation of solutions offered by Teranet?
A: My role over the last 14 years in the Real Estate vertical has allowed me to communicate our commitment to innovation and workflow efficiency, to carry the voices of our customers into our product design and improvement strategies as we deliver on our commitment to be the most authoritative property research resource in the industry and help Ontario real estate sales professionals be the market expert that consumers expect them to be.
It has been rewarding to collect feedback, suggestions and ideas from customers and then take that back to our product teams and help influence product innovation within our GeoWarehouse suite of services. It always feels good to me to go out into the market among our customers and say that “we are listening” and show how their ideas and suggestions led to product evolution that has allowed us to better serve the Real Estate community in Ontario and across Canada in some capacities.
Q: What do you think is the most notable innovation in your division in recent years?
A: Recently we partnered with key industry stakeholders to launch REALM™, a dynamic and revolutionary new, mobile-first, fully integrated MLS® platform. We continue to be 100% committed to our GeoWarehouse property research platform, however, we now are dipping our toe into providing an innovative and collaborative MLS® solution with a goal to not only better serve the evolving needs of real estate sales professionals, their brokerages and associations, but also hopefully map out of the path to bring the industry and technology closer together to streamline the property research and listing/client management process needed for every purchase and sale transaction in the market.
I believe that if we can work better together across the real estate sector with other technology and data providers in concert with Real Estate professionals and their associations, then we can evolve our industry to better serve the needs of our clients (real estate sales professionals) as well as their customers (home buyers/sellers). We have an important opportunity to bring more value, communication, consistency, collaboration and efficiencies at every stage of the Real Estate transaction lifecycle. This path will take time, however, our goals are rooted in improving data and technology solutions for REALTORS®, significantly improving their value proposition to their consumers and helping to bring this complex industry together – we can achieve far more together than we can on our own.
Q: What do you think has been the key to keeping your team at Teranet motivated and engaged?
A: Communicating the value proposition that GeoWarehouse actually brings to real estate sales professionals, while in conversations with our various product and technology team members, helps them see the vision we have in practice and they can then better appreciate how their product development makes a real difference in the day to day life and livelihood of the local real estate sales professional. Sharing testimonials and comments from their peers back with our product, development, and executive teams help us all stay motivated and empowered to promote regular and consistent development.
I promised my Real Estate Board customers back in 2008/2009 that, as long as I play a key role in customer-facing roles with Teranet, there would be continuous improvement and development of our solutions to better promote workflow efficiency in real estate sales professionals’ workflows. I feel that has been a promise kept and one that continues to drive my team and me every day.
Q: What can customers expect in the future?
A: Customers can expect a tireless pursuit of technical and data innovation, access to authoritative and comprehensive property research solutions and platforms, as well as advancements in data integrations and workflow efficiency strategies. I believe that Teranet is well-positioned to carry the trust and expertise that organized real estate expects of us, as that is foremost in our minds in all decisions we make. We remain focused on core values of data integrity, a strategic vision to keep the REALTOR® at the center of the transaction and a desire to bring the industry closer together to achieve greater synergies, which will allow us all to better serve the customers in the real estate transaction.