We have the privilege of introducing a remarkable individual who has been making waves in the world of media and housing. Joining us is none other than Clayton Collins, CEO and Founder of HousingWire Media. With a deep understanding of the complexities of the housing market and an unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity, Clayton has cultivated a community of experts and thought leaders who contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding housing trends, market shifts, and industry developments. HousingWire Media has evolved into a hub of thought-provoking content, including articles, podcasts, and events that bring together the brightest minds in real estate. His passion for delivering accurate, timely, and actionable information has undoubtedly contributed to the success of countless professionals within the housing sector. Get ready to be inspired as we delve into a conversation with Clayton Collins. We’ll explore his journey with HousingWire, his insights into the housing market’s current landscape, and the role HousingWire Media plays in shaping the way we understand and navigate the world of real estate.
Understanding the investment side of Clayton Collins’ brain with Clayton Collins of HousingWire Media
Listeners, I’m excited to have Clayton Collins joining us as a guest today. He leads HWMedia’s corporate strategy and content roadmap while building a world-class team of business media professionals. Also, he is a managing partner of RioMar Capital an entrepreneurial investment banking firm that acquired HousingWire in 2016. Prior to founding RioMar Capital. Clayton worked at RBC capital markets in the mergers and acquisitions group and served as the Vice President of National Sales and Marketing at Citibank. This is really why I want him on the podcast because we are in the midst of an industry that’s quickly changing. So, my experience in working with investment bankers, especially those that work in the mergers and acquisition space is they look at markets like we’re in now where there are many problems have many challenges, and they see opportunities in those challenges. And that’s why we have Clayton Collins here with us today to help us shed light on some of the opportunities that might be there and he’s going to do that by telling us about his story. Clayton good to have you on the podcast really appreciate you being here.
Good to be here, Dave. I usually feel like prepping for a podcast. I get a few notes, and some questions prepped, but today when you say, see how Clayton’s brain works, I feel like I’m being prepped for surgery. I’m actually a little bit nervous about this conversation.
That’s hilarious. No, there’s no need to get worried or nervous. We’re just going to get into understanding how your brilliant mind works. Especially when you look at these opportunities that I think are out there clearly there are, and someone’s going to take advantage of them, and you’ve clearly taken advantage of those opportunities with HousingWire. So, let’s start by letting our listeners get to know you a little bit about your background. Again, most everyone does know you, however, they may not know your story. Let’s get into it.
Appreciate it, David. So, Clayton Collins, I’m the founder and CEO of HW Media. And I’ll spend some time talking about HW Media. So, I started HW media in 2016, with the explicit purpose of acquiring HousingWire. And at that point in time, HousingWire had been around for eight or nine years, started as a blog during the GF C that the housing crisis in 2008, and built a really impressive audience in a really short time, covering the housing industry, mortgage origination, servicing, capital markets, and real estate. That was the focus, and a big part of the HousingWire founding story was covering the housing industry in a different way than it had been done before. Trying to connect origination professionals with servicing professionals and capital market professionals and the real estate side of the ecosystem with the same information flow, the same news, the same access to the same community so they can make better-informed decisions and the founding story of HousingWire really hinges around the fact that a lot of what happened in 2008 and the years leading up to the GFC could have been prevented or at least been, could have been muted if there had been better information flow, if originators knew what was happening in the home building and real estate ecosystem, if servicers saw some of the information and data that was starting to pop up in the real estate ecosystem, all the things that we saw on the big screen with the Big Short and other movies that covered that critical era in our industry’s history, that the surprises when investors flew down to Miami and saw some of the strangeness that was happening in home building and financing. HousingWire was founded with the vision of connecting all of the constituents, the professionals in the housing industry with equal access to information. Which is tough. It’s a big charge. Real estate agents don’t always care about loan servicing and capital markets professionals don’t really care about mortgage products that they’re not specifically accountable for trading, but we do believe that we can help build a healthier, more sustainable, more efficient housing economy by connecting the pieces and helping professionals understand how their role impacts others in the industry and ultimately impacts the consumer. So, that’s a little bit on the HousingWire story. So, we acquired HousingWire in 2016 with the vision of continuing the success that HousingWire had found but building on it organically and inorganically. And as you previewed, I’m a banker by background. I started my career in a large New York City-based depository in retail and commercial banking, moved on to investment banking with a Canadian Bank and that’s where I fell in with a group of professionals that were doing a lot of media deals and loved the M&A environment in media. I had to work on some really cool transactions like selling petfinder.com and found a great home for pet finder with Nestle Purina. It was a really creative deal. Found a great home for how stuff works with a holding company called Blucora and got to work on some cool media deals like that, which really inspired me as, a relatively early career banker and say, hey, this operating side, like the other side of a transaction is actually much more interesting than just doing the advisory work. I want to get exposure to that, and I want to get exposure early in my career. So, I left banking, raised some money, and went out hunting for acquisitions and was so fortunate to meet the founders of HousingWire when I did in 2016 and bring this deal to the finish line to start building what we thought was possible for an information services and media company in the housing arena.
I really like your vision and it also showcases so well why I wanted you on this podcast because again, we’re heading into what feels like another type of crisis. It’s different. The first housing crisis that drew you into this was where we had all these different parties involved in the process, but no one understood or related to the risks or challenges related to the other part. In other words, they just did their part. It’s like any assembly process. You need to understand what you’re trying to build here in totality, rather than just having a narrow focus on just your part. When you understand the totality of what you’re trying to build, you have a clear vision of what you’re building. I think you care more about what’s down the line, therefore, you have a tendency to do a better job on the part that you’re responsible for, I love the vision. So, you’ve already given us some insights into what you were thinking when you acquired HousingWire. I think it’s really interesting that you had already created HWmedia, but what are some of the other aspects of this acquisition that were in your consideration at that time?
Yeah. So, I think in building a business, there’s a lot of different tools that. Savvy operators have in their toolkit, and we approached building HW media, when I say we like I raised money from a group of about 12 individual investors to form a fund called Riomar Capital. Those investors joined me in 2014 and we started hunting for deals and are still with me today, nine years later. So that’s my we, it’s my investors that have backed me for the better part of the last decade. We saw an opportunity to be creative and dynamic with how we built. So, a big part of my background is M&A, and, as like investors and dealmakers, like M&A is a tool that we often lean on, but also really believe in acquiring businesses and investing in organic growth. So, I wear this to keep this mindset of acquiring, operate, and grow. We’re not happy acquiring businesses that we just like. Stick like you put in a portfolio, like a whole company, and maintain status quo. Like we need to acquire businesses and assets that enable organic growth and as we looked at the HousingWire business, there was like so many attractive components, but also so many things that we needed to build out. So, it’s a couple of those were the audience and content capabilities. So, you mentioned real trends, David. So, RealTrends have been operating for 34 years run by Steve Murray. Steve became a great friend and still serves as a senior advisor and I’m so fortunate to be able to be a steward for real trends and brings RealTrends into the HW Media family, but also work really closely on integrating it in with HousingWire. And so, the need we had at the time is we saw a growing part of our audience coming from the real estate agent and broker ecosystem. I wanted to expedite that and also bring more expertise and credibility into the organization, and I think of a big part of media M&A is acquiring brands and businesses, but also bringing in institutional knowledge into the parent organization. So, what real trends enabled us to really do was tap into Steve’s four decades of network and expertise and team members like Tracy Velt, who leads our content studio, who just have just a wide breadth of expertise and real estate brokerages and all the issues that are facing agents and consumers today, bring that into our organization and make us smarter as an organization to be able to better serve an audience. So, we got a great business, we got a great product suite, but most importantly, we got great team members and advisors that brought expertise into the business to help us better serve that growing component of our audience and real estate brokerage and the agent ecosystem. We looked at our next deal through a pretty similar lens I have a thesis and this thesis has not played out completely. So, I’m making a long term bet on this, that housing wealth and the equity that is locked up in baby boomers’ homes will be an increasingly important part about how Baby boomers and retiring Americans fund their retirement. The amount of retirement savings in IRAs 401ks and traditional pensions is not adequate to fund the lifestyles that a lot of retirees are looking for when they’re sitting on a very significant amount of housing wealth that is only grown faster over the last three years as we’ve seen home price appreciation skyrocket in many parts of the country. So, in 2021, we acquired Reverse Mortgage Daily from the founders at Aging Media and that’s been an incredible acquisition. That one, we brought expertise in through an editor. So, Chris Clow joined us, he continues to edit Reverse Mortgage Daily and bring expertise to the Reverse Mortgage audience and those are like two of the major deals that we’ve done on the media side to supplement audience needs inside of HousingWire. We’ve also done a lot organically.
Clayton when you say organically explain what you mean by that?
I look at the HousingWire audience and seven core segments, loan origination, loan servicing, capital markets, real estate, title valuation, and then the inventory one home building. So, like I’m looking at those seven segments, we’ve launched valuation, newsletters and valuation, audience development efforts, title and closing newsletters and, audience development efforts we’ve been deep in servicing capital markets for years. And there’s other areas that we need to go into organically and others we need to go into through acquisition. I look at it as there’s things, we can do organically by investing in marketing our content and hiring more journalists that help build an audience and build credibility in the area or looking at acquisitions that help us step into that Knowledge base and audience even faster. So, that’s the media side, but the bigger picture is we’re trying to build an information services company that combines media data and research to help housing professionals make better decisions. And I recognize that narrative driven journalism and breaking news is an incredibly important part of developing audiences and gaining attention, but we also need to back that up with research and data that professionals can use, whether they’re working on a quarterly board deck and strategy or day to day decision making and we hope to be that 2nd screen that HW or HousingWire always open for housing professionals, but we have a lot to do to get there, and one of the big first steps we did to start in that direction is last year in December 2022, acquiring Alto’s research, which stepped us into the housing market intelligence game and really started building out our team and infrastructure to become a data centric organization. So, we stepped into the listing’s world with incredible data and real time intelligence and everything that’s happening in the housing market today. We are the fastest data source that I am aware of for what is happening with new listings, price changes, pending, it’s really incredible intelligence and that sets the baseline for us moving into mortgage data and other housing market data sources to help serve housing professionals.
I love the vision, especially when you start looking at all the various components, the seven channels, that you’re going after. But of all of them, I love data being the most significant. Yeah, I think data’s going to be king Especially as we move forward into this next business cycle. One of the companies we talked about early on was the RealTrends. Again, a great conference Gathering of Eagles. Some of the people I met there were clearly leaders in the space. I want to get your perspective on the selling side of the real estate commission. What are you predicting is going to happen?
Yeah, so I’ll, I been paying close attention, but I won’t represent myself as the subject matter expert. I’m fortunate to have Tracy Velt and James Kleimann and Steve Murray writing about and thinking about these industry issues every day and I often think my highest and best use or superpower in the organization is hiring the best people working on deals and growing the business organically and I really try to focus my energy there, but of course, this lawsuit with the National Association of Realtors and the lawsuits coming in from Missouri and Illinois are extremely front and center for professionals across the industry. The big the risk that we see right now is it feels like the wind is blowing toward change, this is not going to be a nothing burger like the wind is blowing toward change here and the change that it’s blowing toward is blowing toward pressure on buyer commissions. And I think everyone that listens to your show, David, understands like today, primarily sellers are paying all the commissions and that’s how the housing economy has functioned. Buyer commissions put a lot of pressure on first time homebuyers. So, think about that today, a seller, hopefully sitting on some housing equity, been in the game a little further along in their life and built a little bit of net worth many homebuyers, or at least the homebuyers where demand is coming from today or first time homebuyers they’re having trouble scrounging up a down payment and closing costs and paying a commission on top of that could put some serious pressure on the ability for first time homebuyers to be competitive in the market. I’ve looked at it and joked with Tracy, hey, this is it’s might not be a bad thing for like your repeat homebuyer. It’s been in the home ownership cycle for years or decades, but homebuyers put a lot of pressure on this system that we’ve and I don’t know if lenders have fully digested what this means when you have homebuyers who, if this lawsuit is successful might be accountable for a commission or an expectation that buyer commissions disappear, but it could put a lot of pressure on the resources that are needed for first time home buyers to come into the game.
Yeah, we’re having a lot of conversations on the podcast, and I’d love to get your insights or any hunches as to where this could go.
We don’t know which way the lawsuit is going to go yet. Whichever way it does go and when this lawsuit, when the trial starts in October even if it’s a quick win for the National Association of Realtors or a quick win for the plaintiffs, we’re confident, like it will be appealed and it will drag out for years. So, I think there’s a necessity for all sides of the industry, origination, and real estate to pay close attention here, but we’re not really in a point yet where like preparations can be made in terms of like product innovation that might just prove inconsiderate or like irrelevant. So, I don’t want to say you ignore it. It has to be paid close attention to and originators, mortgage bank leaders and real estate brokerage leaders need to be at the hip and talking to each other about what a future looks like, but whether it’s incorporated in financing or opens the door for a big business opportunity for mortgage bankers I think we have a lot of appeal cycles before like that business opportunity opens. But it’s one reason we’re building the way we are so like I talked about connecting housing professionals and I’ll like to give you like a little glimpse into some of the projects we’re working on right now. So, I know today from the outside, we look a little bit like a portfolio, but this is all like strategically coming together as HousingWire to inform housing professionals. So, we’re in the process of integrating reverse mortgage daily into HousingWire as the reverse mortgage be for the entire housing industry, and we’re doing the same for real trends and bringing real trends agent and broker news and content into HousingWire. So, we can do a better job at informing all sides of the industry, what litigation lawsuits or product innovation or fed actions mean for everybody. I was talking to Tracy about this lawsuit, Tracy Velt, one of our managing editors and the one commentary that hasn’t really been had yet outside on your show, David is what does this mean for lenders? So that is a front and center topic category that our newsroom and content teams are working on right now. And it’s not going to be a single article it’s going to be an ongoing story as we move through the trial and move through the certain to happen appeals process. It’s not going to be cut and dry.
Marc Helm let’s get you in none of this discussion.
One of the things that’s interesting about you and it makes you different than anybody else that listened to this podcast today. Are you being a true visionary, another thing I wanted to comment on and ask you a question about on the real estate commissions? David and I spent a lot of time talking about that, and I’ve been doing a lot of research and as I talk to realtors, and I talk to other mortgage bankers that I trust their opinion on that, and I’d love to get your opinion about this, they basically tell me that what it was a failure of the real estate industry during the transitions that’s happened to develop the 6% commission and the split between buyer and seller commissions. It was a failure to advertise the value being brought. By the buyers’ realtors you always think about the selling realtors as they stage houses and et cetera, et cetera, and do things to sell it. But you never think about the buying realtors representing the buyers and how they go out and farm areas to get new listings, et cetera, if your people can look at and all. They said it basically is a failure of the real estate industry to do a sales job on how important both pieces are to make a whole and I’d like to hear you chime in on that and give your opinion about that a bit.
Okay, so I think when that argument is made, people are pointing fingers at the National Association of Realtors for not like ramping some of their marketing campaigns and like narrative on valuable sides bringing the transaction and I like, okay, like members and brokers can do that. I do think the value prop has changed a lot and that might be the thing that’s been missed the most over the years. If we rewind to, I think the first like national digital MLS was introduced in 94, 95. And that was like before everybody had computer, so that was basically just bringing like integrated MLS to the professionals, and they still had to disseminate the information to buyers. But you go back through that evolution of when MLS is listings were distributed in a hard copy book that you had to go to a brokerage office and flip through with your agent and then the first iteration of coming to the internet and then the inner iteration of realtor.com and Zillow and all the other aggregators that have become the primary search tools. The job of a buyer’s agent has changed significantly, and I think it’s a major miss when buyers, agents, buyers, reps get put into the category of the person who helps you find your home. I believe one of the most important things that agent helps a home buyer do is see like the, they, you’re going to find the home on their own, but see the flaws, see the risk. That’s personally been incredibly important to me in homes that we’ve purchased, especially our first home. We had a great agent here in Dallas who identified mold issues that we never would have found if we weren’t using a great buyer rep. And then negotiating the terms of the transaction, buying and selling homes is an incredibly emotional process. Even for professionals like me who operate in the industry every day, like this is the place where you raise your family or lay your head down every night. It’s emotional and agents on both sides of a transaction can do an incredible job helping take some of the emotion out and develop transactions and deals that fit both sides and like the best transactions, feel a little bit uncomfortable on both sides. That doesn’t happen when you have two emotionally tied parties on each side of a transaction. So, I’ve always been A big believer in advisory banker by background, right? Like I wouldn’t I know how to do deals, but I wouldn’t sell my company by myself. Like I’m going to hire a banker to help through that process or a broker to help through that process because I know what good advisors can do in maximizing value and maximizing deal terms and I think the same applies in the real estate industry, like good advice is not just identifying the asset or identifying the home it’s getting through the transaction and getting it to close in a country that is not uniform. So, every state and many counties have different rules and different paperwork and different transaction structures for buying and selling homes. It is hard, we were talking about this industry on a national level right now, but y’all understand that Texas is very different from Florida and very different from New York. I don’t know. Yeah, remember California, very different too. And I’m not even going to pretend to go in to walk through the intricacies of each state’s regulation, but we’re talking about an industry that operates in 50 states plus territories and it doesn’t look the same in each one. So, it brings another complexity to this lawsuit. And one reason why the lawsuits we’re talking about today are originated at a state level.
This really opens up a great opportunity to talk about your upcoming conference. Talk about the HousingWire annual conference that’s coming up in October. It’s going to be down here in the Austin area. A great venue and give us some insights. What things you’re going to be talking about there and why this is a must attend event for anyone in our industry.
Yeah, so David, you mentioned gathering of eagles earlier and so that’s our real estate brokerage event and housing war annuals, our housing finance event. Both of those events are built for professionals around the industry, but the content focuses in on the specific areas, real estate versus housing finance. So HousingWire annual, October 10th through 12th, Hyatt Lost Pines near Austin. Amazing venue. I’ve been there twice with my family and I’m excited to go there for business, give everybody from the 49 other states a taste of Texas while also learning about housing finance. But this is the event where we bring together professionals across origination, mortgage banking, leadership, servicing capital markets and real estate brokerage mortgage industry and one reason why we do focus that mortgage conversation on appealing to the whole industry, including real estate brokers, is what we’ve learned through Gathering of Eagles and RealTrends, is this brokerage segment cares just as much about mortgages as they do buying and selling houses and the ecosystem is becoming increasingly connected and whether the seller class action lawsuit proceeds or not there is a lot of integration and opportunity that we can bring to the industry by helping mortgage banking leaders spend time with real estate brokerage leaders and spend time with their title valuation and technology partners to build more efficient and more scalable housing industry activity. We understand where the market is today with record low inventory, we track that data every single week through Altos research and inventory is low, but what we’re seeing in the professionals that we’re talking to is people that are spending this part of the cycle to build businesses and really prepare themselves to gain market share on the other side. That’s why we’re calling the theme of this event. The starting line that we’re in training camp right now, we’re ready to rock and grow and gain market share and serve consumers on the other side of this, and that’s just a front and center mindset and content strategy for HousingWire annual. This is the starting line and I’m thinking of that as an entrepreneur myself and as a businessperson myself, like we’re building for what’s next and I love when we can serve mortgage professionals and real estate professionals with the same mindset that. 2023 matters, right? we all have P&L we have to manage, but it’s 2024 and beyond that we’re building for today.
Good. Let’s talk about some of the speakers you have there. If you could focus a little bit on what people experience as far as some of the critical thought and through the speakers, you have a great lineup.
We build our conferences with an equal focus on content and community. We know that the thing our attendees value the most is getting an opportunity to meet each other and develop relationships that extend past the event itself. So, we do a very thoughtful job. And which is hard for us as a media organization. We always think content first content. But when you talk to attendees, they care a lot about the networking and the and the opportunity to meet each other and do ultimately do business together. So, we build an agenda that focuses heavy on content in the first half of the day and heavy on community in the second half with golf tournaments and pickleball tournaments. And we had pickleball in the summer heat at Gathering of Eagles and that was a hit, so it’s going to be even better in the fall at HousingWire annual and lots of cocktail hours and lots of food, but on the main stage, we were going to have some incredible speakers, and everyone says that, but ours are differentiated. We have Sandra Thompson from the FHFA, Sandra has had a great relationship with Sarah Wheeler, our editor in chief, and they’re going to be on stage together talking about regulation and some of the things that housing professionals should anticipate looking forward. Ginger Wilcox, who recently took the reins at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has a really differentiated background in mortgage and real estate. Barron Silverstein from New Rez, Anne Marie Wooden from Anywhere Brands, Celine Kellum from Thrive it’s an incredible lineup of leaders across the Chief Executive role, the CMO role, the COO role, the production leader role gentlemen like Alec Hanson on the marketing side, and even some social media experts like Arjun Dhingra, who’s built an incredible content flow on Instagram that is like really impressive with building his business. And then we have some of our HousingWire people. Logan Motoshami is giving an exclusive talk that with content that he has not brought forward on our podcast or on HousingWire yet and we’re doing a live recording of the HousingWire daily podcast between Sarah Wheeler and Logan Motoshami where they will debate the mortgage rate lockdown theory where Logan it might be the man on the island, who does not believe in mortgage rate lockdown and everybody else in the industry has their view. Logan’s going to take on Sarah in that argument and Mike Simonson, the President of Altos research who joined our organization no less than eight months ago is going to be taking the stage to talk about the housing market through the lens of the listing data that he and our team at Altos track every day and every week. He killed it at Gathering of Eagles. We did a QR code on screen at the end of Mike’s presentation and he had a hundred people took the picture and instantly came into being Alto subscribers. It was really incredible. I loved seeing that engagement of every single phone come out and take a picture of Mike’s QR code. So, we’re excited to bring him back to stage.
That’s very good. No, but that lineup, I’m really looking forward to listening to Logan and Sarah go at it on that topic. Sarah’s taking the safe territory. Logan being the contrarian that he is, he’s definitely stepping out there in some thin ice, at least it would seem like that, but he’s always so solid in his logic.
55 people on the speaker list right now. So, it’s so many great people I’m leaving out like Chuck Iverson and Terry Davis and Kim Nichols, and the list just goes on of great leaders in the mortgage and real estate industry that are bringing some unique knowledge to the stage and it’s not going to be no boring panels. We’re going to keep the momentum and keep the energy high. I’m looking forward to attending the conference myself.
I’m going to be on the podcast and then I have to fly out and speak at another event, but I’m coming right back and getting right into the conference.
Clayton. We know that anytime anyone is on a journey they run into many different stories and events that make a major part of their life and make changes happen. Can you share some stories with us? and basically talk about how you organically approach the situation from the things you encounter and move on with what your mission is with HousingWire.
Yeah, I share a lesson I learned early on and how it’s impacted a lot of decisions I’ve made over the last seven years, and I give a lot of credit to one of my early investors from Pacific Lake Partners, gentleman named Coley Andrews and Coley really early on in our relationship kept reinforcing this mentality of a bias to action and bias to action. It’s very easy as a deal maker or as an operator or any professional to get paralysis by analysis and, think through overthink risk and overthink every like potential outcome versus making a decision, committing and going and I’ve probably had paralysis by analysis on a few things in my career, but I put a lot of emphasis on bias to action and that’s influenced the way we’ve built the business, and as we’re 7 years into this journey, which we’re nowhere close to done with, I see some of the, like the pros and cons of bias to action. And right now, we’re in a stage where we’ve made some really good decisions, but now it’s time to integrate and make sure that the story is super tight and we never sought to build out a portfolio of brands and I think I shared this with you, David and Mark my biggest emphasis right now is helping build HW Media cohesively. So, we’re engaged a lot of partners to help me through this process outside of our executive team and Diego Sanchez and Mike Simonson and Jennifer Laws and Sarah Wheeler, who have been part of the story for so long or helping craft the future. We’re also working with some advisors on how we pull our product suite together in a much more cohesive way and tell our own story in a much more cohesive way so, we’re in that evolutionary phase right now. Where I get to take seven years of bias to action that’s helped us pull together a great business and a great team and make it even better. Yeah, I don’t know if that was the point of the question Mark, but that’s where my head is right now that’s where I’m, that’s where I’m focusing on as a, as an operator. I’m trying to remember that early lesson from Coley and evolve with it. So, I can build a business that operates efficiently and serves the needs of our audience and users for the long haul.
I think when you talk about Coley, I love the fact that you remember those big contributors to your current mindset and how you work and how you’re moving forward. I think that’s awesome, which really something that is. I’ve noticed about you, Clayton, is your commitment to personal relationships. You really lock onto people. And every time I talk to you, I feel like you’re not looking past me, how you get a conference settings and they’re talking about your tensions there, you really zero in on the person in front of you, what is your thought processes? How do you do that? Because that’s something I think a lot of people need to be better listeners and engagers and commitment to personal relationships. How do you successfully pull that off?
I appreciate you putting a spotlight on that as a strength. I think it’s probably a Like a subconscious thing that I, I don’t think I’m great at. So maybe I like over index on trying to listen, because I don’t think I’m a great listener. I think it’s very difficult, especially in conference settings to have thoughtful, meaningful conversations when you’re distracted by the next person that’s walking up or the looking session’s about to start, or if you’re the organizer and you get to be on stage to say something, I find that incredibly hard, So I, maybe there’s part of me that over indexes on focus because I know it doesn’t come completely natural. I appreciate the compliment, but I’d say that’s one of like constant work I’ve I haven’t really as a CEO invested a ton in One-on-one coaching or someone like guiding me on this stuff. But I have made a few decisions that I think have helped me on the relationship side. Joining YPO in Dallas was really like expanded my purview of network of like other executives and help me understand how executives think
Those that are not familiar with YPO, could you explain what that is? That organization?
Yeah. It’s a great organization. Young Presidents Organization. So, it’s a group of founders and presidents and CEOs and I as an entrepreneur. It gives you a glimpse into like how people at a similar stage in their entrepreneurial journey are thinking about challenges and whether you’re building a media business or a manufacturing business or a law firm, you might realize there’s a lot of strong correlations and similarities between the decisions and so that was something that’s been really impactful for me on better understanding how other executives in our industry are thinking, understand how executives period are thinking and then the communication side. So, I haven’t had a chance to do nearly as much as I want, but I have had the opportunity to do an amplify session with Renee Rodriguez and read a lot of Renee’s book, amplify, and listen to so much of his content and there’s probably, I haven’t met anybody as impactful at helping professionals period, whether you’re a real estate agent, Mortgage originator or CEO, tell your story and communicate as Rene is, Rene has been impactful to me. I will give some credit where credit is due on Rene’s ability to help people tell their story and the importance of a story and the importance of delivery of a story and how you’re remembered and what people take away from it, because I think we all know that we’re not always perceived the way we think we are and Renee does a good job at helping communicators get their message across the way they want it to be heard.
Yeah, I’ve had him as a guest on a podcast a number of times, I encourage people to reach out to get to know Renee and look at his content as well. Clayton, there’s just so much we could go on and on about what’s going on housing where I’m really impressed with the overall vision you have seriously some ground to cover yet, which is encouraging to be, and I love the vision to bring it all together. So, we have a cohesive, healthy, Housing finance system, housing, everything industry, because housing is one of the most important pieces of the fabric of this country and we’ve got to do a better job on how we’re going to do it in the future. Looking forward to your contribution, helping make that all happen.
For me, housing is the only thing that matters, and I put blinders on everything else. Like I’m focused on housing, the client and the audience and the user we serve, and I recognize the role housing plays in our broader economy and the role it plays in and families in our society. So, it’s housing, and if I can leave this podcast with any message, Mark and David, it’s that we have HousingWire annual coming up. We’ve started HousingWire annual, but we are building an event that the industry can steer forward. I want this to be for the industry by the industry. We have a great industry advisory councils and a welcome committee of Texas mortgage professionals that are welcoming everybody to our home state here in Texas. We want the industry to have a voice in the content we bring forward and the way we structure events. So join us at HousingWire annual, and don’t be shy, raise your hand, cause we will build this for what you need as a housing professional whether you’re a regulator, executive, or an investor, like we want this event to be built for what you need, what you want to accomplish from a learning networking or commerce perspective And two, like David, you mentioned, we’re not done yet. We’re looking at acquisitions. We’re looking at things that can be done organically. We were building at the intersection of media and data in the housing industry, and always love the opportunity to talk to the folks that maybe have a data expertise or a data product or an interest in the media business we’re building, and it doesn’t happen without great people.
How can people reach you?
So, you can hit me on LinkedIn is probably where I’m most active socially and my email clayton@hwmedia or on LinkedIn, it’d be the best two spots, David.
And he does respond folks. It’s really good. Mark any final words?
Clayton, I’ve enjoyed this podcast immensely and you are certainly one who has a finger on the pulse of the industry, both the good and the bad aspects of that, and I look forward to many more podcasts with you as you enlighten us as to what you’re seeing happening in the industry and how you’re dealing with it and educating people through your company. So, I salute you for that and we really appreciate you being here with us today.
Thank you, Mark. Thank you, David. I respect and admire both of you so much and know I have way more I can learn from both of you than I can ever bring to a podcast conversation. So, I look forward to more so I can equally learn.
Clayton, again, thank you so much for being here. Hopefully, this did not feel like brain surgery. It’s you started off saying at the beginning of the interview, it’s been delightful. We did get insights the way you think. I think it’s really good. I like the part. That’s your vision. And that is to bring this industry to gather, make sure that all parts, understand how the other parts work and our responsibility to work together, to create a cohesive, healthy industry. Again, thank you listeners. Share this podcast with others, courage you to pass it around lotta. A lot of information to share here. And be gleaned from it, Thank You Clayton! have a great day everyone!
About Clayton Collins