Blake Hutchison is the new CEO of Flippa and I recently caught up with him to chat about some exciting new improvements that are being made to the website searching and buying experience. Find out more about what these changes can mean for the success of your next website purchase using this platform.
Liz: Hi, it’s Liz Raad here and I’m very happy today to have with me Blake Hutchison, the CEO of Flippa. Now this is a very important platform for us all of course. Very big welcome to you, Blake.
Blake: Thank you Liz, it’s nice to chat.
Liz: And there are very exciting things happening at Flippa which I’m sure many of you have noticed. Things are changing. I’m very privileged to have Blake here and he can tell us what’s going on because I’m very excited to hear about the future direction of Flippa and there are some amazing improvements coming that are going to be fantastic for us all. So first of all Blake, you’ve just joined Flippa, yes?
Blake: Yes that’s right. I’m five months into my role here as CEO so it’s been an absolute pleasure to get to know obviously yourself Liz but also the broader Flippa community. It’s a really vibrant global network of buyers, sellers and brokers and so I’ve got an important role which is really to understand what everyone wants to see from Flippa and then continue to improve the platform.
Liz: So, you’re bringing new life into Flippa it’s very exciting. So, what’s your focus? What’s your goals for Flippa now going forward?
Blake: Great question. I think first and foremost it’s about trust and so Flippa being as big as Flippa is, it means that there is a worldwide and vibrant community.
Liz: Yes, and when we say vibrant it includes all sorts of people, doesn’t it?
Blake: It includes all sorts of people and so our responsibility is to create the best, the easiest and safest platform. And so, we want to be the best place to list a business if I’m a business owner. And that implies that I believe I’m going to be matched with a worldwide network of buyers who are just as passionate as I am about what I’ve built.
And that’s a really important thing, as you all no doubt attest to. Small business ownership is an emotional journey and the point at which you sell is equally, if not more, emotional. And so what we want to do is help these business owners be able find a safe place to list and then ultimately as it relates to all of these great network around the world, who is interested in buying a business, make sure that they’re matched up with the right type of business.
And so, what we’re doing here is one, learning a lot about what the community wants. But the other thing is continually improving how something is presented, the information that comes with that, and then finally that match making process. It’s almost like dating, right?
A business buyer wants to be networked or matched up with a business owner that has something of interest to them at the right price. Typically, in a business model which suits either their skill set, or quite simply their interest set, and your network. There’s lots of buyers who are looking for content businesses. And so, let’s make it nice and easy to find content businesses.
Blake: And so, we’re working on the search piece which I know that there’s lots of feedback on right now.
Blake: We’re working on a matching layer which essentially, whilst people could still search it will enable people to get matched instantly with businesses relevant to them based on buyer profile that they’ve set up.
Liz: Okay, so you’re going to make it easier for us to find. So, we actually won’t even need to browse anymore.
Blake: That’s the idea.
Liz: We’ll be able to have deals come to us.
Liz: Be presented to us basically. That we will be interested in.
Blake: We think that’s really critical. What we don’t think happens is that you sit there eating your Weet-Bix in the morning and suddenly go, wow, I want to buy a business on Flippa and jump in there right?
Liz: We do!
Blake: What we think is most likely to be the case, although we are getting feedback rapidly around this, is that I have an interest in buying an online business.
Blake: And Flippa being as dynamic as it is, and has so many listings coming in daily, that’s exactly why. We want to basically spoon-feed you what you should look at. Now of course you can update your preferences at any given time.
Blake: So, we’re working on that right now. A preference dashboard of some sort and we think that will help all.
Liz: Okay so that is fantastic because that means we’re just going to be able to get the deals coming right across our table and we get the ones we are particularly interested in so that’s going to save us a lot of time.
Blake: Yeah, we hope so. We think that buying a business is pretty complex in its own right. So, if we can cut down that time that will be helpful.
Liz: Fantastic, and sometimes I know we all get a bit lazy we’re not always looking so this way we just get it all delivered straight to us. Very cool.
Blake: That’s exactly right.
Liz: Okay cool, so now what other features are you working on?
Blake: Look, it’s a really exciting time because we are spending a huge amount of effort into, essentially rebuilding the entire Flippa experience to make it easier. So, one of the most important things, as you know, and as lots of business owners and business buyers out there know – is this idea of a discussion, a negotiation, and an offer.
Blake: And so, we consider this all part of negotiation. And so, negotiation to Flippa is going to become a really important aspect of the platform.
And so, you can do that today. You can have a discussion, and you can of course make an offer. But we’re driving some fairly significant and drastic improvements in that to make it really nice and easy.
So, there’s a couple of key things, at any given time you’ll be able to agree that you want to have a video call and essentially the platform will provide that service.
Liz: Oh okay.
Blake: So you won’t need to
Liz: Go on Skype and then go off.
Blake: Go on Skype or go on Google Hangout and for kind of the safety of all parties that will be there and stored within the actual profile itself.
Blake: And in the discussion itself, so the great thing about that is you can always go back and recall the information that has been discussed during that call.
Blake: And so that’s quite important. The other thing is a really, really seamless negotiation layout. So, the idea that I can obviously make an offer, but I can also put conditions around that offer.
Liz: Fantastic, yes.
Blake: And so right now offers are quite simply, offers. They’re not necessarily contingent on anything, and those contingencies are typically discussed in the discussion forum.
And so, there’s a bit of a disconnect there, and so what Flippa’s doing is removing that disconnect and adding into the negotiation layer the idea that you can post offer conditions. And those offer conditions can be accepted as well as the offer itself being accepted or for that matter, countered.
Blake: So, when I counter, I’ll be able to obviously provide a new preferred price as well as state quite simply that the offer conditions are being accepted. Or they’ve been rejected but here are the counter terms etc. And so that’s going to be really, really important moving forward.
Liz: That is fantastic. It makes that whole process seamless. Remember how we say “keep your negotiations on Flippa, it’s the safest way to do this”. And now you’re making it so much easier for us. Also having that ability to be able to make an offer that has actually got conditions, instead of us discussing it over here and offering over here. We get to beautifully and seamlessly have that all together. So I love what you’re doing!
Liz: I’ve got to say, at Flippa, you’ve always been so open to the feedback that we’ve been giving, and I’m sure other people were giving you.
Liz: And you’re making this whole process easier and easier for us and we’re incredibly lucky to have this platform here for us to be able to transact and buy these incredible online assets. So, thank you so much Blake.
Blake: Thank you.
Liz: It’s exciting what you’re doing at Flippa, I’m so glad you’re on board and–
Blake: Oh thank you very much.
Liz: We’re really excited about the future of Flippa and investing on your platform.
Blake: Thank you so much.
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