Tyler Irons is an American entrepreneur, real estate technology innovator, marketing expert, speaker, and consultant. He is the founder of the real estate technology software company VRLY, which uses industry-leading technology and online distribution to differentiate its partners in the market.
Tyler, thank you so much for joining us today! Can you briefly give us an overview of VRLY?
I am honored to be here! I founded VRLY with a simple goal: to help our partners dominate their digital presence, leverage technology to recruit agents, and win more listings. I have staffed VRLY with talented people who share the same passion.
Using the latest technology, VRLY scans your home and creates a 3D model to be viewed online. VRLY then creates a unique one-page website for your listing, which includes the virtual walkthrough. Lastly, VRLY uses social media channels to drive traffic to that website to differentiate your listing on the market.
Wow, that sounds amazing! I know the housing market is booming right now, so I can see many agents drawn towards this type of technology. What were the greatest challenges you’ve faced when starting VRLY?
Our biggest obstacle was helping agents shift their thinking and beliefs from an old economy model to a digital and augmented era mindset.
I can definitely see that, so how do you differentiate from competitors? Is there even much competition given the novelty of this technology?
There are a lot of smart people creating amazing products for brokerages and agents. I think our biggest advantage is the true partnership we create with our clients. They have absolute confidence in our competence to create and build systems with their best interest in mind!
I guess it really is all about relationship building! So, what is the most memorable experience in the entire process when starting VRLY?
That’s a great question! For me, this is a simple answer, and it’s a moment I get to experience often. It’s the moment a partner truly understands how all the VRLY products are working for them. I see a slight nod of the head start, and they start to look off into the distance. This is the moment I see their brain take off with all the possibilities of VRLY! I love this moment!
Fascinating! Who would you consider the ideal target market for VRLY?
We work best with large teams or brokerages with built-in systems and processes, who also have support staff such as admins and sign runners. Once they have reached this point, they can plugin to VRLY, create an ancillary business, and create additional revenue streams.
You make it sound so easy! Who has been your greatest source of inspiration?
Easy, Elon Musk! The way he has challenged narratives and objections or the world should inspire everyone on Earth… and soon Mars! Haha!
I love it! He has certainly challenged the status quo! Has COVID-19 affected your business or timeline in any way?
Covid definitely disrupted the world, but in the long run, I believe it forced the industry as a whole to open its eyes to virtual solutions. It forced everyone to adopt VR and AR tech. I think it’s built out now that many will continue to use it because consumers will now demand it that they know it exists.
It certainly has, considering we are doing this interview remotely instead of at your office! Any advice you would give to new entrepreneurs?
EXTREME OWNERSHIP! Own every problem that comes your way. Only think about what you could have done differently. Yes, it doesn’t matter what it is or how easy it is to blame others. You could have done something differently. When you do this, you can fix anything because it’s your fault; you owned it after all. If things are happening because of you, change is possible. If things are happening to you, you’re a victim. Victims can’t control what’s happening. Never be a victim, not even for a second.
Sound advice! Do you feel there are fundamental differences between different generations when using VRLY?
In general, it’s harder for some generations to really understand the power of data and how that data can be used to create unique custom relationships and sales paths. Just like anything else, our environment impacts and affects what we know. Anything can be learned, though, and people are very adaptive when they want to be!
Tell that to my grandmother, who refuses to learn how to use her iPad, haha! So, any plans to expand VRLY to other countries?
Absolutely! Canada is our first global expansion, and we plan to reach all parts of the world!
Amazing! What were your biggest fears when starting VRLY?
None. I knew the product and services solved real problems. I knew it would be an uphill battle but never thought this might not work. I don’t think you start something like VRLY with any doubts.
Spoken like a true entrepreneur! How many hours a day do you work on average?
Haha Not sure I should say! I typically work 14 – 17 hour days. When people hear this, they’re often shocked. What people have to understand is I do what I love and have passion for every day. I get to work on my strengths and passions, so work is fun and invigorating for me. Once you enter this kind of work, you hit a different gear because you don’t have that burn our drag others do. If I have days where I do the things I don’t enjoy, I definitely feel very tired and burned out. So my advice is for people to do what they love and money will follow at some point!
I barely manage these 8 hour days! How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A lot of people would look in and think, wow, he has no time for family. The biggest thing being an entrepreneur has given me is control of my time. I can manipulate my schedule to make sure I can attend all the family functions. I can work early mornings and night to make a 4 pm basketball game for my daughter. This has been the best gift I could have ever asked for.
It certainly has its perks! I’m still hung up on the 17 hours, though, haha! So, what motivates you, Tyler?
My “why” is simple. The people around me motivate me: my family, my team, my clients. The faith and trust they’ve given me. I want to create a vessel that allows all of them to live and achieve their dreams. When you help others around you, you are winning. It’s a feeling that will drive anyone.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Absolutely! I think this is a very clearly proven statistic. Truly have your Customers and Teams’ best interest at heart! If you do this, you will win, and when things get tough, and they will! Your employees and clients will be there and have a value far beyond price.
Let me just write that down! If I asked your team to tell me one phrase you use, what would they say?
Haha, I have two that I drop on them daily. They would either say “Level Up” Or “Learn to Learn.”
I’m going to start using those now! So, what is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote comes from the words of Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
That speaks volumes and certainly is attributable to VRLY! Tyler, thank you so much for joining us today! Where can our readers learn more about you and VRLY?