VIU alumni and Real Estate Webmasters (REW) CEO Morgan Carey brought his business to CBC’s Dragons’ Den looking to increase its size and productivity.
REW is a company that helps real estate agents increase their online presence and in turn increase their business. They help by providing professional services in search engine optimization, ad buys, social media, and content development.
Carey launched the company 11 years ago after a successful start as a search engine consultant. As a search engine consultant, Carey said he built a brand around himself that made him what people wanted. He said working 16 hour days and being busy non-stop helped him realize he needed to specialise in a market.
Choosing real estate, he developed REW. Carey said he first started with marketing. He said “most vendors sucked” at the time and finding reliable graphic designers was hard. He also said the idea of the company is to take the marketing out of the realtor’s hands. “The only thing we can’t do is drive the clients to the houses.”
The company serves mostly US clients. Sutton Realty is the biggest brokerage they work with in Canada. REW charges in US dollars, making it easier to sell to the US. The way the country is spread out also makes it an easier market, but Carey said they “are looking at how to bridge the gap.”
Carey said the future of REW involves getting more space. He wants to fill the building he is in and train more people, but the problem with getting more office space in Nanaimo is that the town is “terrible to deal with when it comes to real estate development.”
The success of the company landed REW as a profit 500 company. Carey was encouraged to try out for Dragons’ Den, so he emailed them and got a response. He did an interview with them when they were in town and made it to the main show.
Carey said his pitch was different than what the show was built for. Most people go on the show with an idea, hoping to get help, but Carey was bringing in an already successful company.
Carey said, when on the show, he was told he was there because he “wanted to get on TV,” but he insists that was not the reason.
“I said ‘do you know how to take a company from 100 employees to 1000? Well neither do I.’”
Carey said the point of going on the show for him was to find someone who can help take the company from a million dollar company to a billion dollar company.
“I want this to be a billion dollar company in five years,” said Carey. “I need help there.”
Without the help of an investor to help expand the company, Carey said it will be difficult to get to where he wants to be. Having someone who knows how to build companies and has the contacts already can save some very costly mistakes.
About going on the show, Carey said he had a lot of the same questions that most people have.
“The big question was how real is this,” said Carey. “It’s quite real.”
He said when you go out to do your pitch there is no do-overs and no directions. They offer consulting and ask how you would pitch. They will give you advice and some steps to go through, but they don’t change your pitch and nothing is scripted.
“In five seconds, the pitch is out the window,” Carey said. “The Dragons can take it in any direction; you have to improvise.”
He said that filming is a lot longer than the episode—you can be filming for hours.