This episode features an interview with Sarah Dekin, President and COO at Hometap, an equity-sharing company that invests in homes in exchange for a portion of the home’s future value. Prior to her work at Hometap, Sarah has served as CMO at Virgin Money and ZipCar as well as EVP of Strategic Marketing and Development for the House of Blues. And in this episode, Sarah shares what she’s learned about customer experience along her career path from the House of Blues to Hometap. She also talks about her key mentorships, knowing when to accept an opportunity, and how she’s blazing a trail in the homeowner experience at Hometap.
About the guest
Sarah Dekin is the current Chief Operating Officer at Hometap. Sarah was previously with The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, Sarah Dekin Growth Company Executive and Advisor, Virgin Money, Zipcar, and House of Blues. Sarah has over 25 years of experience in marketing and strategic planning. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Sarah has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from Trinity College-Hartford.
*”I was working on strategy and planning, and we needed some help in business development. And business development is something I’d never done. And to be honest with you, negotiating in general is something that intimidated me a little bit. But it was probably because of that that I thought I should really take advantage of this opportunity and give it a try, even though it made me nervous. But I only did that because I knew that right behind me, [my mentor] Joe would be there. He wasn’t gonna let me fail. And so I think for anyone who finds himself looking at an opportunity like that, definitely go for it.”
*”The first point of contact for most of our homeowners is the website. And we believe in very simple, very straightforward [language], as transparent as possible. No buzzwords, no jargon, easily understandable phraseology and very transparent demonstrations of how the pricing works and lots of FAQs so that people can self-serve to the extent that they want. We have a very easy to use but robust scenario planner tool where our homeowners can change [different factors]. I think there’s nothing better than actually interacting with the scenario rather than, you know, reading a multi-page document.”
*”Whether it comes through in your digital experience or whether it comes through in the individuals with whom the homeowners interact, we do have a very homeowner-first mentality. We have homeowner values around respect, kindness, and empathy. And if you can have that as a core value not just for the frontline people, but for your product team, your designers, your engineers, and for your marketing team, those are going to mutually reinforce what will come out at the end as a very authentically kind and positive experience for the homeowner.”
[1:40] Introducing Sarah Dekin, COO and President at Hometap
[3:37] What did Sarah learn about CX at the House of Blues?
[9:26] How did the House of Blues create its unique customer experience and build a name for itself in the industry?
[11:22] When did Sarah know it was time to move on from the House of Blues after 10 years?
[16:06] How did Sarah get involved with Zipcar, and how were they a disrupter in customer experience?
[22:32] How did Sarah leverage Zipcar’s dedicated member base to help make important decisions?
[24:20] How was Virgin Money pushing the envelope in online banking?
[27:48] What is Hometap? And how are they providing an entirely new financial tool to homeowners?
[34:42] Tell me more about the Hometap customer experience
Thanks to our friends
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