- April 4, 2023
For PropLogix and CEO Timothy Healy, there are three keys to success: people, process and technology.
The three work hand in hand, but it starts with whom the Sarasota-based municipal lien search company hires. “Just finding people isn't hard,” he says. “The hard part is finding the right people.”
That means skills are secondary. The first part of the process is hiring for culture, and there are three specific traits he looks for: if a candidate has the drive to exceed the customer's expectation; how the candidate treats people; and whether he or she can deliver profit to PropLogix and its clients. To succeed at Prop- Logix, there has to be equal emphasis on all three.
“It's like a three-legged stool,” Healy says. “If you don't pay as much attention to one, it's like cutting an inch off of one of the legs. It will still function, but it will be wobbly. But if you don't have one of the three, the stool falls over.”
PropLogix's trio of hiring pillars, paired with a revamped and diversified model, sparked year-over-year revenue growth of 354% in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, revenues jumped from $746,556 to $1.13 million to $5.13 million.
When Healy, a onetime United States Postal Service official, was named CEO in August 2015, the firm was known as Professional Lien Search. Then the name represented the one service it offered: municipal lien searches, mostly for title companies and real estate attorneys.
Sarasota attorneys Evan Berlin and Jamie Ebling founded the firm in 2012. They sought a uniform way to search city or county finance and permit departments and other government offices to find fees, liens or assessments on properties. The business was initially a side entity to the attorneys' firm, Berlin Patten Ebling. It had 10 employees and did around 1,000 lien
searches a month.
Area software entrepreneur and real estate investor Jesse Biter, close friends with Berlin and Ebling, and a client of the law firm, bought Professional Lien Search in October 2014. He believed that with more sales people and a streamlined software program, the company could grow fast. And it did: By April 2015, the firm had 35 employees and did 3,500 searches a month.
The company, under Healy's leadership and with Biter remaining an owner, expanded and rebranded as PropLogix in April. “Professional Lien Search didn't reflect all that we do,” Healy says. “Now, as we've added more services, the name is more broad.”
PropLogix, which still provides municipal lien searches as its primary service, now offers additional services, such as estoppel letters, assessments and expired permit resolutions. The model, says Healy, is to do it through a “heavy investment” in one-on-one contact and technology.
PropLogix has 49 employees, with six people in sales. The sales team has one manager that leads five account executives statewide. A sixth account executive will join the north Florida region in the near future.
Having staff members to help clients, in an industry not traditionally known for technology, says Healy, is a competitive advantage. “If there's a problem, the account executives can be there in person,” Healy says. “It makes things easier for the customer.”
While the firm's clients are generally title companies and real estate attorneys, Healy says the company ultimately works for buyers and sellers of properties. PropLogix has a five person technology development staff, and is working to integrate its technology with title closing software companies. This way if a lien search is required during closing, there will be an option to click for PropLogix, he says.
The first two integration agreements are scheduled to go live by the end of the summer, but in general this part of the business is not a fast-moving process, Healy says. The company has four other agreements in the works that will take a few months to launch.
Healy is also preparing to take the company national. By the end of 2016 it will enter other states, he says, and will double its product line within 12 months. Part of the growth includes expanding on its current business-to-business model and offering business to-consumer services.
While an annual growth rate of 354% may not be attainable long-term, Healy does not expect growth to plateau, either. He projects $10 million in revenues for 2016.
Healy's career path to get to PropLogix is a somewhat familiar tale, given further executives who retire, only to quickly grow bored. Healy worked for the USPS for 39 years. He worked his way up and eventually served as the vice president of the agency's $18 billion retail products and services division.
But his retirement lasted four months.
He next worked in multiple vice president-level roles with mail and messaging equipment firm Pitney Bowes. He was later named president of Novitex Enterprise Solutions, an outsourcing firm that was previously Pitney Bowes Management Services.
In January 2015 Healy retired for the second time. That didn't last, either, so he started his own part-time consulting business.
Healy met Biter in August 2015 and was brought in as CEO of the company. After one year with the firm, Healy feels settled and that he's made a difference in a work world dominated by millennials.
“I view this as giving back,” Healy says. “Most of the people here are in their 20s, and I'm teaching them every day.”
Healy says a lot of those employees are buying new cars or houses or starting families. He also cites the job creation for young employees and the satisfaction that comes with watching them grow. Says Healy: “That's why I do it.”