Kansas City REALTORS® Complete UMKC REALTOR® Leadership Academy

The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City celebrated the 22 Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® members who completed the inaugural class of the UMKC REALTOR® Leadership Academy.

The Academy is a 10-month leadership development program designed to support REALTORS® who are committed to advancing their careers through professional education and civic engagement. The Regional Association partnered with Bloch Executive Education and the Lewis White Real Estate Center at the UMKC’s Bloch School of Management for the creation and development of the Academy. UMKC Bloch School Dean Brian Klaas congratulated the students for their dedication to professional development and lifelong learning at the completion ceremony on Jan 10.

“Welcome to the Bloch School Roo family,” Klaas said. “You took the initiative. It will serve you well over time.”

Continue reading

Bloch MBA Students’ Success Reaches the Global Scale

Shortly after receiving a graduate degree from the Bloch School, Scott Hansen (MBA, Entrepreneurship Scholars ’14) launched what is now ProfessionalChats, a website chat service specialized in high quality, online engagement. Shortly after, he was joined by fellow Bloch alumnus Trevor Flannigan (MBA ’14), who had a passion for growing companies. Three years later, these native Kansas Citians have done just that. ProfessionalChats now has more than 60 employees, serves five different industries and boasts more than 500 clients with up to $50 million in revenue among seven countries.

How did they do it? We set up an interview with them to find out.

What is ProfessionalChats?

Trevor Flannigan (MBA ’14), Chief Operating Officer, ProfessionalChats

Trevor Flannigan: “ProfessionalChats is a Kansas City-based website chat service that specializes in high quality, online engagement. We have multiple brands geared toward serving specific markets: OrthoChats for orthodontists, HomeServiceChats for residential service companies, HearingChats for audiologists, DentistChats for dentists and ChiroChats for chiropractors. Niching out our service lines as specific client-facing brands has helped us gain credibility within each industry better than generic marketed names. Live website chat has quickly gained traction as an essential part of any large business’s communication.”

How did ProfessionalChats start?

Scott Hansen (MBA ’14), Founder and CEO, ProfessionalChats

Scott Hansen: “I was managing my family’s orthodontic practice. We launched online chat on our website for two reasons: we wanted to convert more ‘shoppers’ into new patients, and we wanted to provide unparalleled customer service. It was a huge success.

However, being ultra-responsive with online chat while managing our normal tasks was difficult. So, we looked at outsourcing the service.  All of the services we could find used overseas labor and contracted chat agents to work from home.  Needless to say, the services offered relatively poor quality. So, instead of giving up, I hired a chat specialist, trained him, and started offering a premium chat service specifically for orthodontists, OrthoChats.” Continue reading