SEG Client Stories: John Hinckley, CEO of Modern Message

VIDEO LENGTH 3:35 minutes

In this SEG client story, CEO John Hinckley discusses the sale of Modern Message to real estate giant RealPage. Modern Message is a leading provider of cloud-based resident engagement, loyalty, and rewards solutions for the multifamily real estate industry. John shares his motivation to go through an M&A process, how SEG told a compelling story that appealed to multiple buyers, and how the unwavering trust he built with the SEG team led to an outcome that far exceeded his expectations.



{John Hinkley:}  My name is John Hinckley. I’m the former CEO of Modern Message, and Modern Message was the pioneer of a cloud-based SaaS solution called Community Rewards. We were the pioneers of loyalty rewards in multifamily. We were acquired by RealPage, and SEG played a vital role in that process for us.

Strong Growth Driving Interest

{John Hinkley:} We grew Modern Message for about six or seven years, and the growth was incredibly exciting. At some point we realized that we needed to partner with somebody to take it to the next level. There were always suitors for Modern Message, and I was very concerned about how the process might disrupt existing interest. When we made the decision to sell and we chose SEG, I immediately felt very good about that, but I still needed to develop trust in that process as we started to dive in.

Building a Compelling Story

{John Hinkley:} Selling a business is incredibly personal. It’s emotional . It is exhausting. It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint.  And so as we kicked it off, I was really impressed with how SEG helped us analyze our business, understand our business, captured all the data across our business and helped us put the story together in the CIM. They discovered things about the business that I didn’t even know. They discovered strengths about my customer retention that I wasn’t even fully aware of, and they knew how to put the story together the right way.

SEG’s Deep Buyer Network

{John Hinkley:} SEG helped us be patient in the process, understand how to talk about our business, how a buyer would look at our business, what a buyer is looking for in our business, and really coaching us along the way. I found that to be incredibly valuable. I couldn’t believe how many opportunities they had laid in front of us with buyers. Their network was very deep.  It was very good. They clearly knew all the buyers that our business needed to get in front of. And they knew how to tell that story the right way.

Solidified Trust in SEG

{John Hinkley:} And so, as we started to unpack that together, my trust just continued to grow and grow and grow. And there were multiple times where I would ask questions and I was, SEG, I’m not sure if this is the right move for us. And as they processed those concerns, it was really comforting and it was really great how they handled it.

A Successful Outcome

{John Hinkley:}  SEG is excellent at getting the highest price for selling a business. The outcome was above and beyond what I thought it was going to be. And I was incredibly happy and grateful for the team. Since the sale of the business, we’ve had a life-changing moment which has been a lot of fun. We’ve been able to travel and do a lot of things. We got involved in some nonprofit organizations and are doing some really great things with some of the success that we’ve had and really achieving financial freedom, which is a goal that any entrepreneur wants to see. When you build a business, you never really know how it’s going to end up. You always hope it ends up really well, and I’m just grateful for SEG helping us get through that final phase of the journey with the business and helping us get a transaction. It’s been a life-changing moment.