Real Estate Marketing Software
Welcome to the first episode of the Agent Sauce Real Estate Marketing Podcast. In this episode we discuss various real estate marketing software and strategies and their applications.
Some of the real estate marketing software that we discuss are:
- Virtual Tours
- Social Media
- SMS/Text Messaging
- Toll Free Call Capture
- Email Marketing
Some of the strategies we discuss are:
- Cultivating Relationships
- Lead Generation
- Drip Marketing
- Marketing Automation
Adam Small: Hi. This is Adam Small with Agent Sauce. Today we’re starting our brand new real estate marketing podcast. Today we’re here in the studio with DK New Media with Doug Karr.
Douglas Karr: Hey. How’s it going, Adam?
Adam Small: Going great. How are you doing?
Douglas Karr: I’m doing fantastic. I’m so glad that you’re starting a podcast.
Adam Small: Thanks. We’re really happy about it too. It’s a great opportunity to really reach a lot of people and another great real estate marketing software that’s really underutilized.
Douglas Karr: I think so too. For listeners out there that are real estate agents, there’s quite a few good real estate marketing podcasts out there. It’s going to be good to focus yours on technology-driven marketing.
Adam Small: Technology- and results-driven, yes. Absolutely.
Douglas Karr: For folks tuning into the first time, because you’re obviously going to have customers that are familiar with your platform, but you’re going to have people that are tuning in that have never heard of Agent Sauce before …
Adam Small: What? Never heard of Agent Sauce? You’re right. We’re going to have those people out there too, but we’re going to hopefully quickly educate them on the best real estate marketing software out there.
Douglas Karr: Nice.
Adam Small: You like that drop?
Douglas Karr: Oh yeah.
Adam Small: Yeah.
Douglas Karr: It’s huge.
Adam Small: In 20 years when people listen to that, they’re going to go, “I don’t get the reference.” That’s okay.
Douglas Karr: That’s okay. Maybe give people an overview of how the Agent Sauce real estate marketing software is helping real estate agents and then all of the features in it.
Adam Small: The 30-second elevator pitch is that Agent Sauce is a real estate marketing software platform. It focuses in three core areas. One is a base feature of the Real Estate CRM. It’s really real estate-related. E-mail templates that are specific to real estate, just listed, just sold, testimonial, referral type stuff. The next stage of that is lead generation. Again, real estate-related ways to generate leads to help get listings or sell listings. Then the final stage is real estate marketing automation. This is stuff that just is done automatically for the agents. That’s the broad general overview.
From specific real estate marketing software features, you’ve got your CRM, e-mail marketing, content libraries, lead generation stuff, SMS, toll-free call capture, text messaging, video generation, social media marketing, virtual tours, referral engines, testimonial engines. There’s really a lot of tools in there, individual tools, that are all integrated in one space and it makes them really easy to use to accomplish the purpose of getting new listings, selling existing listings, staying in contact with your real estate sphere so that you continue to generate new revenue and get new customers from your sphere.
Douglas Karr: Nice. You know, it’s funny, because we had a real estate agent back in Virginia, and the great thing, about her … she kept touch. This was literally back then it was direct mail. We didn’t have e-mail back in the old days.
Adam Small: You’re showing your age.
Douglas Karr: Thanks. But the great thing was I think we bought and sold three houses through her. It was just simply because she was top of mind every time we were going to either buy or sell.
Adam Small: Exactly. She was top of mind because she was sending you a postcard or something on a regular basis, right?
Douglas Karr: Right.
Adam Small: I remember when I bought my first house in ’99. I worked with the agent and we spent a few months. We found the house and got it closed, and I never heard from her again. When I went to go sell my next house, it was a whole new agent, the whole nine yards. Even now, I still have no idea where she is. That kind of led into our focus on real estate back when we started with the connective mobile and SMS, realtors really picked up on that back in 2008. That led into an evolution of our product into a fully-featured, robust real estate marketing software platform for real estate agents.
Douglas Karr: I think for people that haven’t heard of Agent Sauce, that’s the challenge, is that a real estate agent has 10 different real estate marketing software platforms they might have to buy and none of them talk to each other and none of them are simple to use. They have to teach themselves how to use each platform. What you’ve done is basically combine all of this into one fully-featured platform so they don’t have to go buy anything else.
Adam Small: Right. Buying different platforms is one aspect of it, because, you’re right, they’re paying $30 for this one, $30 for that one, and $30 for that one. Whereas, we’ve taken and combined all of those different platforms, put them into one real estate marketing software, then with a very competitive price. Then, at the same time, made it so that instead of having to enter the same listing into this platform, that platform, and the next platform, they enter it one time and all of those real estate marketing software features are taken care of.
Douglas Karr: Nice.
Adam Small: Text messaging, toll-free call capture, e-mail marketing, virtual tour. Whole nine yards.
Douglas Karr: You now, Agent Sauce, you guys have the full real estate marketing software platform, and then you guys also have templates and everything built in for people that let’s say they want to send holiday e-mails.
Adam Small: Actually we do that in a couple of different ways. We have templates built in. There are, I don’t know, 30 or 40 different holiday templates in there, everything from Happy Holidays, New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, that sort of thing, which are really easy to use. An agent can log in themselves and select the one they want to send and send it. If they don’t want to do that, then we actually have a program as part of our core program, our CRM, where on a monthly basis we send out a newsletter for every agent. All they have to do is upload their list to our real estate marketing software platform and it goes out.
Douglas Karr: Nice.
Adam Small: As part of that, there are what we call bonus e-mails throughout the year. Fall Back, Spring Forward, Thanksgiving, either Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, New Years, that sort of thing. There are another four or five e-mails throughout the year that get sent in addition to the monthly newsletter, and they touch on some of the larger holidays.
Douglas Karr: I was talking to a friend of mine. He wasn’t in real estate. He was doing sales in car sales. But I think it’s probably, I know it’s a totally different scale and everything, but he was talking about that he went and sold cars for six months and then quit. I asked him what it was like and he said, “Well, it was great.” He goes, “You know, when I could sell a car it was awesome. But the problem was is that 90% of the cars were sold by the agents that had been there for 20 years and had maintained contact with all their customers and everything else.” The people walking in the door weren’t the people that had never been at the dealership before. They already had relationships. That’s the trick. I’m guessing real estate agents I know I think at the lower end have a lot of turnover, but 90% of real estate agents, they have their list. They do business over and over and over and over again.
Adam Small: Right. The thing about it is, is that with real estate and even the car industry there’s a very long sales cycle. Most people aren’t buying a new home every two or three years or even every five or 10 years. A lot of people maybe hit that five-, 10-year mark and the new couples, whatever, the younger couples are upgrading, that sort of thing. But, by and large, it’s a long sales cycle very similar to cars if not longer. You have to maintain that relationship. You have to find a way to stay top of mind and remind people, “Hey. You know, when it’s time, when you’re looking, or when your buddy says, ‘Hey. I need a real estate agent,'” they recommend you. That’s probably the hardest thing to do.
Like I said, our first real estate agent when I bought my first home, I never heard from her again. I’d have been happy to use her to sell the house and buy another one. Didn’t happen though. She was great, but moved on. What you see happening, you’re talking the new real estate agents, they need a list. They need a sphere of people that they need to stay in contact with and help them get into that point where they’re a few years down the line generating new revenue, or not revenue but recurring revenue from people that are buying a second and third time or selling or whatever it may be.
Douglas Karr: What kind of advice would you give let’s say a real estate agent that is starting out? What kind of advice would you give a new real estate agent that was just trying to ramp up their business? Of course, including from a technological standpoint. How do they build that list? How do they start? How do they even get going?
Adam Small: The first thing I would say is, it doesn’t matter how big your list is, get started. You’re talking about e-mail marketing in particular here, but it really doesn’t matter whether it’s e-mail marketing, print marketing, or just telephone dialing and calling your list. I’m not sure I recommend you do that on a weekly basis or anything. But the point being is that what matters is, is that you’re doing something to stay in contact and let these people know. When we get a new agent, not an experienced agent that’s starting with us but an actual, “Hey. I just graduated real estate school and now I’m an agent. What do I do?” Type of agent.
A couple of things that we tell them are, because we’ll hear, “You know, I got to get my list together. I got to get it all in Excel and all that, so it’s going to take me a month or two.” No. No, it’s not. What you do is you sit down one night and you get 10 or 20 names. You put them in the real estate marketing software and you start sending e-mails to them. Then, next week you sit down for a couple hours and you get another 10 or 20 names and you put them in the system so that they can start getting those messages. The other thing that we do in one of our templates is a “I’m a New Agent” template. You go in and you select all the people in your list and you send that e-mail to them saying, “Hey. I’m a new agent. If you know anybody looking to buy or sell, please refer me or come see me.” That sort of thing.
The whole point of it is, is the basic sales mantra of they have to see you, they have to know you, you have to touch them multiple times before they’re going to do it. You have to just start communicating. That’s probably the biggest thing. Just start. More than anything else. I’ll say it, whether it’s using our real estate marketing software or some other system, it doesn’t matter. If you want to be successful, you have to just start communicating.
Douglas Karr: I think most people nowadays they have their … They can export their contact list and they can export their LinkedIn list. Your system, just like everybody else, it allows them to unsubscribe. If they don’t want to hear again, that’s fine. That’s a cool idea. “Hey. I’m a real estate agent.” Who would have thought that just letting people know.
Adam Small: It’s a big thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a real estate agent tell me, “I was just talking to my friend yesterday and he told me he had referred another real estate agent. He told me he had just sold his home or just bought a home and he didn’t use me.” My first response to that isn’t, “Oh man. I’m sorry.” It’s, “Oh, you know what? You should have been in contact with them.” I don’t mean to sound harsh, but really it comes down to you weren’t in contact with them so they didn’t think of you. Probably 99% of the time that’s the issue. It could also be they really didn’t like you, but that’s a whole different issue altogether. I think the vast majority of times it’s just because they didn’t think of you because you weren’t top of mind.
Douglas Karr: That’s a great tip for people. The other thing that I really like that you said there was “your list,” “your contacts.” Phone number, address, e-mail address, getting those pertinent info. Because I think if you’re a young person, even if you’re a young agent that’s really used to the digital world and you’ve adopted it and everything else, these agents, they think, “Well, I’ll just go out on Facebook and I’ll start my Facebook page and I’ll start pulling people in.” You guys integrate with Facebook, but you guys manage the list.
Adam Small: Right. What it comes down to is a matter of ownership of list. I saw an article today, and I can’t remember the company, but they’re actually here in Indianapolis. They built their entire platform out-
Douglas Karr: With Geofeedia.
Adam Small: Right, around social media platforms and providing data and analytics on that. Now the social media companies are cutting them off.
Douglas Karr: The ACLU complained that there was too much information that was … I think it was police stations were-
Adam Small: They were using it to track people.
Douglas Karr: … were utilizing it to track …
Adam Small: Big brother, here we come. The point being that they rely on these external platforms. Agents do it too with Facebook and all that, as opposed to having their own list and controlling when to put the message out, what the message is, and really being able to direct who sees it or not. Because, like Facebook and Twitter and all that, there are algorithms that decide whether or not the people that are liking your page or following you actually see the message.
Douglas Karr: For pages it’s terrible. Most of the time, if you want anything posted on your page to be shared, you got to pay for it.
Adam Small: You have to pay for it. Exactly. You’re building a list on a platform that you may or may not be able to get information out of, number one, and you can’t control how many people are being able to see that message. At least with e-mail marketing or CRM or direct marketing you’re able to say, “Hey. I know that the message was at least attempted to be delivered.” Whereas, with a lot of the social platforms, you can’t really control that. That’s not to say that social media doesn’t have its place in marketing, but it’s about making sure that you control the message.
Douglas Karr: You guys use it as a great echo chamber. Get the word out to your friends, to their friends, everything else. The other thing, I got to tell you a pet peeve of mine with real estate agents, and that’s on Facebook. I almost always read, “Oh, just closed our 144th home this year.” I look at that and I go, “So? I don’t care.” I understand some of it is the authority that that is is, “Hey. We sold our 144th home. We know what we’re doing,” kind of thing. But I’m surprised at how many people just don’t have any meat to their update. It would have been really cool if they said, “Oh, so happy with this family that we sold the house to today. They’re new. They just had their first daughter, and they were really worried about closing.” You know what I mean? Bringing some kind of emotional aspect to it.
Adam Small: Personalize it.
Douglas Karr: Yeah.
Adam Small: Absolutely. That’s the funny thing. With our content library that we provide, we tell people, “You can put it out there just as it is if you want. We recommend that you personalize and customize this a little bit.” Provide a real emotion to it so that there’s a reason to read it instead of just saying, “Oh, I sold my 144th listing.”
Douglas Karr: Not “me me me,” “I I I.”
Adam Small: Like you said, it’s the, “Wow. This great family. They’re young. They’re starting out.” That sort of thing. Put an emotional story to it. That way, like you said, it’s not all about me. It’s about the family and, “Oh, by the way, it’s our 144th time this year, so we really know what we’re doing.” But you’re not presenting it in that fashion.
Douglas Karr: There’s always a story. There’s always something different with every sale that’s unique that’s cool to tell people about. The other one too is I really think your mobile tours are terrific.
Adam Small: Thank you. Appreciate that.
Douglas Karr: We’re not trying to make a sales thing here. Well, maybe we are. People should check it out.
Adam Small: Educational.
Douglas Karr: But I really do think the old days of one picture, a map, people just aren’t digging that. Your mobile tours really provide people, tell people. When you explained it to me, that I’m standing outside of a property or whatever.
Adam Small: Right. It starts with the text message. Rather, it really starts with the sign in the yard with the call to action on it. The call to action is to either text or call the toll-free number. You text in a keyword related to that listing and then you get a text message back which has all the basic information in there, address, price, bed/bath, that sort of thing, agent contact information, which is crucial. Then there’s a link from that that you click on which takes you to the mobile virtual tour. Nice thing about that link is that we can actually track that back to the phone number that texted in.
Douglas Karr: Nice.
Adam Small: You know if somebody’s going this next step, that sort of thing. The agent gets a notification of the lead at that point in time. That’s all part of lead generation, which then goes to the mobile optimized virtual tour.
Douglas Karr: If I’m an agent, I’m going to get a text message that says, “Hey. This phone number just made a request.”
Adam Small: About this listing, and it provides the basic information on the listing, the address and all that, so the agent … because agents have a lot of listings.
Douglas Karr: The agent could turn around and call if they wanted to and say, “Hey. I’m in the neighborhood and I just saw that you requested information on this. I could stop by and show it to you.”
Adam Small: Right. They could.
Douglas Karr: Wow.
Adam Small: Typically what we do with that is we actually tell the agents to respond in the manner in which the person initiated the contact. Like I said, there’s text message and then there’s toll-free call capture. They could actually call in and listen to a voice message about the property or they can text in. When they get the notification, the agent, it says, “Hey. This person texted,” or, “this person called.” We tell the agent, if they texted, what they’re doing is they’re telling you how they want to communicate, what method of communication they’re comfortable with. We recommend if they text you text them and say exactly what you said. “Hey. I’m in the neighborhood. If you’d like to go see the home or if you have any questions, please let me know. Happy to answer them.” If they called in the toll-free number, then they’re indicating that they prefer the call, so you call them and you talk to them.
Douglas Karr: Wow.
Adam Small: They’re really showing you their preference.
Douglas Karr: That’s really simple but makes perfect sense.
Adam Small: It works. It really does. If you respond to either a text or a call in the like manner within five minutes, you have a very good chance of converting that person if they’re not already working with an agent. It’s not going to happen every time. It never does. Within the first five minutes, you’ve got a great chance of converting that person, because really what it’s telling you is that they’re sitting in front of that house, because they didn’t do a fly-by at 100 miles an hour and text. They’re sitting in front of that house and are looking at it and they want to know more. You hit them within that first five minutes and you’ve got a real good opportunity to at least get to the table with them.
Douglas Karr: Nice. Do you have a demo? Can someone text something to an ad right now?
Adam Small: Yeah. You can text HOME2000, H-O-M-E-2-0-0-0, to 71813. It’ll come back with a sample response. I’ll get the notification and your phone number, so go ahead. It’ll have a link to the mobile-optimized virtual tour and everything right in it.
Douglas Karr: Nice. HOME2000 to …
Adam Small: 71813.
Douglas Karr: Nice. Wow. That’s good.
Adam Small: We put that out there. It’s amazing. We actually generate a lot of leads with out demo text.
Douglas Karr: That’s awesome.
Adam Small: Obviously they’re not people looking to buy that home. That happens every now and then.
Douglas Karr: Really?
Adam Small: It does. But we’ve got sample on there and demo on there just so people know. Somehow or other that gets by them. You might think the 123 Main Street would tell them too as the address. But we generate a lot of leads ourself. We use our own real estate marketing software to generate leads and manage our CRM relationships and e-mail marketing and all that. In the software world, tech world, eating our own dog food.
Douglas Karr: Nice. But I think the interesting thing that you’ve done, and I really think this is exceptional, is you’ve really maintained cost low with your system while using the highest grade of the quality tools out there. I’m telling real estate agents, if you go shopping for each of these things, mobile tours, text messaging, CRM …
Adam Small: It adds up.
Douglas Karr: You can spend a few hundred bucks a month easy on on real estate marketing software.
Adam Small: Easily. Easily.
Douglas Karr: You guys are substantially less than that.
Adam Small: Right. Our real estate marketing software starts at $29.95 a month for the CRM, which includes the monthly e-mail and all the features of the CRM. It goes up to $99.95 a month, which includes the website, content library, social CRM, and all that stuff. There’s a nice plus program which, right in the middle at $49.95, which has the testimonial engine, the referral engine, mobile scanner, open house collector, inbox scanner.
Douglas Karr: Wow.
Adam Small: Honestly, it’s probably our best program at $49.95, because it’s got a lot of the lead generation stuff in it, it’s got the CRM in it, and it’s got a lot of the additional marketing stuff in there. It’s probably our best program.
Douglas Karr: We’re in October here and we’re heading into the winter. Is that slow for a real estate agent?
Adam Small: For most agents it is. I’ve heard some say over the last year or two that it’s balancing out, just because of the way the real estate market has been. But, generally speaking, from our experience, October, November, December are really a trickle-down. Come actually December we start to see a lot of agents start thinking about next year, so we see an uptick in our business around then, December, January, February. Then you’re into spring and it’s a sprint all the way through the end of the summer.
Douglas Karr: The message there is, “Hey. Thanksgiving is coming up and you’re going to be busy and you’re going to have off time and everything else.” Get in now. Get your real estate marketing software set up now. Get your templates set up now. Get everything set up now. That way, you’re sending and when things ramp back up you’ve got a list. You’ve got things built.
Adam Small: You’re already ready to hit the ground running come early next year, because you’ve got to take advantage of it when the business comes. You don’t want to be getting your real estate marketing software set up when it comes. You want to be set up and ready to go.
Douglas Karr: We’re going to close out. Where do people go for information?
Adam Small: AgentSauce.com.
Douglas Karr: That’s pretty easy.
Adam Small: We like it.
Douglas Karr: Of course, you’re on social media as well.
Adam Small: We are. Agent Sauce on Twitter, Facebook.com/AgentSauce, YouTube.
Douglas Karr: You got those?
Adam Small: We did.
Douglas Karr: That’s awesome.
Adam Small: Well, as I say that, Twitter is actually agent_sauce.
Douglas Karr: Okay.
Adam Small: There’s an Agent Sauce on Twitter, but he’s definitely not us. He’s not very active to begin with. We went with agent_sauce.
Douglas Karr: You have to trademark it and pull it out from him.
Adam Small: There you go.
Douglas Karr: You don’t have enough stuff to do that.
Adam Small: No we don’t. Absolutely not.
Douglas Karr: Is there a phone number where people should call if they want information?
Adam Small: Yeah. You can call our toll-free line at 877-230-0023.
Douglas Karr: E-mail address?
Adam Small: Info@agentsauce.com.
Douglas Karr: Nice. Congratulations on the first podcast.
Adam Small: Wahoo!
Douglas Karr: Subscribe, obviously. You’ll post this on AgentSauce.com?
Adam Small: Yeah.
Douglas Karr: We’ll post this on MarketingTechBlog.com.
Adam Small: All right.
Douglas Karr: We’ll talk to you next time.
Adam Small: All right, Doug. Thanks.
Douglas Karr: Yeah, absolutely.