#178 Mail Right Show: What Are the Leading Online Real Estate Online Marketing Solutions in 2019
We don’t pull any punches in this episode of the Mail-Right Show where we finished off from last weeks episode where we review all the leading real estate online marketing platforms on the market at the present moment.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 178. I’m slowly dying the game listeners and viewers. And I’ve got a bloody cold, something wrong. My great cohost Robert looks in perfect health. He looks too healthy as far as I am concerned. Robert, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: Oh, I’d love to you. My name is Robert Newman. I’m the founder of a small blog and online marketing company in California called Inbound Real Estate Marketing. The website is inboundrem.
Jonathon: And I’m the founder of Mail Right. Owner and CEO Jonathan Denwood. We had an episode last week where we talked about some of the leading online lead generation marketing systems on the market. The present moment. And we talked of Boom Town, Real Geeks, Bold Leads, Inbound REM and Real Estate Web Masters. We’re going to continue the list. Oh Robert, let’s start with Easy Agent Pro. What do you think of them?
Robert: So, on this list, KV Core, Playster, Agent Fire, Curator and Easy Agent Pro. For those listeners who don’t know. Part of what I do on my website is I do real deep dives. And when I say deep dives, I usually try to get a copy of or a login. And then I go ahead and I use it for anywhere from 30 days to six weeks. And I really get, I like an in depth knowledge of the platform and then I review it. On this list, the list that Jonathan just mentioned, I’ve done that with Playster and Easy Agent Pro. Curator Agent Firing KB Core. I have never used; I’ve run across too many times. I have opinions about them, but I want to make clear to our listeners that I’ve never used them.
Robert: This is a different thing. So the answer Jonathan’s question, Easy Agent Pro. Easy Agent Pro is top on my list. I think the guys that Tyler’s Zay and his partner are trying real hard to use the WordPress platform to do something that somebody else hasn’t done. What they’ve achieved in doing in my very sometimes not so humble opinion. Is they’ve managed to create a reasonably good content management version. So there are two types of marketing. You can drive somebody into a website using landing pages, which a lot of marketing companies do like Bold Leads and others.
Robert: Or you can drive somebody into your website by the value of the information that you find there. And usually people are finding you on Google. Easy Agent Pro tools are designed for the ladder strategy, which means it’s a long term platform. They have some tools that they’ve tried to build which, are designed to do some other things, but they haven’t actually, in my opinion, achieved the end goal of creating unique high value tools. They’ve really just managed to copy tools that are already out there on the marketplace. And some of these tools that they copied in the first place aren`t actually all that great.
Robert: So there are some pros and cons. They teach you how to be a relatively good inbound marketer. They have a lot of brilliant ideas and their content; they’re very good about releasing new information and trying to give you lots and lots of ideas. But you have to consume a lot of information in order to use their platform in the ways they’re suggesting. And I think that this platform, Jonathan Easy Agent Pro would be great. A great platform for a person that was trying to become a content marketer inside of real estate. And wanted somebody two done some of the hard work in terms of like setting pages up and things like that. The only problem is you don’t own the website. So if you do take my advice, keep in mind you’re kind of walking yourself into this platform. And all the, the challenges that might come with it. And that can be a real risky proposition. So there you go. That’s my thoughts about Easy Agent Pro as usual more than you were hoping for.
Jonathon: No I think you were absolutely spot on. Well they do provide content, but you’ve got to understand folks that it’s going to be spread throughout the whole chain. So its value in SEO and in the eyes of Google is going to be limited. And they don’t disguise that they sharing the content with everybody. But one of their strengths is that they do provide a lot of videos, a lot of written content to keep the person up and running, up to date in what’s happening. They provide a lot of ideas. But you really got to understand what you’re buying into. Because you have got to be urgent and disciplined enough and have enough time. And when you get busy, still have the dedication not to stop updating your site. Or doing anything for it for months. Keep updating it and move the site forward.
Jonathon: That is the problem is not so much with their platform. It’s what’s required for the end user. Do you agree with that?
Robert: Yeah I would. As a general whole. I just want to really quickly hit the other one that I actually have reviewed Playster. Playster is an interesting system. They allow $5 website. So Easy Agent Pro. The last time I checked is about $279 a month. Now I haven’t checked it in almost a year, so keep that in mind. It might be something different now, but that’s what it was. Playster can be $5 a month all the way up to $159 a month. And what Playster does is they allow you different versions of a lockdown website. They have something that nobody else in the real estate industry has, which they have 400,000 installed websites. Which means that in theory they have one out of every five of our licensed realtors should have a Playster website.
Robert: So some of you listening to this program without question should have a Playster website. So what are my thoughts about them? I think they’re. Everybody in the entire industry exceeds them in terms of performance. When it comes to lead generation across the board. Their IDX, which I know they had great intentions for isn’t actually good or revolutionary in the sense that it’s delivering results. That other website like almost everybody that you’d care to mention that to the size of Playster delivers a better search experience and a more productive one in terms of lead generation. So we could say Real Geeks, we can say Real Estate Webmasters, we can say. And they all have Idx that do a better job than Playster at generating leads. And that’s coming from a very educated, like I’ve tested this and looked at the conversion rate. And have a fairly good understanding of what’s possible.
Robert: I also feel a little bit. I’m not a fan personally of sales tactics that force you to like they give you a $5 scaled down version of the website. And if you want lead generation, if you want to access your Idx, if you want to change any of the settings, you have to immediately jump up to a $99 a month version of the website. There’s just no other option. And I always felt that was a little shady because you really only get like something like a face plate on the web for the $5. That’s it. That’s all you get. You don’t get anything else. And so the second you want to do anything with your website, you end up having to pay a significant upgrade fee. I just don’t, I think they could’ve done that better.
Robert: I think they should think about doing that better. And then of course there are still lots of other additional charges. Like if you do the PPC campaigns, then their monthly management fee jumps up to $299 a month. This is reasonable in the broad spectrum of PPC management concepts. But it’s not reasonable in the sense that I don’t know. I just don’t like their sales tactics. I’m sorry, John. That’s it.
Jonathon: I also totally agree with you there that they are great marketers. I forgot the name of their CEO. He is a great marketer.
Robert: Matthew Burrow
Jonathon: Matthew. It sees to gone a bit, first of all I just don`t see how they got those $400,000.
Robert: They bought a lot of companies. They bought companies that had the user base and then basically they absorbed them in terms of being Playster customers. Plus they partnered with Nora, which was a brilliant move. So everybody who’s a member of Nora gets what is essentially a free Playster website. There’s two ways that they jumped it up and they did it very cleverly. But it was like a, it was an investment trick. Because they’re very venture capitalist funding, which probably means they’re going to sell themselves any way. And Frederick Townes and Matthew Burrow, we’ll move on to their next thing.
Jonathon: Exactly. They offer a lot of additional services. They cannot make any money on these lower products. They just lost leaders. I was going to say you get what you pay for. But that’s not always the case. But the cheaper end, lost leaders, they are always trying to upsell you into an upper level. It`s one glorified marketing funnel basically. They get so many people in the lower end. That probably will sell like four to five houses, four to six hours is a year that probably never will upgrades. But they may have so many people into their funnel that are higher level services that they offer. That is basically their marketing strategy. And I also totally agree with you. That I wouldn’t be surprised if they wish you surprised in some ways because I’m the kind of returns that VC are looking for. I was surprised how they managed to get that VC funding in a way. Because most VC`s they looking for that Unicorn. They’re looking for that billion dollar company. And Playster I could never see it being that even in the most. It would have to become a Zillow and I never really saw that. I never could really see that basically. But that kind of puzzled me in a way. But that’s life isn’t it? On to the next one KV Core.
Robert: Everybody loves to talk to me about KV Core. I hate when they talked to me about KV Core. Why do I hate when they talked to me about KV Core? Listen KV core has a lot of other systems out there. I have a strong opinion. I think my opinion about real estate professionals is probably a little bit different than most people because I’ve been on the phone with them every bloody day for 11 straight years every day. And these guys that build these companies do what like some of the CEO`s of marketing companies that I’ve worked for. Where they go, they take this concept on the go. These are the things that real estate agents should be doing. I know it’s a long and tedious and boring list, but they should be doing them. So we’re going to make a product that says it easy to get to accomplish with these guys should be doing, and then you get on the phone with these real estate agents and they’re like. I don’t have 10 minutes to do online marketing.
Robert: And then you go, but I have a pile of things that you should be doing that will only take you an hour a day. And they laugh at you and they keep laughing at you. Because they don’t have an hour a day to do anything at all. And the can full of people that do the very, very small hand people full of realtors that make the time to do an hour’s worth of digital marketing tend to be bloggers. My challenge with KV Core, I know that was a long lead in. Is that like so many other products, like I’m on the KV Core website right now, there’s nine tutorials. I’m looking through them and I can already tell you that they’re not all that great. In addition, everybody that I know that is used KV Core, which I’ve never really heard a great review. I’ve only had one really good review from a broker who was a full time marketer who sits at his desk and generates leads for his team. And everybody else has given me fairly poor reviews on KV Core in terms of usability. Not what it not in terms of what it was supposed to accomplish. Nobody’s complaining about that.
Robert: They’re complaining about the fact that it’s so wildly unusable that you have to do many, many, many, many hours of tutorials and classes and videos and just all this different stuff to try to get to a place where you can even use the set of tools. And that is my personal challenge, John, with a lot of real estate marketing companies. And I believe probably these guys are trying to do the right thing. I do, but it’s like market leader and this is the reason that market leader died. When you tried to go into a market leader and use their system. They had 20 different things that you could do with it and every single one took like two or three hours to learn how to do. So by the time you were done, like you tell a realtor. All you got to do is spend a week and a half straight sitting at your desk learning how to use this and then you’ll be great.
Robert: And they just don’t do it. In my experience, one out of a hundred maybe, maybe. And if they don’t get what they want out of those 60 hours, they never do it again. They will never, ever put that time and energy into a platform. So your platform better be damn good in order. And I don’t know that. I feel like KV Core it’s not that they, from what I can see, they’re trying to do all the right things. I just don’t know that they’ve done any better or any more efficiently. And they sure as heck haven’t made them any simpler. That I have a strong opinion about. So there you go.
Jonathon: I was actually talking to an agent. They got bolt a little while ago. They have been very aggressive in. It was a reasonably expensive platform, but they’re being very aggressive in selling it to brokerships at discount rates. The interface is complicated. I have seen worst from some other lead generative systems. It’s definitely aimed at small fees for the broker, the principle of the brokerage. Or they got a full time lead generative assistant. It`s really aimed set up. If you are a full time agent. Most of the people that have had success with it, they are the principal of the apparel agent.
Jonathon: They’re handing out leads and they are getting a cut. But all they are doing is providing leads to other agents. They’re not very responsive. The agent I was talking was based in Reno. On the web page they kept putting address, the Idx searches were less [17:43 inaudible]. And it took about 3 or 4 different calls to get that changed. So they don`t seem that quite responsive to be quite truthful.
Robert: Yeah, I don’t disagree. And that’s one of the reasons I haven’t reviewed them on my website. I might at some point, but I don’t have a lot of positive to say about KV Core. So I usually avoid actually making reviews even though I get plenty of requests. Agent Fire let`s start with that one.
Jonathon: We need to go for our break.
Robert: Okay. All right.
Jonathon: We’re going to go for our break folks. We’ll be back to delve into these lists of these online lead providers. We will be back in a few moments.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. I think we’ve had a good show. I’m slowly dying. Not quite but I do sound a bit rough. I’m certainly a lot better than I was yesterday.
Robert: I think you feel a bit rough.
Jonathon: So on we go, Agent Fire.
Robert: Agent Fire at least originally, I don’t know their full product line anymore, but they were basically a WordPress plugin maker. That`s what Agent Fire was. And I think that they’ve eventually expanded their product line to include websites. And that’s just all of that is based more on what I’ve heard as opposed to what I’ve experienced. I took a look at their IDX plugins a while ago. And like so many other IDX plugins, like I just reviewed one the other day called Neighborly. And here’s the funny thing about all these IDX plugins. If you’re building a real estate website and you just need to have an IDX on there, your plugin works great.
Robert: But if you’re building like a real estate website that you actually need to perform in the search engines, they like so many other IDX providers. Fall short, fall way short. And that’s since my eyeballs and the way that I have run both, like all my consultations on the phone and everything I’ve ever done inside of real estate. I’ve never understood the concept of spending $10 on a site that doesn’t yield you anything. If you need a placeholder, go get the $5 Playster website and be done with it. Right now you have a pretty website with your name and your information on it and send people to it. You’re not going to make money off the site. That’s all you need. And you’re spending $60 a year. Super low expense options. So why spend $119, which is what agent fire is.
Robert: Per month for a site that won’t work. It won’t, it’s not a lead conversion site. It’s not going to really get you leads if you send ppc to it. And the IDX isn’t going to work in terms of generating leads, unless it has traffic. So it’s really, and I don’t have anything against them. They’ve got some good features and if somebody cares to figure out what those are, or really just wants to hear what, like a stronger review, they can call me. But Agent Fire has been on the low end of the market for a long time. Not doing anything in a unique enough way that they even captured my attention to the point that I want to review them. There you go.
Jonathon: That`s normal. I totally agree with you. What puzzles me is there a marketing spiel of their website because they’re gone. Basically they copied some spiel from Brian Clark of Copy Blogger. Brian actually they gave up on it, but when Brian owned Studio Press, which was a leading WordPress themed company. Which recently they sold to WP Engine, which is a leading WordPress hosting company. They were looking into getting into doing something similar like Playster. And he wrote a lot of articles and Brian really knows is SEO. And he knows his online marketing in marketing. And he was always pushing this super local morphology. And I just considered that they’ve just copied what Brian on Copy Blogger was talking about. It seems very similar copy to me. But the problem is what you’ve just pointed out. They don’t actually provide any mythology to actually get the traffic there. It’s quite worthwhile having the tools and the IDX systems, which they have provided. That is the key problem isn`t?
Robert: It is, and am looking at one of their sites right now. And like usual, the user experience is, I mean, and the site that I’m looking at is excellent. Somebody spent a lot of time with this. The problem that they’re going to have is that the overall user experience isn’t very intuitive in terms of the way that people are searching for real estate. Or what you need to be doing in terms of building a hyper local real estate site. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy in this particular category and I’ve learned the hard way. That you really like. Every single real estate professional I ever speak to is like, I want to specialize in three major cities across a 75 mile area because that’s where I can drive to. The amount of time that I spend explaining to them that you need a teeny tiny and capsulated website that focuses on neighborhoods and subdivisions in a very enclosed area.
Robert: Right. So you have to build a really hyper local experience. So that connects. I agree with you. Everything you said about the guy, the Copy Blogger, I didn’t know some of the stuff that you just shared, so thank you for that. I knew that WP Engine had sold themselves to.
Jonathon: I know Brian, he is a close friend. I have interviewed him twice on y other podcast. He is a really clever guy. Quite open guy, interesting guy to talk to. He knows his online marketing backwards. And he built up two very large companies to very profitable.
Robert: You could see if we can get them on this show because Studio Press was originally a real estate template, right? Wasn’t it? Or Am I wrong on that?
Jonathon: I don`t know. You might be right. I have no idea. So maybe we are being a little bit harsh on Agent Fire. And a little too lenient on Easy Agent Pro.
Robert: That`s true. Maybe.
Jonathon: Fundamentally it`s not the actual website. So I have concerns about how, the amount of time you’re going to have to spend to get a result from Easy Agent Pro. Or from Agent Fire is not realistic to what most agents can do. It’s just isn’t going to happen.
Robert: I don’t disagree with you. And maybe you’re right. But here’s, I am not going to back off my opinion. And I’ll tell you why because I actually know why. I’ve been one way with one company and another way with another. At the very minimum if somebody was to do business with Easy Agent Pro, they’ve released hundreds of videos and blog posts. And I’ve read probably; let’s call it just 20 or 30 John. And I’ve watched maybe 10 or 15 they’re videos. I’ve learned stuff this. I perceived myself to be pretty knowledgeable in this vertical, but they’ve taught me things. They come up with some pretty clever ideas every once in a while. And so when you talk about these two agencies, and I would feel far more comfortable if our listeners went to Easy Agent Pro’s website. Because I feel like in my heart of hearts, there’s a much better chance that they’re going to get something of value than if they went to Agent Fire. And that’s part of what influences my opinion.
Jonathon: Yeah, that’s a great point. And I do agree with that. Thanks for that Robert. I think you’re spot on there. I do agree with you. Let’s finish off with your favorite Curator. What do you think of Curator? We have mentioned it briefly last week. But I wanted a more detailed. I am making swear this episode. Come on Robert.
Robert: There are a lot of guys that I know, like top, top, top, top, top agents that are. That knows Chris Smith. Chris Smith is the talking head that does Curator. And he’s a guy that is probably one of the most world class sales people that I know that runs around identifying that he is a technical or marketing expert in terms of real estate marketing. And I have known a lot of people that use his system. Their system is a cobbled together piece of a lot of great tools and there’s nothing wrong with it. But I don’t think that they had the knowledge of how to build a technology company infrastructure when they put together Curator.
Robert: Or they have somebody running the company that doesn’t know how to do it. Because I just talked to a ton of people that have used Curator. And again, it’s the same thing as with KV Core. It’s a lot of the tools don’t work right together. So the integration, the API`s and the applications, they’re not talking to each other correctly. The only guy that I have that’s working the system. And that’s doing it well is again another broker that has a full time marketer that does nothing but sits in his office. And he does like Curator, he does use Curator. But I’ve worked with him. He is like maybe I don`t know a hundred times more knowledgeable than your average agent or broker. He’s really sharp.
Robert: He’s one of the top inbound marketers in the country that focuses on real estate. So getting a nod from him is great. So if you’re an expert marketer, my overall thought is if you identify yourself that way, then maybe Curator is a good fit. Maybe it is. As it does use a lot of good tools that work together. If you’re anything less than that, then I think that Curator is probably not the tool that you want to use. Cause you’ll go deep down a rabbit hole. It’s very expensive from what I hear. I don’t actually know all the pricing. I do know.
Jonathon: It varies.
Robert: Yeah. And I do know like in terms of having listened to some of the things that Chris Smith says are very wise and clever, which is why I know a lot of people follow him. I just think there’s a vast difference between being a good speaker or being a good, talking head versus building a good real estate technology company. Those are two different skillsets and I’m not quite sure if he’s managed to do what he identifies that he does do with Curator. But to be fair, everybody that’s listening, I haven’t done a deep dive into Curator. And the reason I didn’t do it is besides the one client I mentioned, I’ve never gotten a good review from any client that’s ever used Curator. So I’ve just gotten a lot of people asking me about them. But I have another professional marketer getting ready to start using them. Who decided to start using them despite everything that I mentioned about them. So, I’m going to have a login. I’m going to be able to do a review probably in the next six months and we’ll see what I think.
Jonathon: I think what you said i have agreed with. But I think part of the problem is people buying into Chris and Jimmy. They buy into these personalities. I actually read his book. His actual book is quite good. And some of the things he says are really insightful. I think one of the problems is they have a tendency because their marketing is pretty good than they are there to make money. Or they get the wrong type of clients trying to use their system. And it’s a bit like KV Core and similar systems to KV or Boom Town. I see a similar type of person that uses Boom Town. Of these systems, I would definitely go with Boom Town. But Boom Town, KV Core, Curator. They are not your average agent. Your average agent isn’t going to get much from those types of systems. You’ve got to be a hardcore marketer agent. And part of a power team and you got to be the lead generator.
Jonathon: You got to be the lead generator. Cause you’ve got to be in that system almost every day. Six to seven days a week, generating leads, get a cut and bring the principal, the organization. The problem with Curator is apart from the website they provide. And Jimmy, I did an exchange for Jimmy. And I wrote a review Curator and I said, I actually thought they had based it on WordPress multisite. And he got rather sniffy with me with me saying no, it’s definitely not WordPress. So they provide a website, a template based website, which is okay, its pretty good. But if you read is book. I agree a lot with what he says about a website. And why an agent should be a little bit concerned about a website. But everything else they providing is based on Facebook ads. But they do not run the ads for you. They train you. And then as their CRM they use Follow up Boss. Now Follow up Boss is the best CRM system. It’s pretty; it’s not for the faint of heart.
Jonathon: It is not something that you’re going to be able to pick up in an hour or two. You are going to have to spend a bit of time looking at the videos and getting training from Curator. So really they show you Facebook adverts. You also part of their community. And .I think that too many of the wrong type agents get kind of sucked into it. And you’re going to be greatly disappointed if you haven’t got the technical chops. And if you’re not prepared to spend the time on it. You are going to be deeply disappointed.
Robert: Yeah. And here’s one last thing about Curator that I’ve heard from multiple people now, including you. They aggressively protect their reputation. And there are two companies out there that do that. There’s Real Estate Webmasters and there’s Curator. Because they understand how powerful the voice of descent can be. And so they go after you. I’ve seen it and I’ve heard it from Chris Smith and his partner. I’ve heard it multiple times from multiple people. I’ve twice had clients, almost serve up logins to me. And each time they’ve backed out, out of fear of retribution from the Curator management. That is speaks volumes to me.
Robert: When you’re so rabidly against anybody reviewing you, it is probably because you at the heart of it understand that your user base is not all that happy. And once somebody starts these kinds of reviews, it’s very hard to stop that tidal wave. I’ve been waiting to get my company to the size where I could in theory, honestly handle a lawsuit. If these guys tried to frivolously aim something at me, even though there’s no log in`s for viewing anything. But still they might try from what I’ve heard about them, I almost suspect that they will. So, but this client that.
Jonathon: I agree with you. If you follow the Curator mythology and you buy into their community. But the thing is too any people are in to it. But they don`t really know what they are getting into. And even though they got agent that`s selling 50 to 60 houses. That’s a lot of freaking work. And you are going to take on Curator. And you have not built a team and you have not got an online marketing assistant to take it on. And you are not prepared to invest in it. You are not going to get much from the experience. I think they’re prepared to sell the product to people they know within their heart they know are not suitable for the product. [37:14 inaudible]
Robert: I think they’re willing to sell it to anybody. It’s what I feel like. I feel like that’s a bad philosophy. You know that I don’t agree with that. And I think that you should clearly outline what your tools do. And then let people decide if they feel like they have the skillset or not. And I’ve discovered a lot of not that for Curator. And they have a huge install base from what I can tell; they’ve got a lot of customers. And I’ve probably talked to, let’s call it 30 people and I’ve only spoken to one person that’s happy with the platform. I mean that’s insane to me and it’s even more insane to me that you can go online. You can’t find any of these negative reviews. That’s how good they are protecting their relationship. I respect them deeply for that. I could take a few pointers. Jesus.
Jonathon: I think this has been a great conversation. Because I already bought in to Chris`s Curator. But he a smart guy. And he is a likable guy as well. And so is Jimmy. So they are great marketers but I bought in. It kind of generates my interest in building a platform but I wanted a more integrated platform. So there we go. So we going to wrap up today`s show. I think it has been great. I think it has been really interesting.
Jonathon: Robert, how can people find out more about you and your company?
Robert: Well they can go to my website, inboundrem.com and I would love it if they did. Most of my contents a little bit more like 2018 and it’s going to stay that way for a little while because we’ve been doing a lot of things on the company side. And I haven’t been producing that much content. But if you’re interested in reviews about any other platforms. Number one, go to my site, number two and this is a broadcaster our entire audience. Listen guys, if you own any of these platforms that I said that I haven’t reviewed KV Core, Agent Fire or Curator, I’m going to make an offer to only to our listeners here on the show, the Mail Right Show. If any of you want me to review these three platforms, I will. I will take my time and make that the top piece of content that I produce for 2019 cause right now I don’t have anything on my slate. And you’re going to just have to bribe me a log in. I’ll keep your information anonymous. You won’t, nobody will be able to tell it to you. And I’ll do a review on one of these platforms for you. That’s my offer for to the Mail Right listeners.
Jonathon: That’s great. And folks, if you want to find out more about Mail Right. Go to the Mail Right website and book a session with me. And I will go through it personally with you and show you the features. And then you can make your mind if it’s the right solution for you. We will be back next week where we got a guest. Yes, we have, and we can have another great conversation. We will see you soon folks. Bye.