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In this episode we look at three different services, which both Jayson and I feel are really interesting and quite powerful services every real estate professional should have a look at.
We start with Homelight, which Jayson introduced me to a couple of weeks ago and it looks like a really interesting concept. I speak to a lot of agents during the week and lot of them thinks consumers are totally in the know about who are the really truly busy and experienced agents.
However, the reality is much more mixed and patchy. Some consumers are very knowledgeable when it comes to understanding how online reviews work and like a well-trained tracker dog sniff out any artificially written review with ease.
However, if you think that a majority of the average “Joe public” is going to be looking at your latest sales records for last year and the year before that, you are probably wrong.
What they will do is read all the most active reviews on social media and on the leading industry portals and if you don’t have many reviews compared to your local competitors this probably is a major problem.
This is where Homelight comes in: they are trying to match the right agents with the right clients. You might want to say to this, “I’m an experienced agent and effective with all types of clients!” When you really look at the variety of types of clients that you can encounter on a day -o-day basis you would probably admit that there are quite a large group of clients that really are not your most suitable target audience.
This is the central idea of Homelight: it is working to match the right agent with the right client using technology. You could say it is the eHarmony of the real estate industry. And wouldn’t you really rather work with clients that are a really good fit for you?
We then discuss two similar services, Riley and Fivestreet, that both help real estate agents answer lead inquires from portals like Zillow and Trulia on a 24 hour basis
We start with Fivestreet, which offers a larger set of semi- automatic solutions from email to text.
It’s been proved that every lead that comes from portals like Zillow that are not answered in a one- hour window become semi-stale.
You need to respond very quickly in the world of online leads! However almost 79% of online leads won’t convert so dealing with them directly if you’ve got a lot coming in from Zillow, Trulia and Facebook paid advertisements will drive you quite quickly into a state of real estate semi-madness!
So I think these systems “kill two birds with one stone,” i.e. they answer your online queries quickly and professionally and they also semi-screen them for you.
The only problem I have with Fivestreet’s system is that it is trying to be more than an effective email and text automation answering system. They also seem to want to be a CRM (customer relationship manager). I’m not a big fan of CRM systems that try to do everything from being your online website to drip email marketing to being your office kitchen sink!
With Riley you are dealing with a much more focused offering i.e. just one service. This service has a very high standard and it also has a full concierge text service. I did give the service a go last week at around 8pm on a Saturday which is a quite typical time to get some online queries sent to you. However if you tried to answer every online lead inquiry you received on Weekend evening you probably have no personal life quite quickly.
I was really impressed how the Riley team dealt with my questions about the property and how they were trying to pre-qualify me in a very subtle way.
We are hoping to have the CEO of Riley on the show in the next couple of weeks to discuss their service.