#143 We Discuss Text Messaging, Facebook Messenger & Using Online Video To Get Quality Leads
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In this episode of the Mail-Right Show we discuss all things connected to text messaging, Facebook Messenger plus also using online video to get quality leads.
See In the changing world of online marketing its so important for any real estate agent professional to understand the key and best modern ways of starting a conversations with new possible online lead.
Here’s A Full Transcriptions of Discussion
Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right show. This is episode 143. I’ve got my co-host here Robert Newman.
Robert: Hey everybody.
Jonathan: Would you like to quickly introduce yourself?
Robert: Hey. I’m the founder of inboundREM. I’m an experienced Real Estate Online Marketing, I don’t know what you call me, Consultant. I’ve worked for or run some of the sales teams for some of Real Estate technology’s best known website providers, like Agent Image and now I have my own company called Inbound Real Estate Marketing.
Jonathan: That’s great. And I’m the founder of Mail-Right. We’re a platform that gets you quality leads from Facebook. And in this show, what we’re going to be discussing, we’ll be discussing a couple of subjects that we’ve had guests on recently. But we wanted to delve into the area a little deeper. That’s text messaging and automating text messaging. Facebook Messenger, also automating that to some extent. Video, we think they’re some services coming up that will help you make videos more professionally and more quickly. And drones and how to use drones. Connected to video as well. So we’re going to have a feast. So, Robert, our recent guest last week came on and talked about Facebook Messenger.
Jonathan: I’ve had other people come on about automating text messages. People sign up for your website and they get a text message. Can you give a quick outline why this could be useful for an agent in actually getting leads basically? Why should they be interested in some of these things we’re going to be talking about?
Robert: Well, first, let’s set up the statistics for text messaging. The reason it should be interesting to anybody, in my opinion, Jon is that number one, as technology has changed and more and more and more of us, especially in the Real Estate business use our phones as our primary source of communication, a few things have changed. Number one, Caller ID has moved to a whole nother level. And what I mean by that is that when somebody’s calling you, there is just all these gateways to get somebody to answer the phone and that includes your Real Estate prospects. That includes people who might be out there looking at homes. If they see a Caller ID come in and they don’t necessarily know who it is or if they’re just not in the mood to take the call because they’re not going to take it. However, while that’s been happening, the open rate for text messages has just gone insane. It’s like 80 percent or 90 percent of all text messages are read. Compare that to 5 percent for email and the fact that something like 70 to 80 percent of all calls get screened. If you want something actually read, text messaging is actually the best. There isn’t even anything else that compares just in terms of an open rate. Just, I’m going to look at this real quickly. So text messaging needs to be, in my opinion, part of a direct response campaign. And I know that you’re deep into technology too and I’d be curious to hear what you had to say about that.
Jonathan: Well, yeah. I think I agree with everything you said. That is the main reason why people look at text messaging. I’m a terrible person for names but I’ll make sure it’s in the show notes folks. One of my former guests had a service that dealt with, if you were advertising heavily Zillow, obviously, they send those possible leads to multiple agents at the same time. So it’s really important that you’re number one, number two contact in that possible leads because after they’ve been contacted by the eighth, ninth agent, they’ve had enough basically.
You’ll probably find it extremely hard to get hold of that agent or they’re going to not be that agent possible lead and they’re not going to be that happy. And also, he had people actually answering on your behalf. And also, if you’re available through text messaging, you can’t be available 24 hours a day. You can be as flexible as you like but you can’t. So they would take over and their scripts were quite impressive. You didn’t get the impression that it was a third-party service at all. But that’s an example. Another example is if somebody makes a query on your website and they do give you a phone number that you send a pre-developed message to that phone number through text messaging saying, it needs to be short, “Would you like me to contact you? I’ll text you tomorrow”, or if it’s first thing in the morning, “I’ll be texting you in the next couple hours to arrange a chat”, or whatever. Short and sweet. That’s what you need in text messaging, isn’t it Robert?
Robert: I would agree with that. I would absolutely agree with that. Just to be specific because I like to be specific. There’s a lot of different things that you can do with text messaging. The best services out there have automated scripts that they’ve tested and tested and retested and that’s what I’m a big believer in is doing multivariate tests. So you can say, for instance, you’re going to send a text to somebody and you could say, “Hey. You recently signed up for such and such a lead service on Trulia or Zillow or RealGeeks”, or whatever it is, “Do you still want to talk to me about the property that you’re looking at?” Some of the services that are out there inside of Real Estate like BoldLeads and others actually have real specific text that tie directly into the landing page which is the Marketing message that the person looked at when they signed up for whatever it is that they signed up. And of course, those tend to have the highest open and the highest response rates and that’s the key to any kind of Marketing that you’re going to do. It’s getting somebody to open the doors of communication because most of the time, no matter what you’re using, they’re not responding.
Like whether it’s email, whether you’re sending a video inside of an email, they’re not responding to you. Getting them to say something to you, to start a conversation is incredibly important, which leads into the thing drives all Realtors which is the speed of response. Because Realtors could be out showing a home. They could be driving which is really horrible for text messages. So, some of the other topics that we’re going to talk about today is like AI or automated responses. And often times some of the better services have like a chatbot connected to text messaging that then responds to the text message and it would be a formatted response or you can set it up on your phone too where you just have a response that says, “I’m with a client right now. I will call you in the next 15 to 30 minutes.”, like you schedule a window. But you send that out as soon as you see a response text, no matter what it says, it doesn’t matter. Just say, “Hey. I’m busy. I’m going to get right back to you.” And now you’ve responded to them and hopefully the window to reach out to them and start an actual sales dialog occurs.
Jonathan: One thing you’ve got to be aware of folks. You’ve got your website and I’m going to use a term now, landing page. Landing page, what that basically is folks it’s a page that has one message and it wants one outcome from that message and it wants to gather information from prospects.
Jonathan: And you offer an inducement to get those prospects’ contact details. The only problem is if you add a field and you make it mandatory, i.e. phone number, it dramatically increases the dropout rate, i.e. they don’t fill in the form to get the lead magnet. I’ve found in the testing that we’ve done from 30 to 50 percent decline in the amount of people that are prepared to fill in that form. So you’ve got to be aware of that, haven’t you Robert?
Robert: You do, you do. And that comes down to a philosophical kind of like, it comes down to and it leads into a whole nother dialog which is about process. And my opinion on what you just said is all based on, are you prepared with a Marketing process? What is your process on the backend? If you’re not very prepared, if you don’t have a process set up, let’s just say that you don’t have a way of nurturing an email address the moment that you get one. You don’t have an automated Drip campaign or a series of things that happen when somebody gives their email. At that point, in my opinion, and this is just my opinion, it’s nothing else. But my opinion is you want higher quality leads. So I would say let’s get phone numbers. But if you have a big process on the backend, like a tool that’s doing all these different things for you in terms of nurturing a lead, then an email address is actually enough. And as you mentioned, if you’re building up a list which I know you and I have dialogued a lot about this, if you have the ability to build a database and that’s important to you and you’ve got a way of monetizing your database, then you might want to set your registration gateway at a lower point. You are absolutely correct in everything that you said from my experience as well.
Jonathan: But the other way of looking at it though is if you’re prepared to get a lot less people filling in that form, those that do, because they’re giving you a phone number plus email, they’re showing a stronger signal of intent to you. They’re going to be slightly higher quality leads than somebody just putting their email or if you’re using various types with Facebook, they don’t even have to put their email. Facebook just supplies the email that they supplied when they opened their Facebook account. That’s great but that’s showing less intent. So if they put in their phone number, email, you’re going to get less people doing that but it’s a stronger intent signal. Would you agree with me?
Robert: I agree with that. Yeah. I would agree with that. I would absolutely agree with that.
Jonathan: So it swings around about folks. The focus of the show has changed with Robert coming onboard. We’ll be delving into all this over the weeks in a lot of detail and it’s a new direction that I wanted to take. What Robert said about, you’ve got to sort your processes out is the great difference between traditional Real Estate Marketing and Online Marketing. Because having automated systems are important, especially when you’re asking for a phone number. Having an automated text messaging system that sends them a quick, if you can because you really should ask for a mobile number so the can text to them. And this is going into why having a customer management system like Follow Up Boss or LionDesk or there’s a number of them, Wise Agent, there’s a number of them, why that’s important. So, to me, it only becomes important if you’re going to start Marketing heavily online.
Robert: Did you say Follow Up Boss? Did I hear you say Follow Up Boss?
Jonathan: Yeah. Follow Up Boss.
Robert: Okay. All right. Because that’s my favorite. Just so the audience knows. Right now, of all the technology that I’ve looked at and I’ve looked at LionDesk and Follow Up Boss. I’ve not looked at, what was the other one? Wise Agent? I’ve not looked at Wise Agent. But Follow Up Boss has the ability to structure a series of pre-formatted text messages. LionDesk does have the same but it’s not quite as good of a tool as Follow Up Boss is. But then again, the cost for LionDesk is far less.
Jonathan: Slightly different price level, isn’t it?
Robert: Yeah, yeah. Here’s what I tell my clients Jon which is, I say, if you’re an individual agent and you don’t have a ton of processes set up, you want to keep the cost as low as you can but still get all these features. So I’m always going to recommend LionDesk. If you’re a team or you’re a Broker who wants to build a team, at that point, you need to seriously consider Follow Up Boss because there’s team mechanics inside the tool and the tool is more robust. You should be looking at spending more money on your Marketing to feed your team of people anyway or at least that’s how most Brokers do it. That’s not how all Brokers do it. Thus you want a better tool and again, Follow Up Boss delivers that to you, in my opinion.
Jonathan: I totally agree with you. The only thing I would say as somebody that has built websites, somebody that has been a Developer, somebody that’s been involved in technology as a second career for the past 12 years, but I want to cover this. I actually consider Follow Up Boss’s actually interface to be one of the most attractive modern and helps with the ease of use of all these systems that we’ve discussed and I honestly mean that. But Follow Up Boss also does quite a lot. So does LionDesk. But even as an experienced person used to technology, it is not easy to totally set up.
Jonathan: It will take a fair bit of time to customize it, set it up. This is not something that you’re going to purchase. I think they do offer extensive onboarding services, both LionDesk and Follow Up Boss. But this is not something you’re going to set up in a couple of hours in the afternoon, is it Robert?
Robert: No. It isn’t. I’m so glad that you brought that up Jon because most of the services that I’ve looked at, whether it be a website or a CRM follow-up system like the ones that we’re talking about like LionDesk and Follow Up Boss. They all have various setup times involved with them and I’m so grateful that you mentioned that because it’s frustrating for me and I’m sure it’s frustrating for the service providers that people have the thought that, “Oh, I’m going to purchase this, push a button and it all works.” And it doesn’t work like that. You’re right. I am the same way. I’ve been in technology also for a long time and I review a lot of these services as part of my own web strategy. And yet, I still find them, like when I look at a new service, if somebody calls me and says, “Hey. I’ve got this thing. I wanted to connect it to my site.”, I usually have to scope 4 or 5 hours of my time into that contract. Because I’ve got to look at this service and see how it works and try to figure out how to connect APIs and do all that other stuff. It takes time and it’s various amounts of time. So I hope none of our audience says, “Gee. How much time does it take?” Because the answer is, “We don’t know if we haven’t set it up and we haven’t set it up a few different times. We just know it takes time.”
Jonathan: Yeah, basically. And web time is a bit like cat time. Anything you think is going to take an hour will take at least 2 and a half hours.
Robert: So true.
Jonathan: We’re going to go for our break folks. We’ll be back and we’ll be talking about Facebook Messenger, we’ll be talking about video and the coming and the drones. We’ll be back in a few seconds folks.
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Robert: I like that. The coming of the drones.
Jonathan: Yes. The coming of the drones. We’re all going to be replaced by Artificial Intelligent drones and robots folks. We’re doomed. That’s nice, isn’t it? There we go. You can tell that we live interesting times, can’t you folks? Yes, I watch Westworld on Sunday. There we go. So back to subject. So basically I consider what we said about text messaging, a lot of what we’ve said applies to Facebook Messenger, doesn’t it?
Robert: True. Yes. I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Jonathan: The only thing is that there are strict rules, more strict rules around how you can use Messenger because it’s on somebody’s playground i.e. Facebook. So they put in rules that will limit, won’t limit the power but you’ve got to understand these rules. One of those is, let’s say somebody goes to your website, fills in a form and they click the button and then it opens Messenger. Now, Messenger is a separate application on iPhone and Android and also it will open up if they’re on a, so the nice thing is it will open up and a message can be sent. If the person replies to that message, then you can obviously message them back. If they don’t, you’ve got one other attempt. You can send one other message to them and it’s got to say, “Do you want to communicate through Messenger? Yes or No.” And if they click the Yes, you can keep on sending them messages. If they don’t respond to it, you can no longer contact that person through Messenger. So you’ve got to be aware. There’s more rules and little things you’ve got to understand. The other thing, I don’t know what your thoughts about this is Robert. The other thing is I haven’t run one of these campaigns. I’ve been looking at it but I haven’t run one of these. So somebody fills in a form, they click a button, they get a lead magnet. Boom. Messenger opens up automatically on their phone. Do you think they’re going to be a little bit ticked off about that?
Robert: I am not the world’s biggest Facebook fan.
Jonathan: Join the rest of the world.
Robert: Yeah. I have to be honest with you and I have to be honest with the audience. I have to be honest with everybody. I think that Facebook has really applied a heavy hand to all their tools in order to become a public company and to manage their platform. And I personally am not a fan of subjecting myself to their ever-changing, ever heavy-handed rules. So I think that . . .
Jonathan: Sorry to interrupt Robert. But you could say the same about Google, could you not?
Robert: You could, except that I feel that they’ve been far less heavy-handed. It’s not that they haven’t. By the way, I agree with you. Your statement as a broad stroke, I agree. But having been part of the Google ecosystem for, God, like 15 years now and 10 as making my living in it, I just think that they’re far more generous and far less heavy-handed than most other services. And that’s not to say that you’re not right.
Jonathan: I would say, in general, you’re correct. They’re two areas where they’ve shown heavy, well, there’s been three areas where they’ve shown a degree of heavy-handedness, I would say, is around their local search product and how they have over the years handled changes with that. I think sometimes it’s not been that particularly subtle. Then you’ve got the debacle around Google Plus and their attempt to build their own social network. I think some of the ways that was handled wasn’t that particularly graceful. And in some ways, it’s shown the highest level of heavy-handedness, what we’re talking about basically is their management of YouTube and the changes that you can find on that. But in general, I do agree with you because obviously, what I’ve outlined has been over a 10-year period and how Facebook has managed things has been a lot more rapid and a lot more hard-handed.
Robert: I agree. But let’s talk about Facebook Messenger and how it applies Real Estate business. So one of the things that you can do with Facebook Messenger and one of the things I definitely want to talk about is that despite everything that we’re saying Jon, I know a lot of people that use Facebook Messenger as their primary communication tool.
Jonathan: Funny enough, I’ve increasingly been using it because they’ve increased the tools. I’m a great believer in Zoom and we use Zoom to record this show, folks. It’s a video webinar online platform. It’s fantastic. If you’re a boutique agent with a team, I would suggest that you look at Zoom as a way of doing conferencing calls with your internal team. But one of the great things they’ve added, isn’t it, it’s got video conferencing built in Messenger, isn’t it?
Robert: Right. Yeah. It’s got video conferencing inside Facebook Messenger. Another thing about Facebook Messenger is I’d have to believe that the open rate is just as high if not higher than your traditional text messages. So sending a Facebook Message through your Online Marketing, if you can get somebody to friend your Facebook page or as part of your sign up process is you have to like my page, you now basically have access to Messenger which in turn will increase your open rate in the messages that you’re sending to these folks which makes what I believe that, what I wanted to talk about in terms of cutting edge is I’ve started to see some AI or chatbots that connected directly into Facebook Messenger. I have not done enough looking nor have I been privy to these shows that you’ve done to say that I understand these tools very well. I could say that I really like the idea of them though. If somebody is using an AI chat system that connects into Facebook Messenger and you’re using Facebook to generate your inbound leads and part of your process is like my page or something of that nature, then I think that your Marketing might be very effective. But that’s a guess.
Jonathan: A lot of this is Marketing as I call it.
Robert: I’ve never heard that term before.
Jonathan: It’s hype. It’s a little bit overhyped. Because basically what they’re doing Robert is Facebook provides an extensive API. And what is API? I’m not going to delve into this too much because we’re going to lose most of our audience. But folks, API enables Developer, Coders to work with Facebook’s internal services much more easily and enables them to utilize those services without a major security risk to Facebook i.e. Facebook can give micromanagement control, still have micromanagement control to some extent. They open the door a little bit to allow Developers in without opening the door completely and allowing all the naughty children to come in and do whatever they want to do which wouldn’t be acceptable. So they’ve improved Messenger’s API and allowed third-party systems to manipulate to some extent, which is limited by the API, how third-parties can utilize Facebook Messenger. And use Yes or No a lot of the time and depending on your answer, you’re sent down a different pathway. And it’s really very really similar to anybody setting up a funnel or setting up any kind of, you know, you click a button. You might have a form on a website and you have Yes or No and depending on the Yes or No would be depending on the next field that shows up. It’s kind of like that scenario really.
Robert: Sure. Jon, I don’t know how you feel about this but I’d love to jump into our next bullet point. There’s a lot more to be said, I think, about Facebook Messenger. The thing is that, in terms of what I personally am an expert in and where I’m seeing results and what I’m talking to my clients about in 2018, the next two topics are far bigger for me, which is video.
Jonathan: Yeah. Let’s go on. We’ve got about 5 minutes and then we’re going to go into bonus content. What should we do? Let’s just really touch on the video side quickly and then we can discuss it a bit more in the bonus content.
Robert: We can do a teaser.
Jonathan: Yeah. Let’s do a teaser.
Jonathan: So basically, when it comes to video, in general, there’s been, I haven’t used any of these services but I’ve noticed through Facebook advertising and other advertising to me that there’s a number of services that are attempting to make the production on video by Artificial Intelligence and by offering libraries, images, sound and an interface that allows you to combine pre-developed audio and video clips and being able to move them around to produce small videos much more rapidly. I’m not sure if any of these systems have really cracked. I’m talking about very short promotional video candy here that you can use for your social media that would get you to read more or click or do something. They’re really aimed at what I call the video candy market. Would you agree with that Robert?
Robert: I would agree with that. And I’m going to say because we’re setting up our teaser so I’m going to say this, I have an opinion, a very strong one about how you use video and it doesn’t relate to these whiteboard services. But I do think that a little bit of an introduction like a 10-second or 15-second introduction that looks a little more professionally done can enhance the value of a video slightly. Though, I do have an opinion about messaging that drifts away from those services. However, and this is the teaser bit, I think that there’s a service that everybody should be using if they’re getting into video. It’s not a production service. It’s an SEO and Marketing tool and I think that that would be a great thing for us just to leave hanging in the air and we’ll talk about it on the bonus content.
Jonathan: I totally agree with you. So that’s great. So if you want to find out what this tool is, you’ll be able to watch that on the Mail-Right website. There’ll be a full set of show notes as well. Quickly Robert, how can people get a hold of you?
Robert: They can go to my website and I would love it if they did. That is inboundrem.com, i – n – b – o – u – n – d , the word inbound, Rabbit Edward Michael, it stands for Real Estate Marketing and .com. And then, you can find out contact and all that other jazz on my website. But I’d just love it if they just went to my website. Jonathan: That’s great. And if you want to find out more about what I’m up to, you can find that on the Facebook page and go to the Mail-Right website. There’s a full set of other interviews that we’ve done during 2017 and just a load of content basically. And we’ll see you next week. But remember the bonus and Robert’s going to tell us about this mysterious tool. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.