#205 Mail-Right Show: We Discuss The Leading Real Estate Agent CRM in 2019
In this weeks episode, we look at some of the leading CRM (customer relationship managers) aimed at the real estate sector from BoomTown to LionDesk. We in the first half of the show we look CRMs that move aimed at groups then in the second part of the program, we examine the CRMs that are more focus at individual agents.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 205. This is going to be another internal discussion between me and my great cohost Robert Newman. We’re going to be discussing basically his update folks about CRMs. Ones that are suitable for solo real estate agent and others more suitable for teams. And also we’ve got some really interesting gossip that I want to discuss with you listeners and viewers. I talked it over with Robert and he actually thought I wasn’t talking dribble for once. So it’s okay isn`t. Over to you Robert. Would you like to introduce yourselves to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: I’d love to. Hey guys my name is Robert Newman. I’m the founder of a marketing company and the writer of a blog called inbound real estate marketing and the website is inboundrem.com. And I talk about real estate marketing and industry. I’ve been servicing for the last 12 years, mostly as a sales and SEO expert. And I do the show with John. And we try to give you the best advice that we can to talk to you about real estate marketing tools. What can you do to increase the leads and the business that you’re getting? And occasionally like we’re going to do today, we kind of branch off and talk about our opinions on the industry as a whole.
Jonathon: And I’m the founder of Mail Right. And what is Mail Right? It’s a full suite of marketing tools that put you in front of your local community. And builds a lead generation tool that actually works well. You have about four different elements to it. We’ve been refining it and building it. Go and have a look at the Mail Right website. If you want a free demo and for me to have a discussion and show you the power of the program. You can book that straight on the website. Now before we go in to our main topic, which is CRM`s. I was putting this to Robert, is that I’m thinking there’s a bit of a fixation in the real estate industry. And especially on other I won’t name them. But other real estate focus podcasts and that`s around production numbers. About how many homes you sold last year? Or how many homes you’re projected to sell this year, your gross and your net sales figures.
Are you one of what is classified as new hot producers that this term that you’re going sell over a hundred houses plus year. And there’s a lot of focus on that. Now, don’t get me wrong folks. I think if you really just going to be somebody that just sells two to four homes a year. I just don’t think you can build enough experience. And this is only my honest opinion. I just don’t think you can build enough experience and have enough resources financially and personally to really represent your client to the best. I’m sorry. So a lot people disagree with me, but that’s what I feel honestly. On the other hand if your aim is only to sell 20 to 30 houses a year. I think that’s totally acceptable. I think you can make a really nice living doing that without being really stressed out.
I mean absolutely. I think, don’t get me wrong, if the person has a power team and have listened to what I and Robert had been saying over the past eight months. And especially to our guests. And they have systems and a power team in place. I’m sure they can handle a hundred plus houses a year. But what happens if they don`t have those systems in place? That they are totally stressed out that they can’t, they got 15 balls up in the air and they just about. They really good jugglers but they know really represent in any of the clients that effectively. Or given the kind of standard of service that 6% if you’re getting full what you should be getting. Because if you are really professional real estate agent your worth the 6%. Don`t let anybody tell you that you’re not worth the full 6% if you’re doing your job right. Because you are. But there’s a lot of agents with this fixation about production figure that are just as given bad service as the person that’s selling 744 houses a year. What do you reckon Robert?
Robert: Well, I think number one, I agree with you with the constant dialogue about how many homes that you sell. As a general rule, I think that I agree with you. You shouldn’t be, that is obsessed as it seems to be an every other podcast and every other show that we turn into. I do however, understand the concept of saying I want to take advice from people selling homes. Or I want to learn from people selling a lot of homes. But I do think that when you look at that, you also have to look at lifestyle. Like some of the luxury agents here in LA. Some of them have very large teams and they don’t sell as many homes as you might think. And they don’t work as hard as you might think. And other guys like Christophe get in the office at 7:00 AM every day and leave at 7:00 PM every day.
And yeah I would ask myself the question, do I want to work that hard to get those numbers? The same way that those people do? In other words, is the lifestyle worth the reward? And if the answer is yes for you, then you should do that. At various points in my career, I’ve worked 10, 12, 14 hours a day. I’m not at a place where I want to do that anymore. I did it for a very long time. And even though I do love what I do, I don’t want to work those many hours. Even when I love doing something, I don’t want to work 12 or 14 hours doing it. So I think the question becomes, look at the production, look at your lifestyle, and make some conscious decisions about how you’re going to build your business. And then focus on how many homes do you have to sell in order to achieve the lifestyle balance that you’re looking for.
Jonathon: Yeah, well I think that’s true. I totally agree with you. We do have some slight disagreements, but in general we agree. But I do honestly think it. I was listening some, some obviously not as good as our conversations Robert. But I was listening to some of the competition and it’s an unhealthy obsession. I’ll leave it at that. I think it really is a no. And I understand that like what you said, you want to learn from the best. But an agent that blows up, you know, as mental meltdown in two to three years into selling a hundred plus houses is not serving their clients effectively. Then somebody that’s not selling any houses far as I’m concerned. So at least go on to the main subject of the show. So you want to talk a bit more about CRMs is a subject that our listeners and viewers love. They are fixated about it as much as production figures. So you start off, Robert, what would you like to say about CRMs?
Robert: Well, okay, so guys actually I wanted to find what the differences. Because between tools that you use as an agent and a broker. There are definitely tools that are better and more suited, better designed, for if you have a small team. Or versus if you’re an agent. And some of those tools you end up paying for the same toolkit as an agent as if you were a broker. Even though you’re using the full power of the system that you’re purchasing. Now the list is fairly small and like in terms of the tools that are really well designed to be like between being a broker or a team and being an individual agent.
Jonathon: Alright, so this list?
Robert: I couldn’t, I actually am ashamed to say that I couldn’t really answer that question. I haven’t really looked at it specifically out of the viewpoint of how you’re going to operate a team out of it. I can say that.
Jonathon: That would be kind of truthful to say small brokerages maybe is saying that it`s really aimed at single to power couples. They may be somebody that’s got a couple buyer agents as well. Now between two to four people power brokerage kind of boutique. That’s what my product is aimed at.
Robert: I got ya. So guys.
Jonathon: I am just going to interrupt. And they are great products on their own. I’m not going to slack off the competition or I think of all the work I’ve done this year with my team. I now think my product is better. But my two main competitors are Real Geeks and Easy Agent Pro. They are my main two competitors. That is, well Mail Right is targeted to compete at.
Robert: Gotcha, Gotcha. So let’s start off with where with the ball that John handed me. And let’s talk about Easy Agent Pro and Real Geeks for a second. So these are both tools that are definitely, in my opinion, and this is all just my opinion, is that these tools are definitely aimed at an agent. Real Geeks does take a nod and give you some functionality at the team level. But when you compare it to other tools such as Real Estate Webmasters, Boomtown, Sync and even KV Core. It is definitely not nearly as it doesn’t have as much functionality in any way, shape or form as those other tools do. Not to say that you couldn’t use it as a small team because you could, but it’s definitely not aimed at it the way the other tools are aim at it.
It’s mostly aimed at, and the reason for that is the team functionality. So let’s talk about that for a second. So everybody understands what I’m basically referring to. With a good CRM, you want there to be some tractability on the backend of the system as it relates to your team. In other words, you a dashboard that has your individual agent, the leads that you’ve assigned them. And what have they done with those leads? Like have they called them? Have they emailed them? Have they texted them? And the tools that provide a clean dashboard with that functionality, specifically included, are Boomtown Sync, and really to a lesser degree KV Core. And there’s one other that I’m forgetting.
Jonathon: The one you’ve left that surprises me is Follow Up Boss.
Robert: I think I’ve got that Follow up Boss because I haven’t actually done as deep of a dive in it as I should. I have actually looked at it. But I haven’t done a deep, deep review like I have on other systems. I do think that Follow up Boss is a suited for teams, but because Follow up Boss is a follow up system, you don’t get the same tractability as you do with sync. And Boomtown which shows you the journey of it, shows you the client life journey which followed boss does not. Follow boss was lead.
Jonathon: Yeah that’s totally true.
Robert: And then it allows you to distribute it and send it to somebody. Whereas Sync and Boomtown actually show you like where the leads started off, what properties it looked at.
Jonathon: I kind of agree with you. And I disagree with you. I just want to put this to you. I agree with what you just said but I think there needs to be an additional bit of Info. I think you’ve said that is the other systems that you’ve described. They provide normally a website and then you also normally provide some mechanism to get a prospect. A possible lead to that website and they normally do that. Not all of them. Webmaster does it in the way that your own company does it. But the other ones that you mentioned, they do it by some form of paid traffic, which is then taken to that website and hopefully converted. Follow up Boss does not offer that website. And that mechanism of driving traffic to the website.
Robert: No, no, no, and no. You are 100% correct. You are absolutely correct. So there is a difference in what the systems are supposed to be doing to start with. Follow up Boss is just straight up CRM. Whereas these other tools or websites with CRM.
Jonathon: I think like there are a number of tools out there. Agent wise there’s a number of tools to some extent Lion desk. There are a number of tools that don’t provide that website and don’t provide a form of traffic to that website. They are more so there’s almost like two buckets out there. Which then you can sub divide between single agent and mobile or broker tools. Isn’t there?
Robert: Yes there is. And so guys, here’s the end. I think it’s important to say the following, Sync and Boomtown and all of these other tools. Real Estate Webmasters, they all are charging a premium. And basically the premium is to answer that inevitable question that all real estate agents who’ve been asking, which they always say the same thing, which is I just wish I had one tool that does everything. And all of these companies have been attempting to satisfy that need and they do so at an extraordinarily high price. They give you a tool you don’t own and then they try to attach all the functionality inside the tool. And the only advantage of that is that you get a clear picture of the client life cycle from the first visit till the time that they become a lead to the time that they become a client.
And the thing is that maybe one real estate agent out of maybe five or 10,000 probably understand how to look at that data and actually extract value. And I’m not trying to knock anybody that’s listening to this show. If you’re listening to the show, you’re a step above your competition and you’re doing, you’re doing an amazing thing for yourself. But I am saying this, I’ve talked to a lot of real estate agents and I look at the data that they’re looking at and if they look at it at all, which in commonly they do not. So you’re paying for this package that you’re not even using because you’re not looking at the data of what was the life cycle of the client from visitor to actual ROI situation. So, this is the only thing that you get when you pay for this really expensive package.
That’s what you get in theory. You also get something like how do you manage the lead, but truth be told, which is the point that I’m making in a very elongated way. You could put together another set of tools of which Follow up Boss is part of my toolkit that manage the lead just as well as anything else. So in other words, you can get an automated response system. Line desk does the same thing where you can get texts and emails and everything. And a funnel. You can set up a funnel. You’re using a number of different tools. You don’t have to use an all-inclusive tool. As a matter of fact, some of those all-inclusive tools don’t include nearly as good of a funnel as follow-up boss does or Lion desk. So when you start looking at like Real Estate Webmasters who has the best overall package from looking at a client from birth to death, in my opinion. They do not have a great package in terms of actually they don’t have a package at all when it comes to creating a lead generation funnel.
They have some automated emails that they send out. But if you said you wanted a text email, and have those all done in an automated way to a single lead and maybe direct them back to a destination page. You can’t do that with Real Estate Webmasters. Or you would have to jury it in a very big way. So they’re not great at doing that. Whereas many other tools that you could look at such as Follow up Boss and Lion desk, they are very good at doing that. So this is why we talk about these topics so much. Is that it’s a very large topic. And you have to unpack it slowly but surely and look at your needs and all we’re trying to do is send you to a place where maybe you spend a little less time.
Jonathon: I think we need to go for our break now. But what we’re going to attempt in the second half is that there isn’t one sweeping tool that can match all the needs of different types of agents or teams. But there are all sorts and you know individuals, small power team, made into large brokerage where we can suggest definitely with Robert’s knowledge. Those particular tools probably wouldn’t be the most suitable. And that’s what we’re going to give you when we come back from the break folks. We will be back in a few moments.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We are on our favorite subject, CRM. So I think we give it some interference as well with the first half. I think I help like what I normally do. Confused. How are we going to go on about these different, the right tool for the right agent in the right spot of their career if you’d like to put it that way?
Jonathon: One more time. I’m sorry John.
Jonathon: I think we were saying in the first half of the single agent. You’ve got probably Easy Agent Pro, Real Geeks, Bold Leads and Mail Right. And then you got the tools for bigger teams. Would you agree with like splitting them up between the single, the power couple and then teams, you know over five people getting to 10, 20, 30, and 40 to 100.
Robert: When we start talking about 10 20, 30, 40 and a 100 you’re really only talking about two tools at that point. At those larger team levels you’re talking about Boomtown and Sync. Like I haven’t seen anything Follow Up Boss included where the teams can get super, super large and have you manage it all out of a single tool. KV Core is possible, which is why Keller Williams uses them as their go to tool. But in terms of extremely large team management, now we’re talking hundreds of agents or very large teams. In my opinion at that point, the two best tools are Sync and Boomtown, which are really set up in such a way that you have a dashboard that’s easiest to look at, that you can look at the teams in layers and levels.
Jonathon: And now when it comes to CRM, I have got a bit of experience with Sync. I’ve got no experience with Boomtown okay. What would you say? They start with these bigger tools, Sync and Boomtown. What would you say are two of their biggest strengths and the weakness comparing with another?
Robert: Well with boomtown is the leader in class. They really are. They’ve got one of the most intuitive dashboards and even if they didn’t, from what I’ve heard, the input that I’ve gotten is there training and management hand over team is pretty much the best in industry. And all that means in a very fancy way is guys. That means that if you do hire them, you’re going to get trained. You’re going to have a management team that that’s not universally always the case. But again, I’d say 80 to 90% of the time when I talk to people who’ve used Boomtown. They always say they got the right support. That their agents got the right training in order to use the tool in the first place, which is an enormous factor. You can buy the best tool, but do you understand how to use it? That’s another question.
Jonathon: What I’ve heard and what I’ve seen. I totally agree with you get good training from the Sync as well. I actually spoke to couple agents that were using in it. But Boomtown I think in UX design and also support training they are the best. These are two very complicated tools and that’s why they provide a lot of training and support is that they can do a lot of things. But they’re not for the light hardly. Put it that way.
Robert: No, no, they’re not. And in Sync`s case since part of their business model is to put real estate agents into groups or classes. So actually in Sync`s case they force you to externally travel to another location in order to do your training in the first place. In general, whereas Boomtown is virtual. They’ll actually set up calls and do things from your office. So at least that’s my understanding. I don’t like the Sync model or at least I don’t think it is productive. I think that it’s very tough to get told that you got to go to a secondary location and set aside a day or days in order to do training.
Jonathon: They all changing that now. Actually the last time agent I was speaking to. They are doing webinar online based training there to some extent as well.
Robert: Excellent. Well that’s good for the, I mean thank you for mentioning that. That’s excellent news because they needed to do those ages ago. And I think that their reasons for not doing it that way are a hundred percent because it was better for them as opposed to better for the client. And that’s something that I struggle with.
Jonathon: The agent I was talking to that spent over $10,000 with Sync last year, 10,000 plus. But they did get results. They at the time they win and they complained about it. But when I looked at the end of the year figures, it did after about four to five months it did start to pay off. But that was excluding the actual budget is mostly around Google Adwords advertising when you talk about Sync. But we were talking 10 to 12,000 just to purchase the platform and get all the training. And there was hours and hours of Webinar by training involved. Plus that you needed to have the budget for them to run the Google Adwords campaigns that drove traffic to the website. And then gave the opportunity for the system to convert it.
Robert: This is right around the numbers that I’ve given out on my reviews and that I’ve talked about. So let’s just repeat that back for our audience. So let’s talk about costs briefly for the two platforms, because John, once again, very wisely brought it up and created an easy segue. So those are the tools that we’ve recommended. This has been a very brief show. I want to emphasize to everybody that if you’re interested in these tools, you should actually go to my website and really look at the drill down reviews I’ve done on these individual platforms. They’re very complicated with a lot of features. You’re not going to be able to listen to this show and figure out which one you want to use at all. We’re just pointing you in the right direction. So having said that Boomtown is $1,500 a month just for the platform. So listen to what John said, he’s saying its $12,000 a year, including the training that’s just for the platform.
Jonathon: I was saying I do not know anything about Boomtown.
Robert: Boomtown is 18 grand plus the time organizing your sales staff in order to sign up and use the platform. And in my experience, people approaching boomtown with a minimum budget of $1500 to $4,500 a month for PPC. That’s minimum. That’s on the starting side. That’s not nearly as large as some of the budgets that we dealt with can go up to. I’ve talked to people with 50 to $150,000 budgets. So Boomtown is more like for teams, you have a large budget, you, you’re looking to invest it. That’s where you go Boomtown. Sync is the same thing.
Jonathon: Well just to wrap up and then hopefully we can do some bonus content which you’d be able to see and listen to on the Mail Right YouTube channel. But just before we wrap this up. What I’ve seen with Boomtown it’s really focused. There’s one agent in Reno called Marshals that really uses Boomtown it’s the key. And they use a lot of radio advertising as well. And billboards, billboards, radio advertising, Boomtown. It’s a power it’s not the biggest brokerage in Reno. But it is one of the more technology evolves players in Reno.
I know slightly the principal by great salesman. And it’s a power, it is bigger than a boutique brokerage, but it’s a power breakage. And they use the power of Boomtown to the maximum. Because he sees his main purpose is supplying reasonably quality leads to his production team. So they’ve got a lead generator system in place. And then he expects his team to turn those online leads into actual clients. It is a machine. And that’s why I think it’s really high in that. Would you agree with that, Robert?
Robert: I would agree with that 100%.
Jonathon: So we’re going to go for our break. And like I say there’d be some bonus content because I want to quickly going through some of the less powerful systems, which you’d be able to hear in the bonus content. But like I say, the quickest way to do that is to go to the Mail Right webs web YouTube channel. So Robert, how can people find out more about you and your company?
Robert: Thank you. Go to inboundrem.com. I release about three or four articles per year. It’s been a little while since I’ve done my last one.
Jonathon: You haven’t been to Chile?
Robert: I haven’t been to Chile. Well, in the last 12 months. I haven’t been in Chile. So you can go to my website, inboundrem.com. But you can read up on just about everything that you’d ever want to find out about real estate marketing all the way from funnels. You can find some inspiration there. You can talk about real estate, SEO, real estate websites, social media marketing, all that is stuff I’ve published over the last four years of doing a blog. And now I’m down to doing a handful of reviews every year and posting those on the site and emailing them out to the subscribers.
Jonathon: And if you want to know more about the Mail Right system, we’re still looking for a couple energetic, agents to help us test the new functional ads which are built in the system in the past four to six months. And I’ve been doing a ton of testing over the past four weeks as well. With the agents that signed up with us to help us with this. If that’s of interest, go to the Mail Right Website, contact me directly for the contact us page. And we can have a chat on Zoom. And you can come on board as a member of the Mail Right system. I’ve been blown away by what we’ve been doing lately. And we are moving forward. So we will see you next week folks. Where we got some great guests in August. And I’m sure you’re going to find it fascinating conversation that will help you build the real estate business that you’re looking for, for yourself and for your family. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.