285 Mail-Right Show What Are The Best CRMs In 2021
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We Look Into What Are The Best Real Estate Agent CRMs On The Market In 2021
In this episode of the Mail-Right Real Estate Agent Show, we discuss the best CRMs for real estate agents from KV-Core to Follow-Up-Boss we have a deep dive into the world of real estate agent focus CRMs with my host Robert Newman who is seen as a leading industry expert when it comes to CRMs.
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Jonathan Denwood: Yes. We really did a big dive on CRMs and who owns the data, you know you care for all this information. That’s what we discussed last week wasn’t it about a lot of agents don’t realize that if you own a platform, like Boomtown and we’re just, we’re not just singling out Boomtown. This applies to almost all of the CRMs that are out there or use something that’s provided by your broker that you don’t actually own the data that you put into the CRM. And I don’t know if you agree, don’t you Robert? That a lot of agents don’t know that and then the previous two shows that Chris came on we did a big dive in CRMs and what the best ones are. And I just thought, we’d just do a recap and get your thoughts. Cause I know you’ve done, you’re seen as one of the leading experts in the real estate agent around all these CRMs, I like to get your reflections on the conversations on what, how do you see the major differences in the CRMs that are available at the present moment?
Robert Newman: Sure. So I think that one of the things that I learned, even as a person that does know these tools pretty well, is that Chris kind of gave me the gift of refreshing my knowledge, why sometimes larger teams simply have to go with systems like KV core or, you know, it’s nice for guys like you and me to say, Oh, have you thought of follow up boss, but really there are certain things that those really big systems do at a global scale that you simply aren’t going to get. And the bigger the team, the more these kinds of one-off functionalities actually matter. Like when you start talking about 5 or 10 agents, lead routing is somewhat of a priority. When you talk about a thousand agents or 2000 agents or three to thousand agents at that point, you’re only going to be able to have two or three platforms you can even look at if you want that platform to help you with things like lead distribution.
And God forbid should you want all of those agents, like, let’s say you’re going to move that team someplace. And all those agents need something that represents them on the internet. Let’s just say, you’re a brokerage out South and you’re not in one of the two East or West coast and your agents are not overly sophisticated on their own and I’m not knocking anybody that’s in this position. Let’s just say that they don’t have the ability to have a whole bunch of technical tools that they’re in charge of. Well, at that point, you really do want the most that you can possibly get for 20 or $30 a seat. And then at that moment, you really only can look at like KV core or one of those very large tools.
Some of the things that Chris was pointing out, that I didn’t even know again, that I didn’t know myself is I knew that the data set that you could pull out of some of these CRMs was limited to the degree of how limited it was I honestly did not know. And so like, if you’re going to say, Robert, what did you take away? Oh my God, it refreshed my memory about why like every now and again, you, John I think you would relate to this. You talk to somebody and they’re spending, let’s say $10,000 a month with sink, whoever it is. And you’re like oh my God I can build your own website that you own. And you can give me half that budget and I can probably get you about the same results for lead generation. And they sit here and they think about it and they go, Nah, and you’re like, I don’t get it the website I’m going to build is better. We can do a better, you know, a better CRM or at least an equivalent CRM through follow-up boss. And we’re cutting your advertising budget in half and we still think we can maintain your results. Why in the world wouldn’t you switch?
And you know, oftentimes you don’t get a clear answer, but if the answer was, I have a hundred thousand leads that I’ve spent $500,000 on or whatever the number is, and I’m going to lose half my data to my existing database If I try to export it or go anywhere else, and I don’t feel, or I don’t have the resources to start a completely different database. And now I’m marketing from two different places simultaneously. That makes sense to me, all of a sudden at the large team level, that’s a hard thing to argue with, like, if you’re a big team, because then their other option is to hire a high priced consultant like Chris, where you’re going to spend, that money on that resource. And all they’re going to do is basically do what he did with BoomTown and figure out some super clever way to get as much of your data out as possible, then transfer it to the new place and then make sure that everybody knows how to properly access the data. And if you’re talking about tens of thousands of records, Oh my God, I can only try to imagine the scope of that job.
Jonathan Denwood: Well, when it came to his example with boomtown, it wasn’t sometimes it’s actually they can’t export the data because the system was never built to allow it that’s unusual that does occur. Especially when you’re dealing with a legacy system, that’s been developed in-house for the brokerage you know, some of these large brokerages had custom-built software, CRMs built for them. And they were built quite a while ago. But they basically can’t export the data because it was never envisioned how to do it. But when it comes to Boomtown, it’s a totally artificial barrier because basically, they don’t want people to leave their platform. So they don’t offer a way of exporting the data out to the level that you would require.
So if you say that you’re looking you, the to- that was useful, that was his kind of get around. Because he told them he wasn’t lying to them. Yeah He wanted to analyze the data and he wanted to do it on his own desktop, but he just didn’t tell him that after they did that they were planning to move to another platform. He just didn’t tell them that. So he wasn’t lying to them. And as soon as he said that they would allow the data to be exported. So it’s totally artificial, isn’t it?
Robert Newman: And yes. And you know what? I know you and I agree in this and everybody who’s listening, rant incoming. I’ve warned you all to turn off your headsets if you don’t want. But if you’re interested in my rant, here is one of my frustrations. This, what we’re talking about is literal data blackmail. It’s your data you’ve actually paid for twice because you have a cost to the platform that you already paid for. It’s a flat fee just to access the technology. And it doesn’t matter who we’re talking about. It’s universal. And then you’re paying for the data in the sense that you’re driving traffic to acquire leads. So now you’ve got two sources of investment that you’ve made and all of that investment is made actually to collect name, numbers, and information. And if you can get it search history and things like that.
So when you discover tools that don’t export that data cleanly or don’t import it cleanly, especially if they have the ability to, and you want access to your own data, guess what that is, that is literal blackmail, not figurative. They’re holding your data hostage as John said, and saying that they want a behavior out of you for that data it’s highway robbery. And honestly, if I had my personal druthers, any vendor that attempted that kind of behavior, which is unethical in my opinion, now, if you’re dealing with the technology that you’d like to change, and the technology itself, as John said is limited, and you just simply can’t get all the data out, but you’re trying your best to get it for a client. That’s a different subject. That’s a different subject entirely that there’s a limitation to what you’re using.
Jonathan Denwood: I just want to make it clear that you know, people sign contracts, they’ve signed a contract? So what Boomtown’s position is nothing illegal about it, It’s not what I would do. I don’t think it’s what you would do, Robert, but it’s their position. They’re not the only one that has that position. I sleep very well at night Robert because I think I treat my clients in my two businesses, extremely fairly. I try and be as fair as possible. I’m sure there are some people out there that think I haven’t been fair. I consider them. They were taking the Mickey out of me. They were asking, but in general, I sleep very well at night, Robert. If I was pursuing that type of policy that we’ve just outlined I wouldn’t sleep so well.
Robert Newman: Right. And I’ve never really enjoyed working with companies that at one point or another justify the concept of treating their customers as second-class citizens. I don’t even like the ULA’s that we all have to sign for the big information technology companies, the company that I like the most If I’m honest with the audience is I like Google. It’s not that they’re the best or that they don’t invade our privacy because they [Inaudible 12:29] do. But they are extremely transparent. They’re less egregious than most of the other information providers out there. And they’re passive in the way that they use the data. In other words, you can go onto their tools and you pay for their advertising they’re not collecting. And they’re very transparent about the fact that collecting data. And oftentimes they’re giving you little tools, little things that you use such as Chrome our browser and say, hey, we’re tracking the data on here, but you don’t have to use our browser.
And it’s true. You don’t, there are other browsers out there. I use Chrome. John probably uses Chrome, but it is our choice. They give us a choice and Chrome is what collects the data. I don’t feel the same way about Facebook and its policies or WhatsApp or any of the Facebook companies. And so I really like, I just don’t think that most businesses are truly operating ethically in the sense that we’re trying to look out for our customer, like the customer’s best interest. And I think if I felt like if there was a revolution where the customer insisted on that, and that happened including in the real estate marketing industry, what you would discover is clients that were far more likely to trust vendors, a better relationship between, you know, vendor and client. And if you needed or wanted extra money, you charge it upfront for your services. Like if you say, Hey, I’m worth more than that. You don’t hook them into some hidden agenda in your contract. You just charge them upfront and say I’m worth it.
Jonathan Denwood: I just, I think we’re gonna go for our break. And then we come back, I’ve got a question for you about CRMs, and then we can power through the last 15 minutes. This is going to be a short one. We’re not going to do any bonus content this is going to be a short snappy episode. Folks we’ll be back in a few moments.
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Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. We’ve had a go a- I took over Robert, well, I’m sorry for that Robert, but, I went into podcasting mode, I’m going to let you end the show we had a bit of a go at boomtown and some of the others. I just wanted to see if you agree, how I see the landscape, you’ve looked at all these, I think there’s, let’s say for the individual agent for a power couple, maybe up to five agents. And I’m just using that as a wrapper. I think real geeks, bold lead I would include Mail-Right as well. They can be good products for an individual agent for a power couple or up to about five agents. How you put KV core into that mix. I’ll be interesting to- would you include KV core? Cause I know they brought out a new version, haven’t they recently haven’t they. Would you put KV core into that mix of those three that I’ve mentioned as well?
Robert Newman: Not really. I really have started in my head to separate out solutions based on who’s doing the buying like team size and you know, you and other people are probably really, really like amazing good solutions for a single agent, single-agent users, maybe, maybe a small team, but probably single-agent users would be a sweet spot for those people. KV core is a big agent tool to me, like a big team tool. It’s not a smaller medium-size team because if you’re smaller, medium size, there are so many things that you could look at that would be so much better. I can’t in my head like even you and the other tools you just mentioned, they’re more cost-effective, they’re just as good on the feature side. They come with a better website, like seriously, why would you even look at it? I don’t get it.
So, but unless of course you’re with the XP and everybody that you know is using it That’s the one exception is that you’ve got somebody that is in an environment that is incredibly supportive of that particular tool. And you can get a lot of education about the tool from people that are around you at which point it makes sense to use the tool that everybody else is using because you have a built-in user base. And that is a huge piece just to end-user success is how much support do they get? It’s always one of the main keys to like real estate marketing tools, being successful-
Jonathan Denwood: I just wanted to see if you, if we’re on the same [Inaudible 17:54 ] when it came to KV core, we are because I see KV core, a lot of these digital brokerages like Alison James, there’s a number of them, and KV core has been very aggressive at selling their system especially these digital brokerages, but also brick and mortar, traditional brick and mortar brokerages as well. And then it’s given well it’s not given most agents have to pay a monthly amount to their brokerage to cover digital marketing tools. And in the quiver they’re given it aren’t they KV core, but I don’t think for the normal average agent, it’s a particular, effective product because I see it aimed more at people like Chris or something like comparable to Boomtown. Would you agree with that?
Robert Newman: Oh, well, I, I wouldn’t say that KV core is going to be a tool that Chris would probably ever look at seriously because he’s moved past that. I would say that there are plenty of teams and users, especially in the XP space where KV core still makes a lot of sense. I would say that’s one of the only environments though, like where, because you’ve got a cloud-based company using a cloud-based server with tons and tons of people inside, AKA EXP leveraging it. And so there are lots of little tricks like you could take a really bad tool and you could figure out some clever or interesting things ways to do with that tool and maybe figure out a very narrow way for a bad tool to get decent results. And I’ve seen some of that with KV core and some of the EXP users. So I’m going to say in this one set of circumstances. Sure but like, you’re talking about Chris such, he’s going to be moving on to, like, he already told us he’s going to be in follow-up boss. That’s the only thing that makes sense to anybody that understands technology.
Jonathan Denwood: Well if I was looking at that level, it would be the thing that I would choose. I wouldn’t even have any hesitation if I was looking. Now so we got the kind of real geek Bold Leads Mail right and there’s like half a dozen other Grant Wise has got his product weebly and there are about three or four other ones out there. And then you’ve got the follow-up boss, the boomtowns, we got the kind of mix level up kind of is KV core. But what in that middle ground between Bold Leads, Real Geeks, and then Boom town. What are some of the players in that middle area that you think are quite good?
Robert Newman: Are you talking about CRMs?
Jonathan Denwood: Yes.
Robert Newman: Okay. If it’s middle-tier players, I like line desk I like Brivity. if it’s we’re talking middle tier we’re, if we’re still talking middle tier, like a good all in one middle tier is chime though I’ve heard from more and more and more users that their service is getting buggy. So maybe take that with a grain of salt. I don’t know that I would personally walk into any company that has a lot of online dialogue about how buggy they are. And for that matter, I need to publicly update something. I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints and problems with Bold Leads, not necessarily on the CRM side, but on the customer service side. And they got acquired recently. So, John, that makes sense. Like sometimes people get acquired and they shift teams and people don’t seem to be as happy with what they’re getting anymore. I’ve checked the CRM It’s still the same. It’s still the same great CRM that we looked at. And I still love it as much as I always have, but what they’re feeding into it and how they’re servicing it doesn’t seem to be as good. So mid-tier, mid-tier let me see here. So I covered-
Jonathan Denwood: So this chime what does these chime people provide?
Robert Newman: They provide a custom website and a CRM for about 500 bucks a month. And they’re kind of like the poor man’s version of everything that we’re discussing. They took a few design cues, UX design cues from real estate webmasters and threw them into their CRM, and basically built some of the same features. They have like life to death, lead trackability. They have a source of lead. They’ve got other things that are big, like big buttons on a dashboard and very intuitive for you to use, but ultimately in comparison to what other CRMs do, it’s a limited toolkit. They have not developed like the expansiveness is, let’s say a sink or even a KV core, but they are the same price range as KV core. It’s $499. And they have like a really fast-growing user base, which I’m not sure how I feel about, because I think it’s yet one more of those things that all that glitters is not necessarily gold. And that’s how I feel about chime.
And so, there is, let’s see mid-tier, well, I’m going to go a slightly different direction and say something we haven’t said much on, on the show. Okay. When I hunt for real estate CRMs online, and I say top real estate CRMs, it is shocking to me how few of the names that we talk about constantly actually come up in search. Okay. When you search for real estate CRMs, you get names that you’ve never heard of. You get, Capterra or not Capterra you get, keep like on that list, which is-
Jonathan Denwood: The generalistic, CRM systems with big, big budgets. And you’re totally right. You know, top, but the other thing is, one we don’t mention, but historically it’s built up a massive user sizeable user base was, top producer. What was your thoughts about that?
Robert Newman: Oh God awful. Sorry for everybody listening to the show. I haven’t heard a good thing from any user past or present of Top producer and longer than I can remember, not one positive story or recommendation or one feature that anybody’s using. The only thing I can say about top producers that is positive that I personally know about is it integrates it’s one of the only pre-built integrations into IDX broker. And that’s just because IDX broker and hasn’t updated its partner program in a long time. And so it’s integrations. And so both companies really need to step up their game in terms of, and we’ve had Chad on the show, the CEO of IDX Broker.
Jonathan Denwood: You do realize they recently, recently sold the company.
Robert Newman: I did not. Are you kidding me? [Inaudible 25:17] broker.
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah, it was about two months ago.
Robert Newman: So instead of acquiring stuff, as he told us he sold it, he was telling us he was on an acquisition binge who bought them.
Jonathan Denwood: I forgot actually, but, they sent out a press release, which you must’ve missed. And he sold it they’re under new management.
Robert Newman: Well, here’s a few things I don’t want to lose track. So contextually is a big name. And when you do these searches, contextually comes up. And I do think that contextually is a mid-range solution. It’s never been my favorite, but it absolutely is I feel strongly that it is justified to have a mid-range position in a conversation about real estate CRMs. There’s also one solution that if you have a larger budget and a deeper technical background and a larger intent, and you own your own website, there’s one name that’s never on any of our lists, but I’m going to put it on there because I use them. And that is Hub Spot. Hub Spot is a brilliant platform, but it requires a very large degree of expertise to get into.
Jonathan Denwood: if I was going to go down the Hub Spot, we are going to slightly disagree here. If I was looking at going down the Hub Spot, I would actually look at getting a follow-up boss set up for me, maybe hire a consultant. And if I was going to look at that kind of price range, but just to finish off, I want to ask you about the line desk. Because I did have the marketing manager on the show and I think he was before you became my, co-host and, it was very aggressively priced at the time. I think they put the prices up now but I think for time it’s like $40, but my own- I personally fought the interface was very confusing and they would literally, and it can’t be seen as part of the value proposition. They were literally thrown in the kitchen sink. They were literally thrown in every, not only the back ends but [Inaudible 27:34] calling functionality literally it was covering everything. So, I think when a product tries to become the total Swiss army knife, there’s the possibility that it’s the Jack of everything and the master of nothing.
Robert Newman: And that’s how I feel about line desk. I agree with the complexity. I agree with the confusing user interface. That’s why they don’t make it to the top of many of my discussions. I liked the direction that they’ve been going lately with focusing on video text and video emails, that isn’t so much that they’ve simplified the UX though, John, they just decided to get a little bit more clever with their marketing message. That’s the way I observe the change in strategy. It’s for like a clever shift in marketing message. It doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of the product. It just says they’ve got a bead on the one area of value that they can offer that a lot of these other services, can’t like text messages that include video and emails that include video seamless integration into BombBomb. But if you’re going to say user interface and all those things, no, they’re not even close to my, I wouldn’t even say the top.
Jonathan Denwood: Well, I think, we haven’t, we got some guests, in April but we haven’t got a guest next week so we can continue this discussion. I know you got some pressing things to sort out this week, so let’s wrap it up this show, Robert, and then we can continue the discussion next week. How does that sound Robert?
Robert Newman: Sounds wonderful. So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming on or tuning in and listening to us today. My name is Robert Newman. I have been your fearless cohost. You can find out more information about email@example.com. If you should so choose the founder of male, right. And the founder of this podcast and the guy that does all the heavy lifting for the show. And literally does every single little thing in the background behind the scenes is Jonathan Denwood, which is the other voice, the English voice, the lovely man on the other end of this show. So if you can go ahead and do us a favor, John, and say once again, how you’d like people to reach out to you. I’d appreciate it.
Jonathan Denwood: Oh, that’s great. And thanks for that, Robert. It’s fairly simple. Just go to the mail right website and have a look at what we’re offering. I think we offer a lot, but I would also say, I think it’s a little bit more focused than Liondesk. We don’t try and provide almost everything we are focused on helping you with your digital marketing and getting leads that you can convert into cheques. And that’s our focus and always will be our focus. So let’s wrap it up.
Robert Newman: All right so, one last thing as we sign off here So Jonathan, and I we take us offline in one second, but ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you’d do us a favor if you see this on YouTube, please give us the thumbs up. Give us a comment on the YouTube channel. And if you happen to be listening to this on the Apple iTunes store channel, please, please, please give us a review. We have gotten one new one. Thank you so, so very much, to, a client of mine that, that did me a huge favorite went on there and give us a review, but we could use some more that’s it. John takes us home