Jordan Fleming: Hey everybody, it’s Jordan Samuel Fleming here with a pretty special episode of That Real Estate Tech Guy. Yes, we’ve come to the end of the first season. I want to take a minute to sum up some of the amazing things we’ve heard and the themes that we’ve been given from our amazing guests this season. We’ve had a chance to speak to incredible investors, as well as some incredible technology partners, and I thought it’d be a great opportunity to dive into the common themes that everybody has talked about.
So the first really common theme that I saw was around data and how important it is, and how to use it to your advantage. It’s something that I have been preaching as a guy who used to build CRMs and used to integrate technology into people’s businesses, and now sees a lot of data flowing through smrtPhone. For instance, the data that you purchase as someone trying to grow your marketing, it is critically important to your business. And you have to think really closely and carefully about where you’re getting the data, how you’re using it, and how you’re actually making sure that you’re tracking the right things around the data in your system to get the results you want. Whether that’s KPI metrics, making sure you’re tracking each touch point you’re doing, or just being able to use the information in your system to give the best decisions on what to do, what to buy, and where to spend your money. So first off, let’s take a look at what Terry Thayer who owns multiple real estate businesses, multi-million dollar real estate businesses, had to say about this.
Terry Thayer: I mean, you can kind of get away with spreadsheets, you can kind of get away with using your cell phone and things like that, right? But if you’re thinking about the long game, if you’re thinking about the end, you’re not going to be that one person band, right? And as you grow, and as you evolve, that was my biggest mistake. I have all this data and all these different things in so many different places. As we start to grow and expand to build out a team, you can’t run a team off spreadsheets. You can’t run a team and hold them accountable off of just using their cell phone, right? There’s so much data that you can collect by using the right technology. And that’s how you truly grow a business, is through data, through data KPIs. That’s how you can shift, how you can you know whether you’re doing good or why you’re not doing bad.
Jordan Fleming: Now, let’s take a look at my old pal, Larry Goins, who’s got over 30 years of real estate investing experience. Let’s see what he has to say about data.
Larry Goins: One of the most important things about this is you’ve got to spend a little bit of time, every once in a while, to analyze the data. It does me no good to know that I’m making 38% more on probate leads, if I do nothing about it, right? It does me no good to know that information. You’ve got to take action, you’ve got to analyze that data, and then take action on that day.
Jordan Fleming: I had a great opportunity to sit down with Eli Fisher from Audantic. Now these guys are pure data scientists. And he had some fascinating insights on data and how to get the best data.
Eli Fisher: It’s really kind of two sides, right? You have to have best in class data. But best in class data is only so good. It’s really incumbent upon the operator; you have to have great systems and processes. If you don’t, you can have the best data in the world, and it’s not going to make a difference. I tell people it’s the equivalent of giving me the keys to an f1 car. Yeah, it’s cool, but I didn’t go to race school. So what’s the point? And I think there’s a lot of similarities there. One of the things that I think is really exciting as we see technology come in and start to influence the industry, is how can we become more efficient in our operations? You look at any market as it progresses over time and efficiency is always at the forefront. One of the things that we do to really help our operators understand and become better at what they do is we’re the only people in the industry that publish attribution. As a marketing guy I know you can appreciate this. For those of you that aren’t familiar with attribution, we generate a data set and say, ‘Hey, these are the people that are most likely to sell off market at a deep discount in your market.’ After one quarter, we publish those results to an online portal that says we predicted these 3000 transactions would occur in your market. How many of them did you get? It allows the client to really understand the relationship of conversion to their revenue funnel.
Jordan Fleming: I also spoke to Bob Lachance. Bob’s an investor, but not only is he an investor in real estate, he’s got a huge virtual assistant company that deals with real estate agents and investors all the time. He was clear on keeping your data clean. Let’s listen.
Bob Lachance: Leads and records are two different things. The only thing that you should ever put in your CRM is a true lead. I’ll give an example: let’s say you’re doing cold calling, text messaging, and direct mail. That list that you have? Those are records. Do not throw those records in your CRM. The only time you throw anything in your CRM is as soon as someone raises their hand that says they want to sell. Boom, that goes in your CRM.
Jordan Fleming: Another theme that really came through our conversations was, of course, a fundamental thing that we preach on this podcast, which is scaling and how to scale in the right ways. If you’re building a business and you start out as an entrepreneur, you tend to do a lot of things very quickly. You move fast and break things, as the saying goes. But as you start to actually scale a business that has other people in it, with significant revenue, significant spend, that’s where decisions have to be made. Technology can play an enormous role in that. But you have to think about the right things, and you have to concentrate on the right areas as you’re scaling. Let’s first start off with Stephanie Betters, the CEO of Left Main REI, an amazing Salesforce CRM, and what she has to say about scaling.
Stephanie Betters: In general, I think that when you start spending money on marketing is when you need to make sure that you’re organized.
Jordan Fleming: Now I’ve got Tiffany High from Results Driven REI, an incredible real estate investor in her own right. She talks about her journey scaling, and how she started to invest in the right resources in her company.
Tiffany High: What ends up happening is they waste a bunch of time trying to click buttons, do this, all this shit that they don’t know how to do, nor should they ever do, to be honest, because it’s not their skill set. So if I can recommend anything, it is to outsource immediately to the right people with a tech staff that’s bigger than a size of three. Join a community where they have a tech support staff that can support you in a way that can help you scale. Because without it, you won’t get there.
Jordan Fleming: Now, here’s my friend, Scott Corbett, from Light Mark Media, talking about how if you’re really serious about scaling up your business, then you’ve got to look at your marketing spend as an investment and not a cost.
Scott Corbett: It is really an ROI framework that makes the most sense, particularly with Google Ads, which are more expensive. Facebook ads can be a way to put your toes in the water a little bit with paid ads, because you can actually generate leads. But it does depend on the market and it depends on how strong your organic social presence is, too. Because the stronger that is, the stronger your brand presence in a market, than the less hard the paid ads have to work. You can actually get in the game with Facebook ads for closer to around $1,000 a month in spend, so that’s encouraging for people as a way to start.
Jordan Fleming: Another theme that really resonated with me, as someone who has started multiple businesses and grown them, is the notion separating the business and the personal. It’s something that comes more as you scale, and it is a huge factor. Get things either out of your head, or be able to differentiate and separate your personal parts of your life from your business. Technology plays a big role in that. And now let’s take a look at John Whitfield, CEO of InvestorFuse, the amazing CRM, to see what he has to say about that.
John Whitfield: Get a business phone, do not let anybody that works for you call from their personal cell phone, ever. Just no, that’s not a thing, don’t do it. It’s important that you can control that communication method.
Jordan Fleming: Another great thing about separating the personal and business comes from Brandin Pettersen. Brandin is an incredibly successful investor.
Brandin Pettersen: I see a lot of guys still using their cell phones, and I don’t understand it, I use your system. So I have a cell phone on smrtPhone that is in my email tagline. It forwards to my actual cell. That way, for the wholesaling side of my business, even title companies, get my smrtPhone cell that forwards directly to my cell phone. I can pick it up and I see it, cause you allow me to set the caller ID. I know exactly that it’s my wholesaling cell phone. That way, no one gets my personal cell. And I like that. And I give that to the team too.
Jordan Fleming: Something that we talked about on numerous episodes this season was how you can use technology to help facilitate the delegation that you have to start doing as a business owner and operator, when you start to scale. Here’s Tiffany High, again, from Results Driven REI and an amazing investor, talking about how to use technology to delegate.
Tiffany High: So now we have what we have eight an eight salespeople doing four times the revenue that I had with 12 salespeople back in the day simply because of their ability to be more productive.
Jordan Fleming: And now here’s Bob Lachance talking both about using technology to delegate and how it can free you up to invest in other things
Bob Lachance: Technology takes you here. But then the non-technology will be investing in your sales team and understanding sales strategy. A lot of people don’t put that piece in there. And it’s very, very important.
Jordan Fleming: Finally, here’s Brandin Pettersen talking, about ‘who and not how.’
Brandin Pettersen: Whether you have a big platform like REI Ops Center, or you’re just in Excel, it is important that you have somebody on your team who’s able to figure out what deals you’ve got, where they came from, what list source they came from, what skip source you use, what month you pulled it and how many times you’ve pulled it, in order to know where you should be putting more of your money.
Jordan Fleming: An absolute common theme that came through a number of episodes this season, and I think it’s one that’s going to become even more important over the coming year as the market conditions fluctuate across different parts of the country, is the idea of good buyers. It’s really easy when everybody’s buying and money is flowing freely to play fast and loose. But when conditions tighten up, it starts to become more important to make sure you’re concentrating on your buyer side, because it doesn’t really matter how many leads you put under contract if you can’t find a buyer for it. You’re only going to make money if you’ve got the right buyers. Let’s drill in right now to Paul Wakim from TwnSqr and what he has to say good buyers and where to find them.
Paul Wakim: What we’re trying to push our customers and the real estate investor community to realize is that if you have a good deal, sure somebody on your buyer’s list is going to buy it, but if you’re not the top authority in your market, you probably don’t have as good of a relationship with the top buyers in your market as that guy. So how do you connect with those buyers, if you don’t meet that authority in your market on the street? Well, we’ve just created a way for you to do it. If you have a good deal, maybe you’ll make more money. If you go and work with somebody that you find on TwnSqr.
Jordan Fleming: Eli Fisher from Audantic had some really important things to say about how to concentrate on buyers.
Eli Fisher: The problem that we solve in the industry right now is we help our clients really hone in on who has the highest likelihood to sell off market at a deep discount. We are able to really efficiently help people’s marketing focus on the best class of target and the marketing, as opposed to marketing to all these people who check all the boxes on surface, and yet, they’re never going to sell to me. That’s really the problem that we solve here.
Jordan Fleming: The last major theme I want to touch on is one that I’m sure most of my customers and people I speak to on a daily, weekly basis, are tired of hearing, but I’m going to keep bashing on it anyway. And that is that the fortune is in the follow up. We all know that. Or at least we all pretend to know that. But how many of the companies out there are actually executing on that? As someone who spent years designing and building and implementing and supporting CRM systems into hundreds of real estate investors businesses, I know that we talked a lot about follow up. But so many times the investors were just concentrating on the new leads coming into the system, and forgetting that following up with people is where you’re actually going to close the majority of deals. Larry Goins has got a lot of experience with this.
Larry Goins: The fortune is in the follow up, right? The fortune is in the follow up. That’s where probably 40 to 45, maybe sometimes 50% of our closings each month are from old leads.
Jordan Fleming: Stephanie Betters from Left Main REI had a really important point to make about the follow up as you scale your business.
Stephanie Betters: You can’t rely on your memory when you want to follow up with somebody. There needs to be systems that support you as you’re growing your business, and as your team members are working. You need to give them a place to work, there needs to be a cloud based software that all of your team can plug into wherever they are in the world or in their office, and work collaboratively on the leads that come in. Have automation that supports you so that you remember when to follow up with them. Things happen in the background while you are dealing with the hottest prospects. CRM will help support you in those endeavors.
Jordan Fleming: Alex Parge from REIvolution zeroed in on how important it was for the follow up and organization of your CRM to be well managed and defined.
Alex Parge: I totally agree that the follow up is one of the key processes in lead management and it has to be very well organized. So you don’t miss anything, because a lead means money that you have already spent, and you need to maximize that.
Jordan Fleming: Well, there you have it. Those are some of the key themes from this first season of That Real Estate Tech Guy. I really hope everybody who listened and watched us on YouTube enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed interviewing everyone. I personally learned every time that I speak to someone, whether they’re am investor or another technological partner, and I can’t wait for next season.
We’ve already got some amazing episodes recorded, and some amazing guests coming down. We’ve got people like 8020REI, we’ve got BiggerPockets, we’ve got Realeflow, plus some incredible investors who are doing hundreds of transactions every year, coming in and giving us the benefit of their wisdom, giving us the mistakes they’ve made, the things they wish they’d known, and of course the things that they’re doing to be successful.