- In this inaugural column, Inman tech reviewer Craig Rowe interviews Mark Murray, team leader at Keller Williams and managing partner in LeadJenny, a database management and marketing solution.
- The idea behind LeadJenny's solution is, "Let's create a system that effectively manages the databases we have first, as opposed to paying for online leads that only convert at 2 to 3 percent."
- The best source of new business is the business you've already done.
Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
InsideTech is a new agent interview series in our Select Membership Tech Review space that highlights how agents are using specific technology products and gadgets to better their business.
Like many agents nationwide, Murray’s team wasn’t struggling with reaching its database; it struggled with reaching the right people in it.
After a group discussion on the topic at the most recent Keller Williams Family Reunion, he decided to do something about it.
Craig Rowe: Thanks for joining me, Mark. Tell me a little about your real estate practice.
Mark Murray: Well, I started as an agent with Keller, still am, but now I’m in the management level as well. Our team did 151 units last year, and around $28 million in volume in Lubbock, Texas.
Two years ago they offered me the chance to come to Amarillo to help them lead a market center as team leader. So I do that, as well as handle the team in Lubbock.
How had your team been managing its contact database before LeadJenny?
We found BoomTown was great for incoming leads, but not our actual database, for the people that already know us, love us and trust us. But what about the people who aren’t looking for houses right now?
Why not use standard drip campaigns? They’re talked about all over the industry.
With Keller, we were using eEdge, but our database was getting 12 standard emails about how to get red wine out of carpet. They were so depersonalized … we found it annoyed our clients much more than it helped them.
Plus, we found that referrals are more valuable than online leads.
Now we have a system [LeadJenny] defined by four touches, the first is gratitude, second is value, then teaching and the fourth is asking.
‘Our database was getting 12 standard emails about how to get red wine out of carpet.’ -Mark Murray
Don’t know if you’re a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk (ed. note: Vaynerchuk happens to be the keynote speaker for ICSF 2016) but LeadJenny hits them three times, jab jab jab, then we go in for the referral ask.
If you just take care of people, you don’t need to pay for leads. Problem is, we want referrals without taking care of people. So LeadJenny gives, gives, gives, then asks.
Tell me some specifics about LeadJenny. Why should agents be interested in better managing their database?
First thing we do is help agents get a database. We were surprised at how many don’t.
On a 30-minute call, our database ninja helps customers collect a database from their contacts then transfer it to us for scrubbing.
Why is it important to sort and scrub a database?
You said something brilliant in one of your columns [agreed] about email success being based on having very specific groups to send to. In LeadJenny, we sort and rate contacts by A+, A, B and C.
A+ are your top 25 [most likely to refer], A contacts are past clients, B are your “met,” and C are “not-mets” and other agents, people you shouldn’t be communicating with.
‘Our goal is to try to make Zillow and Trulia mad at us.’ – Mark Murray
From there we start communicating with their database for them. We create a personalized series of messages to these separate groups that go out via email, text and handwritten notes. Every week they get a touch from their Realtor.
Most people just do email and text. Customers can upgrade to the handwritten notes. But we do the multiple platforms to ensure top of mind.
They get an email report with statistics on the email we sent, and they see what’s going out next. We also offer an action item list for agents to further customize, if they so choose.
Beyond the poor database quality, what other problems are you seeking to solve for agents?
Well, we don’t think email is enough to stay in front of people. For example, Happy Grasshopper, they’ll send out a bunch of emails for you, and people love it. But what we found [after using it] is that email alone is not enough to really get referrals from your database.
If you go to any real estate show, companies like that all claim they can get you leads, but those online leads only convert, again, at 2 to 3 percent. But leads that originate straight from your database convert at much higher rate. You’ll never have to buy leads again.
They’re pretty sensitive; you probably just accomplished your goal. Anything else?
Well, we don’t want to be a CRM, we want to nurture the database. Our passion is to create a company that helps agents across the board manage their business.
There are a lot of problems that technology can solve. We want to help the industry transform with technology.
Sounds like a you’re off to a good start, Mark, thanks for your time.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.