Dropping buzzwords is a time-honored marketing tradition. Offrs, a real estate marketing system for real estate agents, invokes four of the trendiest in its pitch to potential customers: “machine learning,” “predictive analytics, “artificial intelligence” and “bleeding-edge” (which is the new “cutting-edge”).

  • Offrs uses 'predictive analytics' to pinpoint likely sellers, markets to them and turns some into qualified leads.

Dropping buzzwords is a time-honored marketing tradition.

Offrs, a real estate marketing system for real estate agents, invokes four of the trendiest in its pitch to potential customers: “machine learning,” “predictive analytics, “artificial intelligence” and “bleeding-edge” (which is the new “cutting-edge”).

Because all of these catchphrases are somewhat vague, it’s hard to say whether Offrs truly embodies each of them.

But what we can say is that Offrs streamlines marketing for agents. It crunches data to identify potential leads, targets them with campaigns and connects the “hand-raisers” to agents. Around 4,000 agents currently have access to the platform, according to co-founder Rich Swier.

Offrs' RAIA -- an artificially intelligent digital assistant --will let agents manage marketing campaigns in an interactive video format.

Offrs’ RAIA — an artificially intelligent digital assistant –will let agents manage marketing campaigns through an interactive video interface.

Other platforms that marry data analysis with marketing include SmartZip, ReboGateway and First.

We can break down how Offrs works into four steps.

Step 1

First, Offrs runs troves of public and private data through algorithms designed to predict outcomes — in this case, selling a home in the near future. That’s called “predictive analytics.”

The data can include how long people have lived in their homes, recent life events (for example, divorce, death in the family), medical debt, property values and equity.

“Machine learning,” a predictive analytics technique, helps power Offrs’ algorithms.

The phrase refers to a self-updating statistical model that can automatically recognize connections between variables and outcomes and then bake those connections into predictive algorithms to improve their accuracy.

Step 2

Next, Offrs floods these prospects with Google and Facebook advertising, phone calls and emails to pique their interest.

Step 3

The third step, which Offrs says is one service that sets it apart from some competitors, is to verify that anyone who “raises their hand” in response to Offrs marketing actually wants to transact sometime soon.

The startup ask questions to qualify potential leads as legitimate ones, either through phone calls or email surveys. It then prompts agents to call those who make the grade.

Offrs interface showing leads it's dug up and qualified.

Offrs interface showing leads it’s dug up and qualified

Step 4

The fourth and final step is to convert the lead into a client, and this is in the agent’s hands as much as Offrs.

The agent may be able to sign a lead shortly after reaching out.

But if they find the lead isn’t ready for primetime, they can use Offrs to target the lead with an automated marketing campaign to nurture the lead into a client.

Agents, brokers or teams must pay $200 to $500 a month for exclusive rights to tap Offrs for leads in one “territory.” Each territory usually has 300 to 500 properties that Offrs decides are worth targeting.

Customers also must pay an additional $300 for Offrs to filter for the legitimate leads and hand off them off.

Customers can use Offrs to send emails, text messages and voicemail to those leads for no additional cost. The system lets users set reminders to call leads and see how likely Offrs thinks they are to pull the trigger.

If customers want to work Offrs leads even more, they can set aside funds that offers deploys to target already-qualified prospects through other channels, including direct mail and online marketing.

In early December, Offrs will wrap all these moving parts into the form of an artificially intelligent assistant named RAIA. Users will be able to click buttons or use voice commands in interactive videos with the easy-on-the-eyes digital helper to view and respond to leads and launch marketing campaigns, among other things.

Offrs' analytics on lead engagement

Offrs’ analytics on lead engagement

Swier acknowledges that — as RAIA appears on Offrs website — she can seem “gimmicky.” On the site, she’s aimed primarily at ‘selling’ the concept of marketing automation and our products,” said Swier.

But he emphasizes that the RAIA that will work for customers is “very powerful and does more tasks than you can imagine.”

So is Offrs “bleeding edge?” We’ll defer to your judgment.

Email Teke Wiggin

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