DealMachine for real estate is an app that uses property pictures to send direct mail campaigns to homeowners.
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DealMachine is an app for direct marketing that captures homeowner contact information with a picture.
Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop app
Ideal for: Agents who send direct mail; agents who work with investors; buyer agents
Top selling points
- Rapid direct mail campaigns
- Determines owner occupancy
- Fast data recall
Seeing an image of their house in a mail campaign could feel invasive to homeowners uninterested in real estate services.
What you should know
DealMachine promotes that users can find out who owns a house by merely taking a picture of it.
In essence, that’s true — and it comes across as sexy technology.
But since municipal property tax record systems are inconsistent, with real estate pictures that are often very out of date, DealMachine is actually using the location meta-data from the device, along with a manual, map-based confirmation, to secure homeowner data for its users.
Nevertheless, taking a picture is a cool way to launch a mobile user experience. It’s also a “workflow” that anyone with a smartphone is already familiar with. Thus, using the app requires minimal training.
After the picture, the app presents a location confirmation screen that allows the user to adjust a pin to the home’s exact location. Almost instantly, the user is given the owner’s name and current mailing address (if they’re not occupying the home). You can also find mortgage status and lender information.
This is particularly useful when a property is owned under an LLC and tenants or property managers are unwilling to share their landlord’s information.
The app costs $49/month, and $.99/postcard. For another $.99, an advanced search will give you an email address and a phone number.
I’d pay for advanced search every time because the workflow automation software Zapier can connect DealMachine with Gmail to instantly send an email to the owner.
The real value for agents in DealMachine is the streamlined, one-touch mailing campaigns.
The home’s image is dropped into an included, ready-to-go postcard template that can be mailed immediately, and then every 21 days. Card messages will soon be customizable, but for now they read, “Is this your home?” and include sender contact information.
Investors can then blanket the owners of nearby properties in little time, as can listing agents looking to score a few leads.
DealMachine’s postcards aren’t as attractive as others (like Enthusem or ProspectsPlus), but they are two clicks faster than the latter’s most streamlined product, and I think visual quality will be an easy technical change for them to make once pressed by users.
Buyer agents with picky clients can use DealMachine to inquire about an off-market home before knocking on the door.
Each property captured is stored in the app, along with its current mail campaign status.
The team at DealMachine, as well as many agents, recommend the 10-10-20 rule of direct mail marketing. (10 houses on each side of the subject, 20 on the other side.)
It stands to reason that a future update would add functionality for automatically capturing the data on adjacent homes to streamline the campaign. It would make a great premium feature.
Even without that, DealMachine is a clever, quick way to reach those who own homes close to a listing, and it does an incredible job of automating a proven but tedious outreach tactic for investors — one they often hire junior “bird dogs” to handle for them.
The app has an average rating of 4.4 stars on the Google Play store (from 13 reviews). The company actively responds to review comments that mention a bug or general concern. On the App Store, 24 users have given DealMachine a 4.5 star rating, the most recent published on March 26.
On BiggerPockets.com, a highly active online investor community, a 2017 thread on the app skews positive.
The app looks to have a solid foundation, and an active user group to help drive updates. The marketing aspects need to be improved a bit to appeal to the residential listing agent. For buyer agents who work with investors, DealMachine is worth the 14-day free trial.
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