CEO David Anderson said he’s continuing to work to move his company beyond the CRM by releasing software features that help agents manage the entire lead and sales cycle. Here’s the latest.

Software company LionDesk, makers of a popular real estate business system, announced the beta release of a new feature for creating and managing online advertising campaigns on Facebook and its partner social network Instagram.

Called the LionDesk Ad Portal, ads built with it, whether customized or using provided templates, can be leveraged to generate new leads or as nurture campaigns to convert leads to customers. LionDesk users get the new tech without additional fees.

All ad designs, content and included contact lists are fair housing-compliant, specifically as it relates to recently enacted social media mandates. LionDesk referenced best practices from “hundreds of thousands of actual ads,” according to the release.

While users can take advantage of the included groups, they can choose to quickly filter their own CRM database for integration into ad targeting.

It takes only a few clicks to begin running ads to custom lists, each of which can be saved in accordance to the ad campaign being executed, which provides users an additional way to measure what kind of ad creative and format resonates with each person on a list.

“I was at a webinar in which someone was walking through how they synced their database with Facebook Custom Audiences, and he said, ‘This is Ph.D. level stuff,’ and it took him two or three hours to do it,” said LionDesk founder and CEO David Anderson to Inman over videoconference. “I was like, there has to be another way.”

Anderson believes that level of nuanced tedium isn’t something agents should spend their time, or at least that much of it, doing. That’s what drove the team to create a more streamlined option that also uses existing contacts.

Users can create and launch campaigns from within LionDesk accounts, never having to enter either social network’s advertising interfaces.

Ad headlines and body copy can be crafted using MLS-field tags as one would mail merge insertions, a smart way to simplify ad creation and ensure accuracy. (Ads can be built without MLS data, too.)

LionDesk Ad Portal can build video ads for branding or to promote active or sold listings directly. Agents can also advertise from multiple managed Facebook pages.

A savvy use case for the Ad Portal would involve leveraging LionDesk’s Lead Assist AI (Gabby), an automated follow-up feature.

Users can assign each new lead to a specific campaign or place many in the same one. It can run for a year, and “conversations” are recorded during the entire span of the campaign.

Users can be free to work current deals while monitoring Gabby’s progress for leads that may be ready to become clients. Anderson said that the Lead Assist has a 60 percent conversation rate.

“Blueprints are the key,” Anderson said, while demonstrating the ad-building process. “You can do multiple listing, single listing, use your own image or video.”

“We also want our agents to modify terminology, and not control everything about the ad, and we’re going to measure on the backend what works for them,” he said. “There are some [ad] platforms out there that believe they know what’s best for their agents.”

Final ads can be viewed in a slide-out to ensure everything looks. Budgets can range from $49 to $5,000.

Anderson presented an active ad campaign report for a beta test member that showed more than 20 new leads in only a few days on a $49 budget.

All online leads need to be vetted, which is why sales automations are ideal. The more hands-off an agent can be until a lead shows bonafide interest, the better.

LionDesk will be rolling out the Ad Portal in the coming weeks, and more updates are expected to launch through the summer and into fall.

“We keep working to go beyond the CRM,” Anderson said.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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