From Cold-Calling to Chatbots, These Lead-Nurture Best-Practices Will Fix Leaks In Your Pipeline and Turn More Leads Into Deals.
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In This Episode of Ask The Expert | Estate Professionals Mastermind Podcast
What if the right script allowed you to stop paying for real estate leads altogether, and instead turn your existing database into a deal machine? In this Ask The Expert episode, Nate Joens (Co-Founder at Structurely.com) joins Chad Corbett to discuss what 4 Years and 4 million conversations, analyzed with artificial intelligence, tell us about where people go wrong in real estate lead generation and follow-up – and how to get it right.
What Is Structurely?
Structurely creates chatbot solutions for real estate professionals that are looking for better ways to nurture, engage, and qualify leads. Using conversational artificial intelligence, Structurely’s Chatbots engage with leads and gather information about their motivation, property specifics, preferences, agent and financing status, and more.
What Are The Benefits of Using Real Estate Chatbots?
Nate and Chad discuss some of the common mistakes real estate professionals make in their lead nurture conversations, but the smart scripting is just one advantage a real estate chatbot can provide. Many real estate professionals simply don’t have the budget to hire their own ISAs or Virtual Assistants, nor do they have the time to follow up with messages from leads on their website and social media. This often traps real estate agents and investors in the cash flow rollercoaster.
Chatbots solve this problem by providing smart automation for top-funnel engagement and lead nurture. Furthermore, Structurely’s chatbots send serious prospects further down the sales pipeline for warm follow-up. But in a competitive landscape where prospects value human experience, is this sustainable? In this episode, you’ll hear Nate and Chad lay out an actionable marketing roadmap any real estate professional can use to optimize lead generation and nurture, maximize return and avoid sunk costs, and keep the Value-First mindset front and center.
Good Scripts vs. Bad Scripts Summarized:
Nuggets in This Episode:
- 00:00 The Achilles Heel of Real Estate Lead Generation
- 2:14 The Best Real Estate Scripts and When To Use Them
- 5:11 The #1 Thing NOT To Do With Scripts
- 6:55 What Chatbots Can Do Better Than You
- 9:08 Leveraging Empathetic Intent To Win Responses
- 13:48 Handling Objections Before They’re Presented
- 14:47 How Chatbots Can Supersize Your ROI
- 17:38 Stats and Metrics on Structurely’s Conversion: Portal Leads vs. Pay-Per-Click
- 20:09 The Accountability Bonus
- 22:12 How Many People Can Actually Tell It’s A Chatbot?
- 24:11 How To Integrate AI Chatbots Into Your Real Estate Marketing
- 26:32 Winning Opt-Ins The Easy and Ethical Way
- 29:20 What If You Just Stopped Paying For Leads Altogether and Work Through Your Existing Database?
- Check Out Structurely – We Think They’re Awesome!
- Subscribe to Chad Corbett’s YouTube Channel
- Estate Professionals Mastermind Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/estateprofessionalsmastermind
Try Out A Chatbot at TestyourAIassistant.com (Think of it as a roleplay partner with your exact schedule!)
About Nate Joens
CO-FOUNDER AND HEAD OF INNOVATION, STRUCTURELY
Under his 4 years as CEO, Structurely experienced 10x growth in conversations processed in the real estate industry and built a proprietary conversational AI application that 99.9% of consumers believed was human. Structurely also became a Housing Wire Real Estate Tech Top 100 company and grew to a team of 26 employees.
With experience in Geographic Information Services (GIS), real estate, financing, urban planning, project management, and graphic design, Nate leads the product, engineering, and machine learning teams at Structurely to align with real estate customer goals.
Nate’s LinkedIn | Nate’s Twitter | Email Nate at email@example.com
The Achilles Heel of Real Estate Lead Generation
[00:00:00]Chad Corbett: Welcome everybody to Ask The Expert. My name is Chad Corbett. I’m the founder here at Magnum Opus Project. With us today, we have Nate Joens from Structurely and the conversation is about something that every real estate professional, whether you’re in investment or whether you’re in brokerage, our Achilles heel, right? Can we have enough conversations with enough people to keep us off of the cash flow roller rollercoaster and to keep consistency in our business?
Nate has had the unique opportunity to be part of over 4 million recorded conversations over the last five years in the real estate space. And you guys often hear me criticizing people for, instead of learning the skill set of language and communication for looking for magic bullets.
And I think Nate you’ll agree with me: Technology should never be your primary prospecting methodology, but it can be a supplement that can make the difference between you being a top producer or always just working a shitty job in real estate.
Nate has looked behind the curtain on those conversations and their company has been collecting this data over the years. So we’re going to talk to him about what he’s learned about lead nurturing human behavior, linguistics, and how, applying technology to what they’ve learned can help you in your real estate business.
So, Nate, welcome.
Nate Joens: Yeah. Thanks, Chad. Really appreciate it. You hit the nail on the head. The lead qualification, the nurturing, the communication is most agents Achilles heel, that’s a very important part of your body for a reason. You can’t really walk.
You can’t really do anything or much without it. And I think that people forget about it. It’s one of those parts of your body that you can’t really work out. You can’t really, target, but it’s so important in everything you do. At Structurely, we’re a conversational AI company that helps real estate agents follow up and qualify their leads.
We exercise data and help people think about how to improve those conversations. Because right now, those conversations, I guarantee everyone listening can probably nod their head in agreement to this, the conversations they’re having with customers, wherever they’re at in their process; if they’re new leads, if they’re past clients, if they’re just old dormant leads they have no idea what is being said, or what’s really happening with those leads. It’s a black box and that’s the kind of black box that I want to uncover and talk about today.
The Best Real Estate Scripts and When To Use Them
[00:02:13]Chad Corbett: Anyone who has been watching any of our content will know that I’m strongly opposed to scripts because it typically results in timid salespeople that really get wrapped around the axle easily. We’ve found that to be incredibly challenging in the probate space, even when trying to script a general conversation with a VA or ISA.
It’s just challenging to do because there are literally thousands of variables in that end-of-life transition. So the personal property, the real property, the surviving family members the social dynamic among the heirs, the court system, the backlogs within that. However, at the top of the funnel, we can accurately script the conversation. There, there are shortcuts. Right? And I think a lot of times it comes down to empathy. Anyone who’s ever been through probate mastery will know that once you learn to help enough others get what they want, then you’ll always have what you want. And the first way to figure out what they want and how to craft a valuable offer is through empathy.
What’s The Goal Of Every Conversation?
[00:03:06]I know you guys have built empathy into your technology, which is no small feat, by the way. If you’re not really well versed in AI or even chatbots, even decision trees, to be able to teach a machine empathy.
That’s, everybody’s racing for who can do that best, right? Because you will literally change the world. It’s something that innately computers don’t have. A lot of people don’t either, but the more empathetic you are, the more generous you’re perceived to be, the easier it is to build trust and being empathetic to what, whoever your prospect is, whether that’s a FSBO, an expired, or vacant for rent by owner or whatever that might be being empathetic to their position will help you know how to appeal to their emotions and provide an offer that is valuable to them.
So I’m really curious to hear like over the five years, what that evolution has been and how important you believe that empathy is. Even if it’s just a top-of-the-funnel conversation with your technology, how important is that?
Nate Joens: Yeah, it’s extremely important.
We work with top inside sales agents across the country. We’re working with, 5,000 plus salespeople, real estate agents from across different walks and niches, and focuses. Structurely had our own podcast at one point all about inside sales agents where I was a co-host with one of the best in the space, Robby Trefethren from hatch coaching hard name to say. But, what he always says in terms of scripting, because I completely agree with you that scripting is bad in some way because it makes you feel like a salesperson. And if you ask Robbie, what’s your number one script that you teach to ISAs?
Cause he’s taught, all of the top ISAs in the country, and he says his number one script is tell me more. That is his number one script. That is the only script he lives and breathes by. the whole principle behind that is not just, trying to be facetious but it’s like trying to move salespeople into a service mindset.
That’s a huge part of what, tell me more just simply means. And that’s ultimately what you want to get at in any conversation, whether it is a probate or a FSBO or just a new buyer, a new seller lead. Tell me more gets to the motivation. And if you just keep saying, tell me more, you’ll eventually get there and you’ll eventually get multiple layers deep, where you actually have a real conversation to have.
The #1 Thing NOT To Do With Scripts
[00:05:11] I still remember one of the first things that he taught me was an analogy of most real estate agents go after the. Like the crunchy data, how many beds are you looking for? How many baths are you looking for? What’s the address you’re selling most chatbots do that too, but that’s not what’s going to be the core of your relationship. Especially with probate conversations, you’re going to be able to get at that motivation really quickly, obviously addressing that elephant in the room, why they got here, and how you can help them get to where they want to be.
Every human just wants to be heard, understood, and valued. That’s it. That’s what we all want. And scripting kind of puts that leverage in your neck of the woods where you’re like, I need you to tell me what you’re looking for. I need you to tell me this information so I know you’re qualified, but it should be another way I need to learn about you. Tell me more. So that’s something that our product takes into account.
Chad Corbett: We’ve got an interesting culture here. And I think, most of the people who have been through this course, it’s based on our exit survey. So it’s important to me that I know whether I provided the expected amount of value, exceeded expectations, or fell short with every single person that I serve.
Right? And I think vulnerability is a strength. So I stick my neck out and I asked for reviews and an exit survey. And what’s interesting is a lot of folks when they come in, reject the notion that we don’t have scripts. They’re like where do I find the scripts, man? Like, where do I download these?
And I’m like, oh, not here. What’s really interesting on the Exit reviews, at least 95%, I would say probably like 98 percent of people say, I didn’t understand that at first, but having gone through the course and learned the methodology I now agree.
It’s something that I always do to hold myself accountable, to make sure I’m teaching the right thing and making the industry a better place to serve, not worse.
What Chatbots Can Do Better Than You
[00:06:55]What we look to do is create leaders, not salespeople, and to have real human conversations.
Like it’s all about emotion, right? We’re all driven by emotion. Our behavior is driven by underlying emotions and the quicker we can uncover those, we can understand the motivations of those people and we can influence them and lead them to where they need to be. And in the probate space, I would say at least 80% of families are standing in their own way on the first contact.
The first time they receive your marketing touch, whether that might be a phone call, a text message, a direct mail piece. They are procrastinating because they’re scared because they’re hurt because they think everyone’s out to get them and the profit from what they’re going through. When they finally open up they’re ready to go and they’re the best clients you ever have. They’re the most grateful people. And that’s what really kept me in the space and made me so willing to dedicate a good chunk of my career to it. It was just the amount of gratitude and the difference I could literally see in a matter of weeks I could make.
Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in difference in generational wealth, but where most people struggle is getting that conversation started. And a lot of folks are, they’re like, what can I do on Facebook? What kind of email can I send and what can I do here and do there.
So we’re always looking for better ways to optimize our campaigns, but ultimately guys it’s, regardless of what technology or silver bullet you might have, even if it’s a really good sales letter that you’re sending via direct mail or a great postcard. It ultimately comes down that you have a responsibility to have the skill set of communication and to be a leader in the niche.
Otherwise, you don’t really deserve to be there. So I don’t want you guys to think, oh, I’m going to replace all my effort. And I’m just going to go sit on the beach this summer and plug into this AI and let it do all my work. Probably not going to play out that way.
But it can be the difference between you hammering the phone 60 hours a week, and maybe doing that 10 hours a week and really optimizing and maximizing your dollar productive activity. So if you had another 10 hours a week to go out and have conversations with probate attorneys and build those relationships and appear as a leader to them, then how much more business would you have?
So if we can just filter down the people who aren’t ready and the ones who are already using technology such as this then it puts you in a much better position to, be off of that cashflow rollercoaster.
What 4 Million Conversations Taught Me About Great Sales Conversations
[00:09:08]I’m really curious and I’m putting you on the spot. We didn’t pregame much.
But like, what are the top, let’s just say the top three things you’ve learned in these 4 million conversations. What are the top three things you’ve learned about communication and lead nurturing in the real estate space specifically?
Nate Joens: Yeah. First and foremost, it’s that “tell me more.” Like that is the majority of how we do our scripting too. It’s just, we want to lead with value. So when we reach out to folks, whatever type of lead they are that’s usually what we lead with.
If not, I know we don’t like to talk too much about scripting here, we always like to leave an out in our conversations. So it’s, one of our top-performing opening lines is this is so-and-so with, so-and-so just reaching out to see if you’re thinking about making a move soon, or if you’re just looking. So if you give them that, just looking they’re most likely going to respond with. Yeah. I’m just looking, everyone does, but it just, you know, first and foremost, you just want that response. We see about a 57% engagement rate response rate across our product, across the board.
And even if a majority of those responses are no, leave me alone, get lost. That’s valuable to exactly what you just said. That just means you don’t have your ISA or yourself chasing a lead endlessly until they just simply tell you no. So getting that response first and foremost is super important. Opens up the conversation, too. Just looking? Okay, great. Just looking if the right property came on the market in the next three months, would you consider making a move maybe? Yeah. Sure. Okay. Tell me more. That’s what’s got you thinking about making a move. So just, that’s exactly how we script the start of our product basically, and then continuing to feel, make them feel heard, understood, and valued, especially when they come back with, oh, I just inherited this property. I got to get rid of it quickly. I just didn’t want to tell you that because I felt like you were after me or I’ve gotten a million messages from real estate agents. Oh, so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.
Leveraging Empathetic Intent To Win Responses
[00:11:03] So our product does have tons of those, what we call empathetic, intent built-in. We have mentioned tragedy, divorce; positive things, a new job, a new child, veterans thanking them for their service. We always take the approach in our product to acknowledge every response that they tell us.
And then ask a question, keep the conversation going. Usually simply just tell me more. So that’s how we have always embodied our conversations. The other kind of thing that I’ve learned that I think has been, this is a, what I will call like a growth hack, even though. It isn’t really, it’s been one of our most successful drip messages ever is: Let me know if I can help. We always send a message 12 minutes after our first engagement to folks that just says, let me know if I can help. So as soon as they register, as soon as you might send like a mass text or email or something out that says, Hey, wanted to see if you’re still in the market.
Let me know if I can help. People have sniffed out that’s an autoresponder. Everyone knows that that’s been technology that’s been around for, 5, 10, 15 years. When, as soon as you register on a site, something texts you and say, thank you for registering on the site. We will be in touch with you shortly ignored.
But as soon as you send that, let me know if I can help. Like 12 minutes after people are like, oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I thought this was an autoresponder. Yeah. I’d love to, I’d love a call soon. So that little nudge message is what we call it has been insanely helpful to getting response rates really early.
And then another kind of linguistic approach that we’ve taken in our drips, that’s been really successful to get responses is saying things like, I just want to make sure I’m not dropping the ball. So it puts a little bit of guilt into it, or a little bit of like empathy on their side, because I can’t tell you how many responses we’ve seen where they’re like, oh, you’re not dropping the ball.
I’m so sorry. I’ve been so busy lately. Yeah. I really want to get a move going. So that one has been huge. We sprinkle it into all of our follow-up messages, the goal here with just getting a response is to make those messages timely.
You want to hit them right when something in their life might’ve changed, but also make it feel like they’re talking to a human.
Chad Corbett: I have a friend who, and he’s used this on me, I’m not, I just get covered up in text messages, it just, it fills up and you just can’t live and to keep up with all inbound communications anymore. The way he gets people’s attention and he gets a call back it’s are you mad at me? That’s it. And he’s like, you will not believe how quickly you can get anyone to call you back. Cause it’s like, Aw shit.
Now I’ve messed up. And you feel it elicits a response out of you, right? Like it’s an emotional response. It’s like, oh, damn Gary thinks I’m mad at him because I’ve been so busy. And so there are little things like that.
Handling Objections Before They’re Presented
[00:13:48]In the probate space, because people aren’t expecting to be called. They didn’t opt-in from a website or, ask for more details on a listing. We need to warm them up a little bit more. And what we found to be the top objections, in, at the beginning of conversations is wait a minute. Who are you? How did you get my cell phone number?
And what are you calling? Yeah. So we teach a probate USP or your unique selling proposition. So, Hey, my name’s Chad. I’m actually reaching out cause we have a social enterprise here in the community. That’s set up specifically to help families going through probate. And as part of that, we go to the courthouse every month, meet with the clerk, find out which families we should be reaching out to, even at the risk of upsetting them sometimes because we know we can make a big difference.
And it usually starts with us understanding your situation. So what’s been the toughest thing for you guys? And we’re assuming that there’s a problem there because we know that’s estates are messy and complicated and there’s always a problem. Right? So our magic question is, what’s been the toughest thing for you so far, and that starts the conversation.
How Chatbots can Supersize Your ROI
[00:14:47] And it’s all about engagement. Like, if you can just get dialogue, if you can get them back and forth, even if it’s a no, even if they’re mad, even if it’s, I’m not ready. And what we find is with probate, your cash conversion cycle. From the time you actually have the lead from the courthouse until you’ve monetized that, and it can be anywhere from 30 days to 25, 26 months.
And that’s where that’s, what’s exciting about this conversation because when you take somebody who has a list of 300 leads per month, and they’re doing 12-month campaigns, we’ll do the compound math. Where are they at? And month 12, like it’s whatever, 144 times 300, right? Like, so they’re literally managing thousands of touches and it just becomes unsustainable.
So this is where technology like yours can become very valuable to people who are running these big campaigns at a high level, so they can pay very close attention in a month, one month, two in month three, but then they get overwhelmed. There are just too many touches to manage and you can leverage technology with learning linguistics that will help convey the level of service and the language you would use personally.
While you’re out on appointments or doing other dollar-productive activity. Just based on my experience, having a decade of experience in the probate space, 25% will sell in the first quarter. Another 25% will be in that six to 12-month range. And another 50% either won’t sell or will be spread out over longer than that.
And it’s, it’s different across, around the country and not everybody is highly motivated to sell right now. A few are, and those are it’s worth marketing early to get those, but most of them are going to sell anywhere from two to 24 months. So it’s marketing often that gets those, and actually nurturing that.
And some of our members are incredibly good about just hammering the phones and putting in their 20 to 30 hours a week of outbound calls. When you get 15 deals in the pipeline, sometimes you don’t get that done. So it’s interesting to hear like you guys you’re, you’ve been running in a much different space, more of a generalist but actually having not anecdotal data, but you have data that you can analyze.
You can draw patterns and learn these things. I’m curious if you guys have tracked the cash conversion cycle like if you take, let’s just say a realtor.com lead or otherwise generated by or online buyer or seller lead, have you tracked that like the agent’s results before using your saw. And during or after.
And is it actually a shortening that cash conversion cycle is the conversions coming more?
Nate Joens: Yeah, I think it’s a little bit harder for us to get the in-depth like returned data that like, okay, this conversation that Structurely talked to resulted in the close because agents don’t typically update their CRM as well as they should.
And they certainly don’t report it back to us. So that’s where we draw the line,
Stats and Metrics for Structurely’s Value-Add
[00:17:38] but we do have some metrics that I can share. I think the biggest value. That we’ve seen so far, that is often overlooked that you just said is follow-up compounds. We like to say here, follow-up grows exponentially, the same thing.
And people forget that it’s so easy to get in that groove where you’re just like, I’m just going to keep buying leads 500 this month, 500 next month, 500 the next month. What about those ones from the first month, the second month, third month, it grows so quickly, and yeah. At first, it’s just like, that’s fine.
I’ll throw more agents at it. They’ll figure it out. Then I’ll figure it out. They typically don’t do that follow-up. And there becomes a huge leaky bucket right in the middle of the funnel, the leads that you already have that are just sitting there dormant and maybe not getting as much follow-up as they can.
That’s really where we follow up and you’re exactly right with what you’re seeing in terms of, so the timeline. What I’ll share stats-wise is like portal leads. So realtor.com, Zillow homes.com, others versus like pay-per-click.
Kind of generated on your own Facebook leads, Google pay-per-click leads, YouTube. What have you those are how I’ve broken down some of our stats, just because they’re different? Those leads are typically at different places in the funnel portal leads are pretty far down the funnel typically.
Pay-per-click leads are more at the top of the funnel. So what we’ve seen in terms of pay-per-click leads is about a 49% engagement rate, 12% total what we call agent ready? So I’ll use this term again, but we categorize our leads automatically based on the AI and what they say in the conversation.
There are five stages responded, not responded, interested, not interested, needs an agent follow-up so it needs agent follow-up is like a qualified lead hand raiser. Those are people saying indicating they want to take the next step in some way. So 12% of all pay-per-click leads that we’ve seen become agent-ready.
2% total of all the pay-per-click leads we’ve seen we set an appointment with. So again, those numbers are 49% engagement rate, 12% agent ready rate 2% appointment rate.
Compared to portal leads. We see. So these are again, Zillow, trulia.com. realtor.com. All those kinds of big national portals.
We see an engagement rate of 63%, an agent ready rate of 37%, and an appointment set rate of 13%. So quite a bit different in those.
The Accountability Bonus
[00:20:09]Chad Corbett: Wow. Yeah. And I know you’re probably, you’re more curious than me like that 13% equals what and conversion, right? Yeah. Trust me. I, I, I’ve only made companies, and getting that information back in to do your analysis is just down there impossible.
Even if you do phone campaigns and email surveys, survey responses, you just never get. The full data set to actually say here and here was the result of that. That’s interesting. That’s incredibly high engagement. Especially 13% appointment rates is fantastic.
Nate Joens: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that we obviously have taken some assumptions in terms of what’s a typical agents appointment to close rate, most agents should know that’s a really strong part of your funnel to say, Hey. Am I saying the right things at this listing appointment?
My saying the right thing is things that are showing appointments. If you’re seeing a big drop off there, there’s no technology in the world that’s really going to help you. That’s just a kind of salesmanship that you need to shore up. But I think that the average that we’ve seen is around half of those deals do end up closing in a relatively moderate timeframe. So I think that the pipeline that we’re influencing in terms of our conversations is pretty substantial. And that’s just, again, because a, it’s like it’s opening up the black box in our conversations or in agent’s conversations.
A lot of the time, like I started this conversation. Agents have no idea or team leaders or any, brokers, they have no idea what their agents are saying or doing with the leads they get. Not a clue and we’re helping them open up that black box because you should radically be able to see where people are at in those like stages in a conversation. Not everyone’s just going to come out and respond and say, yeah, I’m ready to sell my house.
You got to, you got a long-term follow-up. Even if they’re a portal lead, it’s going to take some time to follow up with them and you need visibility into. That’s where the help the product really, on the surface cuts in and helps.
How Many People Can Actually Tell It’s A Chatbot?
[00:22:05]But then ultimately you ha our product is responsible for your most valuable asset leads.
You’re interested in AI, just to addressing the elephant in the room you’re entrusting AI to talk to your customers, and that’s a big deal. We don’t take that lightly. We take that very seriously and we’ve seen a 99.9% of those 4 million conversations that we’ve had believe they’re talking to us.
99.9%. We have the motor that yeah, we have the ability to we call the in kind of the AI space. There’s this concept of intent and intent is a really basic concept. It’s saying hello is an intent. Think about all the different million ways you can say. Hello. Hi. Hello there. Okay. Those are different.
You just the model is classifying those terms into an intent, say, hello. That is the intent of the lead to say hello. So we have about 300 plus different intents that range from anything from say hello to someone saying that they’re a veteran or someone saying they’re going through a divorce, but we also have intents that recognize people saying things like, are you a bot??
Are you AI? So we analyze those 4 million conversations and looked at how many times that type of thing is being said. And it was 0.01% of the time. Wow.
Chad Corbett: That’s interesting. Yeah. I have a lot of fun with it, not that I’m aware of using your technology, but it’s when it’s obvious you have a bot and it’s just on like, a conversation tree.
It’s not very sophisticated. It’s fun too, it’s fun for me to wrap it around the axle and then leave a message for whoever might be reading that because it really is pretty shitty customer service. When you have limited, like when you have elementary technology. Managing one of the most important aspects of your business customer experience and that, that first impression, it just seems reckless as hell to me.
That’s pretty cool. You guys have done the work and gone that deep to actually, Be careful with your customers’ reputations, because you can do a lot of harm with sloppy marketing in a business-like, and in real estate, we’ve talked a lot about the, the language and the technology.
How To Integrate AI Chatbots Into Your Real Estate Marketing
[00:24:11] Tell us how, like, help everyone understand how you apply that. Like what systems what a timeline might look like. If someone were interested, in, in integrating this into their probate campaign or other lead types that. Like, how do you, how do they actually use it? Like the email platform, the text platform?
Like how many ways can they use it? Where do you integrate and how easy is this for someone to, participate in or to try.
Nate Joens: Yeah. So, obviously, the last thing we want you or your agents to deal with is another login. So, we have integrated with the vast majority of all real estate in general, CRMs follow up boss, Sierra interactive lion desk, everything in between.
The idea is, you set up Structurely and you work out of your CRM, all the conversations. Go back into your CRM. We pull in the leads from your CRM or lead sources. We reach out to them over text and email, and then those conversations are sync back to the CRM. So you can manage them all in one place.
The one thing that’s slightly different than I always have to caution about, spaces like this investors, especially recruiting probate, FSBO, expired. You have to have consent to begin text texting people. The TCPA compliance doesn’t allow us to just blast, text lists that you pull from the internet and they have to opt-in some way.
But because our product works over email. We’ve seen people set up campaigns which all of our scripts and drips- so the scripts are the two-way conversation, the drips are the unresponsive followup are customizable. Endless supply of pre-built templates that you can use as inspiration or out of the box.
But if you want to tweak them to your exact situation, which we recommend you do, you can we’ve seen people email leads that haven’t given consent yet and say, Hey, give the spiel, whatever they want to say, is that all right? If I text. And if they say yes, that gives them, that gives permission to text as well.
And then you can hit them on both channels through our product, text, and email. But if you do have permission to text any of your leads, whether they’re from Facebook online sources, where they’ve filled out a form, anything in between. We plug into those really quickly can just get set up on one onboarding call and you enroll those leads into Structurely re-reach out to them.
We follow up with them and have the two-way conversation, all managed in the CRM.
Winning Opt-Ins The Easy and Ethical Way
[00:26:31]Chad Corbett: Oh, for example, guys, if you’re running a probate campaign right now, that includes direct mail. You could send a postcard that says, this is from probate service, LLC in Baltimore. We’re a social enterprise that helps families going through probate.
It’s usually best if we talk in the beginning because then we can help minimize the stress and maximize the equity for the family. For more information, text 6, 8, 9, 6, 8. That way you use a 39 cent postcard to get the opt-in for the SMS, and that comes back to your database and then you’ve got the trigger or you’ve got the audit trail and you can legally do that.
Our audience has heard me talk a lot about TCPA because I believe it’s, I don’t believe there’s, it’s clear to see there’s a whole, subset of the legal community that’s just chasing the easy shakedowns. And if they can get proof that you did it once they can probably get proof that you did it a thousand times, and they can shake you down you don’t even have to go to the litigation, they can shake a settlement out of you before you get deposed.
The ethics of how you guys are dealing with this versus most other tech companies: you’re not writing this rock, solid hold harmless, and then passing the buck onto your customers and saying, good luck, guys. We’re going to profit from this shit while you take the risk.
You guys actually have a conscience about that, and I really appreciate that, but that’s rare in the tech industry. I think a lot of people and technology companies, they don’t really, they’re not really empathetic to. The application of their technology and what that feels like and what that daily struggle is.
And I think you’ve been in the industry long enough. You’ve been around, re like immersed in the industry long enough. Do you understand that? And that’s, I don’t take that long. Like that’s important. And that’s a piece that most technology companies in the real estate space, miss it’s like, oh hell, that’s their liability checks in the bank for me.
Right? Yeah. I appreciate that. That you actually do that. Now. It’s it makes it less of an easy button, but it’s also like the more responsibly you use the platform the more effective and sustainable it will be. I think it’s protecting everybody’s assets, yours and theirs.
Nate Joens: Yeah. Yeah. The last thing in your example was a really good point.
We, we provide all of our customers with local area code phone numbers for their assistant, which is how we position the product is: an assistant for your team, an assistant for your agents, or an assistant for. So, you can even go so far as even give it a fun persona on the postcard say, Hey, I’m Emma I’m a member of XYZ brokerage.
Wanted to learn about what was toughest in your situation. Texts me at, this local area code, phone number. She or it’s phone number which then begins that opt-in sequence like you said, it can be fired up with a specific script that’s, relevant and knowledgeable about that postcard campaign even, and really kicked things into gear that way and a very automated, but personal way.
What If You Just Stopped Paying For Leads Altogether and Work Through Your Existing Database?
[00:29:20]Chad Corbett: We’re at the top of the hour. So I want to thank you for taking the time to have this conversation with us. Maybe we can have you back sometime. And one of the things that think you and I need to do is actually start playing with this a little more publicly in the probate space and say, here’s what happens when you say this, they say this? My brain certainly loves it. I think that space you’re working in is one of the – It’s hard to call it an emerging opportunity now. I think you have a lot of runway between now and the rest of your career. A lot of folks have been trying to figure this out and thank you.
You really stepped upfront and you’ve got, and there’s proof in numbers. Right? How many agents are you serving right now? It’s over
Nate Joens: 5,000, probably nearing 6,000.
Chad Corbett: Yeah. And you’re aimed at the, like the top kind of the top producing teams that have big volumes
Nate Joens: yeah. Kind of across the board. Really doesn’t matter if you’re right.
Yeah. And that’s maybe if that wasn’t clear too, like this isn’t just for new leads, you know, net new leads that you’re generating a month every month. We kind of have a joke in a running, thought experiment that said, what if you just stopped paying for leads altogether and work through the existing database?
The perfect use case for a product like ours. We have a lot of our customers that do just that comes back to the point I made earlier about, you have a leak in the middle of the funnel and you forget about the exponential exponentially growing to follow up that you’re just burdening your agents with.
What if you just focus there on a product like ours? And stop paying for new leads altogether. Not saying you should, but a healthy business has a mix of both.
Chad Corbett: So that’s actually the case for I know at least a few people watching this right now. One of the things I hate to admit and owning a lead company, right.
People don’t always use the leads. I remember the first time Trulia, ever issued their report on their, the leads and I think it was one in 18 buyer leads actually got to speak to an agent. Which is absurd because they were paying for the leads!
So then I started automatically calling two people at the same time and whoever picked up first got the lead. They tried to bring the spirit of the competition out of this, out of the people. And it’s just, it’s hard to get people to do what they need with their leads, we’re humans. We have busy lives.
Right. But I know there are a few people on here. Like we see people coming and go from the probate niche and they come back and are like things just got really busy and I couldn’t focus on it. And the leads were piling up. And what that is, it’s that ego response. You dumb ass, you spent a thousand dollars and you’ve not even made these calls, shame on you.
And then they cancel out of embarrassment. And it’s not healthy behavior, but it’s pretty common behavior, but eventually, those people will come around when they hit the bottom of the cash flow roller coaster and be like, holy shit, I’m not going to eat next month if I don’t figure this out, what can I do where can I get leads with the least competition and, the quickest chance.
The best chance of a quick payoff and probate is a good space for that. The cash conversion cycle is shorter than in most niches but we’ve got a lot of people in that situation that have literally hundreds or sometimes thousands of leads that they haven’t worked with. And now they’re embarrassed to go back to them.
They assume like most other lead types that are not that valuable and that’s not true in the probate space. I had a really fun time proving this to a gentleman once I, we were at Inman Connect in New York in 20, 19, 18, or 19. And um, he came up and he had literally been a subscriber for probate leads for, I think, 14 months.
And had not contacted a single one. And he was in like, Eastern Pennsylvania, like on, on the Pennsylvania, New York area there. And so I was like, here’s the deal. I’m going to issue you a challenge. We’re going to do this. We’re going to run through your list one time. And anyway, so we ran through it with, a beginner level, ISA.
It wasn’t even like, a hotshot ISA. Well, We ran through his list. We put 14 listings in his pipeline like not appointments listings went into his pipeline. It was something somewhere north of almost a quarter-million dollars in a week because he had 14 months of leads sitting there that he had created this pattern of procrastination and fear like can’t call them now.
I didn’t call them when you know, and like, all we did was unleash a simple call campaign. So I know there’s a lot of folks that will be watching this, that you’ve given yourself the lashing you’ve quit or you’ve gone on hold. And are you really going to make those calls? Are you going to send them direct mail?
And if not, this can be a great supplement to that. It can be a great way to at least earn an ROI on something you’ve already paid. You got the sunk costs. But that’s, I think a great application of this as those of you who can’t manage the compounding of monthly leads and the probates based, they never stopped coming.
Right? We’re on a pace of 1.4 million per year, like deaths that actually go through probate and that will increase through about 2060. That number is actually increasing. So every month you’re going to get more and more leads. So if you find yourself in that position and you think that this might be something you’re interested in learning more about, I know we have several of our folks are in the CRM that you’ve already mentioned, but where would you point everybody to, if they do want to have a conversation or see what this might look like in their probate campaigns if it’s a good fit for them, how do they find you?
Nate Joens: I always like to. Put our money where our mouth is. A lot of people don’t believe that AI can have human-like conversations. So they tried themselves. So if you do want to try yourself, you can go to a test, your AI assistant.com. TestyourAIassistant.com and just try it out. You’re probably going to break it.
Usually what happens when people come to this is they try aggressively to say some really stupid stuff. So actually try and be a lead. Try and feel like you’re having a real conversation because most of the time people say things, like, oh, I’m getting abducted by aliens. Can you help me?
Like weird stuff like that.
Chad Corbett: I want you to tell the truth here. How many times have you done that?
Nate Joens: I break it all the time, but that’s my job.
Chad Corbett: I’m going to go try to sell it some dogecoin see,
Nate Joens: I’m sure it’ll bite, but I see some really fun conversations when I asked people to test it.
All I ask is you give it a fair shot. Nothing that you wouldn’t say in a professional sense, but I’ll leave it at that. That’s a great place to get started. You can also always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any specific questions Structurely.com too, just has all those resources about who we integrate with how we integrate what script customization looks like.
And some real examples, conversations with real leads to are on there. So you can get a feel for what it’s actually like to have a conversation.
Chad Corbett: Cool. I’ll definitely check that out. I didn’t go there and check that out so I can’t wait. Yeah. Listen Nate thanks so much for letting us borrow your expertise and your experience.
Guys, Nate told you the way you can get ahold of him. If you found value in this, drop a comment, call him out and in the comments and say, thanks. And uh, Nate hopefully we can have you back soon and. Keep this conversation going. I think it’s something that’s important in this niche.
It’s something we’ve never really spent much time with. We’ve tried. But I’m excited to get some of our users on your platform and learn from that. So again, thanks so much for your expertise and your time and we’ll talk to you.
Nate Joens: Absolutely. Appreciate it. Great to be here. Thank you.
About the Author
Katt is an expert in probate marketing and helps entrepreneurs build businesses in the probate space. She is the co-founder of the Estate Professionals Mastermind podcast, which has become the most widely-shared probate real estate podcast. She also writes training content for ProbateMastery.com and a weekly LinkedIn newsletter followed by over 9000 professionals. You can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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