Agentology is now Verse
Our mission from Day 1 was to change the way businesses communicate with their prospects by helping them create more authentic connections.
We believe consumers deserve a better experience when reaching out to businesses, and those companies are leaving far too much on the table by not engaging with prospects quickly, following up when needed, or nurturing them effectively.
Technology has empowered consumers like never before, but it has also eroded away the human connection that was created much earlier on in the customer journey.
We believe technology + humans = superhumans.
People alone are inefficient.
Technology alone is inauthentic.
By blending the two, businesses can enable personalized, authentic connections at scale.
This is why we started Agentology.
To date, we have worked with thousands of the top real estate and mortgage professionals, teams, brokerages, companies, leading search portals, CRMs and others. After powering many millions of conversations, we have made the decision to expand outside of the real estate and mortgage industries.
To infinity, and beyond
The problem we set out to solve is not a “real estate leads” problem alone. It’s a lead engagement problem that impacts all manner of businesses and industries. All businesses that generate a high volume of inbound leads need to leverage a multi-channel, 24/7 solution that helps their sales team engage, qualify and nurture those leads, so they can spend more time focusing on warm opportunities.
Though our current customers, the bulk of which work in the real estate space, will continue to be a priority, we are excited to bring the power of conversational marketing and automation to other industries that need us now more than ever.
That is why we are so excited to introduce our new brand, Verse.io.
Inspired by the power to converse, conversations are at the core of everything that we do.
Verse.io is the same team, the same ownership, the same core values, the same everything. Our new name allows us to go beyond “real estate” into multiple industries without causing confusion and allows us to bring our solution to a wider audience.
We are now working with insurance companies, financial services, SaaS businesses, universities, and other types of lending institutions to help them better engage and qualify their inbound leads.
Spreading our wings will allow us to dive deeper into our technology, and build more integrations, and provide more engagement solutions that will lift all boats.
We thank you for your trust and commitment. We are truly honored to work with each and every one of you, and look forward to continuing to support your business and help you harness the power of conversations to turn more cold leads into warm opportunities over the coming years ahead.
If you have any questions, please make sure to reach out to us or our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David & Avi Tal
Founders, Agentology… now Verse.io
Verse has released a Zapier app, giving you the power to sync up and automate your workflow across 1500+ applications, including: CRMs, Google Suite, Facebook Lead Ads, and more!
The power of automated processes
Your modern real estate professional, at any given moment, is juggling way too many projects and priorities – to say nothing of the full time attention they provide to their clients.
Therefore, it stands to reason that a savvy agent employs an equal measure of tools to help streamline their workflow.
If you’ve had the chance to tune in to the latest episode of the Power Agent Podcast, you’re already coached on the importance of processes and automation. Barry Jenkins reveals and delves deeply into the importance of leveraging automated systems and tools to achieve scalable success.
“How can you do more in less time with systems and automations?” – David Tal, Power Agent Podcast
The answer – Zapier. This solution is the key to the workflow of Barry and hundreds of other real estate professionals. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Zapier gives you the power to create automated connections called Zaps: marrying the functions of all of your tools/web services in a streamlined, “Trigger + Action” fashion.
Basically, with Zapier you can set up multi-step automated sequences with no coding , enabling you to automate your day-to-day tasks and build workflows between apps that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
The Verse Zap has arrived
So what does that mean for users of Verse? Well, as you may know, Verse knows a thing or two about connections, given that we continually join together top agents and lenders with motivated buyers/sellers.
Or in Zapier speak:
-Trigger: Buyer lead comes in.
-Action: Verse engages
-Trigger: Lead buyer meets the criteria defined by Assigned Agent
-Action: Mark that lead as “Qualified”
-Action: Connect Qualified lead with Agent
More than anything else, our goal at Verse has been to empower our members and streamline their success through innovation, optimization, transparency, and customization. *catches breath* So, uniting with Zapier was the logical next step!
So now, we not only connect through genuine conversations and proven scripts, but also connect with existing systems through Zaps. Verse can even more seamlessly function as a part of an agent’s team and system, allowing them to include our peerless qualification process into automated workflows.
Putting it all together
Some of the most popular uses of Verse’s Zapier app include automating the entirety of the lead process – from generation to qualification to notification – across multiple platforms!
A favorite use case of streamlines the engagement of leads generated through Facebook Lead Ads. As soon as your Facebook lead generation efforts bear fruit, that lead is immediately imported into your Verse account. From there, they are of course treated to our 24/7 engagement process that includes calls, texts and emails – with the option of extending that qualification effort into a long-term nurture campaign.
Conversely, you can do the same kind of import process for any new contact created within your favorite CRM. With many of the CRM Zapier apps, you can take the automation and control a step further. Take Follow Up Boss, for example. This pre-made template grants agents control over ending conversations with leads – done entirely within their Follow Up Boss CRM. Simply put, any time you add the “End Conversation” tag to a contact in Follow Up Boss, the lead will automatically be found in Verse and all engagement will end for that lead.
For an even more favorable example, you can utilize Multi-Step Zaps to notify yourself as soon as a lead is qualified, across several channels. Slack, Gmail, Evernote – basically everything short of receiving a direct phone call (it’s a good thing that Verse already does that for you – even Live Transferring if you’d prefer).
What are you waiting for?
Creating these workflows are a quick and easy undertaking – requiring little technical skill and only an understanding of what you want to achieve. Again, with over 1,500 different apps at your disposal, the possibilities are almost endless.
To level the way that you connect with Verse, click the link below to get started.
Are you aware of how much money you are potentially wasting with your leads every year?
Within your marketing budget, you are most certainly sure with how much you spend on lead generation down to the very last dollar. However, it might surprise you how much money is being wasted by leads never being followed up with. According to a 2013 Online Performance Study, 45% of all real estate leads aren’t responded to or followed up with has resulted in billions of dollars being wasted every year.
You might chalk a lot of this wasted marketing budget on the rigmarole of this business–that leads are a double-edged sword and their shortcomings are just a part of the hustle.
But what if leads weren’t all that bad? What if your whole approach to leads were wrong and a reexamination of your lead strategy could help rewire the success of your real estate enterprise? You might think we were crazy–I assure you, we’re not.
Let’s take a look at the top mistakes real estate agents make with leads and the associated remedies to help turn those mistakes around…
1. You’re late to the “Lead Party”
Studies indicate that 72% of customers will choose the first agent they speak with. A problem with leads is most of them are not exclusive. You will be competing with the vast pool of agents looking to follow up on the same leads you’re presented with.
In order to correct this mistake, you need to be the first to the scene. That’s always easier said than done when you’re traveling, with current or potential clients, or coaching your team to follow up on other leads (the list goes on and on…).
2. You aren’t contacting the lead quick enough
Aside from the other agents that are contacting the same leads you are contacting, the speed in which you contact said leads plays into your overall strategy as well. According to InsideSales, a lead will convert at a rate 21X higher if they are contacted within the first 5 minutes versus just 30 minutes.
Too many agents either don’t know how imperative it is to respond as humanly possible to the leads or they just don’t have the manpower and/or technology at their disposal to do so.
3. You aren’t working with a customer’s modern schedule
The “old way” of real estate buying and selling was much more simple:
- The agent was in charge.
- Things happened at a slower pace.
- You scheduled meeting with your customers generally between the times of 9am and 5pm.
- Most of the interaction was conducted in-person.
Things have drastically changed with the onset of modern technology. Now:
- Customers are in charge
- The vast majority of the leads come from the web
- Inquiries about real estate can come up randomly 24 hrs/day 7 days/week 365 days/year
- 72% choose the first agent they speak with
At this point, we can all agree that new technology is both a blessing and a curse. Obviously, with the spread of communication and inquiry, agents have a grander exposure to more leads. With that, the scope of the job has widened and the time commitments have expanded.
4. You’re chasing the wrong leads
In most circumstances (regardless of industry) quality outweighs quantity. In real estate, this is by no means an exception. A great mistake being made with leads is spending wasted hours and resources chasing the wrong leads. There are many reasons the lead isn’t advantageous enough to pursue:
- The lead isn’t a real person.
- The customer already has a trusted agent.
- Their loan status is less than ideal
- Their area of interest doesn’t match your expertise
There are a number of variables that result in the lead not being worthy of pursuit. On top of it all, when you look into the opportunity cost of following the wrong lead, what is wasted when you place your sights on the wrong target?
If you are experiencing any number of these issues, your head is probably spinning. This business has so many difficulties, adding a few more headaches only makes things worse.
Even with modern-day necessities that have resulted in this web becoming more entangled, there are also technologies that are helping relieve the problems. The adept technology of today’s marketplace helps you consolidate all of the minute tasks and responsibilities that go into scrubbing and qualifying leads that you just don’t have time for.
2 million active real estate agents are spending a combined $10 billion on marketing every year. So much of that money can be better allocated to leads that are actually worth your time.
So how much money are you wasting on leads?
And how much money could you gain if your strategy was better defined?
Everything we do is based on communication and we do it all day long. It’s how we form relationships and develop trust, and an overlooked aspect of the way we communicate, is body language. According to UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, 55% of communication is done through body language. This research supports the theory that actions speak louder than words and demonstrates the importance of body language and nonverbal communication.
When you work with clients, the subtle roll of an eye can diffuse a tense situation or someone sidestepping out of our way to give us space can generate a feeling of warmth. With no words spoken, we can feel our moods and emotions shift, and our feelings about the other person are almost always positive ones. They display empathy towards us, and we then feel like we understand them.
When you work with your clients, use these body language methods to create incredible customer experiences and enhance your approachability, trustworthiness, and attentiveness. They’ll help you build a rapport that will enable you to close deals and make your customers happy:
Effective body language to build client trust
First impressions count – that’s a given in our field. And for buyers and sellers who are possibly a little stressed out about the prospect of one of the biggest life decisions they’ll make, they are craving a first impression that puts their mind at ease. They want confirmation that “This person ‘gets’ me and has my back.”
The best way to initiate that relationship is with eye contact and a firm handshake. These things may seem old-fashioned, but they’re not out of date. In fact, the actual feel of body contact through a handshake releases oxytocin in the brain, which is a natural bonding chemical that can promote a kindred feeling. You can enhance that feeling of confidence you give clients by opening doors for them, shielding their head from a low overhang, or anything else shows them you care about their well-being.
There is a scientific principle based on our tendency to appreciate the people we like, and that we especially are inclined to like people who are similar to us. One of the ways to benefit from this aspect of human nature is to mirror the physical behaviors of our clients; it’s a powerful, instinctive way to bond with people when they see us. Holding a similar pose, moving at the same pace, or crossing your legs like your client does create a shared experience.
As Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal explains, “Mirroring a conversation partner’s gestures, expressions, posture, vocal pitch or tone can reflect rapport or a desire to please, research shows. It is seen most often between romantic partners, but it happens at work, too, in networking sessions, meetings, and conversations with colleagues.”
Avoid body language that can kill a deal
Be aware that body language can also have adverse effects if not done properly. One of the principal ways you can hurt a relationship is by being generally overbearing or pushy. In the context of body language, this can mean using your presence in an intimidating way through lack of awareness about personal space, and being overly demonstrative. Backslapping, getting too close to someone’s face when talking, or charging ahead and leaving your clients in the dust while you’re walking are major turn-offs. Being too touchy can also come across as creepy or inappropriate.
Avoid overtalking as well. There’s something off-putting about someone who never stops with their running dialog, and while it’s verbal communication, it gives off a nonverbal cue of abrasiveness. The decisions your clients have to make take time and reflection. If your client is with a spouse or advisor, they also need space to have sidebar conversations, and you should know when to step away and give them quiet time.
This is a great comment from sales legend Roy Bartell: “Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.”
Reading the client and closing the deal
At some point in the process, your client will want to move forward – it’s buy or sell time. It’s important that you clue in to what the client is thinking and feeling along the way so you can anticipate and be prepared to finish the deal when the customer is ready to make a decision. The key is to read those subtle signals in the client’s body language.
People generally get a rush of emotions once they’ve made a big decision like buying or selling a house. They will exude a sense of positivity in their language and mannerisms. You’ll see a more demonstrative client and one who lets their guard down more. This is a natural phase of the end of any stressful process, and you will probably also recognize a greater sense of urgency in the way they walk, talk, and engage with you. Be prepared for once-reserved clients to make more eye contact with you and be more touchy.
Did you know: the way you focus on the experience of your clients – past AND present – will be either the key to your success as a top real estate adviser or the precursor to your failure?
Research shows that 92% of all consumers now read online reviews.
- Furthermore, of these online readers, 94% would do work with a business with a 4-star rating.
- Customers research an average of 10 different sources before making a purchasing decision.
And while your online presence should always be treated with the utmost strategic focus, every agent worth her salt can attest to the power of word of mouth (still the most popular and powerful method for referrals) and organic leads. For better or worse, you are always being watched. You are being measured with how well you run your business and how well you treat people you do business with. Generating valuable and credible customer reviews and word of mouth referrals that have the potential to translate into your past clients becoming your brand ambassadors can be overwhelming at times.
Here are tips to help you grow your referral influence and see the referral turn into cash
1. Maintain relationships
Every interaction you have with potential clients can have an impact on your reputation and how you are perceived in your business dealings.
A positive relationship always starts with a great first impression. We are programmed as human beings to put an emphasis on a first impression. It helps us navigate complex and novel situations where we need to rely on the little information that may be present. Luckily, there are services at your disposal that can alleviate the many stresses of making those first impressions. The relationship building continues throughout the entire buying experience and even after the purchase is done.
When the deal is over with, don’t lose touch with the individual. People don’t like to feel used during a transaction–people like to feel helped and not sold. The make of a great agent is someone who ensures their clients walk away feeling like more than just another commission check. You want people who did business with you in the past to have nothing but positive things to say about you.
Furthermore, are you making yourself accessible on the web? Are your showcasing your online reviews of past clients in order to influence potential clients who may be on the cusp of doing business with someone they trust?
2. Generate Great Reviews
When you perform great business, you should be rewarded for it. Generating great reviews can seem hard to acquire at times. The most effective way to convert a positive experience into a review is simply by asking face-to-face. Research indicates that by simply asking for a review face-to-face you are 8X more likely to convert the experience into a review.
You also can use your CRM to send out automated emails simply asking for a review of your customer’s experience. Make it simple for the customer on the other side. In the email, take them directly to the site or page you wish to have them create the review. Let them know how much in the email this is going to mean to you and your business.
The email or in-person request should lead the client to one or preferably a few of the review sites you wish to target. Google is still “king.” Most people start with Google when performing their initial search inquiries. You should also utilize Zillow, Yelp, Realtor.com and Facebook.
3. The “Tao” of Client Experience
“Offering continuous value without any expectations” – David Tal Verse CEO
People are attracted to others who do great work strictly out of the need to do great work. When you go above and beyond for the benefit of someone else, it will be rewarded. People notice this compassion. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, built his entire multi-million dollar business on this philosophy at the foundation, “We’re wired for it. And people do business with other people. So when you learn to generally give to those people without expecting them to do something in return, you win.”
We’ve been told his as a fundamental law since we were kids: If you give, you shall receive.
4. The Bespoke Agent
Knowing who your client is and what his or her likes and dislikes are key in generating a repertoire of positive reviews and achieving an excellent overall client experience.
It’s important to note that when interacting with your clients, one size doesn’t fit all. Human beings have their varying uniqueness and recognizing this is important for the potential of this person becoming a brand ambassador. Mirroring is a great sales technique one can use in order to capture the essence of making this person feel as if they are your friend and confidant during the experience.
How does this person like to interact?
- Do they prefer texting over a phone call?
- Are they showing up to the meetings in a casual, friendly manner or are they extremely professional?
- Are they a younger demographic who needs a lot of guidance or is this someone well versed in the real estate buying experience?
Your client should always feel taken care of and know that you have their best interest at heart.
When a client feels like they are the only person you care about, how are they not going to refer you?
Building positive relationships is a cornerstone facet to any successful business–especially as a real estate adviser. You are building trust with people who are engaging in the most important financial decisions of their life.
Make sure you are well equipped with the skills, tactics, and strategies necessary for building and nurturing relationships that will help you and your business prosper.
If given the chance to create a real estate handbook, every agent would have something vastly different to say; personal rules that have resulted in their success, hard-learned mistakes that must be avoided, or necessary hardships that must be endured. Some even have superstitions that they swear by – such as the agent who wears the same dirty socks for every listing appointment. (Well, at least we hope the socks are the only thing that’s unwashed.) Regardless on what tickles your personal fancy, there are some undeniable truths and advice that apply to all agents – new or old.
Thankfully, Verse’s agent network, numbering in the tens of thousands, provides us with key industry insights and statistics otherwise not available to the public. After plumbing the minds of our members, we’ve determined 6 tips that were constant across the board.
Mistake #1: Not having a plan in place
In an AgentoloTip from one of our very own: don’t just go with your gut, because “real estate is an analytics, mathematics game.” This means that one of the most important things you can do for your business is to have a plan in place. This typically consists of 3 things (among others):
- Defining your goals
- Performing a SWOT Analysis
- Defining your Marketing plan
Though at first glance this appears to be a monumental undertaking, there are tools to help you with this endeavor. This resource provided by NAR is a great asset to help you get started on putting your business plan together.
Mistake #2: Not having a buffer and/or another source of income
As the old adage goes: “You have to spend money, to make money.” This is no truer than when it comes to real estate. But when starting off, ensure that you have some type of nest egg or additional source of income in place to ensure you don’t spend yourself into debt.
While real estate is one of the best ways to make money, it can take some time to get that money making machine into gear. In fact, according to MarketLeader “the journey to buying a home [typically] takes 11-27 months!”
More specifically, the timeframe in which a lead is looking for your expertise can last up to 4-11 months before they’re ready to actually buy! As a result, it’s important to build yourself a security blanket to tide you over until you start consistently closing deals.
Mistake #3: Not having an Open House route planned
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic or running into a detour while driving your clients around to tour open houses. First of all, it’s a waste of gas. Secondly (and most importantly) the last thing you want to do is exasperate your next potential payday!
Make sure you show the best house first (bonus tip), and then plan out the remaining open house route to cut down on the time between showings (and thereby building in more time for you to find your client their dream home). You can do so with this tool by Mapquest (yes, Mapquest is still a thing).
It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how your the neighborhood expert and the best person to navigate them through any situation – whether that be traffic or choosing the best home.
Mistake #4: A Lack of Communication
Transparency and communication is crucial to building trust with your client. Grant Inaba, of Climb Real Estate, provides a great rule of thumb:
“In the introductory phase I contact clients daily by phone, text, email, until they communicate to me how seriously and quickly they want to buy a house. From there I generally let them dictate how often we communicate.” – Home Value Leads
And Grant isn’t wrong, communication is a skill that’s vital to success. In fact, according to research by Hubspot, 3 of the top ways to create a positive sales experience are:
- Respond in a timely manner,
- Listen to [your client’s] needs,
- Provide relevant information.
Essentially, communication is key – especially in a profession where your competition is often guilty of not practicing it. Did you know – only 27% of real estate leads are ever contacted? Can you imagine leaving all of that money on the table, simply due to not communicating with a (potential) client? It’s imperative that you don’t succumb to that level of inaction and get trapped in a money sinkhole.
Until the client explicitly conveys their real estate timeline or “dictate how often [you both] communicate,” it will always fall upon you to remain diligent in opening up those channels. Short of inundating them with messaging, you need to do whatever possible to connect with your client and stay front of mind throughout their process.
Mistake #5: Burning Yourself Out
Given the daily grind of real estate, burnout is a common phenomenon that journeyman and veterans alike can attest to. It’s important to block out time for yourself and for your loved ones. A perfect example of this is John Greene, who shares tips on avoiding the type of burnout that led him to quit real estate.
Mistake #6: Not Utilizing Your Resources
Lastly and most importantly, use the resources that are at your disposal. The right tools can help you save time for yourself and boost your business. There is also an (objectively) fantastic option that effectively handles your communication funnel with prospective clients, connecting them with you only when they’re ready to sell/buy.
Either way, remember it’s all about working harder AND smarter, especially when starting off. By following these tips you can set yourself up for continued success.