TRP098: How to Leverage Technology to Grow Your Business!!!
August 25, 2020
Randy: Hey, I want to welcome you to today’s show. Boy, it is an exciting one. And when, I mean exciting, I’m saying an exciting episode. What am I so excited about? I’m talking about technology and how to use it in your business, not just to use it, but to be able to increase sales, right? Everybody loves sales, right? Or hopefully you love revenue, right? You got to sell in order to get revenue and a good friend of mine, Jason Nickel, he’s an investor out of Denver and he really saw a pathway to help his business, which was using technology to develop a CRM and texting, to reach more prospective clients that he could help. And in turn, it really became so successful for him. He created it into a system and a program that can be available and used by other people. So I’m excited Jason, to have you on the show with us here today. I know our listeners will be as well. So welcome. Good to have you brother.
Jason: Thank you, Randy. Really appreciate you having me. Oh, for sure.
Randy: Well, let’s tell the audience a little bit about yourself and like, how did you come to this epiphany moment? Like, Hey, I got to do something. I got to take another step and share with us what transpired.
Jason: Yeah, I mean like most people, I started out doing direct mail and direct mail still works really well for a lot of people. It kind of ebbs and flows in my market. At least it did for me when I was doing more of it. And I sent out, I don’t know, two or three different campaigns spending ten, fifteen grand a piece on them. And when you get only a small handful of replies for each of those campaigns, you realize pretty quickly it’s just not sustainable. We had other ways of generating leads besides relying solely on direct mail, but that was our primary lead source. I realized that I needed to have more predictable, reliable, sustainable and cheaper ways of generating leads. So I had an idea to do it through text messaging, kind of tested the waters a little bit and it seemed like it might be a good idea.
I found a developer through a mutual friend, came to an agreement to get a little minimum viable product together just for an internal use tool and made it work for my own company and then let a couple other people use it across the country. Really the rest is history after developing it about a year or so ago. We opened it up and started letting pretty much anybody who wanted to use the system.
Randy: Man, there’s so many super great nuggets in there. I want to just kind of help break it down for our audience who regardless of who you are, you know, as a real estate investor say, buying and flipping houses, or an apartment complex space or an attorney, a doctor, a lawyer, whatever. There’s multiple marketing channels that Jason was pursuing being able to get the feedback and the data of the results, too many people, they just kind of blindly throw money at something and wonder why the results are no good. So having that feedback and then super key that you said was the predictability. That’s something a lot of people miss it’s like, Hey, what’s my predictability. Meaning how much input do I need to put in in order to get the output of so many leads or qualified prospects. I’m telling you a lot of people just throw it against the wall and see what sticks, and that’s not the approach that works. You were able to see, Hey, this is not working so good and I’ve got to try something different. So how did you kind of come to that?
Jason: I was taught early on by mentors and other people who are much better at investing than I am to really track and know your numbers because that way, you know exactly where you’re at versus where you need to be. We were tracking our numbers for direct mail. We had it set up, I’ve always been kind of a gadget geek for lack of a better term. I wanted to apply that to real estate. We were tracking our direct mail response rates and there are less than a quarter percent. You get to a point where you feel like, people are numb to your message. I don’t think there’s any magic bullet that’s going to get people, but we were feeling that people got numb to the whole postcard and letter scene in general. It became pretty apparent very quickly. It was easy to recognize
Randy: Another great point there too is like being able to monitor and recognize something, maybe working well for you and then it changes and then you’ve got to be willing to change. And unfortunately too many people, you know, they don’t change with the times. Right? Like, and that’s part of the thing. I think as business owners, a lot of times people want to set it and forget it, right. I’ve done that work. I’ve kind of set it in place and that’s not really a viable strategy. You’ve got to be willing to constantly review constantly monitor and then make the adjustments necessary. I love what you said too. It’s like, you know, maybe you didn’t have the exact tools to put it together, but you found the resources and finding the developer to come together and bring it right. So it’s like, “Hey, I know I need to do something different and I’m going to be resourceful. I don’t maybe have the resource, but I am resourceful and I’m going to go get it and bring it together.” And that’s exactly what you did.
Jason: I looked at it as a marketing expense, right. If you add up the amount of time and money that we spent on mail and some of these other channels and just peel off a quarter of that and throw it into something new, throw it out a developer, see if I can make this idea come alive. Just another marketing expense for LA and the first deal that I got paid effectively more than what was paid for all the development costs that I had up to that point with the developer. The return on it has been really good. So I would encourage everybody out there if you’ve got an idea that you want to execute that you think might give you an edge, at least somehow in the marketing realm, give it a shot. Look at it as a marketing expense. It’s hard to find a really good developer. I ended up finding out the developer that I originally used had done a lot of things wrong. So we’ve been correcting some of those mistakes over the last year but the point is, it still got us to where we were, and at that point, it was a really good return on the investment.
Randy: Sure. Well, that’s another super great knowledge bomb right there though, too many people want to try to make everything perfect before they go do it. Whereas it’s okay, I know this is what I want to achieve, this is the minimum viable product, or at least it’s going to get me from A to B. Maybe it’s not perfect, but, I can at least test it. I can at least see, is it going to work? Is it going to produce results? And then yes, you’ve got it, this is working and now I can go in I can improve it. I know a lot of times they sit there like the mad scientist in work on this thing, whether it’s a marketing plan or whatever and they’re working on that and they don’t have any real data, no feedback, cause they didn’t take the action.
Jason: It’s almost cliched at this point. We’ve all heard it so many times, but it’s true. There’s an element of truth to it. Right? Take, take that massive action and done is better than perfect. Right. So don’t try and make everything exactly. As you imagine it being perfect down the road, the, you know, this, the software we’ve been working on it for a couple of years now, it’s never going to be done technically. Right. I mean, there’s always going to be there. So the key is reallyyou know, if you’re listening out there to just take your idea, get it to a point that’s actually, it’s got an actionable point to it and then roll with it and see what happens.
Randy: I love it. I just, I just had that conversation with one of our marketing people and our acquisitions and underwriting guy on the apartment side that it’s like, you have to be able to get it done and move forward done is better than perfect. And in Tony Robbins, the constant and never ending improvement, can I it’s like, you’re going to have to constantly get better. Our marketing girl came in and she was making improvements and her first draft, I’m like, yeah, that’s okay. It looks good. Let’s improve it. Let’s use that for now, but let’s, you know, make it better. That’s just the truth of what you have to do. I would say just as a shout out to you and the Lead Sherpa system that you’ve developed, I know me and you talk, God, it was probably last October.
Almost coming up on a year ago. And as soon as we implemented the technology, again, that’s something trying something new. We had not done in our business, that piece of the technology. And so in Jason and I connected together, became friends, talked about, you know, what you have and what you’re doing and said, yeah, man, we’re going to do it and praise the Lord and our single family, residential side of the business. So we have the, both the apartment complex you know, commercial division. And then we have the residential division and we implemented that in the residential division boom within the first month. Good Lord. We saw results
Instantaneously, really. I mean,
Randy: And that’s not any type of falsity, I think the first month that it was implemented we saw it as something that could produce results in a way to connect with people in a different way. And also then in turn have conversion. And I think we had probably three or four properties that we were able to acquire through that channel in the first month alone. Right. So again, talk about costs. Like, you know, we made way more than the setup costs the time and the energy going in to doing it, for sure. And now even for me, and again, this dovetails into what you just said, I’m looking at things long term. So our, our long term focus is no doubt. The apartment complex business, that’s our private equity company as well. I just got off a call with our asset manager, regional manager and an onsite manager at a complex right before you and I connected together. And there is roughly 15 townhomes right across the street from one of our complexes. We thought originally, maybe we could look to buy it as a whole, but when we dug, dug into it, they’re all individually owned. So 80% of them are land.
Right. They just want, it’s an eyesore for our complex, but two, it’s an opportunity. So they’re getting the addresses for him. Now we’ll take those, skip, trace them through the system, find the owners and then reach out to the owners to say, Hey, we’re interested to buy your townhome at XYZ kind of thing. And our goal would be to acquire, you know, half or more of the units there so that we can one clean it up and make it a better thing. And you know, we’re implementing that strategy now we’ve proven it out in the single family division. And now we’re taking that same strategy and beginning to implement it in our commercial apartment focus, which is the larger company focus that we have. So, you know super exciting. So let’s talk more about what your system does. I mean, again, these were kind of the, the beginning philosophies that, you know, can apply across the board with any business, but like, so now once you got to go and let, let’s talk about, you’re more the expert than me, for sure. So let’s talk with our listeners about what does that do? How does it operate? How could they use it, right.
Jason: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you right now, the roadmap, I’m not going to go into full details on where we’re headed with this thing, but it is going to be a one stop shop, right? I mean, you, if you have a Sherpa account right now you can immediately, you can start generating leads within minutes, once you sign up. Right. Um but there’s many other things that are going to be coming that are really going to be made. It’s going to make it an invaluable tool. It already is. And most of our users businesses. but yeah, I mean, really what it does is it allows you to take a list that you’ve got a pen phone numbers and about 15 or 16 other data points to it. I think it is. you know, we’re not just giving you a really good high quality phone numbers are telling you whether or not the property is vacant, whether or not any of those phone numbers are on the, the national litigator database that we have, which is extremely comprehensive.
so you don’t call the wrong people. we’re, we’re telling you whether they’re in, pre-foreclosure all these different things, right? So there’s about six or eight different distress indicators, but the key is, is the high quality phone numbers. So you take that information with click of a button, you push it into a texting campaign. You can also call now through the system. And you know, you’re off to the races. You can, you can make, make it through thousands of contacts a day, very easily with one person, whereas, you know, cold calling, it would take you know, five to six times longer to contact the same amount of people. And you might get a lower contact rate doing it too. So we just found, you know, I call it the speed to lead, right? It’s incredibly fast to be able to start connecting, talking with people and generating those leads for your business rather than having to wait for a mail piece to go out and don’t get me wrong. Mail absolutely works. And I think that you should, if it’s working for you, obviously don’t change anything. you know, but consider adding, texting, regardless of what service you use consider adding in texting and compliant. Texting is key to doing it in the right way. That is in fact, legal follows, TCPA guidelines consider adding that into your arsenal because it’s, I think, I think if you haven’t tried it, you’re going to be surprised at how well it works.
Randy: I would say, I mean, a hundred percent, I mean, I could look back right now and say that probably at least we’re about 40%, 45% of the single family transactions that have come in have been tagged as a lead source that had come from that origination. There may have been a data point connection that came through that, at least originated the beginning of a discussion, you know? That is significant. The other thing I would say too, is that, you know, and again, now we’re a big systems driven type company. I don’t do it. You know, we have a, a person that does it. And then even from an ease of introduction, like, you know, again, for those folks that are listening, it’s like, well, I don’t know, I’m not a tech, the guy and all like that. Look, we implemented the program and I brought in my acquisitions person in one other team member.
I said, look, this is what we’re going to do. This a friend of mine’s got this technology and this platform and this program, we’re going to implement this. It’s real simple to learn and understand. I want you to connect together with his team. And, you know, they went through the onboarding process, set up the account, went through the process of, you know, I think watching the videos, they’re understanding the, you know, here’s how to do this, and really in a very simple manner, we’re able to get it set up and then began the process, you know, and then, and then we set it up as a, than a reoccurring, okay. Evaluation on it on a monthly basis to see, you know, what’s going on, what’s the results, how many texts are being sent out? What kind of response are we getting? You know, what’s most fruitful. :
Then probably about, Oh, two months back, we started you know, introduction of, of different lists, meaning different sources to then see is one more fruitful than another, you know in terms of the response. So any number of things that you can do with it, and then even for you guys who are listening, that may not be an active real estate investor, but you’re a business owner. There’s no doubt opportunity to use this type of a platform system technology to effectively reach out to either existing clients with an offer or to reach out to a prospective new people with an offer. I mean, you know, the technology I think is, is unlimited about what can be done. It’s just, you know, your creativity of how you’re going to use it.
Jason: Yeah. Just make sure you’re careful about following the letter of the law. So, you know, the way that we get around being able to cold text people is we’re not selling anything. Right. We’re making offers to purchase property. That’s really the key distinction there. And then also it’s a, it’s a, one-click one sin, right? And so instead of hitting that send button one time and blasting it out to a thousand people, you have to hit that, send button every single time. You want to send a message, that’s human intervention that you’ve got in between each message being sent, and that’s what keeps it legal. So those two things are key to remember
Randy: Critical that that’s critical. And that’s one of the reasons that Gore’s when Jason and I originally talked, you know, he’s committed to doing things the right way, and that’s how we operate. It’s like, Hey, you gotta do things the right way. Cause the right way is always the better way. And, you know, regardless of what you’re looking at, I mean, that’s a hundred percent right there. I think the nail on the head, it’s like, you’ve got to do it the right way. You’ve got to be compliant in how you approach it. and you know, there’s no shortcut, right? The success guys that try to take shortcuts, you know, whether it’s emailing or texting, you know, you may get down the road a little bit, but it’s not going to last. Right. And so that’s really key. well, so talk about what does it look like for the person maybe that’s listening. They say, wow, Hey, I want to check this out. And I want to look at getting started. What does that look like? What do they need to do? what’s the process share with us like that?
Jason: Yeah. I would say, just go to our website, leadsherpa.com, and just sign up for a time to chat with us. You don’t need, you don’t need a subscription or to even speak with us, if you just want to do some skip tracing you can sign up right away immediately. Do that you know, today, if you wanted to I think we’ve got some open slots to speak with anybody who wants to over the next few days. So as far as the texting piece of it goes, just have a quick conversation, let us know about your business. We want to know a little bit more just to make sure we’ve got the right type of, of customer coming into the system. we’ve always been I would say selective is a good word for who we would want using the system, because we want to make sure that nobody’s abusing it, that they’re using it the way that we’ve imagined and instructed people to do. And we’ve actually, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve never really caught anybody using the system as they shouldn’t. I think because we have been selective in who we let in, but you know, if you’re an investor or if you have, you know, a budget you know, for marketing and an understanding of how to close deals, identify what a lead is for your business. And we definitely want to talk to you.
Randy: Sure. Well, you know, and that’s like, dude, you’re just like, boom, dropping bombs, nuggets everywhere, like, right. Like, I love that of working with the right people. Right. It’s so key. I mean, like, so for us, like, even as an apartment complex side and our investors, we have the, the, the success and the luxury of working with people who we want to work with. That’s critical, right? Because again, you don’t want the wrong people that are a of your team. And I know too many times I’ve seen this both with investors and with business owners that they take anybody and everybody, right. Just cause again, your line trying to get the revenue or whatnot. And it’s like, that is not the right recipe. And I know a lot of times it can fight against the grain because you think, Oh, but if I don’t take that, then I’m losing out on that money. But it’s like, you’re way better off by having the right people operating the right way, because then you’re like you just said, you’re attracting the right people and now they’re qualified and it’s going to be a much better pathway and a much more successful system.
Jason: Yeah. And those people refer other really good people to us. Right. So it’s 99% of our business just comes through word of mouth, happy customers telling other people about the system, how it’s working for them. And I think by getting the right people on board initially, and being, being very strict about that you know, they weren’t churning out. They weren’t saying, okay, well, this doesn’t work for me. And then they get on Facebook and then say, you know, don’t, don’t use sure, but it doesn’t work because it was working. And we made sure that we really were there to help the people through it. And then just by default, really or by natural extension we were growing organically by those people referring their friends to us.
Randy: Wow. Praise the Lord. Just even as we’re sitting here talking, I just thought of two more locations on the apartment complex side that we’ll be able to implement this where there’s individual properties that, that we want to target. Right. So, I mean, it really is. And, again, I would just say it again, you know, my experience with the lead Sherpa has been phenomenal. Right. And, again, even to your point, other guys that I know that are top tier guys, like our firm, same thing that they’re getting great results. Quite frankly, everybody I’ve talked to even through like say collective genius or one of our other groups, the same thing, right. Like great results. They’re seeing good things. And so I would absolutely a hundred percent say, you want to check out what Jason has built in him and his team and what they offer, because it can be a game changer to help you. So again, for the folks that are listening and they want to connect together with you, what’s the best way to do that.
Jason: Yeah. Just go to the website, leadsherpa.com. And there’s several different spots that you’ll see are apparent that you can sign up to chat with us or just follow the instructions to sign up for skip trace. It’s pretty easy.
Randy: Awesome. Awesome. Okay. Well, any last word of wisdom or insight you want to share with our folks?
Jason: No, I think we touched on most everything already. Just, just keep cranking away, never stop. I mean, that’s how I was able to power through my initial, you know, if you’re new, my initial entry into the real estate realm was easy, but you know, you get that first deal and you just keep, keep pushing through. Right. And you know, I’ve done that with all of my businesses and you know, if you never give up, you, you know, regardless of what’s happening and whatever struggle you, you come across power through it and you’ll see, see success.
Randy: Absolutely. And Jason’s a humble guy, he’s not bragging, but he’s achieved a lot of great success. And especially with the company leads Sherpa, they’re doing huge things. And so you definitely want to connect together with his team, check it out, lead sherpa.com. Jason, again, thank you so much for coming on and being a part of the show today.
Jason: Thank you, Randy. Really appreciate it.
Randy: Hey, thank you so much. Hey folks, thank you so much for coming on and being a part of the episode today, have a blessed and victorious week four. This is the week God has ordained for you.