Daniel Poston, Founder and Chief Data Officer at Real Estate Data Helper, Follow Up Boss Genius - The Most LIfe-Changin Follow Up Boss Hacks I've Learned After Managing and Developing in the System For Top Teams

Zac Muir
October 8, 2020

Daniel Poston - HD 720p.mov

[00:00:00] Our next guest, we are going to be talking about CRM, and Daniel is a genius in the CRM department. I'm going to bring him on. Daniel, what's up, brother? Hey, good man. I'm excited to have you on the show. We're going to talk we're going to talk about today, because that's your background. Right. But CRM in general. Right. I want there's a lot of things I think you have been able to do that have helped people master their CRM different hacks and obviously are technically minded.

[00:00:34] So you actually build some of these processes. But, Daniel, maybe give us a little background on yourself, your business and what you're up to.

[00:00:45] Yeah. So, I mean, I've definitely gravitated more towards data in recent years. And my career actually started as an agent, as a commercial agent in Los Angeles back in 2007 and 2008, selling multifamily properties. Best time to possibly get into real estate data. Forty four units, one month, my best month. And the market pretty much tanked right after the. So it was a great learning experience, but ended up kind of going to a few different sales jobs and one thing led to another and actually played online poker professionally for several years in the United States, shut down all the poker sites. So there's about four thousand professional poker players fanned out around the globe. I went down to Mexico and lived on the beach, played poker for a couple of years, and that is so cool. Online poker is actually a very similar skill set to data science and analytics, essentially mined data from your opponents to display how they they what their tendencies are statistically and make decisions based on that. And that's pretty much what I do now, except for real estate. So after my online poker career, I started taking classes online on data science and analytics program and a few different programing languages and ended up getting a job at one of the top selling with one of the top selling teams in Southern California, where we're actually building a similar platform to Sisu. When I was working there, I got promoted to chief data officer, saw a need in the market because, you know, the real estate market is a very archaic industry when it comes to technology. So there's definitely a lot of opportunity to differentiate your business versus your competitors with tech, because most teams are really not tech savvy and start working with some teams, getting them on these platforms that I recommend. And Donovan and we've been off and running over the last year.

[00:03:14] I love it. So so this new and we're dropping some links in the in the comments here. But real estate data help is your company, correct? Yeah. What is it? If I'm a client, if I'm someone who maybe wants to work with you, what are you what are you what would you work with?

[00:03:31] What if we started off helping teams transition into what I believe are the best real estate platforms in the market? So I don't I'm not going to say anything bad about any platforms specifically. But the all in one platforms have proliferated through the real estate industry. And I believe it's because it's a fairly archaic industry. And those All-In-One platforms seem like a simple solution to a complex problem, but they just don't solve that problem very well. And the the alternative to that are platforms that focus on doing one thing really well and connect really well to other platforms that also do one thing really well. So when we started our business, we were helping teams transition from all on one platforms to follow up for CRM while logo for IDEA lead generation and now Sisu for tracking and transaction management.

[00:04:41] All those platforms are are highly focused on what they do. In my opinion, they do it the best in the market and they connect to, you know, you can connect them really well together. So you essentially have everything that it all on one platform claims to have, but you have platforms that actually do it well and it's far and away.

[00:05:04] The best option can a little more customization, a little more flexibility, because you're able to piece together a couple of different things that that work well for you that are focused on doing that one thing that you needed to do, right?

[00:05:15] Yeah, exactly. And it's just know in the tech industry. Development costs a lot.

[00:05:24] You know, having a development team costs a lot. So if you have a platform that is doing CRM and website and marketing and transaction management, they've spread their development team thin. If you're Salesforce, then fine, they can they have all the money in the world. You know, they can build and be the best at all the different aspects. But if you're not going with Salesforce, you know, an all in one platform just doesn't have the development team to keep up with follow boss and to keep up with wildlife and to keep up with Sisu. They're just never going to compete. So even if they're fairly close now in a year, they're going to be further behind. And in two years they're going to be even further behind because they're one development team is up against three development teams that are highly focused on on what they're doing. So. There's just no way online platforms is ever going to compete with specialized platforms, so transitioning teams into these focused platforms is how it started. Now I'm gravitating more towards doing the API integrations and kind of building onto these platforms like Phobos, for example. Their one Achilles heel is they don't have a great option for mass texting and text your campaign. So I built integrational Twitter so you can build text messaging into the follow up action plans and send send mass text from boss and and so those are the platforms I focus on and I'm just going to keep rolling out new products that are that are geared towards those platforms.

[00:07:06] Now, let's talk a little more about maybe some of these things that you're doing within follow up. You mentioned the Twitter, right? I think that's pretty big. So so you're saying for all of us, there is not correct me if I'm wrong, there is not this capability to send out mass text or even to make a text part of your messaging campaigns. Right. Is that something that you're solving for.

[00:07:32] Yeah, exactly. So they they have an option where you can send out an automated text. When a new leader comes in, that's where they draw the line. And so I've set it up where you can create text templates that are linked to tags and follow up. So when when you create this text template in our system, it'll create a matching tag and follow boss. Then with that tag, it's applied. It will send out the text template that you created. So then you can apply those tags in action plans as like a campaign. Or you can if you have a new listing and you want to send out a mass text to two or three hundred people about this new listing, you can create a text template about that listing and then mass apply the tag to three hundred contacts and follow the boss and it'll send out that text.

[00:08:28] Interesting. Yeah, I mean, that's a that's a great example of where you've been able to piece together what you're using, some technology and integrations that you were able to build a tie that in. And then, of course, you know, you got to give credit to follow boss as well for having a great API. That's a very open that has that culture of like. Yeah, Daniel, you want to get in here and build this and let's make this work. Well, luckily, you have the system with an open API that's willing to do that.

[00:08:56] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it comes it comes back to them focusing on being the best CRM in real estate because they are limited in what they're doing. So they know that they have to be able to connect to other systems because their clients are going to need an index website. So they need to be able to connect to that well, and their clients are going to want transaction management. So they're going to need to connect to that. Well, since they're don't have since they're not trying to have everything in their platform, they have to be able to connect to other platforms.

[00:09:30] Well, on the other hand, like all in one platforms, why would you spend any time making your system be able to connect to other platforms the way you're marketing yourself as everything's already inside? So it's a logical for all in one platform to be able to connect to other systems? Well, which is why none of them do.

[00:09:50] You're think that's a that's a key insight.

[00:09:53] So, Daniel, let's talk a couple more couple of a couple more hacks. Right.

[00:09:59] We talked about these hacks or these tricks that you've learned over the years and but maybe that could be applied to other systems.

[00:10:08] So one of them is some clients, like sending up handwritten card or a lot of teams like sending out handwritten cards. There's a few different systems that'll do pretty convincing looking handwritten cards automated so you can apply a tag and follow a boss and have a handwritten card sent out for me to meet somebody on appointment.

[00:10:33] You can apply player appointment, met tag and have a thank you card sent automatically that appears to be handwritten and the more gratitude you could show people, the better your business is going to do. And nobody has time to write out handwritten cards these days. Like there's there's just too much stuff to do and it's expensive, hot paying somebody on site to do that. So that's that's one of the things my clients are doing. We also have automated based on the date of their birthday, so we can set it up. Where it'll automatically send a handwritten card for their birthday each year so you don't have to once a month comb through your database looking for all the birthdays and then write out a bunch of birthday cards, you just have it sent out automatically. I mean, really, anything could be automated these days. It's crazy.

[00:11:34] Yeah. What was the company just in case anyone's curious, the company that most your clients are using for these handwritten cards we're using thanks to.

[00:11:45] There are a few different ones, but thanks to is there really inexpensive? I mean, they do a great job and it's you can set it up through Xabier and and Banksia's just cost effective for business people.

[00:12:03] Ok, very cool. And you actually, with some of your clients, actually work on like if they don't know how to use up your things like that, you can help them kind of architect some of that, correct?

[00:12:13] Yeah, exactly. Xabier actually as a certified experts program, because Zipcar is a bit of a rabbit hole. It's I mean, Xabier is pretty much what got me started down the path that I'm in now. I started what I started using Xabier when I was playing online poker down in Mexico. That's when I first learned about Xavier. And I remember those first few times trying to use it and wrap in your head around how to use Xavier definitely can be a challenge when you're first getting started. So they came up with the experts program to help their new newer clientele start utilizing the system. And I got set up with at the beginning of this year. So, yeah, if teams need help with Xavier, that's definitely something I can help with.

[00:13:05] I'm sure this is maybe more for me than anyone listening, but are you actually able to build on Xavier outside of, like, what is readily available for someone like me that doesn't write any code? Are you able to kind of expand on that a little bit, or is it typically limited to what's available on the app in Zambia?

[00:13:24] Yeah, that's really the limit to Xabier. And so that's kind of where where we're gravitating towards with our business data help. We're kind of building stuff that people want to do. The Xavier can't go. Xavier relies on each each business to set up their own Xabier integration, I'm sure. But Sisu set up the their integration with Xavier. And typically they don't do they don't set up automation options for everything.

[00:14:02] Know each each company will set up like the the stuff that they think is most likely to be used. And they draw a line somewhere because, again, development teams are run thin on time. So if there's something that a team wants to do, this Xavier can't we can build an API integration it to do it right.

[00:14:24] Because typically there is more functionality that's available through a programs API. What's going to be available through there, Xabier? Those apair might be pretty complete, but it's usually there's going to be at least a handful of things that.

[00:14:37] Yeah, we couldn't accomplish through it. Exactly. But I mean, Xavier is getting good. I just had a meeting with someone you're going to be interviewing, interviewing Jeff in Denver, I believe. And he was showing me the XPrize loop's. Now you can run loops through if you have like a smart list of people and follow a boss and you want to extract each contact and then send in automation for each one, they can do that. Now, that was something they weren't able to do before. It's in beta, but it's impressive. That's that's one of the things that I would typically handle. But, yeah, it's that they're they keep adding stuff to their platform. But even even then, they're still limited by what a company set up for their API.

[00:15:35] Right. And that's that's a problem. I mean, a lot of times over here at Sisu we run into is like, yeah, that's whatever platform CRM has is a peer, but it doesn't really do anything right. It maybe can receive a lead and and where our follow up might be able to send a trigger off of a tag or off on the label or off of athlete source or off of one feel changing that kind of stuff.

[00:15:59] Yeah. Yeah exactly. And I mean I've had a lot of conversations with teams about that. They, they, they find me on Xabier and they have these grand plans of what they want to do, but they're using it all on one platform. I look it up and all they can do is add leads and Triguboff leads, yeah. And so then I got to go back to them and say, well, you know, all this stuff that you're talking about is is awesome. And you can do that if you are using something like Flobots. But with with those platforms and you're limited to lead in and lead out, which is insufficient these days.

[00:16:40] Yeah. So let's talk about a couple of their best practices with the CRM specifically. One comes to mind I know that you're working with, which is dispositions. And in some of the stuff you're doing with forms, I think is very innovative. Maybe you could dig into that a little bit.

[00:16:58] Yeah. So forms are a great option for a lot of different things. Where that originated from was duplicate data entry. Everybody hates duplicate data entry.

[00:17:14] It's, you know, especially a salesperson. It's the bane of their existence. The last thing they want to do after an appointment is go into the exact same email into four different platforms. They just want to get back on the phone and make calls and make more money. And so that's where it originated from, was at these different inflection points of the the pipeline, the sales cycle. You typically have to collect data from agents and you typically have to add it in multiple different systems. So we created a system to use web forms to fill out that'll populate all the different systems that that you use. And it can be housed in the CRM where the agents are. So they don't have to go into any of the systems. They can just focus on being in the CRM, doing what they're supposed to do, enter data one time and then have it populate everywhere it needs to go. So the forms that we've been setting up for for the follow up Sisu integration and working on those are set up to go. They can pretty much do anything and follow Bosso.

[00:18:30] We have an appointment form that's used for setting appointments and that'll create a calendar event and follow boss and it'll create the deal and we'll create a note and it can populate custom fields and the background. It'll reassign the agent and it'll add ISA's the collaborator, and it can add tags or trigger or pause action plans, pretty much anything the you would need an agent to do.

[00:19:02] It'll do from one form and that that simplifies training.

[00:19:07] It's much more challenging to train a new agent to do nine different things and follow the boss when they set an appointment versus click on this form and fill it out.

[00:19:19] Yeah, and you can require certain fields so you don't need to say, well, these three custom fields need to be updated every time he set an appointment. Well, and the form you just require those three fields and then they have to fill it out. So it really makes onboarding agents a lot easier and it ISA's love it. I say the ISA's fill out the appointment. They instantly see the value. The offices offices are like herding cats. They're a little more challenging. And I can say that because I used to be in OSA, but yeah, but we've built some tools to make that easier.

[00:20:01] So the appointment form we use for setting appointment, we have a disposition formed at the ISA's outside sales agents will fill out after the appointment and so we set it up to text the form to them.

[00:20:15] Two hours after the appointment is scheduled to begin another platter to get them fill out. Yeah, know when appointments was to happen. They get a text, they just click on the link and I even have to go to the CRM. They just click on the link. Couldn't be easier. And what we're what we're going to be developing now is, is a way of tracking which disposition forms are missing. So we're going to put together and we want to be able to put this in as we want a leader board that shows missing disposition form. So how many appointments have you been assigned where the appointment time has come and gone and you're required to fill out a disposition form, but it hasn't been filled out yet. So we can we can track that info because that's I mean, collecting data from those days is every operations managers challenge. You know, and last thing you want to do is call harangue your agents to fill out stuff out and really the last thing you want to do is go lead by lead in your.

[00:21:29] Trying to figure out which which notes are missing in which data you have collected. Yet it's a nightmare. So we're to build some tools that will allow lead coordinators and operations managers to easily know when they have it, receive data that they're supposed to do about appointments. And then we also have forms for agreement signed pending when it goes to contract and closed and the agreement signed and pending stages. That's really where you're trying to collect data from agents because there's just a lot of different data points on a new listing agreement that you need to collect from those agents. And we can we can even upload the listing agreements onto the forms and and automate that data to Google Drive or Dropbox. So, I mean, anything can be automated these days.

[00:22:35] Yeah, no, I'm not going to lie. The first time you came, we actually presented this to us and said we're going to we're going to vote on these farms and it's going I see it. And now I've started to see it that you call inflection points, which is basically a lot of times a handoff. Right like that. To your point that there's a handoff there between a lot of times. And I say no, no, it's between between appointment met and signed off between a maybe OSA and a listing manager, then you've got less manager to a closing coordinator. Right. Like there's all these places where if all you're doing is, hey, the OSA can hand it off to the listing manager by sending them an email, one that agents re entering data to that that is not being carried anywhere for reporting. Three, it's really easy to drop the ball, right?

[00:23:27] Exactly, exactly. And people are usually skeptical at first when they hear forms. They just can't wrap their heads around exactly what what we're doing. But then the first time they see it looks like magic.

[00:23:45] Yeah, because it's one place this is when I fill out to hand off the transaction, to hand off exactly what it collects, all the data we can put, whatever questions or fields on the phone that we want. And it's housed right in the contact record. And they just click on the link, fill it out, you get all the data you want and it goes everywhere you needed to go.

[00:24:06] Are you, Poppy, populating elements of those forms?

[00:24:10] Well, we pre populate some elements, but it's mainly the the ID for the the lead record because when once we have that ID, we can go back and extract any data from that lead record so we don't have to.

[00:24:25] But when I first started building these, we were pre populating a lot of the data and now we've kind of taken it to the next level where we'll go in and. We don't we don't need to ask the name of the lead anymore, because we'll just go and extract the name from the lead record, which is already there, and then move that to whatever other system so they don't even have to write out the name anymore. It's already in the CRM.

[00:24:50] Yeah, yeah, I like it.

[00:24:53] And that can be a big accountability thing, too, when it's hey, if you want less manager, you want clothes to help you with your transaction. You've got to do one thing, not one thing is filling out this form. And if that form doesn't happen, then everyone everything's going to be in limbo, right?

[00:25:09] Exactly.

[00:25:10] And when I was actually working with the team before I started this business, that's what we would tell our listing coordinator and and transaction coordinator, ISA's. It's easy. You just you know, if you want to get paid for the appointment, fill out the form. If you want to give us the appointment for free, we're fine with three appointments and don't use the form.

[00:25:36] But it's more challenging with those days always. And so we just instructed the transaction coordinator and the listing coordinator don't do any work until this foreman submitted agent because they always say, I'll try and get around it before we commit to it, though. Exactly. Exactly. So you and the it's easy to get the the transaction coordinators, listing coordinators on board because most of their work can get done by that form, getting submitted a lot of their work.

[00:26:09] When they get that data, they have to enter that data into different systems and do work based off of this data that they've received an email with the form. A lot of that work can get done for them. So listing coordinators and transaction coordinators really, really love the system as well.

[00:26:29] They were really good friend of mine, Shane, actually, that works on a lot of our ops stuff here. He is one of his big ideas. He calls these black hole items right. And black hole items are things that are in your CRM that should not be in your CRM or things that are happening in any of your systems that just should not be happening. And if you can just watch those things, that can be one of the most if you're administrating a system that could be one of your best uses. So an example of a black hole item might be a lead that has not been contacted in X or ever or maybe in X amount of time or a disposition form from an OSA that was not filled out in Sisu. We have tasks from our task templates that have gone over do so if you can have a quick way to check these black hole items or even better, like a dashboard. I love the idea. You said about Sisu. We're going to add that Miss Disposition forms. Right? Or you could do the inverse as well. But that's really going to help you manage the system and just know when things are happening that shouldn't.

[00:27:36] Yeah, exactly. And that brings up another point.

[00:27:40] One of the things that separates follow bastardy smart lists and the way the smallest work is you can create the list to populate leads that need to be contacted. So maybe you want to contact this lead every week. So you have a list. It'll it'll have the lead up here once a week and then you call them and log the call and we'll drop them off the list. And then seven days after that log call, they'll show back up on the list. And so we're going to build a report that will have a heat map of lists and lists on the top and agents on the side. And it'll show how many contacts are in each of their smart lists. So it'll show who's doing the work they're supposed to do, you should see, is zero across the board. So no leads and they're smart lists. They've done all the follow up. And then it for each lead that's in smart, this is going to increase increment that that little square and we can make it so three or lesser and green and four to ten leads will be yellow and eleven or above will be red or whatever you want to set it up. And that way instead of going through these lists, which is what operation managers have to do, they have to go list by list and look who's doing their work and who's not. You just look at this one dashboard, one report and see all the lists and all the agents and know exactly who's doing what they're supposed to and who's not at a at a glance. And that's this type of stuff that we want to build is a time saving reports and then tools that allow people to focus on the activity. That generate income rather than the activities that.

[00:29:38] Don't call Daniel.

[00:29:41] Thanks for coming on, man. I would recommend to anybody, if you are using one of these systems, specifically follow us and you're like, man, I just feel limited by what the system can do or the way that they can integrate. That's why I've always said to people that Daniel, because I'm like, Daniel knows this stuff from back. There's a way to figure out how to do it right. So innovative. A lot of the things you do. And I would definitely recommend anybody if you're looking to dial on your systems a little more than once again.

[00:30:13] Thanks. Thanks, you guys.

[00:30:15] Well, anything else you want to throw out for us, man? Or we get to go.

[00:30:19] Uh.

[00:30:21] But was I caught the tail end of your last one, and I'll reiterate what what you said, keep learning how the right mindset it's about a growth mindset. Don't get an ego. You ego's the enemy. You just focus on the process, get better, especially you new agents just keep improving and, you know, everything will work out.

[00:30:46] And you have to teach me how to play poker one of these days. How's that sound?

[00:30:49] Sounds great. I'm down to take your money any time. Thanks for to.

About the Author

Zac Muir
Vice President of Revenue

Zac was one of our first hires. Outside of waging war on spreadsheets and time-killing systems, Zac loves to push the boundaries of what's "safe" on a wakeboard, semi-professional flosser, spend time on the golf course or tennis courts, and more than anything, live life with his beautiful wife and 4-pound dog, Twix. 🦮