Episode 031 – GRIT: The Real Estate Growth Mindset, special guests Robby T, Coach & Lead Geek at Hatch Coaching and Nathan Joens, CEO and Co-Founder of Structurely

Brian Charlesworth
July 14, 2020

Robby T is the Coach & Lead Geek at Hatch Coaching. He has devoted the last five years to mastering the lead conversion game. He shares his thoughts within the Leads Geeks community, his coaching clients, our team, or anyone that is willing to listen.

Nathan Joens is CEO and Co-Founder of Structurely. A real estate technology company based in Ames, IA that builds Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) services for real estate businesses to scale personalized conversations with their online real estate leads via messaging. 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.

Brian, Robby, and Nate discuss the background on both Hatch Coaching/Structurely, the importance of ISA’s, and how to utilize technology and software better in today’s market. 

In this episode, we talk about...
  • 2:17 - Robby T goes in-depth on his background and current role with Hatch Coaching
  • 5:06 - The three C’s, what are they and how are certain aspects of it dying in today’s market.
  • 12:30 - Nate Jones & Robbie T answer the most asked question of “How can we build and keep ISA’s in the ISA role?”
  • 15:57 - Robbie explains why you have to leverage automation and how the effectiveness of a phone call continues to nosedive.
  • 16:47 - Was this the greatest lead generation opportunities ever seen?
  • 19:46 - Nate discusses Structurely existence, ISA’s, and technology in Real Estate.
  • 26:33 - The Chat Bot, what is it and Structurely utilize it?
  • 32:33 - Robbie talks about what technology they use in today’s market including SIsu.
  • 38:30 - If you want to learn how to scale your business, start by doing things that don't scale.
  • 41:25 - Let’s take a look at the hard numbers of Robby’s business.
Show Transcript

Brian Charlesworth 0:00
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Grit podcast where we like to dig in with entrepreneurs and business builders on their grit and what makes them successful. I'm Brian Charlesworth I'm the founder of Sisu, the SAS Real Estate Growth Automation Software and your host of the show. And today we have Robby T with us from Hatch Coaching and Nathan Jones. Nate is the co founder and CEO of Structurely. And for those of you who don't know who, what Structurely, is, we're going to dive into that some more today. But Structurely, is basically my understanding in one sentence is AI for real estate that's focused on more effective conversations, leads and messaging. So we'll talk more about that today. I'm excited to have you guys on the show. Welcome.

Robby T 1:27
Thanks for having us, Brian.

Brian Charlesworth 1:29
Awesome. So Robby, why don't you start by just giving us a little bit more of your background? Because I know you run a huge team. it you know, I think a lot of people got hit hard in March in April. I don't know if you did. But everyone seems at least all of our customers seem to be totally on top of their game right now. So I'd love for you to give us a little bit. In addition to hatch coaching, Robby runs a massive, massively producing team. I don't know how massive they are, but they put up some huge numbers. And Robby is my understanding is you're really not like full time there now, right? You've been able to step away and have that run it's run its course and that business runs on its own. So tell us more about how you've done this and more about your your background and your team.

Robby T 2:17
Yeah, so the simplest thing I always want to clarify is if you're if you've heard of Erik Hatch, we're business partners and Hatch Coaching and he is still the CEO of Hatch Realty, he's still involved day to day and I'm always kind of been that systems nerd right behind the scenes and nerdy gotten behind everything. And for those of you that don't know, I actually started in real estate as an ISA. I was a boots on the ground is a guy that was making the calls doing the dirty work actually knock doors. I don't know if I've ever told you that that night, but I was knocking doors never want to do that again. But it's funny because before I even got into real estate, to really go back, actually used to work in politics. I used to work field campaigns where I was door knocking and making calls for political candidates. And let me promise you one thing, Brian, if there's one thing that is less popular than sales, I guarantee you it's politics, especially in this day and age in the last, you know, 10 years or so. The polarization that's been created I've been called you name it, I've been called it so it's not um, anyways, we have a really really tough How does it How does a nerd You call yourself a nerd? How does that technology nerd become sales guy? I mean, that's, like, how does that happen? Because those are opposite qualities, right, Robby? They really are. I think that's what actually gave me such an advantage in sales was I look at sales so much differently. Sales really isn't that hard. I think we overthink it. Sales to me actually is less about sales and real estate. It's more about service. That's the funny thing. That the only people really working in sales in Real Estate are builders, they're the only people selling a product. The rest of everyone else is working in a service industry, guys as a sales industry, right? And really all it comes down to is finding out somebody needs wants and desires and helping them get it. And when I worked in campaigns, you know what I did, Brian was what they told me to do was and it's gonna sound really familiar to what you hear in real estate is go up to people and tell them why they should vote for one of our candidates. The problem was if I wanted went up to you, Brian, and you were in the middle or the opposite party, you would even give me the light of day if I tried selling in bed. If I came up, I said, Brian, man, tell me what matters to you this election. I guarantee you, you'd open up for 510 minutes about the things that matter to you. So my whole approach, when I came into this game was not at all sales. It was building a connection. I did a whole TED talk, and we can post that…

Brian Charlesworth 4:55
I was just gonna say, if you guys haven't heard Robby's TED Talk Listen that and you'll get detail on what he's talking about when he talks about the three C's here.

Robby T 5:06
Three C's always be curious, connecting and collaborating, always be closing is, is dying. Frankly, it's been dead because there's more accountability in the marketplace today than there was 1020 years ago. Right. I can go online and find out who's screwing eople over like that. There's more consumer choice because of the internet than there ever has been before. And I mean…

Brian Charlesworth 5:31
They look more knowledgeable today than they were 30 years ago before the internet was around?

Robby T 5:36
I don't know about knowledgeable but they should have access to more knowledge, that's for sure.

Brian Charlesworth 5:41
Yeah, there you go. access the information is always at our fingertips, right?

Robby T 5:46
A little more fake news than I used to be. But when you see the point, right, so for me when I got into sales, I started as an ISA and really my whole approach frankly, when I when I got into the game, Brian was called old leads and try to convert them. And nobody else would do that. One because they weren't hiring and I say it wasn't their full time gig. But secondly, they were asking their agents to do it. And you and I both know how that usually goes, right? It doesn't go well. And what I did was I just simply started calling through old leads. And my opening script was always, hey, Brian saw that you were looking at some homes on one of our websites A while back, and I just wanted to reach out, see if you're just kind of looking for fun or to see if you plan on potentially making a move in the future. And then I just honestly the best script in the book to get them to open up was, tell me more, tell me more, tell me more. And that's our whole our whole business. Our whole business philosophy really has nothing whether it's coaching, or real estate or anything we do. It really has nothing to do with sales. It has everything to do with service and our core is service. We actually say that our you know, our coaching company is all about redefining how people treat people because I've seen how poorly people do it in our industry, and frankly, many other industries where they're always pushing, manipulating, coercing people, that sort of thing. But to tie this all together our real estate team to this year by large best year we've ever had, how many, you know, San Diego, just so people understand how many agents how many is, as you guys have more full time is six full time agents and three full time listing agents. And then six buyer's agents, three listing agents, so nine, nine agents, right. Six is as you said, four is nine agents for is as 13 people doing these kinds of numbers. So for those of you who run teams, or are on teams, I want you to pay close attention. And we're going to talk about why in a second. But just to give you the numbers, we sold 630 ish homes and it's not even me write it to them. They're doing it. It's not me doing it to them. The IRA agents they're doing the work. And then we've just had the best June we've ever had, we've attended darn near a million dollars worth of GCI through the team, which was how many transactions? Oh, goodness. 121 Yeah, I think somewhere around the number…

Brian Charlesworth 8:17
120 with 13 people actually working the business. And on the sell side. Um, you said you had one agent that did a an enormous number last month, seven, I believe was 26 or 27 pounds in one month. Is this a listing agent, buyer, agent, buyer? that's even more impressive.

Robby T 8:38
It's so you don't my philosophy is Brian. And Nate knows this. I think the way people approach and we're doing a whole webinar on this, Erik and I are I think the way people approach growing the real estate teams is fundamentally flawed because here's what happens. Somebody becomes good. They sell 3040 or 50 homes and then I started thinking, I want to work less, right and make more money. It happens every single time. And then what happens is they start saying, I'm going to grow a real estate team. It happens every single time. So what do they do? They go hire some agents, right? Then they bring these agents in, and then they go buy more leads to keep these agents busy. Well guess what the agents do. They don't really do anything with those leads. And then they get frustrated because then they have to hire someone else with this, go hire more ISA or go hire other companies or frankly, go buy a ton more leads. And what happens is a year or two later, later, Brian, they end up working way more because they're trying to train these people to become better. They probably didn't hire him right in the first place. And they make a whole lot less money. It will shock you Brian, how many people I've met that have done this, and they literally would be better off far better off, not doing any of that and just producing themselves just being their own producer. They would make way more money and work a ton less and we believe our whole model. Like enough, why I gotta clarify our team is we believe in using a partner model to really grow our agents, our agent count, and it's slower. It's more methodical. And by a partner model, really what we're doing is somebody comes into our team, and they start as a showing partner, and you earn the right to eventually become an agent, that showing partners direct leverage and support for one of our agents. So every single agent, essentially every agent on our team has at least one showing partner who is their partner and trying to help him manage those clients and really grow the business. And where everybody goes wrong is this is they just say, hey, come join my team as an agent, right? And either you get the leftovers of some other brokerage usually, or your pool of talent that you get to pick from is people because their value proposition is, Hey, leave your job. You're not gonna make any money for six months. Come on over, most sane people would never even consider that. Whereas the people that come and join our team, our former engineers, former teachers, really quality people that come over and Nate has met a few of these guys, they come over and they crush it, but they have to sit in the showing partner role. It's like a paid internship, frankly. And then eventually, they earned the right to become an agent, every single agent in our world started off as as a partner besides one and it's been a huge shift for us.

Brian Charlesworth 11:25
I have a question here for you, Robby. And I've done a webinar with us so I know your answer. But I want you to share this with everyone because I talked to I mean, I, I'm meeting with and honestly coaching in a sense a lot of our customers on how to take their businesses to the next level. And a lot of teams out there, have hired is as just like you hire a showing assistant. This is where you start. You can work your way into an agent role. So I didn't hear you say, Hey, we hire ISA's and they can work their way into an agent role. I know ISA is like the CORE Center of your business. So talk to me about how you treat your ISA and how you keep ISA in the ISA role because I think that's, I mean, I think every team out there has tried at one point or another if they, if they're, you know, a fairly good size and they've been around for a few years, they've tried to build a ISA, but there ISAs in 90% of these teams want to become agents. So talk to us about that.

Nate Joens 12:30
Before Robby answers that the one thing I want to say from an outsider perspective slightly is, you know, coming from a software company selling in the real estate mortgage. Agent turnover is astronomical, it's, it's something that has always blown my mind. You know, how quickly agents will turn over. First of all, Robby's team Hatch Realty, they've got that figured out, but ISA turnover is, it blows agent turnover out of the water? I have heard horror story after horror story about hiring ISA. And it's just ridiculous. So Robby, whatever your answer is, please save everyone.

Brian Charlesworth 13:14
Robby addressed this. And then I want to jump in with Nate and learn more about Structurely.

Robby T 13:18
100%. So you're right ISA turnover it's way worse than than agent turnover. So the biggest shift, Brian is we don't view is a role as a stepping stone, right? We don't. And that's simply what what a lot of teams do is they hire somebody, they say you can come in and you can start as I say, you become good at it. And if you become good at it, if there's a keyword, and then you move into an agent role, and sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. The problem is is that lead conversion is all about the long term play, and you're just pressing restart every six months and it's just it's not good for anybody involved. So it's a budget.

Brian Charlesworth 14:00
training, right? If you're the one doing that training that's gonna do that constantly. Payne's full time job right now.

Robby T 14:07
Yeah, exactly. And then you go hire frankly coaching companies to bring them in. And, you know, what I've learned to do is I, frankly, my goal is to always make sure I'm coaching the right person now, because it got so exhausting coaching somebody that would churn out almost like that. The other big thing is this. What people need to realize is hiring an ISA is hiring much differently than an agent. And that's because an ISA is literally we're going to talk more about this what they're doing every single day. They're sitting in a box, making phone calls, whether that box is at home or whether that's in the office, they're sitting in a box, making phone calls, connecting with people via text, that's becoming more and more normal queue Structurely. But you're connecting with people via text message and engaging in conversation, frankly, via your computer, and you get almost no face to face time with other people, almost none. Very limited. And if you are naturally drawn to real estate, almost always you're a people person, right? Almost every salesperson real estate loves working with people. And the problem with this is a mole is you really don't get much of that. Now, it's not to say that some someone that is a very gregarious outgoing person can succeed in this role. But it is a lot more of an uphill challenge for them to really stay in it for a long period of time. And Nate and I actually on our podcasts that we did for a while, the is a radio we had the privilege of interviewing some of the top ISA in the country, and some of those were the anomalies out there. But staying in that role at the top producers, generally what we're seeing in this role is actually even shifted since we talked to them, this role shifting even more so towards database management. That's really what this is becoming is you have to leverage automation. And the big thing that nobody's talking about Brian and I need to wake up to is the the effectiveness of a phone call continues to nosedive. All right, we started talking about this a year and a half ago. And it keeps getting worse and worse and worse. We saw caller call answer rates go up briefly, during COVID simply because people were bored at home compared to what they were they were craving human contact. And then number three, nobody really talks about this. They were expecting phone calls from random phone numbers, right? Small Business Association, their mortgage, there were a tenant trying to get a hold of the landlord. So they were expecting phone calls from random phone numbers a lot more likely than they are, you know, what's the thing so…

Brian Charlesworth 16:42
That was a that was an April May thing not? Not a June July thing.

Robby T 16:47
Yeah, slowly. Exactly. Now that's gone out the window. And the thing for us, Brian, we took full advantage of it to be completely Frank. And if you heard us coaching during during all of that I told people that it was one of the greateat lead generation opportunities I've ever seen, because call answer rates jumped up to like 20%. We haven't seen above for us 10 10% in years. So what is going on here? So

Brian Charlesworth 17:13
I remember a short period, I actually talked to you during that Robby and you said it was 38%. I remember at one point.

Robby T 17:20
There were numbers that I've never seen, but you know, haven't seen in years, I should say before, and that was that there was a blip, right that that already went away. It's already gone because most people in some way, shape or form are working again. They may be working from home but not expecting those calls and call rates dip back down to close to normal what they were, and here's the simple answer. Do I think that Colin's rates are going to be higher or lower in five years? Lower? Right, hands down, the most likely person to answer a phone call is someone that's older. And the reality is, is that more and more people playing in the real estate game buying and selling are younger, and they're a lot more likely to frankly ignore your phone call because they don't want to have to So, the big thing for us is the ISA roles database management really what that means you got to hire someone that is much different. And then the other thing where people go wrong, Brian is they think that the ISA's role is an eight to five job. And that's just not possible. Even if you leverage everything, even if you're using Structurely to help. The reality is, there's going to be times remaining on the phone with the lead, whether you're texting them back or calling them back on nights and weekends. And therefore you need to have somebody that is hungry enough to inconvenience themselves and call that person text that person. And you got to have a system that incentivizes it right you can't have the right person in a system that says, hey, go work 5060 hours a week and you can only make $30,000 a year. Who the hell would do that? No one right. If I said enough to any of us have no chance. But if we said you got the right person and the right system you have the potential to make over $100,000 and our top ISA's make that after being on the roll for a year, that changes everything. So, anyway, that's my long answer to your short question.

Brian Charlesworth 19:09
Okay, so this is gonna be a hand off to you, Nate. But one of the things Robby talked about was ISA's are no longer just people with personality who are going to be making phone calls. And it almost seems to me by your sign language by your facial expressions there, Robby, that the texting and the other means of communication are equally if not more important, and being able to make the phone calls. And so that's why I Structurely exists, I believe. Tell us more. Tell us more about Structurely, Nate.

Nate Joens 19:46
Yeah, absolutely. Um, so obviously, like you guys have been talking about we do texting, follow up with real estate mortgage leads, and the qualification as well. So not only do we try and get them to engage like Robby was mentioning, you know, we nurture them until they respond. We actually have the two way qualifying conversation with them to kind of weed out the good from the bad, you know, looky loos well all while keeping you in the loop. So you know, our primary users can range from anyone from an individual agent to an ISA, like Robby has said before, if you don't have an ISA, you are the ISA. So for the most part, you can think of all of our users as inside sales agents. But you know, at a high level, I completely agree with Robby the the role of this inside sales person, regardless of if that's their title or not, is database management. The the what everyone is shifting to now, especially with technology, you know, like Cebu and like all the CRM that you plug into, and all that lead sources that you plug into. I mean, it's just a lot to manage. But that can be a good thing. We have a lot more data at our fingertips where our lead came from, what they've been doing, have they opened an email? Have they answered a call? Have they been on your website? Did they see an ad? Did they get retargeted with an ad, we have way more data at our fingertips than ever before. And you know, we plug into some of that data to make really contextual messages, you know, matter. And that's something that Robby I think that you should definitely talk about. But you know, at the end of the day, it just kind of comes down to database management. And we help to automate that by, you know, having the conversations with leads. So we surface the hot ones up to the top for ISAs to still try and call. So at the end of the day, we're still trying to get to a call. It's just we have built that slight bit of rapport, we have told the lead, like a phone number to be expecting a call from and who to be expecting the call from. And guess what, they are far more likely to actually answer the phone call than just a cold, you know, outbound phone call. So that's kind of where we fit into everything in terms of the automation and in the role. And really what we're doing here.

Brian Charlesworth 22:23
okay, so when I looked up information on Structurely, the word or term AI comes up, right? There's so many companies that talk about AI today that are they talking about machine learning or whatever that is, but that's, I think it's such high level and people have gone like, okay, whatever. Tell us tell us specifically, I mean, like what is it specifically that you guys are doing to really leverage and make it easier for me to get to that that user and you just did a little bit as far as preparing them for a phone call but are there other things? And how do you guys do that?

Nate Joens 23:03
Yeah. So this kind of goes off of something that we believe in to our core that we launched yesterday. We absolutely absolutely hate the word chat bot here. I'm sure everyone is somewhat familiar with the word bot, chat bot, whatever. You know, I'll be completely honest with you. We're a chatbot company. You can think of it just declare war on chat bots. We did not. We wrote our declaration of war on bad chat bots, because we hate them that much. But I'll be completely honest and transparent with you, we are a chatbot company. But deep down, we hate that word more than anything in the world, because it doesn't provide the level of customer service that Robby was mentioning at the start of this that this that is so important. chat bots in the traditional sense, you know, I've been overhyped and under delivered and they're just terrible and that you just constantly met with, you know, I'm sorry, I don't understand. Can you please repeat it? Can you please repeat it in a way that I understand specifically, please don't go off script. That's that's not how our product works. Our product works just like you're talking to a human. And you know what we really believe in his authentic automation. You know, we believe in when someone says, you know, I'm a veteran, we say thank you for your service. If we say if someone says I'm going through a divorce or something like that, I'm so sorry to hear that going through a death, you know, there are very large life events that typically cause someone to move. And the last thing that we want to do is not you know, not acknowledge that you know, like Robby was saying people want to be heard, understood and valued. And chatbots don't do that. But authentic AI or our, our conversational AI does that and that just drives the conversation. So much further forward. So that when an ISA jumps on the phone with a lead, they can say, Hey, you know, one of the follow up? I know you were talking to our assistant aisa who is the name that we gave it. I saw that you were going through a divorce. I'm so sorry to hear that, you know, and so on, go on. And, you know, hopefully close the appointment. And, you know, Robby has talked about why those things matter so much in conversation, and how to handle them. And you know, we've even gone so far to work with people like Robby and hatch coaching to develop scripts that you know, actually mirror match and do those types of things to drive the conversation forward. So it's not just the chat bot. It is a very authentic feeling conversation, and we take a lot of pride in that.

Brian Charlesworth 26:00
So when you say chatbot, like, what are you referring to? Because a lot of people, I think, might think of a chat bot of like an intercom chat logo icon. It's down at the bottom of web page, which most of those have people behind them, right? I mean, that's a great way that our community sees you. We have one of those and our, our development team actually works very closely with our success or customer success team. Because it's all intertwined in there. So when you think of chat bot, describe more of what you're actually referring to.

Nate Joens 26:33
Yeah, what I usually think of as a chat bot is, you know, something that is more or less scripted, and very button based and rigid. You know, it doesn't really matter to me what the medium of commerce where you're having the conversation is, it can be live chat, it can be text, it can be Facebook, if you're chatting with something that's very obviously not a person very obviously, trying to persuade you to only go down a certain path otherwise it's going to break and you're going to be confused and leave, that's a chatbot their experiences that are extremely rigid, you have to click a button, it's not really even that conversational, and there's really no value to it. So, you know, we, we plug in to all the same sources that I'm sure that you guys do, you know, Zillow, the CRM space book. So when a lead fills out a form, we text them and we continue to text them until they respond and as soon as they do respond, you know, it's a flea free flowing conversation, talking about you know, their divorce a new job, a new child, and still trying to drive the conversation forward in a meaningful way, you know, understanding their timeframe are they looking to get financing paying cash working with an agent, and then you know, hopefully leading into an appointment so it is very flexible. There is no such thing as a script, although you can completely customize our conversations. You know, if someone someone can say anything at any point in the conversation, it's not button based doesn't force you to go down a specific path. It's very fleeting reflowing in still, you know, driving the conversation forward in a meaningful way.

Brian Charlesworth 28:19
And I'm guessing every chat bot out there is like, trying to get more intelligent. Otherwise, they've got to know they're going to die, right? But Robby, why don't you tell us how you use this in your business? Because I know you use Structurely so like, let's talk about that for a minute. How does this benefit your ISA? And I'm guessing your ISAs are focused on database management more than their phone calls?

Robby T 28:46
Yeah, pretty much. So I actually want to dive into what you were just talking about chat bots versus what native them are doing. And actually this is gonna sound crazy. But if I were to give a leg up to a chat bot ran by humans, or the chat bot of aisa. ran by Structurely I would choose Structurely all day long. Because it's predictable every single time to say the right thing I have seen. as odd as it sounds, humans say some really stupid stuff. I see it over and over and over again. And the moment it breaks, they'll they'll literally say, and Nate can show you it right from the bad chat bot stuff, they will say some crazy stuff. The nuts thing about what Nate is built, is really simply this. There's something called

Brian Charlesworth 29:35
Can I add something to that? Because you talked about the fact that these chat bots or maybe are not chat bots, but the Structurely is maybe more predictable, more intelligent than what we as humans might say. But I'd like to add to that too, as As humans, we respond. Sometimes hours or even days later instead of real time, right? So the response time, which my experience of cells, which I've had a lot of in my lifetime, is, it's all about response time, right? If you respond in a few minutes, you're probably in good shape. If you respond later than five minutes. You may not be.

Robby T 30:21
Oh, yeah, humans don't. Or what I like to say is humans forget, or they get tired and Structurely never does. Right? It just, it's just computer code. It keeps running. But my favorite thing I wanted to say about it, Brian is we've we've sent over probably too many leads Structurely if there's such a thing. And there's something in the AI world called the Turing test, right, or Turing test, which is really is a human recognizing that they're talking to a computer versus a real human. And the crazy thing about it, Brian, is it's incredibly rare single digits, that someone will out the chat bot that it's not a real person. And is incredibly rare. You see it actually more probably more common with a real chat bot potentially with a person then was Structurely so that's been crazy to see that was it for everyone that knows when I wanted to test out what native built because we met What is it coming up on three years ago, Nate, give or take?

Nate Joens 31:19

Robby T 31:19
Something like that a while ago now. We actually just sent him over our junk. I literally sent them on a leftover junk leaves. And that is one of the first things I always like to do, because if it can do something with junk, I know it's gonna work really well with new stuff. And that's where we've really leveraged Structurely in our business because we do have the full time I essays, who scrubbed the living heck out of our database, right with calls, texts, emails. What we wanted to do was we give it all our leftovers, and I think it was within like a couple of days or a week I don't remember we found to tune the one that was a buy, sell and one out of five or sell I don't remember now that ended up converting just like that. So I think for you all if you don't have an is a structural is one of those things I can be your ISA. And even in our case we use Structurely to leverage our ISA's and Cody, one of ISA's.I think he sent like 1000 leads over time tonight. So sorry about that for overwhelming you guys. But really the focus is we're using it to leverage what our eyes are doing and leverage the production of our eyes.

Brian Charlesworth 32:33
Okay. So Robby, while you're talking about your technologies, tell us what other technologies you guys use. How are you leverage? I mean, technology is the name of the game in this space now, right? I mean, if you were running this business like someone read, so what else are you doing?

Robby T 32:54
Yeah, great, great question. So a couple of things. One we're using Structurely we use YLOPO on the front end to create a lot of opportunities and they do a lot of our digital retargeting as well. So we're using YLOPO as well to do a lot of our creating force registration leads retargeting our old leads we're doing retargeting of cold data with with while YLOPO and they got that fine tune down to a tee. The other big thing we use is I'm a huge fan of Sierra Interactive. I'm a huge fan of it because in addition to all the messaging, they can use it Structurely we've built really elongated and powerful messaging plans within Sierra interactive. It's really funny and I've even had the opportunity to really share this with Nate but we are actually shifting our whole perspective on how we chase leads, right the old school model of follow up used to be you following up with leads right? We're now shifting it using Sierra one, we have follow ups that we want to follow up with. We're not even manually calling them anymore, Bryan and Nate, we're not even calling them. Instead, what we're doing is we're using fully automated plans that we've built in Sierra. And what it does is it leaves a voicemail drop, and then it sends a tax right after that another tax. The crazy thing about it is, when we started doing this, instead of manually following up with leads, sounds crazy, we actually started contacting 37% of people within one day, that numbers usually 25% if we're manually doing all the work, and here's why I'm so excited about it. It's because one of the biggest things about being an AI issei is you're capped at how many people you put in your pipeline, right, your follow ups or your pipeline. One of the cool things that we're doing in Sierra is we're using fully automated follow up campaigns, because you can really four or five x the size of your pipeline because you don't have to manually call these people anymore. Now we're kind of separating it where we're going to manually follow up with people that we have a very emotional conversation with. But if it's someone like I'm waiting a year, to buy a home for x reason, it's more surface level, we're going to put that on a fully automated campaign that's going to do the follow up for us. And layering in that voicemail drop in a text message. What's happening is, if I were to put you on it, Brian, literally people think that we're calling and what happens is they call back 25% of the time, they're calling us back, or they're texting us back. So we're shifting that dynamic, right? Follow up used to be about the salesperson or is a following up. We're switching it so the leaves are following up with us and changing Apple dynamic. And when you have to do that in this day and age, because people don't answer like they used to. So it's been crazy. We just started beta testing this about a month and a half two months ago. And the numbers have been stupid. Jim is Jim contacted Actually one of my favorite stories is Cody, one of my essays put this on, I forget how many leads, but his phone overheated, because people kept calling for hours he had 200 people call or text them back within two hours. Like we've never seen anything like this with plans like this. So the old school actually got to show you something, you don't love this. It's this whole thing right here, you need to work smarter, not harder. And that's what tech is doing. This used to hang in my office door. But my whole mindset is, and I've told Nate this, we're focused on scale. And scale is doing more with less growth is doing more with more, which a lot of people are obsessed with in real estate and it's unhealthy. Because they spend more money, they make less money. Oftentimes, we're focused on scale. And by the way, Brian, you're gonna love this I just logged into our Sisu account so I can share my screen and show you our dashboard because another one piece of tech, the final one we're using is Sisu you to track what the heck we're doing, and visualize it and see certain things on what we're doing. And we'll show you the numbers for our pendings and all that here in a little bit. But Sierra is a big piece, we're using my local on the marketing side, Structurely on chasing a lot of our older opportunities that frankly, just slipped through the cracks, and then Sisu helping us visualize our data. So we know what the heck's going on with all of it.

Brian Charlesworth 37:28
I'd love for you to share and thanks for sharing that, Sisu is something I usually don't talk about on the podcast, but we just rolled out about a month ago. Now. Really, all of the contract to close things that you need. So Trello, like, you know, Kanban boards, where you're managing your tasks, commissions, the, you know, everything that you need to get to close including document management as well now, so those are some things that I don't think you guys have checked out on Sisu yet. So you should probably do that because talking about scale and growing with less that will allow you to do it with far less TC's as you guys continue to grow.

Robby T 38:12
And Brian, you guys released that and there was no upcharge right?

Brian Charlesworth 38:15
That's right. Originally, we were originally thinking, Hey, we're going to charge more for this. And then we just decided, hey, let's just give this to all of our existing customers.

Robby T 38:27
So yeah, we still got to dive in. But…

Nate Joens 38:30
I mean, the one thing that I think sorry to jump in, but the one thing I think I've never realized about your story here, that's kind of funny and coming full circle is when you started in politics, and in real estate, you you did everything that doesn't scale. You did things that don't scale, you literally started door knocking, that is one of the least scalable, possible things you could ever do. And now look at you three, five years later, you barely even work.

Brian Charlesworth 39:04
Is it only that much later? I mean, how long is this trend transition taken, Robby?

Robby T 39:10
7 years. Well, yeah. Coming up on seven years, it feels I was an ISA for three, three years. And now I've been in coaching and stuff. But yeah, I don't I don't produce myself anymore. You're actually it's funny that you bring that up Nate, because I just read blitzscaling. And they literally talked about how if you want to learn how to scale, do things that don't scale. It's literally like the fund and one of the fundamental rules. So that's why…

Nate Joens 39:34
Yeah, that's why you're so good at the whole authentic piece of this stuff. You're not just like throwing tech at stuff that isn't going to work. You're not I've seen that a whole lot in real estate, especially, you know, everyone wants to shiny object, they throw a bunch of time, money and effort into it, then it dies and explodes. You are very deliberate with the tech that you bring on and You're very deliberate about your team, you're very deliberate about your essays, and your systems and staying on top of all that. So you're not just, you know, throwing random stuff at the wall, you're you're actually thinking about how it all fits together, how your team should be using it. And I think that's the right way to scale. You know, I think that word gets overused a little bit I love your definition of growth is doing more with more and scale is doing more with less because that's one of our big values. It Structurely is doing more with less. And I think that that is lost someone in real estate, everyone wants to just throw a bunch of new tech, and that's doing more with more, doing more with less as being able to actually do what you've done.

Robby T 40:50
Yeah, I appreciate that. Thank you.

Brian Charlesworth 40:53
There's our listening just on podcast but brought as well…I would like people to be able to see how many pending units you have today, if you have that readily available for a team of 30 team of 13 agents, so to be growing at the pace you guys are right now you did 600 transactions last year and what are you on pace to do this year?

Robby T 41:25
Well, let's go take a peek quick. That's the wrong thing. Let's see here. Where's that? There it is. Alright, so let's, uh, you can probably describe this even better than I can. Brian. Can you guys see this, by the way? Is this coming through?

Brian Charlesworth 41:40
Yeah. So let's go to your team dashboard. Go dashboard team up there. It is. And so here here we can see. We can see you guys have already closed and forecaster that's your closed and pending already at 559 So you're well on pace to do over 1000 units this year from 600 last year,

Robby T 42:05
Probably 800 800 B. And the reason is our market literally tanks in third or November, December. Okay, we're in the frozen tundra. But yeah, we for sure. I mean, we're gonna blow past last year.

Brian Charlesworth 42:21
If you look at that, I mean, you guys have 240 units pending right now. That's insane. Like, you've had your biggest month ever last month.

Robby T 42:32
You can see it right here. Look at it. This is the two big things right here. 119 is what we pended in June 119 units.

Brian Charlesworth 42:41
Yeah. Insane! congratulations.

Robby T 42:44
Thank you. It's been it's been insane. And again, it's it goes towards our model. About 45 to 50% of our business is ISA procured because that's what's so cool about our model is a lot of people just think my agents don't chase leads. They do. They chase their own soI. And that's what's been insane is if you want to make yourself recession proof, you need to be diversified and we chase the living heck out of company leads, and about 45 to 50% of our businesses company business for my essays, the other 50% give or take is so on business, right? It's a combination of, of half and half. So that's been what's so cool to see is our agents. We're gonna have agents sell over 50 SLI deals this year, a few of them and we're gonna have two buyer agents break 115 120 deals, and we've never seen that before. And now our whole model is obviously built off of scale and growth. And I have to reiterate, just going off the agent count isn't telling the whole story. We have partners that support them. We're highly leveraged our whole team with support and everything is about 35 people give or take, but the model works, you know away. And the turn. We went through some churn A few years ago, growing pains for us wrong people. But we haven't really had any churn now for 18 months. Yes, I knock knock on wood. And it's really everything's clicking. And then you take into account the fact that the ISA we're forecasting for so you all know, Jim's goal. Next year that we started talking about gyms the top is in the country is 350 deals. That's the number we're talking about is Jim being a part of 350 deals. And one of the best things we ever did for Jim if you all want to funny lesson was we moved him out of leadership and he's 100% focused on production. Best thing we've ever done, because that's where he thrives and he just loves it. And then we move Cody one of our is as the leader. Lead is a rule and it's been a fantastic fit, because Kody loves leading and Jim wants to go produce. But 350 deals for one is a now Jim is just he knows them best I say out there, hands down. And if you put him you scale him and that's what our plans are doing. And then alongside, you know, Structurely and if your focus on tech, get out of the way, it's just it's been insane. So we're pretty excited. We think next year will easily in the next two years, our goal is to double our business and with technology and the right people. We're going to get there no doubt about it.

Brian Charlesworth 45:35
Yeah, thanks for sharing. I mean, that's incredible. Just to see that kind of growth is really unbelievable. And especially in a time that a lot of people just throw in the towel right stopped working, gave up.

Robby T 45:48
Look at this. This is the numbers that we should look at right here. These are the two numbers that nobody's talking about. These are April and May right most people on April May they were gone. They were in the bear cave, hiding. We set…

Brian Charlesworth 46:02
look at your appointment set as well scroll down just a little bit more. So there you go. So appointments set and just through the roof.

Robby T 46:10
Yeah. And here's the thing is we really just started using cc really well. So some of the data is probably missing. But I know in April 113, appointments Max, and then set was 169 in April, right, like, it's just, it's crazy. And everybody thought it was so afraid to reach out to people and we went to the opposite approach. Our whole approach was now we're calling we're going to be doing everything nobody wants to do right now. The funny thing is, is that if I go look at my clients that did that, when people were coming out of service to experiences to different experiences, people were like, oh, our business is up 30 40% and some people were like, oh, we're down. 20% and obviously, we were in the ladder and a lot of our clients so it's all mindset.

Brian Charlesworth 46:57
Yeah, well, congratulations again. Let's see how are we doing on time? We just have a few minutes to wrap up. So, in wrapping up, you just mentioned blitzscaling like to talk about that a little bit more. I think that's a great thing. Great book. Everyone should read it. Also go listen to his podcast, because he's got some great things in his podcast, but want to tell us a little bit more about that.

Robby T 47:22
Yeah, so the the big thing and that I really learned from him was blitzscaling is really doing really the idea that sometimes you got to do things that everyone else won't do. It goes against traditional conventional wisdom. And it's doing things that don't really scale. The podcast that you just brought up. The author is Reed Reed Hoffman, right? Yeah. Yeah, that's right. The podcast is masters of scale. And he has guests on there long story short read was a ability founding member member of PayPal correct.

Brian Charlesworth 47:58
And then LinkedIN.

Robby T 48:01
Yep. So, big guy very well connected, but he has people on masters of scale like Mark Zuckerberg, for example. And I know he gets a lot of flack, the dude has built one of the best businesses to ever live, frankly. Yeah. You know, one of the really cool things I actually just listened to the masters of scale podcast and Mark Zuckerberg original mantra for Facebook was move fast and break things, if you like, you know that. That's our motto right now is we're just moving fast and breaking things. Frankly, sometimes we release some things that don't work that well. Well, you have to because what happens is the user tells you it doesn't work, and you fix it. And really a lot of the idea of blitzscaling is just do it, get things out there, try things. A lot of people hesitate because they want perfect. And the problem with perfect is First off, you're not going to be right, you're going to be wrong. Your idea perfect will be incorrect. But secondly, perfection actually comes from feedback. And you'll only get that feedback once you get real world market advice. So a lot of what we're doing and everything we've frankly always done is the idea of blitzscaling. We blitzscale you know, and basically march in April, when nobody else would we were, I kept telling people double down on your effort, triple down, you're listening, quadruple down your empathy is what I just hammered. That was all I said over and over every webinar I did. And I mean, you guys just saw it paid off. And that's what it is. blitzscaling is really going all in spending money when everyone else isn't right. It's just leaning in when other people are, are flying away, I guess, in my opinion. So that's how I took it. I

Brian Charlesworth 49:42
I've always loved Reid. I've listened to his podcast all the time. And blitzscaling I mean, if you look at Sisu when we first rolled out, we launched with an app, we didn't have anything on the web. We had an app that I was embarrassed about, but we launched because because we had a few teams who were doubling, they're doubling their production of their agents just by tracking. Right. And so that was just a very small piece. It wasn't anywhere near we were we knew we needed to be, but it was enough for us to start to gain some traction.

Robby T 50:13
Yeah, that rule I think that he came up with was you should be embarrassed of your first product you shouldn't be. You should laugh at it right and not care about it. But we you probably see it. I mean, we see it in real estate where a lot of people are just so they want perfect all the time. And it's really funny because one of my other friends to tie this all together is miles, who founded You betcha. I don't know if you've heard of you betcha, Brian, but in the Midwest, he's basically become this. Almost like, how would you describe it? He doesn't matter. Yeah, celebrity. You just love it up here. And he's just an online celebrity and he creates short videos. And he said his whole philosophy is I want to create basically Five sevens. And he said, where everybody goes wrong with social media is they want to create 110. And you don't ever create it. It's the same concept, right? Oh, just get out there and put stuff out there, and you'll get feedback and make it better. And for him he did that those first few videos are man, and then he got one video that blew up and it was a video of him comparing bush light to spotted cow in Wisconsin, and it's been viewed. I don't know, the dude collectively has over a billion views on his videos. It's insane. And he's just you know, a friend of ours from Fargo and a former quarterback from Morehead State University Morehead my alma mater, so it's crazy actually paid him wants to record me and now he's this celebrity in the Midwest. It's insane. Go check it out.

Brian Charlesworth 51:47
Instead of 1 10, 5 7's. Is that what I heard?

Robby T 51:52
Yeah, just go put stuff out there. And he follows Gary Vee. basically put it out there. You don't have to be perfect and the perfection There's a break, right? It stops you from doing something because you'll never hit perfect.

Brian Charlesworth 52:06
You'll never have a perfect. So if you wait for perfection, you will never do it. So he's a great, great lesson for us to end on you guys. Thank you so much for joining today. I love catching up with you, Nate good to get to know you better. And best of luck. Stay in touch you guys and thanks for all you do for the industry.

About the Author

Brian Charlesworth
Chairman and CEO

Entrepreneur and business builder. Built and sold software and telecommunications companies. Passionate about making a significant impact on lives by driving technology forward.