An entrepreneur, investor, and executive, Howard Tager has a successful track record of real estate technology, digital marketing, and investment with a focus on company growth, business development, online marketing, and strategic planning. In 2014, he co-founded a new “next generation” Software as a Service and digital marketing company called Ylopo. As one of the top 5 lead generation companies, it is Ylopo’s mission is to build the world’s most intuitive online marketing platform to deliver “Do-it-Yourself” cross-platform digital marketing services to the real estate industry and beyond.
In this episode, Brian and Howard discuss how you can change your life through lead generation and top-notch digital marketing.
In this episode we talk about…
- 6:10 – How did Ylopo come to be?
- 16:31 – Changing agents lives, both as the individual agent and team leader.
- 23:42 – Where does Howard see the future of the real estate industry going?
- 29:17 – D.y.V.A
- 39:11 – “Video is the future!”
- 47:21 – What book does Howard suggest reading?
Brian Charlesworth: [00:00:37] All right. Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the Grit podcast. I’m Brian Charlesworth, founder of Sisu and the host of the show.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:00:44] And today I’m here with Howard Tager. Howard is the co-founder and CEO of Ylopo. Any of you running real estate teams out there now who Ylopo is and we’re going to dig deeper into that today. But Howard has also built and sold two tech companies, as my understanding. Is that right?
Howard Tager: [00:01:03] One was a digital marketing tech company.
Howard Tager: [00:01:06] My first company, which was two years out of college, was, believe it or not, an S.A.T. prep company hesitates, saying that because of all the news of all the scandals and the college admissions world this year. But that was the first things my my business partner and I at the time, two years in college, wrote a program to raise kids scores on the S.A.T.’s and institute. So that was the first business a long time ago.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:01:35] Ok. So I have a good friend who’s now running a company doing that same thing called Shmoop. Are you familiar with them?
Howard Tager: [00:01:43] I am not. I have been head down in the real estate and real estate tech world since the beginning of 2007. So, you know, 13 years.
Howard Tager: [00:01:53] I actually was a great business. But I got out of that business.
Howard Tager: [00:01:59] For purely intellectual reasons, make a lot of money in that business if you do it really well, but intellectually, I just got to the point where I wasn’t waking up in the morning. Super energized about what we’re gonna do. It became very repetitive. And this is now my second company in in this space, real estate, real estate, technology. Working with agents, teams, brokerages. And I love it. I just love it. So I kind of got lucky. I found my home back in 2007, and it’s not a home I want to leave.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:31] So in speaking with you, before we went live on the air today, I could feel your passion around the real estate space. So tell me, how did you get into real estate and what brought you this way? Because I’ve been in that same mode. We’re both entrepreneurs. And when you’re when you’re in that mode of not absolutely loving what you’re doing, it’s tough. Right. That’s when you know it’s time to move on, because passion is really what drives us, right?
Howard Tager: [00:02:57] Yeah. I look for I look for four boxes. I’ve had like these four simple quadrants. I think most people do. Right. Which is, you know, I’m not yet at the point in my life where which I will be where everything I do is gonna be devoted to philanthropic and charitable, you know, efforts and endeavors. But I’m still in that sort of serial entrepreneur. And so I get to day one, the one simple boxes. It’s got to be real revenues and real profits.
Howard Tager: [00:03:23] And I see all these companies now that get multi-billion dollar valuations and they never make a profit, which kind of I hate to say it pisses me off because I really worry about I guess I’m very Warren Buffett. Real, real revenues and real profits.
Howard Tager: [00:03:37] Right. So there’s that checkbox and there’s the checkbox of, you know, providing a product or service that my clients truly value.
Howard Tager: [00:03:47] I see a lot of other companies in our space space, especially real estate technology, where they build these giant sales teams and they’re calling realtors are calling agents are calling them, calling them, calling them. And they all they’re trying to do is outsell the attrition that their client loss of their product, because at the end of the day, their client doesn’t really sorry that the service doesn’t really deliver. And so that’s the other really important checkbox, which is, you know, when we show up at a conference, we want our clients running up to us and hugging us and saying, oh, my God, I look like literally I was just came back from Inman. And it it just struck me like the client came up to me and said, Howard, I can’t tell you. You are changing the lives of the agents in on our team. That’s smelted right. But he’s like, we haven’t seen them. And there’s a bunch different clients that said it’s me. We haven’t seen them with us with, you know, with a spring in their step. Yeah. You know, for a long time.
Howard Tager: [00:04:44] And they’re super excited. So. So that’s a really important checkbox for me. You know, the other thing is, as I mentioned to you prior, was I had to wake up in the morning and just be so freaking excited about what I do and the problems that we’re going to solve. And, you know, for our clients and for ourselves. And it’s a you know, it’s just like this super competitive game that we’re in. And, you know, I guess I’m just kind of really addicted to it. Right. So I I love what we do. I love our, ah, community of clients. And, yeah, it’s just really energizing. So that’s that’s awesome. It’s intellectually challenging every day. So, you know, how do you deal with the opportunities and how you deal with it with the problems? Lastly, I think I’m very the fourth box. I think I’m very, very conscious and try to be thoughtful about the work environment for the people that work for us at Ylopo. And, you know, I would never want to put myself in a working environment or situation that wouldn’t put someone else in a situation. I wouldn’t want to be in myself, kind of very thoughtful about that and want to create a place where, you know, our our staff never wants to leave in there. They feel part of the mission, love the culture and want to grow with us. So those are those are my four checkboxes. How did I. To answer your question, how did I get into this?
Howard Tager: [00:06:10] What brought you over here? It was really flukey.
Howard Tager: [00:06:12] So I’d had this kind of education, tutoring, test prep business. And a guy that had built it became quite a big business. And the guy that had built our management information system had gone off, you know, after a while. And it turns out he went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to work with his brother. His brother was a real estate broker in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And this kid, who was an amazing programmer, built an incredible system back in like 2005, 2006, a long time ago. And he I think he knew that he had built something that was beyond just leveraging it in the one brokerage in Ann Arbor. And he reached out to me and said, Hey. So I’m developing this system. We’re using the system. High degree of success. I’d love for you to see it and give me your strategic advice. Now, whether or not he truly just one of my strategic advice or that was kind of the entry way and to see if I wanted to work in the business, I’ll never know.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:07:15] But I’ve never told you that. No, you can’t.
Howard Tager: [00:07:20] Programmer guy like you. Right. So but I’ll take it at face value that he just wanted my advice. So, you know, I took a look at it. I was really blown away. And then I did a lot of due diligence, which I recommend that anyone do when you’re looking at an opportunity. Really do your research. And I spent, you know, probably two months speaking to as many people in this new industry.
Howard Tager: [00:07:46] I didn’t know anything about people or a variety of roles. And I walked away from the 60 day due diligence saying, wow, what this kid has built is really needed. It’s really needed. It’s gonna be valued. People are gonna want to pay for it. It’s gonna be a great thing. And so I came back to him and said, here is my strategic advice. You should partner with me. That was that was that was my first piece of advice. Second piece of advice is we’re giving away half the company right away to these two other guys who I think we should partner with because they bring other elements that we don’t have. And with the four of us, we have the perfect storm of abilities. And, you know, this guy was like, yeah, I mean, like this great. You know. So I, you know, give him a lot of credit for being an entrepreneur who wasn’t, you know, so tight. Like with all the equity, he understood that it takes a village. And that’s that’s kind of where my Twelve Commandments of business. Right. It takes a village, you. And I’m always trying to be really critical of myself, of the things I’m not good at. And be cognizant of it and surround myself with people who are really good in those areas that I suck at. Right. And I think that’s one of the keys to success. So. So that’s what we did. And we had like hockey stick growth and we created this like all in one system. You know what? The CRM and marketing and home search and all that and kind of the rest is history. And there are a lot of other companies that saw our success. We refuse to oversell markets. Unlike some other folks. And so we created an opportunity because once we got to a certain level, we wouldn’t take on credit wait lists in geographic areas. And that created an area actually for all these other kind of clones to come out and build really massive businesses.
Howard Tager: [00:09:41] So, yeah, that was that was Tiger Lead. And we started that in 2007 and we were acquired by in our common in September of 2012. And everything was great there until they got acquired by NewsCorp, which was like 2014 or something like that. And then things like really, really changed. So we did that around after that acquisition.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:10:04] You were around for two years until News Corp acquired the business. Or how did that work?
Howard Tager: [00:10:08] I was around for like two and a half years and enjoyed everyone I worked with over there. We were like the fastest growing division of a move in 2013. And I think their acquisition. I’m not exactly sure. But then like tail end of 2014 or something. And yeah, it was just sort of I think at that point once NewsCorp came in, I think their real focus was at the portal level, not only at the agent sort of sort of service level, but more teams. Team software to service love. It was more like how do we compete against Zillow on a national basis and big TV ads and all that kind of stuff. So, yeah. So so we kind of left that that situation, but it was a great run while we while we had already see it was great. No complaints. And then, you know, my co-founder Ge came to me at one point, said a great idea for why Ylopo.
Howard Tager: [00:11:05] And I’m like, what’s Ylopo is like, well, it’s a fit last five letters of the word Monopoly.
Howard Tager: [00:11:11] Spelled backwards, so. Monopoly, the ultimate game, real estate. Turning it on its head. And that’s the symbolism.
Howard Tager: [00:11:19] So what we’d like to do is zig when everyone zagging. Right. Common sort of business cliche. But we really do it like when everyone was building his all and one systems, we said, well, the future is not an all in one walled garden. That doesn’t talk to other folks. We think the future is two way open API information flowing back and forth. So if, for example, a team loves Ylopo and they want to add Sisu, we can actually do a very thoughtful integration, which in that we’re we’re working on. Right. Or if they love Sisu, but they want to add well up know we’re very complementary. And so it’s being thoughtful about, you know, like for example, like we don’t we don’t own a CRM. Right. We partner with the industry’s top CRM’s so that when a team comes to us, if they have 20 agents and they’re already on CRM platform, you know, X, Y, Z, that’s fine. We don’t have to move them off that. We just want to make sure we had this really tremendous integration of information flowing back and forth. So we kind of like turned the model on its head and I think that’s the future. We also really, really dug into social media marketing, whereas everyone at the time was really focused on sort of portal leads or Google PPC leads. We really dug in with Facebook, worked really closely with them. They’ve done three business case studies on us. They’re gonna do a fourth. And what we were trying to prove was you can do effective marketing on on social media. And no one really had sort of great result there yet. Right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:12:54] So 100 percent of our marketing as well. Not as well, but 100 percent of our marketing happens to be on Facebook.
Howard Tager: [00:13:01] So. Right, right. Right. So yeah. So it’s just always thinking about, you know, kind of what’s been done, you know, and what’s old and how to do, you know, in a new way. And we’d just like to solve problems. We’re doing that right now with our most recent release with DyVa, a dynamic video ads. And that’s a technology that you cannot find anywhere else in the industry. But we saw a need. We saw a problem. How do you cost effectively run ads? There’s a tremendous amount of really cost effective ad space on Facebook and Instagram. Thought the process of shooting a video, editing a video, uploaded the video, placing the ads on your Facebook. It’s a difficult process, but these videos age out very quickly, the time up very quickly. And they have to be formatted differently for Facebook versus Instagram versus YouTube. So we spent like a year and a half building some really bad ass tech to automate the whole thing for our clients so they can literally go and put a MLS number about, let’s say, newest listing they just got and boom, you know, ads are running video ads. So it’s just some really crazy tack. And that’s what again, that’s what gets me so pumped up about. What we do is, is every time we do something that’s not just like, oh, we’re just doing something someone else did. It’s just doing some new stuff.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:14:21] Yeah, I love it. You and I end speaking before before we got started today.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:14:26] Like everything you say as far as your vision of the industry and your mission and all that stuff is the exact same stuff that we built. Sisu. So it’s it’s fun to speak with you about this. One of the things you mentioned is you guys I mean, you guys intentionally said we are not a CRM. We did the exact same thing. You guys, though, CRM’s.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:14:49] Most of them are generating leads for their customers, although there they have a bunch of other people doing that as well. Right. And so you guys have figured out how to just work with every team and every CRM and you’re integrated now with with all of them? Or how does that mean?
Howard Tager: [00:15:05] Yeah, that’s a good point. So I would say, like I put them in two baskets. Right. There are CRM only companies. Right. So you Follow Up Boss, Liondesk, you know, Contactually was was acquired by Compass, but there are pure CRM options. We even have clients on Salesforce, InfusionSoft of those kinds of products. And then there’s the all in ones. And there’s Commissions Inc. And there’s BooomTown, Chime and Firepoint, all that. But what’s interesting is, is that a bunch of all in ones, you know, they they have built like CRM only versions of their product just for us, because I think that they’d rather focus on the CRM part than all the stuff that we’re doing.
Howard Tager: [00:15:55] Right. But but we’re happy to integrate with, you know, with everybody. And then the client can choose what they want to do with us, but they want to do with them.
Howard Tager: [00:16:06] Yeah. And that’s the kind of the world you know, the world in which we we look.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:16:10] Yeah, yeah. Understood. So I want to I want to dig in a little bit deeper. You were talking about how you last week, were at Inman maybe with all these people and everyone’s coming up to you. Hey, yeah, you’re changing my agents lives.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:16:24] I want you to share with us what. What’s changing their actual lives? Yeah. I just my guess would be knowing and working very closely in this industry. Most real estate agents don’t like to pick up the phone and do outbound calls to expireds and FSBO’s. Right. So anyway. Talk to us.
Howard Tager: [00:16:45] So I think I think, you know, it’s like we can bifurcate the answer this question, which is what are we doing for the agents on the team? And then also, what are we doing for the independent broker owner? You know, and or the team leader.
Howard Tager: [00:17:01] You know, I love Zillow, but I love them for selfish reasons. They’re very good for our business here at Ylopo? Because we have become a really, really nice home for whether or not, like, someone’s really, really big hitter and they’re dominating. They’re buying lots of portfolios, leads on Realtor.com or Zillow. You know what? They have to Zillow offers deal or whatever it is. We can put their program right on steroids. So there’s a whole set of tech that we have. So, for example, you know, Robert Slack is my biggest client and the country’s one of the biggest, you know, teams in the world that he’s going to do. Five thousand sides this year. Right. Or more, you know, a well over a billion dollars of transactions. Well, they had enormous database. Of no, I say the word leads and I hate saying the word leads. I like to say relationships because I think leads teams de-humanizes what it is that gets a person hard to develop a relationship with a person. So his massive database, 350 thousand relationships, right. That was sitting dormant.
Howard Tager: [00:18:10] And we said, look, we’re not going to do lead gen, you for a while. It be like step two. Step one is it was going to go in there with this kid dynamic re-marketing with our A.I. Raiya, our real estate A.I. And we’re going to awaken this database of leads that you’ve already spent a gazillion dollars on. You’re not making any more money on it right now. Yeah. And so we did that. You know, for him and for his team. And it was just like, they just love us, love us. And we don’t let like most of the big teams love us for that, for basically dating to resuscitate this database that’s been kind of sitting dormant and sitting and sitting fallow. So that’s kind of one of the things that that we do. But then there’s all these other folks now. And I really heard this loud and clear, at Inman and who are worried about the really, really big companies constantly changing their pricing, constantly raising their pricing, constantly changing their model, experimenting with commission splits. Right. More, you know, going and going into their pockets and taking commission splits. And I really, really pride myself in the fact that for the life of my prior company and for the life of Ylopo. But I’ve never raised prices. And why is that? Because I put myself like I put myself in the shoes of my employees. I put myself in the shoes of my clients. How can you build up? You plan out your future. How can you build a business model? Build build a structure. Right. With your team members on a on a on a lead, provided that’s that’s not reliable in terms of what they’re going to charge you. Right.
Howard Tager: [00:19:44] So creating a very cost effective, predictable, huge stream of buyer and seller leads outside of the portals is really what we do for our clients. And we’re going to see a massive amount of folks continue to move their marketing spends to us in 2020 because of that, because they can build predictable and successful businesses with us as a partner. It’s a true partnership versus us always thinking about how to move our publicly traded stock price, which we don’t have a publicly traded stock price right now. So I can think deeply about long term success, I think for the agents. You know, they now have a system where it’s not really, again, just about the lead gen. We have built a system where we we take a lead or relationship. Think about like this stream. Right stream. And it goes this river, right. Then it goes down like a waterfall and it goes into this pool of sharks. Right. Well, what we’re doing is we’re fishing these relationships out of the stream, way upstream, and we’re putting it in the fish bowl of our clients. Now, to stay in that fish bowl, we’ve got to apply state of the art technology to keep them there in the branded fish bowl of my clients. No one knows the pool in my little boats that my clients. Right. It’s not about Zillow. It’s not about Open Door. It’s not about Home Light. It’s not about Realtor.com. It’s about my client’s brand, putting my client’s brand front and center with their entire database and their and stay top of mind 24/7 with their entire geographic market. And we use dynamic listing, alerts, dynamic remarketing, real estate A.I. To constantly bring them back and constantly, proactively converse with them.
Howard Tager: [00:21:22] And for all the folks who are maybe just still in the aspiring stage, they’re not even in the research stage, let alone the ready to transact stage where it’s like a light. It’s a light touch. Right. But we keep them my clients fishbowl when their home search behavior on the buy side or they’re sort of, you know, or their research on what homes are selling for on the sell side when that stuff heats up.
Howard Tager: [00:21:44] We immediately send our agents to tap them on the shoulder with a priority alert. And we say, here’s what you just did. They just shared a home with their significant other. They just looked at 1 2 4 Main Street for the fourth time, or they’re saving lots of homes to their favorites.
Howard Tager: [00:21:58] So might. So the agents were like, oh, my God, I don’t have to, like just get dispirited, brokenhearted, because I’ve got to wade through thousands of leads and everyone’s hanging up, hanging the phone with me. They can now focus on the priority leads that we’re alerting them to. And they can focus on the conversations that Raiya, which is a total chat bot, is having with their prospects. They can turn off riot and then pick up the conversations themselves. So it’s trying to make their lives a bit easier, much more, you know, much more efficient. And then just kind of really creating a cool, you know, culture and community so that they know, see, I’m wearing my way up or professor shirt.
Howard Tager: [00:22:42] Yeah. On the back. It says it said we’re here to help.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:22:46] Here to help.
Howard Tager: [00:22:47] Yeah. So so we have so many wonderful clients who have really figured out the best way to apply our technology to their team’s business. And they love us so much that they become one of Ylopo professors and they will teach newer clients like, you know, here’s what you need to do. Here’s I need to talk to a while. I believe, you know, let’s all and we had a nationwide calling that which was so much fun. We try to get as many clients as possible and gamify it right, because we know like if we can get a team in one night a month. Texting, calling, texting, contacts and calling, they’re sending a mad number of appointments. Right. So anyway, I can go off on somebody from directions about about kind of some answering that question, but if I answered it or not.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:23:35] Yeah, absolutely. I did. I have about 10 more questions that I want to ask you based on what you’ve said. One and one of things I’d really like to know from you. I mean, you’ve talked a lot about the portals and and how those are different. You’re capturing these upstream. Where do you.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:23:50] I’d like to learn more about your vision of where you see the real estate industry being in five years and 10 years, because there are a lot of companies that have been focused on. Putting the real estate team, real estate brokerage out of business and there’s a lot of companies like yours and like ours that are focused on. What can we do to make sure that these guys are the most effective, efficient powerhouses running their business like a business right out there?
Howard Tager: [00:24:18] So, yeah, it’s like I think the analogy is like when I start off saying, like, I’ve got to really be honest with myself. Brutally ask myself about not only like, what am I good at? What do I suck at? Right. What am I not going to do? Right. I’m not going to go start coding.
Howard Tager: [00:24:32] I’m not going to go into Facebook Manager at start running ads. You know, that’s just not who I am. I do different things. So are any of us going to compete with a half a billion dollar marketing budget? You know, that Zillow might have or whatever the like. I’m seeing Homelike commercials everywhere. Like they’re spending a huge amount of money. Right. Are we going to compete with that? So we are honest, you know, with ourselves, what can we do? And we absolutely can partner with teams to crush it locally. And that’s why we released technology like the dynamic video ad engine. Right. Yeah. We can help, you know, our teams focus on a set geographic area. Our teams are building databases that they want to stay 24/7 top of mind with. This is what this is how we can stay ahead and compete with the big guys. Also, can every team build out their entire, you know, super sophisticated digital marketing set? They can’t. Right. Is any team going to build DyVa? I mean, there isn’t even a tech company that has that has that product. Right. Or or the level at which we do a A.I. I haven’t seen it. Right. So we become that partner for teams who are on a local basis just to say, OK, you don’t have the R&D or Tech budget of
Howard Tager: [00:25:48] I don’t know. You know, Compass or Redfin or Zillow, whatever it is. But you do you now have that because where your partner there we have no intention of becoming a brokerage. We have no intention of getting into your commissions. Right. This is what you guys do. But you also don’t have to go and build everything that we’re building. We become your partner. And you also don’t have to worry about what tech is coming next. On the digital marketing or nurture or A.I. side, because we’ve got it. And that’s like I hear that coming all time. But we literally where were we? We were in Charleston before Inman and we were speaking and Ge and I was speaking at a conference and it was like a little kind of beer and pizza mixer after. And I still remember the client coming up to us and saying, I don’t have to worry about building any of this stuff or what’s coming next. I know you guys have a covered like, no, I’m like, I’ll never forget, you know, him telling me that. Right. So I think that, you know, as I look as I look forward, I’ve laughed for a decade when everyone’s trying to disinter-mediate the agent.
Howard Tager: [00:26:53] I mean, it’s the largest economic transaction for most consumers by far. It is really a hairy beast when you look at the size of, you know, all the documents and disclosures and, you know, you know what is an agent? Everyone is like, oh, an agent, a salesperson. And we just should like cut their commissions. Like an agent is not a salesperson. They are. Right. But there are so many other things. There are cults that the other consultants there are there are psychologists, trade research, mediator. There a you know, a CEO of the transaction and getting everything done. Like, it’s really, really stressful. There’s a lot to do. Right. So I think that, you know, we all have come to grips with the fact that there is always going to be a percentage of a market, especially in markets that have a lot of commoditized type housing. There is a percentage of the market where absolutely people wouldn’t do not want to put their home on the MLS. They need to sell quickly. They want to take a 10 percent haircut, whatever it is. There is room for that. But look at the legal industry, right?
Howard Tager: [00:27:55] You know, there is there’s all the lawyers. Right. And the LegalZoom and LegalZoom. You’ve got Nolo Press like there’s sections of a market for anything. But I’m not doom and gloom about where the place of the agent is. I’m more bullish than ever about the importance. And matter of fact, I think there’s gonna be some backlash on some of these folks that are trying to fully automate and disinter-mediate the agent because there’s would be some major lawsuits of stuff that’s not happening.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:28:23] And our agents take care of you know, I think that legal I’ve never heard that comparison with the legal industry. But with legal zoom, it is very comparable to that. Right. You can get this level of service or you can jump up and get this higher level of service. And that’s that’s essentially I agree, a hundred percent. That’s essentially what’s going on in this industry.
Howard Tager: [00:28:41] It just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. So, you know, if you need a really simple will, OK? You know, and you have like not a lot of assets, you can go to LegalZoom and save some money. You know, if you’re worth twenty five million dollars or whatever it is, I don’t think you’re gonna do your estate planning through LegalZoom. Right. Right. We’re selling your brokerage. I don’t think you’re going through LegalZoom to sell your brokerage. You’ve got to have a great attorney. So I think it’s kind of a cool analogy and how we have to think about our space a little bit.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:29:15] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Let’s talk a little bit more about DyVa. Most people probably aren’t familiar with that. Do you want to share more around that?
Howard Tager: [00:29:23] Yeah. So we just released that, you know, last week we had our biggest webinar ever. Our clients like what you’d like you just released, you know. Raiya. Now you’re releasing DyVa like, you know, their heads are spinning.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:29:35] I think I don’t maybe maybe back up and tell us first what is Raiya and then what DyVa. Let’s be let’s let’s talk about where you were and where you’re going.
Howard Tager: [00:29:43] Right. So some Raiya, basically. OK. So before that’s you like dynamic remarketing. So everyone’s kind of sounds like listing alerts. Right. Get a lead send listing alerts, which are on the buyer side. But a lot of those listing alerts weren’t dynamic, so they weren’t flowing with where the consumer was flowing. So let’s say a consumer came in and they were looking in the suburbs, but then all of a sudden, you know, the wife leans over to the husband, says too boring in the suburbs, I want to go to the city center and wake up and get coffee in the morning right down Main Street, whatever it is. Right. So now they’re searching in the city center. Well, you know, you’ve got to have technology that follows that right away. So you’re listing alerts are very precise and they have changed right away.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:30:24] So your typical CRM. Just to clarify, I think for for most people listening, your typical CRM is really I’m going in there as an agent. I’m setting up alerts in a certain county or city or something like that, whereas you guys are recognizing, oh, this is where they’re looking.
Howard Tager: [00:30:40] I’m just going to send them that just perhaps with the initial search and they’re sending out the listing alerts on the initial search. Yes. Now, the agent has to worry about like watching those alerts and are they still on topic? Well, that’s too much time consuming. Like, how do you do that on a thousand leads? Yeah. Whereas we could automate it. So then our system does it for you. And even do bond alerts where if somebody actually starts looking at one particular home for the fourth time and we can say this person is really bonded to this type of this thing. So anytime, you know, and we’re monitoring everything that’s going on in the MLS. So anytime something changes with homes in that basket, we can actually send listing alerts. We call that a bond listing. Right.
Howard Tager: [00:31:22] The sort of transformational step was when we in a sense, brought listing alerts to social media and we said, OK. Over time, people are not opening up their emails and not looking at listening. That’s email. But what happens if every single time they get onto Facebook, which is twelve point seven times a day? They see homes that we already know are precisely what they’re looking for. Ratings are right home to the right person at the right time at all times. So the return to site rate, our client side that we built for then went through the roof. Right. So dynamic remarketing took everything to the next level. Then we said, OK. What happens when a consumer has elevated behavior? Now what? Well, we started setting the priority alerts to the agent of tap on the shoulder. But even even on top of that, we know, as you already said, we don’t have the agents full attention and they’re busy and they’re doing lots of things and they don’t always talk in a timely way. Follow up with that lead. So we said if we want to do it for them. So we built a track that was reactive. Right. We call that behavioral texting based on behaviors, send certain text messages to the consumer. Then we took on a whole other level and we introduced Raiya to the world. And that’s where our A.I. started getting proactive, not just reactive.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:32:47] So, you know, let’s back up just a little bit because you mentioned texting and you just blow over that because you’ve been doing it for so long.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:32:53] Yeah, sorry. But the reality is. Yes. I mean, I still. Hear from agents all the time. Oh, how did you follow up? Well, you know, I called him and I said, I’m an e-mail. OK, well, what else? Right. There’s five different ways to follow up. So I think I’ve heard a lot of stats. I don’t know the numbers off from my head. I’m sure you do. But people respond to texts way more than they respond to e-mail or even voice when a 90 percent response rate.
Howard Tager: [00:33:26] Yeah. So and it’s not you know, it’s it’s logarithmic really larger than e-mail. Yes. You can think about it like yourself. Like I. My inbox is just overwhelmed. My e-mail inbox is overwhelmed. And I get hit up all the time and I don’t respond e-mail.
Howard Tager: [00:33:41] But I always tell people, like I’ll tell you pride, like you want to talk to me. Don’t e-mail me because I’m going to miss it. Yeah, right. That’s me. Right. If you want if you want like a timely response, text me.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:33:53] Right. Because when you get three hundred e-mails a day, it’s tough. And you’re in meetings all day. It’s really hard to be on that. Right. So if you’re if you’re out there emailing some client who’s running a business, they’re likely not going to respond to those e-mails. I think that by getting a text right here, I mean, I’m talking to you right now and texts are coming in and I’m not looking at those, but they’re blowing up. Right.
Howard Tager: [00:34:17] So I think I think that texting is a precursor to a phone call. Yeah. That’s what we’re trying to do. Right. I think that close rates are so high. If you can actually eventually get a face to face. So we look at this as steps, necessary steps. Let’s get, you know, a valuable conversation going through text where you’re helping them. Right. Not just some generic A.I., but very precise. I saying, can I you know, can I send you some listings that everything that you’re interested in. Right. Would be really helpful. And we can program that so that you don’t have to. Yeah. And then when the consumer responds via text, like I’ve had I’ve had agents who’ve been like with me literally with me having a coffee or something and sitting here and they’re like, how are you going to believe this conversation? I was watching it like, I’m like, turn off, Raiya? Like, go text. I’m like, oh, now she’s fine. You know, it’s so funny. And then that’s the next step. Right. So turn off the automated stuff that’s going on. Get personal. Set up a phone call. Seven in-person meeting. That’s that’s where we’re going at the end of the day. Are we are we dis intermediating the agent? Think about it. No, we’re actually making the agent way more efficient and getting them more Face-To-Face appointments so they can close at really high rates.
Howard Tager: [00:35:37] So that’s how I see it. D-VA is incredible. We’ve got tremendous plans for DyVa. DyVa is not a product. I always tell my folks DyVa is a platform. What’s the difference with a product and a platform? We are going to continue to launch products off of this platform.
Howard Tager: [00:35:57] So that the two first immediate products that we launched were dynamic video ad or DyVa based listing rockets as well as DyVa based branded ads. So we always like to solve problems. One of the problems, you know, a couple of years ago that we saw in the industry was people didn’t want just template-tized, websites that looked like everyone else’s web site had their own web site. But to build their own really bad ass custom Web site, there were there were companies out there charging tens of thousands of dollars. Right. So there was a problem that we could solve. We built a proprietary layer of technology on top of Squarespace so that we could very quickly work with the client, help them produce a very customized Web site to themselves, but do it very efficiently and through the Ylopo Mission Control. They can go in any day and very easily customize, continue to customize their own site or we’ll do it for them if they don’t want to touch it. Right. So it’s like solving a problem. Now, we did that and we weren’t charging them like it was all like in a setup fee and it was all covered like there was no tens of thousands of dollars to, you know, to set up a Web site or continue to customize it as part of getting all this other stuff.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:37:14] You can also have this thirty thousand other Web site.
Howard Tager: [00:37:17] Right, exactly. Exactly. So I thought it was really cool to solve that issue. The other was like open, open house technology. I love it when people are getting, in a sense, free organic leads into their nurture system, not just having to buy leads from us or from others. Right. So, you know, we built a really cool open house tool. And so you set it up. You got a nice i-Pad, you know, with i-Pad stand. You set it up. People go in, they put in their information and it goes right into whatever CRM you have that goes right into the way up or nurture system. We’ve had consumers come back to the open house, literally the same open house the next day and tell the agents I’ve already gotten this thing alerts from you guys like, how cool is that? Right. Yeah. And those are those are free downstream leads. People looking at open houses. Right. Who are going into the system. So it’s solving problems.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:38:06] So it’s so if I’m an agent and I’ve been in an open house and I’ve had, let’s just say, 10 buyers, 10 families come through. Those families, instead of having to go back and plug them in to my CRM, you have an integration with the CRM. That data’s pushing from the i-Pad to the CRM, setting up layer alerts without them having to set up the alerts.
Howard Tager: [00:38:31] So setting up email alerts, setting up dynamic remarketing, Raiya everything that goes into that nurture system. And if you have 15, you know, folks that come into an open house, that’s like buying fifteen Zillow leads. I mean, that’s like it’s like three thousand dollars that you just picked up in one open house. Like I go out and borrow and has to be do want to run them just to get the free downstream buyer leads. Right. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So. So. Yeah. So that’s that’s really cool. I think DyVa is really a game changer. What was the problem solving? There is you know, we know that video is the future within 24 months. Eighty two percent of all Internet traffic will be video based. People are consuming video. No one’s really reading anymore, right? Yeah. So yet the opportunity is that there is a tremendous amount of very cost effective video based ad space available on social media. The disconnect or the problem that we solved was that for the average team leader or agent or independent broker or whatever. It’s a process to like shoot videos, edit videos, upload the videos, figure out a marketing campaign in the videos, formatting those videos for Facebook versus Instagram versus YouTube. These are all different optimal formats, right? Yeah.
Howard Tager: [00:39:58] We even apply artificial intelligence to sift through the photos of a listing to make sure we don’t show up for pictures of the bathroom. Right where we’re showing the best photos up from the from the listing. Right. But we’re solving a big problem because because you can’t show longform videos, you invest all this time, energy, money and your beautiful long form video. That’s exactly the wrong format for video on social media. Right. And you invested all this time, energy and money. So you want to keep pouring money into that video, but it ages out very quickly, right? It just ages very quickly. So short attention span theater out there. So you need to solve that problem. We solved it by creating a machine that can create literally tens of thousands of videos in states like all. So. So the two products, what is really like listening based every single time you get a new listing. You can run a DyVa listening rocket and just smother your database. Right. With with beautiful video ads based on that list. Right. Targeted, marketed to the right demo for that particular list. And you know, people are running Listing Rockers for sixty five dollars.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:41:10] Now, are you just rolling this out now? Is brand new, right?
Howard Tager: [00:41:14] We launched it to our own community. The two Thursdays ago. So before I went to Inman. And then.
Howard Tager: [00:41:24] And we’re only been doing it for a week. It’s not available to people outside of our community right now. And it’s crazy. I mean, there’s like literally like a hundred listing rockets being run a day right now. And we’re just getting started.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:41:38] Sixty five dollars to run a listing rocket.
Howard Tager: [00:41:41] Yeah. And the reach is amazing. Like the number of impressions, views, complete views. It’s insane. It’s just incredibly it’s like it’s like comes down like 13, cents a true engagement. It’s incredible. So it can go really, really far. The other part of it is you can press a one touch button and it will automatically send a report to the seller. A beautiful report showing the reach of the marketing, showing them how many clicks, how many views, you know. And the seller is like, wow, this is cool. Like you didn’t just put it on the MLS, like you’re actually spending marketing dollars and any money on it.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:42:20] Yeah. I feel great about it. And you are communicating with me and you’re actually giving me a report showing me what’s happening. Right. There are so many so many values there.
Howard Tager: [00:42:30] And we have another one touch report for your listing presentation. These are clients, one of that as well, where you could actually then go into Liz’s presentation, say, here’s the diva. Listen, rockets’ going to run for you. Look at look at the success we had with this last one. And one other agent is going to show them that. Right. So they have a leg up in the listing presentation. And on top of that, we have a one touch. Well, I shouldn’t say one touch, but we do this for free for our clients. We’ll put our clients branding on a PowerPoint. So we put their own branding on it and they use it for recruiting other agents to their team. And they’ll say, if you come on our team, you get this, this, this, this is this. That’s right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:43:09] That’s something that’s something we’ll need to talk about integrating because we also have a recruiting platform or those leads get dropped straight into that.
Howard Tager: [00:43:17] Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. And so, so so on top of the DyVa platform, we’re going to build the agent level recruiting machine. That’s where we turn off the buyer, seller or consumer audiences and we turn on the agent audiences so that my teams who need to recruit can stay front and center with the whole agent community in their geographic sphere with great videos. Now those are an example of a video could be, you know, you as a team leader congratulating one of your agents on the sale of a home, how how they sold it quickly or whatever it was. Right. So an agent who’s kind of getting ready to leave for whatever reason, their team looks at these videos and says, wow, this is a team leader that really appreciates their team. Right. So it’s sustained, you know, top of mind, front and center buyers to sellers to other agents. It’s it’s really important. Right. And DyVa can do that. You know, like literally my clients, it’s two clicks to create a DyVa. Two clicks do a thing, right? Sure. That ad figured out Facebook Manager like two clicks. Put in the MLS number, you know. Choose your budget. Boom done.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:44:24] All those videos, including self, which me recording a video myself as well. Are those just automated happening without there?
Howard Tager: [00:44:32] Yes, they’re so they’re automated. Well, the list of rockets because it’s it’s based on the listing itself. It’s my brand. Right. It’s our brand logos, our imagery, whatever overlayed. But it’s the listing data that’s powering, you know, moving and music and all that. Just auto creates. Right at auto creates. And, you know, look, I’m to give you some advice if you want to create the world’s most sophisticated, long form, beautiful, expensive video. Good luck. It’ll be amazing. But you’re going to get a lot. You’re not gonna get a lot of ROI on it. Right. The other DyVa’s that are going are branded. So they’re not listing based. The other ones are branded. So we’re building an ever growing large library of cool videos that you can throw your brand on and just run. So we have like a really cool one. Everyone loves this video for some reason. It’s very funny. It’s like kitchen hacks. And so I don’t know until I saw the video. You can you can take a piece of celery, put it inside, you know, a loaf of bread and it doesn’t get moldy. Like forever. Some crazy thing. So it’s kind of a quick little video of putting celery in a bread and. And so people like it like they want to see it. Right. Well, that’s what our agents want. They want some means.
Howard Tager: [00:45:45] They get the attention of their consumers. So for every single holiday, we do something. For example, we just had a series of Super Bowl ads. Put your brand on Super Bowl ads. We had no holiday, as obviously, you know, Christmas and Thanksgiving, Father’s Day, Fourth of July. Like, we just keep creating ads, all kinds of ads. Yeah. It’s a giant library. Choose the ads you like. Put your brand on it. Two clicks, run it. The third type will be customized. If you really want to customize your own messaging your own messaging, your own stuff. You work with our content team and we’ll create custom custom videos. So eventually this is a vision sort of product, yet eventually another product on the platform is what I call digital door-knocking. Right. So instead of actually physically not nothing wrong with physically door-knocking, but in addition to physically door-knocking, we can create a digital door-knocking program for the DyVa ads, which in a sense brings radio and television, the power, radio and television to the digital world. And you can reach even farther beyond your own database to your entire geographic sphere. So we’ve just launched it. Right now we’re still getting the bugs out, the kinks, all that. Everyone’s breaking stuff. Right. So we can fix it. This the fun part and it’ll keep it’ll keep growing.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:47:02] So very exciting.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:47:05] Well, I’m looking forward to spending more time catching up and just getting a real deep dive of this because this is some really cool stuff and just learning more about it.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:47:16] Thanks for spending time with us today. Couple of questions before you go. I just wanted to know what what books being not in real estate, but what books have helped you get your mindset, have helped you with your business skills? Is there one book that stands out for you that our audience should should make sure they read?
Howard Tager: [00:47:38] So it’s interesting. It’s a little known book. No one knows it? Going to find it on the bestseller list. And it was written by a mentor of mine a long time ago.
Howard Tager: [00:47:48] And it’s got a very apt title. It’s called Clarity. Clarity. I like it.
Howard Tager: [00:47:55] I guess because I’m a simple guy, so it’s pretty simple. It’s the kind of book you kind of keep by her bedside, just like it’s a back to basics stuff. We eat stuff we know. But you got to read again down to like, you know, time blocking. Right. And triaging, putting the most important tasks first. You know, really assessing what am I getting a return on investment on and what am I not? Just basic stuff that I use. Team leader should use. You know, I think that, you know, for me, I’ve learned most honestly from experience. I’m. There’s all kinds of intelligence. Right. Experiential intelligence, I think has been very important for me. It’s learning from experience, not looking at it as anything, as a failure. And I’ve had my fair share them. But but looking at them as learning moments and also learning from the successful moments as well. How do we keep doing more of that, right? Yes. Though I think that we also need to spend quiet time. It’s very important to spend quiet time away from the weeds and think deeply about our experiences. And what’s that? What does that teaching us, you know, about going forward? We could do a whole another podcast about my Twelve Commandments of Business that says we could do that.
Howard Tager: [00:49:15] I think is a really cool when I was talking to you about. About even if you never, ever use my love, which I understand is a lot of other providers out there. And I’m really not here to try to sell what I know. But the importance of of teams building databases, of relationships. I see this very clearly right now. You need to build an asset that lives beyond just you. And wouldn’t it be nice to create an asset that has terminal value, a forever income producing machine? And even if you went and cruised around the world for a month, this database, as long as you have the right people, will continue producing very, very serious income streams. Well, that’s a whole another thing that I’m really in teaching. And again, you do not have to build it on my look. You can build on a lot of other tech and systems that are out there. But I am know with laser clarity. This is one of the ways that people can stop chasing commission checks and build an income producing machine that will last forever.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:50:19] Yeah. Awesome. So if we want to see some of these videos you were talking about, is there a place we can go for that?
Howard Tager: [00:50:25] Yes, it is. Go to our Web site, going to Ylopo.com. Should see it there. There’s also will be ylopo.com/dyva And I should be able to find it there.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:50:40] And then as far as getting a hold of you. Howard, what’s the best way to get a hold of you? You’re a national speaker as well, right?
Brian Charlesworth: [00:50:46] So if somebody wants to have you come speak, teach them, you know, teach their business about generating leads. Something that obviously you’re very passionate about. How does somebody get a hold of you to schedule something like that?
Howard Tager: [00:50:59] Yeah. So, you know, happy to go speak in front of them. MLS’s or, you know, larger organizations. It’s difficult for me to run a business, too. So it’s difficult for me to actually go to offices themselves unless, you know, it’s a really massive client of ours. It’s got a huge office.
Howard Tager: [00:51:15] Then, you know, we can do that. But yeah, if they want to get hold of me, just, you know, Facebook Message me. That’s great. You can also come in through through the Web site. So I think Facebook Messenger probably is kind of like, you know, my text messaging is a great read, a great way to get a hold of me. I’m also my email is [email protected] So happy to do that. I love giving back. I love speaking. And I’m always excited what we do. That’s what we do. But I’m also happy to speak about things that go beyond, you know, I love Bow and and talk about some of these other things that we’ve talked about.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:52:00] One of things I love about you. You’re you’re super passionate about what you’re doing. And I feel the same way about what I’m doing. I know a lot of people in real estate, though, don’t don’t necessarily feel that way. Some of the business builders do. What I love about what you guys do is it creates that feeling of, hey, I love this. I’m excited to go take this to the next level. So congratulations on all your success. Hey, when we’re out there with teams, every, you know, pretty much most of the teams that we’re talking to are all talking about Ylopo.
Howard Tager: [00:52:31] So I think I think the thing that I really have seen and notice is it’s easy to feel the weight of the world and feel a little bit crushed.
Howard Tager: [00:52:42] By these giant multi-billion dollar publicly traded companies, companies that have received five hundred million dollars of Softbank money, whatever, that are coming into the space. And, you know, you could feel really intimidated by that and you could feel really fearful about that. And I think that’s a lot of what’s driving my passion, because I love helping the Davids compete against the Goliath’s and whether it was my first business at a college, my second business or now my third business. When somebody tells me I can’t do something, I will go to great lengths to prove them wrong.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:53:16] Which is why you’re so successful. So keep that up. I love your mindset. Love your mentality. And thank you for joining us on the show today. It’s been awesome.