JF1586: Want To Scale Your Real Estate Biz But Need Some Help? #SituationSaturday with Jordan Fleming
As a Podio expert, Jordan is constantly working with investors and property managers to help them scale their businesses. He specializes in helping others automate some aspects of their business so they can concentrate on the activities that are most important to their business. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Jordan Fleming Real Estate Background:
- CEO of Gamechangers, one of the top Podio partners in the world
- Builds systems for investors to help investors automate tasks, tack data and KPI’s, and accelerate sales
- Over 50 investors are using their SmrtPhone phone system for Podio (https://www.smrtphone.io/)
- Say hi to him at http://wearegamechangers.com/en/main/
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.
First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Saturday, we’ve got a special segment for you called Situation Saturday… And here’s the situation – you wanna scale up; you want to take your real estate business to the next level, and with us today we have a gentleman who will help you do just that, and learn how to do it. Jordan Fleming, how are you doing?
Jordan Fleming: Great to be here, and nice to be talking to the Best Ever listeners.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Jordan – he is the CEO of Gamerchangers, which is one of the top Podio partners in the world. He builds systems for investors to help investors automate tasks, track the task and the data, as well as the KPI’s, and accelerate sales. Over 50 investors are currently using their Smartphone phone system for Podio, and we’re gonna talk about how to scale up our business as real estate investors with Jordan. With that being said, Jordan, first, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background, just so we have some context?
Jordan Fleming: Yeah, so I’ve been doing Podio systems for a number of years now, and then quite honestly, the real estate market and property management market boomed for us about 18 months ago. Before then we were working with a couple people, and now it’s about 80% of our portfolio. And it’s all about getting that technology in their hands, so that we can get them moving faster, doing more deals, and building the empire the way they wanna do it.
Joe Fairless: Okay, so you are a property management company in addition to a technology company, is that correct?
Jordan Fleming: No, I’m just a technology company, but we do work with technology in both property management and real estate investors.
Joe Fairless: Oh, got it. So that’s what I was missing. So when you say you do property management as well, you’re talking about your technology is integrated into property management software.
Jordan Fleming: Precisely. Yes, sir.
Joe Fairless: Okay, alright. That makes more sense. So what’s your software? Tell us about it.
Jordan Fleming: We primarily build all of our systems on the Citrix Podio platform. Now, a lot of the Best Ever listeners know real estate seems to be focused on Podio a lot. Podio has become a real staple, because it’s so flexible and it can do so many things. That means we can bring every part, from acquisitions, to rehab, to sales, we can bring in property management elements, we can do the contracting, the leasing – all those sorts of things, all in one platform, with a huge amount of automation, and making sure that you’re efficiently doing all those things.
Joe Fairless: Okay. So what are some ways, taking a giant step back… As real estate investors and listeners to this show, you’re clearly tied into the technology space with investors and property management, so what are some things that you’ve learned that can help us take our business to the next level?
Jordan Fleming: Absolutely. Well, number one – I’m actually gonna focus on data and KPI tracking… And that’s because I think a lot of investors — I am not an investor, but I’ve now worked with guys who are just starting in the game, and I’ve worked with guys who are at the very top. And what I’ve noticed is that the guys at the very top dispassionately look at the data. They try and take the emotion out of the decision-making, and in order to do that you need to get the right data and be analyzing it the right way. So is this deal really the one you’re supposed to buy? Run the numbers, and do it smart. Don’t try and force a transaction because you want it; make sure the numbers stack up. That’s what’s really key about data.
I was just the other day speaking with a group of probably twenty pretty top investors, and it was all about “How am I running these numbers? How am I getting these numbers? How am I making the best data-based decisions?” …either through KPI tracking, so that I can see what are my team doing? Are they doing enough of this? Are they doing it the right way? Or simply being able to use data to analyze transactions and spot the ones they want to know.
To me I think that’s one of the key things systems can do – it can bring this data and this decision-making and they can make it a very dispassionate, sensible one, so that you’re getting the best sort of results, and making the best decisions.
Joe Fairless: Let’s talk about KPI tracking. What are some popular KPI’s (key performance indicators, for anyone who is not familiar with that acronym) that top investors use, based on what you’ve seen with your technology?
Jordan Fleming: Definitely time to follow up on leads. That’s key. Particularly, it seems to me that the market is starting to change again. Everything I’m seeing is indicating that we’re going into a slightly different market over the next couple of years… So speed of action is gonna be critical. How fast and how light can you move? We see a lot of KPI’s around how fast we’re picking up leads, how fast we’re getting back to people, how fast are we actioning those leads? We definitely see that.
We see a lot of KPI’s around the different team efficiencies, because for a great investment company to grow, you’ve gotta have a great team. And to have a great team, you’ve gotta see what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving them the best opportunity to thrive. KPI’s around their activities, around their speed, around what they’re getting accomplished every day are ones that you can see on the wall and measure everyone around.
Joe Fairless: So a KPI on following up… What are a couple other KPI’s that you see a top real estate investor have in there, and really focused on?
Jordan Fleming: Definitely finances in terms of the deals they’re doing. Are they getting the return? Measuring those, so that they’re making sure that every decision they’re making, they’re tracking it against where they want to be, and not just stacking deals up for no purpose. It’s great to have lots of deals, it’s great to have lots of turnover and lots of things happening, but are you getting the profit out of them that you want? And by being able to measure that and aggregate that across your whole portfolio on a real-time basis means you can spot when you start seeing gaps; you can start to see “You know what – my margin, the profit I want, I’m not getting it anymore. Why? What is that? What transactions are taking me down?”, and then hopefully try to avoid them. Definitely finance ones.
Another one that I’ll add in there, that kind of goes into my communication management is KPI’s around identifying good and bad calls. That sounds a bit weird, but one of the things we’re encouraging a lot of guys to do now is every week take a few leads you’ve lost and review the calls. If you’re using a system – which you should be – to tracking those calls against those leads, making sure you manage them all, review them and understand what’s going on, and then place them in the dashboard so you can start to see “Where are we getting the best performance internally? Which of our agents are doing the best? Because if we’re seeing some problems, are they in the wrong seat? Are they in the wrong job?”
Joe Fairless: Okay, that’s helpful. So that’s data and KPI tracking. What’s the second thing?
Jordan Fleming: Automation. Automation is definitely one of the areas where the more time you can save across your organization, the more time you can get people out of the grunt work and back into the sales element, the better. So we see little things like automation of sequence follow-ups. Do you know how many people don’t both following up a lead more than once? It’s kind of frightening. The last three days I was with a bunch of investors, and we’ve sort of asked for a show of hands how many people follow up two or three times… And the higher up you go, of course, the hands start coming down; but the truth is that’s really bad, because a ton of times you’re not gonna win that lead until the sixth or seventh touch. But if you’re not prepared to make those touches, or more importantly, if you don’t have a system that is making sure you do those touches, then you’re probably getting rid of 40% of your potential opportunity, your potential buy.
Joe Fairless: Where do you get that 40% stat from?
Jordan Fleming: From the guys we talked about in this room, the last three days. This was purely just with investors, and these were pretty good guys. We were getting an astonishing amount of understanding around how important the actual follow-up sequences are, and how few people are doing them in the way they should be. And follow-up sequences, some of which can be automated if you use a good system – drip an SMS out there, dripping an e-mail out there, checking in, checking in… Making sure there’s a follow-up. How many times do people assume because it’s under offer from someone else, “Oh, I guess I don’t have to follow that up again.” Well, deals don’t always go through… So being able to make sure you’ve got that follow-up sequence there, so that you’re not letting anything slip – that has been seen, from our client base certainly, as an enormously important part of it.
Joe Fairless: And the third thing to help us take our business to the next level?
Jordan Fleming: Speed of sales. The communication I touched on with the reviewing calls, and of course, I think that’s a really important thing to do that not enough people do. They record the calls, but they’re not actually reviewing them from a quality point of view and for training.
The second part of that is speed. You need a system that allows you to blast through as many leads as possible. Now, whether through an auto-dialer… Our system’s got a four-line auto-dialer, so you can do four calls at once, and hopefully make four times the sales, but even just having a system where you can very quickly go through a series of leads and make those communication calls. The faster you can make calls, the faster you can get guys working those leads, the less they go stale and the more chance you have of hitting them when you have a chance of.
Communication management and the speed of communication is one area where a good system, regardless of what it is, should be really enhancing it, and can really help increase the sales.
Joe Fairless: This is a good segue into your Smartphone phone system. What is that exactly?
Jordan Fleming: Smartphone is a system we launched about a year and a half ago. It’s a VoIP phone system which integrates into Podio, the platform we build on, allowing us to control SMS inbound and outbound, and phone calls. That means that, of course, any time someone calls, if they’re not in the database, they get in the database quick. We can then track every single communication element – a text message, a phone call, inbound or outbound – against there, so we can see and track all those communications our team is doing… But we can also, of course, automate that.
Then the flip side of just a normal transactional is where you’re using something like an auto-dialer. Obviously, I’m sure the guys that are listening have used auto-dialers, we’ve seen them before, but an auto-dialer is an amazing way of blasting through 1,000-2,000 leads. A four-line auto-dialer, what it does is basically it queues up four numbers at once; whoever picks up first gets the call. And the moment you hang up, it starts dialing again. So you’re minimizing that time between calls and maximizing the time your guys are actually speaking to people.
Joe Fairless: Wow. For the people who pick up a second after…
Jordan Fleming: [laughs]
Joe Fairless: You thought about this [unintelligible [00:12:41].29]
Jordan Fleming: Yeah. Well, the answer is — and this is a bit sneaky… Number one, obviously you’ve gotta make sure auto-dialer is FCC-compliant; so if they’ve got a Do Not Call list, or they ask you to take them off the list, then our system takes them off the list and you should make sure that. But for the people who pick up that second later, we’ve got something that’s called a call-back recording that you put in. And I kid you not, that’s usually you going “Oh–yeah–hey–hello–so–I can’t hear–I’ll call you right back.” It’s a bit sneaky, but it is a way of making sure that — then the auto-dialer puts them in to Dial Next.
Joe Fairless: That is ridiculous… [laughter]
Jordan Fleming: You know, it works. You’ve also got voicemail drop, so that if you get to voicemail, you’re just dropping them a voicemail automatically, as opposed to having to leave one.
Joe Fairless: If someone drops you a voicemail automatically, how do you remove them from being able to do that again? Because I get that every now and then, and I wanna stop having them call me.
Jordan Fleming: Well, there are programs that you can get, Do Not Call… When we get a request for Do Not Call, the only way we can deal with that in our system is if you’re on a call with someone and they say “Please don’t call again.” The Do Not Call in our system then basically stops anyone in your entire organization from calling them again. It won’t make the call. And that’s important.
Joe Fairless: Got it. What else that we haven’t talked about should we talk about, as it relates to helping investors set up things in their business to take them to the next level?
Jordan Fleming: I think absolutely critical is if you’re kind of at the starting end of this, what you don’t want is over-complication. There are lots of things out there, and your eyes can be bigger than your stomach… Because you can buy the biggest system in the world, but if you’re not using it, then you’re wasting your money and wasting your time.
I like to make sure that people are thinking very small – what are the things I need to start at? Maybe it’s just simply tracking my leads, actioning them quickly. Maybe I don’t have to bring in rehab yet; maybe I don’t have to bring in a lot of other things. By starting small and picking the one or two things that are gonna massively help you, you can then bring other bits in later, but you can get used to working in this system… Because a lot of the guys we find when they first start, they’re used to using Excel, and e-mail, and phones, and that’s it, and there’s a bit of a learning curve to get into a system which is actually kind of driving you. So it’s much best to start small, and then grow with time.
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing and get in touch with you?
Jordan Fleming: The website, wearegamechangers.com. Feel free to drop us a line in there. We’ve got lots of resources, we can send them, and some learning – we can send them too, as well.
Joe Fairless: Well, Jordan, thank you so much for being on the show. Three ways for real estate investors to take it to the next level – one is making sure we have the right data and KPI tracking; you talked about some important ones being the time to follow up on leads, and obviously tracking the finances, and then looking at what calls went well and what calls did not go well, so that you can apply those lessons learned.
Second is automation – tying back to the follow-ups, having an automated system to do follow-ups for you. I’m picturing the room when you’re asking “How many people follow up once/twice/three/four/five/six times?” and as hands keep going down and down, perhaps the people who still have their hands up on number seven, because it’s automated, are the ones who are making more money than the ones who put their hands down after number one… I would certainly bet money on that being the case.
And then lastly, speed of sales, and having some sort of system to help you with that. Really interesting stuff, Jordan. Thank you so much for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Jordan Fleming: Thanks very much.