JF1713: Real Estate Investor Builds AI Technology To Help With Marketing with Jason Roether
Jason and his team help investors with marketing. This was born out of a need of his own, and realized others had the same need. We’ll hear tips to improve our own marketing, we’ll also hear how a company like his can help optimize your marketing for you. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
Best Ever Tweet:
“I quickly built an algorithm, or a spreadsheet at that time” – Jason Roether
Jason Roether Real Estate Background:
- Runs an AI Technology company called Liberty AI
- His company has been doing marketing in the real estate industry for over 12 years
- Recently developed an AI software for investors that is patterned after the core technology used by Google and Facebook
- Based in Spokane, WA
- Say hi to him at https://libertyai.net/
- Best Ever Book: Think bigger
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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.
With us today, Jason Roether. How are you doing, Jason?
Jason Roether: I’m doing really well, thank you for having me on.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, my pleasure, and looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Jason – he runs an AI technology company called Liberty AI. His company has been doing marketing in the real estate industry for over 12 years. He recently developed an artificial intelligence software for investors that is patterned after the core technology used by Google and Facebook. Based in Spokane, Washington.
With that being said, Jason, will you give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Jason Roether: Okay, so I’ve got more of a salesy kind of a background, but also an analyst type background, because I had to be pushed into that spot. Basically, I started in the army, I went through the army, and went into cell phone towers. I did that for a number of years, and then I got into the car industry. The car sales was really great; I sold a bunch of cars among a lot of different [unintelligible [00:02:39].14] and they put me in the management really quickly, and had me start running dealerships, and that realm of things… And what I quickly realized is I didn’t know what I was doing in terms of advertising. I barely graduated from high school — I went right from high school to military, and I kind of just went from there, just kind of bust my butt to try to get going and make something happen, and kind of hustled my way through to just work for somebody doing cell phone towers, but own my own company. So I kind of had that go-getter atmosphere going for me.
Then I went into car sales, and I really had to dissect — they gave me $70,000/month for ad spends, and they said “Go spend this money and get us people to come in and sell our cars.” I had to figure out how to do that really quickly.
I ended up watching a movie in 2011, Moneyball. Did you ever watch the movie Moneyball?
Joe Fairless: I have. The Oakland Athletics?
Jason Roether: Yeah. Billy Beane, and all that… So that was kind of my a-ha moment. My a-ha moment was “Hey, there might be something more to these analytics than what I thought”, and I knew I had a way to get a little bit of ideas on analytics, basically through Google and Facebook. And what I did was I analyzed them. I just sat down and I said “What do all these things mean and what does it do?” and I quickly came up with an algorithm – or a spreadsheet back then; something that was handwritten – on trying to understand what cars were getting clicked on and how many times per day, and what that means to how quickly they sell, or how quickly they sell [unintelligible [00:04:17].19] or what the demand was and how I could tell even based on the clicks whether there was something wrong with that [unintelligible [00:04:23].09] or not.
With that being said, back at that time I joined forces with another guy who’s my partner. He’s been doing the real estate thing for a long time. He started cutting his teeth on the virtual tours and things like that, and more on the real estate side, but he was also avidly helping some investor people as well in that process.
Basically, we went on a journey to try to figure out how to use advanced analytics to not just sell cars, but to do a bunch of different other things. So we started analyzing the data, started just focusing our attention on looking at the clicks and those things, and basically what we learned is we could drop our ad budgets down from $70,000 to about $23,000. We were in a seven dealership group, and we were able to sell the most units per month at the highest gross profit margin… And we were the youngest dealership. I started when it was just raw land, so we had to build the whole dealership from scratch. We were the youngest and we were able to do better than the guys that had been there for years and years.
Joe Fairless: That’s impressive.
Jason Roether: So with that being said, we started going in the furniture route, and we started doing marketing for some furniture stores, and we got them to grow pretty large using our data and what we’d come to understand using the analytics and everything… And then we thought “Oh, we could sell these [unintelligible [00:05:46].23] mattresses using some similar analytics”, and what we did was we kind of scratched the surface on some AI stuff with that thing… And we really thought “Oh man, this is it. This is coming. This is new, this is fresh”, so we started beating down basically all of the doors in big data. We got the door slammed in our face quite a few times, but we were blessed enough to have somebody open up the door cracked and say “Hey, you can come in for a minute. All we have available in development on that low of a scale for an end user is basically real estate.” My partner suddenly said “Got it, I’ll take it.” That’s better than mattresses anyway, because the profit margin is so much better there.
So we’ve been about a year and a half in development, and what we have is we’ve got 200 million adult Americans’ data, and we’ve got AI software that analyzes 25 billion data points per day.
That’s where we’re at, and we’ve done some predictive modeling for the last year and a half to determine motivated sellers. That’s kind of a niche we wanna just go into; we really find that investors are forward-thinking. This is basically a different way of doing things, and you have to quickly adapt in this growing age of technology [unintelligible [00:07:05].05] open doors and everybody else is kind of coming in… We need an offensive weapon to give to our investors and we really think that this is that.
Joe Fairless: Is that the main value proposition, finding motivated sellers?
Jason Roether: That’s what we’re really focusing on. We’ve got some modeling for investors, we’ve got some modeling for a realtor, and a mortgage person. That’s where we first started – on mortgage and realtors, but we quickly came to realize that our target market for this forward product is more the investor side of things, because that’s who seems to be adopting it the best.
Joe Fairless: How is what you’re doing different from other services that provide motivated sellers?
Jason Roether: We’ve got a vast database. Let me just tell you this – basically, other investors and people like that are using different places to do that, so what we can do even, if you love that place and you love that company you’re with and everything else, you’re getting good web traffic, we can resolve the identity of 50% of all of your web traffic… Meaning we can get their names, addresses, phone numbers, anything else. We’ve got tons and tons of data on every single person.
Joe Fairless: So you’ve got all this data – how do you determine from a business standpoint how to make sense of it and what’s relevant and what’s not.
Jason Roether: We’ve got a 12-point predictive modeling, step one being “Hey, I’m just thinking about selling my house”, to step 12 being “I’ve just either lost it, or I’ve sold it to an investor.” And we go through because we’ve seen thousands of transactions that have taken place like this, and we get to about a seven or an eight out of the twelve, and then they come into our list of motivated sellers in your area. Basically, this person’s warm. They’re on some divorce, or the probate list, or whatever. This is an actual person, it’s searching in real-time because we’re checking 25 billion data points every single day, so we know their keywords, we know the content consumption, we know their response to campaigns and everything like that… So we’re looking at them in real time and stacking them up against the modeling to see where they’re at in the process, so we can go directly to them. We can send them a direct mail right as soon as they enter onto our list. We can do e-mails, we can do Facebook, we can do Google, we can do Twitter, Instagram, anything like that.
Joe Fairless: What are some challenges that you’ve come across building this type of platform?
Jason Roether: One of the challenges that we’ve come across are just basically learning the behavior. We’ve spent about the last year and a half learning the behavior of the prospects, so just trying to understand and feel that out. Obviously, our biggest hurdle is going to be that our software is learning, it’s a self-learning deal, so it’s only as smart as what you tell it to learn. If we’re not giving it enough data in the beginning to tell us “Go and look for this, then it takes a little bit longer to get to full optimization. Other than that, it’s a pretty smooth situation.
We also have an automated follow-up system that works with it, so when in-bound lead comes in and it shoots some sequence of text, voicemail drops and e-mails. We’ve got about a 60% response rate from that.
Joe Fairless: Based on your experience being in the industry, what is your best real estate investing advice ever for investors?
Jason Roether: My deal is I don’t think that it’s wise to be complacent right now, in doing what’s always worked in the past. It’s time to think of innovative ways. Even if you can’t afford to work with me, there’s a lot of other ways out there that you can be innovative, like I was when I was running car dealerships, and I had to learn how to decrease my ad spend, and basically go ahead and really be resourceful. To be a good net profit situation is to look at the tools you have in front of you and just maximize them. If you’ve got Google Analytics and you’re getting some good web traffic – well, how can you optimize that? Play around with it and see.
If you’ve got Facebook, on their reporting tools that they have, if you could go on their Insights and you can tweak your message a little bit and maybe get a better response rate… Just really don’t get complacent and thinking “Oh, I’ve put this on auto-pilot and it’s just gonna keep giving me the same thing.”
I was at a conference and I heard Gary V. talk about how we’re always on autopilot. We have offence. And really right now with the way that technology is going, you really have to be on the offensive posture to be able to grow your business and not lose market share to the automated places like [unintelligible [00:11:51].04] and things like that.
Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Jason Roether: Hit me.
Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve recently read?
Jason Roether: I just recently read Think Bigger, but my favorite book is the Walt Disney autobiography.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made in business?
Jason Roether: A mistake I’ve made in business is I would say not listening to feedback well enough and thinking that I knew best.
Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever way you like to give back?
Jason Roether: I love to give back through relationships. Of course, I give to my church, and things like that, but invest in relationships and spend time and bring value to people that don’t necessarily bring value to me, but I wanna see them go into the next step of their lives and not be stuck where they’re at.
Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’ve got going on?
Jason Roether: You can go to our website, it’s LibertyAI.net. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get back to you. You can DM me on Instagram. We’re @liberty_ai on Instagram.
Joe Fairless: And how much is it to use your company’s services?
Jason Roether: It’s based on scale. If you’re a new investor and you’re just starting out, we can help you with some smaller things… But generally, we do a full-service ad lead generation program, so basically we [unintelligible [00:14:01].06] so it’s basically in 5,000 blocks, and depending on your area, you should get somewhere around 60 leads per month out of that.
Joe Fairless: And it’s single-family, not apartment communities, right?
Jason Roether: We can do both.
Joe Fairless: Thanks again, Jason, for sharing your advice. Thank you, sir, for your service as well in the army, and I appreciate you talking to us about your company and how it evolved from the sales data with a car dealership, to then applying that to real estate and finding motivated sellers. So I really appreciate your time. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Jason Roether: You as well. Thank you, Joe.