Guests: Grier Allen, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: January 5, 2020

Excerpt

Since 2006, BoomTown has been bringing together world-class lead generation, CRM software, real estate websites, and mobile app technology – but creating this industry-changing platform wasn’t an easy task, and it faced daunting initial competition.

Join BoomTown Co-Founder & CEO Grier Allen as he shares his experience as the Co-Founder & CEO of BoomTown, where he has worked relentlessly to build & optimize a seamless lead generation & conversion platform used by top agents & brokers to grow their real estate business in today’s online real estate economy.

BoomTown isn’t “just another” agent website company – it’s a major industry leader in real estate technology. It was recognized on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and its software used by 25% of the Real Trends top 500 teams and current partners include BombBomb, Mojo Dialer, RPR, and Bandwidth.

In 2018, Grier was named to The Swanepoel Power 200 list for the second time, ranking #132 and #16 in the Technology Executives category – highlighting his presence as a key driver and influencer making the big changes in the real estate industry.

In this exclusive interview, you’ll find out what drives him and where his vision for real estate technology will take us in the future.

Transcript

00:00:07:12 – 00:00:30:24
Daniel Ramsey
What’s up, everybody? Daniel Ramsey here from my out desk. I’m really excited because I got my good friend Greer Allen from Boomtown. Now, guys, you know, I’m a broker. You know, we run the largest real estate virtual assistant company. And back in the day, I had a boomtown platform. I grew on Greer’s platform, our man in the real estate space.

00:00:30:24 – 00:00:40:07
Daniel Ramsey
So I had the opportunity. All I had agents going around and and so this is like mind blowing. I’m super excited. Greer Thanks for joining us today.

00:00:41:01 – 00:00:43:11
Grier Allen
Daniel Thank you so much for having me. Man. Excited to be here.

00:00:43:24 – 00:01:00:15
Daniel Ramsey
You know it’s crazy is today we’re going to I mean, look, if you’re listening right now, I’d love you to just tell Greer where you’re from. We’ve got a lot of people live, a lot of people in the webinar. Just go ahead, drop your name in there. Say, tell us where you are in the country, because Greer has.

00:01:00:15 – 00:01:03:24
Daniel Ramsey
Well, you guys like us, you’ve got clients all over the world, right?

00:01:04:07 – 00:01:04:24
Grier Allen
We do.

00:01:04:24 – 00:01:25:02
Daniel Ramsey
We do. And what? So we’re going to get into your story real quick. But today, if you’re here, we’re going to talk Internet leads. We’re going to talk building teams, we’re going to talk technology. We’re going to talk about where this is crazy industry is going because you kind of have a view into that. And yeah, I’m super excited.

00:01:25:02 – 00:01:34:16
Daniel Ramsey
Let’s start though. Greer Like how did you get started and how did you build Boomtown? Like the beginning, the baby story, the origin story? Like how did that go?

00:01:35:10 – 00:01:58:04
Grier Allen
Sure. Yeah. I mean, I was kind of a baby when I when I got started in this space. So I’ve never actually sold real estate myself. But my dad and my brother have both been in the industry for, for, you know, for decades. Yeah. So, so I actually did, I went to Clemson University, go Tigers number one in the nation, but we were.

00:01:58:09 – 00:01:59:15
Daniel Ramsey
Number one for what.

00:02:00:15 – 00:02:04:17
Grier Allen
College football baby. That’s what we live and braid down here in the southeast.

00:02:04:20 – 00:02:06:03
Daniel Ramsey
I gotcha. Okay.

00:02:06:24 – 00:02:38:06
Grier Allen
So anyway, I graduated with a computer science degree. So. So, so when I got out of school, I immediately started working for the brokers where my dad was selling real estate and working up in the marketing department. All the advertising back in oh two was mainly done on through newspaper stuff. And so I worked a lot on their corporate intranet, you know, helping them to, you know, to to really process those ads into the newspaper more efficiently and effectively.

00:02:38:06 – 00:03:14:07
Grier Allen
So so that was kind of the early days of, of digitizing the marketing experience in real estate. So, so, you know, what did that for a couple of years start a digital advertising company following that for a couple of years and then and the sixth decided that I really wanted to focus back in on real estate. This is an industry that I’m incredibly passionate about and I spent about a year really researching the industry and trying to understand where the pain points were for my brother, my dad, trying to figure out where those panes were and in about a year into that landed on the idea of yeah.

00:03:14:20 – 00:03:28:04
Daniel Ramsey
Nice. How did I like were you like having a drink with friends? And you’re like, I’m going to do boom. Like, how did that actually like how did boom the name, first of all, boom town. You know, I’m thinking I’m thinking, you know, Reno, Nevada. Right.

00:03:28:15 – 00:03:29:09
Grier Allen
Right, right.

00:03:29:17 – 00:03:41:17
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah. Because I’m I’m near Tahoe, so that’s what I’m thinking. But how did you land on? I’m going to build a tech platform to generate leads for real estate people and help teams grow and expand. Like, how did you get to that space?

00:03:42:15 – 00:04:03:17
Grier Allen
Yeah, it wasn’t. It was it was sort of a zig zag line. So so when we started our research, we were working with mainly larger brokers and, and back in oh six, you got to kind of take it back in context of what the times were like back in oh six. There was there was a tremendous amount of marketing that these companies were doing.

00:04:03:24 – 00:04:32:16
Grier Allen
Yeah, mostly offline at that time. And but they were all driving. They knew that the Internet was going to play a major, major role in the industry going forward. Right. So they had billboards everywhere and they were all driving those billboards back to their websites. They weren’t really investing into the website itself. And the biggest pain point that we saw was once a consumer came in and inquired about a property for sale and wanted to go see that property, it just fell on the floor.

00:04:32:16 – 00:04:54:21
Grier Allen
You know, they had their relocation department with one individual, maybe two in that department, and they could barely handle the workload of the relocation business that they were doing, much less all these Internet leads and these buyers that were that were actually looking to buy homes. So so we found some research that was out there. Over 50% of leads never responded to.

00:04:55:22 – 00:05:01:02
Grier Allen
You know, quite frankly, I don’t think it got much better than that.

00:05:01:02 – 00:05:02:05
Daniel Ramsey
You know.

00:05:02:22 – 00:05:28:11
Grier Allen
And and although we’ve been trying trying very hard to help the industry with that, but that’s where we started is is looking at this problem of, you know, hey, these bigger brokers, they don’t have they don’t have the, you know, the staffing or the, you know, the infrastructure to be able to handle these inquiries coming in. And so we originally started down that path when I started talking to my brother, who is starting his brokerage at the time.

00:05:28:20 – 00:05:50:19
Grier Allen
Yeah, you know, there was there was a key moment of time where we said, okay, you know, I was asking my brother, where are you spending your marketing dollars? Yeah. And he said, well, I just signed up for, you know, in a quarter page advertisement in the magazine, which is a pretty well read magazine across the southeast. And in the east in general.

00:05:51:03 – 00:06:19:23
Grier Allen
But basically, you know, he had no way of tracking the relative from that. He has been in 1500 dollars a month. And we realized that, you know, not only did agents and teams and brokers need to, you know, to have, you know, a system or service or technology that helped them to, you know, to manage the leads. But also these smaller entities, they needed a system to be able to to drive those leads and create a great experience for the consumer.

00:06:19:23 – 00:06:38:04
Grier Allen
When they landed on your Web site search, allowing them to learn more about what differentiates you as an agent or a team or a brokerage. Yeah, able to drive leads and drive engagement back to that website. And so that’s really where the whole picture came into view. Yeah. Yeah. And we just started hammered out and building.

00:06:38:18 – 00:07:00:02
Daniel Ramsey
You know, it’s interesting, dude, you had me thinking because we I live in a nice area of Sacramento, California, and there’s this one agent and he constantly puts his face on a billboard or a seat or whatever. And I always think, man, there’s no value prop there. There’s no call to action there. There’s no brand, really, other than this guy with his hand.

00:07:00:02 – 00:07:04:12
Daniel Ramsey
Right? Right. Like this. Oh, my goodness, man. What are you doing?

00:07:05:18 – 00:07:24:21
Grier Allen
Yeah, there’s a lot of. There’s a lot of dollars that are wasted in where we focused. Our energy was just on, you know, how do we how do we squeeze as much value out of the marketing spend that that these that these companies or agents have and I love it and drive as many opportunities for them as possible.

00:07:25:05 – 00:07:46:23
Daniel Ramsey
Well, so we’ve got Carlos from Florida. What’s up, man? Thanks for joining us. I really appreciate it. Yeah. And hey, guys, if you’re here, just drop where you’re where you’re from and your name and just say hello to Greer. He’s he’s kind of a big deal, man. You have grown and scaled a really, really big real estate kind of bender program.

00:07:46:23 – 00:08:09:21
Daniel Ramsey
So we’re going to get into, like, what what the industry is doing, why why you did that and all the kind of intricacies of really drive. Because here’s the thing your clients are clients the largest teams use boomtown in this in this industry the guys that are making millions of dollars and scaled businesses. So I really, really appreciate having your brain on this.

00:08:10:07 – 00:08:25:12
Daniel Ramsey
Let’s talk through so we understand why you started the business, but let’s talk through what are some of the things or lessons that you’ve learned that you wish your clients would embrace or you wish the general real estate market would just jump on to and glom onto.

00:08:26:04 – 00:08:44:07
Grier Allen
You know, something, something that you just mentioned, Daniel, is, you know, kind of thinking about this and sort of how we’ve scaled over the years and how we’ve grown a great business. And and and, you know, we’re very fortunate, like you said. I mean, we work with some of the top real estate teams and brokers in the country.

00:08:44:18 – 00:09:09:24
Grier Allen
And, you know, I was actually reading the bio you had on there for the for the for the webinar today. And yeah, it said 26% of the top, you know, top real trends 250 are using Boomtown. And now we’ve been able to bring that number up to 40%. So, wow, 40% of the top 250 real trends. Wall Street Journal agent teams are using our product and all of that.

00:09:10:06 – 00:09:30:22
Grier Allen
And, you know, a lot of them started with us when they were just getting into the industry and are just scale business from there. And they’re selling 500,000 homes a year. Yeah, but, but you know, the great thing from my perspective with that is we stay very close to our customers and we, you know, we listen as much as we as we can and and, you know, quite frankly, learn a lot.

00:09:30:22 – 00:09:55:01
Grier Allen
And, you know, this entrepreneurial journey for me has been alongside many of the folks that we have partnered with in the industry and those clients that we’ve been able to serve. And so the one consistent thing I see is, is in success in this industry is is focused and an execution. And a lot of that comes from from putting the right team around you.

00:09:55:01 – 00:10:18:24
Grier Allen
And I think, you know, if you ask me, you know, what’s been the secret to our success or what have I done differently over the years and where my mind had to shift in, surrounding myself with the right people? I’m sure you can attest to that, too, Daniel. It’s it’s it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people and having clarity of purpose and mission and, and, and just executing at a very high level.

00:10:19:11 – 00:10:42:07
Daniel Ramsey
We’re going to break that down. But I love this quote. I was I was reading a book and I forget which one. But the guy said, the difference between a billionaire and a millionaire and the average person is a billionaire buys a sports franchise and he doesn’t think, how am I going to run it? He thinks, who do I need on my team so that I can win the thing, right?

00:10:42:12 – 00:11:01:08
Daniel Ramsey
Like no billionaire is dumb enough to think he can run or she can run an actual sports team. And I think that’s the mentality that you and I have embraced. You surround yourself with really great people and then you build and scale. And you know, we’ve got a new book that we just put out. It’s called Scaling Your Business with Virtual Professionals.

00:11:01:08 – 00:11:24:09
Daniel Ramsey
I want to give everybody a chance to kind of check it out. So if you text SVP, so scale with virtual professionals, SVP 231996, you get a copy of our book and, and it focuses squarely on how to make the climb to $1,000,000 in revenue. As a real estate person. And who do you need on your team? I mean, it’s it’s nuts because this process isn’t that hard.

00:11:24:14 – 00:11:45:14
Daniel Ramsey
And yet as real estate broker and I got stuck in this, you remember when we first met, I was on my honeymoon working at midnight, closing real estate deals. You remember that story? Yes, I do. And so and I’ve spoke on your stage before talking about that. And, you know, as real estate people, we’re infected with the disease.

00:11:45:14 – 00:11:46:17
Daniel Ramsey
Like I got to do it.

00:11:47:11 – 00:12:13:24
Grier Allen
You know? Absolutely. No, I mean I mean, I can I can vividly remember the time when we were scaling Boomtown where, you know, I was I was, you know, intimately involved in in almost every aspect in the business and and and, you know, kind of reaching that point of frustration and and knew I had to break through a ceiling and, you know, really bring on the right people and and trusting them and holding them accountable like that was the step.

00:12:13:24 – 00:12:37:22
Grier Allen
That was the big step, the inflection point for Boomtown. And we see it with a lot of our customers as well. And and like you said, day, I mean, you’ve built an incredible business yourself off of helping agents to do that. You know, there’s a lot that goes into, you know, hiring and finding the right talent and and you guys do a fantastic job of that for your for your customers to help them find those resources.

00:12:38:07 – 00:12:55:11
Daniel Ramsey
What and I appreciate that, man. And we’ve been we’ve been buds for a long time. I mean, I had a challenge in my business and I called Gary. I’m like, hey, what do you think? And he’s like, Hey, grab this book. And I read the book and I was like, I got it now. Yeah, right. So you’ve been super helpful to us, a great supporter, and vice versa.

00:12:56:01 – 00:13:15:14
Daniel Ramsey
What let’s go back to that mindset. How did you swap at Boomtown going from I need all my fingers in the leverage jar and control everything and then you swap to I want to scale this business so I need to hire the right people fairly compensate them and get out of their way and let them do their job.

00:13:15:14 – 00:13:24:01
Daniel Ramsey
Like let’s talk about that mindset real quick that you enacted. How did it happen? What did it feel like and how were you scared to do it?

00:13:24:12 – 00:13:48:03
Grier Allen
Absolutely. No, I think I think I think there was a lot of fear and concern and, you know, you know, as an entrepreneur, as somebody that has a vision that they want to bring to life. Yeah, you have you have very you have you have this idea in your head of of what you want it to look like and and feel like and you what you want the customers experience to be like.

00:13:48:12 – 00:14:16:18
Grier Allen
And, and, you know, until you really find those like minded people that think like you and, and and want to provide that incredible level of service for your customers. I mean, that’s what you really have to do. And so, you know, you talked about it a little bit, but it’s specifically around that that transition point from what to who and when you when you can mentally make that transition, which is easy to say.

00:14:16:24 – 00:14:44:05
Grier Allen
It’s harder to actually have the mindset to actually go and do that, that that’s where you really that’s where you really make a difference in where you break through a ceiling in your business. And there’s actually a book that I’ll plug here. It’s called Who to Book the Guys at G.H. Smart. I can’t remember who the actual author is, but Smart is an organization that that helps you really to think through, you know, what you’re looking for and hire.

00:14:44:13 – 00:15:01:08
Grier Allen
And, you know, we’ve made great hires and we’ve made mistakes in the past. And you can’t be afraid of of making those mistakes. But and you’re never going to bat a thousand with people, you know, that’s another thing that I’ve learned is you will never bat a thousand. But but when you get the right person, you know it.

00:15:01:08 – 00:15:24:05
Grier Allen
And and and it makes just a massive impact. Not only your business, but also your personal life. You know, you know, once you have that trust in that person. But Jake Smart, the book, who actually helps you to to really take the time to, you know, to really think about, you know, what are the three most important things that I want this person to be able to perform?

00:15:24:15 – 00:15:36:10
Grier Allen
And you can score each one of the candidates that you talk to on each one of those on each one of those different objectives. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s how you really start to hone in your skills in making better decisions on hiring.

00:15:36:21 – 00:16:01:00
Daniel Ramsey
I love that. I love that. Well, let’s dove into like the real estate world. You’re a tech guy, obviously a leader in the real estate tech. And and what’s weird about this time in our history is all the tech companies want to be real estate companies. All the real estate companies want to be tech companies. And here you are, you know, almost 15 years of experience and you’re like, hey, guys, I just want to sit in the middle and help everyone win, right?

00:16:01:12 – 00:16:15:08
Daniel Ramsey
So where do you see the industry like going and what should agents be embracing right now? Agents, brokerages, large teams. What’s really important about this kind of period of the real estate tech?

00:16:15:09 – 00:16:47:02
Grier Allen
Absolutely. Now, I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this. And and it’s it’s a it’s a time in the industry where where there is there are all these new ideas and and solutions. And really, a lot of it is geared towards, you know, the consumer, you know, and focusing on, you know, as a consumer, you know, providing more choice and more optionality for me to transact in real estate and how to make that a smoother transaction.

00:16:47:02 – 00:17:02:20
Grier Allen
And you’re going through the traditional process now. Yep. Literally billions of dollars being spent in in in both in equity and in debt. And I think there’s going to be winners and there’s going to be some big losers in this in this endeavor. Okay.

00:17:02:22 – 00:17:08:03
Daniel Ramsey
Who’s going to win? Who’s going to win? Like get us. Get us. You know, who’s going to win in this space right now?

00:17:08:14 – 00:17:29:10
Grier Allen
You know, I mean, it’s you know, who is going to win. I think I think it’s going to be the ones that realized that that that agents are going to main remain at the center of the transaction in the majority of cases because, you know, even even if you look at eBay or if you look at I buyer is on the total opposite spectrum than the traditional sale process.

00:17:29:11 – 00:17:52:20
Grier Allen
Right. You know what, these companies that are investing heavily into the AI buyer phenomenon like Zillow in open door are realizing that they need to partner with the industry. And so so you know, the the agent is playing a part in in all of those transactions as Zillow is rolling out their Zillow homes in new markets, they’re partnering with the top agents in those particular markets.

00:17:53:02 – 00:18:21:14
Grier Allen
Yeah, that’s that that’s that’s something that you know, that, you know, when we, you know, our original thesis when starting this business was that agents were going to be, you know, at the center of the transaction for, you know, for as long as we could see out. And and that’s really playing out even with these new models. And so so, you know, I can’t really name a specific name there, but but, you know, I think I think that there’s that’s that’s going to be the mentality of the of the companies that will win this.

00:18:21:19 – 00:18:47:02
Grier Allen
And for those that are in the traditional side of things, you’ve got to embrace it. So, you know, we go back I go back to the, you know, the top 250 and those 40% that we work with, you know, they are looking at these changes in the industry as opportunity. Most of the folks in this industry are looking at, looking at the AI buyer and all these different, newfangled ways of buying and selling your home as a competitive threat.

00:18:47:08 – 00:19:13:07
Grier Allen
And it’s all about mindset, you know, it’s always about mindset. And if if you have the mindset that you can see new opportunity in the ways that things are going to be in the future. I think those are the folks that are going to win that are coming from the industry side, from the traditional way of doing things, are the ones that are going to evolve and embrace that change and find the acres of diamonds and this new and the new way of doing business in real estate.

00:19:13:16 – 00:19:34:13
Daniel Ramsey
You know, it’s while as we have a couple of those I buyer and Zillow premier agents who are like servicing these large tech platforms as clients because what’s really happening in our industry right now is there’s just equity flowing in, meaning cash and capital is flowing in like it’s never flown in before and it’s squarely on the eyeball of the consumer.

00:19:34:13 – 00:19:53:13
Daniel Ramsey
How can we serve the consumer? What do they want? And I think that’s a new revelation for us real estate brokers, because it was like we were the expert in our industry. Well, that’s not always that that’s not the value proposition that’s going to win in this new world. It’s like, how are you going to serve your clients and how are you going to be kind of engage with them through the process?

00:19:53:13 – 00:20:21:09
Daniel Ramsey
So it and, you know, real estate people, the smart ones are going to win. I mean, that’s just the reality of it. So I love I agree 100%. Let’s talk how many leads are sold every year for real in the real estate space? This is kind of one of those I hear different numbers stats from stage and and like I’m just kind of curious like how many leads come through and like what, you know, a challenge that we all have.

00:20:21:09 – 00:20:41:04
Daniel Ramsey
And if you’re here listening, you know, getting our agents to respond to leads, getting our agents to work leads, getting our agents to call leads are the most important thing is speed. The lead, like how quick? Yeah. And you know this better than anybody. So I’m going to stop talking. You talk to us about what what you’ve learned in the industry.

00:20:41:12 – 00:21:01:05
Grier Allen
So. So I can’t give you the answer to how many leads are generated in the industry. Yeah, I can. I can, I can allude to some of the numbers that that we have coming through. Okay. Boomtown customers, we see, you know, roughly 75 million consumers a year visit, visit our clients websites.

00:21:01:14 – 00:21:01:17
Daniel Ramsey
Look.

00:21:01:19 – 00:21:08:17
Grier Allen
75 million. So obviously way more than any number of transactions that are happening on an annual basis.

00:21:08:24 – 00:21:12:22
Daniel Ramsey
Because there’s about only 500 or 5 million transactions annually.

00:21:12:24 – 00:21:39:10
Grier Allen
So I five and a half million is looking at so 1111 million sites. So so, you know, we’re seeing, you know, roughly 700,000 leads being generated through our platform. So so there there is a lot that goes into in a lot a lot that we’ve invested into to help, whether it’s through technology and in bringing in data from third parties.

00:21:39:11 – 00:21:46:04
Grier Allen
Yeah, this is is, you know, to to win in this industry, data is going to have to be a key, key piece of that.

00:21:46:12 – 00:21:51:07
Daniel Ramsey
What does that mean, though? Greer I’m not I’m not a tech guy. I don’t understand what does data mean?

00:21:51:18 – 00:22:10:09
Grier Allen
You know, we’re not when I say data, you know, when you have a lead that comes in to boom, for example, you know, there’s there’s a certain amount of information that could that consumer is going to give you. There’s a certain amount of information that you can derive from what that consumer is doing on your website and your mobile app.

00:22:10:09 – 00:22:44:01
Grier Allen
And the other with the email is, are they are they going to your agent profile page and reading your bio? You know, those are all signals. So there’s there’s Haverhill data. There’s the data that they give you. But then there’s also third party data that you can bring in from other services that helps to validate those leads. So understanding where that person currently lives, where they’re buying or they rent or the owner they rent, there’s all kinds of different third party data sources that that we use at Boomtown to be able to enhance the leads and enhance the value of those leads.

00:22:45:02 – 00:23:14:15
Grier Allen
You know, but again, you know, you have so many leads coming through that what we’ve learned is that, you know, you know, agents are busy. You know, agents agents are you know, they’re their most productive activities are working belly to belly face to face with their current customers. And to ask an agent to, you know, to follow up within 2 minutes that speed the lead we’re talking about this so critical and important to getting return on investment you need out of online lead generation.

00:23:14:24 – 00:23:38:04
Grier Allen
It’s nearly impossible for them to do that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And one of the areas where we’re investing heavily right now, we made an acquisition this past year of a company called Real Contact and Real Contact provides those services of engaging those leads at the top of the funnel, whether it’s through SMS or through calling.

00:23:38:13 – 00:24:00:02
Grier Allen
You know, we’re doing all of that to bring those leads down the funnel for agents so that they’re only working with ready buyers. Yeah. So so you know this game well to Daniel and and it’s a big need in you know that’s why we’re evolving our our strategy and we’ve always been technology plus services in terms of lead generation.

00:24:00:02 – 00:24:21:21
Grier Allen
We’ve always provided those services to our customers. But but now we’re starting to think about the services side of, of, of lead engagement and lead qualification action because, you know, real estate agents got into this business to be belly to belly. And that’s what they’re good at. You know, they you typically got into some industry because you’re good at it and that’s what they’re good at.

00:24:22:17 – 00:24:45:02
Grier Allen
It’s pulling teeth, trying to get agents to prospect into and to follow up with their leads that are coming in that may or may not be ready to buy. And so it’s a mix of technology and service that we feel is is the right answer. And we have a lot of data to back that up. And so so that’s that’s the direction we think is the future for Boomtown.

00:24:45:15 – 00:25:04:14
Grier Allen
Everything we do, Daniel, is, is, is around our one mission. And that mission is to make real estate agents successful. Yeah, it’s pretty damn simple, you know? Yeah. And so. So we’re always looking out, whatever we can do to make real estate agents more successful. That’s. That’s the direction we’re going to take this business.

00:25:04:21 – 00:25:23:01
Daniel Ramsey
One, what’s what’s wild is and I don’t even know if I’ve told you this, but, you know, you and I got in a relationship because we were helping solve and an issue for agents like they just weren’t calling their lead. So we’d hire a virtual assistant and we put them on your platform. And what I love, I love the opportunity wall.

00:25:23:05 – 00:25:54:07
Daniel Ramsey
I love being able to see all the things that they’ve opened. The platform works and, and we were hired in 2013 and this is why you made that acquisition in 2013. Zillow actually hired my out. Yes, we did a 50 market test for the premier and we got a 36% appointment rate, meaning our virtual assistants just, you know, we use Salesforce and the leads came in to Salesforce and then we had a dialer and we had five virtual assistants for 50 different markets.

00:25:54:14 – 00:26:19:23
Daniel Ramsey
And what’s crazy is we, we connected 36%. It was our average, our best month was 37%, but our average was 36% because we were just speed delete. In 30 seconds we were on the phone, hey, you’re on the platform, you’re looking for a house, you know? And so if you’re listening right now and you’ve got a lot of leads and you need some help, I definitely want you guys to text SVP 231996.

00:26:19:23 – 00:26:40:08
Daniel Ramsey
We’re going to give you a copy of the book. Plus, I know you’re busy. I know you’re not. You shouldn’t be doing all the paperwork anyways. Great. Right. Belly to belly on the clients. It’s. It’s crazy. I put on our Facebook page and you’ll love this. Like the success ratio of all different lead sources and referrals pass clients.

00:26:40:08 – 00:27:01:13
Daniel Ramsey
Those are the 10 to 1, the 3 to 2 ratios. You start thinking about, you know, all the other lead sources and it gets to 25 and 50 to 1. So you want to work your sphere, the people who know you, it’s where 70% of the business comes from. And let us do everything else. Or Greer’s the new company that you just you just purchased, man.

00:27:01:13 – 00:27:05:02
Daniel Ramsey
I love that you did that. That’s where it’s all going now.

00:27:05:02 – 00:27:36:13
Grier Allen
It’s. It is. And and you know and and you know day I know that y’all, you know, y’all have a suite of services that that, you know, we’ll probably never get into because we’re, you know, we have to stay focused on what we do best. But but yeah, I mean, it’s it’s it’s about leverage. And it goes back to the exact conversation we were having earlier about who, you know, leveraging, finding the who and finding other people that can that can help leverage you and put you in a position to be doing what you’re best at every single day.

00:27:36:13 – 00:27:57:00
Daniel Ramsey
What are some of the I mean, we talked about speed to lead. And if you’re listening right now and you don’t have a measurement for when a lead comes into your office and Boomtown is a great platform because you can actually see how fast responses is happening. But speed to lead is very important. But what other metrics here for all of the real estate people that are listening?

00:27:57:12 – 00:28:12:03
Daniel Ramsey
Because you’re you’ve got a view in the 40% of the top teams. And these are guys who have 30, 40, 50 people on their team. They’re doing multiple, you know, millions of dollars. What are some of the things that you’ve seen that are like best practices?

00:28:12:12 – 00:28:38:10
Grier Allen
Absolutely. So so one of the other is we’ve invested pretty heavily over the past several years is is is on something we call the vitals dashboard. And so so what we did for the Vitals Dashboard is we basically took every single metric that we felt that we you know, we actually studied through the data in terms of, you know, who is the best return on investment from the leads that that are coming into the system.

00:28:38:10 – 00:28:59:02
Grier Allen
And yeah, and you’re right, it goes it goes well beyond just that just that initial speed to lead. You know, we you know, you can see exactly I’m actually looking right now at a screen of one of our clients that, you know, that’s showing their vitals score. The score represents, you know, how they’re doing it, all these different metrics over time.

00:28:59:02 – 00:29:20:03
Grier Allen
But, you know, some of the metrics that that you need to watch, obviously your new leads in needs, they need to be responded to in a, you know, in a very timely fashion, you know, contacting them in that critical first 5 minutes, you know, leads, you know, come across registrations in our system. So there’s another type of lead this an inquiry.

00:29:20:22 – 00:29:47:10
Grier Allen
Those are even more important. You know, I mean, these are people that are raising their hand saying, hey, I want to go see this property or I want to, you know, start an offer on this home. And so that’s the other metric we have in there. Boomtown is masterful at bringing leads back to your website and reengaging with your consumer experience every year, reengaging with that experience, they’re getting your brand right in front of them every single day.

00:29:47:10 – 00:30:06:19
Grier Allen
And so, so making sure that you’re keeping track of those people that are reengaging with your website or any sort of digital experience that you have and keeping those at the top of your call list. That’s another very important thing. We recommend six calls per lead, at least. And so, again, you know this, why six?

00:30:07:05 – 00:30:07:24
Daniel Ramsey
Why six.

00:30:08:22 – 00:30:29:18
Grier Allen
Six? You know this. It’s been a while since since I you know, since we kind of, you know, put that put that put that in the sand. But but I think it was from from some studies that we had done in conjunction with some other folks, with some coaching organizations in the past that determined, you know, this is where the diminishing of returns, you know, comes into play.

00:30:29:18 – 00:30:51:23
Grier Allen
It’s after six. But, you know, but it’s, you know, still relevant to continue to contact them up to that six point. We want to make sure that they’re on marketing automation. We want to make sure that they’re getting you know, they’re getting valuable information on what’s happening in their market. If there’s a seller, we want to make sure that they’re leveraging our tools for elements of their buyers.

00:30:51:24 – 00:31:27:23
Grier Allen
Yet track of new listings and price reductions and sold that are happening in the market that they’re in. Yet this is what consumers find very valuable and don’t downplay that. It’s automatically just happening out of your system because the consumer really respects it and appreciates that insight that you’re given to them. So so it’s around and so around making sure that you’re setting up those follow ups with the folks that you have in your database, like with your sphere, like you mentioned earlier, but also, you know, really responding to those those new leads quickly responding enough times and keeping track of those leads.

00:31:28:01 – 00:31:31:09
Grier Allen
They’re constantly engaging with your watch, with your digital experience.

00:31:31:22 – 00:31:52:17
Daniel Ramsey
What some of the best practices in terms of digital like I know you guys kind of set up the whole branding the the the front facing consumer facing, you know, platform but what are some like blogs social how does that play in conjunction with what Boomtown does to really drive results and experience for a consumer?

00:31:53:05 – 00:32:14:13
Grier Allen
Absolutely. So so out of the gate, you know, just going back to, you know, my brother was spending 1500 dollars on a on a quarter page magazine ad. Most of what we have done to date, Daniel, is is really focused on lead generation marketing. But there’s more to marketing, obviously, than just the lead generation aspect of it all.

00:32:15:04 – 00:32:39:12
Grier Allen
And so so that’s when you get into your blogs and social media, you know, we have you know, we have something in beta right now with a few with, you know, probably, you know, a couple of handfuls of customers. It’s that’s really focusing on on expanding the breadth of what we do and allowing them to self-serve their digital advertising in other ways.

00:32:39:12 – 00:33:00:09
Grier Allen
So beyond lead generation, you want to be able to engage the people that you already have in your database, for example. Right. And in the way that we do that is through dynamic ads for real estate, through through Facebook and Instagram, which is going to show a carousel of properties using machine learning or artificial intelligence or whatever other buzzword you want to throw out there.

00:33:00:18 – 00:33:33:03
Grier Allen
But it’s going to it’s going to, you know, match listings that they haven’t seen or listings that they might have favored it and show them that directly on their Facebook wall. You know, real estate agents also need to keep sellers happy. And so so the other piece of this marketing central tool is to be able to promote their listings and also promote sold, you know, get your brand out there, let people know and target those people in the neighborhood that you know, that you’ve sold a house in their neighborhood and and you’re continuing to dominate the local real estate market in their area.

00:33:33:03 – 00:33:58:18
Grier Allen
So so so we’re expanding beyond that. You know, blogs, you know, we have some clients that that are really successful in blogging. It’s able to drive a lot of traffic to their website, but a lot of that can’t really just be measured in terms of metrics. You know, people are engaging with their content and you have content that’s that’s extremely valuable when people read that that sense of trust for your brand, just keeps going up.

00:33:58:18 – 00:34:17:22
Grier Allen
And, and, you know, that’s another area, Daniel, that I think that that, you know, that outsourcing to a virtual assistant could really help, you know, let’s be honest, the majority of agents aren’t going to sit down to write a blog post. It’s just not going to happen. I’d say 99% of our clients don’t, but it’s a real opportunity that they’re leaving on the table.

00:34:18:05 – 00:34:36:24
Daniel Ramsey
You know, what we do is we help clients do this by doing videos like, I’m not a writer. You might be a writer. I’m I’m just I’m not a writer. But, you know, I’ll I’ll from time to time grab my little trusty iPhone and throw a video together about what’s happening in the virtual assistant world or state world.

00:34:37:06 – 00:34:52:08
Daniel Ramsey
And then you can take that video like what we’re doing right now and create a pretty bad ass blog and then send that out to everybody in your database like that. And that’s really something that’s in an agent’s wheelhouse. It’s something that you can do.

00:34:52:11 – 00:35:12:17
Grier Allen
So there’s there’s a huge thing you touched on there and actually, it makes it so much easier to get those blog post written and outsourced through writing. But video, yeah, that’s a trend that we are seeing. You know, most of the successful agents, in fact, I, I can’t open my Facebook feed anymore and actually see any of my my local friends here in Charleston.

00:35:12:17 – 00:35:26:18
Grier Allen
It’s it’s nothing. But, you know, the top selling real estate agents across the country. And they understand the power of video and they’re leveraging it extensively. And and I love that idea about the blog post. That’s great.

00:35:26:18 – 00:35:47:09
Daniel Ramsey
What I’m another question you and I have gone through. I mean, there aren’t very many people that have played in our space as a vendor to the real estate agent and who are still around and successful and that, you know, are still ran by the founders like that. That is unusual. Usually somebody is getting out or they sell or it goes away.

00:35:47:18 – 00:36:06:17
Daniel Ramsey
I can’t tell you how many companies. Yeah, there’s a bunch of that that’s happened. Right. But so we’ve seen evolution of what the team looks like. But where I want to know, you know, there was a, you know, in the beginning all the buyer’s agents was on Boomtown platform and it was like agent, agent, agent and Issa’s came out.

00:36:06:17 – 00:36:34:09
Daniel Ramsey
Now OSA is now tech platforms are doing it in-house and now Zillow only does it with a warm transfer and like an op city just gets sold for $400 million to real product. I mean, like, like it’s all crazy. But here’s what I want to know. What should a team look like to effectively work the hundreds, if not thousands of leads you guys generate for teams every single month?

00:36:35:05 – 00:36:40:08
Daniel Ramsey
What is your suggestion about the right type of team and doesn’t have to be virtual, by the way?

00:36:41:01 – 00:37:06:15
Grier Allen
No, no, no. You know, I think that, you know, I see a lot of different I’ll see a lot of different models. Some some people still send their leads directly to their agents and and they’re very successful in doing that. But, you know, that calls for a high level of accountability. Yes. Your agents. Yeah. And you you know, there’s there’s folks that do that very, very well now.

00:37:06:15 – 00:37:30:06
Grier Allen
They’re they’re the top 1% of the 1%, you know, you know, so, you know, so the I’d say, you know, we kind of just take a you know, take a blanket, look at it. You know, what? What does a typical successful team look like? You know, I think that, you know, you’ve got you know, you’ve got different disciplines on that team.

00:37:30:07 – 00:37:54:02
Grier Allen
You know, you know, in the in the sense of the word for a real estate agent who’s belly to belly, that’s what they’re good at. That’s why they got into this business. Keep them doing that. That’s my recommendation. And everything you’re doing to generate leads and opportunities for those agents, you know, you’ve got your inside sales. It depends on what your what your buckets are in terms of what you’re, you know, what you’re doing.

00:37:54:02 – 00:38:20:08
Grier Allen
If you’re doing fits, burns and expired and you’re going to have outside sales, they’re going to tie up opportunities for, you know, for your you know, for your listing agents for that separation of concern. Also between buyer agent and listing agent is also an important one. And anything that’s administrative that’s happened in the background from transaction coordination, all of those services, we’re going to start to see a lot more of that being outsourced.

00:38:21:03 – 00:38:53:09
Grier Allen
You know, we don’t play in that space today at all. But but, you know, that’s that that I do not believe is a value add a value add thing that that an agent, you know, should be doing on their own at scale. You know, I think that that you know, it’s you know, when I think about, you know, the whole entire experience from end to end, there’s somebody out there that can do that way better than you, that that’s going to dot the I’s, cross the T’s because it’s rare to find somebody that that loves being face to face value value with a person.

00:38:53:09 – 00:38:58:23
Grier Allen
And and and also is just, you know, really focused on the attention to detail.

00:38:59:10 – 00:39:30:18
Daniel Ramsey
Yep. Yep. So I’m hearing is and I just want to kind of synthesize this have somebody dedicated to following up with leads and nurturing, right? You’re hunting. That’s probably likely a different person for the right as an expired and then still different is the people that take listing calls like if in the people who are focused on that so it really is a three person kind of thing to to serve a large team and really grow it.

00:39:30:18 – 00:39:31:09
Grier Allen
Absolutely.

00:39:32:03 – 00:39:50:06
Daniel Ramsey
And then keep your administrative staff out of the sales space. Yep. And and the top 1% of the 1% can just send direct leads to the buyers, but that usually just doesn’t freakin work, right? Yeah, actually, it works for us because then they call us and we help them.

00:39:50:06 – 00:40:17:05
Grier Allen
That’s right. That’s right. You know, if you look at the way that boomtown we I mean, for you know, I mean, it’s interesting because, you know, when I when I get together with these folks and we’re going to have our our boomtown closures retreat coming up in in October down at Kiawah Island here. And so so, you know, we oftentimes how we structure our sales organization and it’s very similar we have an outbound sales team who are calling down lists.

00:40:17:16 – 00:40:41:01
Grier Allen
We have an informal team who’s who’s handling inbound inquiries that marketing is ginning up for them. Yeah. And then we have our, our sales reps who are, you know, who are taking it from, you know, from know needs assessment, figuring out what the right product is for them and, and ultimately closing the deal. And then at that point, we hand it off to our customer success team.

00:40:41:01 – 00:41:01:17
Grier Allen
And that’s, that’s where we really differentiate ourself is through specialization. And in having those customer success people be very focused on how do we make our customer success, how do we make real estate agents successful, you know, and so so it’s a it’s a team effort. And and I think what you’re seeing is the evolution of the real estate industry into these teams.

00:41:01:18 – 00:41:31:21
Grier Allen
And they’re growing and starting to take more and more market share away from the individual agents that that don’t to scale. And now now individual agents can scale themselves and leverage themselves by doing this, you know, outsourcing through either my desk or or boomtown or both. But but, you know, I think that, you know, getting the brand out there, doing more transactions, driving more revenue, pouring that back into marketing and putting your brand out there is incredibly important to stay relevant in today’s real estate engine.

00:41:32:11 – 00:41:48:14
Daniel Ramsey
You know what I oops. You know what I love about how your sales organization and how our sales organization is set up like and if you’re listening right now this is this is exact I mean we have when we generate a lead, we have a sales development rep, we call them orders.

00:41:48:23 – 00:41:49:11
Grier Allen
And.

00:41:49:22 – 00:42:11:20
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, you’re you two right but yeah and so and they’re basically prospector and they’re out there talking to people and making sure that they’re qualified lead. And then once we’ve qualified them and they have a need and or problem or a pain point or an opportunity because sometimes people are like, I just closed a brand new house development and I need, you know, help, you know.

00:42:12:02 – 00:42:34:15
Daniel Ramsey
So then they get transferred to somebody who’s in our office who’s a real estate professional, who really understands what’s going on. And we take them through an entire consultation where we who’s on your org chart, you know, what are some holes that you have, what your tech stack look like, you know who’s doing what on, on the team and, and ah, you’ll probably love this methodology.

00:42:34:15 – 00:42:52:24
Daniel Ramsey
People are starting to copy it. Grayer you should copy it. I like it. We call it a double my business strategy call, because here’s what happens when you think about if I if I’m doing 100 deals, what do I need to do to do 200 deals? The conversation is completely different.

00:42:53:20 – 00:42:54:09
Grier Allen
Absolutely.

00:42:55:02 – 00:42:57:00
Daniel Ramsey
So we’ll go ahead.

00:42:57:10 – 00:43:13:20
Grier Allen
No, no, I mean, I agree. I mean, you know, you hit you go up and you hit this plateau and then you’ve got to break through that and so what you’re helping to do is identify and you’ve probably got the formula pretty, pretty baked going from one level to the next. So it totally makes sense.

00:43:14:05 – 00:43:33:22
Daniel Ramsey
Well, and it’s exactly what we’ve been talking about. It’s specializing and kind of making sure all of your systems are in line, like your revenue generation system is in line. Your client services system is on the line, your operational system is in line. How do you service your clients once they become a client? I was talking to a guy who does 200 transactions a year.

00:43:33:22 – 00:43:54:00
Daniel Ramsey
He’s a boomtown person out of Texas and they do a phenomenal job of closing deals. But once they close the deal, they don’t do anything. They don’t do anything. It’s not like you got to hire two of our people and start loving on your clients after the sale. Because after the sale, that’s where all the magic happens.

00:43:54:00 – 00:44:15:09
Grier Allen
Oh, yeah, oh, yeah. There’s, you know, like you said, there’s so much value and there’s repeat business and and, you know, another concept that we think about a lot here, Daniel, is, is lifetime value of a customer. And and, you know, a lot of folks think, okay, you know, what’s my return on investment from, you know, from from Boomtown?

00:44:16:17 – 00:44:50:18
Grier Allen
Well, you know, if you think about it just in the concept of of having one transaction, you know, that’s okay. And people are successful and do a great job and still have 400, 500% return. That’s been doing that. But what most people do realize is that is that, you know, that the lifetime value of that customer, if you do the things that you’re talking about and you’re in your in you’re engaging with that customer after the sale, loving on them, that’s going to lead to that person talking about you and you’re going to be getting generating referrals out of nowhere from that.

00:44:50:19 – 00:45:14:07
Grier Allen
And if you that is the ultimate opportunity for you to differentiate yourself as an agent because so many people aren’t doing squat after the transaction. So showing just a little bit of love there can in effect double, triple, quadruple the lifetime value of that customer, whether it’s through referrals or repeat business in the future.

00:45:14:16 – 00:45:36:01
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, I’m and you know what’s wild is as you were saying that I was thinking well that what and that’s what will keep you relevant as this industry is kind of shifting. Oh you know away from independents and into larger teams is building those systems and process. So once you get a client which costs a lot of money to get a client, you’re get to keep them and you get all their referrals and you get all their future business.

00:45:36:09 – 00:45:58:17
Daniel Ramsey
And, you know, it’s all in a system and a process so that you don’t have to do it. That’s the that’s the piece that is so hard for us to help our clients is like, you can’t just do stuff because that’s how you’ve always done it. You’ve got to write it down, you got to create a video, you got to get a platform of some sort and teach people how to help you love on your clients the way you want them to be loved on.

00:45:59:00 – 00:46:24:14
Daniel Ramsey
And that’s a that’s a huge pain point. Well. Greer, we’re going to wrap up if you’re listening right now. And I know we got a bunch of people we got I love this guy, Lenny. He’s always on and he’s and he always says, beautiful man, Manhattan Beach. Lenny, if you’re there, what’s up, man? But if you’re if you’re here and you want to ask Greer a question, we’ve got the question box.

00:46:25:05 – 00:46:45:21
Daniel Ramsey
We’re all about that. I’m about to wrap up real quick. And what’s before we do that and while we’re gathering some questions, Greer, what’s the future for Boomtown? If everybody is listening like and you kind of want to share them, you know, with them, your your vision for the future of the company. Where are you guys?

00:46:45:21 – 00:47:23:00
Grier Allen
HEAD Absolutely. Well, you know, I you know, like I said earlier, you know, this this company was built on on one simple idea, and that’s to make real estate agents successful. And in where we’re evolving to today, we’ve evolved a lot over the years. Yeah, but, but we’re evolving into a company where we, where we take the best of breed technology and marry that with the best of breed service and in basically all in an effort to make our clients more successful.

00:47:23:00 – 00:47:44:20
Grier Allen
And so so whether that’s through our lead engagement and qualification, through real contact, you know, through offering more powerful, you know, marketing services that are specifically lead generation focused but focused more on, on, you know, engaging your database constantly over time.

00:47:45:08 – 00:47:47:16
Daniel Ramsey
Digital basically, digital marketing.

00:47:47:19 – 00:48:11:21
Grier Allen
Digital marketing, but also but also the ecosystem that we’re building around our product offering. We’re up to, you know, 40 or 50 plus integrations at this point. And and we focus on the best of breed. And so, you know, in order to achieve our mission, we feel like we need to be the, you know, the center of of of their universe as their technology and service stack is related.

00:48:11:21 – 00:48:25:04
Grier Allen
We’re not going to do everything by job, but we’re going to integrate with best of breed. And, you know, to that point, Daniel, I’d love to take some conversation offline to discuss how you guys might be able to help us as well to fulfill that mission.

00:48:25:13 – 00:48:51:08
Daniel Ramsey
If you’re listening, we just closed Greer my office desk and moved out back in love. I love it. I it’s so awesome. Well, okay, great. You’re. You’re amazing, man. I love following your company. What you’ve done over the years. If you’re listening, I’ve been to their office. They have an amazing culture and an amazing environment. People love working for this man, and I’ve enjoyed our interview today.

00:48:51:15 – 00:48:53:09
Daniel Ramsey
Greer, thanks so much for spending time with us.

00:48:53:17 – 00:49:13:02
Grier Allen
Thanks for having me, Daniel. And likewise, man, I can’t say enough good things about you guys and, you know, just, you know, you hear you hear about companies through reputation so much in this industry. And and I can’t say I’ve heard a bad thing about you guys. And I know that comes from the top. So, so thanks for all you’re doing for the industry as well.

00:49:13:12 – 00:49:32:19
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, awesome, man. Awesome. If you’re listening before you go, grab a copy of our book Scaling Your Business with Virtual Professionals. All you have to do is text, text SVP to 31996 and Greer how would somebody find out more about Boomtown? Where would they go to grab? Is it just the website?

00:49:33:06 – 00:49:35:04
Grier Allen
Yep. Boomtown audio icon.

00:49:35:16 – 00:49:38:14
Daniel Ramsey
Our website. Why? Why Aro?

00:49:38:15 – 00:49:41:17
Grier Allen
Why return on investment, baby? That’s what we’re all about.

00:49:42:00 – 00:49:49:02
Daniel Ramsey
Yes, I brother. Thanks so much for your time, guys. Enjoyed you. Enjoyed this conversation. We learned a lot. Great. Have a great day, man.

00:49:49:11 – 00:49:53:13
Grier Allen
Thanks to you, too. Thanks for having.