Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast

S1E20 - Open Discussion: "Why is the REI Industry Attracted to Podio?"

June 11, 2019 Brick Bridge Consulting Season 1 Episode 20
Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast
S1E20 - Open Discussion: "Why is the REI Industry Attracted to Podio?"
Show Notes Transcript

Discussion Outline:

  1. Introduction – SUBSCRIBE (do it!)
  2. Teaser: Stay tuned for next week's episode for some industry information about Podio's users.
  3. What are the REI industry characteristics that make it ideal for Podio?
    1. Lead Sales and cold calls are perfect for automated workflows
    2. Non-technical data is easy to store in Podio
    3. Non-expert, easily trainable employees
  4. What are the Podio characteristics that make it ideal for REI?
    1. Flexibility in Podio's management system for how you run your business and follow regulations
    2. Podio takes care of your massive amount of time-consuming paperwork
    3. Live editing from around the world at the same time
  5. Outro: SUBSCRIBE and Thank you.

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Gil Roberts:

Welcome to the Podio Solutions Podcast, season one, episode 20. I'm Gil Roberts and with me today is our principal consultant here at Jarett Duker. Good afternoon. This podcast is about the design and development on the Citrix podio platform and one that Podio, p o d I o.com. We use this podcast to discuss our own experiences with podio as well as the other interesting topics from the podio developer community. If you are a podio designer or developer working at an agency, small business or enterprise, you should immediately hit that subscribe button. If you have already, thank you so much for your support. Lastly, before we dive into today's topic, if you have a topic issue, solution, problem, question, anything else you'd like us to discuss, we want to know about it, hit us up on our Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, or you can send email or podio message to podcast@brickbridgeconsulting.com . Today's topic is about the rei industry and why they are so attracted to podio. Um, I'll just speak from a brick bridge standpoint. You know , we've done like six or seven of these systems now. Um, obviously there's products out there, RBI, Ellucian, boost pm , um, investor fuse . I know it's , there's quite a few a what , uh , what we're finding and all of these are based around the real estate space. So couple of questions that we wanted to just kinda talk about today. Um, and we'll start with the first one is, you know, what, what characteristics of the rei industry make ideal for podio?

Jarett Duker:

Hmm . Well, we've done builds in about a dozen industries now from the nonprofit sectors across the financial management, property management, mortgage industries, lending. I could just go on and on and on, but we've done a dozen unto itself in the Rei Industry. It is definitely very much hand in hand with the podio solutions idea that we've been pressing for a long time, which is podio as a search solution, service delivery platform. And we believe that there's a lot of other industries that could be modeling itself on what's happening in the rei space. And so we kind of want to break down what is it about the Rei business model that makes podio so attractive. And then in the next episode, talk a little bit about what other industries share these similar characteristics so that we as podio developers can think about more targeted marketing campaigns. Where could we create another revolution like this.

Gil Roberts:

This is a good point. Um, and we actually have one of our marketing--marketers, a Brittany who will probably be joining us on the next episode. Uh, she's doing some research on podio based products right now, starting with the rei industry since we believe this is the most numerous of the industries. Uh, but she's been finding more outside of that. So we started categorizing that as well. And we'll, we'll present that to you guys on the next episode. Little cliffhanger there. Uh, but what's going to break down today's rei industry characteristics? So something that I've noticed is I've talked to clients looking for these types of solutions. There's houses, right? That's, and that tends to be the common commodity that's happening. Uh, either it's the fix and flip or the double close mortgages , uh , notes, note purchasing , uh , and several other adjacent verticals inside the rei space. It all comes down to that final unit, which is the house in and of itself.

Jarett Duker:

Okay. So from a principal's standpoint, what you're saying is that there is a clear and unified product. They're not dealing with a ton of different sku's for a ton of different products. They tend to be larger ticket items and more or less unified you know condos, not necessarily a house, but it's, it's pretty similar there . They're definitely in a family to one another.

Gil Roberts:

I agree with that and I think it's, I think it boils down to that all of them form the same function, right? You'll live in the house and it's their treated--all the different property types are treated very similarly down at the courthouse when you title it and go to the title attorneys and those parts of the process. So you know, we've seen with some of our clients, you know, any kind of property is interesting to them. From vacant land.--we have one guy that deals just with vacant land--all the way to old churches or warehouses. Uh, so , uh , you usually don't want to deal with any kind of industrial spaces do to clean up problems, environmental problems but residential properties. Residential light, commercial , um, you know, shopping centers, that kind of , that kind of stuff, those little small ones, roadside ones, just really any , um, basic structure that doesn't have a lot of strings attached. Right.

Jarett Duker:

Okay. So, so we can think about that just for a little bit because we've got a high ticket item with a multitouch sales position and a one off sale. Once the customer's purchased or you have bought a property from them, it's unlikely that you're gonna be generating repeat business.

Gil Roberts:

No , not typically. I know some of the cash buyer investors side, especially in a dealt with close model , um, and , and some the fix and flip model , um, they may have cash buyers that buy multiple properties from them, but, but you're , you're right, in which case the seller is a one off. And that's a lot of times it is a lot of one off sellers. Again, you always have the corner cases and exceptions where they might have a couple of houses. They're like they were a landlord and they're just tired of dealing with renters and just want to unload their portfolio, but they're not trying to maintain customer relations the way a lot of B to B sales would happen where once you've got a contract established, you want to see month after month sales to that person. I see. I see where you're going with this and it's, it's, yes, it is transactional in its nature, right? There's long term relationship , uh , on investor side, but you know, a lot of times it is very transactional, especially when you're purchasing the property. Initially it's rare that sellers have like tons of multiple properties, right? Like that . That's definitely more the exception rather than the rule . A lot of times it's one off, especially when you look at it like probate or tax lean sales and that, those kind of lead generation models or a , the one guy that , uh , we're going to hopefully, potentially be doing some work for that's on the notes side of the business. Um, you know, he's just purchasing a note. Most people that are having problems, you know, nonperforming notes , uh, you know, you only have one property typically. So let's flip over the other side for a second. Why is podio a good fit for the business characteristic, which we just described, which is a large ticket, transactional commodity purchase or sale. You know, again, from my experience talking with and working on the sales side, getting, getting that very initial contact and requirements from our clients, I think that the flexibility is one of the key factors that attracts them. Because it is, you know, every house is unique, right? It's not, it's not a complete commodity. It's treated like it's a unique item that's treated like a commodity. Right? But they need to be able to capture lots and lots of information about that property that tends to be out in the field, right. Cause they drive out to the house. Um, so you need that app kind of feel to which podio has an app, right? So you get this ad hoc nature of perusing properties out in the field and then they need to be the , there's a need to be able to centralize that information based on their process. And you know, from city to city, county to county and state to state real estate laws are different. And the way that businesses transacted across real estate is different. Real estate, we joke about this all the time. It's an old game. This is a real, you know, thousands of years old or 10, probably tens of thousands of years old. People used to buy land all the time. So, you know, it's this, there's, there, there's norms and customs , uh , to each region and laws, quite frankly, they're very different zoning laws and very different ways that things are filed. So you kind of have this fractured nature to it's to its market and people do business differently and has a lot of different business models. So right there it says, man, it's Kinda hard unless you're selling a system, of Rei investment, it's really hard to make a standard product.

Jarett Duker:

So we have a large amount of information that might be subtly different from business to business. I think we should also note that it's non technical data. There's a lot of data points that we want to collect, but we're not putting out a large say scientific or, or sampling studies the way that say like an environmental agency would be doing or , um, a manufacturing agency with detailed specifications. It's human beings going to be reading this to make a decision, not necessary large technical specs, which podio handles well and it doesn't handle so much the, you know, if I wanted to get served, you know, several hundred lines of spreadsheet data due to Ph samplings, for instance, uh, not, not so good for that kind of database management. I mean, you certainly can do it, but it's, it's a little bit less of a , uh , preferred method. Um,

Gil Roberts:

That makes sense for when it's qualitative information that's going in about the property. I'll do a little use case here. You know, an agent, a USA based agent, shows up at the house and begins to have to make a listing much like realtors do and they have to describe the house and it's got to be a persuasive description, right? Which means now we're moving into the art side of the science, right ?

Jarett Duker:

We want to attach pictures, right? And files. And uh , generally speaking, we only need a few words. Four bedroom, three bath tells you a lot about what you're getting yourself into as opposed to manufactured one bedroom. You know, just a couple of words , uh, allow you to tap into people's expectations very, very quickly. You don't need to give a lot of really detailed specifications on a property through the listings management. So even though we're managing a lot of information, it's quick to enter and quick to read and to process for a human .

Gil Roberts:

I think this is a great point, especially when you start looking at the other side of the transaction, which is the buyer's side. They want for side b in a double, a double close. You know , they have a particular desire right so you need to be able to have these categories, you know, some , uh, to be able to help target automation and , and listings sends out to these buyers, right? So it's one guy might be just interested in, you know, old churches. Another lady might be interested in just, you know, two houses for rent. Some may only want in certain zip codes or cities. So you have like this diverse taste on the other side where when you think about side a are the sellers, you know, it really is very transactional, likely not to see them again on another transaction. You know, there , there's a price negotiation that occurs there. Uh , that's, that sets margin for the Rei business, right? That's where, that's, that's where they're going to set their margin at. Um, and you gotta you gotta, gotta Haggle , right? You have a bunch more of that and it's highly competitive to get houses. I think that's something that is of interest that we'll dive into here in a minute is that finding houses is really difficult and that's why you see some of these other tactics of buying, you know, nonperforming notes going after houses with tax lean issues, probate , um, and then, you know, the good old fashioned I'll buy houses, any condition signs that are stuck out on the streets and on telephone poles . So , um, because of that competitive nature, I think that it's important to have the right data in the right spot because you want to act on it quickly.

Jarett Duker:

Okay. So time sensitive. There's a , there a principle that we can pull out of there. People are trying to make business decisions in a time sensitive manner when they may only have a single opportunity to say yay or nay in making a purchase or sales decision. Um , and they want to have the best information in front of them that they can given the time constraints of collecting information. You know, cause there's a cost of collecting information. You can study and study and study, but you may very well miss your window to act by the time you complete your studies.

Gil Roberts:

We've seen inside of the the systems that are up and running, you, you see a lot of gut reaction and hey, let's offer this price or I think I can get this because it's, it is kind of nebulous, right? I mean, how much is the house worth? You're not going to spend the time and the money to go get an appraiser out there. Uh, you are , uh , as the rei person , um, the business owner, you have to understand the area and understand the context of where the house is on the locations and the ability to fix it. You know, it's something that we assist and we built is for repair and remodel, right? The , they'll fix and flip the actual fixing part of that. So , um, understand what , what you're getting yourself into. There's another , uh , I want to digress away from that, which is , uh, when we're talking about podio characteristics, good for Rei. Paperwork is a , you know, real estate is a , you've got banks , uh , you got the court system. I mean there's just massive amounts of paperwork has to get done , offers, contracts, title company, work coming, it's just a lot of paperwork. U m, that is time consuming. These aren't one or two or three page documents. Most of them, you know, e xceed d ouble-digit pages with lots and lots of very specific information that has to be inserted into those.

Jarett Duker:

But they are all highly formulaic.

Gil Roberts:

That's correct. Which lends itself to podio. Right? I guess we're not writing unique, you know, unique treatises or dissertations or anything like that and offer letter you can pull off the internet. There's only about six variations of it. It's incredibly formulaic. So you don't even need to really read the letter itself. A file that says offer letter six, 10, 20, 19. You could have a pretty good idea of what's in that. Yeah, no, I mean it's, it's uh, it's very straight forward , but its just a lot. Oh yeah. I mean, well, it's required.

Jarett Duker:

It is. And it's very kind of checklist and formulaic. The , the, both the processes and the documents involved in the process. Even the very complicated legal documents are very formulaic at this point. Like you said, this is not a new game. Property was probably one of the very first things ever bought and sold in human society. Right.

Gil Roberts:

And I, you know, the, the legal setup, especially if they use the same title company, it's the same documents over and over.

Jarett Duker:

So the ability to store files right on podio items is really advantageous to that principle of quick information flow that we've coming back to. Now I have another principle I want to change gears for gesture a second, which is turn and burn. Yeah . The Rei industry, particularly in the way that deals with its customers is large volumes of data. Um, very, very quickly. You know, rather there's going to be a yes or no on any one particular deal. And the way that you win this game is just to flow information through as many people as possible, as many buyers as you can, get as many sellers as you can get as quickly as you can. Yeah . And because of that, you have a few interesting characteristics, which is for instance, your staff are probably not highly trained or experienced experts. Sorry, they're not making a career in this. You don't, there's not really a, there's there's instincts that you develop. Sure. But like most of your staff who are making buyer calls to people, they've probably been with you six months or less. Seems to be the what I have found with some experienced people who are leading the team.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah, I agree with that. Uh , you'll find use of a lot of virtual assistance, especially out of the Philippines due to they're excellent grasp of the English language system. I'm going to get to that one second. I don't want , I won't steal your thunder there. Secondly, a lot of the cold call just industry, I don't care if it's real estate or anything else, it's just high turnover. Right? So you need some , how many can you dial, how much can we dial ? It's, ah , it's, you know, we , we , when I was doing it , I did know outbound dialing for about 10 years and it was just, you know, smile and dial and it just, you know, you always, I personally always try to target a hundred to 120 dials a day because it is a numbers game and I think that's you're digging down to.

Jarett Duker:

It is the, the, this, the actual deal volume that your company's able to achieve largely has to do with just the number of outreaches you can make. And that's both in acquiring of inventory and closing that inventory to interested buyers or interested investors. And so what makes podio so great for this is with very little effort at all, you can tailor work flow inside of Podio to guide less experienced staff members through the, the process that's working best for your particular business. Everyone does this ever so slightly different. So there's not just a a manual that you can pick up off some website, but you need a manual like that because there's a good chance that most of the people who are doing most of your outreach have limited experience and they need that help to guide them through it and a good podio system can really do that.

Gil Roberts:

I want to bring up something that that follows exactly along that which is even in these different kind of verticals inside of Rei, the process is really linear, right? Like there's, there's only so many outcomes available with a house, there's only so many paths you can get to those final outcomes of, of real estate and just the, the variety of those, while there might be uh, is thin, while there might be a lot of different styles, it really comes down to the same outcome. Right? Get a house, hold it. Maybe, maybe you're double closing if you hold it five minutes or something and then sell it off or rent it. There's not really much else you do with it. Right? I mean you could move into it I guess, but this is, you know, this is a commercial operation, not a , not , not for personal use. Typically, you know, you're, you're hunting for properties. You may have some edits, fixes, repairs to that property and then there's a disposal either a long term hold or a sale and that there's not, there's not a lot else to , there might be some you know, there's flourishes of course, but it all boils down to that.

Jarett Duker:

So you're able to model the process reasonably quickly as a, as a counterpoint to that, let's think about like doing laboratory testing in the food industry. Sure . Where the branches of what you might do with a sample that comes at is so large that you really couldn't rely on software to guide a novice lab tech through the process. They need that training. Um, where this is not so much true in the rei industry. You could set someone up with a workspace with a couple thousand call lists in it and go, here's your script, start dialing, here's the app right next to the first one that you put their information if they're interested. So , uh , it allows from a management perspective, you to bring on lower , uh, lower or newer employees and uh , and really begin leveraging their efforts very, very quickly to turn profits for your company. It's in a difficult task. And I'm not not disparaging what a good salesperson does in any way. Right. But they don't need a lot of managerial oversight.

Gil Roberts:

No, not for this. Especially if you look at a call model where you have VA's appointment setting for localized American agents. Right? Cause now you've even cut the sales process into the easiest and most difficult cases. I put air quotes around easy cause it sucks doing cold calls, but you know,

Jarett Duker:

oh I know. Absolutely. So let's actually dive into that last point that I wanted to make, which was international coordinated workflow with podio. I mean, times zones are still a thing, but two people on two different sides of the world can be live in a form together, editing information. I mean, we did this with our cross our offices right before we came in here as we were both typing in show notes on what we wanted to talk about. We had a little revision war there for a second on one of the items. But this truly allows small businesses to operate and leverage international resources to promote their process. You can bring in virtual assistants from the Philippines, you can hire programmers, designers, or um, graphic artists out of India or Eastern Europe, Ireland, wherever you want to be very, very quickly and easily. Um, and have a visual representation of the work happening, being on the same podio page with someone having a conversation in theomments of what's , uh , the topic at hand anywhere in the world, which there's a lot of collaboration platforms out there, but podio brings it all together. We have that workflow . We have , um, the files in front of us and now we're able to talk and communicate right there on the file itself. Um , regardless of where you are and with international and voice based calling, you can run an Rei organization like this from anywhere in the world. As long as you're able to bring local market knowledge in some way. I mean that we can , we can't get away from that. You've got to have some boots on the ground in the city you're selling the property in.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah. You gotta make sure if somebody goes out there, the house is standing and isn't burned down...

Jarett Duker:

it wouldn't shock me to start seeing a lot of VA or sorry, Filipino companies begin speculation in the U.S. Real estate industry because they're getting so much experience there.

Gil Roberts:

Right? No, I didn't . There's, there's nothing stopping that , um, you know, a kind of reversing that model on its head where you might have contract agents or even people that are realtors. They're already driving around looking at houses anyway, know what they're doing. A lot of the rei people have real estate licenses or were prior realtors and brokers. So definitely an interesting way to flip that on its head a little and, and it just shows , uh , I think my keyword here is flexibility of the platform to be able to do specialized rei work, like guided his vacant land , uh , one that just goes through note investment. You can specialize with it. Podio will, will be available for you to do that. There's a linear process, but there's a lot of flourishes around it. Uh , so it's easy to get your secret sauce into podio. And I've , and I wanna start wrapping up with this point, which is that the process is the same in essence between all these, but because it's an art form, sales wise, everybody has a different approach. So same job, different or can be vastly different approaches between companies. So you have a pattern, kind of a core, and then there's usually heavy customization on it. And again, podio is that platform that allows for something like that.

Jarett Duker:

Mass customization, right? Is the, is the principle that it's playing with. It's not there, but it's certainly playing with it. So before we wrap up, let's kind of recap just really quickly the principles of the rei industry that make it attractive to Podio, because I want to circle back around and on next steps . So let's start talking about some other industries that share some or multiple of these characteristics that we as podio development partners may begin, may want to begin making an inroad into , uh , to create this sort of fascination that we see in the rei space. So let's, let's Kinda just start from the beginning again.

Gil Roberts:

Yes. So first thing I would say is the linear business model. Yes. The business model lends itself to it .

Jarett Duker:

He doesn't have a lot of branching pads. We have, we have mult, we can have multiple tracks, but once a , uh , a , a process is on that track, it just repeats itself over and over and over again, which means that we can use podio to model that process and guide it along. Correct. We have a high ticket item with a, a semi commodity nature that we have a lot of information about it, but not , not really tactical information. We're not having hundreds of pages of readouts or something about it that we're trying to store and manage.

Gil Roberts:

It was like 10, 15 really critical points and that's about it. Right.

Jarett Duker:

As well as that high ticket purchase item. Uh , buyers and sellers are, are more or less a one off engagement, although I don't think that one is as critical because podio is so good as a customer relations management tool.

Gil Roberts:

I'm about to say what's, let's flip that a little bit around and say that you've got a two sided CRM, right. And we all are very aware, all the listeners are, that podio crushes CRM work. You just have a two sided CRM in this. We'll say that. It can be, it can be transactional in nature though. It doesn't have to be.

Jarett Duker:

Um, it deals with large volumes of both data and data processing. Well, we're not doing, you know, complex calculations on the data, but we can turn over and sort through lots and lots of data quickly of pertinent business level data. We're not, you know, uploading census data and try to make calculations on it. But I've got 5,000 buyer leads. I can do meaningful analysis on this as well as post-purchase analysis for marketing purposes. Yep .

Gil Roberts:

I would actually, let's, let's touch on that? I , I know we didn't mention this a lot , uh , in the prior conversation here, but marketing automation is so huge in this industry, both from a postcard, telephone calls, which we touched on , uh, emails, text messages , uh , like sly, the, the silent or ringless voicemail, sound voicemails. There's a ton of that, especially on the side a side of or trying to acquire properties a but also even onto the side B if you're, if you have cash buyers list, you know, presenting properties that , that you've acquired to them as well and that that whole process can be automated.

Jarett Duker:

I'm going to push back on you on that one just a little bit because while I do see a great deal of second and third touch automated marketing with Rei companies, I don't see many rei companies really making in roads with a initial customer acquisition automations. So they're using it really, really well to retain customers or push a purchase or a sale. But in terms of how they're initially acquiring a customer, I don't think they're doing a very good job

Gil Roberts:

lead generation, lead generation. I, you know what, I can agree with that because there there's, we've done a couple lead generation products , um, particularly around tax money and probate space. Uh , I think that uh , they were smaller projects. I think they , they could deliver so much more value but with more than

Jarett Duker:

the probate one was very interesting. I'm not going to give any secrets on that one yet, but uh , I think that there's just an interesting opportunity for us given that we are working in this space focusing on a better initial lead generation automation because we're nailing the recontact but we could definitely do better on that first contact. And then the last one was a international collaboration, quick and easy non office collaboration. Rather you're across the street or across the world. Podio allows you to bring your team together to accomplish your business purpose .

Gil Roberts:

I can file another thing directly underneath that which is having that the phone app ready and available so that when agents go out to the property, they can take pictures right inside podio. They can put all the description, all information, they can do that data entry right there. You don't have to worry about double data entry on something like that. Um,

Jarett Duker:

so we're going to sit and think a little bit about what other industries we've come in contact with that share some of these characteristics that podio might be , uh , a really a game changer for that industry as we create one successful adopter and the new spreads, which is very much how it happened in the rei space and how the Rei group got on podio because they are a community and they do talk to one another and we'd love to hear from you all if you have any ideas of industries that we should definitely be looking into a , we'd love to do a little bit of research and see how podio could potentially help them and look at it from a product standpoint .

Gil Roberts:

Even if it is something that's a core and customized or mass customization like we have in Rei space, they all deal with the same particular product. So, which is the house a , these are things for our listeners to look out for in other industries where you kind of have a centralized product, a fairly linear process with not a whole bunch of outcomes or you know , questionable things at the, at the end , uh , you know, indefinites, um, as well as ones that can benefit from cloud based software as well. So. All right, excellent. Uh, appreciate you guys listening once again this week. Uh, we're excited. We've got about five episodes left of season one. Uh, we've got some more exciting things coming up next week. We're going to share some of that data that we've been researching. I think our listeners are going to get a great value out of that. So definitely tune in next week. It's kind of a part two to this more of a continuation of the discussion and start looking at other industries , uh, that a podio product we could hit. If you have any industries that you're working in, I'd love to hear about it. As Jared mentioned, hit us up Facebook, linkedin, Twitter. You can also send us an email or podio message to podcast@brickbridgeconsulting.com. We are still and always looking for podio gaps. Uh, if you have one, and if you've got a problem that you're having a hard time solving , on Podio please also reach out as well. Lastly, if you haven't subscribed, shame on you hit that subscribe button. We'd love to be able to produce this content for our listeners and we want you to tune in every week, so hit that, subscribe if you have not and otherwise than that yet. I think we're good for today. Thank you all very much. Thank you so much guys. Have a great rest of your day whenever you're listening.