October 19, 2020

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7 Reasons Not To Hire Smart Alto

You'll be SHOCKED at what you discover

You’ve been considering Smart Alto to follow up with your leads and set 15-minute phone appointments for a while now and you’re pretty sure it’s the right thing to do for your business.

But considering you’ve spent years (decades even) building your business to what it is today, I don’t think you want to gamble on a company without doing ALL of the proper vetting.

Choosing a company to trust with your precious leads is a huge commitment and can have serious consequences on the rest of your business. 

By its very nature, marketing always makes a company look awesome so it’s often helpful to take a peek behind the curtain and see how the sausage gets made.

How sausage gets made baby!


Let’s do just that and have a look at all of the reasons you would choose not to hire Smart Alto.

You Still Think Phone Calls are Best

If you’ve been in Real Estate long enough, you know that this business is still done over the phone. So it’s easy to be skeptical of Smart Alto’s solely SMS method of appointment setting and lead follow up.

And you’re not wrong, in real estate, you still need to get someone on the phone (at the very least) if you want them to become an active client.

Here’s the thing though, everyone at Smart Alto agrees with that!

The way we see it now is that every time you can move someone further along their journey the more likely they are to take the next step with you as well.

Think of it like climbing a staircase where every stair is a more engaging form of communication. Sure you can try to skip the first couple of stairs but that’s just a waste of energy.

So Smart Alto starts by asking extremely low friction questions via text with the goal of simply getting a response, and that tiny little commitment is enough to build real conversational momentum to get leads to agree to a 15-minute phone appointment.

(For a deeper dive, read mistake #3 in our famous article 4 Mistakes You’re Making That Are Stopping Your Real Estate Leads From Responding To You).

Thus moving them to the form of communication we all agree will lead to a stronger rapport.

Think of it as a foot in the door, it keeps the door from closing altogether and ultimately makes it much easier to get in.

The other big benefit I’ve found from Smart Alto texting these leads is that when I have an appointment with a lead I can quickly review the text conversation that the ISA had with them. 

This is monumental because it usually tells me what the leads are looking for and tells me in their own words what type of person they are just by how they structure their texts.


By treating the conversation thread in Smart Alto like a cliff notes review, I’m able to build rapport much quicker than just by connecting with these leads cold.

Texting has a much higher contact ratio than any other mode of communication, creating a nice ripple effect down the rest of your funnel.

For further proof, look at your own answer rates on phone calls, my bet would be less than 25% of the leads you cold call actually answer. Sound right?

You’d Rather Just Get a List of “Hot Leads”

Most of the Virtual ISA Providers in the Real Estate space deliver their results by letting you know which leads are hottest.

Essentially you give them all of your leads, they text everyone of them and find out which ones responded and are showing some level of interest.

Once they get a response/indicator they tell you “John Doe is a Hot Lead”....that’s it.

Afterwards you’re on your own, you can call… but since John isn’t expecting your call he probably won’t answer.

Of course, you could text him and try to set up a time to call, but at that point, why even pay someone to text your leads in the first place?

Smart Alto on the other hand sets 15 minute phone appointments with you and your most qualified leads.

15 minute phone appointment set by Smart Alto

Not only do you have enough time beforehand to actually prepare for the conversation but the lead will actually be expecting your call and looking forward to talking with you.

All you really have to do is dial the number in your calendar at the time of the appointment.

If you prefer the list of “Hot Leads” for whatever reason, Smart Alto might not be for you.

You Think Chatbots Are Better Than Real Humans

I get it, artificial intelligence is getting pretty cool these days and the fact that you can write a few lines of code and automate pretty much anything is borderline magic.

If you are hell bent on leveraging artificial intelligence to follow up with your Real Estate leads then Smart Alto may not be for you.

Why?

Because we firmly believe that lead conversion requires a very personal touch.

A personal touch that only humans can deliver.

The problem with chatbots and autoresponders is your leads aren’t stupid enough to fall for it, they know when they’re talking to a real person.

Not only do they know when they’re talking to a real person, they prefer it!

Leads (people in general) have become so isolated in the digital world that their ears perk up when they get the chance to speak to a real person.

In fact we saw an astonishing 15% increase in response rate just by proving that there was a real person messaging them.

And as we all know by now a small increase in conversion rates this early in the process can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

So why would anyone choose chatbots over real humans to follow up with their Real Estate leads?

Simple, some agents think the newest shiniest tech is the silver bullet their business needs.

As we’ve seen time and time again, that’s just not the case.

You Think Your Scripts Are Best

When you decide to trust Smart Alto to follow up with your leads, a big part of your mind is nervous about how well their ISAs are trained and how well they’ll do. Rest assured, the system in place is a thing of beauty.

Some agents truly feel that they have the best scripts in the industry and insist that all ISA’s use their scripts.

(NOTE: You can change and update your scripts in Smart Alto at any time, but our scripts are battle tested and proven to work).

Some of that insecurity just comes from a lack of transparency so here’s a quick peek behind the curtain as to the script Smart Alto uses to shape a productive conversation.

Created by Smart Alto’s founder Hassan, the BANTAR Principle is a process that the ISAs use as the backbone of a fruitful conversation. Conversations that ultimately lead to you having a phone appointment with a thoroughly qualified lead.

Here’s what the BANTAR Principle looks like and how it’s used to guarantee awesome conversations. (Read The Truth About Smart Alto to learn more about the BANTAR Principle and how we schedule 15 minute phone appointments.)

The BANTAR Principle explained



BUDGET

Arguably the most important step in a Real Estate relationship is understanding your clients’ budgets. This piece of information alone can be the exact info you need to build a healthy working relationship and Smart Alto’s ISA get this information from your leads with a great deal of consistency.

AUTHORITY

Have you ever shown a client what feels like a hundred homes and when they finally find one that might work they say “let’s see it again next week when my parents are in town, they’re the ones paying for it”? 

It hurts every time, that’s why our ISAs verify as early as possible that you’ll be speaking with the real decision maker.

NEEDS,WANTS AND EXPECTATIONS

Reviewing a home buyers’ needs, wants and expectations is a simple but effective way that Smart Alto makes sure you’re set up for success come time for your phone appointment.

TIMELINE

Whether your lead is buying 1 month from now or 1 year from now, you need to know because it completely changes the way you’ll interact and follow up. 

AREA

What areas are your leads looking in? Just because you advertise in one zip code doesn’t mean that's the only area your leads want to buy in. Show up armed with relevant listings thanks to this insight provided by Smart Alto’s ISAs.

RELATIONSHIP TO AN AGENT & LENDER

There’s no bigger waste of time than working with a client just to find out their uncles a Realtor and will give them a rebate. This part of the script is about protecting you and your time. It’s also helpful to know whether they have a relationship with a lender. If they don’t, you can bet they haven’t been pre-approved to buy.

As you can see Hassan’s BANTAR method is a game changer and even if you hate it, you have to admit you see why it works so well on leads and how it helps convert them into an appointment.

You’re Not That Busy Yet

If you’re at all familiar with online lead conversion then you know speed-to-lead is critical in converting online leads.

Time and time again it’s been shown response rates plummet after just 5 minutes.

You’d pretty much have to be available at every hour of the day to have the shot at maximizing your contact rate, especially when you remember that leads register at random hundreds of times each month.

At some point every top producer is forced to concede that a day is only so long. You just can’t stuff more activities into the same 24hrs.

Hiring Smart Alto guarantees Always-On lead coverage, no matter when a lead registers, Smart Alto’s ISAs will respond within 5 minutes to max out your odds of conversion.

Of course for many agents out there, struggling to establish their business, Smart Alto probably isn’t a great choice.

Let’s say they close a few deals a year currently, hiring Smart Alto won’t automatically make them a producer. 

Odds are, they don’t lack time, they lack leads. So it will never make sense for them to hire us to follow up with leads they’re not even generating.


You Don’t Have/ Want  A Life

But even if you consistently manage to respond to your leads inside of 5 minutes, you’re not home free.

These days you need to attempt to make contact a minimum of 6 times before you even reach 90% of the people who are actually reachable.

So if you have 100 leads who actually want to buy and have given you accurate contact info, you’d have to make an average of 600 attempts just to reach 90 of them.

The graphic clearly shows that of all the leads that will ever respond to you only about 35% do so on the first attempt.

If you stopped there you’d be leaving nearly two thirds of the motivated buyers uncontacted.

Just to make contact with the motivated leads, that’s 600 attempts BEFORE you’ve even spoken to your leads.

Now if you really really love working and don’t want to spend time doing anything else then be my guest.

But assuming you want to have a life, does 600 texts per 100 leads (before you even make contact) really sound like how you want to spend the little free time you have?

That’s 10 hours (assuming you can type a text in a minute) of your life for every 100 leads you generate, 20 hours for every 200, 30 for every 300 etc.

You Love Texting Cold Leads

Here's a more subjective reason for not hiring Smart Alto:

You love having the chance to text cold leads.

I’m sure for most of us this just isn’t the case, but nonetheless I think it’s a question you should ask yourself.

Of course, when building a business you’re going to have to do things you don’t enjoy and I’m not going to suggest that you only do the activities you enjoy.

But when given the choice between delegating a task and continuing to do it yourself, I think your level of enjoyment should definitely play a part in the decision.

If you get a little boost of adrenaline trying to get in touch with a lead before they go cold in 5 minutes, then why give that up?

Of course, if you’re anything like me, texting leads isn’t what gets you out of bed in the morning.

Your Time Isn’t Worth Much

Let’s do some quick and dirty math to find out whether or not it makes cents (get it?) to hire Smart Alto.

Let’s say it takes you 100 leads to get a closing, the average according to IRE.

And those leads cost about $5 each, definitely doable with good Facebook ads.

That means in raw lead cost, you’re paying about $500 per closing.

Now factor in Smart Alto and you’d be paying what equates to an additional $2.55 per lead (if you're only generating 100 per month) so your new cost per closing is $755.

As a completely arbitrary target, let’s say you want a 2X return. That means your average commission must be at least $1,510 to hit your target.

If your average commission is, let's say 2.5% then you need to sell homes that are at least $61,000.

Lower than you were expecting?

Of course it is, Smart Alto is insanely affordable!

So if you are generating 100 leads per month and want at least a 2x return then you need to sell homes worth a minimum of $61,000. 

If you do, then Smart Alto is a no brainer. 

But if you want a 2x return and you’re in a market where the average home price is less than $61,000 then Smart Alto might not be best for you.

Obviously your conversion rate will be higher with Smart Alto, so run the numbers again with your new conversion rate of 4-5%.

Conclusion

If you’re feeling skeptical, like we stacked the deck in this article to make ourselves look good.

In a way you’re right, we did stack the deck in our favor but not when we were writing this article.

We stacked the deck in our favor when we were building Smart Alto.

We built Smart Alto to satisfy these 7 major concerns.

  1. Cold Calling is dead
  2. 15 Minute appointments are the best way to deliver results
  3. Artificial Intelligence and chatbots are cheezy and unproductive
  4. BANTAR is the best script in Real Estate
  5. Agents are already so dang busy
  6. No one “loves” texting cold leads
  7. Your time is incredibly valuable

When looking at the competitive landscape, we saw that there were so many companies leaving one or more (in some cases all) of these concerns unaddressed.

Smart Alto is a no brainer because we built it that way. We built it on the premise that your time is valuable and that you deserve a service that adds to the bottom line instead of just another expense! 


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