September 22, 2020

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AJ Guzman

The Truth About Smart Alto

Finally learn the shocking truth about this mysterious lead conversion startup

You’ve been considering Smart Alto to follow up with your leads and set 15-minute phone appointments for a while now but you’re still not quite sure if it’s the right thing to do for your business.

Considering you’ve spent months (years even) building your business to what it is today you don’t want to gamble on a company you know nothing about.

Maybe you’ve been burned by ISA companies in the past or maybe this is your first time outsourcing your lead follow up and you want to be certain that you get it right the first time.

Either way, I’ve been there and I know whenever I’m forced to make that condition all I want to know is what it’s like on the other side of the curtains. How does the sausage get made?

As both a writer for Smart Alto and customer of Smart Alto’s lead follow up services for my own businesses I feel uniquely qualified to be your guide to what it’s like to work with Smart Alto.

In this provocative tell-all, we’ll cover the truth about Smart Alto.

Is Texting Effective Enough

I’ve been in Real Estate long enough to know that this business is still done over the phone.

Naturally, I was a little curious about Smart Alto’s 100% SMS approach to appointment setting and lead follow up.

Here’s the thing though, everyone at Smart Alto agrees that in Real Estate business is done over the phone.

The way I 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. 

So Smart Alto starts by asking extremely low friction questions via text and that tiny little commitment is enough to get leads to agree to a 15-minute phone appointment.

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.

Not to mention, texting has a much higher contact ratio than any other mode of communication, creating a nice ripple effect down the rest of your funnel.

What About Phone Appointments

One thing I hadn’t considered until I started working with Smart Alto was the idea of using text messages to set 15-minute phone appointments.

You see, I was under the impression that live transfers were the gold standard in lead delivery. So these 15-minute phone appointments just seemed weird to me at first.

Until of course I realized that these appointments really set me up for success. 

Not only do I get a chance to connect with the lead over the phone but I also have enough of a heads up to actually prepare for the conversations. And like I said before the text thread in Smart Alto is a perfect place to start.

I show up on these calls looking like an absolute professional and ready to charm because I had enough time to do my homework on these clients and the areas they’re shopping in.

But looking back on my experience with Zillow’s live transfers in the past, these phone appointments have one more massive benefit over transfers: You’re actually ready for them!

I remember I had the Zillow number saves as “$ ANSWER NOW $” in my phone and my heart would palpitate a little bit every time I saw that number show up. 

Sometimes I would see it ring while showing homes or on listing appointments and I’d get anxious over not being able to answer and it showed to the clients I was with. Looking back on it, that experience was awful.

Humans In The Mix

I didn’t realize it when I had first come across Smart Alto but the company actually employs real humans as ISAs. I had just assumed that in 2020 the only way to get a fractional ISA provider was to deal with those AI chatbots.

And truth be told, I didn’t initially think there was anything wrong with that until I heard Hassan Riggs talk about it.

Hassan is the founder and CEO of Smart Alto and he’s passionate about leveraging real human ISAs. Partly because he was one. In his time as an ISA, he set over 10,000 real estate appointments (crazy right?).


Now Hassan is far from a Luddite, he simply believes in leveraging what works. And after tons of testing and tweaking Smart Alto has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that human ISAs convert better than AI or auto-messages.

There was this test a while back where they started inserting the phrase (yep, a real person) into the initial message sent to an online lead and saw a mammoth 15% spike in response rate.

FUN FACT: to this day you’ll see that (yep, a real person) message in all of your initial messages sent from a Smart Alto ISA.

Not to mention, chatbots can be a little tone-def. Looking through the SMS threads for some of those other AI Chatbot companies can be so cringe-worthy.

Like the lead will say they lost their job and the chatbot not having the cognitive ability to override their keyword-based response will say something along the lines of “Congratulations on the Job!”. 

It’d be funny if it weren’t so cringey!

Alternatively, Smart Alto’s ISAs handle these situations with the sensitivity and grace we’ve come to expect from other human beings.

The BANTAR Principle

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.

Created by Hassan (yeah, the one who’s set 10 thousand appointments); the BANTAR Principle is a script of sorts 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.

(NOTE: Watch this video to learn more about the BANTAR Principle and how to qualify and set appointments with real estate leads.)

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 everytime, 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, before you know you’ll start using it in your everyday conversations.


Customer Service = Agent Success

It’s no secret that the most successful companies are the ones that actually try to guarantee the success of their clients.

Every company on Earth talks the talk when it comes to customer success but Smart Alto walks the walk better than most. One of the coolest things I’ve seen is that instead of sending agents a step by step guide on how to do something Smart Alto’s success team will record a video, screen share and all, showing you exactly what you need to do.

It’s logical right?

I mean Real Estate Agents are only going to renew with Smart Alto if they are seeing results, right?

So from the day you sign up Smart Alto knows they only have 90 days to start producing tangible results for you so they go all in! 

Making the onboarding and integration process as painless as possible and getting you in a position to take appointments ASAP.

In my opinion, the thing that drives this home better than anything else is the scripts library at your fingertips in Smart Alto. 

There are over a dozen scripts available for every type of lead you might encounter so if by chance you receive a call or have someone stumble upon you online and reach out directly you have the tools you need to convert.

To me, that’s the sign of a company that cares about its customers’ success. A library that customers can use independent of their own product, not to mention the academy on SmartAlto.com that’s open to everyone not just their customers.

Additionally, support is just so easy to get here at Smart Alto. Got a question? Pop it in the chat on your dashboard and get a response in seconds. OR shoot an email and you might just get a response with a zoom link in it. You can also schedule 1:1 calls at times that fit into your schedule.

It’s clear that Smart Alto is going the extra mile for every agent in an effort to build a reputation that lasts for years to come and they know that at the heart of that reputation is the success of their clients.

Conclusion

Looking back on my experience with Smart Alto both as a writer and as a customer, I can see a lot more clearly than I could before signing up.

And It’s pretty clear that I made a savvy choice.

Smart Alto is not blind to the alternatives, in fact, that’s how Smart Alto was built.

The founders saw that there were a lot of online leads being generated and also a lot of opportunities to improve on the follow-up.

Smart Alto leverages the most effective form of communication for lead conversion- Texting, employee Real Humans that connect and convert better than any algorithm on the market and deliver results in a way that allows our clients to close more deals by leveraging 15-minute phone appointments.

Smart Alto is a clear choice because it’s been built to take advantage of strategies that actually work.

Ready to take back some free time while improving your conversion rates? Schedule a Smart Alto demo today!


Author
AJ Guzman
Former ISA & Content Marketing Manager at Smart Alto

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