Like it or not, Zillow has become the place to go to find property values. But you can easily change that within your sphere of influence with the help of Homebot. Imagine producing a monthly digest emailed to your clients that scratches their itches for checking on property values, keeping track of the equity they have in their properties, and answering questions before they even think to ask them.
Sounds great, right? But who’s got time for that?
Homebot emails these digests on your behalf. The only time investment required on your part is the initial setup and then time spent following up with interested clients.
Homebot, winner of the 2018 Realogy Innovator of the Year award, keeps loan officers top of mind for both clients and REALTORS® almost effortlessly.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
- About Homebot
- How Homebot helps loan officers stay connected with agents and previous clients
- Why clients appreciate Homebot
- How you can track engagement within Homebot
- About the AI award Homebot recently won
LINKS FROM TODAY’S EPISODE
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Geoff: We’re doing something a little bit different in that I hosted a Facebook Live on my Facebook at Mortgage Marketing Institute, and we brought in a few special guests. Our special guest for this episode of Mortgage Marketing Radio are three people. Let me briefly tell you who they are. First of all, my good friend Todd Bookspan, founder of Win by Noon. Hopefully you him. If not, check out WinByNoon.com, all about how to win the day by noon. And, of course, he’s a key part of the mortgage coach community there as well.
My other special guest is Ashley Miller who is in business dev with HomeBot. We’re going to talk about HomeBot.
But then we also have a special guest, Jared Hamilton, who is a top-producing mortgage loan originator that is talking about how he leverages HomeBot to drive more deals from his past client database, as a way to stay engaged, stay connected, to be aware of when they are active or considering being active in the market. And this is giving him great awareness and connection into his past clients, also using HomeBot as a tool to more effectively partner with real estate agents to generate new listings and repeat business. It’s just an incredible tool that I’ve looked at. I a lot of other top producers are using because it’s very hands off, if you will, non-threatening for clients, and engaging. So I’m just a big fan of Homebot from what I’ve seen so far. I encourage you guys to listen to the podcast episode. Check it out.
As a matter of fact, one of our Mortgage Marketing Pro members, and that is Michelle Fairman Otto who is, once again, President’s Club winner, top 1% of originators in the country, uses Homebot to, she said, gets an addition two to three deals a month that she wouldn’t otherwise get because of Homebot. There will be links in the show notes and all that stuff. You want to go check out Homebot. Is it Homebot.ai. Go to their website. Check it out. Watch some videos, and you’ll be likely to want to take the next step. Besides that, it’s so doggone affordable. If you, if all you do is generate one to two loans a month, it is an absolutely no-brainer to add value to your clients and also to create a sticky relationship with your REALTORS® to more effectively partner with them.
With that said, let’s get into this week’s show.
Geoff: Let’s do around the horn here. Quick introductions. I’ll start from whatever it is, top left of my viewing screen, Todd Bookspan. Everybody should know who you are, but for those that may not, who are you? What do you do?
Todd: Oh my gosh. I am Todd Bookspan, and everyone shouldn’t know who I am. My best title right now is the founder of Win by Noon, which is a sales and productivity platform. We’ve got around 2500 subscribers but primarily loan officers and real estate agents as well as insurance and executives. And I spent 17 years in the loan officer space doing what you guys are doing and running a 100 billion dollar team. My last year I produced was about seven years ago. [inaudible 0:07:33] 550 loans for about $144 million and change. And I’m excited to be here to talk about something that I think is a pretty cool, awesome product.
Geoff: And I just wanted to give a little plus. There it is. I got my Win by Noon loan officer edition, my real estate edition. So if anybody is watching this live, replay, listening on the podcast, go check out… Is it WinByNoon.com?
Todd: WinByNoon.com. There you go.
Geoff: Awesome, man. There we go. Ashley, what’s up? Tell us all about you.
Ashley: Alright. I recently launched Homebot in Arizona in July, and Homebot is a computer software, artificial intelligence program, which sounds really super fancy, but it really is a financial dashboard that we deliver to consumers through their real estate agent and/or their lender.
Geoff: Awesome. We are hopefully expecting a special guest, Jared Hamilton, what is a loan officer who is going to come here and tell us a little bit about his experience. And obviously we’re going to try and bridge Jared in here in just a moment.
Once again, now, Jeff Zimpfer, Mortgage Marketing Radio Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. We’re doing something a little bit different on this episode. If you’re listening to this on the podcast, it’s coming from a Facebook Live that we did. If you’re listening, and you want to see the video, go over to our Facebook page or the podcast community group on Facebook, Mortgage Marketing Radio.
So, Ashley, I told you the question I was going to ask you. Let’s start with the first part of it. What does Homebot do?
Ashley: Homebot delivers a monthly financial digest to consumers. And it ranger anywhere from the property value, the amount of equity they have in their property, what their options are with their equity position. So if they’re refinancing, paying off debt, student loans, as well as if they have the capability of using that equity to potentially purchase a rental property or investment property. And it also allows them to see, with their current property, if they can Airbnb it and VRBO, because you know everyone right now wants to somehow make money off their home. So it’s an amazing tool that delivers this type of information that truly empowers your clients.
So if a real estate agent or a lender delivers this to their clients, it’s almost as if you guys are no longer lender and real estate agents. You’re almost like their wealth managers or their financial advisors for their property.
Geoff: So how does that work then? So I sign up. I do a purchase transaction from somebody. Take me from the point of purchase transaction. How are loan officers integrating this into either pre or post-sales process?
Ashley: When a loan officer decides to become part of Hombot, they would put their clients’ information into the system — very simple. The owners’ names, their property, address, and their email. We pull of that data from public record, and then we deliver it on behalf of the loan officer and real estate agent to the consumer.
A lot of people out there are trying to find different ways to get in front of their clients and give them true value and keep top of mind. But with Homebot, you just put your clients in there, and we take care of everything else for you.
Geoff: Got it. And what’s the communication? It’s over email? Is it once a month? Do you control the cadence?
Ashley: It’s an email. It is once a month. And the really cool part is they can save it on their phone as if it’s an application. Now it’s not an app that they can download perhaps from the app store, but once they open it in Safari on their phone, they can go to that little button that says “Save to your screen,” and they can log into it as many times as they want just by clicking on their app.
Geoff: Awesome. Thank you for that setup. I can see we’ve got our other special guest, Jared Hamilton. What’s up, man?
Jared: Hi there. How you doing. Sorry for the technical difficulties there.
Geoff: Hey, you weren’t the only one having them. Trust me. That’s how it goes using these new platforms. We’d love to hear from you, Jared. A brief bio, introduction. Who are you? What do you do? Start there.
Jared: My name is Jared Hamilton. I’m with Cherry Creek Mortgage, and I’m a loan officer here in Denver, Colorado. Like probably most of the other people watching here, just trying to help people get a great loan and get into new homes. I’ve been on Homebot for about two years now. It started with the Denver market, I believe. So we’ve been on this platform for a while. I love it, and I think my clients do too.
Geoff: Awesome. Thank you for being here. I know you’re busy. Let’s cut right to that. Two years, so you sounds like a early adopter with the technology. If you had to describe the biggest impact Homebot has had for you, either on the consumer or REALTOR® side or both, why do you use it? What do you love so much about it?
Jared: First of all, my clients seem to love it, so if they love it, I love it. When I first saw the technology, I thought it was really cool in that everybody is going to Zillow to try to get an idea of values. Everybody is interested in property values. And so this was a way for me to be able to communicate value information to my client base on a regular basis. In addition to that, there’s some interactivity with the Homebot system that they could use and play around with. And it just seemed cool. So I figured I’d give it a try with my client base. My clients seemed to love it.
There’s been a lot of enhancements that Homebot had done since I had started in the system, which just made it better. Frankly, I don’t really… I haven’t gotten super familiar with all of the enhancements. But for me, it was just we could download our database. It was kind of a plug and play. And immediately after these went out, I was getting feedback from my clients. They were asking questions. They were able to get in there and kind of get an idea of how much equity they actually had and what that could do for them. So it just really created some stickiness and some back and forth. That worked out fantastic.
When it came to the real estate agents, then we were figuring out… I thought real estate agents would also love this type of technology, where they could do the same thing. Honestly, most of the communication really is just via email. I’m getting a lot of two notifications from Homebot late at night when people are sitting there, probably in front of their computer.
Ashley: That’s reported the number one time that most people are searching for homes and looking for values to apply in the morning.
Jared: That doesn’t surprise me, because I get these things late, get them in the morning, and then interact. With the real estate agents, it’s a great tool that we can use to also least engage in conversations, let them know that we have tools here to add value, try to let them know the importance, as opposed to their clients going to Zillow and then start poking around there and asking other real estate agents information about that, that this gives them a platform to where they can kind of keep their clients in a little bit of a bubble and talk to them about that information.
I’ve had some challenges with the real estate community that I could relate to you in that regard, but it’s still a great widget and a great tool.
Geoff: Wow. That’s a lot in there. Thank you very much. I’m actually looking at some screenshots right now and considering bringing that up as a screen share here at Homebot to give those that are watching a visual representation of that.
How do you then enter the conversation of Homebot with your clients, Jared? At what point are you offering that as part of [inaudible 0:16:07] mortgages under management, things like that?
Jared: Well, the first communication that I had with my client base — and we have about 2,000 people or households that I’ve done loans for over the years. I’ve been doing this for about 26 years. We just loaded them in the database. Now Homebot has an introduction email that wasn’t available when I started doing it. But we just sent out an email, let them know that they would be receiving this. This is new platform. It’s a free service that we’re offering as part of our value that we want to add to you as a customer, and just plug and play and let it go.
We started incorporating the Homebot discussion when we’re doing annual mortgage reviews. So as part of our annual mortgage review when we talk about value, I’ll ask them how do you think values are doing in your area. We’ll then talk to them about Homebot, ask them “Have you seen those emails?” Not everybody sees them. We all get a lot of email in today’s day and age. So I can’t say that every one of my clients says, “Oh, yeah. I see that every month.” There are some that don’t.
But then we let them know about it, talk to them about it, and those that do see it, they really like it. But we’ll incorporate that into our annual mortgage review.
Geoff: Interesting. Obviously you reference Mortgage Coach. So it sounds like you’re a Mortgage Coach user? Is that right?
Geoff: Awesome. So I know there’s a lot of training and dialog around mortgages under management and what differentiates you as a mortgage professional is you want to help them manage the biggest debt they’ve probably ever taken on. So this is not the end. It’s the beginning. So I was curious when you introduce that Homebot into that overall mortgages under management conversation. If I heard you correctly you said it usually happens at the end of the… Is there a handoff conversation with that? Maybe I’m giving you an idea. I don’t know.
Jared: Actually, Todd and I have talked about this a little bit, and Todd’s talking about how to really get great with Homebot, so I’d love to learn about this and how to incorporate it better. But really, we don’t put them on Homebot until maybe six months after the sale is complete. I’m not really talking to them about “Hey, guess what? You’re going to get this.” Again, how we’ve incorporated it is we had this service. We jumped our database into it, and we send the initial email, and then boom. We were off and running. It wasn’t rocket science to do it.
Geoff: Does that tee up Mr. Todd Bookspan for any input, best practices?
Todd: I’ll give you a couple of insights. I have insight into Jared’s business because he and I have been good friends for over a decade, and I actually served as his one-on-one coach for the last two years. What I saw over that time was actually that few producers in Colorado who were part of the early adopter crew. And so it was interesting for me to able to observe how they were implementing it into their business. I have that observation in a few ways.
Certainly through clients like Jared who — well, I’m not doing one-on-one coaching anymore, but I coached in the past — as well as the fact that, although I’m not on the day-to-day of our team, their team also has over 2000 closed transactions inside of Homebot. And so when we implemented, based on what I saw Jared and others doing, it’s become the easiest way to create engagement with clients that I’ve ever seen.
Anyone who has seen me speak about Win by Noon, whether I’m talking to REALTORS® or I’m talking to loan officers, I bvl two foundational elements are to be what Jared has become, which is the trusted advisor by doing annual mortgage reviews using Mortgage Coach.
A number one thing you need to know is what’s an accurate value. Secondarily, I’m teaching REALTORS® that when I’m talking to a room of REALTORS®, I always ask the question, “Hey, why do your clients go online to look at real estate sites?”
And then no out of 10 people shout out “To look at home value.”
And then I say, “Awesome. So they’re going online to get home value. Then who do they see as the home value expert? That website or you?” Then they all go really quiet.
And so I believe from a foundational perspective, I’ve been teaching when for 18 months to REALTORS® to be doing real estate reviews. And what I’ve found is that if they use Homebot as a tool to support that, now you’ve got values getting emailed in this home digest to your clients every month. It absolutely creates engagement. And what Jared alluded to is I create the tool on five ways to increase your client engagement. And Homebot is the added tool. So it’s five ways to increase engagement, and then I threw in a tool, a free class thing that I threw together.
But the key that I would tell you is that, really, from a statistical perspective — so I jumped into my team’s Homebot yesterday when I was prepping for the call. Last month, a little over 2,000 digests were sent out and it says 1400 emails were opened. But we all know email open numbers are bogus. Right? People just flipping through their phones. And sometimes their mail service opens it up. But what was the critical statistic was that over 1000 people actually clicked on the email and went and opened the website of the Home Digest Ashley was actually talking about. So over 50% of the people who received it actually engaged with the product.
And the fact that it’s creating that engagement, you can see who actually opened it up. So it gives you a reason to call. If it was you, Geoff, I could call you and say, “Gosh, Geoff, just checking in to see how you’re doing,” knowing that you just looked at it. And then, also as Jared said, it has these other engagement points [inaudible 0:21:59]. So they can run a little scale of how much extra principal they want to pay and how much faster they’ll pay off their home. It does show them based on national average rates what they can save if they were to do a refinance. It does show them how much buying power they have if they wanted to go buy a new house. It does show, as Ashley said, how much they could rent their home for.
And so it’s creating all these different engagement points. And she mentioned the artificial intelligence. So if you have mortgage insurance, it says, “Do you want to know more about how to get rid of your mortgage insurance” button. It notifies a loan officer. “Hey, I want to learn about getting rid of mortgage insurance.”
The funniest thing that Jared told me yesterday was that sometimes people say, “I accidentally hit the button.” Right, Jared?
Jared: Yeah. It happens all the time.
Todd: He says it happens all the time, but they’re still calling the client and creating engagement. So the bottom line is this. I find that loan officers and real estate agents are always looking for a reason to call people. And what Homebot does is it gets some people to raise their hand, which is super cool. And it also shows you who didn’t raise their hand but who’s looking in the background so that you can be keeping in communication with those folks.
And then also, the flipside, I know that there’s over 1000 people that my team should be reaching out to, aren’t opening it to find out are you getting it, is it going into your span, are you not reading it? Did you not find value? Again, it’s creating a different engagement point. So I’m super excited about something that makes it really easy for pepo in our industry to go out there and get more business.
And then the last thing I’ll saw and then I’ll shut up is the REALTOR® piece is interesting, because you’ve got to take the time to ask them the right questions to see how they’ll value Homebot. But the bottom line is they need a reason to engage with their clients. They need a reason to be the home value expert. And every once in a while, they say, “But none of those online sites are accurate.” And I say, “Well, that’s the point. You know that they’re not accurate, but clients don’t. They keep going there.” And so when you get a Homebot Home Digest, it actually says “Verify the value,” so it asks for a CMA, gives the loan officer a reason to reach out and reconnect them with their REALTOR®, if they’re working with a REALTOR®. It gives them the reason to introduce them to one of their favorite REALTORS® if they don’t know who their REALTOR® was. And it helps the REALTOR® and the client and you as their loan officer determine what is the accurate value today. And you create this new conversation, ongoing, just like the annual mortgage [inaudible 0:24:14] annual real estate review.
Ashley: Can I take Jared and Todd and put them in my pocket and take you guys everywhere with me?
Jared: Just speaking the truth.
Ashley: Super awesome. And I recently looked up Todd’s engagement rate, and your engagement rate is almost at 70%. That’s not your open rate, but it was like 68.9% of the people that have opened it, they’re actually continuously being engaged, which is pretty awesome. I don’t know if there’s any other system out there that has that high of an engagement rate.
Jared: A perfect example is because it spreads them out. They don’t all go out at one time. And so it spreads out. My wife runs the team. There were three leads that came in over the weekend. Someone who wanted a CMA comparative market analysis. A loan officer sent that off to their REALTOR®. There were two people who wanted to trade up. Meaning, they wanted to look at buying a different house. And one of them was our longest loan officer on our team, our top loan officer. So that came in on Sunday. He got the lead from my wife. He reached out to them Monday, had them pre-approved to go out re-shopping by the afternoon. That created engagement. Who knows if that hadn’t gone, if that client would have remembered that Nick was their favorite loan officer and called. And, in this case, not only was Nick now the favorite loan officer, he was also able to make sure they hadn’t actually reached out to their REALTOR® yet.
So it’s just one more tool in your belt. I just think 2019 is all about client engagement. So I guess at some point, Geoff, it will be appropriate. The new client engagement teaching that I did with Homebot built into it, it’s like 90% done. It will be ready to rock and roll, but I could give out the website, and people could jump in there and at least see the videos on the client-engagement part. And then, if they want to look into Homebot and stuff, they can as well.
Geoff: Yeah, man, is there a URL you want to give out?
Jared: It’s just WinByNoon.info/five. Like you say, you’ll see when you get there. It’s like 90% done. I have no excuses. My goal was to get it done by this morning, and life just sometimes is busy. I got most of it done, but I actually created additional content while I was working on it, because I wanted to give more, and that just didn’t quite…
Geoff: To clarify the URL. It’s WinByNoon.info/five.
Jared: It’s either the number 5 or it’s written out five.
Geoff: I’m going to put that in the comments right now.
Jared: Geoff, I made sure that I covered it either way, just in case someone couldn’t remember.
Geoff: You’re good, man.
Jared: [inaudible 0:26:50] information thing. It’s free. It sends you a link, so you’ve got to look in your spam if you don’t see it. Then you can get in there. It’s got the five ways to increase client engagement in 2019 plus a tool. And then that tool is Homebot.
Geoff: Love it. I just want to give a shout out to some of the people watching live. Thank you for participating and commenting. Jimmy Joseph, what is up? Kaitlyn Shive is here. She says she loves using Homebot. I wish we had known that because I had Kaitlyn and her loan officer. She’s the business development person for Debbie Secord who is a big producer at Guild. We had her on podcast episode number 102, “Going deep versus wide with real estate agents.” So Kaitlyn, shame on me for not knowing that. Love to know more from you about how you guys are leveraging that.
And, of course, Kenny, I see you asking about the URL. It’s in the chat notes here, Kenny. It’s WinByNoon.info/five. What else we got here?
Jared: Just check back later. If you get it today, check back in 48 hours, and then it will be complete.
Geoff: Awesome. Kaitlyn says she just started using it within the last 45 days. Kaitlyn, if you want to throw in any comments, short-term. I know it hasn’t been that long yet, but any client responses or so forth from that. We’ll get back to our panel in just a minimum because Andrea has a question. I think I know the answer, but I’ll let you guys. Ashley, I’ll let you take this. Do you have to have a REALTOR® partner to use it?
Ashley: . No. Absolutely not. As a loan originator, you can join the subscription solely on your own. I highly suggest that you do partner with REALTORS®. It helps you, one, close the loop between the real estate agent, the lender, and the consumer, and it gives you an opportunity to partner with a REALTOR® and their clientele as well. Because when you do partner, you have the ability to put your information in front of all of their database. So when the REALTOR®’s consumers have questions, they get to reach out to the loan officer, which is amazing to be able to partner with a real estate agent where you have the ability to provide real powerful, intelligent information to their consumers that, as a REALTOR®, they may not be able to answer. And vice versa.
Todd: One cool thing is in most markets, a REALTOR® can’t sign up without a loan officer. So that’s also a pretty cool that Homebot does. They put you guys in the driver’s seat.
Geoff: Oh. Really? That’s good to know. I’m curious. When I heard that, Ashley, my price goes to the pricing. We don’t have to talk specifics, but how does that work? If a loan officer is the gatekeeper, how does that work for pricing in local markets and bringing REALTORS® on and stuff like that?
Ashley: . Pricing wouldn’t change based upon the market, and pricing, of course, has to be [inaudible 0:29:43] compliant between the real estate agent and the loan officer. So when the loan officer signs on, they have the option to co-brand with the REALTOR®. And when you co-brand, they do have to pay their dollars amount, and the real estate agent has to pay their dollar amount.
Geoff: Awesome. Jared, I want to tee you up for a second. I think you might be the best person to answer this question. I don’t know. We can have somebody else take it as with. This is awesome. This is like Hollywood Squares or whatever. You can defer. I was going to ask you, you made a reference earlier to the REALTOR® conversations. How do you engage with a REALTOR®? How do you tee up that conversation? And what are you generally finding the response to be?
Jared: In every relationship is a little bit different. But what I try to do, if I’m meeting with a new real estate agent, I’ll find out about their business and get an idea of where they are in terms of their overall career.
Homebot, actually, in the Denver market here has become something that most people now know about. So if Homebot is being introduced into other states, being an early adopter, by the way, is probably a pretty good thing. But what we did in our office is we had a number of loan officers that were interested in doing this, and we just did a focus group. And so we were inviting the real estate agents into our office so we could do a longer presentation, because it’s a difficult thing to try to sit down one on one with a REALTOR® and explain it to them. When you get a lot of people in a room, it makes it a lot more impressive, and you can take a little bit longer.
So we just say, “Listen, we’ve got this amazing tool that allows you to interact with your consumers. It gives them their own website where they can monitor their value, their mortgage, and how to really bring that all together into their overall financial life. It’s something you really should see. It’s cheap. It’s very price effective. You can load your whole database and. And we’re doing this seminar.” And give the date.
So we were introducing it in groups, meetings, so that way we could really get into the guts of it, show them it, have all the questions and answer going and introduce it to them that way.
Ashley: And we provide the tools as well for the loan officers. So we have decks for them, like PowerPoint presentations. We have videos. Maybe we didn’t two years ago.
Jared: You didn’t, no.
Ashley: So we have short little videos. We have long videos. I spend a lot of time out here in Arizona educating loan officers on how to prepare their real estate agents to become a part of it. But honestly, real estate agents love it. They absolutely love it. They’re redefining their actual position. When they’re done with that transaction and they’ve sold that house, what’s happening? Most real estate agents, maybe they had a CRM, maybe they were sending a pumpkin pie recipe. I don’t know. But now we’re putting them in a position where they can deliver this intelligent and powerful financial information, and they can partner with their favorite LO, Jared or Todd.
Todd: What a cool thing too. Someone was asking in Facebook about whether it’s only one LO in there. Yeah. You’re the person that they see on their Home Digest every month. And then the cool thing is that if your REALTOR® signs up their client, and their client see them — it’s their Home Digest — but when they get down and ask any questions on the financial part, because it has the same stuff in there about “Are you interested in refinancing?” Or “Are you interested in paying more principal?” Then that goes to the lender, and it gives you a reason then to pick up the phone, call your agent. Say, “This client that I didn’t work with — it could have been from another lender who worked with them — are you okay if I provide them the information that they asked me for?” Again, you’re creating that teamwork environment with your REALTOR®.
So it’s, just again, one more opportunity. I’m all about avoiding shiny objects. My big belief is keeping it simple. But this is something that is an opportunity that you at least need to explore, assuming that you can build in the time to do the follow up. If you don’t have the time to do the follow up, then you probably have some other things you should look at first. However, from a customer engagement perspective, adding value, this is huge.
Geoff: Yeah. That’s a good summary, guys. You know what this is making me think of? I’m doing a lot of work right now and looking at real estate disruptors out there. And Zillow is where 180 million people go, on average, a month, to view real estate. And one of the things I’m learning in my research is — and you guys kind of alluded to this, and this is why I think agents love it. Ashley and Jared, you’ve experienced this. Kenny as well. Agents finally, I think, are waking up to the proposition that your value is not in the MLS or the homes. That’s long gone. You’re not the gatekeeper anymore. But the real value of a real estate agent now, there’s a lot of data when it comes to buying and selling a home, on the lending side as well. And people, they don’t want to have to digest and understand that data. They want a professional to help them understand and digest that data. And so that’s what I see just on a surface level, one of the things that Homebot does is provide some really engaging and interactive data right on your mobile phone in an awesome mobile-first way. That really helps people digest and assimilate data based on the current value of their home. Are they ripe for a possible refi and things like that?
Kaitlyn, she came back to me and said, she’s only had it was like 45 days, but her and Debbie found it a great way for her, as a loan officer, to stay in touch, stay in front of their clients. And they’ve also received several leads from clients about potentially refinancing or… Here’s another play. Using the Homebot data to show you the power you’ve got now with equity if possibly a move up, if that’s the right time for you.
Ashley: Absolutely. We live in the age of connectivity. We’re now wearing our Apple watches around our wrist. We’re tracking our fitness. We can track our phone time on our phone. We can track our monthly expenses. Literally, there is an app for everything, and this is truly one of a kind. And application, again, it’s not an app that you can download for the app store. I’m going to reiterate that because I get question all the time. But it’s an application where consumers can keep connected and track what their equity position — I shouldn’t just say equity person because not everyone has a ton of equity — but their financial position with their property. And if they own multiple properties, multiple properties as well.
Geoff: Absolutely. Jared, back to you real quickly. I know we’re kind of getting to the end of our time here together. The 64,000 question. I’m putting you on the spot.
Jared: I’m nervous.
Todd: That’s what I’m thinking.
Geoff: You’re next, Bookspan. Deals you can track from Homebot for you or your agents.
Jared: That’s a wonderful question. Frankly, I don’t have a number that I can put on it, because we track all our leads, and I know that over 50% of my business actually comes from my database, either repeat customers or repeat customer referrals. So when we get a client and do their loan again, I’m not saying “It’s just a repeat customer.” So I don’t know if it was Homebot that was the impetus for that.
But what I do is that, again, it’s creating engagement. It’s something that my consumers like and talk about when I’m talking to them on the phone. It’s working. And I know that, again, I don’t know how many deals that is, but I know that when it comes to the refinance stuff, people have let me know that they want to refinance, and we immediately call them on the phone, and we get it going. I don’t track that. Okay, that was Homebot. It’s just a repeat customer. But it’s definitely making an impact.
And I could tell even over this last year, the industry was down about 30%, I think, overall. My business in 2018 was also down, unfortunately. It was down over about 4%. But my purchase business was way up. Now there’s other thing that we were doing in that. Again, it’s about 20 to 30% in 2018 that my purchase business was up. But I think somewhat attributable to that is that we’re actively engaged with our consumers using Homebot as one of those tools, as well as our annual mortgage review, to really make sure that we’re in constant communication with them and letting them know that we have their back, and we’re the information source that they need to go to when they’re thinking about selling or buying new real estate or refinancing.
Geoff: That’s a great point. I’m going to come to you in a second, Todd. But it kind of piggybacks on what I was saying just a moment ago about, even though people are still going to go online to various destinations and portals and all that kind of stuff, the whole point is they may go on there to consume data, but we still want to bring them back to us, being that personal brand that they know, like, and trust. So I think that’s what you’re experiencing as a result of your engagement you’ve got built around your past clients. Good, good stuff.
Todd, did you have something you want add, sir?
Todd: I would just throw in a couple of things. The cost is low. For a REALTOR®, I think the Homebot statistic is if you close one deal in the first 30 days, it pays for a Homebot for 20 years. So when you’re talking to a REALTOR®, I think it’s really easy because the cost is so low for them, for 500 clients, to get them in there. Again, it kind of makes it a no-brainer as long as they understand how to use it.
And I think, ultimately, in the end, if you’re doing the right things as a loan officer — use Jared as your example — you’re keeping in touch with your database, you’re doing mortgage reviews. All you’re doing is just one more tool in the tool belt that makes it so that you’re adding more value. And you’re helping eliminate some of the noise. You want your clients to see you as the expert. And if you just send them a postcard every now and then or you just send them an email every month that they hit the lead on, that’s not really going to get you there. Think about engagement in 2019 would be all that I would encourage people to do. And just be crystal clear with a system to follow up with people, to reach out to the ones who don’t engage.
Geoff: Awesome. Well said. Ashley, you want to close it out for us here?
Ashley: Absolutely. I love everything that Jared and Todd were saying about your current database, but I also want people to keep in mind you can use this as a tool to engage with your renters, people who are looking to buy as well. We have a buyers platform that’s part of it. So it’s amazing new tool that we launched at the end of 2018.
We’re really trying to become one of the largest innovators in this whole AI world. In fact, we just won the 2018 Realogy innovator of the year, which was really awesome. So Realogy has our back. I recently got to speak at Inman with Brad Inman in Beverly Hills at the conference. We’re out there. And Jared being an early adopter two years ago and still, two years later, still loving it and liking it, that’s awesome. I’m really proud that I am able to be part of a company that not only… I always say we want to inspire, educate, and empower, and I truly feel like through Homebot, I am able to inspire real estate agents and lenders to become more connected to their clients, educate them on how to connect them, and then educate their consumers as well.
So I’m proud to be part of Homebot. I’m proud to have people — Jaren and Todd — that love it just as much and are out there preaching out it. It’s amazing. Thank you guys. I really, really am super grateful.
Geoff: I agree with you 100%, and that’s part of why I wanted to have you guys on. I think I told you, Ashley, I actually got exposed to Homebot — I don’t know — at least six months ago or more, and it’s been on my radar for some time. So kudos to you guys for getting the Realogy Innovator of the Year award. That’s awesome. And you hanging with Mr. [inaudible 0:42:24]. It never hurts to do that. Jim Striker, what’s up?
So for those who want more information about Homebot, Ashley, what do you recommend? Where should they go?
Ashley: Easiest place to go is Homebot.ai.
Geoff: Couldn’t be more simple than that. You have demo there, I believe, which is probably the best way to make an evaluation on Homebot is to watch the demo.
Ashley: Yeah. Absolutely watch the demo. You can schedule one on one, or you can reach out. If you’re in Arizona, you can reach out to me personally.
Geoff: Awesome. Great. Listen, guys. I know you’re incredibly busy. Thanks for being here. Everybody watching live, thanks for tuning in live. If you’re watching the replay, thank you too. Check all the links we’re going to put in here. If you’re listening to this on the podcast, you know we love you too. There will be links in the show notes, and feel free to come on over to our Facebook pages, whether it’s the Facebook page on… You know what I’m saying. Mortgage Marketing Radio Facebook page or Podcast Community of Facebook. Check that out, our Facebook group as well. Once again, guys, thanks. Have a great day.