Inman Connect 2018 Recap - The View from Start Up Alley
For iovox, this was our first time attending Inman Connect and it lived up to the hype. We are moderating our post-conference euphoria, but we must admit, we were thrilled by the reaction to our new mobile and desktop app and were grateful for all the smart, innovative professionals we met along the way. This blog captures a few of our takeaways.
Real Estate. Real Talk.Whether it was watching the sparks fly during Brad Inman’s interview of Keller Williams co-founder and Chairman, Gary Keller, or through candid discussions at our booth, we loved the unfiltered commentary and feedback we received.
— Billy Ekofo (@BillyEkofo) July 18, 2018
Since this was our first Inman Connect event and really iovox’s first conference exposure of our new call tracking and productivity app, we were ready for some straight talk – good or bad – and we got plenty of it, including these gems.
- “This is smart as hell”
- “How fast can I get all my agents on this?”
- “This is the most interesting thing I’ve seen.”
- “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
- “You mean I can push a call into Salesforce with one button? Here’s my card.”
- “I need this right now.”
- “This other CRM app is sh&%. Your app actually makes a lot of sense”.
- “No one will use this unless it’s really easy.”
Among the real estate pros we talked to, there was no holding back when it came to opinions. We learned a lot about some of the things that frustrate agents and brokers alike, including the pain of interaction tracking as part of the lead management process.
Tracking Interactions is Central to Any Real Estate ProfessionalIt’s clear that urgency in following up with a potential new listing or buyer is critical, and regardless of company size or the number of agents, interaction tracking of all the touchpoints in the sales process is essential to success.
Enter real estate CRM.
In addition to the homegrown proprietary CRM systems, there are plenty of big names that serve multiple industries like Zoho and Salesforce as well as specialists like Chime, Boomtown, Firepoint, and Follow Up Boss. At our booth, among the more frequently asked questions was whether our app allowed phone calls to be integrated into CRM systems. The answer is yes…but…
At iovox, our call tracking and management solution works well by itself without any integration with CRM and gives people the ability to tag, search, and add notes to any phone conversation, all while using the dialer that comes with their phone. No special app just to make calls. We learned that this was actually a very important distinction for the following reason.
If you’re like most people, you probably use your phone to talk to your family, friends and have many other non-client related phone calls in a typical day. Do all those calls need to be in the CRM? Of course not. Do you remember to use a special CRM dialing app for every call you make? Probably not. What about inbound calls? Can your CRM app track those too? Probably not, unless your combining the solution with a virtual number that you give out to callers.
These are important distinctions with the iovox service when comparing to CRM mobile phone apps.
- We work with your phone’s dialer, so no change to the way you make or receive calls
- We support call tracking for inbound and outbound calls
- You don’t need a special dialer app
- Only calls that you want shared into your CRM are shared.
To answer the question about whether iovox has CRM integrations, the answer is yes, we’ve designed our service to be a complement to existing CRM systems. For those that don’t want the cost and complexity that can come with CRM, they can use iovox as a standalone solution.
Best of all, the basic iovox service is free unless you want to expand the search history of your call data, but even then you’d be looking at a minimal charge of less than $7 a month. That also includes a desktop interface that gives you all the analytics you need to evaluate performance.
Keep It Simple or Forget About Mass AdoptionAs agents, brokers, and other leaders and influencers passed by our booth, we struck up conversations about the state of technology in the real estate industry and we learned many things.
One familiar refrain was that the amount of new tech can be overwhelming with too many passwords to manage and sometimes steep learning curves for busy people that already have enough to do. One bit of advice we received, was that unless the technology is; 1) easy to use, and 2) easily translated into value, that the tech alone, however sexy, isn’t likely to break out as a must-have solution.
In fact, when talking with one broker about technology pain points, he indicated that getting agents to simply log call interactions in CRM was very challenging. As a side note, this is not unique to the real estate industry. Ask any sales professional with a large (or small) field sales team and you are likely to hear the same comment. Entering data into CRM is often an afterthought or done at the end of a busy day (if at all).
We know it’s critical to get data into CRM and we know it has to be simple. So that’s where our integration comes in handy. Without changing the way you make or receive calls, once a call is over, you can transcribe notes into the call history and press a button to share straight into your CRM system.
One of the best lines we heard at our booth was someone who was seeing the iovox solution for the first time and was impressed with how easy it was to use. The person then said, “You mean with one touch of a button I can put those call details into Salesforce automatically?” We said the answer was “yes” to which he replied, “Here’s my card.” Who knows where that will lead, but we understand simplicity is essential and we’re committed to making everything we build as convenient as possible.
Big Apple, Here we ComeWe owe the team at Inman a big thank you for their support in our inaugural exhibition. We now understand why the conference is called Inman “Connect” as we made many new friends and learned a lot from some very smart and experienced real estate professionals. To those of you that stopped by our booth, thank you for doing so and sharing your wisdom with us.
For those we have yet to meet, please reach out via our website, or make a note to come see us at Inman Connect in New York in early 2019. We’ll be there to listen and learn again.
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