A Solopreneur and His Organization Army: A Shoeboxed Success Story

Robert DiIorio

Real Pro Systems client Robert DiIorio mentions our company in this interview with shoeboxed.com.

Shoeboxed: Well, congratulations on taking the plunge! What stage is your business in at this point?

Robert DiIorio: In real estate, it’s important to establish yourself as a valuable resource for your clients. The goal is to be their real estate agent for life, so from the very beginning the focus has to be on building and maintaining your relationship with them. So that’s where we’re starting.

On the business side of things, we’re at the very beginning. We’re figuring out the basics, like our sales and marketing processes, how to get and nurture leads, how to follow up, that kind of thing. Our website is up, Rod Bender and Tina Morriello of Real Pro Systems are both doing a great job of helping with the development, and we’re working to establish a presence on social media sites and building community pages. There’s still a lot to do, but we’re making progress quickly.

Click here to read the whole interview.

Happy Real Pro Systems Client Robert DiIorio

1796458_10152649135393327_661061301_n

Thank you note from Rod to Robert:

It’s really gratifying for everyone here at Real Pro Systems to know we are making our clients happy. I know you mainly work with Tina and myself, but all this is a team effort for sure. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes here. Our General Manager was wondering who sent the basket, so Tina and I filled him in on your new website and all the things you do on the side, as well as the fact that you are a good guy to work with.

So thanks again for the recognition and your generosity.

Best regards,
Rod Bender
Client Care

NEW FEATURE: Real Pro Systems/IDX Pt Polygon Link Generator

IDXnewFeature

Now, when you include integrated IDX featuring the new IDX Pt as part of your Real Pro Systems solution, you can create “Polygon Links” to better refine your clients’ search experience!

The new map-based Polygon Link Generator can be used to fine-tune search results link to a specific neighborhood, subdivision, golf course – any area you define!

  • Great resource when the MLS doesn’t provide a field name for a geographic area (subdivision, neighborhood, etc.)
  • Adds an unlimited amount of new keywords to your results link possibilities – now you can build pages that promote areas such surrounding a golf course, listings near a park, or “East of the river; West of the highway.” There are virtually no limits to the areas you define.
  • Now you can ensure that listings located in a particular area (where an address can be geocoded) are included in the client’s search results.
  • Overcome listing data that may be incorrect due to a fieldname selection made (or not made) by the listing Agent.
  • Set predefined search regions by drawing a shape on the map using your cursor. It’s that simple!
  • Zoom in and fine-tune the dimensions as needed.
  • GREAT addition to community pages.
    • A truly integrated IDX solution is an essential part of your complete Internet marketing system. The new Polygon Link Generator makes it even more valuable. Listings are the main reason any potential client visits your site, and further refining their search experience helps cement you as their agent of choice when it comes time for them to buy or sell their home.

      If you’d like to put this powerful tool to work for you, call 541-743-8510 or email info@realprosystems.com

The Resources You Need to Get Started

shutterstock_161266049
So you’ve followed some great advice and not only do you have a website, but you’ve decided to employ a stealth marketing strategy to promote the services you offer to consumers. Like any strategy, your stealth websites won’t work magic on their own, they need nurturing. As a Real Pro Systems’ client you’ll find a host of samples and templates available to you, at no cost, in your admin panel, under “Resource Center.”

Capturing visitor information is becoming increasingly difficult as buyers become savvier using the Internet to drive their search, making the role of targeted stealth sites that much more important.

These simple, lightly-branded sites can be powerful tools to generate leads if they are marketed successfully. The first step is to drive traffic to your stealth sites. Driving targeted traffic to a stealth site can be done in a multitude of ways including traditional offline and online marketing strategies. And we can help!

Five Tips for Stealth Site Lead Generation:

1. Postcard Campaign

Print is NOT dead! In fact, a sustained postcard campaign to a farming area can be tremendously successful. By far the most effective postcards are those which address the pain of the consumer and provide a clear call to action. For instance, if you are driving traffic to a CMA site, your postcard could address the question “What is my home worth in today’s market?” while also providing a quick and easy way to obtain the answer, like “Visit www.yourdomain.com to find out how much your home is worth in today’s market. It’s fast, free and automated.”
We know how challenging it can be to make these postcards. In an effort to insure that you receive all of the tools that you need, we’ve developed several postcard templates for our clients that are available in your control panel in both PDF and Microsoft Publisher file formats.

Bonus tip: The United States Postal Service has made direct mail postcards a simple process with the development of the Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM) service. This program makes sending postcards to a farm area fast, easy and inexpensive. Get started today by visiting https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm.

2. Property Flyers Ads

Property fliers present a marketing opportunity for those consumers who might not click with the home that they are viewing. Instead of wasting all of that white space on the back of the flyer, why not offer the next steps to finding their dream home by directing them to one or both your stealth sites. By creating a half page ad for your email home search stealth site and a half page CMA site, you’re able to target both buyers and sellers! Examples of these ads are available in the resource center. Remember that the most effective ads will be the ones that provide a consistent message promoting your stealth site.

3. Business Card Ads

Another effective print strategy was introduced to us by one of our clients, Jason O’Neil, who created a double-sided business card sized ad to promote his stealth sites. On one side he created an ad for his email home search site, and on the other side an ad for his CMA site. These business card ads are a great way to promote your stealth sites locally in places that encourage you to leave business cards, such as coffee shops.

Bonus tip: A business card sized ad is also perfect for print publications. Have you ever purchased an ad for the PTA or some other publication that asked for your business card? Using this in the ad instead helps you stand out and drives traffic to your stealth site!

4. Magazine & Newspaper Ads (TOMA)

One of the most important things to remember with marketing is that it takes seven marketing impressions before someone typically takes action, which means you need to repeatedly stay top-of-mind. One great way to stay top-of-mind is with a TOMA ad. This type of advertising works well in newspapers and magazines. They are typically cost-conscious black and white ads, but they provide a coherent message and call to action that can generate a substantial amount of traffic over time. Samples of TOMA ads that you can employ today can be found within your Real Pro Systems admin panel under the resources tab.

5. Pay Per Click Marketing

By their very nature, stealth sites have been optimized for relevancy and lead conversion as each landing page addresses a single field, which makes them optimal for pay per click advertising. Consumer confidence increases and they are more likely to fill out the lead capture form when they are assured that they landed on the right page with consistent messaging from ad to landing page. Real Pro Systems offers two different pay per click programs for buyer lead generation available at the RPS Gold PLUS and RPS Platinum levels. Please contact your sales representative at 541-743-8500 for more information.

Marketing your stealth sites doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. The Real Pro Systems resource center provides you with a plethora of tips, templates and examples of stealth site lead generation marketing strategies. Let us help you get started generating leads today!

The Most Powerful Tool You Might Not Know You Already Have

Automated Lead Import When it comes to lead generation there are no one-size-fits all plans. Reality is that most agents are using multiple sources to ensure that lead flow is consistent and that they are not dependent on a single source. Unfortunately when you generate leads in different places, you are often reliant on different systems to follow up and house the leads. This process can be disjointed- trying to remember which system does what, which one you’ve logged into today and, ultimately, things get missed.

It doesn’t have to be that way! Real Pro Systems helps you automatically consolidate and distribute your leads with our Automated Lead Import tool. In the past three years, we’ve grown our import list to over thirty-five commercial sources including Zillow, Trulia, Proquest, Realtor.com, VoicePad and many, many more.

This real-time lead import provides an automated way to consolidate all of your leads across multiple lead sources. This means that as soon as you receive a lead from any one of these systems, they flow directly into your RPS Silver, RPS Gold PLUS or RPS Platinum control panel and automated drip system. There is no need to worry about notifications or distribution because as soon as a new lead arrives, it is distributed by the business rules you set and you’ll get a notification, just as you do for leads that have come from the Real Pro Systems sources.

This automation saves you hours of tedious effort to get all of your leads into a single system. What’s more, there is no charge for this service!

Don’t Wait Any Longer
For a full list of the sources we support or to start automatically importing leads today contact your client care representative at 541.743.8500.

App or No App?

"There's an ap for that" “There’s an app for that.”

It’s a phrase that Apple has made part of our daily conversations. Mobile applications, or “apps,” have become an integral part of our Internet browsing experience. However, there are many compelling reasons why developers may choose not to create an app and instead choose to create a “web-based” solution.

For example, web-based solutions make it easier to address multiple platform and operating system considerations since there is no platform-dependency (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc). This becomes an important consideration as new platforms and new versions of existing platforms are introduced frequently.

Apps also require user installation and require the user to keep the app version updated. It’s frustrating when you’re in a hurry, open an app, and discover a message that says, “Update required.” You then have to return to the marketplace, such as iTunes, to obtain the updated app.

Speaking of iTunes, app development requires marketplace considerations. Even if the app is free, the user will have to establish an account with the marketplace provider in order to download the app. If the marketplace experiences outages, the app and updates may be temporarily unavailable for download. Furthermore, much of the app development time can be spent meeting the requirements of the marketplace provider, often adding unnecessary hours, days or weeks to the overall development time required.

Ongoing development of web-based solution is easier since it doesn’t require developers to repeat the process of evaluating platform-compatibility and marketplace considerations. Web-based solutions don’t require users to update their app each time the developer makes updates.

The performance and appearance of a web-based solution can be very similar to that of a desktop-installed app. In fact, most smartphone operating systems allow you to create shortcuts on your home screen that look and feel much like apps but do not require updates and do not rely on operating system updates.

That’s not to say that apps are bad. In many ways, they’ve created convenience and changed the way we approach Internet browsing. But it’s valuable to consider the important reasons why developers may choose to go with a web-based solution over an app.

A Look Back at 10 Years of Our Web Design

Our web design has had many different twists and turns since we began this journey in 2003. And while we were fortunate enough to skip the early 1990’s when websites were exclusively text-based, we’ve had our share of “ohhh, did we really do that?” moments along the way. We are truly thankful for just how far we’ve come in the past ten years.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look back at Real Pro System’s web design to see how we’ve evolved (for better and for worse) over the last decade.

The Age of Antiquity
When we rolled out www.realprosystems.com in 2003, our layout might have been right on par with the times, but if you’ll notice we had a FLASH demo & a video testimonial! We were using video before using video was cool, thanks to the genius of Joe Lininger, a Real Pro Systems founder and our current Director of Client Services.

Age of Antiquity RPS

The Middle Ages
By 2004, we were making some serious strides online, not only with our client sites, but with our own. We had our first official Real Pro Systems logo and color theme, which as you’ll see throughout the balance of the post, has remained in some form through today.

Middle Ages RPS

The Renaissance
“Renaissance” literally defined means rebirth. When I joined the company in late 2006, our site had remained reasonably unchanged for over two years and it was time to start working on our online renaissance. It would almost a year before we unveiled a brand new look for Real Pro Systems in July of 2007 along with a brand new logo!

Reniannance RPS

The Enlightenment
From 2007 to 2010, things were changing so rapidly that if we showed every screen shot from that time period we’d be here for a while. We were growing so fast. We went from a small startup company with a few employees to busting out of our office space. We outgrew our office space TWICE in three years. It wasn’t just our team that was growing; we were expanding product offerings and adding valuable features so quickly that even communicating them to our clients became a challenge! By 2010, we had a range of products: RPS Silver, RPS Gold and RPS Platinum. And if you noticed, we also upgraded our logo one more time…

Industrial Age RPS

Industrial Revolution
We’ve never stopped innovating, and we don’t plan ever stopping. In the real estate industry, the one thing that is constant is change, and we’re prepared for it. In 2011, using social media in your online marketing was no longer for the early adopters. It had become a mainstream need, and with the advent of Facebook business pages, we jumped in the ring with a solution that integrated into your existing system (or as a standalone, depending upon an agent’s needs).

Enlightenment RPS

Today
Today, a decade after our very first website was published, we’ve changed things up yet again. We may have dramatically changed our website over the past ten years, but some things will never change at Real Pro Systems. In the past decade, we have firmly established ourselves as a leader in complete integrated online marketing systems and support for real estate agents and teams. We can’t wait to see what the next decade will bring.

Today RPS

What is SmartZip CMA?

In today’s rebounding Real Estate market, attracting sellers and garnering listings is highly competitive. Agents looking for an edge have discovered that unbranded, or “stealth” marketing sites are a tremendously successful way to interest sellers. One of the key engagement tools included in Real Pro Systems’ stealth site for seller lead generation is SmartZip CMA.

A homeowner interested in selling their home can visit a seller stealth website where they can request a CMA. While the results are presented right away, in order to see the results the visitor is required to register, providing their name and email address.

smartzipreg
SmartZip CMA Registration

While SmartZip CMA is a powerful tool to connect with sellers, many agents have questions about the technology, how it functions, and how it fits into your RPS system toolbox.

What is a SmartZip CMA report?
A SmartZip CMA report provides an estimated home value range, computed using a proprietary algorithm based on hundreds of distinct variables on over 80 million residential homes across 56,000 U.S. neighborhoods. The report displays an interactive format where users can update the home details and select similar homes (comps) to improve the accuracy of the estimate. The report also provides an overview of neighborhood ratings.

Where does the data come from?
The SmartZip database is built on public county records that are licensed from one of the largest and most reputed vendors in the industry. Other data sets related to neighborhood, community, demographics, schools, economic factors, housing supply, risks, crime, etc. are aggregated from over a dozen trusted vendors and public sources.

How often is the data updated?
The data is updated as frequently as possible, depending on the availability of new data from the county public records. This can range from a few weeks to multiple months in different areas.

Why does the SmartZip system fail to return a report for some addresses?
SmartZip has over 80 million properties in their database which covers 90% of the residential homes in the US. When properties are not found, it could be for one of several reasons:

• The address was entered wrong in search bar and doesn’t standardize to the database
• The property is not recorded by the county
(*Note: Condo units often have this issue when only certain units are recorded while other are not, or unit numbers are missing from county records)
• The property did not have sufficient info for SmartZip to create a CMA report

In all cases, please report the address not found and we will dig into it – we strive for continuous improvement. You can report missing home data to your Real Pro Systems client care representative.

Why is the bedroom, bathroom or square footage data missing or incomplete on some SmartZip CMA reports?
The most common cause of this issue is missing data from the county records. If you have any questions about the data available on a CMA report, please contact your Real Pro Systems client care representative.

If I use SmartZip in conjunction with a stealth marketing site to generate seller leads, do those leads have access to the CMA report immediately after registration?
Yes. Users that register on your SmartZip stealth site can review the full CMA report on screen immediately after registration.

Do my SmartZip CMA leads receive an email version of the CMA report?
Yes. Users that register on your SmartZip stealth site will receive an email with the initial CMA report on the first day of registration. They will also receive an updated CMA report every 30 days (the frequency of this update can be adjusted up/down from your RPS back office).

Can I automatically subscribe my SmartZip CMA Leads to an email drip campaign?
Yes. By default your SmartZip leads will be subscribed to the RPS provided CMA and SmartZip (which sends each lead an updated CMA report every 30 days) drip email campaigns. You can change the drip campaigns that your SmartZip CMA leads are subscribed to inside your RPS back office.

Can I view the home information requested by a SmartZip lead?
Yes. The home information requested is saved with each SmartZip lead as form history. You can review this at any time from inside your RPS back office. You will also receive a lead notification with all of the lead and home information for each lead submission.

Can I customize my SmartZip CMA stealth site?
Yes. We offer a number of customization options, including a custom stealth site image or changes to the stealth site banner text. Please contact your Real Pro Systems client care representative for additional information about customization options.

Can I bulk import leads into the SmartZip system?
We do not currently support importing CMA leads into the SmartZip system, but we are looking into this as a feature enhancement for a future system release.

Can I preview a stealth marketing site?
Yes! You are welcomed and encouraged to visit http://www.platinumhomevalue.com/ for a closer look at a seller stealth marketing site in conjunction with SmartZip CMA.

How do I take advantage of this amazing tool?
SmartZip CMA (and stealth marketing sites in general) is available to RPS Gold PLUS and RPS Platinum clients. If you are interested in learning more about how this powerful lead generation tool can work for you, please contact our knowledgeable sales consultants at 541-743-8510, email info@realprosystems.com, or simply complete the information request form on any page of our website.

What We Think We Do

handsEarly last month, on a rare occasion that our entire team is in the same place at the same time, we decided to try a little experiment. We’ve all seen those posters that say:

“What society thinks I do”
“What my friends think I do”
“What my mom thinks I do”
“What I think I do”

Well, we wanted to know “What we think we do.” So we decided to find out… We asked the entire team what THEY think we do by asking two questions:

1. At Real Pro Systems, we…
2. We do this because…

We wanted everyone to be as candid as possible, so we allowed them to keep their responses anonymous. What we discovered was that everyone on our team – from IT to Customer Service to Professional Services to Sales – has a pretty clear grasp on what we do. In Marketing, we were pretty impressed by how well they were able to articulate it when asked. They were eager to share it too!

As you would expect, words like “Internet,” “Service,” and “Success” came up a lot. In fact, the majority of responses were very similar. That’s not surprising. In a close-knit company with dedicated focus, everyone should be on the same page.

We thought you’d appreciate hearing their thoughts too.

At Real Pro Systems, we:

Provide websites, lead capture, lead management, lead incubation, and content management tools for Real Estate agents.

Create highly-flexible and functional professional-branded websites and lead management systems for Real Estate agents.

Help Real Estate professionals succeed by providing tools, strategies, insight and education into online marketing.

Provide a robust Internet website solution for Real Estate agents.

Provide fully-supported business productivity and marketing systems for Real Estate professionals and teams.

Offer Internet marketing solutions to help Real Estate professionals increase their Internet business, increase commissions and maintain their work life balance.

Help our agent clients generate leads, cultivate them, and close business.

Build websites and web solutions for Real Estate professionals.

Provide the best client care and continually strive to improve our product to benefit our clients.

Provide comprehensive Internet marketing systems that increases Real Estate professionals’ bottom line.

Provide Real Estate agents with the tools they need to be competitive in today’s online market. Provide better customer service than any other provider of these services.

Pride ourselves on our customer service. We also enjoy Nerf dart wars. (Editor’s Note: That last part is true. If you’re ever in our offices, be on the alert for flying Nerf darts.)

Go above and beyond to make our clients happy.

We do this because:

Customer support is the backbone of our service and the face of the company for our clients.

We want our clients to feel like a part of Real Pro Systems. Their success is our success!

We want to be the best at what we do.

We can maintain a competitive edge because our company is guided by Real Estate professionals who know what agents need.

Our unique background puts us in a position to understand and meet the needs of Real Estate agents.

The market demands it. Agents need tools to be successful.

We love what we do and we understand what Realtors need.

We have experience and expertise in all of the needed fields: Real Estate, web development, software development, and marketing.

There is no more rewarding business model than to be a small part of our clients’ success. It serves as the foundation for our growth.

It’s fun (Like, really).

We care!

We rock!

One of our team members summed it up in this way: At Real Pro Systems, we do what we do in order to give the new agent the best chance of success, the above average agent the tools to grow and the superstar agent the ability to stay on top.

What do YOU think we do?

Meet Our Leadership (Part One)

It’s funny how time plays tricks on us. Ten years feels like a lifetime and like yesterday all wrapped in one. Real Pro Systems is somewhat of an accidental company. If you had told the founders that they would one day start an industry leading web solutions company, they might have laughed at you.

Back then, they were a couple of real estate agents and a techy guy with a passion for technology and getting things done. They saw a hole in the market and set out to fill it, for themselves. They were pleasantly surprised when their peers inquired about the tools they were using and wanted a system just like theirs.

Some things have definitely changed since those early days in an 8 x8 office with one employee. We’ve added to the team a bit, and under the direction of our General Manager today we have nearly 50 employees, and 8000 square feet of space. On the other hand some things haven’t changed. Those two agents are still active in their markets today, and the techy guy- well he’s the head of Client Services.

We wanted you to know them like we do, and learn a little bit about what they think of Real Pro Systems, so we asked each one a couple of questions:

What is your fondest memory at Real Pro Systems (so far)?
Rob Levy: I would probably have to say the early days with three people working out of an 8X8 office. It was crowded and fun, but we got it done. And to think- here we are today with over 40 people and 8,000SF.

Caine O’Brien: There are so many wonderful memories… I would have to say it came at a Star Power conference where we introduced RPS Platinum, a ground-breaking system on which I had worked long and hard. I was demonstrating it to a long-time RPS Gold client. He kept asking me “can it do this?” type questions. As I answered “yes” to question after question, I could see his excitement building higher and higher. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he ran out of words and gave me a huge bear hug!!

Did you ever imagine Real Pro Systems would be where we are today?
Rob Levy: I always knew if we provided what the agents were looking for we would grow as a company. What we did was hire stellar staff, listen to our clients and most importantly keep Galand and myself as Realtors – which kept us in the clients’ world, not the vendors’ world. This enabled us to see what was missing in agents businesses and then create products to fill that gap. So no, but I am sure proud of where we are now.

Caine O’Brien: Yes, I really did. Joe, Galand and Rob, had built something extraordinary, and I recognized that it “had legs” before joining the company. Leveraging their vision into a much larger organization required systems and procedures, exactly what we have been teaching agents to do with their businesses! And I can say with confidence, that there is nothing in the market, and nothing from our competitors that will prevent us from growing far more in the years to come. It’s up to us to define and fulfill our vision; what’s more exciting than that?

What do you envision for the next five years at Real Pro Systems?
Rob Levy: As the market is (finally) improving I see us continue to be on the leading edge of creating tools for Realtors to do more business in less time. I have seen and am participating in what we are creating right now, and it’s exciting!

Caine O’Brien: We have grown rapidly through the worst depression in real estate in 75 years. Can you even imagine what we would be able to do with a tailwind brought by a recovering market? This is as exciting as anything in the dot com era. I can’t go into our strategic plan in this blog post, but I can tell you that we are motivated to make sophisticated systems and technology accessible to all agents, regardless of their current level of business or technical skills. That vision will absolutely carry us for the next five years.

Can you share what drives you?
Rob Levy: To do the best job I can and not disappoint folks. Whether selling houses or providing RPS products to Realtors – many of whom are my friends – I always want to make sure everyone gets what they want and need. If that happens, the businesses grow and everyone is happy.

Caine O’Brien: People. There’s nothing that galvanizes my attention more than hiring, training, motivating, and providing clear direction for the best people we can find. Helping them develop their careers so that they are figuring out where to take Real Pro Systems next. RPS is too big for any one of us to single-handedly make it happen anymore; our success will not come from a power boss who calls all the shots, it will come from empowering the next set of leaders who will take an increasing role in defining our direction. Providing the direction, structure, and culture to enable and empower that next set of leaders is in front of me every minute of every day.

Up next a view of Real Pro Systems from Joe Lininger and Galand Haas.