The Real Estate Law Podcast

Organic Growth and Real Estate Marketing with Showcase IDX Chief Marketing Officer Kurt Uhlir

October 11, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 71
The Real Estate Law Podcast
Organic Growth and Real Estate Marketing with Showcase IDX Chief Marketing Officer Kurt Uhlir
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome globally-recognized marketer and serial entrepreneur Kurt Uhlir to the podcast! Kurt is the CMO for Showcase IDX and has the unique bilingual ability to speak business and tech.

Kurt has generated over $10 billion in value for investors and clients as a business operator, product visionary and angel investor. He has run businesses from start-up to over $500M annual revenue, assembled teams across six continents, an IPO ($880M), and multiple acquisitions.

He was at the front lines creating several of the marketing channels we all use today, including social media management, influencer marketing, and location- based marketing. In recent years, he has focused on helping individual business owners and marketing agencies, with a heavy focus on real estate.

At Showcase IDX, Kurt and his team have analyzed more than 50,000 real estate websites over each of the past 3 years, and the agent businesses behind them, to identify what works in modern marketing. Showcase IDX is the only true independency IDX service, and the only home search that research shows consumers prefer to using Zillow.

Things we discussed in this episode:
- Why does a brokerage need an IDX site?
- Does a good IDX site attract new clients?
- What agents can do immediately to improve their influence of their websites.
- How Kurt took an 18-month sabbatical to spend more time with his family.
- In a world where anyone can be considered an “influencer” how can somebody set themselves apart?
- Consumer privacy and what happens when a buyer gives information to Zillow\
- What are some good practices to make use of the IDX investment and drive people to a real estate website?
- What are 3 things real estate agents need to implement into their marketing strategies right now

Where you can find Kurt:
Website - https://kurtuhlir.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/kurtuhlir/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/c/KurtUhlir
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kurt.uhlir
Twitter - https://twitter.com/KurtUhlir

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestatelaw #entrepreneurship #idx #realestateagent #realestatemarketing #idxwebsites #timefreedom #cmo
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Kurt Uhlir:

My biggest thing is one thing is people have to realize this, especially if you're an agent or anything in real estate. This is an influence economy. People are making this there are places where, hey, a lot of times, like, Hey, I actually need a real estate lawyer in Georgia for a topic right now. Who is am I shopping that no, I'm, I'm really just gonna take the recommendation from my estate planning attorney, and I'll do a quick vet, but anything else in real estate and even there,

Announcer:

You found The Real Estate Law Podcast. Because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, or looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and discover more at the realestatelawpodcast.com

Jason Muth:

Welcome to The Real Estate Law Podcast. We're here with another excellent episode and Rory, I decided to wear my best dad shirt, because we got a bunch of dads here. I know you got a jacket on. But we have Kurt Uhlir here from Showcase IDX he's a great internet marketer. He runs Showcase IDXW we're gonna learn about IDX websites, some best practices for real estate agents. We're going to talk about entrepreneurship today and dads, we got to talk about dads we already talked about Bluey, right Kurt? I mean you brought this into the conversation before we hit record. We do watch blue I saw a beautiful young girl on your Instagram page.

Kurt Uhlir:

Yeah. That's my daughter Hannah Grace.

Jason Muth:

What's her name? Anna?

Kurt Uhlir:

Hannah Grace.

Jason Muth:

Hannah Grace. That's awesome. And you have a second child right?

Kurt Uhlir:

I have a three year old son named Judah.

Rory Gill:

So yeah. Wow. We have a three year old daughter named Cecily so keeps all of our keeps us all busy, but. Rory, you're the one that dressed up for the occasion. Kurt's got nice shirt on also but you know I literally went all Dad. I have Dad shorts on, Dad New Balance shoes on. I just went all dad for this episode.

Kurt Uhlir:

I am wearing khaki shorts. You can't see them in here. But I have khaki shorts on.

Jason Muth:

You are. Hey, Rory you know, you have a couple of

Rory Gill:

Go right ahead, Jason. websites with IDX on them. You know, I'd love to get your conversation with Kurt going on it. But let's see. Can we

Jason Muth:

Okay, Kurt runs Showcase IDX. And at first I introduce Kurt first, Rory? thought you were just doing the marketing, but you were on the whole shebang. So we're gonna have to hear more about Showcase IDX. You've run startups, you know, with revenue over $500 million annually. You are a public speaker, you've spoken to lots of groups around the country. You're a globally recognized marketer. We'd love to hear about some of the work that you've done around the world as well. And you know, you're well versed entrepreneurship. You're coming to us from Georgia, the great state of Georgia. That's a big welcome to the podcast. So thank you, Kurt. Thank you for joining us.

Kurt Uhlir:

Hey, thanks for having me both of you.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, absolutely. Rory Gill from NextHome Titletown Real Estate and UrbanVillage Legal here in Boston. I know you don't have IDX on your law firm's website, but you certainly have it on NextHome Titletown's websites. And maybe you set the stage and talk about how important IDX is on your websites.

Rory Gill:

Before we get too far into it. I want to make sure that let everyone know we're not this is not too technical of a podcast. IDX is Internet Data Exchange. And I could be corrected on that. But it's the tool that allows real estate brokerages to have listings live real estate listings on their websites, even listings of other brokerages pulling from the MLS. But it's great, you know, really essential marketing tool that we have on our websites that allows customers to see us and come to us first in their home search instead of kind of looking elsewhere. And then just coming to us by chance if you know, once they're ready to go. It engages people, it keeps people happy on the buyer side demonstrates the market to people but it's really a core piece of our marketing. We wouldn't be able to do half of what we do with email marketing, social media without it.

Jason Muth:

Kurt how'd he do? Was that close?

Kurt Uhlir:

He did great. I mean, it is it is getting all the listings in the area on the site. And I mean, I agree. It's a core part a core part of the market. I mean, for me, it's the foundation, it needs your website as an agent, or brokerage or team has to have IDX because, and depending on what you choose, it provides three different things for you. It provides alerts because you can sign go and sign up your clients for things that are meeting their needs. There's retention, because if you're not using if you don't have IDX or a home search, it's one thing just pulling the data but it doesn't. It's not in a modern tools that your buyers will actually use your they're gonna go to Zillow. And then the only competitive thing I can tell you in real estate is a competitive agent will call your client and like and so that kind of sucks. But then depending on how you how you market it and solution, there's a huge chance for organic growth as well. I mean, we've got a guy named Kelly that owns Atlanta townhomes in Atlanta He literally he outranks Zillow, almost always in almost any Atlanta area, Metro Atlanta area, I think for a townhome related key phrase, that's huge.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. So before we get into some of the technical aspects, Kurt, I'd love to hear about your background, how you got involved with Showcase IDX, some of the entrepreneurship that you've done in the past that's kind of led you to where you are today.

Kurt Uhlir:

Net weaving and coffee. That's how I came here. I've been I've been a business operator since I was 14, I started two legal entities, then one of them is still running today. I'm the guy that comes in to get things done. But I have that bilingual ability to talk business and tech. And so I started very tech and I got pulled probably 10 years ago into the marketing space and helped create two of the marketing channels we all use today. If you're, you're posting anything scheduling things on social media, social media management, I was I was an executive at one of those companies, one of the two big ones, ended up selling it to Oracle. We did the same thing later with influencer marketing. And I literally had a fraternity brother that I didn't know. But he had started Showcase back in the early 2000s. And reached out to me said, Hey, I just sold this other proptech company called Tourbuzz. You talked I heard you talk to your wife and letting you take 18 months on sabbatical. That sounds like a difficult discussion. Can we have coffee and talk through that? And literally that led to this led to me kind of joining, I think it was maybe five days later.

Jason Muth:

Wow, was that the end of the sabbatical?

Kurt Uhlir:

I had actually stopped I ended my sabbatical about 12 months before then and been consulting. He didn't know I just had the conversation with my wife where she's like, I love the money. But you giving you know, like 10 hour notice that when my mom had had advanced alzheimers said when your mom comes to stay with us, you give me 10 hour notice because you're going to St. Louis for a consulting gig, the money's not that good.

Rory Gill:

Especially when you have two little ones at home also, you know, I think that we've talked a lot of people that have great work life balances on this podcast, they all work very hard, and they build great businesses. But you know, time is precious. As you get older, as I get older, I learned, you know that we do have a finite amount of time left on the planet. So you might as well make the best use. Rory what did you say that I stole the phrase it was, you know, the highest and best use of my time. Right? Yeah. So used to talking about that in terms of money or in the real estate space, you know, is this property serving his highest and best use, but we had to turn that whole concept inward and talk about, you know, is this the highest and best use of my time, my life, my energy, my happiness.

Kurt Uhlir:

Yeah, I love that. I mean, I apply that from everything from marketing, to business to personal life, I believe every day that there's three things I'm wrong about in my business, and three things I'm wrong about in my personal life. And I don't know what they are. I just know that have historically like, How many times have you done something personal spending your time or you know, workwise, where you realize, I've been wrong about this for like $1,000,000 and 13 months, thought you were right. Until that moment, you realize your Wile E. Coyote out over the ledge and you're like, crap, I'm really wrong. I find I do that on my time with marketing and business. And it often takes somebody else pointing it out to me.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Talk a little bit about how you mentioned something about your fraternity brother said how did you get your wife to allow you to take a sabbatical. Like, you know, part of entrepreneurship is having that balance? Right? And can you talk a little bit about you know, the, how you have a, you know, your your partner in life is integrated with these business decisions that you make, like, you know, are you guys in lockstep? Are you adversarial? Do you talk about this a lot, like, you know, give some advice to people who are listening to help them convince their spouses or partners that what they're doing is not crazy.

Kurt Uhlir:

We're probably all of those things. Depending on the day or the hour, I just say, I, everybody that's ever worked for me gets this literally, like when somebody comes to work for Showcase, I send them a shirt that says, API. In technical terms, that means something else but assume positive intent, because it things can feel very adversarial. But I'm a big believer in free fighting, because there's no way to avoid conflict. I'd rather have it healthy and have it upfront. And so the best I can I try having conversations with my wife on when can I work late if there are things that are coming up and we shift time around? Because then it's not like, hey, it's 5pm or 6pm. And she's expecting me to come come home or come upstairs? And I'm like, no, no, I got two more hours, like it's adversarial at that point, if it's last minute. But I haven't always been that way. I mean, that's like the sabbatical came because I started an influencer marketing company that was doing quite well. And I'm literally turning around, I'm talking to one of my mentors. And one, it wasn't the best use of my time, I'm a scaler, I'm not the zero to one guy, I realized I had not been spending valuable time early my marriage with my wife, and I'm like, I can take time off. And I want to spend time just with her. And so that ended up being a significant amount of time off until I was kind of forced off of the bench by outside factor.

Jason Muth:

Right. You know, I think that this is the why behind the what that we all do. It's not just looking to build a business just to build it. It's looking to build it to have you know, good means to provide for your family, have a good harmonious relationship at home. Enjoy your children. I mean, what's it like to have a second child now? How has that changed your approach to to business?

Kurt Uhlir:

I mean, I'm not sure it's changed that much for me, because I've shifted so much stuff in the past and you know, over the last probably 11 to 12 years. Before then I was the boss literally that would have walked into the office and if one person on the team was crying, I thought I was a bad boss, but everybody was crying. I dialed it to 11 and I need to dial it back to nine or 10. And that was the hard driver. And it was literally this week of chaos behind me that often people's lives. And so when that was pointed out to me by a mentor, so many things shifted, my teams actually became more productive. I started shifting things in my personal life for that now, too. And I'm very intentional, like work in business are two different categories. Nobody, my team has to tell me what they're doing. But I am very clear and making sure I have discussions with them, because they only do what they see modeled. But I have discussions with them that says if, if they have a partner, if that's important to them, as early as they can in the year one, are you taking vacations every quarter, we're gonna, I'm going to be asking like, Hey, do you have time for your date nights? Do you have time off? Do you have you had discussions, I'm not forcing them to even tell me what those discussions are. I'm just wanting to bring to surface what that is. Part of that is because I do want people to not make the same mistakes. But so much of any time and coaching I give, whether it's for full time employees or external. It's things that I'm telling myself, because the best way for me to make sure I'm taking time with my wife is for me to talk to Tiffany on my team and ask, Hey, do you have the time that you need. And it's usually things I'm saying to myself.

Jason Muth:

I'm going to interject here also and say, you know, think about what Kurt just said, if you're listening to this, and you're saying geez, I don't work in that kind of environment. Get out, go find an environment where they care about your time. I think it's really important to understand that even if you're in your 20s, or 30s. And looking to establish your career, there is a lot more than just like the having to deal with a bad work environment or bad people that you you're reporting to or who you your peers are, who don't see you as more than just a cog in the machine, just because there's so many other things you could be doing instead. I think the pandemic has really helped people understand how to go about doing that, you know, not just that they want to but how

Kurt Uhlir:

And whether you're an individual agent, or you're to do it. running, you're running a team of 500, if things are going really well hypergrowth or they're going really bad. Like you can move to a different environment. But it's up to you in either of those two scenarios, you need to block that personal time up front, because especially things are going really well, it's addictive. So I've acquired a lot of companies and teams. So I remember I acquired this company called Games That Give they did social media games back in the day. And these two young founders after we acquired them, and cut them a nice seven figure check. And my first meeting with them was, hey, that and when we talk in two days, you're gonna show me your time blocks for personal time. And they didn't understand it, because it like they were always talking to people. And they really pushed back and I said, I don't care what you do. What all I'm saying is we're growing so fast. It's so fun. And you guys are so competitive. Every hour that you have that you're awake, you will end up wanting to come here at the expense of - both of them were married - at the expensive your your wives and your kids, if you don't block it out ahead of time, so pre-decide, and like it didn't ever had a conversation because they were just like I want to grow and when I'm like you're past that now we've acquired you, but this is really exciting. We can we can make a you know, multi, multi 100 million dollar business for sale, you're gonna want to show up. Netflix won't exist to you.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, I wanted to get into, you know, IDX and websites and some of the best practices that you can share with agents who are listening to this. But before we do that, I know Rory has a lot of questions about that as well. But you mentioned some influencer marketing where you've worked in that space in the past, I think it was a company that you said that you acquired or, or what have you. And I know that you mentioned a social media scheduling software, we don't have to say which one it is. But you know, I was just using one of them this morning. So perhaps it's the same one. Let's talk about influencer marketing today. You know, what, what are just a couple of high level things that you can suggest to people that they can grow their influence online. Maybe it's something that has to do with their level of authenticity. We've talked a lot about, you know, work-life balance and your family. I've always thought that introducing some of those elements into a social media presence is important because it humanizes people, but I'd love to get your take on you know, what are some easy things that some influencers can do today?

Kurt Uhlir:

I personally do interject my personal life in. Not everybody does. And that's completely okay. I mean, whether you're a small influencer, that only 10 people that follow you or your Gary Vaynerchuk like you're never gonna see Gary, Gary Vaynerchuk's wife or kids on anything. And he's kind of open about that. He's like, he's the face. There's authenticity. But my biggest thing is, one thing is people have to realize this, especially if you're an agent or anything in real estate. This is an influence economy. People are making this there are places where, hey, a lot of times, like hey, I actually need a real estate lawyer in Georgia for a topic right now. Who is am I shopping that no I'm I'm really just going to take the recommendation from my my estate planning attorney and I'll do a quick vet, but anything else in real estate and even there that's still influence economy. I'm vetting online, people are vetting you. The average consumer talks to three agents and looks them up before they choose who they're going to work with. That's not NAR stats, but that the real stats. And so, like, why should I work with you versus somebody else? And that matters whether you're a plumber or electrician. The second thing is don't overcomplicate this. I mean, I always say that, hey, TikTok is growing huge. And so you go out, you will listen to somebody, they're gonna say you should be doing this or you should move to this platform. That if you're not already on TikTok, then that's going to be a change of life for you and you're complicating things. So could there be a great avenue? Yes. But but for like, for me, like it would complicate my marketing, if I wanted to do something personally or for the company on TikTok, because I don't pull up the application. I have a profile. That's about all. Now my wife, she's on it all the time. And so I think those two things are just realizing we're in the influence economy. And don't overcomplicate it. If you're on Instagram, stay there. Dominate that before you decide to go anywhere else,

Rory Gill:

You know, as we kind of shift over from, you know, from that to you know, what you do on a daily basis, I want to stop and ask, you know, tell us about Showcase IDX, and an opportunity to explain how you stand out. You know, in a world of IDX providers, you know, what sets showcase apart.

Kurt Uhlir:

So, we're the only really independent IDX. But more than that, we're also the only home search that research not ours, but that shows that consumers choose over Zillow. That's fundamentally important. So you may get a lead, you may add them to a home search alert, but it doesn't provide a search experience that that consumers will actually use. They're still gonna go to Zillow, we talked about what that looks like. Why people tend to come to us though, is that we're the only name really from an SEO organic perspective, like we have agents that get 50,000 Organic visits from Google on a monthly basis because it's not just our technology, you don't pay to $60 a month, and you know, outrank Zillow. But it's our technology with that agent's knowledge that ends up being able to create a site that actually will outright outrank Zillow consistently. So that's why people come to us. We only do the engine, you go to an IDX broker, hey, they also sell you websites, and they do other things. So partners don't like that. I don't find it the same thing. Now there's all-inones like Real Geek, Boomtown are great, but but they're pretty expensive. And you can get a much better response by putting together best of breed. So the only thing we do, and the only thing we'll ever do is that home search, that IDX.

Rory Gill:

So, I mean, let me kind of spoon feed you the, you know, the, or at least from the broker's perspective, you know, some of the basic questions, you know, why does a brokerage need an IDX? Site? Can't they just put up a standard pretty looking site and leave the home search to where people are actually searching through the MLS? You know, set up alerts in your MLS system, or just let the clients search on Zillow? You know, why should a brokerage go make the investment in an IDX site?

Kurt Uhlir:

Well, one, it's not much of an investment, especially at the brokerage level, I mean, to get a new, even a pretty decent website, not even like a great website, you might be talking $3,000 to $5,000. That's a nothing investment to get it built. I mean, the IDX costs $60 to $100 a month. So like, I always say that as the entry cost is pretty low on a lot of the things that brokerages pay for. But I mean, I just look at it as like, as an agent, do I want a competitive agent calling my client? And my answer is no. I mean, we're the only industry where, hey, if you don't have the right tools, you know, a 90%. In some cases, like IDX broker I Homefinder, some of the research has said 85 to 90% of people that actually get assigned to a site, either the agent adds them or they sign the lead in form, will not use that site. So that means 90% of the time, you have a competitive agent, calling your client. Imagine trying to grow an electrician business, if you had 90% of the time you got a competitor calling you. So like for me, that's a really big deal. But then the second thing is if they do it, right, organic growth is the best way when somebody types, townhomes in Atlanta. And you know, Kelly's website comes up, the gentleman I mentioned, well, that's like that's free marketing. It doesn't take it takes a little time to invest. But it's like compound interest. And there's nothing that I'll give you quality leads like that consistently over time.

Rory Gill:

Let me understand, you know, how an IDX site works, and how it doesn't actually work like so if you were to create an IDX site, what's to keep your clients using your site instead of using, you know, the big search tools, we say Zillow, but there are some key, you know, consumer search tools that people gravitate to. And the truth is a lot of people use those websites. So what makes somebody come to your site and search on your site, instead of going to one of these mass market searches?

Kurt Uhlir:

You can use any of the SEO tools, marketing tools, and you can see where Google gets or Zillow gets their traffic. And the vast majority of their traffic does come from somebody going to Google or Bing and or DuckDuckGo in typing townhomes near Piedmont Park, and that's where they're and that's how they end up on Zillow. So now with that, hey, like some of the research I mentioned, hey, showcase does not have 100% retention, it's actually more like 96%, 94 to 96% that report. And they've branded that as the Coca-Cola effect. I don't know. I mean, there's always room to improve. It's not like we're the best. But to your point, hey, some consumers are just used to ordering a Coke no matter what you have. And so they're used to going to Zillow, you're used to going to Amazon when you're going to buy something. And so there's always going to be that attrition. But I mean, it really though is why should somebody use yours? Well, if I'm using you as the agent, well, it's also up to you as the agent like, I'm a firm believer of what agents miss a huge opportunity, both on their site and their marketing is letting their consumers know what happens when they sign up on Zillow. My wife told me this a couple years ago, I had to stop asking people like barbecues and parties because it ended up being the whole conversation because, you know, you're I'm just testing and I'm like, Hey, Jason, do you know what happens? Like, do you know that Zillow makes $2 billion selling your contact information and your budget, like your financial information to another agent, and you're like, Hey, honey, honey, come here, come here. Did you know and like, quickly, that's the topic for 20 people a top thing we're nobody realizes that. And I'm really have a firm belief that says, especially now consumers care about privacy, but they don't realize it's not just the agent that gets the Zillow lead. Its title lawyers, insurance companies. And so I really believe like, if I was an individual agent, myself, I'd be pitching myself as kind of a fee based financial advisor. I'm here to make you help you make the best transaction and protect your data protect your family, which doesn't mean having 10 to 12 people getting sold your information, because you're searching for a home, that's the free part, use my website, that would be part of my pitch.

Rory Gill:

So you know, if I hear you, right, the kind of the key attribute of having a good IDX site for your brokerage is that your clients will, you know, stay on your site stay in your ecosystem, not necessarily give their data out to other providers. Does a good IDX site also attract new clients? Or is it just a good ecosystem to to keep your current clients in?

Kurt Uhlir:

Both, but it depends on the it depends on the IDX site. So there are some, you know, larger systems, not just that have an IDX, like a Seer Interactive and, or a Chime, that do a lot of other parts of that, that are good, are pretty good on for attracting as well but are much more expensive. If you look at from a again, it's not what I say it's what others like the IDX broker iHomefinder, they work on subdomains and iframes very technical terms. Basically, it says Google knows that data is not yours doesn't belong in your site. So it's almost impossible to rank those. Our data works very different. So the example I like to give is Patrick Higgins, a Compass agent in Nashville, he's nationalhome.guru. Gave me the testimony, everybody would want, you know, everything, it has actual numbers. And so very little traffic started working with us. And you know, they invested some marketing time on content. And they now get fifth more in from his testimonial, more than 50,000 Organic visitors from Google every month. So now that he's done the work, I have lots of clients that come to us, and they just slap the plug in on they get a basic site, they don't get that type of Google growth from Google. But when you do the work, like the responses I see, I mean, it's literally generational changing wealth that comes just from the lead gen have an IDX site that's done properly.

Rory Gill:

So actually, let me just dig more into that. So if you have a good IDX site, it's built up properly. What are some good practices to start driving those new clients to the site? Is it a combination of having good SEO on your website? Going out and doing Google AdWords, social spending? What are some good practices to make use of the IDX investment and drive people to the site?

Kurt Uhlir:

Great question. It depends on your budget. And I mean that not just in terms of your time, but I believe, or your money, I believe in allocating your time. And so pay per click I love in that it's fast. And so you get to see results pretty quickly. SEO is gonna take usually 9 to maybe even 18 months before you start to see that ramp that comes up. And so when I mentioned like Patrick Higgins, when they started, it was just him and four agents on his team. They literally just wrote these community pages, sections of Nashville, Brentwood, Brentwood condos in Brentwood, Tennessee. And they would just do a couple of those for each one of those agents. They did it every week. Well, at the end of the year, that number really adds up. Now they've been able to put that into a standard operating practice and hand that that kind of content creation, all that takes time, but pay per click helps your results go faster. But I also love when you do that if I if I was selling homes in Brentwood, Tennessee, in neighborhoods in Brentwood, Tennessee, and I was creating a Brentwood, Tennessee page with IDX data and my content and individual neighborhoods. That should be part of your actual marketing. So when you talk to a client that says hey, you're looking at a neighborhood part of your follow up shouldn't just be hey, thanks for meeting. It should be follow up with that written content that you probably already told them about. But that shows Hey, I live in Bristol loves, here's my write up in Bristol loads, you might want to also look at Martin's Landing. And so that's, that's how I would build that into my marketing. Now, if you happen to use Showcase, we also like, I would add them into a search. And we have a collaborative search where you invite not just not just one of the people, you invite them into a combined search. So they're there, instead of trading properties with text messages and emails, they can all do that on your site. And you can see that information and comments and threads as well. It's that kind of as part of how you suck them into the site as well.

Rory Gill:

It's one of the things I'm a big proponent of and maybe I'm wrong is just having a balanced approach to automation. So, you know, not necessarily automating, and therefore abdicating all your responsibilities, you know, as a, in sales as a real estate agent, but also making sure that you have an A level of automation. So you're not letting people fall through the cracks? What are some of the best practices to follow up? You know, using automation or not using automation, with the leads that have come into your ecosystem?

Kurt Uhlir:

Yeah, I, for me, it's, it's first usually has to be the slight manual part, but is the lead an active buyer or not. And I only say that is most agents don't grow their business, because they're only focused on active buyers, people that are actively buying and selling today, when I can go look at CRMs row, anybody, any successful agent or team and I look at the average length of how long has somebody been in the CRM from the close transactions, and it's almost consistently like 16 to 27 months. And so that means, hey, when you beat me, Rory, chances are I'm not going to do a transaction in the next 30 to 90 days. And so you need to be able to tag your split your automations to am I active or not? And then on the not wise, I mean, it's how do I do that? So one of the things that I like to do that, I'll tell you, No, almost no agent do this. And when they do, it changes their life, especially with past clients. So you go to somebody that you close the transaction within six to 24 months. And so the you know, especially faster markets, people tend to be moving about every five years. Well, what happens is, what if there's two owners, two partners, one of them has started thinking about that beforehand. I went upstairs a couple of couple of weeks ago now. And I saw my wife was out doing some searching. So it took me a little while to kind of ask them like, Are you like actively thinking? Are you just gonna think? No, no, I just because I happen to snoop over her shoulder. She she's probably years away from thinking about like, let's actually have the conversation. She's the she otherwise would be on a Zillow or something, thinking about working through that right now. So that's why you don't want to be more than six to 24 months, but somebody you close that transaction to you have a curiosity factor, and it can 3x your referrals, I'll come back to you Rory and say, Hey, can I set you up with just open house alerts for your neighborhood or your high rise? You want to see what people are upgrading what they're doing like? Well, it one is it's good because you sell a curiosity not hey, do this. But what happens is, that's the best way to get referrals because when I see a home that I might want to recommend to my friend Jason, I just bought him that email, which if it comes from the MLS just sends it back to the MLS. If it comes from my website, or your website, Rory, it sends Jason back to your website.

Rory Gill:

Maybe this I'm taking this question a little out of sequence. But one thing I see a lot of in our market here in Boston or other brokerages signing up people within the MLS system itself for alerts and everything. And in one hand, you're going straight to the source for it. No, that's wonderful. But the branding and the opportunities aren't there. You know what opportunities are being lost by those brokerages that are just using the the tools within the MLS system.

Kurt Uhlir:

So from what I've seen, the the referrals that they've been getting, as opposed to setting up the same searches on their website, they're getting, they're getting no more than a third of the leads they would be getting. I have seen I have seen as much as a 10x increase from people moving from an MLS search to a well branded, well built IDX site, just in referrals alone. That's a huge bit there. Now I can't quantify is your point about branding. I mentioned this is an influence economy. What what's going to let you remember that, hey, I'm the agent and local expert. Like if it's if that email if if the branding doesn't say Kurt Uhlir you're gonna think it's First MLS or Stellar MLS or CRMLS. And maybe my name is going to be mentioned on there. Most of the MLS systems not all of them when I forward that email to my wife, she can't actually see the property unless I give her my password. So that's something I just can't quantify that branding bit but I mean, this is influenc economy. Would you rather your clients know your name and be reminded of it every couple of weeks, or your MLS'

Rory Gill:

And then you know, you also brought up an name? interesting thing about some of these mass market searches like Zillow harvesting your your data in ways that the consumers may not be aware with their acquisition of things like DotLoop should real estate agents also be wary of some of these tools. I mean, DotLoop is one that comes to mine, but should brokerages be wary of using the, you know, anything tied to those companies?

Kurt Uhlir:

I personally don't think so. I mean, you know, you also, you know, Zillow with Showing Time and everything. There, you know, they most of the companies do a very good job of firewalling information behind they have to from a privacy perspective, for personal information. But I mean, it's all you can also make the same claim. And, you know, for some of the industries about about Google, you know, there's terms that say Google can basically do anything they want to improve their products. And that's a catch all for I can read your emails. Do they actually? Maybe, maybe not? Probably not. So I, you know, I'm much more of a believer of the way that you win is operating, it's just like, hey, good ideas are easy to come up with. Who wins, like building a new company, building a new real estate team, it's the operators.

Rory Gill:

Before we get to our final questions, I want to hear a couple things that you think that agents can do immediately to improve their influence, or their websites, you know, like, what are three kind of quick action steps that they can take, right after they get off, you know, listening to this podcast,

Kurt Uhlir:

if you don't have your own website, and by that I mean, a URL that you own, not kurt.kw.com does not count as a website that you own, you need to put an intentional plan in place to make that happen. And it does not have to break the bank. I can't tell you how many agents had a 14 year old daughter build their Wordpress site. So like you can, you can do this. But like a website that your broker gives you is not your website, because when you change brokerages, you lose the second largest, second most valuable asset that you could have in your business. So that's the first thing. And then it's really only a second thing for me is most agents do not have good bios that that home buyers and sellers or investors care about. And you need a couple of different versions, you need a Twitter-like version, you need a two minute version, too when somebody says who are you and you need them at church or temple or out of line party? And then you need the version for your website that says Why should I work with you, like, I just give that the best example is I have an agent here in town. That's sold us his house, he does not work with singles that do condos. He literally - he and two other agents - they own basically two churches, and they help married couples in their mid 20s to early 40s with young kids that pretty much go to these two churches, like that's what they do. And my wife and I were moved, we were married, and we're moving into that category. And like, they refer out all other business, but that's who they do. And I know very clearly who to refer to him and who he can help the best and who he cannot. And that's what your bio

Rory Gill:

I think it's important to focus in on a should say. niche, just like you've suggested, right there. You know, you just mentioned refer out the other business, it could be a distraction, like if you're working with somebody that just doesn't fit, you know, a core competency, focus in on, you know, one or two things and doing really well that's kind of an immutable law of marketing that's been around for a long time. And, you know, I'm glad that you were able to bring that up and underscore it. And your first point, also, you know, I want to tell a little little story where I'm not a real estate agent myself, but I lost control of my name.com because of a stupid thing I did a couple years ago, where I had it tied to an old AOL account and wasn't getting the notifications that it was expiring, didn't have it on auto renew, and then some squatter took it. And I'm like, You gotta be kidding me. I mean, like, I had nothing at my name.com. But like, I wanted to own it at least. Well, I put a calendar reminder in, you know, every year to check it on the date that it was supposed to get renewed. And sure enough, they renewed it a couple times. And I'm like, Who are these people that are squatting jasonmuth.com. Who cares, right? I just randomly looked a couple days ago, and it was back available. So I grabbed it. So I feel whole again, like I feel like I own my identity once again. And maybe I'll build something out on it. And if I don't at least I own it for five more years with auto renew. So if you're listening to this, and you haven't done that already, go do it. Kurt, we could probably go on for a long, long time about digital marketing. And, you know, I really appreciate some of your takes. You know, Rory had some really insightful questions also about, you know, why this is important to have on agent websites and just digital marketing in general. I mean, like, Kurt, you've done, you've basically done it all, where you've bought and sold companies, you've advised people. And you've been involved with a lot of influencer marketing and some really technical marketing campaigns. So you know, we're grateful for all your time so far on this podcast, and we'd love to get your take on our final three questions that we ask of all our guests and get to know you a little bit better. You ready? Yep. All right. Question number one. If you can get on stage for 30 minutes and talk about any subject in the world with zero preparation. What would that be?

Kurt Uhlir:

High achieving servant leadership, how it'll change your family life and your company's growth?

Jason Muth:

Yeah, that's a great answer. They're all tied together, aren't they?

Kurt Uhlir:

Absolutely.

Jason Muth:

And that's 30 minutes without probably any preparation. I bet you can go 60 minutes about it.

Kurt Uhlir:

I could go for I mean, I've got probably 15,000 words written about it on my website, if somebody wanted if you want the definitive guide to servant leadership, an article for you on there that covers it.

Jason Muth:

We'll make sure we link to that in the show notes. Second question we have for you to tell us something that happened early on in your life or career that impacts the way that you're working today.

Kurt Uhlir:

My mentor told me that I was an asshole. And I asked my mom about it. And she said, Well, yeah, we all know that. And I'm like, and I was probably late 20s. And I'm like, Why? Why did nobody ever told me that before? And she's like, you wouldn't have heard it before. But at least but you asked, so yes, you are. And I didn't realize how I came across to others. And I actually was an asshole. But sometimes it is also just a perception that you don't realize how you show up to but but I was a very bad boss.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, did you make some change as a result of finally it being brought to your attention?

Kurt Uhlir:

But I was enough of a difficult, I made lots of people millionaires, and there's probably 11 or 12 of them, that still will not take my phone call, I got in back to six or seven, that five that had been in that camp by sending them literally like, like small little like presents and cards to their house being like, I just want to apologize. And so that was not the boss or life that anybody would want to have in their wake.

Jason Muth:

Well, Kurt, if there's any any, any consolation, you did not come across that way in this interview, so we certainly don't we feel like you've changed your ways. And maybe servant leadership helped with that.

Kurt Uhlir:

I hope it has.

Jason Muth:

I hope so. Finally, tell us something that you're listening to watching or reading these days,

Kurt Uhlir:

I am re-listening to Atomic Habits. So my to open up to my team again. And so I tend to go through that and Deep Work by Cal Newport on audiobook usually once a year or so while I'm in the car.

Jason Muth:

Rory, is that in our queue?

Rory Gill:

Um, it will be.

Jason Muth:

It will be great. Kurt, tell everyone where people can find you. If they want to reach out learn more about you or Showcase IDX or anything else we've talked about today?

Kurt Uhlir:

Well, if you need an IDX, or somebody to build your site, we can recommend those people that go to showcaseidx.com As far as me, kurtuhlir.com. That's the best place I practice what I preach. It's the hub that appoints you to almost anything else.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Awesome. Well, we will link that up in the show notes so people can easily click over to your website and to Showcase IDX and your social media accounts as well, which is how we learned about, you know, your beautiful young daughter and your son. Rory, tell us where people can find you.

Rory Gill:

You can find me at my real estate brokerage NextHome Titletown that's nexthometitletown.com, where you can also do an IDX search for the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Or you can check me out at my law practice. UrbanVillage Legal, urbanuillagelegal.com.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, and with your IDX sites, a lot of individual listings pop up very high in search rankings with NextHome Titletown. and NextHome TitletownRealEstate.com. The listing. So we certainly see the value of having IDX websites and some high ranking pages. We look at Google Analytics. And boy, a lot of that traffic is individual, individual pages individual listings. So Kurt, you're headed up to the mountains huh?

Kurt Uhlir:

I am will be leaving in just a few minutes.

Rory Gill:

Awesome. All right. Well, enjoy your time there. And you know, thank you for being part of The Real Estate Law Podcast really appreciate your joining us as a guest today. And thank you for listening. If you've enjoyed this, please give us a great review because we love great reviews or shoot us a comment or you can shoot me an email directly jason@nexthometitletown.com. On behalf of Kurt and Rory, thank you so much both of you for being part of this podcast. Thank you for listening, and we'll see you next time.

Announcer:

This has been The Real Estate Law Podcast because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom arguments. were powered by NextHome Titletown Real Estate are Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com and UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate Council serving savvy property owners lenders and investors more at urbanvillageulegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com. Thank you for listening