The Whissel Way Podcast Ep 001: The Power of the Survey
In the first episode of the Whissel Way Podcast, Kyle Whissel with Whissel Realty Group sits down with Jason Hall of Team Home Loans and Bryan Koci, Media and Marketing Manager of Whissel Realty, to talk about the power of the surveying clients and employees. You can utilize this tool to help you see the areas in which your business is thriving and in what areas your business may need improvement.
At Whissel Realty, our biggest asset is our team and our culture. We consistently get together to brainstorm ideas, discuss solutions to issues, and come up with systems that have led us to earn the honor of being the #1 Real Estate team in San Diego per The Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the Whissel Way.
Welcome, welcome. You are listening to the first ever the Whissel Way podcast. And so the goal of our podcast is to help you, as a real estate, mortgage, or business professional here in San Diego implement systems, support, and structure into your business to help you thrive and grow and what we want to do is kick it off on the show and just talk about a little something that’s going on in the industry right now and I had the opportunity this past week to go out to the Zillow Premier Agent Forum.
Zillow Premiere Agent Forum 2018
It’s an event that Zillow puts on, the number one real estate website in the world. It’s an event they put on every year out in Las Vegas. They put on an amazing event. They have some of the biggest speakers. They had, I mean, Jason, you know I love riding my Peloton Bike, they had the CEO of Peloton and a ton of other amazing CEOs there sharing about how to grow your business. And one of the things that Zillow has become obsessed with is what’s called CSAT, or customer satisfaction, and so by doing a little bit of studying about their business, they found that of all the people that inquire on their website, and ask questions about properties, 49% of those people never hear back from an agent.
– So they aren’t getting contacted. So Zillow’s typically referring those people to one of their paid, you know…
– Yes, so agents are paying money.
– To receive inquiries from consumers who are interested in real estate, yet 49% of those inquiries never receive a phone call. It’s insane. Now, they have changed their business model because they’ve realized that there’s an issue here, right? We are trying to provide a service to people, but we’re not delivering on that service and it’s actually making Zillow look bad. So, the agent who’s not making the phone call is not the one who’s looking bad because the consumer’s just going on Zillow and asking questions and as far as they know, they’re just reaching out to Zillow. So Zillow’s actually taking some flack because someone’s like “hey, I didn’t hear from you guys Zillow, what’s going on?” So they’ve now changed the way that they handle things. When that inquiry comes in, now instead of sending it to the real estate agent first with an essentially 50-50 shot that they’re actually going to call ’em, they’re now taking control of that follow-up so that they can take what was… again, 51% of the time they got called back, 49% they didn’t… they want to take that into their own hands to make sure that’s 100% every single time.
So I found that to be really really interesting. They’re also doing customer satisfaction surveys all the time on all of their clients. They’ve had millions and millions of responses on questions to really understand where is it that agents are delivering and where is it that agents are not delivering.
– So what are they doing good, what are they doing bad, where can they improve… – Yeah.
– [Bryan] So as an owner of a real estate team Kyle, is this good for real estate agents? Is it bad? What’s the gist?
Is this Zillow change good or bad?
– I think the gist of it is that no matter what your business is, whether it’s real estate, mortgage, or anything, whatever business you’re running, you need to actually do some customer satisfaction surveys. You need to find out if you’re delivering on the expectations that the consumer wants.
So what can business owners learn from Zillow?
Now I know I go on some of these websites, there’s a company Forsee, f-o-r-s-e-e, they tend to have their little things pop up on a lot of these websites and I’m the kind of guy where I just, “Whatever, I don’t have time for this”, and I just move on, but there’s a lot of people who do take the time to complete those surveys. And if we survey our customers, I think that we might all be a little bit surprised about what we find, and I think that we should not only be surveying our customers, but we should be surveying our employees, our agents, our loan officers. We should be surveying them as well. Because one of the big things that I talk about every time I hire somebody new into our company, I tell them, I can’t fix something if I don’t know it’s broken. And, we don’t realize sometimes that our business is completely broken. And there’s breaks all over the place. And we don’t realize it because sometimes people don’t tell us those things. But if we institute a CSAT, or a customer satisfaction survey, now we may actually get that information out of people. Then when we have that information we can adapt, like Zillow’s adapting, by taking control of the follow-up with these inquiries so that they can take the response rate from 51% to 100%.[Bryan] – So, for a business owner either a real estate agent that has a team or even just an agent on their own, or any other business owner, what do they start with first? Do they survey their employees, their customers, their vendors?
– Everybody. I think you need to survey everybody. – But where do you start first? – So we did an event recently. Michael Reese, one of the founders of NAEA, National Association of Expert Advisors, one of our partners at eXp Realty, we did an event with them recently and I’ve never thought to do this before but they closed the event with a survey and not just like “hey when the event’s over you’re going to get an email with a link to fill out a survey” because nobody fills that crap out. But what they did that was kind of unique is that at the end of the event, they pulled a survey out right there and said: “hey guys grab your phones real quick, let’s just knock this out, we’ll show you exactly what’s going to happen”. And they showed people “Alright, here’s what question one is. Here’s what question two is. Here’s what question three is.” And the response rate from the people that were there at the event was well in excess of 50% of the people filled the survey out before they even left the room. That’s really powerful.
So, you really should be integrating surveys into everything that we’re doing, whether it be hosting an event, we should survey the people that are there.
Whether it’s our staff, we should be surveying them. Whether it’s our clients, we should be surveying them. So that we can really learn. Because we believe we that understand what it is that these people are looking for, but do we really know what they’re looking for? And the only way we’re going to find that out is to ask them.
– And the nice thing that I really liked about the survey that you’re talking about at the event, there was actually value if they sat down and filled out that survey. So it was not only “fill it out because it’s going to help us,” it’s “once you fill it out we’re going to send you the slides, the this, the this, the this.” So I think that’s another important part, is make it worth someone’s time, not “hey, fill out the survey and we’re going to draw someone to win a free ice cream at Chick-Fil-A.
– Although you would enter that.
– 100%. I’d fill that out every time.
– Where do I get that survey?
– Both of you guys … you literally just connected, you and Jason’s two favorite things in life.
– I know. But actually, give some sort of tangible value. Is that what I hear you say?
– Yeah, I think if you can definitely tie it to something of value, I think that’s really going to help you out. So, in that particular event, yeah, “fill this out, I’ll give you the slide deck,” or maybe it’s “fill this out and I’ll give you a free analysis of your home’s value,” right? Offer something. Give some people something in return. If you’re asking people to do something, there should be an expectation of something in return ideally. If you do offer something in return I think you’re going to see that your response rate is going to increase significantly.
– So let’s brainstorm real quick.. What can you ask if you’re going to survey your … let’s say, your employees, or people that work for you, independent contractors…what are some things that we can offer them as a something in return? You mentioned a couple of things that, for a real estate agent, surveying our clients, but Jason, Kyle, what are some of the things that you can offer your employees like me to fill out a survey? That kind of thing.
– Well, for you ice cream. Simple, right?. – Ice Cream. Done. – Jason, Chick-Fil-A. Done. Right? – Chick-Fil-A You guys are easy. You guys are very easy.
– But you know us. Let’s do some general
– For the average real estate agent, mortgage officer, or just, you know, business professional, leads are what most of us revolve around. For us, we are going to be sending a survey out to our agents on the team and if they complete the survey, they will have the opportunity go get better leads, and if they choose not to complete the survey, they will not have that same opportunity. So that would be one example. If you’re running a real estate team, real estate brokerage, leads are one of the most important things that there is to agents. Hopefully it’s not the most important thing but one of the most important things to agents and so if you can reward agents for completing a survey by giving them more leads, better leads, opportunities to have more leads, that is one of the ways that you’re going to get people to do it.
– Now, what is the best question to ask, and what is the worst question to ask?
– I don’t know, I think the thing, whether it be surveys or just general marketing is you’ve got to A/B test. So, where you’re going to do this with our clients you’ve got about fifty thousand clients in our database. Names, phone numbers, email addresses. Rather than… – People that are interested in buying. – Buying or selling. – Either have been, or currently interested. – Yeah. So rather than just sending a survey to all fifty thousand people, which would be, one it’d be crazy to see how many response you’d get, you don’t necessarily want to hit that many people in one shot. But what would be ideal is maybe just send a hundred with this headline, and a hundred with that headline. And now you’ve got a little sample of a couple hundred. I mean, with fifty thousand we could probably do a thousand and a thousand, and run it with two separate headlines. Same audience, two separate headlines. And see which one gets a higher response rate. And so what we could see, message A, we got 25% of people that responded; in message B, we got 35% of people that responded. Well if that was our sample on a thousand people, when you go and do that to fifty thousand people, that 10% difference becomes huge,
– Yeah, 5,000 people
– You’re talking on a fifty thousand people database you’re talking about getting 5,000 more responses
– And that’s just for one A/B test
– Just a simple A/B test.
So anything you’re doing in business, you should be A/B testing. You don’t want to necessarily just throw it out there and hopefully it works, and if it doesn’t work, try something new the next week. There are systems. Survey Monkey is one of the best survey systems that’s out there; you can run A/B tests on that. We use something called Adespresso when we run a lot of our social media ads and that has a lot of A/B testing built in. I think even Facebook on it’s own has A/B testing built into it now.
– They do.
– So, when you’re doing marketing, again, whether it’s an ad on social media, or whether it’s a customer satisfaction survey, A/B test. Don’t just take your 50,000 person database and blast out a message to all 50,000 people. You definitely want to A/B test it and see what’s working. And let’s say they both come back at 25%, maybe send another thousand and a thousand, and see if it changes, and try and try, until you see that there’s a clear winner. And then once you see that you’ve used a large enough sample size you find that there’s a clear winner, then dive deep on that, and I think that that can really change the way that you run your business by actually taking into consideration the things that people are saying about your event, you as a leader, or you as a real estate agent. And then by using that A/B testing, then we can get a lot more responses on that as well, and the more responses we have, the better that’s going to make us.
– Perfect. To finish up this segment here, Jason I’m going to ask for thirty seconds, I know that’s tough, thirty seconds, best business tip for a business owner.
– Y’know, I think surveys are amazing, but I think also just calling at the end of a transaction and just going, “Hey Mr and Mrs Lee, what did we do good?” Y’know personally hearing it, right? – Okay – What did we do good? What could we have done better? Y’know, thanking them for their business and it’s amazing how many people just take that business for granted, they know a lot of us get busy, and sometimes just forget to do it.
– That’s perfect. So Kyle’s talking about systematically doing it, – Yep – Especially with a big group, you’re talking about bringing it down, personalizing it.
– And that’s fantastic. Kyle, do you have anything that you’ve learned, or implemented this week that you can say, “Hey this is a great way to build business, build culture,” anything like that?
– I think that’s essentially what we just did is just went over the big things that I’ve learned but what we’re going to do with that is just really to work on our core values as a business, ‘cos I know that we need to really identify, as we’re here at the end of the year, it’s really good to reaffirm what your core values are, and maybe adapt them as you need to so that as you head into 2019, you can really have a strong sense of identity internally and externally within your company and with your clientele. So I think that that’s something really big that you can do by utilizing CSAT or customer service satisfaction studies.
So I just want to thank you guys so much for tuning in to the first ever episode of The Whissel Way podcast. If you found this information valuable, you want to continue to learn, we’d love for you to join us on our Facebook group, “The Whissel Way”; you can just go to The Whissel Way dot com, Whissel is spelled w-h-i-s-s-e-l. TheWhisselWay.com. That’ll direct you to our Facebook group. Love to continue learning and sharing with each other so that we can all grow our businesses. Thank you so much for tuning in. We’ll talk to you next week.
At Whissel Realty, our biggest asset is our team and our culture. We consistently get together to brainstorm ideas, discuss solutions to issues, and come up with systems that has led us to earn the honor of being the #1 Real Estate team in San Diego per The Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the Whissel Way.