Data Must Drive Customer Engagement

#LetsGetSmart – Data Must Drive Customer Engagement

 28th June 2017    Mary Keough

Craig WoodCraig Wood, Vice President for the Western Region for AMP Technologies focused his talk at #LetsGetSmart on using digital technology to improve the retail sector.  AMP Technologies,  is a cloud-based real estate asset management platform based out of San Ramon, California. Craig has been working on the technology side of retail for nearly twenty years. Before joining AMP, he worked with AT&T on the partner side of the business helping early stage companies.

Craig began his talk by discussing the idea that although many people have recently made claims about the decline of physical retail, it is by no means a “dead” industry; rather, it is merely changing as our society moves from an industrial one to a technology-based one.

While Craig credited some companies like Amazon for making online retail fast and convenient, he also points out that humans are by nature social creatures and that many researchers are coming out with studies that point to the negative effects of sitting in front of a computer for hours on end.

In fact, Amazon itself is working on creating physical retail in addition to its online presence, recognizing that while shopping over the internet is convenient there is no replacement for the social interactions a shopper gains from going into a physical retail space. Thus, the challenge for businesses today is to figure out the optimal balance of online retail and physical retail.

Craig used the example of the changing look of physical retail to transition into one of his main points: in a technology-based society, the real key for businesses is data. “What matters the most is who has the most data, who has the greatest insights, and most importantly who can execute on that data the fastest,” Craig claimed.

In a marketplace that is changing quickly, Craig encourages businesses to streamline their data and assess how quickly they can access and respond to it. “I have come into the real estate world and the retail side of things from a technology background, and what has been most amazing to me is the lack of automation that exists in the real estate side of things.” Craig believes that many businesses can cut out manual data-sharing and move toward unified insights that allow them to access their data in an instant. Optimizing data in this way allows a business to quickly access the information they need, allowing them to be more nimble and efficient as they work to outperform opponents.

In general when it comes to handling data, Craig claimed that “those who can move fastest will win.”

As Craig concluded his talk, he opened up the stage to the audience members to ask questions, who focused their questions on how businesses can use technology to their advantage in today’s industries.

One member asked Craig how he thinks companies can continue to use data to improve, citing that Walmart has been using real-time data from its stores and warehouses for years. Craig explained that in this sense, an area that retailers will move toward is the “instant fulfillment” model; he predicted retailers will spend more money in the future on expedited delivery options (in a similar way to UberEats’ recent rapid delivery model).

Another audience member asked Craig more broadly how businesses can use technology to their advantage while competing in the market today. In response, Craig made three suggestions. First, he pointed out that businesses need to look at their data in-house and figure out how to optimize how quickly their team members can respond and collaborate within their platform. For example, businesses should look to cut down on emails and attachments and replace them with the collaborative tools available today. Second, Craig suggested that companies make having a successful online presence a top priority, especially in terms of boosting web traffic. Lastly, Craig suggests that businesses focus on and evaluate how all of the aforementioned aspects of their business come together cohesively.

Finally, Craig responded to a question from an audience member by discussing what he views as successful tactics from online retailers today. Craig discussed that smaller brands that focus heavily on consumer engagement are seeing some of the greatest successes online today, which can be a more difficult aspect of business for the larger companies like Amazon and WalMart. Lastly, Craig pointed out the importance of working against what he calls “cultural inertia” within companies, meaning that company leaders should continue to be open to new strategies and perspectives rather than get stuck in their old ways.

Watch Craig Wood’s presentation at #LetsGetSmart:

Mary Keough is a recent graduate of University of Virginia, where she earned her bachelors degree in psychology and her masters degree in teaching. She is looking to pursue a career in elementary education. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Smart Signs for Changing Times

#LetsGetSmart – Smart Signs for Changing Times

 25th June 2017    Mary Keough

Mike McClure

Mike McClure, senior account executive and image consultant for Ad Art Sign Company, was one of the inspirations for the #LetsGetSmart17 speaker series, according to host David Perlmutter. Mike is someone who enjoys not only talking about his craft, but also hearing about others’ insights into businesses and the future.

Ad Art Sign Company is an award-winning national sign company that is primarily based out of California, Nevada, and Texas. Mike started in the sign business as an apprentice sign installer more than thirty years ago.

Mike began his talk by discussing broadly how important it is for companies today to constantly adapt to the changing times. As an example, Mike cited Sears and how the company got its start. The Amazon business model is nothing new; he drew parallels to that model and Sears Roebuck’s model of ordering via catalogs and picking up your product from your local Sears store. Mike brought up this story to discuss the importance of adapting to the current conditions, citing Sears’ inability to do so as one of its greatest downfalls and the reason it is not a major player in retail today.

Mike spent time talking about how the information age has helped retailers to build better products, while also helping consumers make smarter, more informed decisions. Today, we are entering into a new era marked by machine learning, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence that Mike believes will impact the future of retail.

Another important change has come in the way that signs are used. Today, digital signs incorporate instant visual changes based on data, which can be done from anywhere across the world with internet access.

Mike believes that amidst these great changes, a successful business will be determined by who can adapt their technology to best satisfy the consumer need.

One major change that Mike predicted in his own industry is the increasing use of virtual reality. Today, technology exists that allows customers to use virtual reality to see, in real-time, what a clothing item will look like on them without even having to try it on. Mike believes this new technology provides an opportunity for businesses to adapt and better serve consumers.

Another area of the sign industry that Mike sees as an opportunity to adapt is in using data to inform sign displays. Retailers are working to create signs that can display tenant information, meaning that the display on a sign can be tailored to fit a specific audience.

Furthermore, Mike discussed near field communication and the effects it will have on the future of the sign industry. He explained how, through near field communication, future signs will be able to detect your recent purchases and subsequently display an ad for what you might be interested in.

With this consumer-specific technology, retailers must consider the importance of changing privacy settings on their signs. Though this was never an issue with the classic neon signs, retailers today must adapt to make sure that signs are password-protected and have software that allows only for administrator-approved changes.

In the future, as the sign industry changes, it will be imperative for businesses to be flexible and adjust accordingly.

Watch Mike McClure’s presentation at #LetsGetSmart:

Mary Keough is a recent graduate of University of Virginia, where she earned her bachelors degree in psychology and her masters degree in teaching. She is looking to pursue a career in elementary education. She can be reached at [email protected]

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disrupting

Disrupting CRE Listings

 23rd June 2017    David_Perlmutter

As a 31 year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, I was not satisfied with the commercial real estate listing solution offerings available to me. My existing information services didn’t allow me to be as productive as I could be when I was out of the office, canvassing and showing space.

So, I decided to create QuantumListing, a solution to all the issues my previous services did not provide. Whether I’m at the office, on the road, or at home, and whether I’m on my computer, my phone or tablet, I have access to my listings, can add new ones, and send them out to prospects.

I believe in being completely transparent about the features and pricing available to you, which you can see in the tables below. You would have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars a year to get the same features from some of the other services.

The app versions for iOS and Android are available to you at no extra cost.

We don’t yet have the volume of listings or searches as the big guys, but we are determined to get there, and help you in any way we can. For instance, we share all of our users’ listings to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Please visit QuantumListing.com,  where you can search all of our users’ listings without registering and without having to pay. Then, register for a three month free trial. You’ll be able to add an unlimited number of listings.

You can also download our apps using the links below.

We look forward to working with you to build both of our businesses.

Regards,

David Perlmutter
Founder

QuantumListing Features and Pricing

Set Yourself Free with QuantumListing 1.5

Set Yourself Free With The QuantumListing App for iOS

 19th June 2017    David_Perlmutter

Map SearchNo more schlepping back to your desk at the office to search, post and share commercial real estate listings. You’re a road warrior and you can take it with you when you’ve got QuantumListing for iOS version 1.5 on your iPhone. With QuantumListing you can add your listing to your account wherever you are, even while you’re sitting in your client’s conference room after inking that exclusive agency agreement. It only takes a couple of minutes and it is so easy.

Here’s the description of QuantumListing from the App Store:

-QuantumListing is a powerful easy-to-use commercial real estate (CRE) listing app. Anyone can search listings nationwide for free. Become a Premium Member and add an unlimited quantity of listings at a fraction of the cost of other commercial real estate listing services.

***Download the app today and we’ll give you the first three months of Premium Membership for free, a $24.99 value!***

“QuantumListing is making it much easier for real estate professionals to generate the quality leads they need to enhance productivity. The multifunction app for commercial real estate is designed to work on the go in the same way that most real estate professionals work.” – RealEstateTechNews.com

-Listings are crowdsourced, provided by owners and agents. (That means you, so get on it!)

-Add your listings and QuantumListing works as an inbound marketing lead generation tool.

-Free Membership allows you to search for commercial real estate and contact listing agents and owners.

-Premium Membership gives you the power to post and share your commercial real estate listings via e mail and social media. Premium Membership is just $9.99 per month, $24.99 for three months, or $79.99 for a year.

Here’s what’s new:

Photo Gallery
Improved PDF import
Improved social functions: See which users are following you and whom you are following with a single tap
Bug fixes
Speed improved
Updated to Swift Code

QuantumListing started as an app, and it has lots of great features.  Unlike the Loopnet and CoStar apps, you can post your listings directly from the QuantumListing app. The central image can be your listing PDF or you can save a photo gallery directly from your phone. You can follow agents in your market so you can easily access their listings. You can save individual listings to your favorites.

There are so many features, and rather than describe them, why not download the app and register for a free three month trial Premium Membership and take it for a test drive. If you don’t want to continue as a Premium Member, your membership will revert to a free basic membership, which still allows you to search all of our users listings.

Premium Membership gives you full access to the QuantumListing.com website and its incredible array of features. You can post an unlimited number of listings for the same price, use QuantumListing to serve your listings to your website at no extra cost, take private notes on listings that only you can see, and so much more. It’s crazy that we provide so many features for such a small investment by you. But we do. We don’t lock you into an expensive year long contract that auto-renews either. You select the duration, either a month, a quarter or a year. Don’t delay, register today!

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Data Insights Drive Sales Productivity

#LetsGetSmart – Data Insights Drive Sales Productivity

 15th June 2017    Ben Perlmutter

Andrew Bermudez

Andrew Bermudez flew in from California to talk at #LetsGetSmart about how data insights can drive sales productivity. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Digsy AI, a commercial real estate tech startup. Andrew began his career as an agent with Lee & Associates in California, and Digsy evolved from tech tools he had developed to enhance his own practice. Andrew took it a step further with Digsy AI, using data gleaned from thousands of deals to extrapolate best practices for driving sales productivity, and it’s applicable to virtually any industry.

Andrew began his talk describing Digsy AI. The company examines data to influence companies’ behavior. Digsy integrates directly with technology that its users already employ. With the data from these other sources, Digsy gives users information they need to be more productive. As Digsy collects data passively in the background, it eliminates approximately 95 percent of data entry, according to Andrew.

Digsy addresses a problem that plagues the commercial real estate industry, and all other industries that do sales: most people hate their customer relationship management (CRM) software. Because of this, many CRM deployments fail because of lack of adoption. In contrast, Digsy does away with all the tedious data entry that deters adoption.

With all the data Digsy collects, Digsy has learned some surprising insights about the commercial real estate industry.

Andrew spent much of the talk revealing these insights to the audience.

Andrew told the crowd about a “hack” to get people to respond to inquiries. To get the best chances of a response, people should leave a voicemail and send an email saying that the voicemail has been sent. The recipient of the email and voicemail can just respond to the email, not having to leave a voicemail of their own. This hack plays on the fact that people hate the prospect of having to leave a voicemail in response to the inquiry. It is much easier for them to simply respond to the email.

Another hack Andrew told the audience about was to get a phone call with a potential client, rather than leaving a voicemail or email. Even though it may take a few calls to get the person on the line, it is worth it because people respond better to the sociality of a phone call compared to the impersonality of voicemail and email.

When a voicemail is necessary, Andrew recommended that the optimal length for getting a reply is 18 seconds.

From here, the conversation shifted to millennial employees’ distaste for phone calls. Andrew said that millennials prefer more modern, impersonal forms of communication like texting and email. Many members of the audience strongly agreed and voiced their grievances at their millennial employees. This is problematic because data indicates that phone calls are better for getting a response.

Luckily, millennials are also very responsive to data, Andrew reassured the audience. So, when they see that phone calls get higher response rates than email and text, they adjust their behavior accordingly.

Conversation moved to how brokers can get clients when the prospective client already has a relationship with a broker. For this, Andrew recommended that the best way to get a client who already has a broker is to build trust over time. Trust can be built through occasional discovery calls and friendly interaction. With a relationship in place, the broker may have opportunities to do deals for the client.

Using one’s pre-existing personal network is a good way to get in touch with desired clients, Andrew explained. A customer is four times more likely to buy a product if it is personally referred to them by someone they know.

Andrew went on to explain why Digsy has been so successful compared to some other CRM platforms. Digsy has four times the adoption rate of traditional sales systems. This is because Digsy “removes friction and adds value.” Digsy removes friction because people do not have to change their behavior when using the program, as it passively collects information in the background, and it of course adds value with all the information that it provides users. 

“People don’t have to be data scientists,” Andrew said, “the [Digsy] system does it for us.”

The talk then turned to the question and answer portion. Once again, the audience was curious about millennials. Andrew noted that he is chronologically part of the millennial cohort, but he does not consider himself a millennial in terms of behavior.

One audience member was frustrated with how her millennial employees tend to leave their company sooner than she would like.

Andrew responded that millennial employees want to believe in the company they work for, its mission, and its impact. Millennials are less about making money as being part of a culture that they agree with, according to Andrew. These young employees will not move companies if they love their job.

Andrew gave an example from his own experience at Digsy. Some of his millennial employees took lower salaries to join Digsy when it was in its startup phase because they supported its mission. These employees wanted to personally grow with a growing business, not just do a task robotically.

If a company wants to retain its employees, it needs to really care about its people. Plus, this strategy makes economic sense because it is easier to hire from within the company rather than bringing in outside talent. 

Watch Andrew Bermudez’ presentation at #LetsGetSmart:

Ben Perlmutter is a freelance writer and English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. He can be contacted for inquiries at [email protected]

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QuantumListing is the new crowd-sourced real estate listing platform for commercial real estate agents, owner and tenants