Real Time: You attended Inman Connect New York this year, but didn't attend as a sponsor. What gives? How was it?
Morgan Carey: Yeah, we are trying something a little different with our marketing in 2020. We've done a lot of advertising over the years, working with lots of incredible companies (like Inman), which has been great for our visibility. I think for a time in the marketplace, we needed to do it.
But at the end of 2019, I had some great conversations with our customers, and got some great feedback. Two things kept coming up: bigger discounts and more product R&D and innovation.
So I said, why not? Let's try it.
So instead of spending a bunch of money on self-promotion on sponsorship this year, we just attended.
Quite frankly we just sort of went old school. I bought a badge and set up meetings. And to be honest, I never even picked up my pass. We were so busy with meetings with clients, vendors, and companies that I just had no time. It was great! I have to give a huge kudos to Inman for attracting so many great people in one place.
As an attendee, I got just as much value, maybe even more, than if we were a sponsor.
RT: So where did those sponsorship dollars go?
MC: We ran a killer promotion!
Real Estate Webmasters is known for being super high-end, but also kind of expensive, because we have setup fees. So we took all of those Inman dollars that we would have spent on promotion, and we reduced the setup fee with the No Setup Fee Money-Back Guarantee promo for our customers.
I just heard back from our Sales Manager, Matt, that we increased our YoY real estate website sales by 1000%. So by not sponsoring this year, we were able to get more agents started with their own real estate website by removing both the barrier and the risk. That's a huge win.
In fact, this offer was so popular, we were asked to bring it back for February. So we did. Check it out!
Real Estate Tech Update - February 2020
RT: Speaking of February, what are you most excited about this month?
MC: For a short month, there's a ton ahead.
For starters, REW officially launched Century21 Canada on January 31, which is really exciting.
I spoke at the CENTURY 21 Chairman's Circle in Cancún, Mexico, this past week. This event is amazing because it brings together industry leaders that really create the future for real estate. It has been incredible to be a CENTURY 21 technology partner, and it is always a pleasure to present at Chairman's Circle.
In real estate tech at REW, we have just launched the alpha version of Gmail lead integration.
This cool tool gives you the ability to fully integrate Gmail into REW CRM. We are testing it on CarlyCarey.com. It has been awesome, she is amazed at how well it is working.
This particular integration actually allows you to sync your Gmail account to your REW CRM account: when you send emails from the CRM they're automatically logged in Gmail, and vice versa. You have all of your lead history, all of your previous email history, and lead records in one place. So basically, opening up your CRM is like opening up your Gmail inbox. It's very, very cool.
We have also started prototyping a new market snapshot product.
We have received some really great feedback on REW Forums (our forums are really taking off!). We have the mockups into prototype—this will be a top producers market snapshot. We actually have no idea what we will call it yet, but it is shaping up to be a tool that will be invaluable. It will track evaluations of properties over time, provide email updates, along with some other really innovative features. More to come on this one!
Over here at REW, we are also getting ready for our winter REW Town Hall later on this month, which is always exciting. We bring all of our staff from all over to be together at our campus in Nanaimo. These Town Halls are important and really fun. We go over company updates and talk about all of the exciting things that we have coming down the pipeline, and of course, celebrate our REW rockstars.
Winston also started Puppy Kindergarten. He is doing really well. He has lots friends, and if I don't watch he will become the teacher's pet.
Morgan's Tips For REALTORS
RT: With 2020 now in full swing, what advice do you have for our readers, our agents, who are looking to crush it this year in real estate?
MC: It's never too late to set your goals for 2020.
If you haven't yet, do it now— it's better to set them now than not at all.
Make the time to sit down, write out your goals, and then work backwards through the rest of the year. You should figure out how many leads you need to close as many deals as you need to reach your GCI.
You also need to figure out how much those leads are costing you, and what your conversion rate needs to be. This is something every agent needs to know, and is something you should be doing early in the year. If you wait until the 11th month comes around, you aren't going to reach your goals or set realistic targets that will help your business grow.
It is truly my most important piece of advice for agents today. It is never too late to write down your goals and work backwards. That way you make sure that you have everything in place that you need to hit those goals by the end of the year.
So get started—it's only February!
Morgan on Family Life
RT: What's going on at the Carey Household? What is your family the most excited about?
MC: Hanging out of the lake with my family. Can't wait for summer to come!
After many years of hard work and saving, we are finally able to replace our old boat. My family is excited. I'm excited. I think even Winston is excited. The girls picked out the colours. It has been on my vision board for a while now, and I am thrilled this is finally coming to fruition.
So many of our memories happen out on the lake. Spending time with my wife, Carly, and our children are my be-all and end-all. Being able to be all together, making memories, before the kids grow up, is important.
Oh, and in 2019, we added a new member to our family. Meet Winston!