In property management, eliminate no-shows and days on the market. Don’t waste time on administrative work. Make it more profitable. The ultimate goal is to get the place rented.
Today, I am talking to Zee Bhimji and Asif Hussain of ShowingHero, which is property management software built by property managers because they understand the challenges you face daily—dealing with tenants, leasing, and maintenance.
[04:15] What is ShowingHero? Automation of entire leasing process—from lead to lease.
[07:42] How is ShowingHero different? Customization, full access to improve efficiency.
[08:40] Piecemeal Process and Missing Pieces: Some piecemeal solutions sometimes work, but they’re not a one-stop solution.
[10:40] Showing Process: Contact, communicate, pre-screen, and schedule time.
[14:45] People and Technology: Most expensive operational cost for a business is staff. Reduce expense through automation.
[19:05] Customer Experience: Specific service level expected. Automation doesn’t take away personal touch.
[21:15] Good property management companies provide consistency, follow laws, and do things in a timely manner.
[23:10] Toilet Therapist: Focus on what’s important. Customer service is when it matters.
[27:50] Pain Points: Look at problems from property manager’s perspective.
[33:20] Little Things Make a Big Difference: Listen and understand to keep a business moving toward benefiting customers.
[36:50] Feature-centric Validation Process: Actionable data/insight to run your business the correct way.
Jason: Welcome DoorGrow Hackers to the DoorGrow Show. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase revenue, help others impact lives and you are interested in growing your business and life and you’re open to doing things a bit differently, then you are a DoorGrow Hacker.
DoorGrow Hackers love the opportunities, daily variety, unique challenges, and freedom that property management brings. Many in real estate think you’re crazy for doing it, you think they’re crazy for not, because you realize that property management is the ultimate, high trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income.
At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and their owners. We want to transform the industry, eliminate the BS, build awareness, change the perception, expand the market, and help the best property management entrepreneurs win. I’m your host, property management growth expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show.
My guests today are Zee Bhimji and Asif Hussain. I got everyone’s names right, right?
Zee: You really throw up my name though.
Jason: Perfect. Let everybody know who you are and what your role is. I want to get into your background and how you got connected to the property management industry. We’ll start with you, Zee.
Zee: Yeah, absolutely. Zee Bhimji. I am the co-founder of ShowingHero. I have actually been in the industry for about 10 years now. I tell people this a lot of times. I couldn’t spell property management where I started. I have a property management company also (Real Property Management) in the Chicagoland area. We’ve been around 10 years now.
Like I said, I still couldn’t spell property management when I started. I’m a finance and accounting major. It was a process. That’s where ShowingHero came around, where we saw that there is a void in the market.I decided to work with my very good friend here, Asif. We decided to take down this very big challenge and a very fun project.
Jason: Cool. Asif, why don’t you tell everybody about yourself?
Asif: Yeah. My background a little unique. I’m not a property manager, but I was a landlord and do-it-yourself landlord. I have managed a few properties and doors on my own. I was familiar with some of the issues and some of the pain points in the property management world—dealing with tenants, leasing, maintenance, the whole nine yards.
My background is actually in marketing and finance. I worked for Discover Financial Services. I actually went ahead and got my Masters in Education in London. I went over to mentorship and educational leadership.
Zee and I had actually met together. We were talking about some of the struggles. I actually just went up to Zee to figure out, “Hey. Either some of the struggles that I’m having with my landlords and with my tenants, what are some things that we could do?”
In exchanging ideas and learning from each other, this is where the idea of ShowingHero came from. There wasn’t a solution in the market that was available to us, so that’s where that spirit and that’s where it started, the beginning of our journey actually from.
Jason: Got it. Gentlemen, why don’t you explain to everyone what is ShowingHero?
Zee: ShowingHero is an automation of the entire leasing process. It’s the easiest way to put it. What we would say is from lead to lease. One of the biggest challenges that I face as a property manager, we managed over a thousand doors, and it’s a very good problem to have. Well it’s a problem and it’s hard to do. We actually received an award from the Chicago Association of Realtors back in 2015 where we were the platinum leaders in the entire Chicago land market. It’s definitely something we’re very proud of.
That’s the time we started realizing we’re facing a lot of problems and there are no solutions for them. There are piecemeal solutions. You guys have seen that. Jason, you’ve seen so many piecemeal solutions. I’ve seen that you are putting together a full solution because everyone has noticed piecemeal solutions are hard to do and customers don’t prefer that.
As a property manager, one of the biggest things that I had was I don’t want my employees to go to five different software to get their work done. That’s where ShowingHero comes in. ShowingHero comes in and helps from the time a lead comes in to closing out the entire lease. What you want to do is you want to eliminate days in market. You want to make it more profitable. You want to avoid all the redundant stuff, all the administrative stuff. That’s where ShowingHero comes in.
It will contact the lead. It’ll scheduled the showing. It will use artificial intelligence or machine learning to contact people that are interested in the property, get them to schedule a showing as quickly as possible. This is something that’s really cool. You can get a price drop on your property. Instead of having to go and communicate this to so many people, five minutes after you drop your price, you have people scheduled showings. That’s incredible when it comes to automation coming in and doing their job. That’s where ShowingHero comes in. It helps get everything done.
We come into self showings, which I would like us to talk about because that’s something I’m very, very excited about. We do it differently and we do it more encompassing. Asif, I’m going to let you take the stage.
Jason: Before you get into that, I wanted to touch on this. People are really looking for a result. They’re not looking for pieces. When they’re looking for pieces, they’re hoping to magically put together a solution to get to a result. You really focus your tool on delivering front to end the result of automating the whole leasing process. You said from lead to lease.
Most people listening to this have some solution in place. They may be using Tenant Turner. They’re using Rently. I’ve seen Knock rentals on their ShowMojo. There’s all these different tools out there. Maybe for the listeners, I’d love to hear about your processes, what you guys do, maybe how you stand out, or how you’re different. Everybody listening is wondering how do you guys fit in the marketplace.
Asif: I wanted to add one thing. One of the things that separates us from the market is that the idea of customizations and the full access on the platform. One of the things that Zee had mentioned is when you look at piecemeal solutions, you’re looking at being able to solve something. People don’t realize the amount of hours that are dedicated into doing that.
The example that Zee had mentioned in terms of price-reduced setting. You can manually go ahead and text or email, and say, “Hey look. That’s a solution that works.” People aren’t realizing that for those smaller solutions that they’re thinking that just works, they’re not just being efficient. Not being efficient had the opportunity cost that you need to be able to understand that it’s not necessarily in terms of dollars but its terms of hours. That adds up, which eventually does translate to dollars.
Jason: This piecemeal idea you’ve mentioned a few times. Give us an example of a piecemeal process that you feel like has these gaps or is broken. Just so people are really clear on this.
Asif: I’ve had clients that have said, “Look. I just use Calendly to schedule my showings. It works. I put out my show times there and I’ll get notified.” What they’re not doing is, what does the reporting look like? Do you understand how many days your properties have been on the market? Are you getting the data that you need in terms of where the lead is coming from? What happens to the lead? Has a lead been able to provide you any feedback either if it’s the assisted showing? Have they been able to provide you feedback on the agent or on the property? Are you able to see have they applied on? They clicked on the application link. What is the life cycle of that prospect? Are you able to understand those different points?
You could use Calendly. You might say, “Okay. I’m able to schedule,” but you’re missing out on those other solutions. You might say, “Hey, look. I’m using a lockbox and I’m allowing people to enter the property.” But do you understand who’s entering your property? When they’ve entered? If they’ve left the property? Are you able to follow-up on all of those different missing pieces?
Sometimes these piecemeal solutions work. I had one client who said that they just text message (mass text message) to confirm a showing, which is great, but that does take an amount of time for someone to go get all those text messages, send that, see who replied, see who that person is. Those solutions work but they’re not a one-stop solution. That’s where ShowingHero tries to differentiate itself and say, “Look. We want you to be efficient and running on all gears.”
Jason: Cool. Explain the process of how the showing side work.
Zee: One of the things to add to what Asif was saying and to clarify, we have piecemeal. The idea of piecemeal is just simply the fact that when a lead is interested in a property (we call our property management terms one, two, three, example stream), the first thing we’re doing is we’re saying, “Let’s contact the lead.” It’s as simple as that. We just need to respond to them. Communicate, speak to them, pre-screen them, try to schedule time.
Schedule time really takes three or four attempts. You’re going back and forth. You’re leaving voicemails, you’re sending emails. From there, you’re scheduling your time next week, Wednesday, [1:00] PM. Sounds good. Everything is great. From there, the next thing is a diligent agent or property manager is going to call in again and remind them about their showing the day before. Then, they’re going to try and confirm the showing on the day about four hours prior.
Jason: The goal behind that is to eliminate no-shows, to not waste time, to make sure that you’re doing your best to get these people engaged so they show up, so you can get the property lease as quick as possible. The whole goal is just to get the place rented.
Zee: Right. All you want to do is reduce the days in market and make it profitable. Yes, you can have ten agents for ten properties. You’re not going to be profitable. That’s what we had. We had four agents showing eighty properties. Yes, it worked for us. It made a lot of money but it was tough.
I had a call center with three people full-time taking calls all the time. All they’re doing is taking calls. That was [8:30]-[5:30]. That’s all I was making available and it wasn’t enough. We’re still getting a lot of calls, a lot of voicemails, a lot of emails outside of business hours. We were making it work. It was working. We pre-screen them on the phone, schedule a showing. We tried to be a little smart about it. We tried to be a little efficient about it.
That’s where ShowingHero comes in. ShowingHero takes 90% of all that administrative work. All you’re doing is like going to your assistant and saying, “Hey. I want to show properties in the north side of town on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from [9:00]-[1:00]. Can you please schedule a whole bunch of showings for me, but make sure that the people are pre-qualified? Then, make sure you follow-up with every single person to find out if they’re going to show up on time. Remind them and confirm the showing.” That’s ShowingHero. ShowingHero is your personal assistant that is doing all those things but you don’t have to remind them.
Jason: Okay. The situation you’re describing sounds like pretty normal. The problem situation, it sounds pretty normal. Most management companies, if they’re smaller, the property managers are the one handling this. They’re leveraging maybe one or two tools to try and systemize things. They’ve got one system that’s putting the properties out to the market and feed allowing the system that’s handling some of the showing stuff.
That sounds pretty normal. They’re going to have a handful of people that are going out or maybe themselves. They’re trying to do this. At your level of scale, you started to see gaps and the problem. It sounds like for smaller guys, something like ShowingHero could allow them some freedom from the leasing side of the business that they’re tied up in.
Zee: Yeah. I want to put up the 100 emoji right now because that’s what it is. It’s all about having a bold solution.
Jason: Okay. Let me point this out. My listeners have heard this multiple times. The most expensive thing in business is staff. It’s the most expensive operational cost that we have. It is people. We’re spending thousands, tens of thousands of dollars even on a team every month. If you can reduce that even slightly through some automation, through technology, through some process, through systems, through less communication needing to happen, then even eliminating phone calls being necessary between two people, or any step that is reduced adds up to a lot of cost savings. It scales once you get to 1000 doors like your size.
It’s pretty obvious. It’s really obvious. it’s difficult for people that are at a smaller door account to pay attention to all these little leaks that exist in their business. The challenge ends up being they just feel like they’re spinning their wheels and they’re not moving forward. They feel like they’re just living paycheck-to-paycheck. They feel like the business isn’t progressing. It’s because they’re not dedicating time towards strategic time in working on the business. They’re focused on all the tactical things they need to do in the business.
They have the business that they can do instead of the business that they should be doing, the business that they really want to have in which they’re able to focus on strategic time, focus on planning on the future, on growth, on ideas. Instead they’re handling leasing, maintenance, phone calls, their team, managing, trying to do accounting, and like all these kind of stuff.
The less tactical work they have on their plate, the better. If you can free up tactical work by leveraging a technology tool or system, you’re going to dramatically reduce your cost. It doesn’t matter if a tool is hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. Team members are thousands of dollars a month. That’s where people miss the boat.
I hear people so often they say, “Oh that software is so expensive.” They’re starting out and they’re like, “I can’t get the better property management accounting solution because it’s hundreds of dollars a month.” I’m like, “Are you kidding?” Your first team member is going to be thousands of dollars a month. Start with the solution you can live with forever because it’s gonna be painful to switch. I wanted to point that out.
Asif: Absolutely. What you were mentioning is key. People don’t realize that payroll is expensive. It’s one of the largest expense items out there. Doing it manually and not looking at a software solution because you think, “Oh. This upfront cost might be too much,” you’re not realizing how much you’re spending in paying someone to do that manual because the work has to get done. It’s not that you’re not reaching out to these individuals. It’s not that you’re not following-up if somebody’s doing this and you’re not realizing the cost. The other thing that’s also important to think about is the prospect experience. Most prospects that we’ve looked at are scheduling during weeknights or weekends.
Jason: Right. That’s when they’re not working.
Asif: Exactly. How are you able to respond to them? I just read a stat somewhere that said when most prospects are looking at homes, they’re not only looking at your listings. They’re looking at multiple listings in that area. If they don’t get a response within a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days, and you don’t get back to them, they’re going to move on to the next one. They’re not waiting for somebody in your office to respond back to them.
That’s what’s ShowingHero does. With our tenant portal, we create a richer experience. The moment that somebody is interested in a property, they get information about the property that the property management company puts out. There’s the picture, the details, what schools are nearby, what’s the walk score. What are the important factors that allow me to make a decision about this property and then be able to have a response to instantly say, “Hey, this is when I can schedule a showing and that am I qualified?” The pre-screening also allows us to gather more information and that creates a richer experience on both ends. Making sure that the prospect feels that they’re getting responded to and that allows them to hopefully sign that lease and sign on the dotted line quicker.
Jason: You mentioned experience and you mentioned the service level that people expect. The customer experience is what I’m talking about. You get two camps of property managers. You get some that fear automation. They’re like, “Oh. I can never use this AI tool or I can never use this automation because you’re cutting out people.” They pride themselves. It’s like this badge of honor that they wear on their shirt sleeve that they’re so personal. They do everything themselves. They think that that means they’re providing a higher level of service.
“Oh well, I’m going to deal with every tenant directly. I want to see them, know them, taste them, and smell them. I’m doing the best thing for my owners. I’m so connected.” They wear this badge of honor. It’s not scalable. There’s this myth that that means it’s better that they’re able to provide better experience.
Asif: It’s not consistent. Automation doesn’t take away the personal touch right. ShowingHero allows you to customize everything. I’m going to let Zee talk about how it helped his company grow with that because that was an issue that him and I discussed in detail and saying, “Are we taking away the human touch?”
Both of us thought that automation doesn’t take it. It allows you to standardize and make that process simpler and more efficient. You’re not going to know how your agent goes and respond to every message and email. You can’t control that. You can create culture, obviously, and that takes time. But what about if I can be able to put that in an email or in a message or in my branding that then gets the same process goes out to every prospect every time?
Jason: […]. I know that every renter that’s rented at least a handful of times or even maybe once has had a bad experience in renting. They’ve had difficulties with showings. They’ve had people not calling them back. They’ve had difficulties and maintenance. They’ve all had bad experiences.
When I moved to a new area and I asked around, it’s pretty obvious when you ask people. They know which management companies are good and bad. They talk about them. I don’t think people realize that the tenants are screening management companies as well. A lot of them will look for a good management company because they dealt directly with an owner that was terrible, wasn’t attentive, was busy working, not available, wasn’t following laws, wasn’t on the up-and-up on things, or was shady.
A good management company provide consistency. They follow the law. They do things in a timely fashion if they’re healthy. They have good a good service experience. I know from my own experience, I appreciated not having to talk to a person in order to get things done that I wanted to do. I just wanted it done. I wanted it quick. I wanted to get in and see the property quickly. I wanted to get maintenance requests done quickly. I didn’t need to talk to somebody, do all the niceties, and go through these. I just wanted stuff taken care of.
Sometimes we may focus a little bit too much on customer experience when really the experience they want is just to get […] done fast. That’s it. Get it done and let me get on with my day. “I don’t need a friend right now. I need my toilet fixed. I need to see this probably because I need to find a place.”
Zee: Jason, I especially agree with that because we have multiple things happening at the same time. One of the big items is if you can exaggerate something. Many people who wear this badge of honor are saying that we care about customer service. I fully agree. I don’t call myself a property management company. ShowingHero doesn’t call itself a tech company. We call ourselves a customer service company. It’s where the customer service is required.
I’m not going to call you, Jason, and say, “Hey. I’m so sorry about your toilet not working. This is so upsetting. You want to talk about it?” No. That’s not when you need a call. When you need a call is when you’re frustrated. When the property owner is saying, “Hey, listen. I need to replace my sub-zero fridge. That’s going to cost me $13,000. Can you guys give me a good option? Tell me something that’s important.” Not when it’s $200, not when we need to schedule a showing. When you’re trying to schedule a showing you want to automate that. Then you can focus on the things that really matter.
Customer service is where when it matters. That’s what ShowingHero is allowing you to do. Just like you had mentioned, you want to scale. One thing that I got lucky (and I say this very many times) is that I was fortunate. I was able to hear from people like you, Jason, who said, “Zee, don’t work in your business, work on it.” That made a really big difference because at that time I was a fresh graduate. I just got out of school and I said, “I’m going to start a business.”
I did really well in school and I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna try and listen to people because I know nothing about property management.” I didn’t come in with any of my old ways of doing things. I was like, “I just need a try.” From day one.
I got to hear people like you, Jason, who said, “Listen, skill. Focus on growth. Don’t focus on saving a few dollars by going and doing showings. One of the first things I did when nobody was doing it was I got epayments. I got esignatures for leasing. Many prospects would be confused and then they would call in. We would get reviews that, “Last time I signed a lease, I had to meet the person there, and we were there for three hours. This time it took 30 seconds.” Now, esignatures are commonplace. Everyone is doing it.
But the guy who wears that badge that says, “Hey, listen. You know I want customer service. I want to sit there and explain the lease.” No, that’s not what you need. You need to be able to answer the questions that they have. Figure it out. Get the maintenance done in a timely manner. That’s what’s showing here does.
What we have done is also with cost. We’ve made it very customizable. One thing our clients do is they’re saying that, “Hey. All the automation really helps us because then when we go to a showing we can focus and say, ‘Hey, which one?’ We have open houses. The prospect is going to go with it. We’re going to get multiple prospects coined for one showing.” If you have six or seven people at the same time, you want to pick who is the correct person. That’s where customer service comes in. I feel like that’s where you should spend time.
Jason: Going back to my earlier question (because everybody listening is wondering), how does this compare or how is it different than Tenant Turner, ShowMojo, or Rently? These are the three tools that have been in the marketplace for a while. A lot of people are using it. I’ve heard the most about those. What do you feel is different about ShowingHero?
Asif: Zee, feel free to jump in. One of the things that I feel that we have, that is the most unique is building on our founders experience and those on our board. Zee, we also have Sean, who’s also on the board, bring over almost two decades of property management experience.
Both of them have been very successful. Zee have been able to scale from where we were. I was in the beginning a few doors to 1000–1500 plus doors. I went in as part of the largest franchisee and has been able to establish himself. To be able to use that knowledge and expertise, we can all appreciate that that value is innumerable.
Using his experience allows us to understand the pain points for scalability. That’s one of the leverages. Because of his network, we’ve been able to look at different integrations. We’ve been able to look at different features that we’ve launched and to really figure out what’s the next trend. Luckily (or unluckily) for him, we also do a lot of testing on his property management company. We’re like,” Hey. We have this view feature. Let’s push it out to him.”
Jason: Zee’s the guinea pig.
Zee: Yeah. In this scenario, it’s a happy guinea pig because these are things that many people will come up to us and say, “Hey, we need to do this. Is this something that you guys can do?” We’re looking at it and we say, “That sounds amazing.” We can vet a proposal much faster because I’m looking and I’m like, “That makes perfect sense. I’ve dealt with that.” Property managers deal with that every day. We’re not fixing things. It’s not a novelty solution. When we look at a problem, we’re looking at it from the property manager’s eyes.
Many of our clients say that they appreciate the fact that we’re a property management software that’s built by property managers. We feel their pain. We understand their pain fully. I have been in the trenches (I’m still in the trenches). It makes a really big difference. One of the things that we have is the fact that we try to build a system that’s customizable. We have vendor portals. We have very many features, Jason. A lot of our customers are ecstatic about the fact that we’re feature-rich, but we’re agile. We’re an agile software which means that we can move quickly.
One of the things that I thought was a major disadvantage for us is it’s obviously an advantage also but we were the new shiny product out there. How can people trust it if they have no one else that has tried it. That’s where we got a little lucky. We got a little fortunate because my network of people were like, “Zee, you know what? If you’ve built something, we’re happy to see what it’s about.”
Sean Kingman said, “Hey. Let’s try this,” and that’s how it caught on fire. We just started. We’re a 2017-2018 product. We’ve only been around for a very short time. The reason why we’re many times being added to conversations is because our customers see it as client success is very important to us and we know property management. That’s a very big differentiator. When it comes to features, Asif could talk for like six hours. Jason, you might get a little bored. You might think some of these things are really cool but six hours, I don’t think we have.
Jason: Maybe we’ll get into a few features that Asif thinks are really cool. Before we do that, I just want to touch on what you said that there’s fundamentally the intention from the ground up of what a company is involved in significantly changes all of the outcomes and the product that they create. If people start a product because they think, “Hey. We’re really nerdy and we’re really cool tech people. Let’s make something really nerdy and see if we can make some money off these property managers.” That’s very different than having an intention from the ground-up saying, “Hey, we need to solve this problem for ourselves. Let’s see if we can do this towards scaling the business.”
Your focus from the ground-up was, “How can we focus on scaling this? How can we lower operational costs? How can we systemize things and reduce time? How can we speed up the process? How can we focus on the customer service aspect so that we’re getting a high level of positivity throughout the experience for the customer?” That’s a very different focus than I’m just focusing on being really tech-savvy and making something really nerdy and cool, and throwing a bunch of features at it. The whole goal to grow in scale is significant.
Just like in DoorGrow, our intention, our fundamental mission (like client-centric mission statement) is that we want to change and transform this industry, and have an impact. We get to do that through hundreds of clients that we have and create that ripple effect. I really do believe that good property management can change the world.
You can have a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of families lives, home, money, property, and investments. This is fundamental to your owners and the tenants lives. That drives our mission and our vision, and we want to have a real impact with our clients. We’ve done things that, probably from a business standpoint, makes sense for us but it was towards our vision and our purpose. It’s not always about the bottom line or about the dollar.
I’m sure with you guys, you’ve made little changes and little differences between what you do. Maybe some of the others isn’t on squeezing a dollar out of a person or just implementing some cool piece of technology. It’s just like driving down the road. It’s the little adjustments that you make to the steering wheel. You end up in a very different place. You stay on the road. But if the steering was just slightly off from the very beginning and you don’t adjust it or if you’re flying an airplane, you will end up in a very different place. You’ll be off the road. You’ll be in a different city if you’re flying. It’s the little things that end up making a big difference especially later on down the road.
Vision and purpose is what keeps a business in alignment and keeps it moving towards benefiting the consumer and benefiting the target audience that you want to serve. You are your own target audience which is interesting.
Asif: That really does help. I was just going to add. Zee and I both agree with you on this point. one of the most important things that I’ve learned in this journey is to listen. To listen and understand.
Zee and I had a vision and said, “Okay, look. These are the problems that we’re facing. Let’s understand and how do we solve them.” We’ve solved a solution and I said, “Look, I want to make sure that customer service is really important to me.” Perhaps, it’s a millennial thing. I want to get something, get it done fast, and I want to be treated well while doing it.
For Zee, it was customizations that were really important. He said, “Look. I need this but I know that someone in my network has a different profile and might not want this. I want to customize this for myself.” Even though we have both of those pillars to guide us, we listen to each of our clients to understand, “What is it that you need?”
While we’re driving to this destination in the car, for example, are we checking to make sure that we’re headed towards that way? Are we checking our blind spots? Are we checking our biases to understand where that is? Then also, looking ahead 5-10 years, what are the integrations and technologies that we want to start implementing today to make sure that we collectively push property management to the next level?
Whether that’s looking at virtual reality, whether that’s looking at AI, looking at learning, looking at voice, what are these tools that we can start leveraging and using to help push property management to the next level while also understanding the realities of today? And then learning from the best practices. That’s both from Zee and then from our clients. That’s where that mixture has to happen and that’s where that perfect blend is.
Jason: You also said you have two camps when it comes to software creation. You have those that are more of the camp of, “We’re going to create things the best way and everybody else needs to do it our way. Our way is the way they need to fit their business into our model or we’re just not a fit for you.” Then you’ve got, “We’re going to allow this to be flexible for their business and listen to our consumers and we’re going to make adjustments for this.”
I’m not saying either one is better than the other. They’re just different. Somebody may create the ultimate solution and somebody may create something. It sounds like your focus is on customization. It’s something that can be adapted to their business model. Can you explain some of the differences between some of your customers that might show up in your software, feature-wise?
Zee: One of the things that I could be able to say is just like you said. We have this idea of saying that we have a product it’s going to help you in many ways. But we want to customize it. People run their businesses differently. We’re still going to provide best practices.
We have our client success team. We have our senior consultants who are saying, “Here’s how many of our customers are doing this but here are options.” When we’re doing customer check-ins our customers are like, “I’m thinking about doing something like this. How can you help me?”
I’ll give you an example of a feature that really differentiates us but it makes us proud. I’ll tell you this that many times our customers are saying, “You’re giving me a lot of good data.” Once you have over 300 listings, 300 properties under your portfolio, you need data to run your business, so getting a lot of data. But sometimes it’s not actionable data. You want to say, “Okay. Yes, cool. I’m getting a lot of showings. I’m getting a lot of leads.”
What we’ve started doing is because our customer came up to us, we did a beta across around 30 different customers, and said, “Is this something that you guys care for?” We were looking at and we said this is something important and it’s simply performance alerts. Something that comes in, gives you actionable data, and says, “Don’t tell me how many showings I have. Tell me how many properties are not getting showings.”
“Instead of me going through 70 of my active listings, tell me what’s actionable data.” They tell me, “Here’s where my problems are. This is a list of problems.”
You can ask that you receive this performance alerts on a weekly basis, on a daily basis, on a monthly basis. You’re getting this information that says, “Here are all your listings that have less than X number of photos. Here are all your properties that have had less than five showings.” This is such simple stuff and we looked at it and we’re like, “This is a no-brainer but this helps a company.”
Now, we get reviews. We get thank you emails. Asif was just showing me a thank you email yesterday. He was like, “This is a customer saying that this has made their life easy because the leasing manager in the office says, “Now I don’t have to go in and look for the needle in the haystack. You guys are making the needle have a halo all around it.”
Jason: Yeah. It’s helping them see gaps. It’s helping them see blind spots in these properties that they’re leasing because the more properties you have, the more common those blind spots and leaks probably occur. “Oh, no. We didn’t get enough photos on this one.” “These small handful of properties are not renting very quickly over in this market.” These challenges. It helps you make different business decisions. You may decide not to take on properties in a certain geographic area. They’re just not leasing or whatever.
Zee: Actionable insight is very important. It helps you run your business the correct way. When we’re looking at something like the number of leads, yeah the number of leads are great. On average, our customers receive around 2700 leads on a monthly basis. It just might be something that you know and it’s very common, but many small customers don’t know this. They don’t know how many leads they receive on it together because they contact the 15 leads they receive during the day. But how about the leads that came in on the weekends? How about the leads that came in via voicemail? Or missed calls? 2700 leads is a lot of leads.
The problem is that even though you’re getting 2700 leads, where’s the actionable insight? How do I know which property is not getting the leads? I don’t need to work on all the properties and getting a lot of leads. I want to know which property I should be focusing on. That’s where ShowingHero comes in.
We have a tenant portal which makes a very big difference because like Asif and you were both talking about, you want a rich experience for the customer. We want to go get prospects to move through the lead pipeline faster and make it easy for them to do this. At the same time, you don’t want to have too much work for your leasing staff, calling, making phone calls, asking.
We have the prospect scheduling your showing, going and seeing the property within an hour of scheduling the showing, of submitting a lead on Zillow. That’s how quick our turnaround can be. They can just go to the property, validate themselves, securely validate themselves. They’re not sending a picture of themselves. They’re going through a validation process. This is something that our customers find very important. They’re like, “Listen. I don’t want to just send pictures. I don’t want to receive pictures. How do I know whose picture I received? How is that going to help me?” That’s one more step.
For us, what we’re doing is we’re going through the validation process. The prospect goes to see the property and once they’re done with the showing we’re going through more validation to go and say, “Did the person leave?”
If everything is working, you’re good. If the person doesn’t confirm that they have left the property, we inform someone. The most important thing for a large company is to provide actionable data, actionable insight, so that people can move when they need to move. Otherwise, they can focus on other things. That’s something that you know helps our clients and is our mantra for us.
Jason: Instead of people having to dig and react—they’re always having to go to the data and find, they have to question, ask things, and figure it out, then they’re gonna react to these things—your tool will say, “This needs to be dealt with. Somebody checked in this property. They never checked out somebody should go figure this out.” It’s letting them know actionable things that they need to be doing instead of expecting the leasing manager to just dig, dig, dig, dig, dig.
Asif: Right. There is data that you can pull and then there’s data that’s being pushed out. To be honest, we’re continuously working on that. It’s an ongoing journey for us in being able to understand which data is important, when should it be sent out, how much is too much data, and which one is the most valuable.
As Zee mentioned, 2,700 leads means nothing unless you put it into context. How many properties? Where are these leads coming from? How many are qualified? How many are actually showing up to the property? How many are following through? What are my percentage over application over leads that came in? Is it coming from Zillow? Is it coming from voicemail? Is it coming through another third-party site? Data without context doesn’t help. That’s what Zee was trying to infer to is providing those actionable items in a context that’s valuable to the end-user.
Jason: Perfect. Maybe we should start wrapping this up. Are there any features and frequently asked questions that clients ask that you want to showcase here while we have you about ShowingHero?
Asif: One of the things I do want to mention is that we have a special promotion going on where you can test out the software. I left to look at the marketing team a bit and there’s like three or five active listings.
Probably, property management companies that are thinking, “I might not be able to do this,” or “I’m not sure this is what it is.” I understand that a switch or trying something new is difficult. I understand that there are a hundred questions that you have until we’ve made it where our first package is entirely free, where you get to test out the software, all of its features, and be able to see that power in being able to make sure that it’s the right fit for you.
That’s one of the things that we pride ourselves and saying, “We’re going to make sure that ShowingHero works for you. If not, we’ll try to make sure that we can try to get it there and figure out a solution.” There is always a solution to be had. Let’s have that conversation to figure it out. That’s one thing I wanted your listeners to know that there is a free understanding of that which is low risk for them.
Also, keep in touch with ShowingHero. We’re going to be launching some really, really, cool features and integrations, looking at some technology in the AI and the voice space, looking at more creative self solutions that are out there, and all of this should hopefully come to us by the end of this, or Q4, or early Q1 next year. We’re continuously trying to grow and listen to the market, and hopefully, we’ll be able to respond with some really great integrations.
Jason: It sounds really cool. Someday we’ll have to have you come back and […] what some of these things are.
Zee: We have some cool announcements coming up. I’m gonna add one thing to what Asif was saying. A big thing our customers are saying, customers who have signed up with us around 90 days in, we try to get some feedback and say, “How are things going? What’s going on?” One thing that we’re hearing from a lot of our customers is that we wish we had pulled the trigger a little earlier and that’s why Asif came up with this idea of saying, “Listen. Let’s make it a little easier. Let’s make it a no-brainer for them.”
If a customer is having a hard time making a decision because they don’t know the value right away, let them try it. That’s where our free tier is. We’re 100% okay with, “Hey, come on in.” I don’t mean to brag, Jason, but I will tell you that as the new shiny product—I say this is pride, I’m going to put up the humble brags hashtag, but I will say this—one thing we’re seeing is that when we’re bringing these shiny objects out, setting a little bit of a trend in the industry where some of the other people you’ve mentioned are also adding those, we’re really proud of the fact that competition is making the current product base.
I have to put my property management hat on every once in a while and I have to say, “Just when a new product comes around, that means my other offerings become better because they need to compete.” I’ll give you a very, very simple example, very, very simple stuff. Our pricing model is being copied across many. I don’t want to say copied, but I want to say that I feel that people are noticing that property managers respond to our pricing model. Maybe we should offer a similar pricing model.
We have our property pages. We’re showing extra data that may not be very easy to pull but we’re pulling in the walk score, the bike score, the neighborhood score, neighborhood schools. This is all important information to prospects. Maybe it’s not very easy to pull but we’re doing it because we feel it’s important.
Now, I have noticed that others are also trying to pull a little more information. Maybe not getting as much information as we provide, but it’s cool and I like the fact that maybe we’re making a little bit of an impact to the industry.
Jason: Perfect. It is fun and it’s nice to be able to see the impact. At DoorGrow, I feel like we get to have an impact. I get to have it through the podcast, I get to have it indirectly through my clients, and I can see the industry changing in ways that I didn’t expect, but it was our goal. I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. The momentum is building and it’s really exciting to see your vision come to life. I’ll take a tiny bit of credit to that and you can, too, so humble brag for both of us.
Zee: Jason, I’ll say this. One of your customers had come by us on in Nashville. They were just crazy about you. They’re crazy about […]. I just have to put this out there that you guys are providing information and help that is very beneficial. I would tell you guys, everyone listening is probably already a customer of yours, but when they’re not, they should start talking to you very soon.
Jason: I appreciate that a lot. We have thousands of listeners. I doubt that they’re all customers. We have hundreds of customers but 1000. If you’re listening, listen to Zee and come talk to me.
Zee: Talk to Jason.
Jason: I love it. Alright. I appreciate you plugging my business and coming on the show. Anyway, it sounds really cool you guys are doing. I resonate with your your ideology and your philosophy behind what you’re doing. I’m excited to hear feedback from some of my customers and listeners on your tool. You people can check it out for free, which is bold of you guys.
If somebody has something they can say to their leasing coordinator or to themselves, they can say, “Let’s just try out one or two doors. Let’s try a handful of properties on this. Let’s just see how it differs. Let’s see how it works.” That’s where maybe you’ll start to see some brilliance and maybe get really excited about working with ShowingHero. I look forward to hearing some feedback.
Those of you who are you listening, make sure you’re inside the DoorGrow Club Facebook group, our community for the podcast. You get to by going to doorgrowclub.com. People post really real and raw feedback in there about different services and tools. I’d love to hear it. Cool. I appreciate you guys coming on the show. How can people get in touch with ShowingHero and try this out?
Asif: We have a demo page that you can just request a demo out there and then I can share my information to you as well. They can get in touch with me directly in that way through our contact page. What I’m showing here, there’s a couple of ways that you can get in touch with us. You can get through our chat box, emailing us, just checking out our website. There’s a couple of mediums that you can look at.
Jason: And the website is showinghero.com?
Jason: All right, real simple. Everybody check out showinghero.com. Asif and Zee, I appreciate you guys coming on the DoorGrow Show and contributing to our property management community.
Zee: Thank you for having us.
Asif: Thanks for the chat, appreciate it.
Jason: All right, we’ll let you guys go.
There you go. Check out showinghero.com. If you guys are interested in growing your business, if you feel like you are doing it all on your own as an entrepreneur, you feel like you don’t have support, you feel like nobody’s in your corner, who’s in your corner? Sometimes it’s not even our spouse. Who’s in your corner? Who do you feel is challenging you and helping you level up in what you’re doing?
If you feel like you want some support like that, you want to be part of something, you are aligned with our vision of changing and transforming this industry, then connect with DoorGrow. Reach out. We would love to help you see some of the blind spots that may exist in your sales pipeline.
Our vision and purpose at DoorGrow, what we really do is we help align your business towards warm lead generation. We help align your business towards greater trust by shoring up the trust leaks that exist in your front end of your business, the sales pipeline. Because trust is what closes deals. Trust is what gets you contracts. People aren’t looking to buy property management. What they buy is safety and certainty. What they’re buying is trust.
We can help you showcase trust throughout your sales pipeline and we can eliminate the leaks that scare them off, or that create a lack of trust, or create less trust than maybe one of your competitors, then we can facilitate you growing and adding more doors without even changing your lead sources a lot of times.
Reach out to us. We would love to see if we could help you out show you some of the leaks that may exist in your business. If you reach out, we’ll send you access to a 1 hour and 45 minute training called DoorGrow Secrets that will help you see the gaps and the problems that exist in your business. You can to that by going to doorgrow.com/opt-in. That will take you to a page, it gives you a bunch of case studies, testimonials, and it will allow you to get access to that training. Maybe you’ll be a client of ours if you get really excited about what we have to offer.
Hopefully we’ll be talking soon. Until next time, everybody. To our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.
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