DGS 137: Implement Leasing Automation in Your Property Management Business with ShowMojo

Looking for a system that will help you automate the entire residential leasing process?

Today’s guest is Abi Wasserman from ShowMojo, a complete leasing automation platform that handles scheduling coordination and showings. Abi explains ShowMojo as automating everything that happens in the pre-leasing experience, from the moment a property is available and hits the market to the moment a prospective renter is moving forward with an application.

You’ll Learn…

[02:24] ShowMojo: What it is, what it does, and how it’s different from other options.

[04:14] Touch Points: Automated communication confirms, follows up leasing process. 

[05:22] Property managers fit business needs and leasing processes into one platform. 

[05:50] Other Options: Some companies do showings or open houses differently.

[06:29] Independent Experience: Know calendar availability for each team member. 

[07:58] COVID Pandemic Hold: Starting to get back to first normal, busy leasing season. 

[08:48] Walk the Talk: What to do when renting property to somebody site unseen. 

[10:21] With so many property management tools, why choose ShowMojo?

[13:30] FAQ: Focus on syndication, customers, security, and platform comparisons.

[17:00] Determining Factor: ShowMojo’s success is because of relationships. 

[18:40] Pros and cons of occupant, self, and accompanied showings.

[23:54] Common Problems: Time wasting calls? Use the automated ShowMojo phone.

Tweetables

“Your platform should allow you to be able to customize your needs, stack appointments up together, calculate drive time, and take that into account in between showings.”

“That’s going to turn into maintenance nightmares for you down the road or a tenant nightmare for you down the road because they haven’t seen the property.”

“The first place that somebody sees a difference with the way that ShowMojo operates, is really in that prospective renter experience.”

“That prospective renter experience is important for them, but it’s also important for you.”

Resources

ShowMojo

Abi Wasserman’s Email

Abi Wasserman on LinkedIn

Rently

Tenant Turner

TurboTenant

Apartments.com

Zillow

Rentals.com

Zumper

DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind

DoorGrow on Instagram

DoorGrow on YouTube

DoorGrowClub

DoorGrowLive

Transcript

Jason: Welcome, DoorGrow Hackers, to the DoorGrowShow. 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 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 guest today is Abi Wasserman. Welcome, Abi.

Abi: Hey Jason. How are you?

Jason: I’m fantastic. I’m doing really well. How are you?

Abi: I am good. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

Jason: I’ve been wanting to get ShowMojo on the show forever. They’ve been on my hit list for a long time and I finally just gave up. Then suddenly, you showed up on my calendar, which is awesome. I’m glad you came.

Abi: I have a magic touch. It’s like we have mojo or something, I don’t know. It might be in our name.

Jason: Yeah, maybe. Some ShowMojo. Abi, maybe give us a little bit of background on ShowMojo, if you could. Then maybe we can chat about what it is, what it does, and how it’s different from the other options on the market.

Abi: ShowMojo is the leasing automation platform. We have been around for over 10 years. My understanding of how DoorGrow got started originated out of this need for the property management industry, started from an entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial mindset. Our founder and his wife who owned property management units saw this need for automation to exist in their life. To stop them from taking away from their day-to-day life and what time was getting spent with the kids or at family dinners, those tasks, those phone calls, those emails, that coordination that typically comes with the leasing process, that pre-leasing process. What was bothering them and not conducive to that family time, it ended up turning into ShowMojo and this scheduling coordination. Eventually, self show as well but the entire leasing automation platform that is ShowMojo.

Jason: Got it. I think ShowMojo really pioneered on the market the scheduling sort of aspect. Then it looks like Rently copied that. They had the lock boxes and now ShowMojo’s got the lock boxes, too. Then you’ve got Tenant Turner and they seem to have a similar product. Why don’t you explain for people that have no idea what ShowMojo is? They aren’t aware of these. What it is and then maybe we can get into the differences.

Abi: I like to explain ShowMojo as thinking about automating everything that happens in that pre-leasing experience, from the moment that a property is available and hits the market, to the moment that that prospective renter is moving forward with an application. What our platform and what ShowMojo does is it empowers that prospective renter to really self-drive their way through a prospect-driven leasing process. It allows them to really empower that process from start to finish, giving them that immediate touch, that immediate response that they crave when they’re trying to schedule a showing.

Giving them that automated communication throughout the process. Making sure that they have confirmed the showings or giving them the ability to automatically reschedule a showing. Giving them automated communication on the back end of that. Following-up after a showing. Following-up with the application process after the showing. Really making sure that there are just all of those touch points, and giving property managers that customizable platform in it where they can fit it their business needs, their processes, how they do leasing and not making a property management company have to fix their processes to a platform mix, if that makes sense.

Jason: Yes. Could you give us some examples of how companies might do it a bit differently maybe?

Abi: Some property management companies, for instance, will do great showings especially as we move more out of this pandemic, there are property management companies that will do great showings or open houses. Maybe they’ll do clustered individual showings where you only want to go out to a property maybe once a day and you want to cluster your showings together where you’ve got five back-to-back showings. Your platform should allow you to be able to customize your needs, stack appointments up together, calculate drive time and take that into account in between showings.

Know what calendar availability is there for each one of your team members, crosscheck maybe a third-party calendar like Google or Outlook, be able to send those invites back and forth between those calendars easily, and make sure that each one of your team members can also have that independent experience. If you and I were working together and you were showing a few of the properties and I was showing a few of the properties, we have independent schedules. Maybe we even both show one property and our times overlap, but the platform can still take that into account.

Jason: I love the idea of group showings because it really would collapse time for the property manager. It could put so much work on their plate, but the tenants are often willing to move around your schedule and to do things that you want them to do because they’re really trying to get into a place. If you can get 10 or 20 people to show up to a particular unit, even if you’re just having them—if they’re pandemic-scared—go through one at a time and they’re waiting outside, that allows you to increase the perception of demand, it allows you to just get a bunch of applicants right away, and then you can go through screen and figure out who we should put into this place. I know property managers that they do one open house, one showing. They get plenty of applicants and then they get the thing rented out.

Abi: And that is the case. I think one of the things that I’ve seen most recently as we’ve come out of this pandemic hold, which I think we’ve been in for a good 16 months of this, I don’t know what’s going to happen with my vacancy because of the pandemic. Now, we’re coming out of that holding pattern where moratoriums are lifting and things are starting to get back to our first normal leasing season, busy leasing season. Now, what property managers are seen all over the country (I think) is that they’re putting a property on the market and they are getting immediate applications, site unseen, where they will put a property on the market and they’ll get 10 applications for it.

I also have those conversations with property managers who want somebody to walk that property. You don’t often want to rent to somebody that hasn’t looked at that property because that’s going to turn into maintenance nightmares for you down the road or a tenant nightmare for you down the road because they haven’t seen the property. I didn’t know that this was here. I didn’t know you expected me to change my filter. I don’t know where to change my filter. I never saw that. There’s so many things that come up.

Even with the market being the way that it is where you’ve got 10 applications coming through, then how do you set up the showings so that at least you’re getting your top five applicants through that property and down the line through your application process?

Jason: Right. It’s Russian roulette, you’re playing a dangerous game if you don’t have people view the property. How does the ShowMojo compare, because I know there’s a lot of tools out there. I see this question pop up in the DoorGrowClub, our Facebook group constantly. People are asking it on our mastermind all the time. Which tool are you using and why? Everybody has different opinions. How can you help people make the decision to choose ShowMojo over something like TurboTenant, Tenant Turner, Rently, all these different tools that exist out there?

Abi: You know me and you know I’ve been around a really long time. I’ve got friends that work at other companies. Whenever I’m asked these questions, whenever I’ve been asked at a different company and against a competitive company there, my goal is never to sling mud. My goal is always to just talk about the differences or where I feel we have an advantage or how we do it and I like the way you do it. I will say that the first place that somebody sees a difference with the way that ShowMojo operates, is really in that prospective renter experience.

With ShowMojo, when a prospective renter goes to schedule a showing, the experience for them whether it’s on a desktop, whether it’s on their mobile phone, it is all happening on one screen. They don’t have to sign up for an account with ShowMojo. They don’t have to pay a fee. Even if they’re validating their identity with a credit or debit card, we’re not charging them a fee for an account with us. They don’t have to remember a username or password.

I don’t say this because I think that it’s a bad user experience to do that. There are a lot of sites that I will sign up for recurring business. But when I’m renting, I don’t really want to do that until I’m filling out an application and logging into a portal. I don’t want to give anybody but that property manager my contact, like login details. I’ll give you my contact details, but I don’t want to do that. That’s my preference as a renter because I have been one for too long because I can’t do the math right now. As I get closer to my 35th birthday, I can’t do math on the spot.

I know you and I both have one coming up, if I remember that correctly about us both, we have one in I think the same week. But that prospective renter experience is important. Making it as easy for them to actually schedule that showing is critical. You also, for the property manager, if I’m a property manager, I want to own that rental lead. I don’t want them signing up for an account with the service that I’m working with and then owning that data. I want to own that rental lead. I want them to be my rental lead.

I don’t want them seeing properties for somebody else’s company. I want them being cross marketed properties that I have on the market. If something changes within my portfolio, I want them to be notified of it. I don’t want them being dripped with other properties from other property management companies. I worked very hard to get those people over to my website or to get them to my listing. I want to own that data. That prospective renter experience is important for them but it’s also important for you.

Jason: I’m curious about what are some of the questions that prospective users of ShowMojo tend to have when they’re coming to you during the sales conversation?

Abi: A lot of the questions will circle around the syndication network that we have, whether if they are new customers, will it compare to what I’m doing with my software provider? If they are switching over from a different platform, does it compare or does it exceed what I already have? Oftentimes, it exceeds what they already have or it is an even match for.

Jason: Let’s explain syndication for those that don’t know what it means.

Abi: When we have listings through ShowMojo, what we do is we will push them out to internet listing sites. Things like apartments.com, Zillow if a customer is paying for it, rentals.com same thing as Zillow, realtor.com, Zumper, those kinds of ILS or the listing sites to get additional visibility and rental leads back in for our customers. With ShowMojo, we automatically respond to those leads pushing them over to get them to schedule a showing, but it’s typically the same as or greater visibility than wherever they may have been coming from before.

Jason: Got it. One of the strengths of ShowMojo is really good syndication.

Abi: Yes and the email response and the communication afterwards.

Jason: What are some of the other questions that people have when they’re curious and vetting ShowMojo as a provider for them?

Abi: I would say it probably will come in where the lock boxes and self-show is concerned and how do we handle security, how do we handle preparing for fraud because it doesn’t happen frequently. It’s going to happen in the property management industry. It’s a factor of doing self-show and doing lock box showings. It’s more of those questions of how do we prepare for it, so outside of the normal tech things that our team does by searching and preparing and preventing known scammers from being able to schedule, we don’t advertise any of our listings as self-show or lock box showings.

We don’t distribute codes until the showing has been confirmed with that prospect or we have the additional step where they have to actually confirm their location is at the property. They have to use location enablement on their cell phones. We also follow up after every showing to make sure that that prospective renter has locked up and left the keys at the property. If they don’t then we notify our customer of that. We have multiple different checkpoints in place for our customers on that side.

Jason: Got it. Now, is that different from other providers when it comes to lock boxes?

Abi: There are some providers that are very forthright about how much self-show they do, even advertising through video the entire self-show process on their customers’ websites. I’m not sure where that checkpoints are in terms of checking back up with a prospective renter, so I’m not sure where the follow up process is necessarily with other companies.

Jason: What do you think is the determining factor for people to go with ShowMojo then? How are you closing these deals, Abi?

Abi: I would say number one, because of relationships, like I always do. At the end of the day, it is a more customizable platform to fit property managers’ needs. It is cost effective, and we have a lot more bells and whistles to really be able to, so it ties back in with that customization but we have more bells and whistles to really fit it to the existing process. Customizing it from that first moment that they interact with the listing to the moment before moving forward with an application. Without going through a full demo, it’s everything from cost to benefit and that value and between.

Jason: Cool. ShowMojo sounds like a really awesome tool for property managers. Some are a little bit nervous about the lock boxes and self-showings, so what’s your perception on who decides to do that and who decides not to? Because it seems like there’s two solid camps there. I could never do that. It’s too risky, and I love it and it’s amazing. It seems very polarizing, I notice, whether or not to do lock boxes.

Abi: I would say we are definitely fans of in-person showings because there are questions that you’re not going to be able to… Number one, the first thing is that you’re not going to be able to show occupied units. You’re never going to be able to show occupied units on a lock box showing. The obvious benefit to doing a company showing says that you can stay pre-leased, and show occupied units, get them leased before they even go vacant. You can also answer questions that you’re not going to be able to answer during a self-show. You can get a feel for those prospective renters. There are a lot of benefits to an accompanied showing.

Jason: I’m curious about the pre-lease situation, how to ShowMojo handle the existing residents of the property and make sure that’s communicated, because that’s usually seems to be one of the most difficult sticking points with trying to do showing. Sometimes they’re really resistant to having people come into their place. The communication back and forth. Then you’re trying to negotiate times with them and with prospective renters. That communication gets a little cumbersome. Does ShowMojo try to facilitate that?

Abi: A couple of things. One and I’ve had this conversation recently, so that’s why I say a couple of things. I would have ordinarily just started with showing acceptance, which is where you can put in the residence information and they have to accept the show times or reject them. But the reason I say a couple is because I’ve had this conversation twice in the last couple of weeks. The response from the property manager was the same. That won’t work. They will reject it every time.

I said okay. Then in my brain, the way that I creatively think about this, is it goes back to the way that calendars are set up and ShowMojo. There is a way to set up a specific time window for each property. That is the only time that that property can be shown. I said, okay, well then, great. If they will reject every time, then you don’t necessarily need to do showing acceptance with them. What you need to do is you need to say I will be showing your property, because you’ve given notice. Tell me what day of the week and what time frame will work for you for the next 60 days or 30 days or whatever notice they’ve had to give.

Block it out for that recurring week notice. Maybe it’s Friday from [2:00][5:00] are their window that you are allowed to show their unit. Then that way that is the only time that the showings will get booked for that property. Either way there is an option in ShowMojo. Chances are there’s a way to accommodate it. There’s the showing acceptance where you can put in the residence information or the owners, if its owner occupied. You can put in the owner acceptance too. You can put in there showing acceptance or you can block out the certain time windows for the property, so either way.

Jason: Sometimes it’s easier to tell people that it’s going to happen, instead of asking for permission.

Abi: Exactly.

Jason: I like that. But the showing acceptance thing, that’s pretty cool. This software has been around for a while. It really was I believe the first on the market that really did the scheduled showings model. It sounds like they’ve been optimizing and innovating since then and adding features. I think that is the niche that it’s quite customizable which I think is appealing to property managers. It sounds like you have really good syndication. You also have the lock boxes thing. Anything else anybody should know about ShowMojo?

Abi: If you’ve got questions, if you’re thinking that it could do something, I wonder if it does this, odds are it does. We’ve worked with real estate listings. There’s ways to do maintenance checkups. We use ShowMojo for our own demo scheduling platform. When somebody comes on our website to schedule a demo, we use ShowMojo for that. The way that it can be customized to fit whatever needs you have, it is endless. We just rolled out occupant-led showings.

If you’re actually having a tenant do a showing for you, a renter, with some of the people that may have been under more lock down restrictions. I know that sometimes you move towards the things that you have to do. I can sit here and rant and rave about ShowMojo for a while.

Jason: That occupant-led showing is an interesting idea. I talked to the property manager and he had (I think) 1000 tours or more at a conference. He said that his company never did showings. He said, we just pay the occupants to show the property and we give them some sort of kickback if it gets rented. They’re incentivized to sell the place.

Abi: That’s a great idea.

Jason: The biggest complaint or challenge that you hear in leasing is just the time wasting phone calls. This is just such a time suck for property managers. You have people calling up and saying what’s the square footage on this listing that I’m looking at right now, that has the square footage on it. Stuff like that. Does ShowMojo facilitate phone calls or work well with the solution that does?

Abi: We do. We have our ShowMojo phone which is automated, that’s included with all of the way that we do things which allows prospective renters to always get schedule a showing link or view all of the available listings and a gallery. It also will determine if somebody’s running late for a showing and cancel it if they’re running too late and follow up to reschedule. But we also have live answers available to our customers that are additional, but very affordable, very cost-effective.

They can turn it on or off at any time but it’s with our call team and they will answer basic questions just like you mentioned if it’s something that they missed in the listing detail, they can schedule showings. If somebody calls to follow up on an application, they can answer that question. If it’s a potential owner, they can answer those questions. They can take messages and forward them over to the team. It’s something that they can turn on outside of office hours if they want to have their team handle it during office hours and have somebody else answer outside of office hours. We do have the ability to help with that.

Jason: Where’s the call center team based out of?

Abi: We have virtual call centers, but they’re both US and out of the US space. Odds are, if you call during daylight/evening hours, you’re going to get somebody in the US and then outside of that, [2:00] AM, you may not get somebody in California.

Jason: It’s a 24-hour thing.

Abi: Yeah.

Jason: All right, any questions I missed?

Abi: I don’t think so. I don’t like to control the flow. I feel like we had a good chat. I feel like it was good.

Jason: Cool. How can people find out more about ShowMojo?

Abi: You can always come to showmojo.com and connect with us there. If you want to send me an email, you can also always reach me at abbey.wasserman@showmojo.com. You can reach us on our website. Find us on LinkedIn and all that fun stuff.

Jason: Cool. Well Abi, I appreciate you coming on the DoorGrowShow. We finally got ShowMojo in the books.

Abi: Thanks for having us.

Jason: Now I can point people to a podcast episode when they ask me about ShowMojo.

Abi; There we go.

Jason: All right. I appreciate you being on and I’ll let you go.

Abi: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Jason: All right. Property managers, if you are a property management entrepreneur and you want to add doors, you’re wanting to grow your business, reach out to DoorGrow. We’ve got this new mastermind that we started towards the end of last year, which has been really awesome. That’s probably why you’re wondering why I haven’t been doing very many podcast episodes. I’ve been really enjoying coaching clients and helping them grow. It’s what I’m passionate about. We’ve got about 54 businesses in our mastermind as of today.

Our goal was to hit 50 by the end of June, so we hit our target and we’ve got some really awesome clients, really awesome businesses in the program. One of our clients, a really hard worker, put in 3–5 hours a day using one of the strategies that I gave them. It cost them zero dollars, it’s just time, and he’s added 125 doors in six months. He was stuck at about 80 units before coming to us. He tried SEO and some other things.

We’ve got clients that are showing up. One of our clients in the last weekly checking call said that they’re adding 100 doors from one owner. The week before that, 21 doors. We’ve got another client that’s been with us in the mastermind for coming up on maybe about a year, but at a previous call checked in adding a 25-unit complex, a 35-unit complex and these are by doing zero dollars in advertising.

One thing I want to point out is if you want to grow your business fast, right now, the largest companies in property management are losing more doors than they’re getting on. They’re spending thousands of dollars a month on internet marketing. If you want to shift away from internet marketing, which isn’t even working for the biggest companies, and getting cold leads that are time-wasters, tire-kickers, and have a low close rate, let me share with you and teach you how to grow your business rapidly by going after the blue ocean using that strategy. The 70% that are self-managing, creating warmer lead opportunities. Warm leads have a 90% close rate or higher typically for most property managers.

I’m going to teach you how to facilitate that, how to make that work really well in your favor. You have other people feeding you more business, you’re getting more from online reviews, and you’re able to target groups, things that are high leverage that will feed you warm leads. Check us out at DoorGrow, schedule a call with us, and chat with us about the new DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind.

Our guarantee in the mastermind is that within the first 30 days, the very latest by the end of the first 60, we will have double offset the monthly cost of the masterminds. You’re making twice as much money in residual income. Otherwise, I’ll continue to coach you for free.

We’ve not yet had to have anybody use that guarantee. That’s if you’re willing to keep our three commitments, which means one hour strategic time in the morning, being a business owner instead of saying I’ll work on my business tonight or on the weekend like a lot of business owners tend to do which doesn’t generally happen. That’s the garbage scraps of your time.

Second commitment that’s required is two hours a day, a tactical time to work on growing the business and implementing the strategies that I give you. That’s less time than it would take to deal with cold leads. You’re going to get a much bigger return and result.

Then the third commitment is to show up to one of our two weekly group coaching calls that we have on Zoom. Those are on Wednesdays at [11:00] Central Time, noon Eastern. [9:00] Pacific, [10:00] Mountain. Those are on Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays, we focus on adding doors, growth, sales, referrals, reputation, prospecting methods. We talk about websites, et cetera.

On Fridays, we get into operations DoorGrow OS, which is better than EOS retraction. We’ve had several come from that sort of camp. It’s the ultimate operating system for property management business. We get into DoorGrow ATS—applicant tracking system and hiring system.

My goal is to build rapidly companies that can handle rapid growth, quickly hiring, off-loading in making sure that the business gets more and more in alignment for you, giving you the business owner more freedom, more fulfillment, more contribution, and more support so that it becomes more fun the bigger your business get. I’m really good at helping business ownership towards that. If you’re frustrated, stuck in the operation side or in the growth side, talk to my team and let’s get you maybe on board with the DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind.

I appreciate everybody that’s tuned into this or that’s been paying attention to us on iTunes or on YouTube. Be sure to like, subscribe, give us positive reviews. We love all that kind of stuff if you got value from this. Until next time, everyone, to our mutual growth. Bye everybody.

About Jason Hull

Jason's mission is "to inspire others to love true principles." This means he enjoys digging up gold nuggets of wisdom & sharing them with property managers to help them improve their business. He founded OpenPotion, DoorGrow, & GatherKudos.