On the show today we have… Jason Nickel of Lead Sherpa!
Show notes for Jason Nickel of Lead Sherpa!
The Vantastic Life is…
– is in The Steamboat Springs KOA!
Joe is still in Steamboat Springs, Julie is in snowy Seattle, and Jason is in Denver.
We are doing a deep dive into compliant text messaging for real estate. Text message marketing produces faster engagements, higher response rates, and higher efficiency than other types of marketing.
This is a no brainer! You need to add text messaging into
Where did you grow up?
Grew up in Kansas and played football at a small college. Then transferred to KState and got a degree in fine arts. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I decided to draw for a living.
Started making websites, drawing logos,, and that kind of stuff in Denver. Was at a landscape architecture company. Then got into freelance for a few years. But realized that wasn’t going to pay the bills the way that I wanted.
So, I got into real estate, and my first deal was a subject to that I still own. Then in 2016 joined a masterminds. They are so powerful!!
We are the mastermind here in Seattle Investors Club.
It is crazy awesome!
I love that and agree with you. I’m a member of a couple smaller masterminds, and you become really good close friends with people in those, and they become like family.
Are those local or national?
I’m not in any local masterminds. I joined a bigger one in 2016, and then we started our own.
You know we have Clear Sale coming to the PNW.
Yes, Jason Byrne is a fantastic businessman and a good person.
After a while everyone gets plugged in and connected at higher levels.
Let’s get back to LeadSherpa!
What happened next?
We started throwing a lot of money at direct mail. Lots and lots of money! And it became less effective. I was thinking about text messaging, and I had 2-3 mailings that went nowhere. So something had to change.
We kept mailing, but scaled it back and started diversifying marketing channels. Which I should have done earlier.
Like PPC, you’re paying like $100/click.
So, we started text messaging. And tried to make it look like the texts were coming from someone that was generally interested in the property.
I say it’s like a digital postcard.
We found a developer that helped me create the minimal viable product. I was doing this for myself to lower my cost per lead. My cost per lead was $200-250.
We’ve always been pretty good at our conversions, but we wanted to do better.
And you want it to be scalable.
I’m following you story here, but wasn’t smart enough to to start LeadSherpa.
We started text messaging people, but they were saying that we had the wrong number.
I had someone tell me that LeadSherpa was killing it for them in Phoenix. He was paying like $10k in marketing and making over $250k/month.
We found out that we had bad data in our business.
If you aren’t hitting the right people, you are just making them mad.
At that point we got a better data source and it was all downhill from there. And we were instantly generating leads. And the rest is history.
I used it in 2018 for my own company, and then let some of my mastermind friends use the product. And my beta testers are still using it, and it’s working over a year and a half later.
It feels like everyone has caught on to it.
Let’s dive into details.
Tell us… what does TCPA compliant mean? And why do we care.
Telephoned consumer protection act that was passed in 1994, and have been charged over time to keep up with technology.
You want to be compliant to do things the right way. There are services that will allow you to blast out thousands of message, but that’s not legal.
If you do it the right way, you can reach out to people that haven’t given consent if you do it the right way.
You can’t be selling anything.
You have to be legitimate.
You can’t use an auto dialer. These are not legal. You need human intervention.
We created Sherpa to be scalable. You can upload a list, and click the send button many times, and our attorneys believe it to be legal doing it this way.
We sent millions of texts and no one that we know of has had any issues with the law. That tells me that we’re doing something right.
That tells me that if you’re a cheap ass you can get fined.
It feels like everyone is like a heard, everyone uses the same thing.
Do you feel like text message marketing will get saturated?
Absolutely! We have some really good ideas on how to prolong the longevity of it, but it’s still going to become less effective as people move into the space.
The laws can change. The Chase Act doesn’t effect us.
The carriers could get spam filters for their texts. If you keep the same messages over and over again, the carrier filters will pick up on that.
I think you just said something powerful. Don’t use the same message.
Yes, change you message every few hundred texts. And never send links.
You don’t want your messages to come from short codes, unless you’re opted in. You want the 10 digit long codes.
But the short codes you can send links through because they are whitelisted.
I’m thinking ahead here. It seems like if someone engages then you should shift to a short code?
I don’t recommend that. I think the best approach is… we just want to get our foot in the door with people that want to sell soon. I don’t want to do everything over text.
This is actually a great way to get full priced retail type leads. We get this info and then direct them to the proper funnel.
So, you upload a list, then mail merge it, then do you have text messaging series, or do people plug in their own?
We use to tell people what to say, but we have 4 points that we suggest people hit in their messaging. So they will have to come up with their own text to stay out of the spam filters.
We use to suggest the phrase “out of the blue” because it was working. But that got picked up.
Say their name, say your name, and ask a question. That what we recommend.
Do you have any carriers that you know that are more likely to block the messages?
You can see the carriers when you use People Smart.
I see your point, but you’re going to be filtering out people that have houses for sale.
Let’s say that Verizon filters out more. I would still want to send to Verizon, and use the best practices.
My team is tasked to respond within 5 mins.
Keep your character count to under 160. You don’t want to have it broken up into multiple messages.
Excuse me but you don’t want to shoot your wad in one load, right…
What is the litigator database?
We pull names that have litigated against people like us. We have the most comprehensive list of those people in the US. We go directly to the source. Everyone that’s mentioned in the court docs we skip trace them. We do this everyday.
So we have a full list of people that are problem callers, and we skip them. They are flagged in our system.
I also believe that our skip tracing is the best in the country.
There are a lot of skip trace services out there. Just for this reason alone I believe this sets you guys apart.
You are going to get your ass sued if you don’t do this the right way.
The only thing that I care about at night is sleeping well and hanging out with my kids. You want to be a rule follower.
You don’t want to get your butt sued.
How important is list building in the text message game?
In direct mail you’re dead.
I believe, and see it time and time again with our power users. It’s not nearly as important with text messaging as you might think.
You can start with your direct mail list. Then you can go after a niche list if you want. There’s probably a higher probability than a general list.
I target everyone in Denver County that hasn’t sold in the last 5 years, not high priced. I’m getting all the pre foreclosures, I’m getting the tired landlords, and the absentees. I’m getting everybody. I’m getting people that you might not get otherwise. It’s our broad targeting.
If you’re marketing to someone you can’t sell anything, so you can’t offer broker services….
The way that we do it, is we have Zillow Zestimate. We use that as a rough gauge. So if someone wants a higher amount for their property… I will say that I can buy it for that price, but say that I can put them in touch with a really good broker.
Our original intent was to buy their property, and the broker that we refer to isn’t within our company.
Being curious about that, as a broker. We have wholesalers and investors out there that have a really hard time making that referral. Are you seeing that work?
It actually works, if you do it the right way. The best retail leads are the ones that we’ve spoken to on the phone first. Or maybe someone has even met with them. They’ve been talking to you a couple of times, and those referrals close amount every time.
If anyone out there wants to do this with me, I’d try going on the appointment with you, like Erik Bee.
What’s your biggest challenge with LeadSherpa?
I’m trying to back fill positions to get some of my time back. I wear many hats. I’m going to hire some sales people. We are still a very lean company.
It’s an honor to work with everyone.
What sets you apart?
All of the above. We were the first to the space. I built this for my own business. I care about our users and customers.
This is not just a money making endeavor for us. We want to help people. That might sound phony.
It doesn’t sound phony at all. We work with Certain Lending who works in Denver. They are just like that and we love them! I hope that you connect with them.
We hope that you come out to the Big Bad Ass Real Estate Expo.
This isn’t just a sponsor that we have to talk about.
One thing about LeadSherpa, don’t have a huge hit rate on your skip tracing?
We do, 97%, and match rate is even more important. We have a very high match rate too. This depends on your list, but we have some really cool stuff that we do on the backend that consistently gets us better results.
Just that right there sets them apart. Some of the skip tracing that is out there has cool apps but doesn’t work as well.
What CRM do you use?
I personally use Podio, and have a highly customized version. Lead Sherpa will connect with anything that connects to Zapier.
And we are continuing to grow and give people to access that.
Do you know what KB Core is. Look up InsideRealEstate.com.
Who can use this and are their subscriptions?
Sure, anyone can use the skip tracing. For text messaging, we want to give people access, but don’t want to over saturate markets.
If you haven’t done a deal yet, start with skip tracing. We have a 3 month commitment, and want to stay away from tire kickers.
I get that. How much is it?
Yeah, it’s $0.15 per hit.
We aren’t against newbies at all. We just want to make sure you’re ready to close deals.
What do you suggest for people to get into the text game if they are new?
They can text on their own, pick up the phone and start calling people. You need to learn how to talk to people. Otherwise the texts are the easy way and can slip through the cracks.
We have people that are using LeadSherpa in the Seattle Investors Club. But if you are new, you can partner up with more advanced investors.
What kind of others tools do you use?
Oh man, all kinds of things.
Slack all the time!
Calendly is a scheduler we use all the time.
Feedly the RSS reader. I have 200 different feeds that I pull in from.
* Investor Carrot
* Geek Estate
* Louisville Gal
Clubhouse which is a project management.
BiggerPockets back in the day, but I’d have to think about that.
This is a really big one today guys!
We need to have a doctors list, or starter kit. Check in with your hard money lender, and conventional lender every six months, and checkout this podcast.
I want to say that Jason is not your lawyer, and it asks on your website, can I still get sued, and you say absolutely.
You just want to do your best to stay compliant.
We have masterminds every Tuesday in Burien at Angelo’s and every Thursday we have one in Milton. And every Thursday we have one in Redmond. And it Silverdale and Burlington. Check our Facebook page for all the info.