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"In-the-Trenches Agent Tips!"

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8/1/08 Interview with Rob Levy

The Rob Levy Team
9600 SW Barnes Rd, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97225

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Changing Technology

  1. In the last three years; many tech tools have improved and new ones have appeared; most importantly, public acceptance of agents using technology has come much farther.
  2. In the hardware area, new tablet PCs are loaded with Vista (created for tablets); Rev A and competing 3G cell phone-Internet broadband systems have increased connectivity speed for cell phones and tablets.
  3. The trend is increased use of technology because consumers demand it; real estate pros are learning faster than they were three years ago.
Stealth Marketing

  1. With MLS listings available to the public without using an agent, marketing has shifted to give property data first and then sell consumers on the agent—Levy uses primarily with existing clients; to attract new people he employs stealth marketing.
  2. Stealth marketing sites attract people by appealing to their desire for data; the site gives data and collects information about consumers that is then used to begin drip email marketing with them to sell them on the agent.
  3. Among Levy’s buyer and seller stealth sites are Portland and; he promotes these sites using Google ads.
  4. When people fill out their information on the stealth sites, most do not realize that they are connecting with an agent, although all of Levy’s info appears at the bottom in small print.
  5. Levy’s team works with 4,000-6,000 buyers at any one time; about 1%–2% of web buyers and sellers actually convert to prospects.
Converting Leads

  1. Levy uses the comprehensive system from; it encompasses the stealth sites, his regular site, plus an automated drip system that sends listings, messages and a newsletter from Levy that encourage leads to use his services.
  2. The crux of the strategy is for agents to give away the information consumers request to gain the opportunity to promote themselves; Levy and two partners refined what has worked for them to create RealProSystems.
Attracting Sellers

  1. Automated CMAs (comparative market analyses) work well with seller stealth sites—Levy’s is an example; every 30 days, an update of the CMA can be sent to the lead automatically.
  2. Good resources for automated CMAs are Market Snapshot (from Top Producer) and
  3. Automated CMAs are hugely successful with absentee owners; Levy sends postcards to absentee owners asking if they would like to receive free monthly market updates on their property.
  4. The offer through the stealth site is non-threatening, so Levy captures email responses from many owners, who then receive the automated CMAs plus the RealProSystems newsletter—low-cost touches twice a month.
Reaping Rewards from Past Clients

  1. Levy mixes old and new techniques; to maximize effectiveness of bulk mail, he uses postcards instead of letters—brand information on a postcard can make an impression in the few seconds it takes to junk it.
  2. Magnets have an effective refrigerator life; Levy sends them with football schedules and farmers’ markets information; calendars also work.
  3. VillageMaker is a new product from RealProSystems that puts the agent’s name in front of past clients and their friends and family; after closing, Levy personalizes a VillageMaker picture blog for the new homeowner and posts photos of the home; owners can keep their blog to continue sharing life photos, along with Levy’s ad at the bottom.
Live Phone Contact from Web Sites

  1. Levy’s stealth sites feature an option for visitors to connect to a live person by phone; this personal response system meets the critical need for rapid response in today’s market.
  2. When visitors fill out a form, a text message goes to Levy’s team; the team member covering the “hot phone” calls back in 2–3 minutes to acknowledge that the visitor will be receiving information shortly by email.
Changes on the Horizon

  1. The trend is away from desktop applications and toward Web-based applications; the more mobile agents are, the more productive they can be.
  2. Microsoft exchange servers are an incredible product to facilitate scheduling, emailing and keeping track of contacts.
  3. The newest version of Top Producer makes it easy to operate from anywhere, anytime, any place.
  4. Cell broadband coverage is available across the country; the next generation of i-phones offers 3G with Microsoft Exchange interconnectivity.
Favorite Resources

  1. To keep up with new products and reviews, Levy follows; for example, that is a great resource on digital cameras for real estate pros, who need a wide-angle lens instead of zoom capability; Cannon makes a good camera for agents.
  2. Also consider Kodak’s 710 and 570, both 23mm wide-angle digital cameras; they have been discontinued but may be available online.
  3. Because many people are upgrading, older model GPSs can be picked up cheaply online as tools to give to clients, especially out-of-town buyers.
How to Stay on the Cutting Edge

  1. Levy depends on good conferences—such as the NAR show, the Society’s Cyber Convention, Prudential franchise gatherings and Inman Connect—for exposure to the newest tools and for the networking opportunity.
  2. He visits every vendor booth to see what he can use; the expo at the Society’s cyber convention presents an easy way to visit a multitude of booths and speak directly with vendors without leaving home.
  3. Adopting technology now while the market is slow will allow agents to leapfrog to the next level when the market turns around; start looking out there to find what works for you and start using it!
Contact Information for Rob Levy:

(v) 503-906-1444
(f) 503-520-2203

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Levy’s primary web site:
Sample Levy stealth sites: http://Portland
Resources for automated CMAs:
Top tech tools: Tablet PCs, Rev A and 3G broadband, Microsoft Exchange Server
Digital camera favorites: Kodak 710 and 570