Nate Joens - Consistent and Predictable Income for Real Estate Agents
7:06PM Jul 11, 2022
real estate agents
Our belief that structurally is that AI will never replace humans. We are here to augment the role of an ISA.
Welcome to the consistent and predictable income community podcast. The CPI coaching method is the only system that teaches real estate agents your way to no broke months. Get started with this proven step by step system that will give you consistent and predictable income in no time.
Nate Jones is the co founder head of innovation and past CEO at structurally under his four years as CEO, structurally experienced 10x growth in conversations processed in the real estate industry, and built a proprietary conversational AI application that 99.9% of consumers believed was human. Nate has featured at multiple Inman News connect conference events, including presentations at hacker connect an agent connect with audiences ranging from real estate professionals to professional developers. In this interview, Nate explains how AI can help you with your business.
My name is Dan rose shot. I'm the host of the CPI podcast, which is a real estate show designed to help top producing agent leverage and scale your business allowing you to earn more money and less time for seasoned agents to help you get to the next level of stable income. And for new agents to help you find the right way to freedom and money so that each of you can reach your potential as a person and as a real estate agent, which means you'll have certainty in your future. Thanks for joining me, enjoy the show.
Hello, consistent and predictable income community. I am Dan rose shine today I am really excited to be joined with Nate Jones, who is the co founder and head of innovation and the past CEO of us structurally and they are awesome company focusing on AI applications. And it's been an Inman News. It just really impactful to our industry. So welcome, Dave, how are you today?
Yeah, doing great, Dan. Thanks for having me on excited to share some of the stuff that I've learned along the way.
Fantastic. So Nate and I are going to be talking today about technology breakthrough. How to convert your leads with artificial intelligence, AI. So Nate, so artificial intelligence. I guess before we jump into that, just tell us a little bit about who you are, where you're located a little bit about your background, if you could,
yeah, absolutely. So we're based in Ames, Iowa, of all places, I always like to say it's the Silicon Prairie a little bit different than the Silicon Valley. But that gets a laugh some of the time. Got the laugh. Romina. Yeah, we've been in business for about five years, mostly selling to real estate agents, teams, brokers, lenders, and kind of the whole what I call property tech ecosystem. So we've historically processed millions and millions of leads that we are ingesting on behalf of our users, again, typically real estate teams or individuals or brokers. They're sending us their leads, it's kind of a bring your own lead concept, where responding to those leads over text and email, having a two way conversation back and forth and ultimately teeing up leads. So you don't have to chase those leads that don't want to hear from you. And you can really only focus on the high quality. It's kind of like, we always like to say it's kind of like sifting dirt for gold. You just send all of them through and we'll kind of sift out the gold ore. Yeah. Okay, I
like it. So talk to us about AI. So what is AI? I guess, you know, not everybody may be familiar with that term. And how's it used in real estate? And how can an agent, you know, benefit from Ai? Yeah, so
I think there's a lot of different, I guess, channels of AI. There's like predictive analytics, there's deep learning, there's machine learning, there's kind of all these different and there's natural language processing, they all kind of overlap in ways. But what we are focused specifically on is an area called conversational artificial intelligence, conversational AI, which is powered by natural language processing, basically, the ability for a computer to interpret and understand and respond to, in our case, leads. So it's interpreting all of these different phrases, words, punctuations characters, and trying to understand what that means in human language and doing something with it. It doesn't necessarily have to be a response. It could be classifying it, structuring it just kind of where we get our fun name from, or just extracting data. So there's also like predictive analytics I know might get some people ears on alert here but like the Zestimate, Zillow Zestimate, that's a form of predictive analytic, that's just one form of it that we're probably all familiar with. But, you know, it just kind of varies for where you want to focus on, we're focused on conversational AI, which is taking the things that lead, say over text or email, extracting a bunch of data, interpreting it and sending messages back, in our case to ideally qualify the lead. So you don't have to God. Okay, so understanding the way your company does this is that you'll work with an agent, they will share with you, whatever, you mentioned that bring your own lead, right? So they'll share with you whatever platform portal, however, they're acquiring that lead, they will give it to you and then through using your AI strategies, you'll then your robots will have a conversation with that lead, and then identify where the gold is, is that do I understand that correctly? Yep, absolutely. And it can be new leads or old leads, or anything in between, typically, we like to stay away from like referrals or past clients sphere of influence, because you already have a relationship with them, you don't necessarily have to qualify them as much, you probably already know what their goals are, have a relationship with them, and you wouldn't want to put someone or something else in between you two. So really focused on new leads from all sources and old leads from kind of anywhere to
what's called the challenge that you're seeing with AI with predictive languaging.
Yeah, so I think the big challenge that we've seen in the last five years is, humans are very hard to understand, it's very hard to basically mimic human. So the thing that me and my co founders set out to do in the beginning was, our product has to be indistinguishable from human, that is table stakes. In real estate, that is so important, because it's it's someone's biggest life financial decision. Typically, there's kind of the three Ds of real estate, death, divorce disease, those are highly emotional things. You know, there's also positive things like a new job or a new child, there's just a lot of emotion that comes with moving. And we knew that going in, and we said, if someone is talking to our product has to feel as good if not better than talking to a human. And doing that is one thing, or saying that is one thing doing it as another. So we have actually set out to do that. And I think we have accomplished it, we still have, you know, a ton of room to grow. But of the 5 million or so conversations we've seen to date. 99.9% actually believe they're talking to a human. And that's based off of a very in depth granular analysis of what people are saying in the conversation. So we can say, if they're saying things like, hey, is this a robot? Are you a human? What are you? And we've only seen point 1% of leads actually indicate that to us? And you might be saying like, why does that matter? Why do I care? I would just go hire a human to do this. Yes, and no, what we've also found is humans are inconsistent. We found a lot of people that try and do the lead conversion themselves for hire isas. There's high burnout, you forget about follow ups, you get tired, you don't necessarily always learn from different situations and immediately, like Apply Changes. AI can do those things very quickly and very scalable.
So one of the things that I teach in the consistent predictable income community is to be able to find leverage in your business. And what I believe is that leverage of systems is more predictable than the leverage of people. Because that's the one thing I think, as real estate agents, I think, well, we hear leverage, we hear a transaction coordinator, we hear maybe a buyer's agent, maybe somebody working in your marketing, and those are all people. And that is a great way to be able to leverage your time so that you can focus on the activities that make you money yet, you have like what you said that you have inconsistencies you have burnout applications, you have sickness, etc. Where when you can rely on a system, then you know what you're gonna get assuming that the system works. I just love the I love the concept of, you know, people versus process or tools. There's different ways to kind of solve those issues there.
And what we've seen with our product is kind of very similar to what you've seen, especially in today's world. I know you kind of talk about this in your community, kind of moving towards texting and things like that. So you don't have to pick up the phone. Well, it's kind of bigger than that, like messaging is eating the world. The whole world. No one is picking up the phone, especially when it's a number that you don't No. And it just the whole equation is flipped to messaging. But what that's done is actually made businesses and salespeople, they have to find more time, people will message you at 11pm. On a Saturday, you have to respond. Your time is now 24/7 365 availability. Whereas with calling, you can kind of say no, you can only call me between eight and five, things like that. And only really a process or tool can solve that at scale. Otherwise, you'd have to hire an army of people working all hours of the all hours of the week, which is just pretty much unsustainable for, you know, small to midsize businesses. Hey there,
if you are a real estate agent, and if you've been an agent for a second or more, you realize that there's sometimes peaks and valleys in your income, that at the least make you feel anxious. And if you are looking to get rid of those peaks and valleys and you're seeking to have that consistent and predictable income, and to specifically take listings in today's market, when it's near impossible to get a buyer under contract, I invite you to a five day listing domination challenge, and I'll be hosting where you'll discover your way not mine your way to take listings, and you'll be able to understand where to get seller leads who are ready to hire you right now, in today's market, and know how to get hired more often. I invite you to join us it's a free five day listing domination challenge, you can visit www dot five day listing challenge. That's the number five, www dot five day listing challenge.com to go ahead and visit WWW dot GFI de listing couch, and I'll see on mine.
Why real estate?
Why did you and Andrew decide
to focus on real estate agents specifically as a niche?
well in school, so this is actually my first and only job instructionally I went to school and we decided that we kind of wanted to be real estate investors. But we had no money. So it made no sense to actually do that in college. But we ended up talking to a lot of real estate agents who said this exact same thing where I really struggled with lead follow up. If you're kind of familiar with like the DISC profile, like real estate agents love being in person, they love that side of the DISC profile. That's what suits them. The behind the scenes stuff is really hard, following up with leads, creating tasks managing your CRM, that's not fun for really anyone probably all salespeople are like that. And so we said we're gonna solve this problem of lead follow up for you, but not with humans are not going to like the call center has been around for 20 plus years. And we said like the time and the technology, the process is out of place now that we think we can solve this issue of lead follow up with conversational AI, we were lucky to find PhDs in math and stats from schools around us who joined us and are doing
just that with us. So when I look at the marketplace day, and this is true of real estate agents, as well as every business I look at, there's four things that I see impacting us, which are artificial intelligence, big data, technology, and commoditization. And those are the fourth factors that I see have entered into our environment during this, you know, Revolution of, you know, in So taking a look at those four, I have two questions for you. Do you agree with my assessment that those are the four critical things that business people should be thinking about today? And then my follow up question to that is where do you see the future of those four? Yeah,
absolutely. I think those four are spot on, I was kind of thinking through them, as you're saying them and said that covers pretty much the full suite there. I would say that in terms of AI, which is probably the best one I can speak to. We in most of them. There are some of them that I'll say this part with a little caveat. Our belief that structurally, is that AI will never replace humans. We are here to augment the role of an ISA or augment what I we always like to say here too, if you don't have an inside sales agent, or ISA, you are the inside sales agent because someone has to follow up with these leads. And if you don't have one, that's you. Our goal is not to replace your isa or you Our goal is to augment your role. In my opinion, the big broad belief of AI the promise of AI, is it will cut out the mundane, annoying, degrading kind of tasks that humans have done historically, forever. picking up the phone calling 100 people and getting told to get lost 20 times it's tiring. Not a lot of people have the skin and have a thick enough skin to do that in AI can and will do that, at least in our space, for sure. And there's so many more applications that AI will have, that takes the mundane little tasks out of people's day, while allowing them to focus on calling that person who responded to our AI, who was warm, wants to actually buy a house and wants to talk to you. That's what
humans should be doing. What's the biggest challenge that you're facing today? At structurally,
I would say that we're our goal, as a company we have achieved to be indistinguishable from human. Like I said, like that we've kind of achieved that. Our next stage of growth for a conversational AI product is we want our conversations to feel like they're better than a 20 year sales veteran. We want them to handle objections. We want them to overcome anything that's kind of thrown their way, as if our product has been a salesperson for 2025 30 years. And so figuring out just how to do that, and how to allow our customers to come customize all of our conversations. So that kind of covers that same goal to where it feels like they've been a trained salesperson for 30 years. That's been our biggest challenge I would say to date, because trying to kind of map conversations, especially as we're having millions of them. The thing about designing conversations, or having great conversations is they can go anywhere. Unlike other products, you have no idea what someone is going to say you probably would not believe some of the things that people have said to our product. They're absolutely hilarious, sad, funny, crazy. People just open up to what they think is a human and tell their entire life story. And we have to prepare and kind of script for that. But also be flexible enough to handle things we've never seen before.
So when you go through and you say about hitting on the objections. It's something that as a sales professional, I do, I can do I can do it expertly yet, when I receive an objection, I feel it is a flag to say Dan just screwed something up, meaning that most objections can be predicted and handled before they occur. And so is that something that you guys are considering in regards to the way that you're designing your conversations? Yeah, absolutely.
There's a lot of things that we do in our kind of first initial messages to kind of preempt potential objections. I mean, everyone, under the sun buying anything, you walk into a store, and you look at clothes, someone comes up and they say, How can I help? I'm just looking. Yeah, same with real estate that everyone has seen. I'm just looking written 100 different ways. So we all that's like the number one thing that we always try and prevent out of the gate because it just tries to so quickly shut the conversation down. So like, in our initial message, we've experimented a lot with like, saying that, I don't know what the status of our current first default message is right now, because we're tweaking it constantly. But it's something along the lines of, you know, thanks for registering online, wanted to see if you are considering a move in the near future or just looking. So we call it out. And that's been really successful for our responses. We've trained the AI to, obviously look for those objections, but also kind of know when to also give up. Because you never want to push too far with these things. It's a fine balance. So we see it, like if we see just looking three times in a conversation, like we tweak our language even more to be more, a little more passive. If we see it the fourth time, we're kind of wrapping up the conversation. So we're constantly tweaking those things. But I completely agree. It all kind of comes with what you say and how you word it, to kind of preempt some of those objections. And a lot of people have different lot, a lot of different thoughts, which is why our product is completely customizable, too. So you can try out your own things to encourage that.
So what would you say in business, right? Because, you know, I want to sort of look at this from a perspective of real estate agents or business people now not not all real estate agents consider themselves business people, but I'm sure when you know when I'm saying that to your real estate agent, that you can recognize it, but you are visitors. And so from a business perspective, a What would you say has been your biggest failure or your biggest learning opportunity that you've experienced in business and what did you do what happened and how did you learn from it? I would say
there's kind of two things that I always like to say just as a general business life advice here that I've learned It's kind of in my early career is, if you have the ability, hire a, or bring on a board, board of directors or board of advisors, even if you're not literally required by the statutes of your company, do it, practice it for yourself. One of the best things that we did was bring in a board of people who founded multiple public companies, scaled businesses, from small millions to big millions in revenue. And we've learned along the way, a ton from that perspective. And then I would say out of that, I've learned your goal as a business person, obviously, you want to grow your team grow your business, your goal from day one, if you're the founder, which probably everyone here kind of is, is to replace yourself, which is really weird. But every role, every hat that you wear, ideally, you're taking that hat off at some point, I've been trying to do that from day one, than trying to take off all the different roles, the hats that you wear as a founder, and so much so that, you know, we've even brought in a CEO to run structurally, thankfully been on our board since day one, had a lot of trust and kind of always had planned for this in a way. But that was kind of like the final like big hack for me. So I get to focus on even more strategic things. And I think that that was that's just one of those like, you have to be like a little humble, to get to take off those hats. You have to be very aware. And you have to be honest with yourself, I think from the beginning to say like, my goal is actually to take these hats off, not to just keep wearing them forever.
What's the structure of your board? How many members were in? What's their background?
Yeah, we have five board members right now. And their background comes from public companies scaling public software companies, summon real estate, and others just scaling software company. So a lot of players focus on software.
So how could a real estate agent? How could they adapt that into their business? Do you see a direct connection there?
Yeah, even one of our board members who is a brokerage owner, himself, I know has a committee where he actually opens up his financials to other brokerages around neighboring states, and they just review each other's books, basically, what with one another. Now, that's not necessarily like a board, per se for him. But it's a it's the same thing. It's the same thing as if a board were to operate internally, we open up our books, we look through them, we approve things, we ask questions, it's the same thing. And they're not competitive selling in different states. And so just having a really great understanding of what the numbers should look like, what the numbers do look like, where people are investing. I think that's been a, that was the one of the first things I heard him say kind of how he runs his business. I thought that was a great idea.
I think it's really smart to get that feedback from non competitors. I think another thing that I've done for many, many years in my business has been to mastermind. So it's just sitting there taking a look at you know, how are you going to structure that mastermind? Or how are you going to structure that board in a way that, you know, that's going to provide you with critical feedback? A well structure mastermind with the right people can run very, very similar as a board in some
ways. Yes, absolutely. I've been a part of a number of masterminds in real estate. And it's amazing to see the knowledge that it's transferred between brokerages and teams from literally across the country.
Yeah. But also, I mean, what you mentioned about opening up your books, you know, the unfortunate reality of real estate sales is that so few real estate agents actually treat it like a business and actually even have books. You know, I mean, that's one of the first things that I did, almost 15 years ago now was open up a company. And you know, it's something that if you're a real estate agent, you're listening to this right now. And if you don't have a business account, and if you don't have a bookkeeper, let's get you to open up a business account first. And let's get you to get a bookkeeper. Second. If you get those two things done, you'll be so far ahead of your competitors because then you can start getting feedback from others about your books and about your business that's going to be valuable just like what Nate has an A a great company. recently wrote
the book real estate evolution 10 Step Guide to CPI consistent and predictable income for real estate agents. I wrote this book, because I have so real estate since 2007, and developed an immense amount of experience and knowledge. Sharing my journey, I've witnessed hundreds and maybe even 1000s of real estate agents fail in this business. I firmly believe that that's a shame. Real Estate evolution. I will show you the exact steps that I have used as a real estate salesperson To sell one to 15 homes every single month for the past 129 consecutive months. It took me more than two decades to learn the sales and persuasion techniques in more than one decade to master the real estate sales techniques to be able to produce the content that makes up this book. And it took me more than a year to write at a pace of three hours every single day. If you're a real estate agent, and you're looking for consistent and predictable income in your business, I invite you to get the book real estate evolution. And you could get that by visiting www.va Real Estate evolution.com. And I'll even give it to you for free as long as you pay for the postage.
Where do you see your business five years from now?
Yeah, so still very much focused on conversational AI. But one of the places that I'm most excited about from like a general product perspective and AI perspective that is very valuable to just all salespeople, I'll say that is what I call generative AI. So there's a great study out there by Salesforce, I'm sure probably everyone's heard of, but they found that actually, salespeople, sales teams spend only 1/3 of their time selling. So they spent two thirds of their time not selling. That's things like setting appointments, writing scripts, updating their CRM, just kind of all the behind the scenes stuff that has always kind of like irritated me, because and it should irritate everyone. Because like most salespeople work on commission, if you're literally spending two thirds of your time not selling, that's two thirds of the time, you're not getting commission. And that's always been kind of a focus for me. And a huge goal of structurally is to help cut into. And you know, we're taking a first stab at that with qualifying leads, that takes a lot of burden off sales people's plate. But then there's this next step where I think a lot of sales and marketing teams spend a lot of time writing copy, the writing blogs, the writing, emails, the writing texts, the writing, all sorts of things, the writing scripts, call scripts, all these things that AI can actually write for you. So there's a huge new movement in this world of generative AI that's been led by this big new model called GPT. Three, that I think will kind of change what people are doing with their like with their daily lives, they're not going to be writing emails, they're not going to be writing texts, you will, the AI can read these messages. It's trained on billions of pieces of data. And it can be tailored to your unique kind of flair. And I think that it will write things for you. And when you combine that with actually like a product like ours, where it's actually having the conversation for you. So the end goal of the product and five years is it will suggest what you should write and then actually write the things for you. And I think that I hope that will cut into that two thirds of time not spent selling. What is GP, T three stands for? I actually don't know. But it's the world's largest. It's the model, the machine learning model that's been trained on the world's largest dataset of basically, of words, natural language. So it basically has consumed most of the written word on the internet, and learned from how those words were were written so that it can predict future words, when given certain tasks. Got it?
I asked you where you saw your company and five years from now, where do you see your life in five years from now? Yeah, I would say,
focused on doing just that I have a very strong passion about cutting that time down of time spent selling. So however I can do that. I'm extremely focused on that said, I am getting married in a few months. So maybe, maybe my family will be a little more focused because I don't have much of my own personal family right now. But that can change. So definitely a strong focus on structurally, really heads down helping salespeople actually get more time back in their day and maybe a little bit of time spent on my family.
what's your what's your fiance's name,
So what Claire what I just heard Nate say Is he sees five years from now completely cuddled up in your arms completely focused on clear that's where he will be in five years from now. That's
what I heard you say make
sure to I'll make sure that she gets a copy of this episode. All the to me.
There you go. There you go. Nate, how can I how can somebody get in touch with you with somebody from your company?
Yeah. So I always like to say, I like to put my money where my mouth is kind of too Go to test your ai assistant.com. And you can actually sign up as a lead yourself to talk to our AI product. I always like to say like, be a little nice. Sometimes people like go in and say like, Hey, you know, what language? Are we going to find aliens? What are we going to find aliens in like, leads don't say that they say weird things, but not things that are purposely meant to try and break the conversation. So like, experience it like you're a lead, trying to buy, sell rent, get alone, whatever, have a tough conversation, but try and break it. Have a good conversation with it. Within reason. So got to test your AI assistant.com That's kind of my favorite place to send people,
test your AI assistant.com and go ask them to buy a home and see what happens. buy a home, sell a home or invest in real estate. Nate, thank you so much for your time today. And I'm excited to I'm gonna check out your services. I'm excited to see how the future of our business goes with AI with you know, the other things that I talked about we talked about as well. And they thank you so much for your time. God bless you. Yeah,
absolutely. Dan, thanks for having me on.
hate the feeling of missing out and not knowing where to start. Aside from grabbing a copy of the real estate evolution, the 10 step guide to CPI. We also encourage you to join our ever growing group, the consistent and predictable income community, apply for membership you on Facebook, and visit us at the CPI community.com online to listen to our previous superstar interviews.
This is Mitch Stephen. No, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dan rose. Sean Dan is a top team leader in the DC area with Keller Williams. And he breaks down his journey. He's somebody that you know, struggled for the first six months like so many real estate agents do. And then something clicked he helped me tremendously specifically with creating systems
in place. Very important to have a process in place that works not just for you, but for also the client.
You are still listening. It is because you align with the CPI community. That means that you love to learn. You are ambitious, qualified, smart, and professional. Mostly, you understand that you're in charge to design your life. If you do not want to wait until next year was posted, I invite you right now to visit WWW dot the CPI community.com which is the official website of the CPI community there, you'll have access to eavesdrop on past conversations I've had with the top salespeople, business owners and entrepreneurs, the content is free, and there's no opt in. If you really want to hit the ground running, I encourage you to apply on the homepage of the CPI community.com to become CPI certified, it is a compensated service and those that have become certified have reported back that they have more than tripled their business sales and done so in 20% last time. The CPI certification is a part of the CPI curriculum, which is the blueprint where you will learn the proprietary process of CPI, which is the key to having consistent and predictable income for salespeople without letting time, money and relationships fall through the cracks. Lastly, I invite for you to share this podcast with others who are competitive love to learn assertive relationship based self starters just like you so they can also benefit and please leave us a rating or review and subscribe now so that you'll be notified of the next show. Thank you again. I'll see you on the next show to your success.