Ep 48: Are You Listening to Your Customers? with Paul Cardis [Transcript]

Ep 48: Are You Listening to Your Customers? with Paul Cardis [Transcript]

Mar 21, 2019 | By Market Proof Marketing Podcast

Disclaimer: This transcript was auto-generated using AI-powered software. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

To listen to this podcast episode, visit Ep 48: Are You Listening to Your Customers? with Paul Cardis.

Kevin Oakley 00:11

Welcome to Market Proof Marketing weekly podcast from marketing mindset Do you convert.com where we talk about the current state of all things digital and how they impact Home Builders and developers around the globe. We’re not here to sell you We’re here to help you and to try and elevate conversation. I’m Kevin Oakley and with me today as always, is the Dr. Andrew Peek episode number 48. And we also


Andrew Peek 00:29

have Becca sweet hi really this is like it is the earliest time we’ve recorded a podcast it’s 4am now I am that’d be super early or late but this is a this isn’t so Sophie sound different it This is my morning voice before I talk a lot. Yeah, I feel


Kevin Oakley 00:45

compelled to say good morning, homebuilding land good like we’re on the morning show. Last fall, that was one of my favorite movies. I’m going to take you back to 1986 87 I probably totally inappropriate as a six year old But I would go to my neighbor’s house we would play SimCity on his like I don’t know what it was it was it was a PC but we would play the original SimCity game which had terrible graphics but it was still amazing and just play Good Morning Vietnam on repeat for like the entire summer


Andrew Peek 01:14

is probably rated PG though like way back then like to get the rating to be any higher now it’s like others. Yeah, I don’t know the word of criteria or rating i think is a little more or more strict. But yeah,


Kevin Oakley 01:24

Eg who knows what and then to prove my my nerd chops even further, we would print out our cities using his father’s dot matrix printer and you had to tile it out like this was the original line like print out your Minecraft world. Whatever kids do today. We would lay on the floor and it would it would occupy like in a six foot by six foot square of your town. It was it was awesome. Anyway, a developer all right story time.


Andrew Peek 01:46

Nice. I guess I’ll go first. This one is a quick one. But I think it’s interesting. So there’s there’s a few gyms where I’m at we’re in a rather dense area. They’re all over the place and people swap gyms all the time. So this current gym, they do a really good job of actually getting feedback from people. That are active members. So they’ll send surveys out like, it’s like twice a year, they should make this survey not as lengthy. But it’s like, how are the trainer? Do they interact with you? Like how secret you feel like it’s clean, like all these like pretty quick questions, but at the end, it’s like, do you have anything else you want to say? And I’m always like, okay, I might have something to say, let’s see. But based on the first time, this was like, a year ago, I said something in there. And two days later, I get a personal reply from the manager is like, Hey, I feel the same way. We’re working on these things. And it was like this whole conversation of like, oh, there’s actually someone that reads this. And they’re going to, you know, as in this case, with certain equipment that I’m like, they should definitely have this. They have this piece of equipment. Why don’t they have this thing that seemed kind of weird. And sure enough, like a month after the survey, they bought some new stuff brought it in? Well, they sent another survey a week ago, and I just got the reply today. same scenario like, hey, awesome, really appreciate feedback. Like this is crazy. So I thought I thought it was a fun story of actually responding to surveys when it makes sense to give feedback people yeah,


Kevin Oakley 02:50

and especially if that feedback is neutral slash negative.


Andrew Peek 02:54

Yeah, like there’s negative, there’s positive and then there were stuff in the middle where, you know, it could go either way.


Kevin Oakley 02:58

Yeah, most people would want to vote. Though just because it’s nicer, easier on the positive, but there’s a five star resort in the Pittsburgh area western Pennsylvania called nickel and Willow Woodlands resort and it’s an amazing place owned slash built by the founder 84 lumber so it has no reason to exist there it’s it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere in the woods about an hour outside of bird has its own airstrip, its own zoo. its own two golf courses I think in a ski mountain and the for the winter it’s just it’s this magical wonderland of everything that shouldn’t exist but they have amazing service there but the the manager of the resorts said that he personally respond to each and any negative comment or feedback given at the resort and He does it because almost every time when there is actually a response from him, he ends up getting to know these customers who were all paying a lot of money to be there really well and even if you can’t solve the problem, it definitely is diffusing it and making them feel heard. And so he just says standard policy I always respond to every negative. People like feeling like they’ve been heard and listened to now Didn’t you change gyms at the end? Last year to the new gym across the street though


Andrew Peek 04:01

this was yeah so this is a new one I was at I’ll say names to be easier it was the LA Fitness that was the only one in the in the area they built a new location and then I was there and then at the old LA Fitness location which is like a minute down the road like went through mile just a couple lights crunch fitness took over that one remodel that made it actually what people are looking for these days. That makes sense. Like it has all the equipment, whatever. And so there everything about there is just based on customer versus LA Fitness. Everything is very corporate and LA Fitness oriented versus the opposite. Is that crunch they’re like hey, you could use you could use chalk you could bring in if you want to use bands or chains if you’re into that stuff like on the bars all the stuff you buy like they don’t like they let the people that are like super super into it do what they want to do.


Kevin Oakley 04:46

What I do understand is the pools let you bring your own flotation devices for your kids. That’s cool, right? Yeah, versus Oh, you can’t bring that in here.


Andrew Peek 04:53

Yeah, versus like la would it be like you’d have to like use their stuff like, Oh, that’s not approved. We can’t you can’t use that on our equipment. And it’s like, what do you mean this makes me sense like versus this other gym like not anything goes by but things that aren’t us coffee like this one, right? They’re totally cool. Yeah. So it obviously works like they’re super busy. Everyone’s happy no one complains. Got it. I just


Kevin Oakley 05:11

thought you just changed chips. I was like I had spent time flies. It’s crazy. Yeah. Like a year, I think Yeah. All right back at you.


Becca Thomas 05:17

Well, we got a new house update. So we just did our pre drywall meeting and it went really smoothly. We just pointed out all the electrical and HVC and plumbing and made sure everything was right where it needed to be, which it was, of course, so no issues. No issues. Super easy. Yeah. And then Sunday, we had an awesome event. I got an email sometime last week. Hey, come join our meet your neighbors party. It’s going to be catered at the model. There were tons of people there and we got to meet all of our new neighbors, some that have moved in some that are still building like us and I never would have thought how much it added to the total experience of building a home to be able to meet your neighbors before you move in maybe not the ones directly next to you but at least in the neighborhood so you could get a chance to meet people and find cool people you could hang out with once you live in there that is cool


Kevin Oakley 06:14

I bought we bought the top soil home site at the builder that I worked for in Pittsburgh and Andrew if you don’t know what that is, it’s just this huge freakin pile of dirt that they pull from so that every other house as it gets finished they pull the topsoil from that pile spread it around and and so we knew we weren’t gonna be able to build there for like a year and a half which is fine because we want to continue to save money but we went and trick or treated for to two different holidays in that neighborhood. And people are always like, oh, where do you live? We don’t live here yet. We’re just we’re going to live here.


Andrew Peek 06:47

All over their town. Oh, dirt that’s ours. Yeah.


Kevin Oakley 06:50

Yeah. So and definitely and then the other thing that you reminded me of Becca was when we built our first house here in Ohio, when we signed the contract, the sales rep said okay, great. Would you like to have your Information added to our community Excel file kind of sheet. And it had, he’s like, because this is going to be awesome for you if you want to be part of it, because you’ll get to see the names of all of your neighbors. But then if they have children who are babysitting age, they note that on their you know, they have different information about who watches dogs or whatever. So it’s kind of instant community like you’re talking about it like Okay, great. We’re not just moving into a new home then. Yeah, we didn’t have kids yet. Or like if we did have kids, this would be amazing to have 15 babysitters, right, right, right. So yeah, yeah.


Becca Thomas 07:29

They asked for permission to add us to the Facebook group and email group or the neighborhood. So yeah, same deal.


Andrew Peek 07:36

Awesome. Nice. Yeah, that’s super cool. I’m jealous. I hope we have something like that. How many homes are in your?


Becca Thomas 07:41

I think 70 in total, and there’s only 12 left. Oh, nice. Nice. Yeah.


Kevin Oakley 07:47

Yeah, almost. I feel like every neighborhood these days big or small has some type of Facebook group or what is that next door? Oh, yeah. Yeah, groups. I’m sure you I’m sure you’ll have one. If not, you can start it. You can be the mayor of


Andrew Peek 07:59

I’ll be the middle Which artists are mayor of artists preserve? There you go or something? Yeah, president of the HOA. Awesome.


Kevin Oakley 08:07

I’ll give a quick update. I totally neglected to talk at all about our trip to Guatemala last week. So I’ll just give a quick update on that. It was awesome to go back. We were there for a week, we spent time in four different villages outside of Guatemala. Why don’t we go down there. My wife has an acquaintance that she went to high school with who now runs speeding centers and all of those different remote villages, fortified rice and beans to the children. They also help reconstruct homes. There was a 30 year Civil War partially mostly caused by the United States, the CIA dropping leaflets to try to overthrow the government story for another time, but so that so the whole place is messed up. Because of that 30 year Civil War, all they really can eat is corn, and there’s not enough different vitamins and nutrients in the corn. So they have tortillas that drink corn water, and one of the people that we spent a lot of time with and one of the villages was a girl who was 15 years old, who’s the same height as my nine year old, not because they naturally would be short there, but because it just doesn’t happen. electrician to grow properly. So we go down there once a year to try to help out and do what we can. So we took a bunch of supplies down from t shirt proceeds and all the other different things that we’ve done at D convert and then our friends family and kids doing lemonade stands all that kind of stuff took down supplies there and it was awesome. One of the highlights for sure was being gifted our family was gifted a rooster by one of the children that we sponsor down there and I’ll try to make this quick but originally we said like of course we can’t take any live animals because that we can’t take it back to United States. We tried to explain it like no no no, you you really have helped out a lot and given us so much. We want to give something back to you and that’s like two weeks wages roughly for an adult male chicken and so we were like no this is this is crazy. And they’re like you have to take the rooster our friends are like just take the rooster and then when the family leaves we’ll give it to another family so they can eat it for dinner and so that’s what we did we got a good photo op from it as well like modern day tragedy but I held the rooster and I got a parasite from it. Oh my like not not really a big deal, right? But I’ve been joking that Ever since then that you know I don’t love having a parasite that we have to kill in my body but getting the picture for Instagram with the rooster was totally worth it so you know people have asked since then Are you not going to go back? Are you scared now it’s like no I still have food I have a bed I have a home I have medicine that will kill this parasite, no big deal or as everyone that we’ve spent time with down there, they can’t afford the drug to kill it and in fact pretty regular that you know, younger children will die from drinking water that’s not safe to drink. So we’re definitely going back and but because of the parasite I’ve been running on low at low steam have been able to post or do a video of the trip. You’ll see that at some point and this does tie into an actual real applicable part of my story time for builders, which is trust me it’ll it’ll tie in at the end. But we’re finally starting to see builders take advantage of a very easy and inexpensive way to do on site registrations without paper registration cards. Hey, about two years ago now we started with a builder in North Carolina and on your app builder using basically land pages using a tool like unbounce and having those drop straight into their CRM system which is lasso and incredibly successful and easy to do. It’s only 79 bucks a month for the essential plan to use unbounce and the vast majority of builders we work with now have their own account at unbounce so for 79 bucks a month you not only can use that to make landing pages like we talked about in Episode One of our guests landing pages are coming soon communities problem communities, but also just as a registration tool, you put it on iPad, you have one page for each salesperson or community you have a dummy to lasso and automatically select the right salesperson but just in the past well since the builder show we’ve had a couple additional builders say like we want to we want to hop on that bandwagon and it’s it’s really all things considered incredibly easy and simple to do. And for 79 bucks a month. You don’t have to worry about transcribing something wrong right I can’t read that email address because customer you know is inputting the email address themselves just incredibly, incredibly helpful to get that information. You go straight into CRM system,


Becca Thomas 11:58

it gives them power in control of what they give to you, so they are more likely to give you more because they’re controlling it.


Kevin Oakley 12:05

Yeah. Or they’re, I think also it’s just you do have to try to Well, let me let me back up for people who have sales teams that are already doing a good job of putting stuff into the system. It’s just way faster and easier and you’re going to get better data for people whose sales teams are not putting stuff in the system talk to some another day, you know, there’s still about every five to six sales one of the people that go and look or is not in the CRM, okay, so for those folks, this gives you an opportunity to give the customer incentive a reason to want to fill it out. So I still go back the same thing again and again, Hey, would you like to get a list of all of the selections and paint colors used in the model home you’re about to or just to work sent to your email address? Yes, great. fill this out. Here you go have an autoresponder with the information that they are going to go see and always going to ask about anyway. Or you can even use something like the Zillow instant offers program, open door etc and be like would you like to get a free no you No, you don’t have to use it at all, but just just a rough number of what your home may be worth and be able to get that back with no obligation build this out. I mean, there’s all kinds of things you could use. But yeah, it’s definitely something that people have been doing. But they’ve been doing it with really expensive systems that they’re paying, you know, 1000 bucks a time to set up or it’s just, it’s crazy, it really can’t be super easy. And so this is how it links all back to Guatemala. We do just because we have access to 30 ish different unbounce accounts with our current account and the builders that we work with who have chosen to use it, they reached out and said Hey, would you like an affiliate program and we don’t really do affiliate programs but if you go to now, do you convert.com slash unbounce now de Graaff comm slash unbounce you will get a 30 day free trial which you get anyway, but also 20 bucks 20% off the first three months that you use the service and I honestly, because we don’t do this and I don’t pay attention. I don’t know what that gives us. I’m guessing we get that 20% which would be 15 bucks,


Andrew Peek 13:55

something Yeah, I can’t imagine this lifetime but maybe that there’s a lifetime.


Kevin Oakley 13:59

I don’t know about But all of that will go back to this same program called suffer the children, Guatemala, it’ll all get funded back there because we don’t we just don’t really do affiliate programs. So if you want to test it out for 30 days, and you can go straight there and not use the code, or you can go to now that you can read comm slash unbounce and help kids who aren’t growing grow. And I’ll say it does integrate with every CRM. But then if you’re on last a specific Yeah, they definitely gone through every type of scenario with our elders as far as support and they’re usually pretty quick with it. Oh, yeah. No, they do a great job. And there’s a good help file there within Lhasa as well. But the your client director will definitely help you help. Yeah, awesome. All right, let’s shift over to the news.


Andrew Peek 14:41

We’re bad at this one. But I put my, my posts I think that Becca’s gonna put up out there on the interwebs. Today, the proof is in the data, you need more content. So essentially, what I did was I created segments and Google Analytics. A segment would be you know, a portion of all the people that visit your website and my theory was like, what, how does people interact that turn into a lead with the content on the site versus people who don’t turn into a lead. And will that tell us anything? Or are both sets of people, both segments are the same. They both spend five minutes on site, I have no idea. So I created segments, which uses conversion tracking. So one is first segment people that converted that you did a goal they did. Oh, and the other segment is if they did not believe they will, and I was really surprised, you know, the difference and the time on site pages viewed those who converted and those who did not earn it was almost you could double or triple the time on site. Some people are 10 minutes on Facebook, or this or one builder versus two minutes when people did convert my 10 minutes. That’s a long, that’s a lot of stuff. It was Yes, double or triple, though. It’s Yeah, it’s it’s pretty, pretty cool. And convincing. I think it’s leadership or whoever, like, we don’t really need that many pictures. We don’t need pictures for every inventory home or we don’t need that Mater port or we don’t need that, like people don’t look at it like well, the people that end up contacting us, they’re on the site a long time and you look at Digital sessions and some people are on there for like an hour and a half. What are they doing? Like they’re they’re reading everything and that’s probably the person that is going to you know, maybe they’ll spend more I have no idea Really nice bill to get that data. Yeah. But yeah, they will consume everything is is intense. It’s also


Kevin Oakley 16:05

just a great, it’s a good blog post to talk about that need for more content. It’s also just a good example of using segments, which I mean, there’s so many different things that you can do with that you could create a segment of just people who have returned back to the site. So return visitors, and you could look and see what was the source that brought them to the site originally. So kind of what’s your initial feeder source from a marketing standpoint, that then brings people who come back again and again and again, who are likely are later on there’s I mean, there’s, you can look at just mobile, I mean, even the other day, I was looking with someone creating a segment of people who stay for zero seconds, or just looking at the amount of time the percentage of traffic from a particular source that stayed longer than 10 seconds, because averages can fool you. Right? Like you just saw. Yeah, you’ve got someone who’s on there for an hour and a half. That does a lot of counterbalancing to the tool. Yeah. 20 people who stick around stuck around for 10 seconds. Yep. So when we did that, there was one particular source where 90% of traffic disappeared because of It was under 10 seconds, even though the average look like it was about a minute, you know, so Oh, yeah, wow, they’ll change. And again, that doesn’t mean that that’s a bad source. Because if that 10% stuck around that significantly long time and ended up converting, it still works out, but it does. You have to wonder like, what’s this other 90% all about to dig into that. So go there for two reasons to look at what Andrew is proving to you. But also just to get a sense of how segments work in analytics. Pretty neat. Definitely underutilized. All right. What’s the next one? Next


Andrew Peek 17:25

one is from Facebook, this one I’m super excited about. So we have the relevance score, which is the ad how relevant is the ad to the audience, and it’s a one through 10 rating. And that’s why we’ve had for years, like hey, it’s a I think six is kind of like their neutral number. Anything less than six is not good. Anything above that is good. So we aim, I would say that we do eight or nine and 10 we pretty much always get 10s. I think part of that is because we’re using conversion campaigns, so it’s going to be better anyways. And then we really try to do a good job with the copy and the pictures and making it a good ad. So this word Facebook is getting rid of relevant score, and they’re giving us three different metrics. First one is quality ranking. And so that’s the ads perceived quality compared to other ads competing the same type of people. That’s


Kevin Oakley 18:06

that one. Let’s just unpack that. Because relevance, we’re always bugged me, because relevance score didn’t really mean much, even though it’s nice to get the nines and 10s. Because your cost is less, it was essentially just a different way of saying click through rate. I mean, if because it wasn’t looking at their behavior on the site, and it wasn’t necessarily comparing you to everyone else. Whereas the quality ranking it looks like they’re specifically saying, if you’re targeting the same type of individuals, someone else are you beat or is your ad better than them, whereas the relevance score to me always felt more like just is your own ad on its own behaving well or not? Yeah, yeah, I agree. So I’m excited about that one. Yeah, that’ll


Andrew Peek 18:40

be good. And it gets all competitive stuff. The next one engagement rate ranking, how your ads expected engagement rate compared with ads creating or these same audience, same type of type of thing. And the


Kevin Oakley 18:49

next one’s confusing because i don’t know i don’t understand the difference per se. I’m not sure if quality goes


Andrew Peek 18:54

into we won’t really have these issues with with homes, but say if you’re say mortgaged might be the next easier thing if it is a more spammy kind of click Beatty type of ad without getting the obvious clickbait versus someone who has a more educational, better ad or people. I mean, looking at it like, Oh, that’s junk get rid of me. They’re hiding it from their newsfeed not wanting to see it anymore. So I think they’re qualities, taking into account people’s hiding the posts by hiding the ad, which some people do


Kevin Oakley 19:20

if it’s really bad. I mean, my gut tells me that quality is going to be an overall score and engagement is going to be liking commenting, sharing. Yeah. And then conversion rate will be what you designate as a conversion slash clicking the link. Yeah,


Andrew Peek 19:34

it’s that one’s interesting. Yeah, conversion rate ranking. So when you create a conversion on Facebook, you have to select the conversion category. And with us like age, if it’s a page view version, that’s a view view content category. If it’s a form submission, then that’s a lead category. So I’m assuming they’re comparing based off of that category and how you convert versus other people are the same. Yeah. Audience Yeah, just interesting. I don’t know how they do that in different industries. Because if we’re going after, say, Florida or Leeds, how does that compare against mortgage refinance offer Florida athletes like that this somehow, yeah, separate industries. I don’t know how but


Kevin Oakley 20:05

well, but I think it’s probably going to go back that I don’t think they care. I think they’re they’re looking at total inventory versus total ads running what’s performing better and just like relevance score giving a lower cost to the one that’s performing better, because some money’s better than no money with the inventory they’re pushing. So I think my guess is they don’t really care. It’s different industries. It’s just which ones so so that could mean if I’m assuming correctly here, just dangerous but it could mean that homebuilder conversion rate ranking will not necessarily be great, right for me against someone who’s going after the same audience for a much lower cost product that could not help us eventually, we kind of target everybody. Well, that could be the way to get around it is just to have a larger target market. Yeah, that’s all right. Well, onto something fun.


Andrew Peek 20:46

Yeah. This one’s really well. What we’ll watch


Kevin Oakley 20:48

is a local guide, which is someone who adds content, kind of like Wikipedia moderators, or I don’t know what they call them there. Those people are in town we have a Wikipedia but the local guides are Kind of like the moderator for Google Maps on official employees do add content with their 3d cameras or update give feedback to help things be current and accurate. One of them intentionally accidentally leaked a new feature that adds augmented reality as an option to the Google Maps on your on your phone. So you can push a button and just look around you and kinda like Pokemon GO just floating in the sky or big large letters with arrows saying go this way. Pretty, pretty cool. It’s a Twitter link. So it won’t act like a normal website when you load it up. But it’s something you should definitely should go check out. It’s it’s becoming more and more like that Tom Cruise movie that you reference all the time, enter


Andrew Peek 21:38

that minority Minority Report. Yeah. JOHN Lee ever in your house will love this. Because this is Yes, you will. Yeah, yeah. Go to a cummington community. There’s nothing there. And then you’ve looked at your phone or your glasses, and you see the home sight lines. You see possible models, you could drop different houses on divots. There’s nothing there except dirt. But yeah, which is coming.


Kevin Oakley 21:55

Yeah, if you’re using the rendering house app to build out the home you like then you just click over To in an AR takes you right to it. And they can just add at the end you just drive right up to your augmented reality house that you just built in the app. That’s awesome. sounds totally I mean, we’ll give you 10 minutes john, go, Bill. And the last one for this week, you know, I’m titling this one myself. Why is this also hard? Maybe you just don’t understand your customer enough, ie, it’s not really about the tech and this is from usertesting.com blog posts, where they’re kind of giving a quick overview of an in depth Forrester article, slash white paper on digital cx trends and consumer experiences what cx stands for, and and this is the direct quote, the key takeaway for for me was that digital cx continues to be more about understanding human behavior and finding design talent than it is about technology, which I just got super excited. There’s a little voice inside of me that said, Yes, when I when I read that because technology is something that anyone can acquire. It’s a different way of saying something that I’ve said a lot before which is do the things that are hard, do the hard work because you can editor’s can’t copy you technology is something that when someone creates a new technology that works they will sell it to anyone who wants to pay money to use it and so it will be easy to duplicate the tech on its own you’re gonna have to pay for it but you’ll be able to have access to it whereas understanding the human behavior so that you can help the technology do things the right way is way more important give feedback to to the AI system and finding design talent also speaks to me just because as I mean that’s what I went to college for was graphic design. Design. Talent is so underrated still in our industry of I’m just going to find someone who knows how to use publisher or whatever. Yeah, so much of customer experience and digital cx do use the hype term. Yeah, you know, is just having good design. Yeah. And then the the other quote that I like from it was just that Forrester explains that just launching an Alexa skill doesn’t improve cx and an algorithm can actually make things worse for customers instead of better, which again, that’s reality. We’ve all been there. We’ve looked at all the old chat bot examples from two years ago when ever said it was time to use chat bots and they couldn’t do anything except for repeat the same sentence over and over, over and over, which certainly would not have improved customer experience now,


Andrew Peek 24:09

but this actually reminded me of what my story would have been. Oh, really good. So


Kevin Oakley 24:13

we were talking earlier this week, and I told Andrew I was like, this is the perfect storytime thing. You have talked about this


Andrew Peek 24:19

story what it was so I was on Facebook and I’m like the perfect person to get I’m sure some of you out there you get these ads from these boats. Sponsor letter selling like they’re like, Hey, watch this video and Kevin gets


Kevin Oakley 24:31

and they talk really fast and they move their hands around



they’re like so annoying. Yeah, really


Andrew Peek 24:36

intense. Awful. There’s like these coaches that like they buy the horse and they they mimic the funnels whatnot. So this one it was a realtor product and I’m like, Okay, I’ll watch this. It seemed interesting. So what it is it was a product was a funnel to get seller and buyer leads for realtors, which is what that’s realtors every problem right? And so it was a Facebook lead ad so like the old school lead ads that don’t really do anything. Yeah. first name, last name, email, phone number where you’re looking to move when are you Move like it was like eight questions, which is a lot but no, that’s


Kevin Oakley 25:02

what was the promise that they were in, like you fill out the lead ad to get one.


Andrew Peek 25:06

Yeah, they’re getting a list of homes within a price range. That was the ad. So it’s like, hey, how to get I think the ad copy was like how to get high value buyer and seller leads. And so it was like, Are you looking for homes in Tampa, Florida from 600 to 800,000. You’re like sweet, that’s not a commission. Let me get that I’m gonna buy this thing. So the is the lead format and all of that the lead format and collect information, put it in a CRM like Google Sheet looking thing which looked it looked impressive. Like if you didn’t know anything about any of this stuff you’d like to there’s like 100 people right there. first name, last name, email, phone number, price range, we’re looking forward timeframe when they want to move do they currently own or rent? Are they pre qualified? You know, that’s, that’s an awesome list, right? But it took them to a Redfin search results page, which is like wow, like, that’s a pile of junk. Yeah. So I was telling Kevin this just like, like, here’s what I saw. This is really interesting. Not in a positive way, but just like blank slate. Here you go, Kevin, here’s some stuff that I saw in Yeah, Kevin loved it.


Kevin Oakley 25:57

And I went off and I was like, Oh my gosh, I hate Everything about this one, you’re you’re getting a public website, right? So there’s there’s a certain evil genius to this where they’re pulling in data from the lead form and potentially even pushing that back out to the Redfin search that I mean, did the Redfin just did just take you to the front page, or did it actually have the criteria that Yeah,


Andrew Peek 26:17

so it had the search. So like you would like if I was a realtor, okay, I want these zip codes 33772776, like certain ones, and it takes you right to there. And I would advertise in those zip codes, right? And then you get the list. But then it goes, you’re just going straight to read and


Kevin Oakley 26:29

like, yeah, so you’re getting this piece and you’re promising something that you are not delivering on. And so we were just talking back and forth like so Becca, you fill out that lead form, it sends you to a website that you already know you could have gotten to without becoming a lead when that person follows up with you. How do you feel you want to do business


Becca Thomas 26:46

with that person? No, I have no interest in doing business with them. Right? Because I could have done that myself and they’ve wasted my time


Andrew Peek 26:53

and now they’re calling you and emailing you and texting you and potentially


Becca Thomas 26:56

getting a stock. If they’re smart.


Kevin Oakley 26:57

They’re at least doing it as a different company. Right so one company is running the ad and then another company or broker Someone is calling up and just being like a happy accident moment. Oh, hey, are you by chance looking? I mean, that would be the only smart way to approach it. I got


Andrew Peek 27:11

your name from my friend.


Kevin Oakley 27:13

The reason and I’m getting ticked off again just rethinking about this, what this what this company did, who’s running these Facebook ads with the fast talking? Whoa, look at me, I’m gonna make millions you can make millions whatever is they they created the perfect product to sell to someone not the perfect product to get results but the perfect product because like Andrew was saying, he gave it to me as a blank slate. But he was also kind of like maybe there’s something here that we could use. And we do this all the time, right? So if you were a struggling marketer at a home building company, and you were like, Man, I’ve got to fix this broken neighborhood and you’re just surfing Facebook here looks like the easy button. Oh my gosh, look 100 leads that this guy can get with this program for 500 bucks or whatever. But literally the ad even though I never saw it, I can I’ve seen enough of these kind of things going around. They’re that it’s just created to make a compelling visual case for us by this product roaming, which is just as evil as evil gets. I think when it comes to marketing. Yeah,


Andrew Peek 28:09

yeah, they were selling it to the marketer to then sell to realtors was the Oh gosh, right. That was the I’m sure they’re they’re targeting so


Kevin Oakley 28:17

I’m going to teach you how to be an evil correct and


Andrew Peek 28:21

Mr. evil evil like, I would literally take like, I need to like make video of it. Like it would take like 20 minutes to set up like lead format Facebook page. Yeah, start to finish. So that’s what they were selling to marketers to them email and call every home builder out there like, Hey, I could get your buyer leads for nine bucks. And then they’re painted off like that. Yeah. And then you’re like, Yeah, sure. Sign me up. And I get all this information. Neat. But


Kevin Oakley 28:40

Exactly. And it made you just remind me to have this other thing right before the builders show. I’ve saved these slides. So I’m going to use them later at some point. But I was on LinkedIn and I saw this ad and it said pull it up. It says real estate, digital marketing and lead generation. find buyers sellers or both. And it has logos of Facebook, Instagram and Google ads and it says Real Estate and I’m like, okay, it’s from a company called, I’m gonna name them because you never want to use these people go wrong. See media so Garonne skin media, and you click on it, it just takes you to a lead format within LinkedIn. So you can just grab information but if you actually go I was like, I’m gonna check out this company’s website Who are these people ever heard of them and the real estate experts go there it is a is a soda bottling marketing company like for boutique. I don’t know what I mean, maybe he’s our craft beer or something, but they do digital marketing for soda. And they literally have nothing on their current website about real estate whatsoever. Like they’re literally just pivoting and trying to either add a new business line or whatever, but they’re running ads as being digital marketing, lead generation experts for real estate and you’re like, Who are you like, anyone can do that? We don’t we don’t have any issue with other people doing the service but have some again, put have put in the work to be able to know what you’re talking about. Because Yeah, I think soda and craft beer is a little little bit different than a new home? I would think so for sure. And, and yet, you know, again, I always just think about that marketer who’s getting pressure, we’ve got to get sales you got to fix this neighborhood, right? I mean, this this ad will still work, they will get someone on the hook for it. I’m sure


Andrew Peek 30:13

they will. And if you try it, you need to let me know what you do. And and how many I think here I want to try it just to see how cheap I could get leads and then how it’s not. It’s just it’s not the truth. That doesn’t matter. Like who cares? Like you got dollar leads? So and then what you know, it’s like it doesn’t you see it all the time. Maybe I say all the time, because every time I go on Facebook, I get an ad for stuff like that. And I’m like, Yeah, but it doesn’t do that. Like it does those will not buy a house or sell a house. Right? It’s flashy. That’s it. It just sounds really cool. But it doesn’t do anything it’s like an infomercial for like some weird socks that like improve your I don’t know if you’re diabetic, like people go see doctors for that and you’re saying these socks that are hundred dollars low, but they have copper in them, but they got copper in them and it’s like I think so.


Kevin Oakley 30:54

Yeah. All right. We’re gonna take a quick break and we come back we’re going to be joined by Paul Cardis is the founder and CEO of Avid ratings to talk about ratings reviews, but also he’s gonna go in depth on some key terminology like review gating something you need to know what it is so that you’re not doing it because it’s illegal, and Google will ban you. We’ll be right back. And, we’re back with Paul Cardis is the founder and CEO of Avid ratings. Paul, thanks so much for joining us. Hey, Kevin. Great to be here. Thanks for having us. And those of you regular listeners know that Paul made a guest a short guest appearance on our live recording at the online sales marketing summit in Dallas this year. But this one is all about Paul his company and what they do to help builders and why that is so important. So we’re we’re kind of tongue in cheek saying the title of this 360 is are you listening to your customers for real like real real? Are you just Listening to make sure they’re not cursing your name, or are you really listening to the deeper conversations that they’re trying to have you, Paul, just as a quick introduction, why don’t you tell us kind of geographically where you’re based out of and what avid ratings is all about? Yeah. So we’re based on Madison, Wisconsin. That’s our headquarters. We have offices in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as Toronto, Canada. And we’ve been around now this will be our 27th year of working with home builders to measure and improve the customer experience. Wow, that’s a that’s a long time my friend. I know. Yeah.


Paul Cardis 32:31

27 years. 27 years. I know it feels like yesterday to be honest guys. Yeah, I jumped in. I was a graduate student here at the University of Wisconsin Madison as in the Ph. D. program. And I had a buddy of mine Bring me a survey. He worked for a builder Lexington homes I believe was the company back then they were down in Chicago and he said, Hey, you know, help me I’m getting a survey about my customers and he was a project superintendent and very good childhood Brendan. So I took the time. Work with them. Look at the survey and I realized, you know, wow, this is interesting, you know, here it is, you know the number one purchaser before going to make affects them deeply and, and and yet they’re really just starting to get some measurement around what they experienced, like this is 1992 you know, and it took off and we’ve had, you know, quite an interesting you know, ups and downs we got the right out the last huge downturn. But that’s history now. Yeah, it is history now. Now it’s a good story to tell you don’t have to live live it anymore. Thankfully. Yeah. Let’s hope not anyway. Correct. But it’s definitely been a great run. I really enjoy working with home builders, you know, people, they want to go into other industries and we never made that decision because we really enjoy housing. What’s interesting, Paul, is that


Kevin Oakley 33:43

about I would guess guesstimate half of the people that I work with or more now of all the builders around the country have were not around did not experience it, not just because they weren’t in home building but they just weren’t of age to be working during the Great raising my hand over here just to that, yeah, it’s fascinating. Because that’s that means that we are officially the old guard. Like you said, Paul, you feel like you’re dating yourself. But now it’s kind of like I’m 37 and I’m one of the I’m like the old guy who remembers back in the day when you’ve walked up, walk to school appeal both ways. Nothing strange.


Paul Cardis 34:16

Yeah, it happens fast. And but it truly is a different day now, right, where you talk about where the industry has been where it’s going. I think we’re finally getting digital. You know, we’re finally really getting modernized and the customer experience is now paramount for homebuilder more so than ever was and for us, I guess we were we were lucky enough to had gotten in very, very early when there were no Google ratings. There was no Yelp right. We watched the emergence of these technologies insights and transfer knowledge and in Zillow, right so


Kevin Oakley 34:48

take us back to that time, Paul. I 92. You said was when you started so what was mean that was the it was the calculators were around? Yeah. dot matrix printer has to collect by review.


Paul Cardis 35:00

Yeah, well, yeah, well, good news guys is mathematics has been around for a very long time, as well as surveys they’ve been along federal law around a long time survey research was my area of specialty. I was the kid, the grads, the grad student who the professors used to line up at the door to have crunched the numbers. So I was trained up on the old SPSS SS. So for some of the old folks on the call will remember those software platforms but that’s how we crunched and the computer was new. I remember we weren’t you know, punching the cards I was post the whole, you know, data cards, but I remember the data cards, and I remember seeing the old big, you know, mainframe rooms and all that stuff. And then but then the microcomputer came out so I really cut my teeth with it first when Microsoft came out and the first statistical sat programs were released and I got really into it and I was literally writing code for SPSS and SaaS and and those codes would would run and crunch the numbers. Okay, and so it was paper and pencil back then scanning was around you know, we had the old Scantron sheet So if you were really cool, you had a Scantron sheet and people filled in a bubble, and you got those scan, which was helpful, but even then, really it was paper and pencil in your hand or if you hand entered it in because there was no text recognition, you you just had the N key it was Yeah, we were working on early windows when windows was the you know, really the main operating system that that existed and you said your friend reached out to you to have you look at the survey, but once you started the business itself, did you have to convince me were builders looking for that service? Were they already using something else and you were the new kind of better solution what it was like 90% nobody cared as my father would tell me, he said build builders, builders were operating by the seat of their pants. He said it was a very much Field of Dreams model, you know, build it and they will come and data and research you know, that was for the more advanced guys, you know, but most of the market just you know, they all went on intuition and experience and and customer service. Well, it was you know, we fixed the problem that that’s the Standard, you know, did we answer our phone where we kind? We’ve gone a long way from since then, in terms of that, and today, I’d say it was back then 90% didn’t do anything on surveys. It was just a few really innovative ones that were like my buddy’s company. And then today, it’s the complete reversal. Now, I would say 90 plus percent of the industry is survey with somebody, whether it’s us or somebody else. And yeah, you know, I think you would agree there’s many out there aren’t surveying right now.


Kevin Oakley 37:25

Yeah, they’re, they’re all trying in some way, not necessarily the best way but they’re all trying to get their arms around it for me. I remember I was at Marotta homes here in Columbus, we were doing around 800 homes a year and the regional VP at the time started to become interested in asking about surveys and our opinions on the survey process, which we were doing, but then they didn’t really go anywhere. Once there was a rumor mill This is probably 2004 the rumor mill was the JD Power was going to get into the homebuilder ratings business. And so then there was some concern about you know, this comes to our market and we have the ratings we have now we’re toast. Yeah, that was kind of that. That’d be Getting up starting to care a little bit more. Right. In fact, that was


Paul Cardis 38:03

a watershed moment for our company. You know, prior to from 92 to 9797. The year JD Power came in, I remember, because it was, it was a dark day for me when that happened. And I was really worried that it was over. I remember calling my dad and well, it’s been a fun run, you know, the big guys are in and I’ll be hanging them up soon. And, you know, it’s a high now. And he said, all that’s not the case. He was very wise about it. And he said, I don’t agree with you at all. I think anything they’re going to validate what you’re doing. And so the seasoned pros taught the young kid I’m in my 20s I didn’t know really much and he really did. He nailed it. Right. And that’s exactly what happened is that they validated and he created the fear and builders that oh my gosh, this we can’t ignore it. We can’t just you know, bury our cat customer SAT or lack thereof. We got to do something about it. And so all of a sudden our phones were ringing. When did you start seeing things go digital, I think that it really happened around the globe. On the period, I mean that that really was the digital movement. And it really I know sound terrible. But it wasn’t until this decade that our builders really finally woke up. Right. So from 97 all the way though, I’m going to tell you through into 2012. Right, we basically were non digital as an industry. And it was a nice day and a half. It wasn’t I need to have


Andrew Peek 39:23

they still think they’re waking up if you could have like a percent of builders that get it that’s in quotes that really get it. Oh, yeah,


Paul Cardis 39:29

for sure. Yeah, we’re not everybody’s there yet. But I think I predicted that it was going to be 2015 was going to be the year we finally had the big wake up call in the industry really transition to transparency. I call it I was wrong. It wasn’t 15 and actually more was like less last year and 18. That’s when I think we really saw builders didn’t fight us on it anymore. You know, the arguments of why can’t push out my reviews. I might have a bad review out there. That was kind of the Hallmark argument that builders would use to not argue In a digital review process, because you know, where they went with services that they could only push out their positive reviews, which was legal up until really the end of 2016. And, and so this last couple of years has been tectonic in terms of our industry. And it’s really an amazing story that I’d like to share with you guys on what happened, the federal legislation that came in and just everything that changed in the last few years.


Kevin Oakley 40:25

Yeah, let’s do it. Because I think that’s a big the big part of it is how can you trust those reviews? And it’s one thing to see a star rating or a number or some nice comments. That was that’s been around forever. I remember making books for model homes of here’s the happy homeowner stories in a book. So that idea has been around a long time third party validation, but I think a lot of what you’ve been involved with from the legislation side has really gone another level in terms of generally Can I trust or not trust what I’m seeing. So in


Paul Cardis 40:53

2012, as the Google’s are coming online as the star ratings online are becoming a thing the Alps and everything we’re starting to get into our space and evaluate builders and JD powers became very irrelevant, right? And that really happened in the mid 2000s. And then just sort of accentuated. It went dark during the downturn for a little bit. And then they pulled out in 2010, literally at power said, we’re out of here and they shut down the homebuilding division. Yeah. And then that was a big, big day for us. So then we were all like, okay, the grill is gone. Now. Now what? And then, you know, Google and Yelp and these other rating sites started filling the voids very slowly, but they surely did. And with that came out services that said, Hey, by the way, we will go ahead and review your customers and only push out your happy customers, you can use our platform to digitize this process, and we will actually make you guys look great. We even had companies out there that said, Why don’t we go out there and put in falsified reviews for you that make you look good. And so there were services like that that are happening quite rampant and many of our homebuilder clients actually turned us off and said, you know, avid unless you can do what these guys are doing, we’re not going to do this and we looked at it you know, and and And our stomachs turn all of a sudden what we what we were trying to do which is really be the leading resource for building quality and help transform this industry was now completely subverted. I handedly was about ready to sell the company, I really could not stomach the thought of, you know, making bad builders look good and hurting the industry because I came from it. My father, you know, has been going to the international builders show going back into the 60s. You know, I, I have I had a much better viewpoint of who we are as an industry and all our good clients that we had to know now that all this hard work they put in was really now for not because, you know, their competitors who were really quite bad could just falsify or game the system. It was really hard, really, really hard guys, and there were dark days. And so we held our line though that was something I’m very proud of that we never went in and super subverted to our submitted to the to the review gating, the filtering all the games that were being Played to just basically yeah the washing yeah reviews we just wouldn’t do it and we lost business on top of the recession we lost business because of that is one of our key competitors was major part of their platform was the ability to do that. So, um, you know, we got down to, you know, really is getting late in the game here about 15 now 2015 now I’m really starting to wear out really starting to feel the pain of this, even though the markets recovering, it was recovering, and that was great, but builders were still turning to the easy path. I like to say I was selling, you know, medicine for procuring their problems. They were selling crack cocaine, you know, and it was really, really hard to compete with that, you know, yeah, I just, you know, I had I had short aspirin and they had cocaine and it’s just really hard to compete. But then all of a sudden, I got a I got an email from one of the lobbyists that was mentioning that there’s a bill coming out on this issue of reviews and I reached out then to nhB and we’ve been power’s was this name at the time. Anyway, he I think he’s passed now. But he was very instrumental in connecting me with Washington on this bill. So apparently, Darrell, is congressman was pushing out a bill because this was not just our industry of suffering. All industry was suffering, right from the integrity of falsified reviews back in this 15, a 2015, going into 2016. And so a bill was put on the floor, Republican sponsor, Bill, all the consumer review Fairness Act, and lo and behold, it started a whole process. And now the discussion started happening at the highest levels of our government about is this the right thing to do? Or should we allow coming because frankly, they weren’t breaking the law. It was perfectly legal for you to falsify your reviews. You wanted to filter your reviews. I mean, basically, it’s the Wild West, and there’s and there, we’re not breaking the law. It was just ethically didn’t feel right. That’s the only standard that was there. And this reminded me of the 1920s when we had truth in advertising issues, right. Or you could have ads that claimed pay for this tonic on your head, and it’ll go grow your hair back or you know make you grow two inches and it was all balls. Right. So then we had truth in advertising, which is a standard congressional act that was passed to clean it up and transform commerce and have consumer protection rights. So but here we are, you know, back to that again, and you can do whatever you want to review it. So clearly something needed to be done FTC got involved and FTC started passing some guidelines to try and put some things around it. And then the federal law came through and we got active on a met with Paul Ryan here in Madison, the Speaker of the House time and provided him with some insights as to what we thought Angie’s List, Angie Hicks was involved. yelp was involved. And in fact, they got called the Yelp law for a while they’re starting to begin. So everybody who was in our space, the big boys and the little guys like us, we’re all now you know, in favor of this because our industry literally was crumbling from beneath our feet. And we went from an industry of integrity to a complete Sham and nobody was feeling good about it. Nobody that We’re thinking and so we all got behind it. And we were hoping the bill was going to be passed, and then it failed. And in 2016, we could not get the bill passed, the election came up, we assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win and we passed basically all packed her bags and said, Okay, well, we’ll wait for the new president, the new Congress, and we’ll address it in future years and we literally I remember going into December and had close the books on all my efforts with this thing and the lobbying and the support and the writing of the articles and all that and and then I got a call in mid December from our lobbyist, he said you’re not gonna believe it, but the bill just passed and I said how can that be the Congress’s in lame duck session? You know, the, you know, Clinton lost and I’m sorry, no, sorry. You know, Obama was right. Yeah, click last But Obama was still in power right through December. So we’re in the lame duck session. And and then and then I guess one of the last things he did before he left was pulled together by investing group of the congressman pushed it up and he signed it and went into law consumer review. fairness, equity is the first law in our country’s history that addresses customer reviews. Now it’s watered down, it’s full of holes. There’s problems with that isn’t perfect, sure, but it was our first bill. And it did change things dramatically. And now finally, it’s set a standard release that we could all it show that there was national attention here and it gave the FEC string. And so since that passage now, we’ve seen an immense change. But interestingly enough, that was passed in December 16. So go ahead. Yep. This


Kevin Oakley 47:29

is my favorite part of the story. Yeah.


Paul Cardis 47:30

So so I was then you know, thinking hey, I won, you know, I’m dancing in the end zone thinking great. We got something here but I learned real quick that law didn’t matter. That nobody cared and and I kept talking about the law and everybody just started yond and it was it was really getting zero attention and zero change in the market FTC started prosecuting and got a little bit of attention, but still nothing really. And so we passed through 2017 very little changed. Our competitors are Doing what they were doing before. They mean there was really amazing. And then 2018 April of this past year, Google finally comes out and says, Okay, if you are review gating, this is the term they used review gating where you are gating your negative reviews to go to Nowhere Land and only allowing your positive reviews to go to Google’s star ratings, which is essentially cheating the reviews, right? It’s not a fair representation. They will ban you now from Google, this this article got put out in April of last year, and then all of a sudden, everything changed. Now all of a sudden, the clients or the clients that were doing this started to rethink that competitors who are offering that immediately change their services. I mean, literally, it all changed one of the companies in sold because they just said donors didn’t know what to do. So they just sold the thing. Yeah. And and you had all them coming out now very much in favor of this new new policy. So we don’t you know, we’re still seeing signs of it out. There’s a few providers that are still doing it really are not and I’m not going to name names there. out there, but it cleaned up a lot of I would say more than half to 60% of all the bad stuff has been cleaned up now quite a bit. But there’s still 40% out there that are on the wrong side of this deal and think it’s okay. But it is. Yeah, I love that.


Kevin Oakley 49:12

I love that part of the story is is federal government passes a law yawn, Google says, Hey, we’re gonna just obviously they can’t put you in jail. Or if I were just gonna take you off our platform, everything changes. And then yeah, Google was the real enforcer, you know, the threat of being off Google. I mean, think of it if you were a builder. And again, you’re not gonna be in Google anymore. I mean, quite a business, you know? So have you seen that push kind of some of these nefarious tactics to non Google Places? Do you still? Is there still corners of the internet? Where if you know, if someone you really cared about was looking for reviews, you’d say, maybe be a little more weary of stuff on social platforms? Or is or is it kind of helped cleaned up the board as providers themselves? Well,


Paul Cardis 49:52

no, I agree. I mean, remember, Google’s just one of the platforms and so if you go to the other platforms, they don’t have those type of restrictions. So You can do whatever you want there. You are still violating FTC. Mind you. But there is more nefarious stuff happening in other places, but people are still review gating on Google. I mean, this is the one thing that Google has been pretty bad on enforcement is they’re banned to both the person participating and getting the reviews and the review source. You know, it’s as I understand it, it’s Google My Business. So if you have a Google My Business and of course, you’re listing your star ratings right. And your star ratings are falsified or gated, they would just turn your Google your business like business off.


Kevin Oakley 50:33

Yeah, very much. Remember Andrew, this was this was like four months ago, Andrew showed me my business listing where they were using the star emojis in their title to make it look like they hadn’t. And


Andrew Peek 50:44

they had five star I think they even had the most reviews like right were the obvious choice anyways, but I don’t know. It was really bizarre.


Kevin Oakley 50:51

shady, they weren’t helping themselves. Yeah. So So Paul, what would you tell someone who’s working for a smaller organization who right now maybe they don’t do reviews at all or Like, it can be tough, especially if you’re a younger person in marketing and you understand the importance of it and reviews and hearing from the customer. What are the kind of if you could give them a sell sheet to go to their owner? What would be the major themes on that sheet of how do I convince someone who thinks that even if it’s free, they just really don’t? I think it’s a waste of time to go down that road? Or if it is, has some expense tied to it? They just say, yeah, let’s just buy some more ads. Instead, I would say a millennial won’t buy a pizza without a star rating. How the heck do you expect them to buy one of your home? The power of the ratings and reviews are so


Paul Cardis 51:34

important, right? I mean, there’s products I will buy because there’s a stark difference, right? This one’s three stars. This one’s four stars, I’m buying the four star product, you know, it is right now the means by which we are validating what this is going, how this is going to feel for me after I buy it, and it works. It’s flawed. There are certainly bad reviews or falsified reviews. But that I think has tightened up now that the system still works right and you know, there are times when You buy a four star product, and it doesn’t result in a good experience. So there are these events that happen. But for the most part, you know, when I go to a restaurant and it’s got board point two or 4.5 review, you know, star rating, I have a good meal, right? I have a decent experience or a great experience. So it works for most people. And so they still trust it. And so you need to have that sell to these homes, because it’s a high risk purchase. So it’s even more important. Yeah,


Kevin Oakley 52:22

absolutely. And you said 4.2 star rating. So talk a little bit about his perfections not required, right. But every home builder is going to mess up. Everyone’s going to mess up. And we’ve had news articles on other episodes where like, statistically speaking, different news outlets have done studies of saying, you know, the biggest impact on reviews is responding is just responding to each and every one can potentially be as important as having a great rating in and of itself, just showing that you’re paying attention and you care. Talk a little bit about how perfect the builders need to be or how scared they need to be about


Paul Cardis 52:52

and in fact, perfection is the enemy. If you are a perfectionist mindset, you’re not going to understand today’s world. You’re not going to pump Well in this review environment because it is inherently imperfect, it will you are going to have a bad review. You hope you don’t but it will eventually happen. And you may have many bad reviews at some time to the point here is that what customers want today is certainty they want confidence and certainty that you are making efforts that you still are good enough not perfect and I think that’s a huge difference for our clients because we come from I think some of the older generation the exercise and the boomers we think more in terms of perfection right? We marketed homes and we did it in a way with you know, beautiful pictures of you know couples and in green grass and you know, perfect houses. everything perfect, perfect perfect right because that’s the way we did think today everything is genuine focus on the ads today are not have no beautiful pictures and perfect people. It’s now more genuine and real and, and blah. And so in fact flaw, I think is the new authenticity badge and that’s what people are looking for. So reviews are really important and when they’re bad when they’re bad reviews. This is a moment of truth now. How do we handle? Exactly did we respond to at least show that we did and we’re trying, they didn’t resolve and finally getting that buyer’s issue taken care of, I mean, those are golden moments as a buyer that we’re looking for now we’re saying, you know, hey, I’m okay with that, you know, there’s still as long as you’re still good enough, and and you’re showing that and you have that confidence and certainty through your reviews, you’re a winner all the way and that is what we need to focus on because too many builders are afraid to jump in because they are not perfect and right, because nobody is perfect. No customer experience is going to be perfect all the time. And it is those those customer terrorists that we’ve had in our past that we’re afraid of that we think they’re going to take over. But we need not worry necessarily. I mean, you know, you have to see how bad you are. I mean, there is a watermark if you’re below good enough. I like call it the Goldilocks zone, you know, kind of take it from an astronomy example right? You don’t want to be too good if you’re too good. There’s another problem people don’t believe it. We had that with one of our first clients to launch day were perfect. I mean, they literally the reason they trusted us to put their star ratings out there is because they were so damn good. Well, guess what they got a little benefit. On The Beat, and we were scratching our heads we’re like, well, this didn’t work out so good. And it really threw us for a loop and then they started getting some bad reviews. And then next thing you know, the salespeople started to see that customers were talking about the reviews and that they weren’t relevant. So it was interesting that the bad review actually is what sold more home. Is it a graded authentic?


Kevin Oakley 55:18

That’s Yeah, that makes total sense. You guys are going big and scale not just in terms of employee count and investment and all that but at the online summit, you talked about working on a partnership with Home Depot


Paul Cardis 55:28

or Lowe’s Yes, we are now in the retail store so we’re very excited that that avid is a review supplier for Walmart Lowe’s Home Depot bill calm Well,


Kevin Oakley 55:39

I’m talking about a few namely Rockstar we’re just gonna we’re just gonna lay out like the eight of the top 10 retail won’t say that again.


Paul Cardis 55:45

Mark Lowe’s Home Depot bill calm are now carrying avid all wayfarer as well as now carrying avid in its in its websites for consumers to route to read our reviews that we’ve collected on behalf of our clients and that’s because have products that are used by Home Builders where you’re getting individual ratings on like a faucet and then that’s flowing through to a faucet that you may be able to purchase out on way air tell me that’s correct. So we’re actually helping you are building a product manufacturer, the builders aren’t selling their, you know, they’re not selling in Walmart, they’re not selling in Home Depot wayfarer, obviously, right for the builders. This is a layer down this is into the product world where with consent of everybody, we’re able to curate reviews of products and then those products now are then displayed in these retail sites and consumers can review them that helps our clients though, because they also can put reviews on their websites on products. So imagine if you’re a builder now and you want to sell a new sensate faucet, which is about 1200 dollars per sub faucet very expensive, but for some customers that’s you know, something they’re interested in. Imagine now if you could increase your sales dramatically by including avid reviews as part of that in your options and Design Center.


Kevin Oakley 56:54

So you’re saying kind of the reverse flow of obviously not buying that faucet at Walmart but if you pull it off The reviews from Walmart. So you have a larger number of reviews about the faucet that the builder can pull it. So you’re saying, Yeah, we’re building the largest database of building product reviews right now in the country in the world, maybe, I don’t know, we had Tim reflect from from heat and glow, and fireside hearth and home technologies, their fireplaces are better, but they they’re going to need your rating process to help. So I think it’s I think it’s awesome. And I’m trying to think out loud of you know, Angie’s List used to be a great kind of vendor supplier thing, but I feel like all those have either through aquas they’ve all changed or gone away. Like the only place that I really trust ratings and reviews generally would be Amazon, Google and you get and I don’t across anything else, maybe JD powers for cars only. But I think there’s this still this huge vacuum of a trustworthy source to get reviews from because of all the things we’ve already talked about.


Paul Cardis 57:47

Well, thanks for that.


Kevin Oakley 57:48

last story for me is and then we’ll then we’ll wrap it up. We use the faucet manufacturer and someone else offered us $200,000 upfront to switch to their faucets and more rebates and all kinds of great stuff. And our purchasing guy was like, how can we not do this? And the answer was this is eight years ago, the answer was because our service cost is going to skyrocket in comparison to what it is now because we just know that those other faucets have service issues have had them in the past. Other builders are using them we understand they still have service issues. And so the lifetime cost of putting that basit in is ultimately going to be higher for us because not even talking about brand damage and reputation all the rest just we don’t we don’t want to put something in that we know we’re going to get more service calls from not a good plan. I get it. But Paul, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us and love love having you on Good luck on on the continued growth and success. It’s exciting to watch really take off like a rocket. Thanks. Yeah, I appreciate it. Kevin, you guys have always been great supporters. We enjoy working with you. We again we come from within the industry, we’re only going to do things that are going to help our industry and do it right and grow and our core values are very aligned that way and I’m hopeful that we can help the industry evolve versus be disrupted because if we don’t evolve We will be disrupted, somebody will come around and thrust this upon the industry. And that may not be so pleasant for our clients if they wake up one day and they don’t have themselves lined up to succeed. So, you know, I agree with you to heck with ending on a high note, let’s just end it. There is no question the disruption is going to happen there. We’ll just how many of the current players are going to be able to evolve to keep up, but there’s no doubt just the raw amounts of money and energy of people trying to do it that it will happen. It’s just Are you going to be adapt enough it’d be able to adapt quickly enough to avoid exemption. Well, thank you again. Question of the week. This one is a little bit techie, but we’re going to make a quiz multiple choice format in the Facebook group for everyone. To answer Are you using Google Analytics? Google Tag Manager? Or you’re not sure. And maybe we should add nothing? Yeah. Nothing. Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s gonna admit to that. So I think that not sure is okay. And it’s okay. If you’re not sure. Because not everyone in the Facebook group is, you know, running marketing from top to bottom. You may have an agency or partners running it for you. It’s okay. I’m not sure it does not mean that you don’t know how to do any of this other stuff that we talked about here. But I’m really curious how many folks have made the switch to tag manager because it is generally speaking going to be a better and easier way to do it, but it is does have a learning curve. It’s not like you just switch out your Analytics code or Tag Manager. I know we always have this thing when we ask a question or like our people are gonna answer honestly, truthfully, there’s no wrong answer here. Analytics is totally functional gold track and mean. Yeah, like you said, Andrew 87% of builders who work with probably still have analytics. Yes, I’m born and maybe not sure. Shouldn’t be not sure but my stuff works. So it’s not like you’re saying not sure because Yeah, right.


Andrew Peek 60:59

Like Yeah, you’re like, I don’t know, like it’s working. We’ve looked at reports for two years, as long as you have access to analytics,


Kevin Oakley 61:05

right? Yeah. So not sure. But I have access to analytic data that I can use. I’ll change it to that. That’s a good idea. Yeah. All right. That’ll do it for this week. For published articles, blog posts, videos, and more and check out geek we’re calm. It’s also the best way to find out how to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and anywhere else that we are on social media. Also some added events to the event page, got one coming up in April in Atlanta, and then also up ecbc and the 1400 40 Conference in San Francisco in May, so you can check out more information there on the events page. Alright guys, have a great week. We’ll see you next time.


Andrew Peek 61:40

See you next week. Bye.

The post Ep 48: Are You Listening to Your Customers? with Paul Cardis [Transcript] appeared first on Online Sales and Marketing for Home Builders - DYC.

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