Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.Numa is an automated text response tool for leads and clients.
Platforms: Mobile, browser Ideal for: All agents and teamsTop selling points: Can work with any phone number Can verify identity of inbound caller Conversation organization Vendors and other parties can be invited Top concerns:
A lot of CRM and marketing solutions include automated text response and follow-up, so a stand-alone feature may be overkill for some agents and offices.What you should know
Numa earned a $10 million round of funding backed by Google and DFJ Capital, now Threshold Ventures, so its technology is more than proven. And as far as text automation goes, this software will no doubt add value to a real estate business.
Know that Numa isn’t a real-estate-centric software, but it plugs in nicely to the needs of most fast-moving, mobile-first agents who miss calls from listing signs, curious buyers and anxious clients.
Its bread and butter is small retail, such as restaurants, auto mechanics and salons. However, property management would be a superb use of Numa.
As is commonplace in this tech segment, the software links to a mobile or landline to send a text response to inbound callers who end up in voicemail. The recorded greeting instructs callers to press one if they prefer to get a message back.
The ensuing text gets the ball rolling by asking for an appointment, chatting about preapproval, home preferences and the like. Agents can take over a Numa discussion at any time.
Inside the software, users can easily configure questions to ask while Numa itself learns how to respond more accurately from the conversation.
It gleans business response knowledge in part from the manual texts you send leads. In essence, every question you answer is one less you have to the next time a new person calls. Numa can also link up with an existing Yelp! account as a source of information to share with clients.
At a 70 percent rate, Numa benchmarks the phone number to a correct online identity, and connects you to them via LinkedIn. That’s useful, especially if meeting someone for the first time at a property. (Never do that.) It also responds to inquiries from Google My Business Profiles, an integral part of search engine marketing.
Another nice touch is Numa’s ability to easily invite other people into active conversations — something native text apps don’t make very easy, especially with older versions of an operating system. Creating a new text thread is tedious, plus it disrupts the tracking of the conversation.
The software can be trained on topics, too. This isn’t a common feature in CRM-based text-response features. The Numa library helps users keep track of their subject matter and the corresponding answers to each question found within them.
The library is also used to insert up to five sample questions that emulate how leads may word their inquiry. For example, “Do I need to be preapproved before you’ll show me a home?” or “Do you charge anything to represent me?”
Numa’s categorizes different conversations under the same client, a useful way to partition threads from home search to mortgage to closing tasks and so on.
Recent conversations are prioritized within the dashboard, and they can be tracked back to start date and searched for critical terms. Notes can be added for each contact in case additional exposition is needed on a person.
And lastly, Numa is team-oriented. Different people can be assigned to answer different topics and see specific push notifications. It’s a lighter form of lead assignment.
The user experience is sharp, clean and modern with a consumer mindset. This is software for the end salesperson, for those who like to connect and drive the relationship. I think this is better than most text automations found in popular CRMs.
However, because Numa doesn’t have two-way syncs set up with any viable industry players (yet), valuable client data will live in two places. For this software to really make a mark in real estate, it will need partnerships to generate sales and drive adoption.
Numa commissioned a study that showed a 450 percent increase in phone calls and messages to small businesses during the pandemic.
It makes sense, given how confused the entire country was about who was open, when and under what precautions. It was likely very much the same for real estate offices, especially those in the throes of transactions.
Everyone reading this is familiar with the concept of “speed to lead.” You can’t ignore a call from a new lead or current client. So don’t.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.
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