REI is all about research—and making contacts, and nurturing relationships, and closing deals. That seems like a lot, but if everything is humming along, every facet becomes easier. When your research is good, you’re better positioned to find contacts and negotiate from a position of knowledge. When you build a rapport with sellers, you’re that much closer to a completed deal.
With that in mind, the tools you use to help with REI can make or break your business. Don’t you think the investor taking advantage of call tracking has an edge over someone who has little data when that phone rings? Although there’s something to be said for doing things the old-fashioned way, modern REI requires modern solutions. Adapt or die!
Phone append is one such tool that makes an investor’s life easier. Also known as bulk skip tracing or batch skip tracing, append takes your list of names (or any other data point) and supplies the missing information about each entry. Phone numbers, addresses, property info, email addresses, and more are provided, thus giving you the intelligence necessary to pursue leads with confidence.
However, some phone append providers simply don’t deliver the goods. When you’ve paid for a solution, admitting it sucks and that you wasted money on it can be difficult. But sticking with the crappy solution will cost even more. Here are the stories of three investors illustrating what happens with append when it goes wrong:
1. Incomplete or inaccurate data
Perhaps the biggest problem with substandard phone append solutions and providers is inaccurate data—you run the append on a list and the information that comes back is outdated, out of service, or otherwise wrong. You won’t make a good impression if you call and ask for Tim Jackson and discover the property owner’s name is actually Tom Johnson. And hearing a “This number is no longer in service” message can set you back—that prerecorded voice might as well have said, in the style of Mr. T., “This number didn’t work; start over, fool!”
Trevor M. experienced the pain of poor data first hand. He recently explained:
"So I paid another data service for a list of 500 vacants along with phone numbers, and when I loaded the list into ReiRail to run a ringless voicemail campaign, only about 40 of them were eligible. I was pretty bummed out, so I reached out to the REIRail team to see if they could do any better. Their system came back with 1,122 numbers across 444 unique records. Literally 10x better than that other service. I don't know where REIRail gets their data versus other people. All is know is that using their phone append service got me 10x more chances to close.”
2. Too many humans
Some phone append sites require users to manicure lists before they can be input. Rigid templates have to be followed exactly or the list will get rejected. This is a recipe for frustration because investors routinely botch the formatting. The process is tedious and slow. REI professionals can become frustrated because they're not interested in becoming Excel ninjas—they just want the system to work! Plus, retrofitting spreadsheets to fit into some append service’s narrow template is about the least valuable thing an REI can spend their time on.
A better solution is a system that lets the machines do the heavy lifting. Top-notch software, built on quality data models and Artificial Intelligence, takes all that extra work off your plate. With REIRail’s system you just upload what have, dragging-and-dropping things where they belong. The process takes less than a minute—it’s like hitting the easy button.
Ike L. tells his story about complexity and how a better solution made his life easier:
"I'd been using another skip trace company, and the results were OK. But I hated that I had to spend 20 minutes cleaning up my list every time I wanted to use them. Some of my lists I buy from data brokers. Some I compile from my trips out Driving for Dollars. The formats are completely different. I hate having to merge the lists and compare the merged list to the template of this other company. I never get it right the first time. Invariably, I put some columns in the wrong order. Makes life so much easier to just know that if the info is in there and labeled, REIRail will figure it out. Plus, if I have separate mailing address and property address, REIRail will automatically search the property address if mailing address didn't return a good result. That other company made me do a whole new search. Dealing with stuff like that can be maddening.”
3. Too slow to return results
Once you have a list and strategy, the next step is to put everything into action. However few things produce more anxiety than waiting around for days to get a bulk append list back. You want the data to be ready when you are, but some software, constructed with people behind the scenes handling the data instead of high-powered technology, doesn’t deliver results with the same urgency. Meanwhile, the REI RAIl skip engine returns results in 15 minutes. In short, not all append platforms are created equal.
Paul H. had this to say:
"Just got back my first small batch skipped by REIRail ... and I'm pretty impressed. The list I gave them was a list that another skip trace company couldn't find numbers for. And, it was done within five minutes of submission. it's great that the numbers are accurate. But what I really appreciate is that if there had been an issue, i'd have known almost immediately, rather than having to wait days only to discover that I needed to redo the search. That's why this type of speed is so valuable."
Phone append designed with REI in mind—or even as part of an overarching REI solution—seamlessly works with processes such as voicemail drop, deep skip tracing, call tracking, list management, and other indispensable investor tools. If your phone append is more of a deterrent than a help, don’t hesitate to switch to something that is feature-rich and frees up time to do what you do best: negotiating with prospects and closing deals.