Monthly Archives: April 2015
Real Estate Agents & Movers – a perfect team
As a unit of HomeFinder.com, we’re always looking for ways to integrate with real estate. This week for our Prototypes initiative, we’re thinking up ways to integrate with HomeFinder’s app, Open Home Pro. As we discussed in this post, Prototypes give us the opportunity to quickly build new ideas and get feedback from our colleagues in the form of a highly competitive contest.
Open Home Pro (OHP) is an app to help agents collect and convert more leads. Rather than use an old fashioned sign-up pad and paper, OHP helps agents collect contact info for visitors to the open house they’re hosting. They use OHP to organize and communicate with their open house leads and convert them to future clients.
Integrating MCR with the most popular open house app on the market
So, how can we leverage the thousands of agents who use OHP and the buyers and sellers they interact with to promote MCR’s best movers?
Here’s our idea:
- OHP agent opts-in to send their sellers helpful emails throughout their selling process
- After an agent indicates that the property has sold, we trigger an email from them to their seller
- The email includes some helpful moving tips and a link to see their recommended movers
- The seller lands on a special MCR page with the agent’s photo, move tips and recommended movers for their market
- Movers get exposure to a totally ready-to-move audience, and agents look good by giving their sellers super helpful information
What do you think?
Any other recommendations on how to integrate MCR with real estate? How do you develop those valuable relationships with real estate agents? Tell us in the comments below!
Yesterday, this article came across my desk: A “fake” mover stole $60,000 of someone’s belongings. Unfortunately, we see stories like these all the time. A consumer books a move with the company (or person) that offered them the lowest price, only to be completely swindled; their possessions held hostage or stolen. Even our colleagues here at work are tempted to ignore MCR’s advice to only choose a licensed mover when they find someone willing to do the job at a ridiculously low price. “What’s the worst that can happen?” they say. The worst that can happen is pretty bad…and it often includes people stealing your stuff.
We have tons of tips on how to choose your mover, but we’ve boiled them down to the simplest and most important.
Here are our top 5 rules to follow when choosing a mover.
1. Check their license.
Every state has different rules and they can be confusing. Check a mover’s profile on MCR; it’ll show you the requirements for your state (or for out-of-state moves) and whether the mover meets them. Click through to the state website to confirm the license is active.
2. Are they who they say they are?
Here are some ways to check:
- Do they email you from an @companyname.com email address (e.g. email@example.com) or an @gmail, @aol, etc (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)? Choose the former. If a mover doesn’t have their own domain, chances are they aren’t legit.
- Do they answer their phone professionally? Someone who grunts and says “Hey” isn’t a pro. If they call you, call them back for a question you “forgot to ask” just to test them out.
- Have you seen their trucks anywhere in your neighborhood? Particularly in the spring and summer, moving trucks are everywhere. Never seen their logo before? (or they don’t have a logo?) Keep on searching.
3. Get a written estimate.
- Seriously. Get it in writing. And make sure their name and address is on the estimate, see #2.
4. Check reviews.
- All of MCR’s reviews are verified with a bill-of-lading (move receipt). We also run reviews through several fraud checks. Read them. They’re real. Don’t go with anyone who doesn’t have at least a 3 star rating.
5. Go with your gut.
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts; if you get a creepy feeling, your move probably isn’t going to go well. Follow the steps above to find someone you can trust. Saving a few bucks isn’t worth the risk of losing all of your precious stuff.
Good luck with your move!
1. More than 70% of the consumers using MCR come from online searches for movers in their city
This means every consumer using MCR to submit quotes is in “moving mode”. They’ve done their homework, and decided to use our site to find moving services. Our free business listings appear in online searches to attract these active consumers and drive them to MCR.
2. Consumers choose up to 5 movers. Or, we’ll suggest licensed movers for them
Movers may list their company in our national database for free. Our default search results are based on location, number of reviews and overall star rating.
On MCR, consumers choose the movers they want to hear from. Movers get free leads when consumers choose them.
We’ll also suggest qualified movers as part of our pay-per-lead program. This gives movers access to every lead in their service area.
3. We partner with Homefinder.com to provide home details
We standardize addresses and whenever possible, we match them with public records via HomeFinder.com to pre-populate beds, baths, square footage and home type in order to give movers more accurate information.
4. Consumers understand your brand every step of the way
Keep your brand and online reviews in front of consumers by replying directly to the quote request email. When a consumer selects your company to provide a free quote, they’ve already provided basic move details and and are ready to chat.
Make it personal, be sure to mention your required next steps (in-home estimate etc.) or price to help the consumer make a decision. Try to address any specific needs the consumer may have mentioned in their notes.
Be sure to keep your profile and online reviews up to date. Having great reviews and a high overall rating is a great way to stand out from your competition.
5. We reward consumers on their move-in day
On move-in day, we offer every consumer the opportunity to get a FREE Pizza if they come back and review their move on MCR.
We also have a program to collect reviews from your past customers, helping you focus on moves while we focus on your online reputation. Learn more about Review Advantage.
As Shannon wrote in “Behind the scenes at MCR: Our chatroom” we use our chat room for just about everything. It is one of the most used tools in our business. It’s obviously a great communication tool, but it’s a huge productivity tool for us as well.
We deployed our own customized version of a chat room robot forked from the Hubot Project. GitHub describes Hubot as “A Customizable, Life Embetterment Robot”, and we’ve certainly found our lives to be embettered! Hubot is an open source project written in CoffeeScript on Node.js and in our case runs on Heroku. The first thing we had to do after forking the Hubot project was to give our robot a name. We named ours “Review Bot”, or “Rbot” for short. Then we put him to work on a variety of tasks. The best part is since he’s a robot we don’t have to put him on the payroll… HE WORKS FOR FREE!
So what does Rbot do for us? He helps us with project management, customer assistance, and even monitoring our production web applications. Need some help with that math homework? Rbot has you covered, he’s great with numbers. All we have to do is ask “Rbot calculate 1+100″ or “Rbot calculate sqrt(81)”
We’re a small team, but it’s still easy to lose track of what everyone is up to. Not to worry, Rbot keeps track of all that for us. We just have to tell him “Rbot I am working on ticket #1234″ or “Rbot I am working on lead reports for invoices” and he now knows what we’re up to. At any point a project manager or anyone on the team can simply ask “Rbot what is everyone working on” and get a quick summary.
Rbot helps keep the software development process flowing so that we can continue to add great features to movingcompanyreviews.com. We use a continuous integration tool to automatically run tests on all of our software as we push out changes. Rbot keeps an eye on this of course, and can tell us if the build is passing or failing. We just have to ask Rbot “what’s the mcr project status”. He also monitors the Heroku platform that we run the site on. If we need to deploy some code changes we can ensure all systems are a go with a quick check-in with Rbot – “Rbot heroku status”
The business and operation folks are friends with Rbot as well. Account managers can get a quick sense of how many leads we’ve delivered to a mover just by asking Rbot “Rbot location rfqs for 12345″. We reward our users for reviewing their movers via phone with Domino’s gift cards, and we use a third-party vendor for fulfillment. We wouldn’t want our account to dry up and not be able to give away pizza, so we ask Rbot to check our balance from time to time “Rbot what is our tango card balance?”. Product people can get a conversion report on how users progress through our review process from requesting a quote to receiving that free pizza just by asking “Rbot pizza funnel”.
Rbot isn’t all business, he has a fun side to him as well. He’s super friendly and is the first to greet everyone as they start work in the morning. He doesn’t sleep (he’s a robot remember) so he’s always online. We like to celebrate our wins at movingcompanyreviews.com and Rbot certainly gets in on the action. He fires off a cannon when we get a new sale, sends out a round of applause when a mover gets their first request for a moving quote, and gives a salute from the original tough guy Chuck Norris when anyone says thumbs up.
Having a rough day? Rbot to the rescue! Just ask him “Rbot I need some advice”. Maybe you need to predict the future? Rbot will give you an answer to any question like the classic magic 8-ball “Rbot eightball will we hit our sales goals for the quarter?”. This one has come in handy many times when preparing boardroom presentations!
We have a great office at movingcompanyreviews.com and homefinder.com. One of the perks of being in the office is our ultra-modern kitchen, complete with a double-handled beer tap! After a long work week it’s nice to unwind with co-workers over a beer. But what’s going to fill your glass when you pull on that tap handle? Rbot knows, we just have to ask “Rbot what’s on tap?”
Our omnipresent robot friend has been an awesome addition to the MCR team. Rbot keeps us informed and entertained, and he’s always learning new tricks. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know him.