Real Estate Technology Case Study: Utah Life Real Estate Group
September 20, 2023
Growing Teams, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, MarketingDownload pdf
Simplicity in Technology Drives Utah Life Real Estate Groups’ Success
Learn how the No. 1 team in the state of Utah is on track to close more than 750 units this year after simplifying their tech stack that starts with Sierra Interactive’s high-converting IDX website and easy-to-use CRM.
A streamlined technology solution that works as a team member.
Spring Bengtzen, CEO and Owner of the Utah Life Real Estate Group, and her team had been using a real estate CRM platform for more than 10 years when she decided to make the switch to Sierra Interactive’s IDX website and CRM platform two years ago. Switching technology systems is always a multi-faceted decision, but the big motivation for the move for Bengtzen was pretty simple, literally: she wanted to simplify things. This move has helped put her team on pace to close more than 750 units in 2023, despite a challenging market, and the team has grown from 32 agents to 91 in a year and a half.
Aside from the Google Suite of tools, Bengtzen’s team was already using Sisu, a best-in-class real estate team operating system, but they needed a high-converting IDX website with a platform into which leads from all sources could flow, be followed up with and, ultimately, be converted into customers. And they needed that platform to be seamlessly integrated with Sisu.
Enter Sierra Interactive.
“I chose to go with Sierra because I didn’t want to have to have multiple tech platforms,” Bengtzen explained. “I didn’t want an IDX feed that then flowed into a different CRM. I wanted a one stop shop because I don’t believe that we need some crazy, over-technical system [to run our business].”
Creating a one-stop shop would also help Bengtzen reduce expenses from an operational standpoint and reduce overwhelm from a training and onboarding perspective. That’s important for a real estate team that recruits several new agents every month.
Utah Life, the no. 1 real estate team in Utah, had 20 years’ worth of leads, which is no small feat to migrate into another database. But Bengtzen pushed ahead with the decision because she believed Sierra had a better fit product for her team and how they do business which would enable them to convert more leads, operationalize processes faster and scale the team. Bengtzen identified several reasons why Sierra was the best fit.
The first is that they needed a platform that could handle their internet-forward way of generating leads. The Utah Life Real Estate Group runs an interdependent lead gen model which relies heavily on the digital space, specifically Google PPC that they run through Sierra’s ad management services. They’re also a Zillow Flex team and get leads from Ojo, OpCity and Realty.com. Through a variety of direct APIs and email lead parsing, Sierra enables the team to bring all their lead sources into one place.
“Everything goes into Sierra,” said Bengtzen. “From there we decide if the lead goes into lead flow or [is handled another way].”
They also expect their agents to prospect to build their database along with working their sphere of influence and doing open houses among other activities. Sierra enables the team to automate and track most of the outreach to build efficiency, effectiveness and transparency in their prospecting efforts.
Another reason to make the switch for Bengtzen’s team was the lead pond functionality which allowed them to create ponds based on different criteria such as lead source or desired outcome. For example, Google PPC leads go to a pond and go to agents based on who is eligible for more lead flow or who needs additional sources to work. Another pond is for rent-to-own leads because those are different conversations from typical buyer/seller lead conversations. Lead ponds also allow the team to set different rules for each pond on who is assigned leads from it and how many leads each agent can get.
“I love Sierra’s lead ponds,” said Bengtzen. “Having the capability to have different lead ponds was a game changer for us.”
Within the first two days of onboarding, new agents to Utah Life are given access to a pond where they can go fishing. This has a two-fold benefit giving the agent access to leads early on and team leaders transparency into how the agent is working the leads and whether they are meeting expectations on call, text and email frequency as well as how comfortable they are at initiating conversations with leads. Sierra’s CRM has a fully embedded dialer with call and text (SMS and MMS) capabilities both on a 1:1 basis or in bulk as well as email tools. All activities are recorded in the CRM, including calls where allowed, so team leaders have full visibility into the type, frequency and quality of communication from their agents.
Another reason Bengtzen chose Sierra for her real estate CRM is, at the time, they were relying heavily on an Inside Sales Agent department, and Sierra has the capability to have multiple people assigned to a lead. So, in this case, a lead could be assigned to both an ISA and an agent.
The final, and perhaps most powerful reason, is ease of use. It’s no secret that if a tool is hard to use, it probably won’t get used much or be used the right way, so having a platform that’s user-friendly is critical, especially for a scaling real estate team.
“I have to have something the agents know how to use and can use it easily,” said Bengtzen. “Not only does it need to be simple for the agents, but it also has to be simple for us as business owners, too.”
Aside from Sierra’s dialer and activity tracking, Bengtzen and her team noted several other features that were deceptively simple yet powerful. For example, Sierra CRM’s Smart Filters help to quickly identify leads that need attention and create visibility into what agents are doing in the database. Flexible lead routing rules can route leads based on agent availability, round robin and other criteria so leads “should never slip through the cracks,” Bengtzen explained. Additionally, the saved property search functionality using data from the MLS baked right in the CRM creates transparency around what the consumer is doing.
Bengtzen has used Sierra and Sisu, along with great systems and coaching, to build the top-producing real estate team in the state of Utah, something she’s incredibly proud of. But, the work isn’t done. After 20 years in business, nearly 70% of leads coming in right now are already in their database. To Bengtzen, that means the team has to do a better job creating value so that her team is top of mind with past clients and their sphere of influence. Their plan in the next quarter is to create more high-quality content and touchpoints with past clients and their SOI, and they plan to leverage Sierra to help them do it through action plans, automations and drip campaigns.
Of course, the most critical piece is having all these features in one streamlined lead conversion platform. Pairing this with Sisu for measuring agent performance, transaction management and other backend operations is a powerful combination. It’s worked well for The Utah Life Real Estate Group as they hone in on that 750-unit goal in 2023.
“Everything in one system. That is the key. Sierra and Sisu and that’s all you have to learn and all you have to know to be successful,” Bengtzen said. “If it doesn’t exist in Sisu or Sierra, it doesn’t exist in our world.”
|November 2021||August 2023|
|Number of Agents||32||91|
|Number of Transactions||576||750+|
|Number of Leads||–||30,764 new leads generated|
Sierra Interactive develops residential real estate software and services for agents, teams and brokers in the U.S. and Canada. Sierra’s proven lead generation and management solutions are trusted by top-performing teams and influential coaches in the real estate industry. Founded in 2007, Sierra is headquartered in Louisville, KY, but has a remote-first workforce across the U.S.