Jason Mitchell runs the number one brokerage in the state of Arizona.
He started in real estate about 16 years ago. After graduating from Central Michigan University he started his career with a new construction builder and worked there for several years, and then went out on his own when he was 25 to start building his own real estate team.
Today the Jason Mitchell Group has about 50 agents on their team in all of the markets that they serve. They also partner with a brokerage called My Home Group and they have a network of about 2,000 agents.
Jason really entered real estate right as online leads began to change the landscape for how agents are connected with home buyers and sellers. We sat down with Jason to get his opinions on how the industry has changed over the years and how Opcity's helped his brokerage with the transition.
How have you seen the technology landscape change, specifically as it pertains to online leads, over the past 16 years.
Technology has changed A LOT. It's critical that brokers understand where their leads are coming from and the ROI they receive from each lead source.
Speed to lead is the number one factor for working online leads; being quick to capture and quick to get consumers on the phone is critically important to online lead conversion.
There's a lot of this going on right now, and a lot of competition in the marketplace, and if a broker doesn't know their contact ratio, closing ratios, and where their lead flow is coming from, they need to get the technology in place to do so. Otherwise, they're driving blind and they can't afford do that anymore.
Technology becomes so critically important, not only with generating leads, but on how they are distributed and how agents are able to connect with them, as well as follow and track these leads. You've got to have the whole package these days.
Is that why you chose to sign up for Opcity?
I wanted to get to a place where we weren't managing a dialing team like we were in the past. We were utilizing dialers, but for us, it made more sense to outsource, for a lot of reasons.
So we signed up for Opcity originally to have an outsourced team of ISAs helping us with online lead conversion.
However, as we get deeper with Opcity, we start to see the whole piece of the puzzle. It's not just about utilizing a company for it's dialing team, it's opportunity for more leads. If you're doing well with Opcity, and you're on the system, you'll have even more opportunities with leads, both Opcity generated leads and the referrals that we send over for Opcity to call and screen.
We know that 24/7 these leads are being called, texted, and distributed. From the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed, if a lead comes in, it's being contacted right away. We can't manage that, nor do we want to manage that, so having somebody like Opcity has been amazing.
The nice thing for me and my internal operations team, is that we get full visibility into everything. That is so important to me because every time a lead gets distributed, I know who it goes to and I know that referral fee that's being paid on it.
Then I can go into the backend of Opcity's admin portal and see what's going on. My team and I can manage our agents' activity through Opcity, whether that's to open them up to new markets or pull them from an existing market. We have to manage what our agents are doing as well.
So as we get deeper into Opcity, there are just so many benefits, I don't know why somebody wouldn't use Opcity. It's been amazing.
How was getting started with Opcity? Did you find it easy to get started and ramp up?
We did! In fact, that technology piece was awesome. You just plug in a name and an email address, and the agent can go through the on-boarding process. Opcity provides a lot of training material and made it easy for our agents to get started.
It's super simple, and once our agents logged in we could go in and set their parameters. And that goes back to having the autonomy to add whoever we want to add, so long as they meet Opcity's criteria.
And now that you have been on the platform for several months, what is your favorite part about Opcity?
My favorite part about sending our leads to Opcity to screen and connect back to our agents is the consistency of the dials. I don't have anyone on overhead, and I'm paying a company that specializes in making these calls every single day, and are accountable to making those calls every single day. Having a trusted team that knows what they are doing is so valuable.
The second part that I love is the distribution. I love the technology. It's amazing to me, the technology that Opcity has. You can literally be on the phone with somebody, and the system will tell you what agent it's going to go to, who meets that specific criteria that the client is looking for, and it reads all of that information, and the distribution happens at the click of a button. It's insane.
Do you feel like the leads you get from Opcity are more qualified than other lead sources you work with?
Definitely! And we have the ability to listen to calls too, and one of things I appreciate about Opcity is that they live by their word when they say they're not going to send you over somebody that says "no", or somebody that says "possibly". It's, we're sending people that are ready to go and ready to talk to you and want to discuss the option of purchasing or selling real estate.
How does Opcity help you retain the agents at your brokerage?
Well, it saves a tremendous amount of time.
A lot of real estate teams tell agents, "Join my real estate team, we'll give you leads." And then when agents join the team, they're getting leads that close as a 1-2% conversion rate, but the agents are the ones dialing, and they're the ones showing the home, and they're the ones managing the pipeline, and you can't operate like that. It's not efficient and it doesn't work.
The attrition rates will be off the charts. Agents will leave your brokerage if that's the model.
For us, we never want to give our agents leads that don't have an opportunity of closing. We don't want to retrain people if we lose people, but the reason we don't lose people is because we don't allow them to get bogged down with making phone calls to leads that are not going to close.
We give our agents leads that are truly closeable, and for us, that's where Opcity really comes into play.
When Opcity is transferring leads, our agents are ready to pick up the phone because they know they have a viable client that can close on the other end of the line.
After an agent has made 200 phone calls and hasn't gotten one person in the car, they're not going to want to work leads from that source because it just takes so much time, and that lead source ends up becoming a deterrent for agents (what we at Opcity call lead fatigue).
So, with Opcity, instead of having a specific lead provider as a deterrent, they now have become our biggest asset, because every time our agents' phone rings and they see it's this lead source, they want to pick up the call because they know there's quality on the other line.
Have you received any other feedback from your agents about Opcity?
Our agents love it.
The timing aspect is great. Like I mentioned before, speed to lead is critical. Our entire team is on the Opcity platform, and whoever is available when a lead comes in can grab it, which is great. It allows us the opportunity to connect that lead with whatever agent that we choose to work that specific market.
Everybody gets their fair shake at it. And at the end of the day, the cards will fall how they will, and we track and manage our agents' performance on the backend.
Our agents have great feedback so far.
Have you used any of Opcity's lender or settlement partners?
We do! We actually got our preferred settlement partner to sign up for Opcity because we were so impressed.
They love it because it pairs us with them. So, anytime that a referral is distributed to our team, they are automatically marked as the title company on the account.
Thanks to Opcity we now have an even better relationship with them.
Has the Opcity broker tool helped you with insights and accountability into the team?
100%, our communications director handles the day-to-day operations, and managing people and lead flow.
What's really nice is the sources tool that Opcity provides. So if we're getting close to a closing, we can look in the Opcity system and see which lead source it came from, and if it was a lead that we provided to Opcity to screen, or if it's a lead we got from Opcity.
The insights from Opcity help us to understand if we need to add an area of coverage, or increase or decrease our purchase price limits to try and get more volume.
And so, what's really great about Opcity, is they really allow you the autonomy to select what is best for your team.
Not having someone micromanaging you and your leads—which you find a lot in the marketplace—
A lot of lead providers don't understand your workflow, and how you've become successful internally. And with Opcity, it's amazing, they allow us the autonomy to pick the agents we want to work the leads and put our own criteria in there.
And Opcity trusts that we're doing the right thing because it's for the better of both of us. And I love that.
I love the freedom and flexibility to be able to manage my team and still have a trusted partner know that we're doing the right thing.
Have you altered your spend based on the data you've seen in the lead sources tool?
Yeah I have. In fact, the lead providers from confirmed sources, we've upped our spend on there to allow ourselves the opportunity to give Opcity more leads to call, and in exchange for that, we also get an opportunity to have more leads that Opcity generates.
So the handshake in that is perfect. I'm going to go out of my way, spend more money, because I trust you, and Opcity's going to go out of their way, and spend more money because they trust me. It's the perfect marriage.
What would you tell other brokerages who are thinking of signing up for Opcity?
Don't set yourself up for failure. Opcity shouldn't be a place where you say, "Hey, make all my calls for me and send me leads when I'm ready."
It should be something you take very seriously.
You can truly scale your business with Opcity, but you have to be ready for it too. Because Opcity lives up to their word. They will make the calls, they will transfer leads to you.
But it's not for the agents that say, "Well, I'm an independent agent and I want to work when I want to work."
Well then maybe Opcity's not for you.
But if you have drive, and you're determined to succeed in real estate and you want to take your business to the next level than Opcity's probably the best fit you'll find in the marketplace.