Cody Tuma the founder of OfferForm talks about the beginning of his career in real estate and about his first sale. Cody also talks about how he built his production which led him into building his team. Next, Cody describes the way he establishes rapport with leads which helped him develop a successful business and how he started systematizing his business once it started to grow. Last, Cody discusses how he started OfferForm and how it helps agents write better offers.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Cody Tuma can be reached at (541) 406-5296.
This episode was brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Cody Touma from offer form. Before we get to Cody. Just a couple of quick announcements one. Thanks for listening to our show. Thanks for supporting us. If you want to help us keep growing, we just ask that you do two quick things. Number one, tell another realtor about our show. Think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers and innovators like Cody Touma, send them a link to our website keeping it real pod.com. If they are an avid podcast listener, just have them pull up their podcast app search for keeping it real, hit the subscribe button, we would appreciate it and second, please review our show that really helps us number one, learn what our audience wants and also how we can improve but also helps us with the search engine visibility in the different podcast directories. So if you’re listening to this show on Apple podcasts or iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora wherever. Let us know what you think of the show. Leave us a review. We really appreciate it. But enough about that right? You’re not here to listen to me ask for things you’re here to me to interview our guest. So right now let’s bring on Cody Touma.
Today on the show, we have Katie Tula 541 home sales also premier property in Oregon. And he’s also the founder of offer form.me, which is a revolutionary new way to gather offer information. Obviously super exciting to talk about right now with how challenging it can be for buyer representation to get offers noticed and written especially if you’re doing multiple offers. Anyone who’s working with buyers right now knows that struggle. And also investors tend to know that struggle all the time, because they’re always writing offer after offer. But let me tell you about Cody first. So Cody was raised and born, born and raised, not raised and born born and raised in Bend, Oregon. And he graduated the University of Oregon in 2015. He began his real estate career shortly after, and He’s doubled his production year over year, he started a team hired to admin in the last year, which has really helped him boost production even higher, he discovered another passion in real estate and has ventured into the investment side within the last few years. And his most recent venture is in the software space, which is offer form.me, which is a tool designed to help real estate agents write better, more competitive offers. So I want everybody except for the people that are driving right now to check out offer form.me To learn more, and we’re going to be talking about what offer form does. But I love the fact that we’re not just talking to a tech owner with a with a product or a service for realtors, but also an agent who is a top producer who said I need to build something to help with my own offers. So what to Cody, welcome to the show. We’re super excited to have you.
Cody Tuma 4:30
Thanks, TJ really appreciate you having me on here and excited to talk to you and your audience about kind of my career and kind of how I got started on everything and what what led me ultimately to offer form.
D.J. Paris 4:42
Yeah, let’s let’s start at the beginning. So, you know, and by the way, you know, this is you’ve really accomplished a lot in the I guess we’ll say seven years or so maybe six years that you’ve been been in this business. And now you’re starting, you know, this this tech firm, which I love because I think so many Tools end up being born out of necessity or frustration. And so I’m excited for us to start at the beginning, learn how you grew your business, and then to a point where you’re like, I gotta build my own tool, and oh, yeah, I’ll make it available for other agents to check out. So let’s start at the beginning. So you graduated school? And then did you know immediately that you wanted to be in real estate? Or did it take some time to figure that out?
Cody Tuma 5:21
I had absolutely no idea. Prior to graduating school, I was actually kind of running this online e commerce business. And it was just kind of like this side hustle. And then it just kind of turned into like a business that really wasn’t making much money, but I just liked in it, so I just kept doing it. And then it just kind of fizzled out as I graduated school. And then I was like, well shoot, what am I going to do now? Like, I don’t really want to keep doing that ecommerce thing. And I, you know, I’m probably going to move back to bend where I’m from just because, you know, I got friends and family there, and I’ll go back there, and I’ll figure it out. And I just kind of wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. And I started just kind of looking around and maybe getting a job somewhere at a startup or something. And I talked to a friend of mine who was actually a real estate agent. And she like I kind of like had picked her brain. I was like, you know, hey, look, you know, how’s this real estate thing going? You know, and she pretty much had told me she’s like, Yeah, you know, it’s great. You know, I make about $80,000 a year and I thought to myself, $1,000 You know, that’s, that’s not too bad. That’s not that I could do. Yeah, not bad. And, you know, I was asking her, you know, how’s the freedom is going and you know, you’re your own boss, you got all this flexibility. I was like, you know, maybe maybe I’ll just do real estate until I figure out my next move. And what I want to do next, because I’ve always kind of been drawn towards tech. That’s originally what I went to school for as I thought I was going to go to school and be like this computer programmer. And then I realized I didn’t want to do that. I was actually just going to get into like, the business side of things. So ended up just doing business. And then yeah, so graduating and talking to this agent. So I was like, okay, cool. Well, maybe I’ll try that. So I start taking my real estate license and takes me like, I don’t know, three, four months to do it. I just kind of keep putting it off. And it takes me a while and finally get the license. And then I ended up my brother, he tells me he’s like, hey, you know, I’m getting ready to sell my house, you want to list it? And I was like, nice. Absolutely. I would love to list your house. And so that was my first client with my brother. And I made 10,000 bucks off that commission. And I was like, wow, this is the best job ever. That was crazy.
D.J. Paris 7:24
With with family members waiting for you to
Cody Tuma 7:28
sell their house. And so I do that deal. And then about a month goes by and I don’t have anything in the pipeline. I don’t know how to generate business. I don’t know how to be more brothers, you needed more. I need more family members. And so I was just like, wow, okay, like how do I do this, I don’t really know what to do. And so I actually ended up you know, spending the next like four or five months just like not doing dollar productive activity things. I was like working on my business card. I was working on my website working on just all these things that don’t actually generate business. And so finally, I was like, Okay, I gotta do something different. So I ended up going to I was just like, independent. I didn’t have any sort of mentor I just before I listened to podcast, I literally had no clue what I was doing. And so finally I ended up going to a different brokerage, I was approached by somebody who was at like, this top brokerage, that is from Portland, Oregon, and they’re moving the band and like Cody, you got to be a part of this, you got to listen to this guy, you know, he’s got a huge team in Portland. And so I kind of got inspired by what by what he was doing and kind of like told me how he was doing his business and how he like had started his foundation on online leads and Zillow leads and all that and he’s doing like 80 million a year in production. And it’s like, yeah, come Come work for Premier Property Group. And you know, I’ll kind of take you on my wing and kind of tell you a little bit you know, what I’m doing and, you know, whatnot. So ended up going hanging my license up from your property group and this sky, Stephen Hisar, he just kind of like had inspired me to basically just do things a little bit differently than how I had been doing a little bit more structure. So I started ended up paying for online leads. So I was like, Alright, I’m gonna take all the money I have and dumping into online leads and I think I was spending like three to $4,000 a month on online leads, I was like, I’m going all in let’s see what happens. And then the leads just started just flooding in and one thing that I’ve always pride prided myself in as always being available for my clients and always picking up the phone. And that’s kind of what helped build my success is I get a lead that would come in off of Zillow, and I you know, talk to them listen to what they need go look at a house with them and then I would just stay in that constant communication with them and just always picking up the phone and one deal turned into another and another and like my, my first year you know, I’d only close like a few houses but then the second year, probably Epson started the pickup. And then in the third year, it was like, wow, okay, I’ve really got something rolling here. And I think my third year, I ended up doing 10 million in sales volume, just by myself as a solo agent started, like looking at different, like lead sources started branching out and calling expireds and fizz bows. And then it started to get to a point where I was like, wow, I’ve got, you know, so much going on here, I need to kind of expand this. So then I was like, Okay, how can I expand this, and I had heard, like, heard people like bringing on like, you know, assistants, and transaction coordinators, and I’ve always been of the mindset of, if I can do something, do it myself. And so like, I used to take all my own fists, all my own photos in the beginning, all my own videos like all that, and it would take so much time to take those photos. And those videos, and I started to learn the power of leverage. It’s like, okay, I can spend four hours photographing this house, or I can pay somebody you know, to do that, while I can be, you know, maybe doing some outbound prospecting calls, or whatnot, and have somebody else do that, while while I, you know, work on gathering more business. So, yeah, so I just worked on continuing building the team or building up my production and eventually started a team.
D.J. Paris 11:19
Yeah, a couple things I just wanted to touch on that, that I think are really interesting and important. First, just most immediately, that you were just chatting about, which is leveraging you know, other other people to help you with the parts of your business that, you know, whether you enjoy them or not, maybe you recognize is not the best use of time. And, you know, photographer, I think probably most people don’t take their own, most agents don’t probably take their own photos, because number one, they won’t do as good of a job. As you know, as a professional photographer. However, if you do have that skill set, where you’re taking unbelievable photos, it’s very difficult to then say, well, I want it, I want somebody else to do it, I’m willing to pay a few 100 bucks or, you know, and that was my problem. Well, sure. And that is a legitimate thing. So I think this is a really important conversation that I really would like to have on on a future episode, which is, how do you go from doing everything yourself, which you know, and I’m Cody, in particular, I’m sort of speaking to Cody, but anyone who’s listening understands this, because I struggle with the same sort of thing, which is, I know, when I do when I do certain things, and I’m going to do them better than I suspect, the vast majority of people that I could even hire to do it. And, and it becomes tricky to sort of let go of that, that control because you know, it’s going to be done correctly. But then that again, it’s like, you almost need like a third objective third party to look and go, Hey, that’s great, you like doing that. And that’s fine, except you’re spending, you know, four hours a week on it, or whatever it might be. And, you know, if you gave it to someone else, and maybe if they only did 80% as good a job as you is that good enough, which it might be it might not be, but if it is well, and you pay a little bit for that, boy, you just saved yourself, you know, a whole bunch of time, because you’re probably going to make more than $200 in doing business building activities in those four hours. So I know that struggle, I have it myself with certain parts of what I do. And so I think it’s really important for agents to always be objectively sort of looking at their time, and making sure that, you know, are they engaged because it can feel really exciting and fun, and fulfilling to do creative things that aren’t necessarily business building, like taking photos, videos. I mean, it’s fun, it’s exciting. It’s probably a passion of yours. So I understand. And there’s value in that. And there’s value in doing things that are really rewarding and fun. But then it’s like, okay, well, but I’m spending a lot of time on it, and it doesn’t really generate business. So I understand the struggle. So I applaud you for it has taken me years and years and years to even allow anybody to do any part of my business. Because I’m like, no one else can do it the way I can. And the fact is, that’s simply not true. But also, it just required me to like, you know, let go a little bit. So that that was one thing I wanted to mention. I’m just curious was that struggle for you to really sort of give up some of that control. And
Cody Tuma 14:17
it definitely was, and I feel like it would have been easier if I didn’t possess the skill set to do photos and to do video, if I, if I didn’t know how to do it at all, it would have been so much easier because I would have just hired it out from the beginning. But because I didn’t know how to do those things. I was like, Okay, I’m going to take the time to do it. Right. And all that other stuff. So it made it that much harder, I think.
D.J. Paris 14:38
Yeah, I also want to go back to lead generation. So what I think you’ve done is quite remarkable. And you got you sort of sort of went through this quickly and I want to step back and just slow it down just just for a moment because buying internet leads, you know, it’s such a people have such a intense response, you know, it’s either oh my god, it’s the greatest thing, or doesn’t work, you know, you get people typically on. And I think most people go well, it works for some people, it doesn’t work for me. But to me, and I’m not saying everyone should do internet leads, because I don’t think they’re for everybody, of course, but it is a skill set that can be developed. And what’s remarkable is that, you know, in depending on whether you’re getting exclusive leads, or if they’re sending them to three or four agents that you’re sort of competing with. And they certainly are difficult. But I’m curious on how did you find making those calls? These are people that don’t know, like, or trust you, at least for you know, on the first call, right? They don’t know who you are. Maybe they’re open minded, and you sound like a nice enough person. But did you find what was this? Not that you have to give away your secret sauce, but what did you find is the was sort of the, the way that you got through to some of these, and then we can get into fizz bows and expireds? Because to me, those are those are like jumping into a lion’s den without any clothing. And you’re like, please do not attack me. Yeah, because but but to have success in those people do they absolutely do. So just curious if you had any suggestions for what worked for you, and what works for you for dealing with online leads?
Cody Tuma 16:14
Yeah, for the online leads, I would say the single most important thing you can do above all else is call within seconds. As soon as that lead comes in, you press the call button. I mean, that is even if you’re terrible on the phone, the fact that you are getting back to somebody that quickly like I don’t know how many times I’ve called someone within seconds of them pressing the inquire button, and they’re like, Wow, that was really fast. And like, I think that alone shows people that like wow, this, this agent cares about his business, he’s on top of it, and he’s doing everything he can to make sure that he takes care of his clients. So that was the single most important thing that I did that really differentiated me and helped me stand out from maybe some other agents that work online leads. And then another big thing is when I get that lead on the phone is just, you know, finding some commonalities, finding some common ground, and, you know, building that rapport with that lead. And, you know, the my second biggest thing is, you know, once you know, we’ve kind of had a little bit of conversation is to, you know, if they want to look at a house, you know, even if they’re not pre approved, I didn’t ask them if they’re pre approved, I just want to get in front of these people. And I want to build that relationship with them right away. Because I think like being face to face, it’s easy to tell someone no over the phone, and go work with other people if you just only talk to them on the phone. But if you’ve actually shown looked at houses with this person with this agent, and you’ve taken the time with your client and whatnot, I think it’s a lot easier to build that relationship and someone wants to work with you a lot more if you’re, you know, actually getting face to face with them.
D.J. Paris 17:46
We used to have Zillow, in fact, they’re likely coming back and we’re very excited about that. But we had Zillow on the on our chauffeur for about a year, they’d come on every month and talk about best practices with dealing with their leads. And they said the best thing that anybody can do when they, as soon as the you know, for the live transfer leads, they already sort of pre qualified them a little bit on the phone, and then they pass them through with you know, this phone transfer. And then they would always say, just get the appointment scheduled at whatever they want to go see. Don’t ask them about pre approval, just exactly like you were saying, they want something, give that to them. And then you can always circle back to all the things that you need, and you can always cancel the appointment. That’s also the other thing. It’s like, Hey, by the way, oh, you’re not qualified. You know what, let’s let’s cancel it for now. Let’s get your pre approved and we’re going to rebook it or whatever. Yeah. And then I have one more question because to me, I just I love the courage of calling for sale by owners and expired listings, because and maybe I’ve just exaggerated it in my mind that they’re all just like, Screw you. Are you calling me? But I will tell you a funny story. So this just happened two days ago. So our owner has a property in Las Vegas. It’s a single family home. And they’re in the process of moving back to Chicago anyway, so they’re put there he’s and he’s an agent here in Illinois, not in Las Vegas. So he just for fun decided to put his to see what kind of offers he might get because the real estate market in Las Vegas is nuts right now. He decided to put his home for sale by owner think he has a friend that’s a broker out there. So anyway, he just they put it on as a for sale by owner and I go how many phone calls did you get within 24 hours because you know as as for our listeners, if you’re not aware, you can subscribe to services. There’s lots of them that will send you for sale by owners and expireds every single day. So he got put on the list for the next day for all those services. He said he got 34 phone calls from realtors and the Las Vegas market is particularly goofy so I don’t know that that’s representative of everyone in the country is experienced when they use when they go for sale by owner. But I’m curious what was what what works for you calling expireds and fizz bows which these are people who are either actively probably a little pissed off at their last agent if it expired, or there are people who said I don’t want work with an agent at all anyway, on the Fizbo side, so just curious on how you get through to those people.
Cody Tuma 20:05
Yeah, it’s kind of a similar approach to how I work might with my online leads, I want to sit down with them in person like I, I listened to their frustrations, you know, usually I’ll call them up, and they’ll tell me I’m not listing or, you know, they’re just, they’re just very angry because they had such a poor experience with their last stage. And either the last agent didn’t, you know, fulfill the expectations that were promised or, you know, they just dropped the ball somewhere. They’re very frustrated with real estate agents, but I think the statistic is like 80%, or something of expired listings will relist within like, the next 90 days, or six months or something like that, total. And, and so like, what I want to do is I want to be one of the first agents they talk to, or at least be in the group of agents that they talk to. So I just really work on just like, call them up, and you know, tell them, hey, basically, you know, give them my scale, hey knows, go to five for one home sells and notice your property recently went off off the market. You know, I was wondering, you know, what kind of, can you tell me a little bit about what happened, there is the property still for sale, and then just kind of, you know, just talk to them, and then just do whatever I can to just try and get that appointment and to get face to face with those people. And then when I get face to face with them, and then dive into more of the details, and then they really go on and tell you all their agent, blah, blah, blah, and they just really just lay it on. Yeah, and then I just kind of, you know, come from it from like a value out of you know, how I’m going to be different. And, you know, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And it’s it’s it really is just, you know, having the resilience to just keep making the calls and to keep going on these appointments, because you’re not going to get every single one of them. But, you know, even if you’re you know, you make 100 calls and you get 10 appointments and five listings, you know, it’s five listings, it’s five listings it didn’t have, and in my market, the average price is 700 grand. So, you know, that’s a pretty decent sized commission check. And so,
D.J. Paris 21:56
yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. And you said something that I just want to sort of reiterate, because it’s quite brilliant, actually, what Cody just said, when when he makes the first phone call, you know, he does get really curious. And I suspect almost nobody says the phrase that you used, which is, Hey, I saw your home just, you know, for example, an expired I saw that went off the market, can you tell me what happened? That’s amazing. Because at that point, those people do you have a story to tell? And and like you were saying, usually it’s like, well, our agent wasn’t very good, or they dropped the ball or blah, blah, blah, whatever. They’re gonna want to vent about it a little bit. But just to say, can you tell me what happened is really an unassuming, disarming question, because you’re not saying, hey, I want your business, hey, what’s the deal? You want to work with an agent, but you know, you’re just like, hey, tell me your story. And I mean, that is a brilliant line, I really want to honor you for that. Because I think that sentence in and of itself is huge. So anyone listening, you’re making those kinds of calls, get get the story, and they’re probably way more willing to share that with you than going up and asking them for the listing. Write that in there. That’s really, really brilliant. I love that. So I just wanted to pinpoint that little phrase, because I think 99% of agents wouldn’t think to ask that.
Cody Tuma 23:15
Yeah, right. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And, you know, if I, I just been so busy with everything else, like I, I like a lot of agents, you know, you got to time block it, you got to put it on the calendar, and you got to set a time that you got to dedicate, you know, you’re gonna make your prospecting calls, your expired your physical calls, you know, every single day or Monday through Friday, or whatever, at a dedicated time period. Because honestly, like, when I sit down, and I dedicate, and I make those calls, I get about one to two appointments per hour. I mean, that’s not bad. So it’s incredible. Incredible, it just, it just takes the time, you know, you just gotta you know, just do it. And you
D.J. Paris 23:51
got to keep calling to Right. Like, if you don’t have a person right away, how long will you pursue them before just giving up entirely?
Cody Tuma 23:59
I’ll usually continue to follow up until they tell me not to.
D.J. Paris 24:04
Brilliant. So you probably have people that you have left a lot of messages for. And yeah, and if they’re annoyed by it, well, they’ll tell you or if they’re, they don’t want to hear from you. Again, they’ll tell you or they’ll just keep banking those those calls or messages and go. And this person is really persistent. And some people, some people really are impressed by that level of of attention and persistence. So anyway, I love that. But I know we want to get on to other things. But I just wanted to really honor You just gave our audience a tremendous amount of value, even in just the first half of this. And then I want to talk about you know, you mentioned sort of time blocking and now I want to switch over to systems and of course talk about offer form.me Tell us about you know the importance of systems and then how you came to develop
Cody Tuma 24:50
offer form. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So really where I first started to systematize everything that I do is when I thought about getting an assistant to help me with my production Um, and it was right after I did 10 million I was like, Well, you know, things are really starting to get busy for me, I probably should get a transaction coordinator, my broker’s, you know, hitting me up all the time saying that there’s things wrong on my paperwork, and I don’t have time to go fix it. I’m just like, not a paperwork person, I don’t like doing the admin stuff. I was like, Alright, it’s time to hire someone out, do the tasks that I don’t want to do, and I don’t have time to do anymore. So that’s when I actually looked at getting a virtual assistant. And I had no idea I’ve never had an employee before, I’ve never had a virtual assistant or anything like that. So when I got this virtual assistant, I pretty much was like, I need to systematize everything that I do basically write it down on every single step step that I do. And I used a project management tool called Trello. And I made sure it would list out every single task that I do from when I get a contract accepted, you know, to open up escrow to make sure earnest monies and some confirmations to buyer. I mean, there’s like 30 steps involved with, you know, with these different tasks, depending on what happens. So I basically just lay it out in the entire task list. And I would record videos for this virtual assistant on all of these different steps and all these things to do. And it just was a game changer for my business. Like I pretty much didn’t have to do any admin stuff. Any any paperwork that was all done by my assistant, and it just made my life so much easier. And I was like, wow, okay, this is this is amazing. And then the real estate boom of the last 18 months, it really started to ramp things up. And I’ve been a single agent up until this point, and I was just, I was working with so many different buyers and whatnot. And what I had started to notice is that I was writing up offers, for I have one client that we wrote 25 offers for this poor family. first time homebuyers before they were actually able to get into a house. And it was like the same questions that I was asking them over and over again, it’s like Alright, guys, what do you guys want to do for purchase price? What do you guys want to do for earnest money? Okay, do you guys want to ask for any personal property on this one? Do you want to do the appraisal gap clause? Do you want to waive the inspection? How many days do you want the inspection contingency to be I mean, there’s so many different data points and information that you need to gather when writing up an offer. Like man, you know, there’s, there’s got to be a better way to do this. And so I basically just went and made a basic form online to gather some of the basic information. And it was just like the basic stuff, the spelling of their name, the address and the purchase price, earnest money and closing date, some really basic questions. And I started sending out this form to my buyers, like, Hey, guys, you know, like, based upon what we talked about, please fill this out. And as soon as I get that filled out, I’ll get writing up the offer. And so I would start sending it out to my buyers. And none of my buyers, like said it was weird. None of my buyers complained about it, it was actually like, positively received. And I was like, okay, yeah, this is really, this is really great. And then it’s really helping me systematize the process, because I can send that form out to them. And then I can be showing other houses. And it was it was great. And then a friend of mine, actually my business partner in offer form is longtime friend of mine, he actually had came over to my place, and he’s asked me about my real estate business him and I’d always talked about starting a business together. And I was telling about kind of how I’m gathering up offer information. And he’s like, that is amazing. Like I have had such a poor experience on the buyer side with my realtor getting my information wrong, because we talked on the phone, or it’s just so much back and forth over texting, you know, upwards of an hour, two hours, there’s just so much back and forth. And he’s like, if this would have existed when I was in the buying process, this would have made my life so much easier. And he’s like, we need to take this. And we need to make a business out of this to help other realtors and other consumers with this. And that’s really where offer form was born. So we took that idea of what I was using in my business and really expanded upon it. And now what offer form is and its current Inception is this beautiful form tool that real estate agents can send to their buyers. And on these forums, it’s got all the questions and stuff that I was mentioning the buyers information, contact info, earnest money, personal property, if they want to have an appraisal gap class, all these different things on there. And what’s really cool and what I know as an agent branding is so important. On this offer form. The buyer or the the agents contact information is in the top right hand corner, it’s got their bio and stuff if they if the buyer were to click the agent’s Profile link there shows them their bio and all that information on there and anytime they can click to call their agent if they have questions on the offer form. And then we’ve incorporated so much education into each of these questions that like on earnest money. For example, we have like a 35 to 45 second animated explainer video explaining what earnest money is. I don’t know how many times it’s probably something I’m asked all the time. What earnest money is at And so what’s super cool though, so we know agents are lazy. So we had offer form designed all these templates to be totally out of the box ready to go, you know, you just send it off and it’s got all this education. But for agents that would rather kind of make it more personalized, I can come in there and on these forms like with earnest money for example, when I’m asking the buyer for earnest money, I can go in there, create a video of me explaining earnest money right there on the form. So I’m, you know, it’s my face me explaining it, you know, hey, here in the central Oregon market, we’re seeing about one to 2% of the purchase price for earnest money. It’s a good faith deposit for the seller, here’s how it functions, here’s how you can get it back. And it just was really personalized conversation explainer of what earnest money is. So as your buyers filling out this form, they’re seeing that they’re like, like, wow, you know, Cody is this expert, he really knows what he’s talking about, you know, in regards to real estate, and it’s super cool, too, because it allows the buyers to fill this out on their own terms, because buyers are super busy, everyone’s super busy nowadays. Because staff, normally you’re just texting back and forth, or you’re on this long call, then it’s like, oh, shoot, I forgot to ask them Do they want the washer and dryer. And so it’s like all this back and forth banter with gathering up this information. Whereas with offer form, they can just fill it all out at their own leisure and be able to input that and get it whenever and when agents are out showing houses. They don’t have to, you know, be back and forth texting either, because they can just get that link from their buyer and get all that information.
D.J. Paris 31:26
So this is really solves a number of problems. One being all the back and forth. We’ll call it more casual communication, phone calls texting email, where oftentimes we are working with your clients or by our clients in particular, although sellers as well. There’s just a lot of different channels of communication you have. Oh, wait, did they text me that? Or did they email it to me? Or did they leave it on my voicemail? And you’re just kind of going back and making sure you have the most current? sort of answer for what’s the purchase? What do you want to offer? What what do you want to offer for, you know, the price, the earnest money, let’s make sure we get all the everything spelled correctly. So I think it solves a lot of that. But it also allows the agent to not have to draw something up from scratch each time. And it also gives I think the buyer the sort of a an accountability factor, so that we’re both on the same page. We know the actual right data. So we’re not worried about old data, or did you know I did they left me a voicemail, but I missed it or something? Can you talk a little bit about what the workflow is? So I’m a buyer’s agent, I take a buyer out see a property, they’re like, let’s put an offer in. So how does it work from there?
Cody Tuma 32:41
Yeah, so how how it would work from there is I would go into my dashboard as a realtor and to offer form, let me log into my account. And then I would see that we have templated forms. So we have like a standard buyer offer form, which is like the standard questions a new buyer form, which might have a little bit more education for someone who’s never bought a house before, then we’ve got another template, which is like a competitive buyer’s offer form. So if you know you’re going to be writing this offer in a super competitive market, it’s going to have tips and tricks on how to get your offer more likely accepted with things you could do shortening, contingencies, waiving contingencies, appraisal, gap clauses, escalation clauses, all these things built into that form with the competitive buyer offer form, which in this market, I mean, it’s it’s insane. I mean, there’s some properties in my market, it’s got 20 offers on it. So you’re writing so many offers out for these clients. You know, being able to have a template like that would be, you know, fantastic. I feel like for agents. And so as soon as you select which template you want to send based upon the scenario, you send it off to him, you can either text it to them, or you can email it to them, and then your buyer gets a notification on their phone or on their email or whatever. And they pull up the form. And they see this beautiful form with your, your picture and your contact information. And then the questions that they need to answer with videos and explainer text within that, and then as soon as the buyer fills all that information out, and then you get a notification as the agent, hey, you know, John and Susie just filled out their offer form. Here’s the summary page, and then you can look at that summary page. Make sure all the information looks good, plug that into your state forms. And then you can also use that as a cover letter, or the listing agent that hey, here’s the summary of our terms. And so that way, the listing agent doesn’t have to go through 55 pages of contract and they see what the terms are right there. Are
D.J. Paris 34:32
you shocked at how many agents don’t use a cover letter, especially in a multiple sort of, you know, buyer offer situation, it’s having a summary page if you do nothing else, everyone listening, create a summary page, make it really easy for the other agent to go okay, I get it and then present it to the client. So what you’ve done to is huge because I just want want to make this point I’m sure everyone’s already figuring this out. But one of the things Cody has in his forms is explained trainers, so he has the option to have information about things like earnest money, different contingencies, so that he doesn’t have to. And not that you wouldn’t educate your clients. Of course you would. But isn’t it great to systematize? Things? That same question you get asked over and over and over and over again, hey, I’ve got a little explainer video here that you can access so that you get and if you have more questions, let me know. But I wanted to create this so that you could watch it, understand it at your leisure, that’s in and of itself, a huge time saver. Aside from all the offer, technology that that existed in filling out the form, which is amazing to just the ability to say, here’s how all of this works, is gotta be just amazing. Because your clients then are directed to do their homework and watch the video and learn about it. And then you can discuss things with them. But you’re not having to have that same exact conversation over and over with, with different buyers.
Cody Tuma 35:54
And what’s amazing too, is I feel like I work with a lot of different buyers from all sorts of different backgrounds, first time homebuyers investors, so on and so forth. And this investor client that I’ve worked with, for for many years, were really close friends. And I was talking about offer for him. He’s like, Oh, you know, that’s really cool. And, you know, I was like, you know, talking about like, earnest money and stuff. And they’re like, well, that’s cool. But you know, I wouldn’t really need that. I know what earnest money is. I was like, Okay, well, can you tell me what earnest money is? He was like, yeah, it’s your down payment. And I’m like, it’s not really your down payment. So I like had to like, really, here’s what it is. So I feel like there’s a lot of like people out there that maybe have bought one or two homes, and they just assume they know what earnest money is. And they’re too prideful to ask the realtor what it is. So maybe when they’re filling out this form, they can just click that little 3545 second video and be like, Wow, okay, that’s actually what earnest money is.
D.J. Paris 36:47
Yeah, and that’s a really good point. There are, everyone thinks, Well, my client knows what it is. They haven’t asked me about it, they must know. Or they Googled it or something. And it’s like, well, a lot of times people are just embarrassed. I truly to this day, we have 800 agents, this is this is a real embarrassing revelation. But I don’t practice real estate myself, I have a license, but I don’t use it. So if you were to ask me to really explain the purpose of earnest money, I would be a I would have, I would have trouble because I would go, I don’t even get why it’s necessary doesn’t really seem to matter, at least in Illinois, like you can still get it back. And it doesn’t really seem to do anything except everybody does it. So if a client asked me that I would stroke so I’m in the business. And so the idea have of having things like that where maybe people are a little embarrassed to ask about it or they feel well I’m you know, especially if you’re buying in a higher price point, maybe there’s a bit of like, I’m feel sort of stupid, asking questions, you have the ability for them to get the answers without them feeling embarrassed to ask. And that in and of itself is awesome, too, because you’re servicing the client without putting them in a position where they’re like, um, I know, this is the fourth house I’ve bought, but I don’t really remember what earnest money is, you know, and again, we don’t we wouldn’t think that was embarrassing, but it might be to that person, they might feel embarrassed. So that’s a huge win right there. Because so much of the buying process, even if you’ve done it over and over again, as as a non agent as just, you know, a buyer and a seller. It’s we don’t remember, you know, outside of being realtors, we don’t remember the process unless you’re just you know, constantly doing it. So I love that you have those explainers. I think that is so cute. Tell us about how does offer form work? So do you charge the agent using it? Is there a is it a subscription? Yeah, is it up for use fee? How does it
Cody Tuma 38:30
work the lap glad you asked. So offer form. And what I knew as an agent going into this is I understand that agents are cheap. And agents are being pay our agents are being hit up with MLS dues, lockbox dues, educational dues, website, news overstays. I mean, so many different fees, I was like, I have to design this in a way that can we can give this away for free. And so that’s what we did with offer form is it’s actually a free product, you can use every function within offer, offer form for free, you can create forms, you can customize forms, edit them, put videos and stuff on them, and all that and it has saved me so much time in my business by using this that and in my team. Literally since we started using this on my team, literally no one else wants to go back to using any other way of gathering this data. They just send out the offer form. So it’s really great. And your audience is probably wondering, Okay, that’s great. What’s the catch? And so the catch is we have it’s like a freemium model. So the only difference between our free model and our premium model is we have referral partners built into our steps. So we’re going to have a question that says, Would you like to get a home warranty? Here’s the benefits of getting a home warranty. And if your client says yes, I’d love to get a home warranty. We get paid by a home warranty company that we’ve partnered with, for selling the home warranty. And then we have another question that says would you like to get In a free quote on homeowners insurance, which the lender is going to require this anyways, so it saves your buyer time by not having to track down their agent. And if they do want to, they can compare the quotes. So we’ve got a couple partners that were able to, you know, get a little bit on the back end. But if your client says no, they don’t want to listen to or they don’t want to hear from a warranty company or don’t want to get a insurance quote, then it’s, it’s the same exact tool, it’s totally free and super powerful.
D.J. Paris 40:27
Wow, that’s amazing. And of course, you have to, you know, make money in this business. And that is a perfectly reasonable, I don’t even want to call the trade off, because most agents don’t even offer warranties to their clients anyway. So I think having affiliate relationships and you know, with some of those providers, which are actually providing good services, to those those buyers, is makes all the sense in the world and really uniquely positions offer for them to be that’s that freemium sort of model. And here’s the good news guys. You can go use this right now just go visit offer form.me. An offer form.me and test it out, use it, try it. I absolutely think it’s brilliant. And the fact that it’s free, you know, with with some of these affiliate deals attached to them, I think is still the deal of a century. Every other software provider I know has subscription fees. And I know that you might even have some premium options as well, that that you’re rolling out. But for now, this is this is how it works. It’s Free For All agents to try and use. And again, I just absolutely think it’s such an incredible value. Not just because it’s, you know, cost effective being free. But it’s also just going to save you and your time, and all the time it takes to to build all of these tasks that are not. I mean, technically that I guess they ultimately result in the commission, but they don’t result in business building activities. So I love it. So what’s the best way that somebody can test offer form out?
Cody Tuma 41:59
Yeah, so we are almost ready for people to start testing it, we’re not quite there yet, we have not officially launched yet. We are officially planning on launching this within the next one to three months, just depending on on how quickly we’re pushing our developers hard to get this thing out the door because we’ve got agents beating down our door basically to try this thing out. And people reaching out even from Canada saying, Wow, this sounds amazing. I want to use this here in Canada, and I and all that. But yes, if somebody wants to get on our beta list and get on our list for when we launch, just go to offer form.me, we’ve got a coming soon button there, you just click that, put your information. And as soon as we’re ready to get you to start using the product, we’re going to send you out an email and I can’t wait for to see all the beautiful forms that you guys create. And what’s really cool is we want this to be a huge big community. So you actually have the ability to share these forms with the offer form community with other users with your team. So if you create a really cool form that you think other agents would benefit from, you can share that with the rest of the outperform community or your team.
D.J. Paris 43:03
I love it. Everyone go visit offer forum.me Get on their mailing list, maybe they’ll open up the beta for you. And of course I here at keeping it real, we’re going to be announcing when it officially drops live. I think this is this is a real game changer in the industry. There are other offer companies, but I don’t think they’re you know, offer, you know, beautiful offer templates, sort of companies, but I don’t think anyone’s doing what you’re doing, which I love, which is really eliminating a lot of the busy work that goes into this and also explaining a lot in along the way to the buyer. So everyone go visit offer forum.me Sign up for their Beta adult keep you up to date with emails about when it’s dropping. And we’re big fans, we couldn’t be happier to be able to expose our audience to this. And everyone should be checking it out. So just hang tight for another month or three. And it’ll be dropping live, but get on their Beta list now. Because it might not be free forever as well. So that’s another good point. So go to offer form.me Sign up for their Beta and for their announcements. Cody, thank you so much for being on our show. This was a really fun conversation. I love people who build things and you are somebody who is doing that. I suspect you have other ideas coming. So we will stay in touch and find out how your business is growing and hopefully our community of listeners really takes takes offer form seriously and starts using it as soon as it goes live. Thank you for for being on our show.
Cody Tuma 44:30
Awesome. Thanks TJ really appreciate it and thanks to all your listeners.
D.J. Paris 44:34
All right guys. Thanks we I gotta run and so does Cody so we will see everybody on the next episode please. Two quick things. Please tell a friend about this episode you every single buddy listen to every single person listening knows another agent that is frustrated with working with buyers. Send them a link to this episode so they can learn how to better to write better offers to make sure that the information is accurate and also to educate their buyers along the way. So then the link to the episode and also, please leave us a review whether you’re listening on Apple podcast, formerly iTunes or Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, Google Play wherever. Let us know what you think of the show. Let us leave us a review that helps our visibility helps us grow. And also lets us know what you think about us. So it helps us improve. So thanks on behalf of the audience, we think Cody first time on behalf of Cody and myself. We also think the audience for supporting our show support offer form.me He’s a good guy. This is a great product. And oh yeah, it’s free. How cool is that? All right, Cody. Thanks so much. I’ll see we’ll see everyone on the next episode.
Cody Tuma 45:35
Awesome. Thanks, guys.
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