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3 min read

How Reali unlocks invaluable customer data with Zapier

By Hannah Herman · April 18, 2022
Reali's head of growth, Lyndon Wong, at his desk

If you're going to buy a home, you have to move quickly. But all too often, there are barriers to moving fast—like waiting to sell your current house. No one knows that better than Reali, a real estate startup that makes it easy to buy and sell a home at the same time by providing cash up front to buyers. 

To help its customers keep up with a fast-changing real estate market, Reali needs to move even faster. "It's important to be agile and fast on your feet," says the company's head of growth, Lyndon Wong. 

The need for speed has only increased as the company has grown. Currently, Reali operates loans in 15 states and real estate in California—with a couple of hundred employees spread across three continents—and it hopes to expand its real estate business to other states soon. 

To keep growing quickly, Lyndon knew that the Reali team would have to rely on technology—especially no-code automation—to unlock the key customer data that real estate agents need to find and sell homes.

Launching a digital native business

Like many real estate businesses, Reali's marketing tech stack is the engine driving its growth. Everyone in the company needs to be empowered to work with the tools in that stack—both as individual apps and as automated workflows tied together by Zapier. 

"To me, it's actually a red flag if someone hasn't heard of Zapier," Lyndon says with a chuckle. 

While there are many automation tools on the market, he notes, Zapier offers a solution that's both powerful and usable by the average person.

"The problem isn't a lack of tools. It's whether your team can use them," he explains. "That's the biggest barrier to moving in a fast, agile, and iterative way. And no-code and low-code tools like Zapier bring those capabilities to more and more people."

For example, the cornerstone of Reali's marketing stack is Segment, a customer data platform (CDP). Segment readily makes customer data available to the entire marketing tech stack. But unless you know how to code, it can be challenging to get data from all relevant apps and systems into Segment. 

That's where Zapier becomes invaluable. 

"I can use Zapier's webhooks tool to connect almost any app with Segment, " Lyndon explains. 

Through webhooks, Zapier gets a wealth of customer data flowing to Segment, making it available to all Reali employees and at other touchpoints in the customer journey. 

A seamless open house experience

One good example of how Reali uses customer data is their open house guestbook experience, which is completely customized yet no-code.

Agents can spin up a dynamically personalized Instapage landing page for each open house they host. This landing page functions as a digital guestbook. When guests arrive, they simply scan a QR code and are taken directly to the guestbook page, where they enter their contact information and real estate interests. 

From there, Zapier springs to action. Several Zaps notify the host agent of new arrivals via SMS, create or update leads in the CRM, trigger marketing workflows, and alert a centralized sales team via Slack.

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For agents and guests alike, the result is a smooth and enjoyable open house experience that's more likely to result in a transaction.

“Agents are more responsive because of the automated workflows powered by Zapier,” Lyndon explains. “They can connect more readily with all visitors during an open house, and follow-up more consistently afterward thanks to automated lead nurturing and alerts. 

Without Zapier, Lyndon says, Reali couldn't deliver such a seamless open house experience. "The business logic that ties all of these workflows together is done in Zapier," he notes. "It's the glue."

And Zapier gives his team the flexibility they need to build workflows that meet Reali's unique needs. 

"The standalone guestbook tools that exist aren't customizable enough for our needs," he notes. "They don't connect as well with our CRM or other apps." With Zapier, all of Reali's tools work in harmony. 

Keeping up and pushing ahead

For Lyndon, the real benefit of Zapier is being able to move fast, without burdening engineering teams.

"With Zapier, you can develop and iterate on a process multiple times in a week, or even a day,” he says. That’s dramatically faster than asking a software engineering team to update and push code changes.”

As for quantifying the difference Zapier has made for Reali? Lyndon says it's almost impossible.

"It's like asking what the ROI of a word processor is. I can't even imagine a world without it."

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'