Today we are announcing a major milestone in our company’s evolution…..but before I make the announcement I want to share a short story about how we got to where we are today.
A Bit of Background
It’s kind of cliche, but when Tom and I started FUB back in 2011 we were just two humble seat of the pants bootstrappers. Actually, our first design for Follow Up Boss was a predesigned CRM theme we bought off of Themeforest for $14.
The first features for Follow Up Boss were inspired from the best place….. purity of intent derived from several, in-depth conversations with a number of agents who were kind enough to spend time with me. They shared what they loved, and hated, and the challenges they faced trying to build and operate a successful real estate company.
I still remember the conversations with Tyler Morton, our very first customer ever, who is still a customer of ours today (we LOVE you Tyler!). Tyler told me about how he couldn’t even watch a movie with his kids in peace because he was constantly having to check his phone to manually forward leads to his agents.
After hearing this story, and the pain in his voice, and finding out there were lots of other agents with this same challenge we got to work.
Over time we gained the support of industry leaders like Chris and Jimmy from Curaytor, Morgan from REW, Dan from Happy Grasshopper, Leif from Zillow, among a host of others who saw our potential and were willing to take a chance and align with us. We’ve received so much support from our customers along the way shouting our name from the stage at conferences, posting about us all over social media and even telling the person next to you at local events.
Our insights come from spending time with our customers, learning from their challenges and using our team’s amazing technical chops to build elegant solutions to these problems through technology…..and that’s what has led us to where we are today and our announcement of the full roll out of Follow Up Boss 2.
FUB2 is a ground up rebuild of all the workflows in our original product, taking everything we learned over 5 years building software for agents, with advanced new infrastructure that will allow us to rapidly accelerate feature deployment and access a whole list of new features that just simply weren’t possible in the original system.
And when I say ground up rebuild, I mean it. We started with a blank slate that would allow us to imagine the future without the constraints of our current product. And we started from the very first line of code. You’ll notice many things are the same, because they still work exceptionally well, but now are more streamlined and much easier to access.
Needless to say developing FUB 2 while supporting an existing product was far from easy. Our team was torn between trying to tweak and add features to FUB Classic, and move faster to get FUB2 ready for primetime.
Change is never easy and you always get some resistance when doing a major relaunch. There was no surprise that some clients accustomed to the old FUB were skeptical at first but we helped them along way, staying the course and doing what we knew in our hearts was right to make things better for all our current and future clients.
Benefits of making the switch
Now you can reply directly to an incoming email from one of your contacts right inside of Follow Up Boss rather than having to switch back to your phone or regular email program
And you can also now send email attachments from right inside of FUB
For more even more power from the emails you send, now you can know the exact moment someone opens or clicks any of the emails you send through FUB through a desktop notification and also by reviewing their profile. Check out the video below to learn more about how it works:
We also now have a full reporting screen that shows you which of your drip emails sent through action plans is getting the most opens, clicks and most importantly, responses!
We also released a new ‘Inbox’ feature which gives you a central spot to review and respond to any texts or emails that have come in from your sales leads and clients. That way, instead of having to deal with all the marketing emails and bills you have in your regular inbox, you can come into Follow Up Boss and focus exclusively on getting timely responses back to your leads and contacts (also available in the iPhone app)
We also integrated texting into the heart of the desktop and mobile app interfaces so it’s easy to start and continue conversations with leads via text and have everything be properly tracked and logged.
We also created a built-in calling feature (optional paid add-on) which includes click to call, recording, incoming calls, voicemails, etc. Click here to get more details on what’s included.
This might be one of our biggest updates since it was one of the most valuable tools in FUB classic.
For starters, as you can see in some of these images, the screens in FUB 2 now update in real time which means you never have to refresh your screen to see a new lead that has come into your smart list.
We also made it so you can easily add and remove filters right on the list (instead of having to go back to a smart list settings screen). That way you can apply additional filters to your lists on the fly without having to actually change the smart lists settings so that it will revert back to the original when you’re finished.
A big challenge for people with the original smart lists was that you could only see a limited set of information about the lead from the list view and had to click to see the lead to get the information you wanted. Now, with the adjustable columns, you can choose to show any and all information about the lead at the top level so it’s less clicks to get what you want and need.
Besides these core updates, we’ve now given you a lot more ordering and sorting options so you can actually sort your call list by many different criteria besides when they were created. Further, we’ve made it possible to get even more precise when creating your smart lists opening up lots more options around recent communications, website activity and more!
Click here if you want more details on how we’ve completely overhauled our search feature to be faster and more flexible, but the highlights are that it’s now lightning fast, and can actually help find contacts even if you misspell their names with typo detection! This also allows you to more easily search tags, action plans and email templates as well.
A big challenge before was that you had to create each new action plan from scratch, even if it was to be similar to an existing one. Now with a single click you can duplicate and edit an action plan:
Further, now for each contact that has either had an action plan or is on one now, you can see everything that was already sent or assigned and also all upcoming triggers in the action plan:
With this new app we’ve also dramatically improved stability so you’ll see way less crashes (and hopefully none at all!) especially for those of you with large databases.
Just like I mentioned before, you can access most of these core communications features from our new iPhone app as well so you can stay efficient and integrated even when you’re out in the field:
And now you can also see a full email, phone and text message communication history with each contact from the mobile app as well:
How to get started with new version
If you want to see how it all comes together, we’ve got an 11 minute demo overview below:
And I’m personally running regular live webinars to help clients upgrade and transition to FUB2. Click here to register for one of those.
We haven’t moved every single feature you’re used to into the new version yet, so if you want a list of what’s still to come, click here to check out the article on it.
What’s happening to ‘FUB Classic’?
Now the next question many people will ask is “Ok so what’s happening to classic?’
Not to worry, we’re committed to supporting FUB classic until you see so much benefit in moving to FUB2 you’re ready to make it happen. We’ll never force you to change over. What we do have to do is focus all our efforts on new feature development on FUB2. So while classic will continue to work, and we’ll fix bugs as they come up, you won’t see any new features added to that version.
And as always, my team and I are personally here for you. We’re excited to hear your feedback, challenges, and wins with the new system, so we can continue investing in your success so we can all move forward together.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Follow Up Boss