Hiring a Podio Consultant vs. Buying InvestorFuse

/ 8 min read

“Are you looking to buy a new car completely, or just get some sweet upgrades on your current one?” -Carson Young, Podio Consultant

You have to BUILD Podio!? But…I’m an Investor not a computer nerd!

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about Podio, the drag-and-drop CRM interface that is fully customizable to fit the specific way you do deals.

The problem is, you have to actually build the thing, thinking hard about each piece of your operational puzzle, your team, and then translating that into an “app” structure on the Podio system.

Then, you need to hack away at the myriad of 3rd party automation tools necessary to “bring Podio to life.”

Without these automations, the software is simply a manual repository for data, and it’s not providing the solution you need to capitalize on all of your leads.

If you aren’t tech savvy, or are simply too busy doing deals to do anything technical, you’ve got options. Read on…

Background context

InvestorFuse is lead management software that’s built on top of Podio. You’re currently on our company blog 🙂

It’s a membership to a fully built, integrated, and automated Podio workspace that retains the flexibility of a normal Podio workspace.

Besides a basic call tracking service like Callrail, no other tools are required. The functionality of multiple separate services are all wrapped into the monthly or annual plans of our product, along with a dedicated account manager, support team, and constant updates.

Think software, but built on Podio.

Since the launch of the InvestorFuse product in 2016, there’s been an influx of other investors and Podio ninjas offering to “install” their custom Podio setups for other investors as a one-off, one-time fee setup OR as an ongoing customization service.

Before InvestorFuse, I offered this same consulting service, manually installing Podio apps and integrating separate tools for over 350 investors with the RealAutomation service.

I switched to InvestorFuse in early 2016 in order to build a more scalable solution for the investment community.

Based on this accumulated knowledge, I will present all of this information as factual and will accurately represent the differences between the two options without any bias. If this comes off as inaccurate to any Podio consultants out there, please email info@investorfuse.com and I’ll happily adjust.

Working with Podio consultants is a key part of our infrastructure and presents a very symbiotic relationship to help specific companies.

To get a list of our favorite Podio consultants, send an email to Info@investorfuse.com

For certain investing operations, hiring a professional Podio consultant or business process and systems architect may be a great fit. I will highlight the differences between the services a consultant can provide vs. the InvestorFuse product.

Service vs. Software Product

The key underlying difference between hiring a consultant to build your internal systems vs. signing up for InvestorFuse is the simple premise of buying into a service vs. buying a software product.

Like most consulting models, a service implies paying someone for their time. An offshoot of this is a “Productized Service” which we’ll get to shortly.

A software product implies paying for a standalone entity that evolves and improves over time.

Service: Working with Consultants

In the Podio realm, you can hire specialized consultants to work with you 1-on-1 to setup your Podio workspace just how you like it for your particular business.

They are often individuals or small teams that you can work with in one of two ways:

One-Time Fee Setups: The consultant will manually recreate a standardized setup onto your Podio account and integrate all relevant tools separately.

Although it’s a service, it is often marketed as a product or solution. This is called a “Productized” Service because it’s marketed as if it’s a standalone product so you’ll understand the specific value it can provide.

Hourly Fee: The consultant will charge you hourly for the work required to turn your vision into a working Podio workspace. This is most common for investors needing a highly customized solution for a specific niche process or exit strategy.

Pros:

  • The heavy lifting of thinking about each element of your business and creating apps has been done for you as described in their offering. This saves you the time of having to set everything up yourself. They will typically provide training videos for how to use the new setup and all of the separate tools (Globiflow, Zapier, etc.) running the automations.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated, there’s no ongoing fee directly to the consultant for these one-off setups.
  • Consultants can also build stuff outside of the scope of a software products offering or even a one-off setup…They can build you anything from a rehab workspace to a lease option offer calculation workspace to a Dog-Walking Service app to a private dentists’ internal CRM…There is no restriction to what they can build for you, so long as you pay for it.

Cons:

  • Great Podio consultants will charge anywhere from $150-$250/hour. It’s highly sought-after technical work.
  • For one-time setups, once the service of setting everything up is complete…that’s it. It’s a one-time setup. In most cases, there will be minimal on-going support and training.
  • The workspace will not change unless you manually change the automation, structure, or workflow of what the consultant had manually setup, or you’ll have to be in constant touch with the consultant in order to make these changes.
  • They may bill you hourly for this extra work. Extra features or improvements to the system have to be done manually. Don’t expect a one-off setup from a consultant to just get better automatically without actually asking the consultant to change something or learning to do it yourself.
  • You need to pay for and maintain a separate subscription for every tool the consultant setup for you. This is important to note and is a key difference between service and product. A Podio service will professionally integrate and connect all of your subscriptions into Podio, but you’ll still need to pay for the following services if you want a complete lead management solution:
    • Podio
    • Globiflow (for automating Podio events)
    • An Email System like Mailchimp
    • A Phone System like Callrail
    • Zapier (for connecting tools to Podio)
    • Digital Signature Provider
    • Mail service: Lob or Click2Mail

These are all awesome tools, you’ll just need to be aware that you’ll have to login to these to make changes to the operation of your workspace, or have your consultant do this.

If you go this route, hopefully you have an IT person on your team to act as liaison between you and your consultant, as it will be a fair amount of back and forth communication.

Software Products: Working with InvestorFuse

InvestorFuse is just like the “Productized Service” described above, in that it is marketed as a solution to a specific business problem, which in our case is not losing track of your leads and automating followup.

The key difference: It’s actually standalone software. Let’s break that down into the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • InvestorFuse has our own code that generates a Podio workspace and immediately connects it to all of our behind-the-scenes integrations (texting, emailing, printing/mailing, sly-dialing, digital signature, and all automations happening in Podio)
  • Cost: There’s no setup fee or hourly fees at all, and you can pay a low monthly cost to access the full capabilities of the system and cancel at anytime.
  • You don’t need to pay for or maintain any of the above referenced services
  • It is fulfilled almost instantly, meaning you’ll get access to your workspace typically within 15 minutes of signing up, with all of your default company information already populated in the workspace.
  • Like a regular software product, it will improve and evolve over time. We push out updates and new features frequently to everyone’s workspaces so they can benefit from the innovation of a full-time product development team.
  • Software companies are built to serve a lot of people, so you’ll benefit by having access to on-going support and training. InvestorFuse provides direct account managers for each company on the platform, a full-time liaison to the company.
  • This also means you have access to the full community of other product users who are all actively closing deals and marketing in their respective markets.
  • Fully integrate-able. You can continue to automate on top of InvestorFuse using the Podio API and any other cloud-based tools you use.

Cons:

  • With any new system there is some amount of learning curve and transitioning. InvestorFuse helps this by providing “Concierge Onboarding” where they will connect your lead sources and migrate old leads into the new system + provide personalized team training.
  • Limited, but flexible customization: You can change/customize/add to your InvestorFuse workspace like a normal Podio workspace. However, if you DELETE fields you run the risk of breaking unseen workflows in the background and then losing certain automated functions, which could take a few days to fix through customer support.
  • Anything outside the scope of lead management, the product itself can’t support any additional customized work, but we’ll refer you to a consultant (here’s where they come in handy!) who can help get the job done, whether it’s a completely new workspace for Rehabbing, or an any added layer on top of InvestorFuse.

What Should I Do!?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

It comes back to the quote at the top: “Are you looking to buy a new car completely, or just get some sweet upgrades on your current one?”

If you are very happy with how your current Podio/Globiflow system is working now and just want some added custom features, then you may be better off hiring a Podio expert to do these custom projects for you.

If you find that your current lead management system (whether you’re on Podio or any other platform) is totally unorganized and not automated, or you feel it’s not utilizing all the cool technology you know you need, a product like InvestorFuse is your best bet.

Remember, we’re talking about Lead Management here, which is the common denominator to ALL real estate investing exit strategies.

Leads In> Deals Out

Get your lead management system in place, and as long as you feed it with leads, you’ll have a much higher close rate and life will be much better. This is what InvestorFuse specializes in.

For anything OUTSIDE of the scope of lead management, like different exit strategies or other business models, hire a consultant to help you get a rockin’ system set up!

If you feel more connection to the possibilities of a totally customized system (and can afford it) then hiring a consultant is your best move.

That’s why we love what Podio can provide. It’s the train tracks of execution to the fulfillment of your company’s day-to-day revenue generating activities.

You can either pay for a service to help you build those train tracks from scratch, or buy a set of train tracks that’s ready to go with minimal friction and cost. It’s up to you!

The Best Consultants

We’ve worked with a handful of rockstar consultants that are easy to work with and highly specialized in Podio, real estate, and business system architecture. Fill in your email below and

To get a list of our favorite Podio consultants, send an email to Info@investorfuse.com and we’ll send you a list of some of our trusted favorites.

Cheers to your success!