Launching Off Podio: Why This Will Impact Your REI Business

Written by:

Dan Schwartz

May 11, 2018

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. -Albert Einstein

A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, like the game Mouse Trap, where one event triggers a bedazzling series of complicated mechanical actions to perform a simple outcome… like filling a bucket of water:

While these are highly entertaining and fun to build, I’d rather just stick a hose in a bucket and call it a day.

In the case of real estate investors: That bucket of contained water is predictable deal flow…an automated, easy to execute, team-driven sales pipeline for thousands of leads so you can buy/flip a ton of houses.

Real estate investors who are serious about their business are hustling for opportunities to buy houses, often spending thousands of dollars generating leads.

Would you rather these expensive leads go through a Rube Goldberg machine, assuming the risk of any piece breaking and that deal getting jammed up…

Or would you rather they go straight into the (hopefully not leaky) bucket, for your team to easily drink up those deals…

If you feel like your current business systems are like that crazy machine, and if you’re expecting different results with your current system…it’s time for a new approach.

A Better Mouse Trap

In case you haven’t heard, in a few weeks we are re-launching our platform OFF of the Podio CRM interface, onto our own standalone system:

InvestorFuse 2.0: The leak-proof, easy to use, impossible-to-mess up bucket…without the Rube Goldberg machine complexity.

If you just started on Podio and this news frustrates you because you don’t want to switch again…no worries.

Your knowledge of how Podio works will only serve you well when you go to switch, minimizing the learning curve and giving you a leg-up on everyone else. Plus, we (InvestorFuse support team) will do all the lead migration for you so you won’t need to lift a finger.

Also, the pricing will not change…so basically nothing needs to change if you don’t want it to!

But if you’re expecting different results with your current system…you’d be crazy not to switch to something that’s better, easier, and faster to use.

Be sure to register for our First Look presentation on May 24th at

Now…let’s dive in to discuss how your current lead management may be your biggest biggest bottleneck, why we decided to build our own platform, and how this will directly impact your business.

The Podio Revolution

We love Podio, it’s helped a lot of us investors get our acts together over the last few years.

It’s allowed us to scale our InvestorFuse organization into a platform now serving well over 500 companies.

In April alone, these companies got under contract a combined total of 780 deals. Pretty solid!

The system works, and the automated follow up sequences alone have generated a lot of wealth for our users.

It’s important to understand what Podio is actually built to do: Project Management

This is even documented as the first use case on their website. It is a project management tool for general businesses (mainly agencies across various sectors).

So it’s not intended as a lead management platform for scaling real estate investors, which explains why it looks and feels a little “wonky” or clumsy to newer users.

The reason the Podio for REI early adopters clung to Podio as the go-to system back in 2013 is because it is “customizable.” This boils down to:

  1. You can edit field names and field types (text, email, phone number field types etc…so you can make your own ‘Seller Lead Sheet’)
  2. You can create “if THIS happens then THAT will trigger” automations (if I click on “under contract”, it creates a new record in my “transactions” section)
  3. You can integrate with other tools like call tracking, property data, and even email/texting services.

This flexibility spawned a whole breed of Podio for REI “MacGyvers” (including myself) that now had the ability to create a system to do deals without falling into the constraints of standalone REI platforms.

REI for Podio MacGyver

You Can’t Stop Innovation

Why did the MacGyvers want to build their own lead tracking systems on Podio in the first place?

Well, it’s because existing standalone REI platforms didn’t cut it…and Podio’s a free platform.

Other CRMs (Customer Relationship Managers) are typically built for newer investors that need a generalized tool that does a little of everything: Generates public leads, gives you a basic website, does your comps, predicts your rehab budget, washes your dog…as a result, these programs aren’t exceptional at any ONE thing.

Masters of none.

As seen in this chart, most existing systems don’t focus on eliminating the breaking points in investor pipelines, which are these administrative bottlenecks that get in the way of your signed contracts:

Us Podio MacGyvers went in to build a tool that would ACTUALLY help investors accomplish this, freeing up time, doing less admin, staying more organized, getting more out of your leads…. by focusing on removing these bottlenecks in your pipeline.

This would yield more water (deals) in your Rube Goldberg bucket.

The only problem is…when built with Podio, it’s still a Rube Goldberg machine.

It’s a jerry-rigged lead management system on top of a project management tool. Square peg in a round hole. It’s like using a kitchen oven to dry your clothes.


Even the best REI for Podio setups that have been jerry-rigged with all the bells and whistles (InvestorFuse for Podio being the most used, most tested and tweaked, and best supported of them all) STILL requires technical experience and training to navigate around.

It’s not intuitive for investors, as the foundational Podio interface is NOT specifically designed with us in mind. Again, it’s best used by agencies to track the execution of a few dozen projects or customer records at a time.

On Podio, we’ve had to create a Rube Goldberg machine behind the scenes to get it to do useful, time-freeing tasks like automatic followup sequences, inbound/outbound texting and emailing, automatically assigned task workflows to your team, text/email blasting, communication logs, property data feeds etc…

This system has made people a ton of money and is a brilliant platform…which is why we love Podio. In a bit, we will share what we believe are the BEST use cases for Podio moving forward for you as an investor outside of managing your leads.

InvestorFuse for Podio makes it easy to get up and running on Podio as it doesn’t require technical wizardry, and yet we still get a lot of these types of complaints:

^ Notice it’s always about the interface/wonky functionality…which frustratingly is out of our control until now. Other common Podio complaints:

  • Redundant, non-important notifications bombarding you, limited way to control them
  • Bigger learning curve, an interface that requires a lot of thinking to navigate around
  • Complete system outages! For multiple hours blocking leads coming into your system (3rd party dependency)
  • Lack of user access controls (restricting or limiting certain features for different users across your company, VAs deleting things and accessing things they shouldn’t)
  • Multiple screen interface requires clicking into several different screens/apps to accomplish one thing.
  • Mobile app has limited functionality and hard to use (many many clicks)

InvestorFuse 2.0

A little under 2 years ago, we decided to re-invest all of our profit into building our own platform, the ultimate SIMPLE REI pipeline automation system, and recruited a world class team of developers out of Orlando to get the job done.

They did not cut any corners…so it took a long time (and a lot of money) to build Version 1, and frankly we’re all shocked we kept it under wraps for so long despite the constant complaints about the above issues we’ve faced.

We figured out how to make handling leads just plain EASY. No thinking. No fumbling around. Simplicity.

It’s the best aspects of Podio, the things that are necessary to save time, and built the bucket of water…without the Rube Goldberg complexities.

No more jerry rigging/Macgyvering= less time on the computer = more time talking to people doing deals and living life.

We want our members spending less time on the computer.

Sign up for our First Look presentation on May 24th to see this new platform in action, and get first shot at using it as soon as mid-late June!

Here are a few key things we’ve figured out in InvestorFuse 2.0:

  • One-Page, Minimal, Intuitive Interface
  • Focus Mode (No more clutter)
  • Free Texting 🙂
  • Pipeline visibility and metrics
  • Mobile Experience>No App Needed
  • Conversationally intuitive task completion
  • Controllable notifications
  • Round robin your leads across your team
  • Advanced lead routing options
  • Easy User Settings (Restrict user access)
  • Clean Followup Sequence editors
  • Easy to adjust automation preferences
  • Over 60 new features that you’ve been requesting that we’ve NOT been able to fulfill on top of Podio

Essentially, it’s easier, better, and faster than any existing standalone system or “MacGyvered” Podio workspace you may have come across.

It’s a game changer, which means that we expect a total shift AWAY from lead management on top of Podio.

The Future of Podio for REI

For investors, we love Podio for things like managing rehab projects, keeping track of a small number of deals or transactions, and organizing marketing campaigns.

These are exit strategies that require subtle customizations for every business. It’s the difference between tracking a few dozen records…vs. the thousands of records (leads) that most real estate marketers require to keep organized and visible..

For those that would like to build out these types of Project Management workspaces to manage their exit strategies like rehabs, we’ve got a vetted list of Podio consultants that can help you.

Here’s some of our favorite consultants.

For the relaunch, all current members can choose to stay on Podio for as long as they’d like, we will continue to support you.

The pricing will stay the same (for now).

We will have a limited capacity roll out period this summer, starting in Mid-June, but ONLY if you attend the First Look presentation on May 24th.

Click here to sign up for the big reveal and get early access to InvestorFuse 2.0

Needless to say…we’re very excited, and thrilled for the opportunity to make investors’ lives easier, more profitable, and giving you the capacity to do the things you actually enjoy doing in your business.

No more chaotic followup mayhem.

We’ll see you on May 24th!

-Team InvestorFuse

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