Product Overview of BombBomb for Real Estate VMail

by Victor Lund on August 28, 2013

BombBombBombBomb is a video mail program. You can record yourself talking on your computer or mobile device and send that recording as an email. It is a streaming email, so you are not sending a large file. Beyond vMail, BombBomb allows you to vLog or video blog. You can publish the recordings you make in newsletters, on your blog, website, or social media page. Suffice it to say, once the video is created, you can ship it anywhere.

Using BombBomb for the first time was quick and easy. I entered a little bit of profile information and was off creating my first video within less than a minute. However, there are a few areas where I believe there could be improvement. The good news is that they are all very fixable.

Suggestion 1: Don’t Change My Password – When I registered it asked me for my password. In the registration email confirmation, there was a password which was system generated that I did not set up.

Suggestion 2. Promote the Mobile App – I feel like vMail is something that is more impactful and more efficient on mobile. I would rather talk into my phone than try to type – especially when I am on the go. None of the registration pages or confirmation emails mentioned anything about support for iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile. Fixing this is a simple matter of dropping in some icons and linking those icons to the application stores.

Suggestion 3. Contact Sync – Once I set up my account, I would expect to be taken directly to add contacts. They do support uploading a CSV file – but agents will not do that unless they have a burning desire to adopt vMail or vlogging. Even those that do will be constantly challenged to keep contact records in both places. As a company that consults with enterprise business, I would tell you that without Gmail Contact Sync and Microsoft Exchange Sync, it would not be licensed for all agents. Again, this is not heavy lifting for any skilled development team, so I would expect that BombBomb may be able to add this functionality inside of a month or two.

My guess about the reason that they do not do contact sync is because they bill by the number of contacts you add, which I believe is a mistake. I would counsel them to bill on the number of videos viewed. In fact, $33 per month for 500 contacts is about the same price as MLS services or mobile data. My impression is that BombBomb is more of a vitamin than a painkiller. It is cool, but not an essential tool that has the same value in real estate as the MLS. They would probably have more traction at $30 per year than $300 per year.

I think that the best marketplace for BombBomb may be in corporate communications rather than agents. A video mail from the CEO or broker is a great touch, and the price points would be immaterial for the company. A broker with 500 agents would not even blink at $300 per year, but an agent would. A 25,000 member MLS or Association of REALTORS® could easily justify $2400 per year.

I also truly believe that video improves communication by humanizing the message. I get video mail from Century 21’s CEO and a number of other industry leaders. I also really liked the video market update that Dan Forsman of Prudential Georgia/Berkshire Hathaway published. In this day and age, we expect to see video from leaders in our industry. I am not quite sure that consumers expect video from their REALTOR®, at least not yet. I may be a bit biased, my daughter tells me I have a face for radio.

Don’t take my word for it. Try BombBomb out for yourself. They offer a 14 day free trial. BombBomb is a participant in the NAR REach™ Program.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Audet August 29, 2013 at 6:40 am

Hey Victor,
It is very cool. Interesting, I was reading your post and also got a facebook post from my buddy Morgan Carey at Real Estate Webmasters that the are integrating Bomb Bomb with their websites. I just tried it myself and was impressed….very nice, very easy to use.

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Jim Bilbao August 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

Victor, good review. Thanks.

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Jonathan Bolton - VP Client Services @ BombBomb August 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

Victor –
I really enjoyed your write-up. Thanks for taking the time to test the software and provide your valuable insight. Our customers really enjoy seeing the suggestions that they make come to life – and I’d like to try to implement some of the great ideas you’ve outlined here.

You said “I also truly believe that video improves communication by humanizing the message” and also “I am not quite sure that consumers expect video from their REALTOR®, at least not yet.” – I might suggest that this is exactly WHY BombBomb makes sense for the agent. It helps our agents stand out amongst the competition. It creates a human connection with an internet lead. If agents are paying good money to generate web leads, then BombBomb is the tool that “humanizes” that effort and converts those leads to relationships.

Of course… I may be a bit biased :) So don’t take my word for it either. Try it out for yourself.

Thanks again for the great insight, Victor!

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Victor Lund August 29, 2013 at 8:25 am

Jonathan, my instincts tell me that you are probably right.

Have you done any consumer research to confirm that consumers believe that video “helps agents stand out?”

Do you have any case studies that have measured agents using your product vs. agents not using your product? Are your customers increasing their new and/or repeat business? If so, by how much?

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Jonathan Bolton - VP Client Services @ BombBomb August 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

You bet. You might enjoy some of these reads:

40% Increase In Revenue with Video Email Marketing:

http://www.bombbomb.com/blog/video-email-marketing-return-on-investment-roi-study/#more-4877

Email Preferred Most by Real Estate Buyers:

http://www.bombbomb.com/blog/email-preferred-most-by-real-estate-buyers/#more-5134

Why Video In Email Marketing: 3 Answers:

http://www.bombbomb.com/blog/video-in-email-marketing-why-benefits-test/

Video Marketing: Reducing Distance Between People

http://www.bombbomb.com/blog/video-marketing-connecting-people-email-videos/

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Victor Lund August 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

The The Relevancy Group Whitepaper Sponsored by Stream Send report talks about inserting video in email marketing. For example, inserting a software product video. It does not measure the impact of a personal video and is not measuring impact of video in real estate by REALTORS(r). It would be fantastic if you did that research. If I were a marketing director who used email marketing to drive click throughs and conversions for something like software purchases, video is outstanding. In our industry, we see many technology companies using video for the same reasons. It explains what a product does.

I think that the application of real estate agent marketing is a bit different. I am suspicious because I do not know the answer.

As for the CAR research, we are intimate with their home buyer and seller studies. Email is a clear winner, but the CAR study does not say that vmail is preferred. Again, I would like to see consumer research on this. A-B testing.

I love your customer testimonials about Why Video email marketing. If you can give me the names of the agents in the video, I can look up their production in the MLS and see if they have experienced an increase in transactions as a result of deploying your solution.

As for the last link about Jeff Turner – he is a respected colleague, and a great teacher. His efforts to embrace video to communicate best practices to agents and brokers is exactly the type of communication that I alluded to in the post. CEOs, Executives, and Trainers are all examples of people that I believe would be communicating more effectively using video. What I do not know is if it improves agent sales performance or customer satisfaction when they are communicating with customers.

Rather than debate this on a public blog – lets do some research. WAV Group is the most respected research firm in the real estate industry. We would be happy to supply you with a proposal – or use someone else.

I firmly understand from experience that product usability testing is critical for customer adoption, satisfaction, and retention. 1000Watt and WAV Group both provide these services.

I firmly understand that companies who have long term success measure the promises that they make to customers. If consumers believe that vmail improves communications between agents and consumers – prove it. If vmail helps agents sell more real estate, prove it.

Again, my instincts tell me that it will. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am just asking that you provide some research that validates your marketing claims. I suspect that they will.

If you want to continue this discussion, please call or vmail :-)

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Justin Lukasavige August 29, 2013 at 8:50 am

Hi, Victor. All of us at BombBomb appreciate you testing the software and providing feedback. It’s been a handful of days since we launched a brand new website and we’re still refining the new signup process. Your point on the password email is a great one and we just fixed this for new signups.

I personally use our mobile app more than the website version. While everyone’s needs are unique, I find it very helpful to record on my phone and send it to one or a handful of people at a time.

Thanks again for the feedback, Victor. We’re incorporating it into the app as fast as we can.

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Victor Lund August 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

Awesome Justin – as the post points out – your app was very well developed and usability is pretty darn good. The few things that I would like to see are not heavy lifting. Software is always like that – it is never done. Keep developing.

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