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September 13, 2023

3 levers to build trust and local marketing success

with Nicky Lewenson
CRO at Final Offer

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In this episode of The Local Marketing Lab podcast, host Justin Ulrich interviews Nicky Lewenson, the Chief Revenue Officer at Final Offer. She mentions three levers to build trust and local marketing success: transparency, education, and adding value.

With an extensive background in real estate, Nicky discusses valuable insights from the real estate industry and highlights the unique benefits of Final Offer’s platform, which aims to attract qualified buyers and maximize profits for sellers. The conversation emphasizes the importance of educating both agents and consumers to meet the demand for transparency in the market. Similarly, in any industry, you can build trust and local marketing success by providing clarity and transparency. It can also differentiate yourself and attract new customers.

Nicky also shares successful local marketing strategies such as participating in community events. By being involved in your community, local business owners and marketers can quickly build client engagement and build trust with their target audience. Tune in to learn from Nicky’s expertise and enhance your local marketing efforts.

Key Takeaways

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Build trust and local marketing success.
  • Learn how education can optimize your local marketing tactics.
  • Get a clearer understanding of transparency’s benefits in the real estate market and other industries.
  • Grasp how successful local marketing strategies are implemented with Final Offer.
  • Understand the vital role of community engagement in local marketing initiatives.
  • Discover how Atomic Habits can catalyze both personal and marketing growth.

Consumers are demanding transparency and are wary and confused when it comes to real estate. What Final Offer does is give agents a chance to align with consumers and say, ‘You’re demanding transparency, I’m demanding transparency, and this is how I’m doing it.’

Couple moving out of a house; Use Final Offer to build trust and local marketing success


Other shout-outs


Nicky Lewenson
Being with people that you want to spend time with and creating an activity that’s interesting and adds value and can be fun, I think goes a really long way.

Justin Ulrich
What’s up everyone, and welcome to the Local Marketing Lab, where you get real world insights from industry pros to help you drive local revenue and local for growth. This podcast is brought to you by Evocalize – digital marketing tools powered by local data that automatically work where and when your locations need it most. Learn more at evocalize.com.

What’s up everyone and thank you for joining the Local Marketing Lab today. We’re super excited. We’ve got an awesome guest, very interesting background. Not only does she have extensive penny collection, but she also started the Boston Marathon team for St. Jude’s ten years ago and has since helped raise almost $2 million in funding for them. And with 20 years of experience at both real estate and mortgage, she’s the Chief Revenue Officer at Final Offer. Nicky Lewenson, thanks for joining us in the lab.

Nicky Lewenson
Thank you. Thanks. It’s nice to be here.

Justin Ulrich
You bet. Yeah. I just love your extensive background. You’ve got it coming from mortgage and from real estate, which is great for all of our listeners. But I’d like for you to start, if you could just tell us a little bit about Final Offer, like what it is and then what your role is there at that org.

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, so Final Offer is a platform for listing your real estate. It’s truly disrupting the market because it’s bringing transparency that’s really demanded by consumers to the forefront. 

So when an agent takes a listing from a consumer, they put it on the MLS and they also put it on our platform and it brings transparency because everybody can see and the agent can choose from three different price points. So the MLL list price, they can leave it at that. They can add a “final offer” button, which also has the outlier bid buy it now button with terms as well that a buyer could walk in, say, I want this property. It is worth that to me. I’m going to hit that button and take it off the market right now and make it my own, which is never before in real estate. 

And it also allows the seller to have a minimum committed offer price. So it lets the seller tell the buying community what their minimum offer is and terms to start exposing the property for a period of time with clock. So every time somebody puts in an offer on the Final Offer platform, where transparency begins, is it alerts anyone else who’s interested in the property, a neighbor or another potential homebuyer that an offer has been placed on the platform. 

And what that does is they get to then come back, come to the table, make an offer and know that there truly has been another offer on the table. So it brings clarity for buyers. It also allows sellers to expose the prices that are coming in and the offers coming in so people can beat it. And it really gives buyers a chance to know what they need to do to win and sellers a chance to maximize their profits.

Justin Ulrich
As Chief Revenue Officer there, what are you responsible for, what do you handle?

Nicky Lewenson
Right now, we’re in continued growth mode, it’s just been on and on and it’s exciting. So we do a lot of enterprise opportunities where brokerages as a whole can sign up to give their agents the opportunity to use this technology to put every listing on the platform and then upgrade as they wish to premium features. And we do a lot of direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising right now because what we’re finding is that the consumers love this. 

So when the consumers are educated about what Final Offer is, they’re coming to us, and they’re looking for a Final Offer certified agent, and then we’re able to point them to an agent that is subscribed to our platform, who has had their certification and knows it well and can really help that consumer make sure they’re not leaving any money on the table when they sell their property.

Justin Ulrich
So valuable. I’ve sold the house a couple of times in the last couple of years. We’ve moved Colorado to Minnesota and tried to Colorado and now back to Carolina. Like, that visibility would have been incredible as a seller because then it’s like you’re not leaving the money on the table.

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, and when I talk to sellers, home sellers, and when I’ve sold a home, you always wonder. I believe in my agent and I think they’re doing a great job. But there’s also only so much you can do as an agent to make sure that you are shopping this property to every potential buyer out there and you’re giving every potential buyer the opportunity to come back to the table over and over again and making sure that I’m not leaving any dollars on the table. 

It takes out the agent politics, it helps cooperation, it helps fairness and it makes sure that any qualified buyer, financially qualified buyer that wants the property truly has a chance to get the property if they want it. And so sellers are seeing a great increase in list to sale price and they’re so happy, they don’t have any question remaining in their brain did I sell it to the right bid or could I have possibly done better?

Justin Ulrich
What a huge value. So given your experience, like we mentioned a little earlier, it’s across mortgage and real estate, what do you think moves the needle most for brands, branches and LOs with regards to local marketing?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah. So I think education, education, education and really adding value to the community of either your clients, your customers. And I’ve always worked in businesses where there’s been kind of like the agents have been my first priority of clients to educate and then helping them educate their consumers and giving great service when they send somebody our way, like on the mortgage side, that definite. 

And at Final Offer as well. I mean, it’s a platform for agents. So you have to have an agent on the buy side and the sell side to use the platform. You can’t just be a consumer who lists their property on it without an agent or make an offer without an agent. And so educating the agent community and educating the consumer community in both mortgages and Final Offer has been absolutely essential because it’s really hard in the mortgage industry to differentiate yourself as like, why somebody is better. Right. 

We’re providing a different service. People are very focused on the rate, but as many people know, if you can’t close the mortgage on time, the rate doesn’t really matter. Right? So with mortgage, it’s really important to educate everybody. And then with Final Offer, it’s such a new way of doing things in real estate that’s really long overdue, but really important. And so educating the agents to understand how to use this to best help their clients, whether on the sell side or the buy side, and also to educate the consumers. 

The consumers, though, they get it right away. I mean, they want clarity when they’re buying and they want to make sure they’re not leaving money on the table. They basically say to us, or when I talk to somebody, how has this not been here before?

Justin Ulrich
Yeah, exactly. Why did it take so long for this technology to come? It makes total sense. It’s like you have an iPhone now. It’s like, how do we do without this before this came along?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, so consumers get it an agent, once they start to really understand that their power isn’t in collecting offers, it’s in the negotiation. And a lot of agents, good agents, know that, right? But they also get to see how this platform helps aid their negotiation and strategy to really do their job amazingly well for their clients and on their clients behalf. 

And it’s not taking anything away or out of their hands or taking value away. It’s actually enhancing what they can do for their clients and giving a layer of transparency that’s really needed in the real estate world.

Justin Ulrich
Like that. And we could talk a little bit more about that because I typically like to ask what are some successful things that you’re seeing that are done from a local marketing standpoint? And it sounds like with this tool, it gives agents the ability to offer something more of value from a marketing standpoint to their clients.

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, I think consumers are demanding transparency and seem to be wary and confused when it comes to real estate because you listen to the news and it’s like doomsday doomsday about what’s going on in the real estate world. And you look out in the community and things that were the case six months ago in the market aren’t necessarily the case now or even two weeks ago. So it’s hard to have clarity about what’s happening right now. 

And what Final Offer does is it gives agents a chance to really align with the consumer and say, you’re demanding transparency, I’m demanding transparency, and this is how I’m doing it. 

And we’re going to walk through this process and make sure that in this market, you’re not leaving any money on the table. Or if you’re buying in this market, you can win the house that you want, or you can decide it’s time to walk away and not go to bed hoping you’re getting an offer accepted that you don’t even have a shot at. It just gives everybody a lot less fatigue in the process and just like more control.

Justin Ulrich
I would say again, I would have loved for my agents to have access to this tool. It just eliminates so many questions. To me as a client, it would have been such an added value even to want me to recommend that agent to my friends, my family, because it’s like, you know, going into it that you’re going to get the best coming out of it.

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah. And so agents for marketing with this, they can really take this to their sphere of influence, their past clients. We’ve had agents do neighborhood watch parties. What’s amazing about it is anyone who scans the QR code in the neighborhood. So, like, imagine walking your dog by a property and you see a for sale sign, like right now. You won’t know what’s going on with it until it goes to record 30 to 45, 60 days later. With this, you could scan the QR code and get updates every single time an offer comes in on the property or the price or terms change as a text alert. 

So it really lets the whole neighborhood into the process and understand what’s going on in the market in real time. And so agents are doing things like neighborhood watch parties. Some agents have had, like, an ice cream truck come and getting people involved and engaged. 

They’ve done seller seminars that are actually getting great attendance because it’s a different proposition than, we’re going to show you how to best sell your home. It’s actually bringing technology to the forefront to not just show, but to prove the transparency and to educate the consumer. So the agents who are early adopters of this are picking up tremendous market share in their own right because consumers are really excited about it. And the agent that hits the ground running with it is able to get a lot of traction.

Justin Ulrich
What would you say is something that one of our agents could do today? If they wanted to change something, test something, try something this week, today, what could they do to help drive more engagement with their sphere?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, so I think going out into I mean, there’s a lot of things. So if we’re talking Final Offer, offering the ability to educate people, inviting them into a webinar, a seminar we have people do like farmers market stuff to let people know community events. That is a great way to just get the word out about Final Offer. 

And now there’s a new way to do things as far as client engagement in general. There are so many ways to do it with the mortgage world and my job prior to that now we’re going past nine years back. I’ve always done a lot of marketing through community giving and I think that it’s a nice thing for agents. That’s something you can do today. 

And whether it’s with Final Offer and educating people or just getting engaged and involved with your community, there’s a lot of easy ways that you can do something that you care about in your community and invite all of your sphere in to be a part of. So whether it’s with the schools or September.

So right now on my mind is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They have their big walk throughout the country at the end of the month, September 23, if you’re in Boston so people can sign up for our team. 

But it’s a great way to a do something you care about and believe in, but invite everyone in and have that real client engagement that’s maybe not necessarily about your specific industry or real estate, but just a way to connect with people and do something good together. 

So if you’re looking for something to do today, something with Final Offer, if we’re in your market now is always a great idea or just anything in your community that’s important to you that usually costs little to no money to do. Somebody really needs your help and you can include everybody in it and start to do something great with all the people.

Justin Ulrich
You know, actually it’s really good hearing that come from you, Nikki. I know it’s a genuine recommendation because I know just from research about you that you’re definitely putting your money where your mouth is or other people’s money where your mouth is in this instance because you have done a lot of fundraising for St. Jude. But it’s so cool.

Nicky Lewenson
It is and it’s been great because all of the realtors and people I’ve worked with over the years have all come along into the fold and made it their own. So if you’re thinking about who does marketing well, on a local level, there is probably no one better than St. Jude out there. 

Because everywhere you look during the Thanksgiving season of November to December in Brooks Brothers, Anne Taylor, Loft, Kay Jewelers like all these stores, you see the logo, but then locally, anyone could just go and do the walk. It’s like 3 miles in the end of September.

You can do it virtually if you want and you get to raise awareness, maybe raise money and also really help the hospital and they make it a more the merrier thing where it doesn’t cost anything to register. Everyone is welcome. All you need to do is raise your hand to be a part of it, which is really cool.

Justin Ulrich
In addition to that great recommendation, I also got a couple little trivia nuggets about you. We talked about how you have a penny museum or a collection of coins where you volunteer with St. Jude’s. One of the things I really like to learn is that not only do you read a new book every week, but that you’ve also through the recommendation or direction of one of those books, Atomic Habits by James Clear. You’ve taught yourself how to play guitar?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah. Well, I say I play guitar. My kids might call it something different, but did you see the Barbie movie?

Justin Ulrich
I haven’t yet. My kids went to see it, but I haven’t gone yet.

Nicky Lewenson
There’s a great line in there where Ken is like, I’m going to play the guitar at you. And that’s I think, how my family feels.

Justin Ulrich
So I am with the like I sit down in the drums and I think I’m like Animal from Muppets. And it’s like maybe that’s a bad example, but it just sounds not good.

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, I’m very into it, but I try right? But not everybody else is very into it. But yeah. So I read that book, Atomic Habit. I don’t know how long ago now, maybe it was like four or five years ago, right when it first came out. 

I had read through one of the brokerages in Massachusetts Leading Edge, Linda O’Koniewski. She’s like an amazing real estate coach and trainer and just leader and she would have us read The Compound Effect every year. And then Atomic Habits came out and I always loved The Compound Effects, but I loved Atomic Habits. 

And what I liked about it differently is that James Clear, when he talked about how to implement a habit, doesn’t just talk about why, but really how to stack it into your like how to make it happen. So he talked about redesigning your environment and to stack it onto something else. And so I said, okay, well, let me try it with something and see how it works. 

And then what ended up happening was it worked like I would practice the guitar for 20 minutes a day and now I can’t play any songs that have a B chord in it. But aside from that, I’m like, I’m good for me.

And then from there, we ended up when I worked at my last job doing Atomic Habits workshops. And it was really not Atomic Habits, but it was like habits and accountability. So it was like a combination of all the books and we would roll it out for our agent partners and it was really great. 

We had like probably 1000 people or so through the class and we made these habit trackers and you could pin it up on your office or your cube or carry it with you and obviously branded. Right. And so it was a great way to really help people with whatever they wanted to work on. 

But in order to do it, I had to see if it could actually work. And one of the things I did was learn how to play the guitar. And the other thing that really stuck was reading 20 minutes of fiction a day. And so that’s how a book a week came into play.

I was not a reader growing up at all. I probably didn’t really read a book until I was like, 25. Now, it’s just been really exciting to be able to learn so much and to think about different things and perspectives and open my mind with it. And I do try to read a lot more fiction than nonfiction. Although Atomic Habits did really stick with me.

Justin Ulrich
Cool. Yeah. Given all that, we put this information into an AI platform and cranked out an image for you. So this is Nikki surrounded by books, playing her guitar. It looks like a B chord to me. I don’t know. But one thing that I really like about this is that AI has no regard for safety or fire hazards. And there are candles all over around these stacks of books.

Nicky Lewenson
Maybe they’re like the fake candles at like, a restaurant that just have, like, the electric wick.

Justin Ulrich
That’s right. You’re probably right. Isn’t that cool?

Nicky Lewenson

Justin Ulrich
You are rocking right now.

Nicky Lewenson
I know. That’s not really what I look like when I play the guitar, but I’ll take it. That’s good.

Justin Ulrich
Perfect. Well, we’ll get this over to you. I told one of our other guests, this is as good as an NFT, but without the value. So this is your image. No one else in the world has.

Nicky Lewenson
Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Justin Ulrich
You bet. To kind of wrap things up, I also want to know, is there anyone out there that you think is doing something really cool from a local marketing standpoint that you’d like to give a shout out to?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, when I first read that question, because you prepared me a little, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that, but I appreciated it, I was thinking, who am I super impressed with, with their marketing efforts that have just taken off? 

And I don’t know why, but my brain was just going to Crumbl Cookie because all of a sudden I’m literally seeing them everywhere and they just have so much user-generated content for five cookies a week, and they have great packaging and I’ve seen coupons come and all different things that they’re doing. 

But then I was thinking more like local efforts. And I have to say, and I know I already talked about it, I really do think that no one does it better than St. Jude. And what they do is they give every business the chance to come into the fold and get some of that halo effect from them. 

So do something great with your team, your clients, for yourself, your family. They make it super easy. And at the local level, I mean, they’re everywhere. You can do a walk, you can do a bike a thon, you can do golf tournament. They have an “up all night”. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but the college students just stay up all night. So any way you want to participate, they make it easy. 

And I think that that’s something we can all or I definitely take a lot from in the sense of what I do for marketing and it’s different at every company. But it doesn’t always have to be this grand, expensive effort. Being with people that you want to spend time with and creating an activity that’s interesting and adds value and can be fun, I think goes a really long way.

Justin Ulrich
That’s a great note to end on. What a great organization and appreciate this shoutout for Crumble Cookies. I do see that they’re also doing a lot in the restaurant side of things because we’re cross industry. And so I see them come through. They’ve got, like you said, tons of good marketing, lots of user-generated content. They’re growing very quickly. It’s a great to follow.

 Nikki, before we head, how can our listeners follow you and follow Final Offer?

Nicky Lewenson
Yeah, so you can go to Final Offer Now on Instagram and also our website, Finaloffer.com. Go on there. If you’re an agent, register as an agent and upload your license. You have to be licensed to list or make an offer on it. But any consumer can go right to Final Offer right now and save a search, check it out, see how it works. And it’s a really fun platform to get the alerts every time an offer comes in. It’s like endlessly exciting to me.

Justin Ulrich
Well, yeah, I’ve watched a few videos on it and it is pretty cool. Again, I wish I had it when I was selling. Well, Nikki, it was so much fun having you on the podcast today. Thank you for joining us in the lab. And for all those who are listening, thanks for joining us as well.

Nicky Lewenson
Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Justin Ulrich
As always, thanks for joining us in the local marketing lab. This podcast was sponsored by Evocalize. To learn more about how Evocalize can help you grow your business, visit evocalize.com

If you learned something from today’s episode, don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook at evocalize. That’s Evocalize and on X at Evocalize. 

And remember, keep innovating and testing new things. You’ll never know what connects with your customers best unless you try. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

Nicky Lewenson

CRO at Final Offer

Meet Nicky Lewenson

Nicky Lewenson is a seasoned professional in the realm of real estate and mortgage, harnessing more than 20 years of experience. Her passion lies in the exploration of disruptive technology and innovative platforms, which brought her to her current role as Chief Revenue Officer at Final Offer. Nicky’s pioneering work at Final Offer is revolutionizing the property-listing landscape by injecting only what the consumers have been demanding all along – more transparency.

Not only is she disrupting industries professionally, but she is impressively compassionate about community service. Rounding up a successful fundraising pursuit with St. Jude’s Boston Marathon team eventually led to raising approximately $2 million.

Host of the Local Marketing Lab podcast, Justin Ulrich - Headshot

Justin Ulrich

VP of Marketing at Evocalize

Meet the host

Justin is a seasoned marketing leader known for his creative expertise and innovative go-to-market strategies. With vast experience spanning both B2B and B2C landscapes, Justin has made his mark across a spectrum of industries including software, POS, restaurant, real estate, franchise, home services, telecom, and more.

Justin’s career is steeped in transformative strategies and impactful initiatives. With specialties ranging from channel marketing and brand management to demand generation, his strategic vision and execution have consistently translated into tangible results.

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