Our client Maxim Properties engaged us to integrate their user portal with HubSpot to power automated, contextually-sensitive communications using the Transactional Email add-on and various APIs.
Maxim Properties is a real estate brokerage with an exclusive inventory of properties for sale within California and Florida, and other western states. Maxim is a part of the Wedgewood family of companies.
Wedgewood is a leading acquirer of distressed residential real estate, and has grown into a vertically integrated company within that space. Maxim ultimately sells properties that were acquired and rehabilitated by the Wedgewood ecosystem of companies.
Salted Stone has been systematically redesigning Wedgewood family websites for the past 12+ months; Maxim Properties presented a more robust technical challenge than some of the others inasmuch as the site required the ability to communicate in an automated basis with its users in order to be optimally effective from a marketing standpoint.
The centerpiece of Maxim’s operation is its exclusive database of properties. The website invites visitors to create an account to gain access to opportunities that non-registered users do not have. Users are able to search for available properties around a variety of criteria, but registered users can label specific properties as “favorites,” save personal preferences around preferred regions, request an Open House, and more. Registered users can also manage and update their personal settings on an ongoing basis. Salted Stone created the frontend website as well as the associated user database.
During the spec process, Maxim expressed a number of desires for this website that Salted Stone believed were aligned with features of the HubSpot marketing platform, such as:
- Analytics and reporting around which properties registered users were engaging with at the individual contact level;
- Automated communications that would trigger when property information (e.g., status, price, etc.) updated for the users’ “favorited” properties;
- Automated communications at standard intervals that would expose users to new property listings in their preferred regions;
- The ability to segment and send nurture communications to users based on interest in specific properties;
- The ability to automate onboarding communication workflows for newly registered users in order to familiarize them with the portal and its capabilities;
- The ability to segment and communicate with users based on additional custom criteria such as: active users who had become inactive, users who were highly engaged with a property but who were not responding to bottom-of-funnel CTAs, etc.
Salted Stone advised that the HubSpot marketing platform – with the addition of the Transactional Email module – could satisfy all of Maxim’s functional specifications and meet its project requirements.
Salted Stone architected a solution that integrated the underlying framework of the Maxim Properties website and registered user database with HubSpot using the HubSpot Contacts API and then layered the transactional email functionality overtop using the HubSpot Single-Send API.
Registration Touchpoint – Contacts API
The initial integration touchpoint occurs during the user registration process. When a user first registers to access Maxim’s property listing database, the site collects standard personal and account information, but also seeks to gather data related to geographic interests and preferences. Upon registration form submittal, this information is passed into HubSpot via API to create a Contact and populate both standard and custom contact property fields.
Once the user has registered on the site and has likewise become a Contact within HubSpot, all future web behavior and activity is appended to the Contact record. Maxim has full visibility into the specific properties that are of interest to its individual users, and has the ability to create Lists based on engagement with a specific property.
These Lists can then be used to power manually triggered or automated Workflow emails related to the specific property in question, or any variety of targeted, behavior and/or interest-centric communications.
Whether Maxim wants to announce an Open House to all Contacts who have checked out 920 W 29th Street in San Pedro, or promote a special financing offer from one of its preferred lenders to all Contacts who have multiple views properties in Nevada – it’s all doable thanks to the integration and HubSpot’s native apps.
Transactional Email Functionality – Single-Send API
Transactional emails have become a relatively standard feature among industry leading real estate websites like Redfin and Zillow. Maxim desired to offer its users a similar experience.
Salted Stone worked with the Maxim team to architect a system that satisfies their overall business objectives, and a core component of this system relies on an integration with HubSpot using the Transactional Email add-on and the associated Single-Send API.
Details of the system are as follows:
- A CRON job runs at regular intervals to pull a data feed from the Maxim property management platform at regular intervals and imports the data to construct properties on the frontend of the website so that they’re accessible to users.
- These properties are located in specific regions that are aligned with the preferences set by site users when they register for an account on the site.
- Specific Properties can be “favorited” by registered users on the site irrespective of region preferences.
- There are two distinct types of transactional emails sent by HubSpot based on these two distinct user triggers points.
- First, a bi-weekly CRON job runs looking for newly listed properties and compiles a list of users who match based on region preferences. The email automatically populates with new properties added within that region and sends to all users who have indicated a preference for that region. This allows visitors who have indicated a regional preference to stay in-the-loop as regards new opportunities within their preferred region.
- Second, the property import CRON triggers an ad-hoc email that is sent whenever salient information (e.g., price, status, etc.) changes for a specific property that a user has favorited, and the email is populated with details of the change. This allows users who have indicated an interest in a property to stay informed around critical changes that might impact their behavior or trigger a response.
This was a neat project to participate in for a variety of reasons, but chiefly among them was the opportunity to sink our fingers into HubSpot’s Transactional Email add-on.
Stephen Yager, a Web Engineer at Salted Stone, says:
“This project was rewarding because we were able to explore one of the less common APIs that HubSpot has to offer and solve a non-standard pain point for one of our clients.”
It was gratifying to bring a dynamic solution to life that allows a website to effectively communicate with its users in a contextually sensitive manner. In many respects, the Maxim Properties website is itself an embedded part of an ongoing, branched-logic nurture Workflow aimed at moving prospective clients down through the buying funnel.
We really enjoyed tapping into this rarely used HubSpot capability to meet Maxim’s business objectives and help increase the value provided by their website for its visitors.
If you have a HubSpot integration project that requires some advanced code ninjutsu, then contact us today for a 30-minute consultation.