Martin Evans
Orata

Episode Summary

In this excellent podcast episode we welcome Martin Evans from Orata to the hotseat. We get a chance to hear how Martin started out with Podio and how he took the plunge and created his own Podio consultancy. Martin’s is a great story, and it’s a common one we see with Podio – people who love the tool creating a business helping people get the most out of such a powerful platform.

Show Links:

Email martin on martin@orata.io

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Transcript

Narrator 0:01
You’re watching another supercharged masterclass with Jordan, Samuel Fleming your opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Podio design and development from one of the top Podio partners in the world,

Jordan Fleming 0:14
everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of supercharged, I’m your host, Jordan Fleming here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation when your business is powered by Podio. Well, today’s episode features a poor partner, Martin Evans, Martin is based in the UK, he got a lot of clients in us, though, particularly around real estate in history. And it’s my first time getting a chance to talk to Martin. And it was really fun to to get to know him get to understand how he sort of got into Podio talk a bit about how we then kind of moved on into being more of a Podio consultant Now does that full time, which is a fantastic story, I always love to hear from newer Podio partners, about how they’re getting into it, what they’re working on how they see kind of Podio, where it’s going, and how they’re integrating it into their life as a business. And that’s, you know, one of the really fun things about this podcast, Martin has got a great story. He’s got a, you know, real sort of up and coming kind of journey in Podio, which I love. And he really is doing a great job. You know, it’s fantastic to see him active on the Citrix PWA. And proc foo. workspace is a fantastic to see him working with people and just a really fun story. And I’m hopefully going to be meeting Martin in the in the flesh in our upcoming Podio partner meet up with which we do in Europe, we used to do in Europe every year, and then COVID hit us. But we’re back to that. So in September of 2022, which will date this podcast if you’re listening to this in 2023. But we will be meeting up as a group of Podio partners, and I’m gonna really look forward to meeting Martin there. So let’s dive right in to the podcast.

Listen, Martin, first of all podcasts. Why don’t you tell me just a little bit about sort of how you got into Podio. And more importantly, then how you transitioned or decided to transition into working with other people on their Podio and becoming a Podio. Partner.

Unknown Speaker 2:36
And thanks, Jordan, thanks for having me. Yeah, I originally got started because I started working for a a landlord, basically, that had properties. And he wanted to systemize because they were all over the place. And he wanted some kind of feature where he had everything in one place. So we were looking at different options. And a lot of people had mentioned Podio. So he invested in the UK, but was also a member of a US wholesaling group. And they were using Podio as well. So that’s how he kind of got to know Podio. So I, I’ve always kind of been interested in learning new things. And I thought, Okay, this sounds like quite cool challenge. So I got started using Podio. Now, and it was it was really difficult at first. But it’s okay. Yeah, there’s quite a large learning curve to it. So it’s, I guess, it took me maybe four hours to do the basic basic things and figure everything out and that type of thing, but but the whole time, I ended up staying up till about six o’clock in the morning sometimes because I was like, No, before I’m going to bed. I’m getting this finished. Oh, that’s

Jordan Fleming 3:58
a dangerous game to play. All right.

Unknown Speaker 4:01
Yeah. So there was a lot of trial and error, and also a lot of help from the guys in the forum. So I definitely think without you know, the likes of Damian row Gary Reiner.

Jordan Fleming 4:18
everybody’s favourite Rainer? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 4:21
yeah. I mean, posting questions in the forum, right when I was starting, was so useful for me because I don’t. Yeah, and I don’t have any code and coding background. So I ended up creating kind of a cheat sheet for myself where I’d be tight copy and paste in in the code, and then explaining what it does at the top. So that was quite helpful when I was first started. Yeah, and definitely the forum was really helpful. I don’t think I would have been able to figure it out myself without the help of the forum. Because the isn’t actually that much documentation. Do you know how to do these things? I don’t think so. Yeah. Oh, you

Jordan Fleming 5:04
should have seen what it was like when it first when, when globey flow first launched. And it was called Podio flow at that point. Andreas called it Podio flow. But then Citrix said no. Weirdly, then they bought globey flow and didn’t bother just using Podio. Flow is the name, which makes no much more sense. But yeah, well, I mean, when it first launched, there was really no documentation. And, you know, it didn’t have things like if an end blocks, so you couldn’t do nested sort of processes, you had to daisy chain ones flows together. Because you didn’t have that kind of capability. And you were limited at you, when you first I was telling us to some partners, like we had a poll, a partner, group podcast, we recorded the other day. And, and because I was aside from jaw aside from Seth, I’m one of the older of the partners. So back then, the plan you bought for globey flow limited, not only how many flows, how many actions per month, but how many flows you’re allowed to have as well, which meant that suddenly you had to make decisions, like, do I want to do this flow that simply adds a date field, it’s gonna take up the valuable, you know, one, one hundreds of my flow allegations just for that. So yours back in the day, man, you’re, you’re, you’re you’re, you’re somewhat blessed. So tell me, you’re working. I mean, it now it makes sense when you said property, property management is not something that Podio is really good at. I’m a huge football fan, but wholesaling the massive. So you’re working for that company, and then you were a you, you know, you decided to start building Podio for other people. And do all that, how did that that kind of transition go from being your own, you know, building kind of, for one company one purpose to having to understand other people’s processes, and work around how they want to work? What was that transition like for you?

Unknown Speaker 7:29
Um, so, I mean, I was loving Podio, like I, at the time, I was thinking, if I could just drop everything and just do Podio full time, that would be amazing. So I started advertising, my services. And I got, I was surprised, like how quickly people started reaching out to me. The first one, the first client I ever had, he reached out to me, and I thought, that seems pretty simple. So as like, 50 $50. Cool, let’s do it. And until this day, it’s still the hardest, hardest class I’ve ever had 50 bucks. And it probably took me about eight hours plus of figuring it out. And then in the end, I still couldn’t do it. And I had to reach out to one of the other Podio partners to do it for me, so that it was it was kind of a rocky start at the beginning. But, but since then, it’s been going great. And I think what helped me a lot is, so I’m not the kind of a shy person. And I think I’m quite good at understanding what people want. So the the kind of, you know, process of speaking to the client and understanding their project, and that I enjoy that. And I really enjoy the building out side of things as well. So at the moment, it’s a lot of a lot of wholesale that I’m doing. I guess a lot of people are start with wholesale whole working with wholesalers. But I’ve done other few other projects with UK based architects, I guess that’s the biggest system I’ve built. It was a an architect that was just using Excel sheets and wanted to change from Yeah, their Excel sheets. And they posted on Facebook, they were looking for some kind of CRM and I said, Oh, I can give you a tour of Podio if you if you like and we ended up working together. And yeah, I’ve built quite a big system for them integrated smartphone as well of course and they’re loving it. So yeah, and now now I’m kind of at the point where I have a lot of people come into me but it’s that that building point, which I would love to ask you like how you went from, you know, being a one man by And to kind of get in other people like, how you went about that process?

Jordan Fleming 10:05
Hey, are you using Podio to manage your real estate investment business? Wait, click the link to find out why 1000s of real estate investment professionals are using Podio plus smartphone to make more calls, send more text and close more deals. Click the link. Well, I mean, I’ve had various businesses for the past 17 years now or so, ish. I’ve never really been employed. I just couldn’t, I never did that. Um, I mean, the truth of the matter is that there’s never a right time to start employing people. There’s never a right time, because it’s all you know, sooner or later, the moment you employ someone, your cash flow is gonna suffer, like, and you’re gonna just be like, Ah, shit, I gotta pay these people in, and I don’t have any more money. But, you know, I mean, just probably exactly what you’ve been doing, you know, you just start to you out you you, you do one thing, and that leads to another and and leads to another and you get enough momentum that you find I found that was a tipping point, where, because you have to do sales, but you got to do work. And so like, the first step I did was, I was drowning a little, quite honestly, this is long time ago now. But and because I was drowning with the I had to do sales to get the new projects coming in. But I also had to do the building bit. And ah, and so what I ended up doing this, I ended up breaking my day up into two and three, my week, my week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I did sales only, I dedicated it. And Monday was his Fridays, I did work only and, and I would not take meetings on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, if someone wanted to meet me, I’m even a new client. No, Tuesdays and Thursdays can meet this week, we’ll do next week. But I was really disciplined about that, because I needed to balance that. And then I finally got to the point where it’s like, okay, now I need someone to just be able to execute on, you know, execute these things, the challenge you have, as you start to build that in Podio is finding good people who know how to build Podio is really hard. Like, it’s really hard to find good people, we’ve been lucky. You know, we’ve been lucky with our team in game changers. But finding, you know, you end up having to either find just really good people and teach them or be really lucky and find someone who knows Podio Yeah, you know, the other thing is move as quickly as you can, to some sort of retained model is my advice. I know Pete Pete cough from future solutions may argue with me on this one. But, but you know what, there’s nothing that beats retained recurring revenue, in order to build up a business and have cash flow that supports bringing new people on. And so, you know, like, for instance, we have support contracts that range from 299 a month to to 2500 a month, right, and their monthly, you know, and each one of those has a certain amount of hours dedicated to it a certain SLA response, time, prioritisation, etc, you know, the more you pay, obviously, the more you know, the more you get, and the more crucial things are. But those sorts of arrangements mean that you can lay in a foundational base of revenue off of consistent weight in a consistent manner, which then makes the projects where you’re maybe doing okay, I’ll build you this for x. It makes those more like the cream on top, because your core revenue is on repeat repetitive. The other little bit of advice I’d have about starting to learn from my mistakes, which is when you scope a project, make sure you are scoping ranges, and not fixed price. Because or if you’re gonna do fixed price, which is fine. Make sure you are super clear in your scope. Because scope creep is the first thing that will destroy your time and profitability. Because you know, you didn’t fully clarify with the clients if they think you’re going to do X, Y and Zed and you think you can do x and then you end up doing y and Zed for free. And it takes you 15 hours.

Unknown Speaker 14:36
So yeah, yeah project so always go longer than you expect. There’s always an issue that crops up I found definitely.

Jordan Fleming 14:46
Well, we are the other thing that we do. If someone like very few of our clients will go straight to a support contract. They usually want to try us first and make sure you know make sure they’re happy with how we work and the relationship and all that so what we do His will, we’ve got these our packages where people can buy 10 up to 100 hours in like, like a beat, they can buy a chunk of 10 hours, 50 hours, 100 hours, whatever. And that’s quite a good way of doing it as well. Because then you’re, you’re essentially saying, okay, you’ve got 10 hours to play with, rather than I’m going to build you this thing. Because once you do the building this thing, you’ve got to deliver that thing. And if you’ve quoted 10 hours, and it takes you 30, and that’s, you know, those are models that can be very dangerous if you’re trying to scale up to the point where you have staff. So, so tell me, then, you know, I mean, you obviously, you know, your love you love Podio, clearly, and you are you’re successfully becoming a Podio partner. Now, when you know, you’ve you mentioned, obviously working with smartphone, that’s great, from my perspective, but what other kinds of integrations have you been using? Do you use proc foo? Have you been learning that you’ve been doing more advanced work? What is kind of what have you been kind of honing your skills on?

Unknown Speaker 16:10
Yeah, so I’ve only recently, I guess, in the past, four to six months started getting into proc foo, I didn’t really get it at first. But of course, being built by Andreas, it’s, it’s amazing. Now, I think my favourite feature of Prop fair is definitely, you know, the fact that you can build these these portals, I guess I call it where people can log on, see, see potencies stuff that’s in Podio, interact with it, create new items, but without actually being in Podio. This is the when people come to me and say, oh, I want it split in, I want my wholesale system split cold call as acquisitions that I hate split in workspaces, they never recommend it. As a prop foo, we can do this, and then we don’t need to split it.

Jordan Fleming 17:06
That’s perfect. That’s great. I mean, a, you know, 100% agree with you mate. Like that is the the multi workspace, you know, I only want each agent to see their own stuff and not everybody else’s stuff. So let’s build out a blah, blah, blah, oh, God, it just opens up a whole world of pain. That is simply not worth it. We you know, and your spa and with the, you know, the miniapp, the kind of funk the functionalities available within the miniapp are, you know, you can roll them out surprisingly quick. And they just give that they also are really good from a mobile experience point of view. Because the Podio mobile apps box, you know, we all like it’s fine for some things, but it’s not great for working in. And many apps can give you like a dedicated task list or dedicated, I’ve got an email mini app that I use my inbox for. So if I want to send a new email, I just boom, boom, boom, bam. And it’s quick and easy. On the mobile, which everything else is not easy on so the but you’re spot on with that, that the mini app is fantastic. And so do you, you know, are you are you inside the proc foo? user uses workspace using that as a source of knowledge as well. And

Unknown Speaker 18:24
yeah, I mean, I’ve definitely followed the forum where people post the questions, because even if it’s not something I need currently, I mean, I did. I’ve done it also with the globey flow. So following the forum, and if someone posts a question, like just following what other people answer, because I mean, usually with proc foo, I have no idea what the answer would be. So then under s comes back, and I can definitely use that in the future. So yeah, the forums are really useful. And yep, proc fu smartphone. I’ve also started integrating things like Xero I really love integrating Xero. Really? Yeah, I think I think it’s a nice integration just to pull everything into podia.

Jordan Fleming 19:14
Kind of zero zeros API is a big compared to like QuickBooks Online. QBO xAPI. You can spin it on a dime, zeros causes nothing but pain comparatively. But fantastic. Because are you based in the UK then? Yeah, where are you based?

Unknown Speaker 19:34
So Midlands Midlands near Manchester,

Jordan Fleming 19:37
Manchester. Okay. I used to live in Scotland. I lived in Scotland for 16 years. So I yeah, I know the UK. Well, yeah, zero is probably got its biggest footprint. Okay, hands up who’s using Podio for real estate and they don’t want more Leads. Nobody. You want more than He’s close well checkout smartphone for Podio, the only phone system fully built for Citrix Podio. With an fully integrated power dialer and our amazing mobile apps, it means wherever you are, you can make more calls, love to Podio, send more texts, love to Podio and close more deals all all to your Podio CRM, click the link. Check it out, I think in Australia and the UK, because you never see zero in the US comparatively, it’s always QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online. So how have you found you said curiosity? Have you found? Are you finding most of your customers? Via so if you’re doing a lot of wholesaling work, you’re working in the US with people from the US? Are you able to are you generating? Are you trying to generate local sales as well? Are you sort of focusing on real estate? Or like, have you? Do you? Are you thinking about kind of attacking certain types of work in Podio? Or do you like to do that kind of multi broad approach, just curiosity?

Unknown Speaker 21:02
I’m, I’m quite open to anything at the moment, just because I’m always happier when it’s non wholesale, because wholesale I do all the time. But if someone reaches out about a different project in my work, that sounds quite interesting. So So yeah, and I’m hoping also to start making YouTube videos as well. Like, once they do some more tutorials about just like basic parts of Podio, and how to help people can level up the Podio that there Podio themselves. So I’m hoping that that will bring in a more diverse range of clients. It’s actually I’ve, everyone I’ve worked with has been from the US, except that one UK architect firm and a Finnish architect firm as well. Funny enough. So I think Podio is just bigger in the US. I don’t think a lot of the UK people use it already exists, unfortunately. Yeah,

Jordan Fleming 22:03
I think I mean, the one thing is that Podio that, like Podio has had a disproportionate presence in the real estate investing community, whether you’re wholesale my particular wholesaling. But, you know, when investor fuse first launched with investor fuse did their first Podio, though, they were the first ones to really kind of create a replicable Podio based real estate CRM that that was designed at, like, you know, we’re just gonna, we’re gonna sell workspaces, right, we’re gonna, we’re gonna do that they were the first ones to do that. And they really got a lot of traction in that community. And so there’s a really large community, within that real estate environment in Podio, outside of that, there aren’t as many niche sectors, that no Podio like real estate is really the largest.

Unknown Speaker 22:59
I think, I think it’s a shame because I think Podio for both how much money you pay, and the functionality, the customization is, is second to none. It’s amazing. But I think a lot of people are put off by Podio. But because of the, you know, that they go for more of the pretty CRMs out there that look a bit better, which and but but are way less customizable. And I think I think that’s a real shame, because if they gave Podio a chance, they’d realise that, you know, they could do 10 times 20 times more than they could do with the other CRMs that are out there.

Jordan Fleming 23:39
Yeah, the biggest I mean, I agree with you, 100%, I think you’re spot on there. I mean, there is nothing that beats, there’s still nothing that beats, the flexibility that you can, you can do with Podio. And because globey flow is such a powerful tool, forget even proc foo, but globey flow, there’s nothing that has that customizable workflow element, which you can do even inside of globey flow, you can do almost anything. I mean, take it to proc fool, you can do anything. But even just inside globey flow, you can do almost anything. And there’s nothing out there that that has that there’s nothing that does that. It’s just that there’s I always say there’s a three months learning curve with Podio. There’s a learning curve of that user interface and the app structure and clicking around and people often are, they don’t really like to begin with the fact that they gotta click multiple, you know, they gotta go from app to app to app to app type thing. But once you get into that flow, you realise it doesn’t matter. And actually, the benefits far outweigh the negatives, but it takes like, I think it takes three months. And a lot of people don’t give it that. So yeah,

Unknown Speaker 24:51
yeah, I mean, it’s also easy to link up different apps with, you know, just a URL type thing takes you directly to the URL related offers item or something like that. So I think it’s, it’s great, I think, yeah, people just need to give it a little more time usually.

Jordan Fleming 25:09
Yeah, but I agree with you. But even something like that is not something that would be intuitive to you out of the box. Like putting a marked down table of related items that you can or are having a, having a, you know, a calculation link that goes to a specific item, or however you want to do it. Those aren’t things that out of the box Podio seems like it can do, or that you’d want to do. And that’s the problem is that there needs to be a certain level of Podio, before it really starts to kick in, and you’re like, Oh, my God, this thing’s amazing. And I don’t think a lot of people get that out of the box, are using Podio. With call rail. There’s a better way, click the link, find out why hundreds of businesses have moved over to using smartphone, the only phone system built for Podio. Make more calls, send more texts and close more deals.

Unknown Speaker 26:01
Click like. So I like what you always say that you can set your watch quarterly that someone’s going to complain about something in Podio. But yeah, I mean, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t find the functionality elsewhere.

Jordan Fleming 26:14
Well, and to be fair to them. And we said this in the pilot Podio partner podcast, which is recorded, you know, I’ve seen more activity inside of the Podio developments like Citrix ecosystem over the last year than I’ve seen for the previous six years. Seven years

Unknown Speaker 26:30
that was calculate the calculation fields have definitely speeded up so much.

Jordan Fleming 26:35
They are certainly, you know, there is an energy in a dry even the new UI, whether you like it or not, I actually, I’ve grown to like it in a way that I wasn’t expecting I, every once in a while, I have to go back to the old UI. And I’m like, Whoa, that looks, you know, that looks that looks Asian. And, you know, I’ve got I’ve grown to like the new UI, and there is sort of a fit, you know, there is just a bit of energy about Podio now, and I hope it continues. I really do. So tell me, as we want a podcast, you know, where if people are, you know, obviously, not just wholesalers, but if people are looking for Podio partner to get in contact? Where are they going to find you? How do you usually work on a, you know, up your engagements with people? Let us know. And I’ll make sure I post it in the podcast information as well. So tell us a bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 27:29
Yeah, so I mean, I don’t actually my websites in the process of being belts. So at the time of the recording, there is no website. But you know, people can reach out using Martin arts or otter.io O R ATA. And yeah, that’s pretty much it at the moment. I will, there will be videos on YouTube in the coming in the coming months. So you know, look out for those. I’m sure if you’re typing in Podio, I aim to be the first person that comes up. So yeah, that, but at the moment, just just email.

Jordan Fleming 28:06
Excellent. All right, well, I’ll make sure that I put your email martin@aurora.io into the podcast description. And on the website page, I do encourage everyone drop Martin a line. Obviously, you’ve heard it, it’s his experience. You’ve heard what he can do. And he’s got proficiency and all this, you know, not only in Podio, but he’s been you know, getting it you know, many apps is a great one. If you don’t know many apps, go look at it, and then drop them on the line as well. Martin, thank you so much. It was a pleasure to finally meet you. So I think we’ve rearranged it a couple of times because of my travelling and then for other reasons as well. But absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast and inside of the Podio partner ecosystem. And thank you so much for joining me today.

Unknown Speaker 28:47
Yeah, thanks for having me, Jordan.

Narrator 28:50
You’ve been listening to another awesome episode of supercharged with Jordan Samuel Fleming. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button on our YouTube channel to be notified of new podcast episodes Podio masterclasses and in depth Podio extension reviews if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please give us a review on your podcast player to help support the show

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