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If you want to get started in real estate investing by finding off market properties, negotiating directly with the property owner, and aren’t sure what software is available to assist you, this is the article for you. We compared the most important features of two popular products, DealMachine and BatchLeads, head-to-head. Here is what we found.

Sign-Up and Onboarding 

In BatchLeads, sign-up is a straightforward process. The website presents four plans that may be purchased on a monthly or discounted on an annual basis. Once you select a plan, you enter your email address and payment information. Then you are set to start adding properties as potential leads.

With DealMachine, the sign-up process starts with a set of discovery questions that guides you to select one of three plans. Under each plan, the features are listed as bullet points. They also offer three add-on services. At the bottom of the web page, you can browse from a list of frequently asked questions. Once you hit the sign-up button, you’ll be asked to fill out payment information and you are set to begin.

The first time you log in to your DealMachine account, there is a guided walk-through. It will show you how to add a lead and send out a test piece of direct mail. BatchLeads did not offer any product walkthroughs when starting the trial. However, when you become a paid member at the end of the 7-day trial, they do have onboarding services.

Customer Service

When you start any real estate investing software, it is good to know that if you have any issues or questions, you will be able to find assistance. 

Since I didn’t have prior experience with BatchLeads and was not provided an onboarding walkthrough, I was left with a few questions about pulling my first list of leads. I went to YouTube and found the BatchLeads channel, BatchTV. I watched several in-depth tutorials and finally felt ready to test the service.

While testing BatchLeads, I had a couple of clarifying questions to ensure I sent out mail and skip traced correctly. That is where the BatchLeads chat feature came in handy. I sent a message to customer service, and they answered my questions within 15 minutes. The representative I chatted with was friendly and tried to answer my questions. Ultimately, the customer service rep could not solve my problem, as it was a technicality of being in a trial vs. a paying member.

BatchLeads Customer Support

While using DealMachine, I did not have any questions that I would need to reach out to the customer service team. However, I know that DealMachine’s average response time for our representatives is under 5 minutes. 

When putting each software up head-to-head based on the sign-up and onboarding processes and customer service wait times, I would give the win to DealMachine. 

The sign-up processes are similar and straightforward for both services. While both sets of customer service representatives are friendly and helpful, the shorter DealMachine response time gives it the edge. Plus, DealMachine offered an onboarding walkthrough that BatchLeads did not.

BatchLeads vs DealMachine Customer Experience

Driving for Dollars

We took BatchLeads for a test drive, and here is what we found out about driving for dollars on their mobile app. It was simple to start a drive using the app. With just one click on “Start Drive”, you are ready to take to the streets and discover potential properties. Once you find a property, all you need to do is click “Save Property.” Then the app buffered for longer than I expected while it saved the property. If you are in a time crunch, the long buffering is a huge negative.

Once that property is saved, you can go into the property’s lead card and upload your photo of the property. This was an easy process. All it takes is clicking the upload button and selecting "take a picture".

BatchLeads Driving for Dollars

Next, you can add custom tags to the lead card. BatchLeads does not offer any default tags that I saw, so it would be beneficial to go to the web version and add the tags prior to your drive. You can add user-generated tags on your mobile device during the drive. Once I selected my tags and hit apply, the app buffered again. This time I did not wait to see how long it would take to stop buffering, but it was at least 5 minutes, so I restarted the app. Once I restarted the app, the route previously being tracked did not save. However, my leads and tags did. I continued the drive to see if it was just a one-off thing where tags caused a loading issue, but it happened again, and I repeated the same process of clearing the app. Once again, the property with tags did show that I had added them.

Adding Tags on BatchLeads

When you add a lead during your drive, you can skiptrace it and call it while on your drive. I wasn't able to test this feature on a trial. Make sure your wallet in BatchLeads is loaded with adequate funds to skip trace before starting your drive. You cannot send mail directly from the lead card during a drive. More on that, later.

Driving for Dollars through DealMachine is a smoother process. As a disclaimer, I have used the driving for dollars feature on my other DealMachine account. Here is what I found on the test drive.

 

DealMachine Driving for Dollars

There are two options to start a drive in DealMachine’s mobile app. The first is to be in the drive tab and click “Drive.” The second is to click the “Add Leads” tab at the bottom and click “Drive for Leads,” and click “Free Drive.” Then you can start driving to look for distressed properties. Once you find a distressed property, you can add it as a lead in several ways. There is “Pin Mode,” where you will have to click the add lead button, or “Tap to Add Mode,” where you tap on a property to add it.

Once you add the property, the next step is to take and add the property’s picture. This is helpful if you don’t have the Street Pic add-on and want a property photo on the direct mail piece. When I added the property picture on DealMachine, it loaded quickly. It took maybe 15 or 20 seconds with the signal I had on my phone. The strength of your phone signal is a huge factor in loading times when it comes to all features in any app. 

After the picture was added, I went ahead and added a tag. I tried adding a custom tag that wasn’t already there, and it seamlessly loaded. I also selected a few default tags. I find the default tags helpful in streamlining the process, so I don’t have to worry about adding every sign of distress commonly looked for in a property. This is also helpful for new drivers because they learn what they should be looking for.

Next, I wanted to skiptrace the property owner to see what information would pull up. It found a group of phone numbers and the listings reported whether each phone number was connected or disconnected, and it had a name attached to a few of the numbers. Then I started mail from the lead card while driving for dollars. This time-saving feature is not available on BatchLeads. It allows you to send mail immediately. Or, in the case of another investor also seeing it, maybe your mail will be the one they see first. Time is critical when contacting off-market property owners. 

Finally, when I was done driving, I ended my route, and the app showed how long I was driving and how many leads I added. Also, anytime I look at my map after the drive, the app displays the route on the map, so I won’t mistakenly drive the same route too soon.

I noted a few feature differences between BatchLead's driving and DealMachine’s driving for dollars, but I think the most significant difference was how each app functioned on my Android device. BatchLeads struggled to load during my drive when I was doing simple actions, which slowed down the entire driving for dollars process. DealMachine loaded quickly, and I did not have to clear the app when I started my drive. 

DealMachine Virtual Driving for Dollars

Not featured during the drives for each software is the Virtual Driving for Dollars feature. I could not figure out how to virtually drive on BatchLeads or where to access that information, so if you are inclined to virtually drive on BatchLeads, it is best to search for a tutorial on BatchTV. The virtual driving feature is a well-developed feature on DealMachine. You can virtually drive for dollars on both the DealMachine App and on the web.

DealMachine is designed mobile first. Meaning the app has all the features of the desktop version. And the app is updated every three weeks to ensure it is fast and all the functions work. As I said, speed is essential and DealMachine’s full-service app gives you an edge.

DealMachine vs BatchLeads Driving for Dollars

List Building

The next test I put both software through for comparison is assembling a list of properties without driving for dollars. 

For List Building in BatchLeads, you log on to the web version and enter the “Property Search” tab. You can find a list of properties by location or by setting boundaries. It will not pull up any properties if you do not set a location or boundaries. Once you set up where you are searching, you can add filters, which there are a TON of property filters in Batch. Below is an abbreviated list:

  • Property Characteristics
    • Beds/Bathrooms
    • Square Footage
    • Year Built
  • MLS Status
    • Active
    • Pending
    • Sold
    • Canceled 
    • Listing Price
    • Days on Market
  • Preforeclosure & Auctions
    • Notice of Sale
    • Notice of Default
    • Notice of Trustee’s Sale
    • Active Auction
  • Ownership Info
    • Owner type
    • Deed Transfer type
  • Lien/Bankruptcy/Divorce Data
    • Assessment Lien
    • Economic Lien
    • Federal Tax Lien
  • Valuation and Equity
  • Mortgage Info
  • Cash Buyers
  • Demographic Info

Once I set several filters, the app quickly pulled a list of properties that met my criteria. Then to add these properties to a list, you need to select which ones you’d like to save. There is a “Select All” option. To finish putting them on the list, you must click “Add” and then fill out the information for your list. 

List Pulling in BatchLeads

List Building in DealMachine is a simpler process. Also, you can make a list on both the mobile app and the web version. All you do is go into the List Builder tab and pull up a window so you can start applying filters. There is a handful of pre-set filters including:

  • All Single-Family Residential Properties
  • Vacant Properties
  • Owners of Multiple Properties
  • Preforeclosure
  • Foreclosure
  • Bank Owned
  • Absentee Owner
  • Expired Listings
  • Zombie Properties
  • Assumable Mortgage

Now the filters don’t end there for DealMachine. It also offers a few in-depth and customizable filters. You can click the create filter button and select from various data points, some of which are listed below.

  • MLS Information
    • Market Status
    • Initial Listing Date
    • Days on Market
    • Current Listing Price
    • Highest List Price
    • Lowest List Price
    • Sale Price 
    • Sale Date
    • MLS Data Updated Date
  • Property Information
    • Building Square Feet
    • Lot Acreage
    • Beds and Baths
    • Year Built
  • Owner Information
    • Owner Type
    • Vacant
    • Owner has Multiple Properties
  • Tax & Mortgage Information
    • Sale Price & Date
    • Calculated Total Value 
    • Calculated Improvement Value
    • Tax Market Improvements
    • Mortgage Amount
    • Lender Name
    • Equity Percent
    • Lien Data
DealMachine List Builder

Both products have a set of standard filters and each has a few filters that the other does not. Once you have selected your filters, you can either define your area by typing in a city or zip code, or you can draw on the map to define your location.

The most significant difference between pulling a list in BatchLeads and List Building in DealMachine is that pulling a list in BatchLeads is more like searching a database using specific criteria. Then you have to add those leads to be on a list manually. Whereas with DealMachine, once you apply the filters and click "build list”, it pulls all of those leads into a centralized list without manually adding them. Since both sets of filters are similar, the actual action of assembling the properties into a list makes DealMachine win in the List Builder category.

BatchLeads vs DealMachine List Building

 Managing Leads

Managing leads is a standard function that all real estate investing tools should have. In BatchLeads, you navigate to the “My Lists” tab, which displays your leads. You can individually add leads or bulk upload a list of leads. If you want to look at the individual list of leads you gathered from either driving for dollars or pulling a list; you will need to apply a filter. You can filter by lists or most of the same data points you use to pull a list.

The next important thing that goes along with managing leads is “Actions.” You want to be able to apply an action to either individual properties or bulk apply it to a group. BatchLeads can bulk change lead status, lists, and self-managed tags, export to an excel sheet, skiptrace, add to a campaign, add to BatchDialer, opt out, or delete a lead. An important thing to note is that on the BatchLeads Personal Pro trial, you cannot skip trace leads unless you want to skip trace $50 worth of leads, which is a lot of leads. After you end the trial period and start a paid account, you can skip trace individual leads or a bulk list, even if it isn’t $50 worth. 

BatchLeads Lead Filtering

You may also want your app to be able to add tasks to help keep you on track with what you are supposed to do daily, weekly, or monthly. To create a task in BatchLeads, you will have to go to the calendar, and then you can enter tasks into the system and set notifications for each task. I did not see a place to tag specific leads in tasks or create a task straight from the lead card, but you could write the address in the notes as an alternative.

To manage your leads in DealMachine, start in the leads tab. In the leads tab, you can bulk upload lists via a spreadsheet file or individually add leads, just like in BatchLeads. You can also pull up individual lists by clicking “Open Lists.”

You can take bulk or single actions to your leads, such as direct mail, skip tracing, assign lead owner, change status, create a list, add, or remove from lists, add or remove tags, export leads, or permanently delete leads. A significant advantage of the DealMachine trial is that each account is set with a minimum of $5 in marketing credits. That means you can test DealMachine’s skip-tracing feature while you are still in your trial.

DealMachine Lead Filtering

Finally, to round out managing leads in DealMachine, you can create tasks tied directly to a lead from your lead card. You can access and manage these tasks from the clipboard at the top next to your profile picture. If you need to create a task quickly, you can also do that from the tasks tab.

The lead management system for both BatchLeads and DealMachine is similar, but the feature that puts DealMachine a step up is being able to create tasks and tie them to a specific lead.

Managing Leads BatchLeads vs. DealMachine

Team Functions

BatchLeads has a variety of team functions depending on your plan. You must sign up for Team Basic or Team Plus if you want team functions. With the Team Basic plan, you may add up to 50 users (10 per workspace). The Team Plus plan can add up to 200 users (20 per workspace). The team versions of BatchLeads are not offered during the free trial. You can remove, assign, and reassign drivers in the team space. They also provide an Admin role that can give users to a specific workspace and set custom limits on monthly leads per user.

In DealMachine, there are a variety of team functions depending on your plan. Some of the features offered are assigning tasks to different team members or tagging them in a task. You can also give leads to other team members. 

If you want to recruit drivers, there is an option on some of the DealMachine plans to have a driver recruitment portal. Once you recruit drivers, there are training videos to walk them through the process. Along with recruiting drivers DealMachine offers the ability to assign different permission levels to each driver.

Outreach Marketing

During my BatchLeads trial, I tested setting up a mail marketing sequence. However, it canceled the test mail due to my lack of wallet balance. In the trial period, you cannot add to your wallet balance. Therefore you can only skiptrace individual leads or send out mail once you are on a paid account. 

That being said, let’s go through how you send out mail on BatchLeads. If you want to send out a one-off piece of mail to a single property, you will still need to set up a sequence to send out mail, but only include one piece of direct mail. Also, if you want to change the mailing address for a property in BatchLeads, you can’t do that directly. You'll have to go through an alternate process of importing it as a new lead with the correct address. This was clunky and not user-friendly.

You can set up the sequence in a couple of different ways. The first way is through the leads list in the “My Lists” tab. You can select any leads you would like to mail market to; click the actions drop-down menu and click “Start Campaign.” If you want to set up a mail campaign differently, enter the “Campaigns” tab on the left and select “Direct Mail.” From there, the process is straightforward. You add a list of leads to market to and then add each direct mail piece and the intervals you would like to send them out.

Mail Sequences in BatchLeads

Next, let’s dive into customizing direct mail in BatchLeads. They do offer a variety of color-popping postcards and letters. You can customize each postcard's text, font, colors, and pictures. You can similarly edit and stylize the text with different colors for the letters. Also, in the mail templates, they have sample text, so all you have to do is press send if you choose.

During the DealMachine trial, I could send a piece of test mail and test out the skip tracing in case I wanted to reach out to my leads by phone. One thing to note is if you want to set up a mail sequence using different creative, you will need to add the Mail+ add-on to your account. If you are content with sending the same piece of mail multiple times, you can set that up on your account with no add-on necessary.

In the Leads tab of DealMachine, you can send direct mail individually to each property right from the lead card. You also can pause or end mail as an individual or bulk action from the Leads tab. Also, you can edit the mailing address for any property. It is a super simple process to set up a mail sequence if you have the Mail+ add-on. Just go into the “Mail” tab, and you will enter the Mail Center, and you can create a new sequence under the “Mail Sequences” tab or in the “Mail Center.” You can add each piece of mail that you would like to the sequence and set the interval at which they send and whether they repeat.

Mail Templates in DealMachine

There is the option to add custom mail to those sequences and not just the pre-made templates, so let’s talk about how to customize mail in DealMachine. You only need to click the “New Postcard” option to start from scratch. Then you can select different-sized postcards or a BallPoint letter. You can also edit the premade templates by selecting “Edit Design.” You can edit text, background colors, fonts, and pictures from there. Like in BatchLeads, you can leave the scripted-out text in your postcard or personalize it.

The variety of templates from DealMachine edges out the mail from BatchLeads. Also, the ease of use and type of add-on options like ‘Street Pic” for your mailers put DealMachine above the competition.

Outreach Marketing BatchLeads vs DealMachine

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen the comparison of BatchLeads and DealMachine, I think it is safe to say that the clear winner for driving for dollars, lead management, team functions, and outreach marketing is DealMachine. The overall user-friendly and intuitive design of DealMachine makes the DealMachine mission of “Giving everyone the power of real estate™.” well represented. 

Do you want to see another competitive analysis? Check out our comparison of Propstream vs DealMachine.

Written by: Samantha Ankney

Published: November 8, 2022

 

// Intercom