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22 Comments

$145/MRR to $7.5k/MRR in 15 Months

Greetings Indie Hackers,

Just wanted to give a quick introduction about myself and my business. I am a woman in the industry, which I feel like makes me a bit of an outcast. There are times where I have trouble finding my fit; trouble feeling like I have a place where I can go and talk to likeminded people who are open to getting to know a woman in this business. Well, let's go for it!

I started my SaaS, The Agent Nest, in January of 2020. Before starting this business, I had another company called MoRealty Marketing that I ran for six years (Still don't dig this name!), where I did individual marketing for real estate agents. This took me a lot of time and I felt like I wasn't get properly compensated in regards to the amount of effort I was putting into each client. I teamed up with my long-term boyfriend, who is a developer, because I wanted to get in the world of SaaS and start a company that was a little more hands-off. Thus, The Agent Nest was born.

I wanted to create a product that provided marketing content, such as social posts, videos, postcards, etc., for the real estate industry that agents could instantly access for a set monthly fee. I will tell more about the process of how I got to where I am today in other posts. For now, I wanted to do a bit of celebrating.

When I started my company in January, I had six people sign up. At $32/month/person, I wouldn't say that is a very sustainable reoccurring monthly revenue. I spent hours developing a marketing plan for this company, I reached out to real estate agents on social media through ads, cold messaging, and through a few connections I had made with my previous company. (I will go into this more in a separate post) Here is the timeline of my MRR after working day and night on building my following.

  • January 2020: $145
  • February: $382
  • March: $517
  • April: $2443 (This will be a fun story!)
  • May: $3510
  • June: $3884
  • July: $5082
  • August: $5681
  • September: $5580
  • October: $5272
  • November: $5550
  • December: $5767
  • January (2021): $6460
  • February (2021): $6820
  • March (2021): $6797
  • April (2021): $7654

As you can see, I was stuck around the DREADED 5k mark for a bit. After surpassing that mark I have so much hope for the future of my company. The great thing about The Agent Nest is that it ALMOST runs itself without any support. Each month I add new content and my customers don't reach out very often (That was until I hit around the $6000 mark). I'm going to be making my first hire soon and I am looking forward to that. My goal is to get to 10kMRR by July (I know...big goals here).

That's a sort of shortened version of my story. If anyone has any suggestions on who I should hire first- support, marketing person, graphic designer, I would be grateful to accept.

Thank you for reading and I will keep you all updated on the regular!

  1. 5

    This solves a big need in the industry - everyone says "do content marketing" but nobody has the time (or skills) to make compelling content each week.

    Since any given homebuyer is likely to be on just one Agent's email lists or direct mail list, it makes all kinds of sense to have one expert marketer create the content and have hundreds or thousands of agents push out the content marketing to thousands or millions of recipients.

    Have you tried to move upstream, selling to the head office of someone like Re/Max or Keller Williams for a bulk buy across their agent pool? It looks like Keller has a program specifically to find companies like yours:

    https://headquarters.kw.com/keller-cloud-innovator-program/

    1. 2

      This comment is SO helpful. We have been trying to gear more towards brokerages and this is the link that I needed. I actually didn't even know this existed so I will be applying now. I REALLY appreciate your help with this and all of your kind comments and insights.

      1. 1

        Well, I may be applying in a few months ... so let me know how the process goes and what I should watch out for!!

  2. 3

    You'll definitely reach 10k! Loved your story and growth.

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! :)

  3. 2

    Ain't nothing more inspiring than seeing a woman crush it in tech! I love how much value it provides and not gonna lie too.... For that price, this would be a God send for multiple industries. Keep pushing!

  4. 2

    Thank you for sharing. As a woman in this space I can definitely relate to the outcast feeling and reading this brought me joy. Congrats on the growth and good luck on the next goal of 10k!

    1. 1

      Thank you so much! I am so happy to see you here and so glad I am not the only one that feels this way. You're awesome!

  5. 1

    Molly, I'm a bit saddened to hear that, as a woman SaaS owner, you've felt like a bit of an outcast in the industry.

    There's part of me that can understand that (not in a good way), because most of the public SaaS owners/figures that I've heard about have been men. I don't know if that is because of pure percentages or something else.

    One thing is for certain -- from what I've seen, the IH community welcomes everyone, equally. So I hope you feel at home here. So, welcome -- and congratulations on your $7.5k/MRR milestone!

    As for your first hire, I would recommend figuring out what takes up the majority of your time, and then order that list by revenue generating tasks (most to least).

    At the beginning, you are going to be the best person to "market" or sell your service. So outsourcing that right away is not likely the best idea. It's better for you to understand what works and what doesn't, then once you have that, then you can outsource marketing.

    If you free up time from doing non-revenue (or lower-revenue) generating tasks, you'll have more time to focus on sales.

    Keep in mind that anytime you hire someone for a particular task, especially if it's a PT person or someone that is junior-level, you will most likely be spending more time doing that task for some period of time. Almost no one you hire will do it as well as you, and will think like you. So there will be a learning curve for that new hire, and you will spend a good deal of time training them.

    I'm sure there are some exceptions, but I ran a high 6-figure business for 10+ years, and currently run some boutique/smaller revenue businesses, and that's been my experience most of the time.

  6. 1

    This is incredible Molly, huge congrats!

    Would love to know if there was anything in particular that eventually helped you get over the 5k mark?

  7. 1

    Congrats, Molly. You are a great person and a strong woman.

  8. 1

    good for you! this is so cool! congrats! keep going!

  9. 1

    @Theagentnest Congrats on the big milestone! Don't forget to take a sec to celebrate!

    I was checking out your site and I'm curious how you came to a decision on your pricing?

    Have you ever changed or thought about testing changes to your pricing?

  10. 1

    Hi @Theagentnest, this is awesome. The real estate sector is so ripe for smart solutions like this.
    I am working on a real estate website builder myself and can see a lot of scope for collaboration with you - just reached out on linkedin.

    By the way, I created this group here. Would love you to join:

    https://www.indiehackers.com/group/real-estate-and-proptech

  11. 1

    Well, I'm definitely intrigued to know what happened in April!

    I checked out the site. I can see the value of it for users and the personal tone of the whole thing is something I can see would appeal to some real estate companies.

    For what it's worth, I think the video on the landing page could be improved - it quickly runs through some features and there's some fast scrolling through examples. What i feel might work well here is a version that cycles over a view examples from the customer's perspective. Like, run through a scenario from start to finish - show all the tasks and functions in order and in the context of the set of tasks someone might do. Right now that video isn't showing or telling me the benefits, just a lot of features without a narrative.

    I feel sad to hear you feel like an outcast. I say keep going, bring what you have to the table to help others and gender (and any other labels) quickly evaporate.

    Good luck, I hope you make it to £10K

  12. 1

    Hi @Theagentnest that was a very inspiring read! Congrats on the success so far and I know you're just getting started.

    As far as a first hire, well it seems the product has proven its value for that niche at a nice steady pace, so I think it can grow even faster if you get someone to assist in marketing channels which you're not as familiar.

    So if you're good at social media ads + outreach, maybe find someone who specializes in SEO / Google search PPC / YouTube Ads + organic content.

    Or heck, maybe even someone really good at outbound and double up on those efforts in outreach and perhaps some cold-emailing (which is tough but doable with the right hire).

    Perhaps maybe even before your first hire of a person, it might be better ROI to "hire" more software to help automate or improve the current workflow:

    • live chat software like Crisp IM or Intercom (kinda pricy) to help engage prospective customers / or handle support for current customers
    • Email personalization software like Lemlist to increase cold email conversions

    Just a couple examples of where those dollars could go instead. But if support is starting to stack up, then I do think a customer support hire is typically a good investment to keep customers happy and stay on top of things easier.

  13. 1

    Nice! So do you have your own membership site? or use FB group or something?

    If I got it right, you used to do "Done for you" and now it turned into "Do it yourself"? You give real-estate agents marketing content and they apply that themselves?

    1. 1

      Hey Jonathan! Yes, it is a membership site. I used to post on individuals social media and wanted to expand my reach. At that time I was only able to handle about 15 accounts at a time. Now I am able to handle a limitless amount with a "do it yourself" business. The agents get supplied with the content like social posts, they have the ability to edit them and post them onto their accounts. All the social posts come with captions and hashtags, so all they have to do is download or schedule onto their social media sites and they are good to go! There are also print marketing materials as well that they can edit. I put everything together for them- all they have to do is edit in their contact information and they are good to go :)

      1. 1

        Sounds awesome! Are there any issues with duplicated content AKA same agents post the same content?

        Also, curious about the site, are you using a WP plugin, or everything is coded from scratch? I'm using an FB group for a small membership I have and it sucks haha

        1. 1

          Since all of our content is customizable, a lot of the agents add their own flare to the posts to make it different from others who are posting the content. I love looking at the social media of my customers and seeing all the different ways they are customizing the content by changing the photos, colors, adding animations, and even changing the language! I am going to get Shane on here to answer your questions about the site. Everything is coded from scratch but he can give you more information. We are using Auth0 and ButterCMS to handle all of our content and customers if that helps. Anyway, I'll let Shane know you commented this and have him hop on!

          1. 1

            Oh, I see, now I get it. Thanks!

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