The commercial real estate industry runs on two things: Client management. And Big Data. The challenge has been integrating these two aspects.
AIR CRE is in the business of providing invaluable products and services to members, from contracts, to education, to arbitration. And thanks to a close partnership with Xceligent, AIR CRE provides cutting-edge data on office and industrial properties throughout Southern California. This partnership is also providing a customer relationship management software, ClientLook, to members, one that integrates with Xceligent data, while ensuring full information about contacts.
Why is this important? There hasn’t been much industry standardization in the area of CRM. Brokers and other CRE personnel use everything from Outlook, to difficult-to-integrate software platforms, to spreadsheets, to doing things by hand.
This lack of industry standardization drove Xceligent’s Michael Griffin, to develop, and launch, ClientLook, a platform that distills CRM into an easy-to-maintain system that integrates with real-time property research provided by Xceligent. The product launched in 2009; these days, it operates in 1,400 cities and seven countries.
Griffin explained ClientLook as a tool to assist brokers in developing relationships with both contacts and properties. “Brokers want to know tenants, owners, investors and other brokers; they want to understand and record their needs to buy, lease or sell,” Griffin explained.
Then there is the relationship that brokers and others in the industry must develop with the properties in their markets. This can be more difficult, as brokers build their own databases, rather than tapping into a centralized, up-to-date one. This can lead to inaccuracies, not to mention, wasted time on the broker’s part.
ClientLook’s integration with Xceligent delivers the industry’s first CRM to be linked to live commercial real estate research data. “Xceligent has a 1,000-person research team that keeps data current,” Griffin said. “So, when you pull up a property in ClientLook, it will show you Xceligent’s availability, comps, tenants, ownership and other data, in real time.”
Speaking of integration, Allen Buchanan with Lee & Associates relies on different platforms to help him do business. The problem with those platforms, was they didn’t play well together. He moved on to ClientLook because of the integration of CRM with Xceligent. He said it also seamlessly integrates with his other programs, which include ProspectNow, Buildout, MailChimp and AnalystPro. “I can pull up a survey of buildings in Xceligent and put it into ClientLook,” he said. “If the data on the buildings changes, real-time, in my CRM, I don’t have to worry about manually updating it. I love this program.”
And ClientLook is more than a storage site for data. One issue Griffin identified was the time required with most CRMs for database maintenance. “You have to log stuff, put in contact information and enter business cards. Basically, you have to feed it,” said Griffin, who added that it can take a CRE broker up to two hours a day, just to input contacts and property information.
But ClientLook offers a unique solution with its Virtual Assistant team which has, as its sole purpose, executing ClientLook users’ requests. Just had a meeting with a client? Leave the team a voice mail with the outcome and next steps. Have a business card that needs to be entered? Take a photo with your smart phone, and send it to the team. “The point here is to help the brokers to outsource as much as possible, so they can be focused on making deals, rather than database entry,” Griffin said.
ClientLook is hosted online as a cloud-based application, and Griffin said that an iPhone app is due for release in the coming months. Android and non-Apple users can always access ClientLook through a browser on their device.
ClientLook is incredibly easy to use. There’s no learning curve making extensive training and complicated on-boarding obsolete. The system is meant to be super intuitive, and it’s ready to use out of the box. “The goal is to be up and running in the same day,” Griffin explained, adding that the nearest competition requires a three-week training plan. “Adoption and complexity are inversely related. We keep things simple to ensure ClientLook users always stay productive,” Griffin said.
AIR CRE members can try ClientLook free for 21 days. For more information, visit xceligent.com/clientlook.