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Working as a real estate agent is one of the most competitive professions in the world. In the United States alone, more than 1.5 million (July 2021) real estate agents are active members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). With such immense competition, agents must adopt an innovative platform to streamline their business and stand out in today’s environment.
Two agents who have discovered a successful platform and are currently leveraging technology to implement new business strategies are Tamy Gluck and Talita Fagerstrom from Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty.
Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1999 by Tamy and D.J. Gluck and was originally known as Blumberg Associates Real Estate. In 2007, however, the duo partnered with Sotheby’s International Realty and established Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty. Over the past 23 years, Tamy and her team have developed one of the premier real estate companies on the Jersey Shore, focusing on consistent training, cutting-edge technology, and continual support. Talita is a key member of the team, acting as director of lead generation. She is responsible for building and cultivating prospect relationships – and today, leveraging technology to maintain a competitive edge in the ever-changing marketplace. We sat down with Tamy and Talita to learn more about how their team effectively uses Cloze and ActivePipe to maintain an ongoing flow of communication with their clients. Let’s take a closer look.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
Before diving into how the team uses technology, let’s first review one key element both individuals identify as a critical aspect of their success – one that goes beyond technology – an efficacious morning routine.
Successful entrepreneurs often link their professional progress to their ability to implement daily routines – routines not only help them improve concentration but are also linked to increased productivity. The most common morning rituals include exercise, meditation, and reading, to name a few.
I wake up at about 5:30 or 6:00, and I run upstairs and do a quick exercise class of some kind. Then I start doing my affirmations and gratitude, and I read something,” Tamy shares.
Similarly, Talita reports, “I like waking up early in the morning and reading something uplifting. I have a book next to my bed, so I read … a page a day and then I get up. I exercise and then I go into the office. I open my Cloze [account] but hold off on [reviewing] it because I do my affirmations with Ninja [first].”
Once they are ready to commence work, both head straight to Cloze (and skip their emails!). The Cloze Agenda is where you can start your day and check periodically to stay on track and get things done. Instead of getting bogged down with never-ending emails, the Cloze Agenda prioritizes your to-do list and helps you stay relevant in your day-to-day business.
I can go down and look at the agenda and … start following up with what I need to do. It’s really nice. It will tell me what meetings are set up for the day, who I need to keep in touch with, and which agents I need to follow up with. It has a list of everything [I need] to do. It makes it nice and easy,” says Talita.
Always Stay in Flow
Ninja Selling promotes the concept of always staying in flow – an idea Tamy and Talita both consider when developing their business strategies. “Flow is the frequency of interaction – face-to-face, telephone, email, social media, etc. Flow is what builds relationships. Think of it like oxygen for the business: keep the oxygen flowing, and the business will thrive – with one rule: flow must be perceived as valuable to your customers.”
There are, however, two different types of flow: live flow and auto-flow. Live flow deepens your relationships with existing and prospective customers. It includes face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, etc. Auto-flow, on the other hand, includes marketing tools such as newsletters and industry updates – it helps you stay visible even when you are invisible.
Cloze for Live Flow and ActivePipe for Auto-Flow
Tamy explains that both live and auto- flows are essential for maintaining relationships in today’s brokerage world, and the use of both Cloze and ActivePipe can streamline the process. Cloze ensures ongoing communication between agents and clients through real-time updates. Cloze’s artificial intelligence continuously tracks and monitors your database, ensuring agents are able to check items off their to-do list on a daily basis. While, ActivePipe helps improve exposure, specifically through newsletters, intent surveys (integrated with weekly property updates), market reports, industry updates, “Just Listed” campaigns, and blog content.
What enticed us to [use] Cloze and ActivePipe was that [they] had a Ninja touch to [them]. … what’s overwhelming when you start [using] any new product is learning it and then thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have all of my database in it, and I have to have all of this … put together,'” Gluck explains.
“What’s lovely about Cloze is that you can do it in baby steps. It automatically connects your file system and emails, but you don’t realize … that it’s pulling it all together for you in this lovely story and then each day you do a little bit more … you add a little bit more to your database. It tells you when to touch [base with] people or when you haven’t spoken to someone for a while … for me, that was a total game-changer,” adds Tamy.
Constantly Managing Leads
Talita reports, “We get about … 10 to 20 new leads coming in from Zillow, Realtor.com, and my job is … to stay in touch with everyone.”
Real estate is all about managing leads. Lost leads are lost revenue, and poor follow-up can be detrimental to an agent’s business. However, prioritizing and identifying the next action steps can be overwhelming. Talita, as director of lead generation, recalls how resourceful Cloze is in managing leads and maintaining effective relationships.
Cloze [has] definitely made my job easier because … it gives me these reminders. So when I log in in the morning, I can look and [see] my agenda … it gives me a list of people and … it [indicates] … my last interaction with each client or … buyer. So then I can just go down the list … My day is set for me, and it’s less stressful. It’s more organized … everybody’s getting followed up with, so it’s very very nice.”
Transactions, however, do not occur instantaneously. In most cases, it takes years of nurturing a relationship before a buyer or seller will transact with an agent. And without active flow management, agents do not have the capacity to maintain these relationships. But with the right combination of technology and a personal touch, Tamy reports that her team has effectively been able to win deals as a result of their flow management skills.
[In] this one particular instance, a gentleman, a doctor client of ours that we [were touching base] with … for a couple of years … reached out to me and told me that it was the auto-flow that kept me at [the] top of [his] mind, and, sure enough, we got the listing … we got the buy side, and he appreciated that. I think [the timeline] is so helpful, touching [base with] people. And, honestly, I probably only called him a couple of times and then I [set him up in] Cloze and, you know, it was a reminder for me to reach out to him and it … organically started happening.”
The Art of an Effective Email Campaign:
Cloze + ActivePipe together
In 2019, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day. In 2022, this number is expected to increase to more than 347.3 billion per day. Everyone and every company have turned to email marketing campaigns as their “go-to” resource for business operations. They have reduced direct marketing via “snail” mail, and relied on technology to do the heavy lifting.
Unfortunately, the mass number of emails being sent daily has created a disadvantage – consumers are no longer interested in generic email marketing campaigns and instead are focusing on reaching out to businesses that connect with them, either personally, financially, or socially.
This has made it difficult for real estate firms to connect with prospective clients without conducting traditional phone calls, which can be time-consuming and ineffective. Talita recalls how Cloze and ActivePipe have allowed her team to overcome this barrier, creating an avenue for them to send targeted email campaigns.
Cloze makes it easy for you to set criteria in the contact and then ActivePipe reads the information and … we’re able to set up a campaign for each … specific city. And then the emails, drips, and listings get sent to buyers based on what they’re looking for, based on the criteria that we set for them in Cloze … then every day we get a notification from ActivePipe, letting us know who’s interacting with these campaigns and we can reach out in a different way.”
This personalization is essential for the end-user, which is a Ninja idea as well. Many agents want to simply send a mass email hoping to get a response. On the contrary, this can create a negative brand image.
Cloze makes it easy to categorize leads, providing opportunities to tailor marketing campaigns. Tags are labels that help users organize people, companies, projects, properties, and deals. When sending a campaign via ActivePipe, Tamy shares how tags have simplified her marketing efforts, allowing her to focus on both personalizing messages and branding content.
Setting up a relationship in Cloze that allows us to segment our business or whatever we’re focusing on … just flows. And we can segment it as intricately as we need to, and it can be … more wide [ranging]. So … when it comes to branding, [we] may move more toward the database and then … we segment it [by] targeting different audiences.”
How to Scale but Stay Authentic
To put it simply: It’s all about flow management. From managing leads to sending email campaigns, implementing effective technology to streamline both auto- and live flow is critical.
The primary focus of every agent should be on relationships: building trust with prospective clients can help win business in the end. You must demonstrate not only that you are active in the market but that the client comes first – you are not just following up with them to close the deal but to really bring them value. Using Cloze, according to Tamy, ensures this happens.
There’s a timeline [in Cloze] for each particular person. It breaks down [according] to property and person. So when you go to the person and see the timeline and interaction, you know [that you’ve] really done well … because [you] can see the story of the relationship, and it’s … the relationship that [spurs] our business. So that is super helpful. And I … just put that all together recently, and, gosh, I’ve really used it a lot lately … to engage with … our clientele.”
Furthermore, by using a multi-level marketing approach, you can efficiently scale your business while remaining authentic. The technology offered in both Cloze and ActivePipe allows users to analyze their marketing efforts and implement changes based on market trends and demand.
It’s a seller’s market. Talita explains how using Cloze and analyzing the data supports this.
We’re trying to [encourage] all of our agents to use Cloze and ActivePipe. One of our [staff members] … was sitting down with me and I was trying to show her all the analytics that Cloze [offers], and it actually broke down who she was making calls to. It shows you … who you’re spending the most time with, and [she was spending her time with] all buyers … like 95% [of her time], and she looked at me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I better start calling my family,'” She was jokingly referring to the need to inform her family of their opportunity to sell!
That’s the power of targeted marketing and technology working together.