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In 2021, the market size of the real estate sales and brokerage industry was estimated to be $156.2 billion (measured by revenue). Real estate professionals have learned to lean into technology to improve and streamline their business operations to reach such staggering numbers. This includes not only real estate agents but all parties involved in the real estate process.
Spencer Tuckett from California Coast Escrow recently shared his insight into how leveraging technology – more specifically, relying on Cloze – has helped him grow his business and ultimately contribute to the expanding real estate market.
From Arizona to California
Spencer currently serves as the Business Development Manager at California Coast Escrow, specializing in business development and marketing management.
Before working at California Coast Escrow, Spencer worked in Arizona on the “title side of things.” He then connected with a former real estate agent who had recently started an escrow company in San Diego. Spencer and his wife decided to relocate from Arizona to Southern California to pursue this new opportunity.
When he joined the escrow team, Spencer started to leverage his education and experience to focus more on marketing and began working with agents to help grow their business.
Spencer says that he works with “agent-partners … to improve and grow their business through … powerful, unique selling propositions, to better refine their offers, and things of that sort … strategies … to help them leverage more of their listings and help buyers get their offers accepted more easily, [which is especially important] in [today’s] crazy … market.”
Dedicated to His Agents
To help agents meet their maximum potential, Spencer has developed a unique platform that focuses on their clients. More specifically, he helps agents identify ways to create unique selling propositions that fulfill each client’s specific needs.
First, Spencer prompts agents to identify their target market, or what he likes to call their “avatar clients.” Are they veterans? Are they million-dollar homeowners? Whoever they are, agents must focus on their own demographic. Once the avatar clients have been identified, Spencer and the agent start to focus on the clients’ needs.
In his experience, Spencer has identified some of the most common needs of real estate clients, including those who are looking for the highest price on their home, the quickest close, a competent agent, legal protection, and a smooth transaction process.
From there, Spencer assists agents in creating their unique selling proposition (USP).
A USP “is essentially a tangible, quantifiable offer that fulfills [the clients’] needs at a much higher level than anyone else is willing to offer.” Spencer explains that he helps agents “refine exactly what their offer is so that they … can broadcast it and distribute it in a uniform manner.”
This method allows agents to meet their clients’ expectations all the time. Spencer shares, “We cannot advertise what we do not do consistently.”
For example, some agents will offer to help stage homes that are over a specific price point but will provide a consultation for those under that price point. This reduces the agent’s ability to market themselves with a consistent platform. Spencer helps agents recognize this and determine how they want to brand themselves in today’s market.
After having identified an avatar client and developing a USP, the real estate agent can now set up channels to help automate and leverage marketing campaigns. This is where Spencer’s experience as a marketing specialist can assist agents in driving their own business.
Success is a Result of Hard Work
Today, Spencer is a highly recommended marketing specialist in the real estate community. However, his success did not come quickly. Instead, similar to others in the field, he had to build his business from the ground up, developing resources and building relationships one by one.
“In the beginning, I was ‘banging it out’ on the phone, trying to get in front of as many people as I could because … [real estate] is a contact sport. [I would] drop by offices, call as many agents that I knew, and call the agents that they knew, [as well as those on] the opposite side of the transaction.”
Continuous diligence and hard work eventually resulted in a snowball effect as Spencer’s business grew exponentially through referrals instead of cold calls.
Relying on Technology (Cloze!) to Manage Growth
While growing a real estate business, it is not uncommon to miss out on opportunities due to a lack of follow-up. Managing everyone they meet and every prospect can be tedious and challenging if they are not leveraging the right tools. To assist in this department, Spencer relies on Cloze.
Cloze … was honestly, a godsend for me.”
Cloze helps users manage relationships through automatic data entry and scheduling. As Spencer points out, it is the responsibility of the agent to take notes, set up tasks, and create reminders – but Cloze can take over those responsibilities.
Cloze automatically keeps track of emails, phone calls, text messages, meetings, and documents, as well as Evernote, MailChimp, DocuSign, and similar services. Its artificial intelligence (A.I.) then organizes the data — by contact, company, meeting, etc. — without any busy work. It even grabs contact information from email signatures to ensure contacts are always up-to-date.
It helps users create a schedule for follow-ups and prompts them to contact clients when it is time to reach out. This guarantees that users are always on top of their customers and their pipeline.
The fact that Cloze is able to essentially put everybody on a predetermined schedule to stay in touch has been awesome. It allows me to [connect with the agents] and continue to build rapport and … relationships with them on a consistent basis, without letting anybody slip through [the cracks],” explains Spencer.
Dedicated to a Morning Routine
Spencer reveals that his success has not only been the result of his business acumen, his dedication to the craft, and the implementation of technology. It has also been the result of his morning routine.
“My morning routine is actually what I consider my morning ritual. Without it, the rest of my day may not go as smoothly as I hope. So it’s something that I religiously perform and execute every day,” he says.
Waking up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m., Spencer dedicates the first few hours of the day to his mental health. This includes reading, brainstorming solutions to a problem, or listening to a podcast – anything to feed his mind. Then, he journals for five minutes. Following that, he completes what Tony Robbins has coined a “morning priming routine” (Spencer is actually a certified coach through Tony Robbins). This includes breathwork, imaging, and visualization of the goals he is going to achieve that day. Lastly, he spends ten minutes on a rebounder (or mini-trampoline), which helps detox the body. This process continues until 8:30 or 9:00, when Spencer then begins work.
Having a morning routine is a common theme among real estate professionals across the board. For most, it helps improve their concentration and enhances their productivity for the day.
Leveraging the Cloze Agenda
Once Spencer is ready to work, he starts with Cloze Agenda – an automatic checklist for his day.
The Cloze Agenda automatically shows users all of their upcoming meetings, reminders, to-dos, follow-ups, etc. Cloze’s A.I. scans their email inboxes, phone, texts, and other connected apps to display a list of tasks to complet—relationships that need attention; it prioritizes them and groups them together to do similar tasks at once. This automatic, daily routine eliminates the guesswork of who to contact next by helping Spencer focus on the right relationships to help him scale his business for the day.
I [open] Cloze. … [and the] one piece I absolutely love is that I never have to think [about] who to [contact] today. I never have that thought because … I [can] just open the agenda … and [it] essentially tells me everyone I need to reach out to [and] anyone whose ‘keep in touch’ [status has] essentially expired. [Then I know] it is time for me to … get in touch with them again.”
By using the Cloze Agenda, Spencer can focus on building and maintaining client relationships. It helps minimize the risk of prospective clients falling through the cracks. Instead, the Cloze Agenda prompts Spencer to reach out to existing clients and generate new business.
Cloze Uses Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
Overall, an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) system is critical for building a successful business. Previously, CRMs were used for data management – however, today’s technology has allowed systems such as Cloze to use A.I. to further enhance their software’s capabilities. In today’s market, relying on a system that uses these advanced technologies is essential.
Using the Cloze Agenda allows Spencer to develop more significant and worthwhile relationships with both agents and clients.
[I am] not [referring to] a vague … surface-level relationship but to a deep, meaningful relationship, one to which the [client] feels like you are actually adding value. … At least for me, Cloze has been … very critical for that.“
One additional feature of Cloze Agenda that has helped Spencer improve his ability to develop intimate relationships is the ability to automatically update his phonebook by pulling data from his email and other connected apps.
When a Cloze user receives an email from an unknown contact, that contact and their information is added to the user’s iPhone or Android contact app. No longer does the user need to add the contact manually in multiple apps. This data entry task (which, let’s face it, is tedious work) is eliminated from the user’s daily agenda. They can now rely on technology to improve communication and improve efficiency.
Focusing on Email Campaigns
Email is an avenue of marketing that all agents must utilize. However, there are different types of email campaigns, and agents should use different platforms depending on the particular campaign.
For direct marketing, such as sending emails to attendees after a specific event, Spencer uses Cloze. Cloze’s Mail Merge allows him to customize and track email campaigns, which adds a more personal touch to his messages.
Cloze’s Mail Merge permits users to email, multiple people, at once with a personalized message for each recipient. It is designed to let users communicate at scale with their real email while maintaining the one-to-one, personal touch of each relationship. First, the user composes the message they want to send, personalizes it for each contact (optional), and then clicks the send button to forward the email to each recipient. A personalized greeting is automatically included for each person, and no one is blind carbon copied (BCC). Each individual receives their own unique message, and no one sees the names and addresses of other recipients.
One of the [features] that I love is Mail Merge, … being able to essentially send the same email, same content … [to all of my clients]. I can now customize each one of those [messages] depending on the recipient, which is great. [It also offers] even greater customization. I like the fact that it … uses the merge tag of [the client’s] name, pulling it from their contact information … so every email feels and looks genuine, very authentic.“
He also commented on the Cloze tracking feature.
With Cloze, users have the ability to track open and link clicks for emails sent from within the app – so they know exactly when someone opens the message. Best of all, it works on both web and mobile devices for every email service they link to Cloze.
“I’ll make sure that link tracking is [turned] on because I like to see who has been looking at what. … I include a lot in my emails. … I think we have all been programmed to habitually click on links. So, we’ll read through an email and the links tell us what level of engagement we are actually experiencing … This allows me to speak more intelligently when I get on the phone, as opposed to just saying, ‘Hey. Did you see the email I sent?’ which is a bit more vague.”
Improving Efficiency with Cloze Email Templates
Streamlining processes like email communication is critical for real estate professionals. It saves time on administrative work and focuses on building relationships, which is key in this industry.
Spencer leverages Cloze Email Templates to save time and create consistency in his work.
Cloze Email Templates allow people to use existing templates or customize their own templates for their personal needs.
Throughout a transaction or throughout the onboarding process that I typically … use with my agent-partners … I am able to [create] some great templates that allow me to streamline … communication so that I’m not retyping the same information again and again.”
Specifically, Spencer relies on Snippets to create customized emails.
Snippets are small pieces of text or an image (or both) that people can use to create emails quickly. They differ from templates because they can be inserted into a new email while the user is composing it or within an existing email template. They can also be added to a Next Step.
I particularly like Snippets because, most of the time, email [should not be] purely identical. … A Snippet is really nice because I can take an aspect [from] here and [there] and … create a customized email. The beginning is the same, the end is the same, but the middle is more [personalized].”
Honing In on His Sphere of Influence
While leveraging the appropriate marketing tools has been beneficial for Spencer, the continued growth of his business depends on maintaining a strong sphere of influence. Sphere of influence refers to individuals within an agent’s network who provide the highest probability of generating business. This sphere includes clients who have influence or sway with others. It also includes clients with whom agents have transacted, those who have provided referrals, and those who rely on agents for their expertise, to name a few.
Spencer shares how he uses Cloze to manage the 2,000 contacts in his sphere of influence.
There is no way that I would be able to service the number of … clients that I do without something like [Cloze]. It allows me to make sure that the ball is not being dropped and that people are not slipping through the cracks. Otherwise, I would be like everyone else who aimlessly wakes up and is reactionary … who spends the day [following] somebody else’s agenda.”
Spencer also relies on his team for assistance. He assigns specific tasks to certain team members, and together they work to ensure that all clients are contacted appropriately and that the team is maximizing its potential.
It’s All About Teamwork
Much of Spencer’s success has been the result of transparency on his team – which is made possible through Cloze. At its core, Cloze is a CRM tool. All connections are noted within the system and saved so that the user can continuously refer to a client’s file in order to understand the client’s goals and target their immediate needs.
By adding the whole team to Cloze and providing them with the same access, team members can work together and ensure that they are all updated on a client’s status. When one person picks up where another one leaves off, they can be confident knowing what action items must occur next.
I can sound a lot more intelligent on the topic as opposed to starting that conversation from ground zero, as though I had no previous knowledge,” Spencer explains.
As a result, clients feel like the team is communicating with them and with each other.
At the end of the day, the ultimate outcome is the client’s experience. So, if any rules around visibility prohibit me or someone else on my team … from providing … the utmost customer service for one of our clients, it is a detriment. … That being the case, I think full transparency is fantastic. That’s how we operate at least.”
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