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Supported by the technology of Cloze, an innovative customer relationship management (CRM) tool, agents at Town & Country Realty have been enjoying a period of growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Lisa Marie Boyd, the firm’s principal broker, and co-owner, and Kate Meeuwsen, Town & Country Realty’s creative director, recently discussed how the platform has helped their agents excel in today’s market, leading them to close an average of over 15 transactions per agent this year.
Improving Efficiency by Adopting a Digital Platform
Lisa Marie Boyd and Catherine Fisher acquired Town & Country Realty in December 2016. Immediately following the acquisition, the owners encouraged the firm’s agents to adopt a digital platform.
In search of the perfect CRM, they found Cloze. It was one of the first “all office-wide programs” that they recommended to their agents.
It was the simplicity of use that made Cloze so beautiful,” Lisa Marie shares.
Delving deeper into the value that Cloze brings, Lisa Marie reveals, “We work really hard inhouse to try to find things that will add value and help keep our brokers in line but also not cost an arm and a leg.”
However, identifying such resources can be difficult. She explains, “The minute you get your real estate license, everybody starts flooding you with things you need to buy. We are big believers in relational selling and [feel] there’s no need to buy … [from other] competitors [like] Salesforce … because it’s super expensive and way too powerful.”
She concludes that Cloze provides the balance they need: “For what [our] brokers are doing, [other tools] have too much extra noise that they don’t need. We have a lot of old school brokers that still use Excel spreadsheets or pen and paper, and [we] are trying to find ways to help them streamline and be [more] efficient with their time because the more we can take off their plate and help them be efficient, the more they can do what they do best, which is [serving] clients.”
Cloze Supports Ninja Selling
Ninja Selling is one of the most relied upon sales platforms in today’s real estate industry. It is a “training system based on the philosophy of building relationships, listening to customers, and helping them achieve their goals. It … rejects pushy sales tactics [and instead helps agents] create value for people by solving their problems.”
This mindset is at the core of Cloze and is why dozens of real estate firms rely on this innovative CRM.
Prior to adopting Cloze, and even before Lisa and Catherine purchased the firm, Town & Country Realty had become a “Ninja sales office,” and when the two women acquired the firm, they amped up Ninja Selling even more.
“There weren’t [any] Ninja skills groups [at the time]. We actually brought Ninja Selling, the installation [of it], to Corvallis and made it an open event … we had people [from] as far away as North Carolina come for it. That was … our big launch into getting the whole office on board with Ninja, and we [now] use all of the Ninja vernacular. We have a niche for skills groups. We use a lot of the supplies and materials that are provided by [the company] in our coaching as well.”
Lisa Marie shares:
When we learned about Cloze … and the fact that it has the backend Ninja … I [started to] love it.”
In short, Ninja Selling and Cloze help agents focus on relationships, which translates into deals. No matter where agents are in the sales process or which clients they are working with, Cloze simplifies the communications process and ensures the development of trust and long-term relationships. This allows agents to gain traction in their market for generations to come.
Lisa Marie shares an example of how Cloze and Ninja Selling have aided one of her top agents:
One of our brokers, who is [in our Ninja skills group] and has been a broker [for roughly thirty years], actually said … ‘I love Cloze because it automatically tells me that I haven’t reached out to my clients,’ and she is multi-generational … She’s sold to the grandparents, the parents, the children, [and] the grandchildren … As long as she follows the program, she’s able to stay in flow with those people. And she loves it because it makes [the process] feel organic and natural.”
Cloze: Meeting the Demands of All Generations of Brokers and Agents
Town & Country Realty consists of 42 agents, spanning multiple generations. Some have been in the business for decades and are accustomed to the traditional pen-and-paper business, while newer agents have grown up with technology.
With a number of their agents currently using Cloze, Lisa Marie shares how the CRM is able to meet the capabilities of all generations.
The fact that we have this broker who’s been in the business … [for] more than 25 years … [and] … meanwhile, we have … a lot of our newer brokers who have been selling less than three years, [and] they [all have] gravitated to it.” She says, “It’s techy enough [for] the folks who are super techy. Yet it’s also user-friendly enough for the people who are a little bit less [adept] at technology.”
Cloze Improves Agents’ Marketing
Leveraging an effective CRM can dramatically impact a real estate agent’s success. Using it correctly allows agents to implement an effective marketing platform that feels organic. Town & Country Realty Creative Director Kate Meeuwsen chimes in on how Cloze enhances agents’ marketing ability.
She elaborates, “I’ve really appreciated that Cloze gives everyone an opportunity to do as much, or as [little], as they’d like in the program.”
Cloze offers agents a wide variety of tools to build their business. The CRM provides guidance and direction through the Cloze Agenda, prompting follow-up contact to ensure agents are building relationships with their clients.
The Cloze Agenda is where agents start their day. They can check the page periodically throughout the day and stay on track with their contacts. It prioritizes tasks by level of importance and groups similar tasks together to increase efficiency. It is the agent’s to-do list.
It doesn’t feel like a big marketing campaign … [which] is great for our brokers and our office.” Furthermore, it aligns with the core concept of Ninja Selling by allowing agents to focus on their sphere of influence, “staying in live flow.”
Agents can rely on additional features to further enhance their business development. They can use Cloze to send emails, create templates to simplify the process, and track campaigns and communications through the platform’s analytics and reporting.
At Town & Country Realty, principal brokers have taken the initiative to create email templates to help agents save time and streamline their processes.
“Once … or twice a month – because [in] our office we do a lot of our own writing and material – rather than reinventing the wheel [and ensuring the process is] streamlined, [we repurpose information to create email templates] and then drop [them in the backend, which then] goes to the brokers who are using Cloze, and they have the option to [use the template email] to send to their sphere [of influence], or to which whichever folks they want in their database,” explains Lisa Marie.
Overall, according to Kate, the platform aligns with the office “in that a lot of it [involves] one-on-one personal connection …” It offers a personalized approach to marketing.
Cloze doesn’t feel like an emergency type of CRM. It feels more like proactive, preventative care” that permits agents to build deep relationships.
Town & Country Realty Owners Use Cloze Too!
Not only do Town & Country Realty agents rely on Cloze, but the owners do too.
As one of the firm’s owners, Lisa Marie reveals that staying connected with a client database that is more than ten years old can be difficult – it’s easy to lose touch. As a top agency, Town & Country Realty receives most of its business through referrals that come from agents and owners connected to the community. As a result, they can be overwhelmed by the number of contacts they must stay connected with. However, Lisa Marie explains that Cloze allows them to “stay in front of those relationships … [and] what we do as a firm helps everybody.”
For me as a broker-owner, Cloze has felt like magic across the board.”
Favorite Features of Cloze
To conclude the interview, Lisa Marie and Kate identified their favorite features of Cloze. Here’s what they had to say!
Lisa Marie has four favorite features, including email tracking: “[Personally], my favorite feature is seeing that people open the emails we send because, as a managing broker-owner, I like to know that brokers are actually reading their emails.” In addition, she mentions Cloze’s Calendly integration, the CRM feature and templates, and the fact that the templates are categorized by client.
Kate, on the other hand, reveals her favorite feature is the follow-up button. If she sends an email and does not receive a response, she is prompted by Cloze to follow up by simply clicking a button. This improves efficiency and saves time when organizing her day.
Cloze has been instrumental in allowing Town & Country Realty real estate agents and owners to build relationships with potential and current clients and has contributed to the firm’s continued growth during the pandemic, something few agencies have experienced.
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