James Bean is Vice President at SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners in Ventura, California. Born and raised in Ventura County, James recently returned to Southern California after spending 15 years working as a commercial broker in Phoenix, Arizona where he continues to maintain a real estate license.
James has been involved in more than 1500 lease and sale transactions, with more than 200 of those being investment sales and user transactions. Combined, these deals have involved more than $1 Billion in volume and comprised several million square feet of improvements.
Learn how James uses ClientLook CRM in his busy commercial real estate business.
Can you tell me a little bit about your business? What do you specialize in and what does your day to day schedule look like?
I am an investment sales broker specializing in retail, industrial, and office investment sales. I am licensed in Arizona and California and hang my licenses at two different SVN offices. In 2014 I moved from Phoenix to Ventura, and here in California I primarily focus on retail properties along the Central Coast. I am also a national 1031 Exchange expert.
I belong to a high-end networking association, Provisors, and attend 1-2 of these meetings each week. Since I am a one-man shop, my schedule varies quite a bit from day to day with a mix of breakfast and lunch meetings, business development, client meetings, as well as coaching calls (I am a Massimo Group coach).
Why did you start using ClientLook?
I started using ClientLook in the Fall of 2017. I was first introduced to ClientLook from the Massimo Group when I heard Michael Griffin do an interview with Rod Santomassimo. Back when I joined SVN, they were using Apto, but I decided to stick with ClientLook since I had more than 5,000 properties and over 3,500 contacts already organized within my database. ClientLook is so easy to use, so it made sense to stick with it.
How easy was it to get your data converted into ClientLook?
It was very easy! I was using Salesforce previously, so I downloaded all of my contacts and properties into a spreadsheet and the ClientLook support team handled the entire import. I was up and running smoothly in less than a week.
What problems has ClientLook solved for you?
ClientLook is so simple to use! I have used several other CRM’s in the past, but they were so robust that I was overwhelmed with them. I always thought that I had to fill in all of the fields for everything, so I was spending too much time doing data entry and not enough time being a broker. ClientLook has solved so many problems for me because of its simplicity. I can easily track my properties and deals, and I really like that I can create groups for my contacts. That makes my email marketing efforts easy and streamlined. The ClientLook system is very easy to navigate and it all just works together.
What features do you like the most about ClientLook?
The Virtual Assistant is awesome, I use the iPhone app, and I really like that ClientLook syncs with Google as a very natural integration. I also like how easy it is to link files to properties (photos, brochures, etc.) and the ability to save a copy of all your emails with the appropriate contact so everything is saved together.
The training and support with ClientLook are amazing and always easily accessible. Greg Hoard does a great job of going over the new features with me to make sure that I am fully optimizing the CRM to meet my needs.
How would you describe your overall experience with the ClientLook team?
Both Greg Hoard and Chuck Cutler have been great. The thing that I didn’t like about other CRM’s is that trying to get customer support was always a tedious task. With ClientLook, it’s easy to get the help I need or to get a quick response to any question I have. I like the chat feature within ClientLook and I can’t say enough about the simplicity that ClientLook brings to my day to day business. I can see why top commercial real estate producers maximize their efficiency by using a CRM; it’s a must-have in this industry!
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for a CRM?
First and foremost, the best CRM is the one that you’re going to use. Do your research and request demos to find the CRM that will easily integrate with the business structure that you have in place. Keep in mind that less is more, the easier the better, and don’t be distracted by the bells and whistles; focus on the features that you’re actually going to use.