An Interview With ClientLook “New To Business” User, Caleb Hodge
Caleb Hodge is an Associate at NAI Capital in West Los Angeles, California. As a newly licensed commercial real estate professional, he is part of our “New To Business” program to kick off his career on the right track by utilizing the ClientLook commercial real estate software.
Caleb is part of the Tenant Consulting Group at NAI, and the whole team is fully utilizing ClientLook to communicate more efficiently and grow their business in the Southern California market.
Learn how Caleb is using ClientLook CRM to build his new commercial real estate business:
What do you specialize in and what does your day to day schedule look like?
Caleb: I am part of the Tenant Consultant Group (TCG) team at NAI Capital, specializing in office tenant-rep. My schedule varies from day to day, but I try to keep it as structured as I can. On a typical day, I either walk, canvas, or research a building in the morning. Once I get to the office I focus on prospecting from 9am to 6pm. During this time, I try to connect with people by making phone calls, emails, networking via LinkedIn, and events to schedule as many meetings as possible. I end my day researching the properties that I am going to walk, cold call or connect with the next day. I try and go to at least one networking event each week. My schedule varies on the days when I have client meetings, when I’m doing property tours, or when I’m working on deals. I enjoy the variety that each day brings; everyday is different, I’m not stuck at a desk 24/7, and there is more freedom and potential in the commercial real estate industry than I’ve ever had previously in my professional career.
I started working in commercial real estate in November 2017 and got licensed around April of 2018. Doing office tenant-rep has been a great fit for me since I am interested in so many different industries, I enjoy learning about each of the companies that I work with. From law firms to non-profits to entertainment companies, like I mentioned earlier, every day is different. Definitely not a mundane career, which is great.
Why did you choose ClientLook to help build your new business?
Caleb: My team was looking at different CRM’s and we scheduled demos with several of them. Since everyone on our team, for the most part, is focused on tenant-rep, we wanted a CRM that we could tailor to meet our specific business needs. The other CRM’s we looked at seemed harder to use and the transition would have been time consuming. ClientLook was the most user-friendly and the best solution for our team.
How easy was it to get started with ClientLook?
Caleb: It was very easy to get started with ClientLook. I had my contacts saved in an Excel spreadsheet, so I sent that over to the ClientLook team and they handled getting everything uploaded. Now, I handle everything manually, but it’s incredibly easy to add new contacts, companies, and updates. Greg Hoard did a few webinar trainings with our team, and since then I have had a couple one-on-one sessions with him that have been very helpful. Since I had not used a CRM before, I devoted my time to learning how to use ClientLook properly. I realized the more I used the software, and the more information I added into my database, the more efficient I became. The system has been user-friendly since the beginning, but my training sessions with Greg allowed me to ask specific questions so I was able to be as efficient as possible. That experience has been very beneficial.
What features of ClientLook have been most impactful to you so far?
Caleb: The Virtual Assistant has been very helpful for me. When I am at a property, I can take a picture of the directory that includes the tenant names and suite numbers and send it to the VA to be inputted into my database. I typically send these photos in the morning or while I am still at the property, and by the time I get back into the office I have a note from the VA that my request has already been completed. Prior to using the Virtual Assistant, I was doing all of that myself and it was time consuming and inefficient.
Speaking of efficiency, the iPhone app is one of my favorite features. I can work from anywhere and have all of my data in the palm of my hand. The app has given me the freedom to be mobile and efficient with my time while I’m away from the office as well. The app has made canvassing much easier, now every building I walk into even on weekends I can still gather information and build my database.
How has your overall experience been with the ClientLook team?
Caleb: I have zero complaints. The ClientLook team is helpful and responsive. I talk with Greg about 90% of the time, and he responds to my emails right away. When I ask the VA a question, they also get back to me fairly quickly. It’s nice to know that I can reach out to someone and get an answer to my questions in a timely manner.
What would you tell other brokers who are looking for a CRM to launch their CRE careers?
Caleb: The best way to learn a CRM is to really use it and dive head first into it. Test out a couple CRM’s, schedule demos, but when you choose one, make sure you really committed to using it. Do not continue to upload contacts in Excel or however you were working prior, since all of the information needs to be in one place. Understand that converting information and learning a software is time consuming but that it will pay off in the future. Again, you want to be as efficient as possible with your time. If you don’t set up reminders or input the proper information, you’re just wasting your time. But if you devote your time and energy into doing it right from the beginning, a CRM will be an extremely useful tool for your commercial real estate career.