How ClientLook Is Beating Salesforce At It’s Own Game

Michael Griffin-ClientLook CRM CEO

How ClientLook Is Beating Salesforce At It’s Own Game

Earlier this month Duke Long interviewed our Founder and CEO, Michael Griffin to talk about our commercial real estate software. The entertaining and informative podcast is available here for you to listen to; and the main highlights are detailed in the blog post below.

How did you get into CRE technology?

Michael started out as a broker in the commercial real estate industry and couldn’t find a CRM that specifically suited his needs. Since nothing existed at the time, he developed an ACT! add-on called ARES for ACT! A few years later he sold ARES to CoStar, and then worked at CoStar for several years learning about the information and subscription sales side of the business. Michael left CoStar to start ClientLook back in 2008.

ClientLook was self-funded by Michael Griffin, which caused slower growth at first. Michael is still in full control of the company today; he makes all of the decisions, and controls the direction of the company. ClientLook is a self-sustaining business with no debt, no investors, and no Board of Directors to report to, and the business is booming and profitable.

Why didn’t you build a Salesforce add-on?

ClientLook is a stand alone platform, not built as an add-on to Salesforce. Although developing an add-on is an easy path to take, you are limited to the features of that system and there are many pitfalls. With any third-party application you have to pay licensing costs which eat into your revenue; it’s a high cost of sales; and you don’t control the base product. Your support costs are tremendously higher, and ultimately all of the cost factors didn’t make sense. With any add-on product, there is only so much that you can truly change. Having our own application allows us to be more efficient. We have built ClientLook from the ground up to create the experience that a commercial real estate professional truly needs, and no add-on can compete with that.

What other CRM’s do you compete with and how are you beating Salesforce?

When we speak with prospects during sales calls, we hear that they are looking at Salesforce or a handful of Salesforce add-ons. When people compare our product and our features, we have a much more customizable solution that is specific to the commercial real estate industry. We can beat anybody that builds on top of any third-party application when it comes to specific CRE features. Part of our appeal is our intuitive design that makes the system super-easy to use. Salesforce is built for the enterprise, and the CRE industry is not an enterprise marketplace.

How do you define the user experience?

Most companies are too narrow when they define the user experience. At ClientLook, the user experience includes every experience that the user has from their initial visit to our website, to the interaction with our sales team during a demo, to their experience with the actual product. Failing at any level destroys the overall user experience. We hear from our users over and over again that nobody beats the ClientLook user experience and we’re very proud of that.

What marketing strategies are working best?

We spend very little money on marketing, and we are fortunate that we don’t really need to. Last year, more than 90% of our sales came from incoming leads and referrals. We don’t need to solicit awareness, because we create high-quality lasting relationships with our subscribers and they tell other brokers. Building these relationships has been the best form of marketing for us.

How does your strategy differ from your competitors?

As far as we’re concerned, CRM needs to be easier and accessible to everyone regardless of their business size and technical ability. There’s no need to complicate things and add features that aren’t really useful because complex workflows will fail. We have implemented a New To Business Program that offers new brokers a free six month subscription to ClientLook so they can hit the ground running in their new career. Our training program sets them up for success so new brokers can see the huge benefit that our CRM will make on their business.

How is ClientLook leading with tech adoption?

If your technology is too complicated, users won’t use it, so lack of adoption is the fault of each tech company. At ClientLook, user retention is our main focus and guides every decision we make. With our approach, you don’t need any training because our CRM is so user-friendly and easy to use. We have also included our exclusive Virtual Assistant team with our subscriptions. Our VA team is here for our users to do data entry, schedule follow up appointments, and it frees up the brokers time to focus on making deals instead of updating their CRM. The VA has been one of our most popular features and has helped us have a 99% renewal rate with our users.

A huge thank you to Duke Long for this wonderful interview! You can listen to the full podcast between Duke Long and Michael Griffin here.

If you’re not using ClientLook for your business, you’re working too hard. ClientLook is the only all-in-one CRM built specifically for the commercial real estate industry. See how it can save you time, boost your productivity, and increase your income by requesting a complimentary demo or signing up for our risk-free 21 day trail.


About the Author

Chelsy Cardin

Chelsy Cardin - Director of Marketing, ClientLook, Ltd.

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