Baird & Warner invests in new technology to retain and engage clients


The Brokerage: Baird & Warner has a rich history in real estate. Founded in 1855, B&W is the largest independent locally-owned real estate company in Chicagoland and the oldest independent family-owned real estate services company in the United States. In addition, the brokerage provides their clients with financing and title services which creates a one stop shop for homebuyers.

The Situation: The B&W leadership team was looking to invest in new technology for the brokerage that could compliment the world class experience they already provided to their clients. The team’s previous technology offerings were not being adopted by their agents and struggled to engage their clients through the entire buying process. The brokerage wanted to build a system of best in class technology platforms that could speak to each other as well as preserve and grow agent businesses.  They needed a tool that would help retain clients in-house and compete against companies like Zillow and

Prior to signing with Zenlist as a company, many B&W agents were already using the platform individually. Word spread throughout the brokerage about how effective Zenlist was for buyer clients and soon there were almost 250 agents signed up for personal accounts. B&W leadership took note and interviewed agents using Zenlist to learn more about their experience with the platform. What they heard from agents over and over again is that Zenlist was the most effective tool they’d used with clients in a long time. With the strong testimonials from agents already using Zenlist, and after further research into the product and Zenlist team, Baird & Warner decided to offer Zenlist as an agent benefit company-wide.

In addition, the Internal Sales Agents (ISAs) on their E-Business department, who manage incoming leads generated from various sources, needed a better system to nurture relationships with potential clients. Once on Zenlist, the ISAs were able to immediately set up incoming leads with a custom search so they could then track their activity. The team could easily stay in touch with the leads via Zenlist and further build a relationship with them until they were ready to be connected with an active Baird & Warner agent. Zenlist developed the co-agent and agent transfer features specifically for the E-Business department to make the transition of clients from ISA to agent seamless.

The Process: Once B&W decided to launch Zenlist across the entire brokerage, the Zenlist team hosted various in-person and webinar training sessions. Zenlist built a direct integration to Cloze, B&W’s CRM platform, as well as added specific functionality for their ISA team such as co-agent & client transfer to make their team more efficient and better retain clients. In less than a year, Zenlist has been adopted by about 60% of their agents and has helped B&W retain clients from lead generation all the way through closing.

Zenlist private listings
Public & Private Listings
Zenlist's search platform provides agents and their clients visibility to both public and private listings in one place. This ensures B&W agents stay ahead of the competition and provide their clients access to the most inventory. In addition, the B&W team has been able to tout this feature for recruiting purposes.
zenlist app intuitive UI
Cloze Integration
Zenlist was able to integrate B&W's CRM system, Cloze, within Zenlist to ensure both platforms could "speak" to one another. By connecting the two platforms, agents could see all of their client interactions, including those on Zenlist, in one place.
zenlist app market notifications
Client Activity
The B&W team was looking for a better way to retain leads and engage active clients. Zenlist's client activity feed allows agents to track client searches to better stay connected with their client's needs. Being notified when a client saves a listing allows B&W's agents to easily pick up the conversation and chat directly in the app.

What their agents are saying...

"It's very intuitive so I was able to pick it up really quickly."
Kate O'Neil of Baird & Warner
Kate O'Neill
VP Designated Managing Broker
"What’s nice about it is you can schedule your showings on Zenlist through ShowingTime so I don’t have to go to another app."
Ray Nicolas broker associate at Baird & Warner
Ray Nicolas
Broker Associate
"Using Zenlist I can narrow down people who are more serious buyers and people who are just window shopping."
Megan Sullivan of Baird & Warner
Megan Sullivan
Real Estate Broker