Top 5 blog posts from the year

Goodbye to 2016! We hope that you had a good year and that you're ready for everything 2017 has in store. For our last post of the year, we wanted to share our five most popular blogs (just in case you missed them).

Topics: Company Updates

7 reasons new CRE brokers should rely on their CRM

It’s common knowledge that making money in commercial real estate takes a few years. New brokers have their work cut out for them—they’ll need to build a database, establish relationships with prospective clients and industry contacts, and find a mentor.

Starting at a large firm may make that process easier, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Beyond process issues, there’s the question of credibility. The oft-cited fear among young brokers is appearing knowledgeable—a difficult feat when they’re presenting to clients who are sometimes much older potentially more knowledgeable than they are.

Having a quality CRM can go a long way toward establishing credibility and speeding up the process that normally takes years. Here are a few reasons why.

Topics: CRE Tech

3 ways transit-oriented developments are reshaping our downtowns

Downtowns all over the U.S. are undergoing a development shift thanks to millennials, baby boomers and a general change in the way people view renting vs. owning.

Many of the dense urban cores in the country’s most popular downtowns and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) have become so popular and congested that it is no longer possible for all the residents, workers and visitors to park near their destinations. Not that many would want to drive in some of these cities anyway—the traffic surrounding the most congested cores (such as Midtown Manhattan, SoMa in San Francisco and Downtown Los Angeles) is so bad it can add hours to a roundtrip commute.

Topics: Industry News Disruption

Never market yourself or your brokerage again

We just released two ebooks on marketing yourself and marketing your listings—so you might wonder why we’re now writing about getting rid of marketing altogether.

The truth is, if you put a lot of effort into building a credible brand with a strong database to support both prospecting and finding the best deals, then you’ll end up with something even better than a great brand and database: a strong referral pipeline.

Topics: Best Practices

Get ready—mobility is going to change the world of retail CRE

2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the mobility industry. We might soon see completely autonomously driving cars on the road, while ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft are taking us closer to not even needing to own a car at all.

As a commercial real estate professional, these trends are sure to rock your world, so you’d be wise to pay attention. Here, we’ll run through some potential effects these shifts in mobility could have on the commercial real estate industry.

But first, let’s take a step back…

Topics: Industry News Disruption

2 things you need to know about the interest rate hike and commercial real estate

The wait is finally over. Prepare to wait some more.

The Fed recently made the announcement—an event almost as anticipated as the release of a new iPhone—that it is raising interest rates by 0.25%, to a target range between 0.5% and 0.75%.

The commercial real estate industry has awaited this moment for months, though reports so far aren’t showing a major impact on CRE (yet). Indeed, executives have braced for a jump in interest rates for quite some time, while the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has advised borrowers that have not locked in fixed-rate, long-term loans to pay extra attention to fluctuations in rates.

Topics: Industry News

[Video] Broker best practices for the first meeting with a prospect

When you’re meeting with a new prospective client, you need to focus on building momentum. The first meeting is all about discovery: find out where your prospect is in the process and what their needs are, what opportunities may exist, demonstrate your knowledge of the market, and establish next steps to keep momentum going.

Russ Duncan, Customer Evangelist, explains how you can listen and record every touch point to deliver value in the future and keep the deal moving.

Topics: Best Practices

Trend alert: Long-term efficiency savings start to outweigh rents for tenants

There’s a new trend hitting the streets of our towns that are making developers, owners and investors very happy: an increasing emphasis on long-term efficiency savings for all types of commercial users. Landlords can use it to justify strong rents, and with many users noticing the money they can save on operations, these inflated rents are taking off.

Topics: Industry News

10 Secret Santa gifts your coworkers and clients never knew they wanted

Here at Apto, we have our Secret Santa gift exchange scheduled for this week, and we don’t want you to be scrambling like we are to find the perfect gift! Whether you’re looking for a white elephant gift for a coworker or a memorable gift for a client, check out a few fun ideas below.

Open office or private? A short guide to help your clients decide

As a commercial real estate broker, you’re sure to encounter questions from clients who are weighing the pros and cons of private offices vs. open office floorplans.

The open office floor plan has gotten a lot of attention lately—both good and bad. Proponents expound its potential for facilitating the free-flowing exchange of ideas, while critics say the open office floor plan leads to distraction and lost productivity and doesn’t really foster as much collaboration as you might think.

Topics: Industry News Efficiency

The 10 CRE conferences you don’t want to miss in 2017

With the holiday season in full swing, most brokers and firms are working on their 2017 budgets. That’s in addition to closing out the year and making holiday travel plans.

But don’t forget, the end of the year is also the perfect time to start thinking about which commercial real estate conferences to attend in 2017. Networking opportunities and continuing education are the main reasons to attend industry conferences, but it’s also a chance to let loose, enjoy a change of scenery, and have a bit of fun with peers you don’t often get to see face-to-face.

It’s advantageous to start planning your travel schedule now for next year’s conferences. By planning early, you’ll benefit from the early-bird registration rates, hotel discounts, and cheaper flights. We know time away from the office can be challenging, but these 10 CRE conferences are worth setting aside the time and budget for in 2017.

Topics: Industry News

New ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Listings

We’re excited to announce the follow-up to our popular ebook on marketing your brokerage and yourself. If you read that, you know how to set yourself and your brokerage apart with top-notch marketing.

In our new ebook, you’ll get a blueprint for marketing your commercial real estate listings. That includes tactics for generating not just maximum exposure, but also the right kind of exposure. It’s chock-full of tips and resources for crafting a compelling story, reaching the right people, and employing effective digital marketing so you can get deals done quickly.

Topics: Best Practices

Where marijuana is legal now and why it matters for brokers

In 2016, we wrote about why brokers should be proactive about pot.

Now that we're past the election, we wanted to provide a quick update to make sure you know where things stand in your market.

Topics: Industry News

Caffeine addicts take note: Starbucks’ high-end concept just got more serious

Earlier this month, Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz dropped a bit of a bombshell.  He plans to give up the chief executive title in April to pursue other ventures, including heading the expansion of the upscale Starbucks Reserve Roastery. This new chain could total about 1,000 stores, with some fitting in existing Starbucks and others in their own separate locations.

Topics: Industry News

The 7 deadly sins of CRE appraisals (Guest post: Carl Streck)

You probably know about the dangers of the seven deadly sins in your own life. However, you may be thinking, “How on earth could these relate to the commercial real estate market, let alone appraisals?”

Appraisals can become a routine part of the CRE broker experience, but there are certain caveats you need to be aware of. By avoiding these seven deadly sins, you’ll be on your way to a smooth appraisal and buying process. You’ve been warned!

Topics: Best Practices

Apto and Outlook—what you need to know

We hope you enjoy reading the Apto blog for industry best practices and insights on CRE tech. Every now and then, though, we like to answer some FAQs from our customers and introduce you to some important Apto features.

For example, a good CRM promises to help you build stronger relationships and become more efficient in general. But how does it work?

Start with email integration

Topics: Company Updates CRE Tech